No matter what style or the size of your home, cushions are a great styling tool for your interior. With just a few scatter cushions in a contrasting or complementary style, you can elevate your living room or bedroom from drab to fab. Plus, cushions are a dead easy way to transform the look of a room as the season (or taste) changes – and a few different designs can be mixed and matched for an ever-changing look.
Sofa cushions and bed cushions
Cushions are a wonderful decoration element because they can help consolidate or jazz up your décor, and really drive the look you’re going for home. For example, if your room is looking a little bland, add a pop of bright colour to your sofa or bed and your room will immediately look fresher and more vibrant.
If you’re aiming for a contemporary or Scandinavian look, adding a few geometric cushions or black and white patterns will help communicate the look you’re trying to achieve.
If you want a beach house theme, select light fabrics, like linen cushions, and striped styles, and pair with light, sheer linen curtains. For a farm or country house look, a few scatter cushions with scalloped borders or quilted finishes will amplify the theme... Of all decorating elements, cushions are perhaps the easiest to use, and the most versatile.
Large cushions vs. small cushions
For the living room, extra-large styles are particularly versatile because they can be used as floor cushions when entertaining. But unless you have a particularly roomy sofa, they are hard to style day-to-day, and can dwarf your furniture or look out of place. If you like the idea of having a lot of cushion to prop you up while on the sofa, go for multiple smaller pieces instead: they will arrange better, and you’ll have more flexibility to play with pattern and colour combinations.
Extra-large cushions are fantastic for the bedroom though – and make your bed look über stylish. For a professional looking bed that will delight you every single day, start with two extra-large cushions that are the same colour (or complementary) to your duvet cover, then layer with medium and smaller cushions in contrasting shades and patters.
For both the bedroom and living room, a good trick to keep things interesting is to combine different sizes; especially if you prefer a unified look, the same cushion in different shapes helps to pep up a room.
Cushions: mixing colour and pattern
Once you’ve identified the main colours in your room, you can begin to select the colours of your accessories – and it’s here where you can start to introduce more bold and daring aspects into your décor. Because they’re small and can be easily exchanged, feel free to experiment a little. Love red, but don’t fancy committing to red curtains or a red sofa? Use cushions instead! Cushion covers are a fantastic secret weapon for interior styling because they're incredibly affordable and can be exchanged as often as you like to suit your mood or the season.
Pay heed to the type of cushions you use, too. If you’re also playing with the size of your accessories, it’s a good idea to follow the 70/20/10 rule: the big sofa cushions should be the most neutral colour, the standard cushions a slightly brighter tone, and the smallest – rectangular cushions, for example – should be the boldest of the three.
Pattern blocking has a place in every season, and the interior design trick really packs a punch, whether you have a more traditional or contemporary interior. If mixing pattern is your thing, try pairing different looks in the same size. This will ensure that all patterns and colours are equal, and will help promote a visual calm.
Chunky knit and cashmere cushions
Texture is a valuable tool for interior design, too; so don’t overlook different fabrics and weaves of the humble accessory. To give your space a boost of warmth for the winter, or to achieve a wholesome, country house look, opt for chunky weave cushions (and wool blankets!) made from sheep or lambswool. These fabrics are inherently rugged, and have a more casual appearance compared to small, tight weaves.
If you’re after a more sophisticated look, try cashmere and alpaca wool cushions, and pair them with alpaca blankets or cashmere blankets for a luxe finish. These fibres are both incredibly soft and silky, and display a slight sheen that cotton and wool rarely possess.
For patterned styles that aren’t knitted, cotton cushions are just the thing. Cotton cushions and throws too work in all seasons, whereas chunky knit and wool cushions tend to be better for cold weather.
Matching cushions with other elements in your décor
Yet another advantage of the humble cushion is the fact that they are often sold in matching sets, most commonly with curtains or blankets. Matching different elements of your décor is a fool-proof way to give your living room a five-star look; incredibly easy, but very impactful.
In the bedroom, remember to check whether matching cushions are available with your duvet covers, and in the living room, check whether there are matching cushions with that new throw you’ve got your eye on. Another way to match cushions is to bring out the colours of wool rugs or carpet runners in the room.
And remember: they’re easy to style and change with the seasons – so you can never have enough.
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