Looking for an easy, affordable, versatile way to (re)decorate? There’s a cushion for that. Once used as furniture in their own right, the humble homeware accessory has downsized from its roots as (mainly) a seating apparatus in the Middle Ages to the most versatile of soft furnishings. Available in a range of colours, finishes, fabrics, textures and sizes, a few cushions or throw pillows might be all you need to breathe life into a tired living or bedroom. And because they’re easy to swap over and super affordable, you can never have too many.
Mix and match cushions: size, colour and shape
- When combining colours of different sizes, it is good practice to stick to a maximum of three colours. Unless you’re going for a very specific look and each of the colours is balanced and equally represented, more than three colours on a sofa or bed looks busy and chaotic.
- When combining cushions of three colours of the same size, select hues that are complementary rather than contrasting, and which sit on the same end of the colour spectrum. If you choose bright, contrasting hues, the stronger, warmer colour will dominate the others, making your selection look unbalanced.
- If you want to inject a pop of colour, pattern or contrast into your décor, a good way to do this is to choose cushions of different sizes. That way, you can incorporate the strongest, boldest colour in small doses.
- If in doubt when combining colour, stick to the 60/30/10 rule: the biggest cushions should be the most neutral in your palette, the medium-sized cushions the mid-tones, and the brightest colours, like red, orange or yellow, should be the smallest (for example rectangular cushions) or the fewest (just one, centred on the bed or sofa as an accent).
- If you’re playing with size and shape, an extremely effective look is a range of cushions in a single design. Small and large square cushions can be paired with rectangular styles, round styles, and oversized shams. Piling matching cushions on your couch or bed can help make your home look and feel cosy and comfortable, and it’s a wonderful way to introduce a geometric print or pattern, too.
LARGE VIANA CUSHION
VIANA CUSHION COLLECTION
Pattern blocking with geometric and striped cushions
These humble little living accessories are the perfect way to experiment with pattern in your home. Because they’re easy to swap out as the seasons (and your tastes) change, you can afford to be a little daring in the decoration department.
When pattern blocking (layering distinctly different patterns) with geometric cushions, balance is essential: so you don’t overwhelm the senses, choose one size cushion throughout, and try to strike a fairly even balance between each of the patterns you select. That way, you’ll avoid creating a chaotic-looking space, and it will be clear that each pattern is intended. In other words, not one of the patterns you use should look like an afterthought.
Playing with texture
Colour and size aren’t the only interest that these accessories can bring to a room. Throw pillow covers can be made of almost any fibre and woven in a multitude of ways, meaning that texture and finish varies greatly.
To give a room depth, try selecting cushion covers with distinguishing textures. This will emphasise the other fabrics and materials in the room. For example, try a rugged woollen or plaid cushion against a smooth leather couch. If you have a linen or cotton-covered sofa, a chunky cable knit design or a velvet finish spices things up.
On wicker and outdoor furniture, cotton and linen work nicely, but you could also make a bold statement with cushions made of hemp or pandan.
Your bed should be a cosy and inviting place, so fuzzy textured cushions made of mohair not only pop against smooth cotton or linen bedding, but feel amazingly comfortable, too.
Matching cushions with other elements in your décor
Many cushions are also available as matching sets with blankets or curtains, which will help you to achieve a polished and rounded look in your home. Interior designers use this tactic often to balance a space, and it’s a particularly easy way of decorating because the elements look considered and tidy.
Beyond matching sets, there are other ways to pair cushions with your existing homewares. If you have a multi-coloured or mottled rug, for example, pull out one or more of the colours and reinterpret it throughout your space – on sofas or armchairs, on the bed, as floor cushions, or even as seat cushions in the dining room.
Of course, trying to colour match is slightly more challenging. You can make allowances, though, especially if you select a cushion cover made from a different fibre than that of your rug. Your soft furnishings will look considered, despite not being an identical pair.
TUDELA MOHAIR BLANKET
VINSTRA LINEN CURTAIN
Mixing and matching cushions as the seasons change
Because cushion covers pack a design punch but are affordable, you can keep a few stored in a cupboard for when you need a bit of a refresh.
Providing you have the same size and shape, you can simply invest in a few high-quality cushion inserts, and then change the covers whenever you like: in winter, swap your linen and pandan cushions cover for woollen knit designs, mohair, or cashmere for ultimate luxury…
Browse our extensive collection of cushion covers and high-quality inserts online.