Mix and matchA range of different sizes, textures, patterns and/or colours can create interest. If you don’t know where to start, try finding a ‘base’ cushion with a block colour and no or minimal pattern. Then, pair it with a bold design, or texture (see above, left). Think opposites: plain with patterned, smooth with textured, neutral with bright. Of course, rules are also made to be broken, so go mad and deviate if you feel like living life on the edge!
If you're limited for space and just have room for one cushion, you could always pair it with a blanket or throw draped on the seat, to give that contrast of textures (see above right).
Be careful not to under-cushion or over-cushion!
I’m not saying you need to get the graph paper out, but at least give your sofa a good look before you buy your cushions. If your sofa is small, it’s best not to have 43 large cushions piled up on it. Likewise, if you have a big sofa, you may need more than one little one plunked in a corner. It’s not rocket science I know, but life can be busy and humans don’t always think of everything, do we?
Cushions don’t only belong on sofas…
Cushions have a place all around the home. On your bed, to soften up a hard-edged single chair, on a bench ina corridor, in your car…. You could even keep a basket of them to use when you go out to the park, or to take in the garden for more comfy al-fresco living.
Give them a lived and loved look
Try and plump your cushions when you notice them looking a bit squashed. While you’re at it, give them a bit of a karate chop on the head. This will make them look more inviting and less uniform.
Not only are natural cushion inserts lower in toxins, but the cheap ones made using polyester (AKA plastic) will be hanging around for 300 years or more after you’re gone. It’ll release microfibres into your washing machine and release toxins into the air. Not. Great.
I like these and these wool inserts. Wool is the most sustainable option. The second best thing is a feather / down cushion pad, but there are often ethical issues associated with farming the ducks or geese for down, so make sure it has the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification like these ones.
If you’re keen to add some life and extra-squish to your living space you can find my cushion covers here.