Urban Rhythm Style

How to get creative with cushions without going over the top

Cushions styled on a white sofa

Source: desire to inspire

Cushions are the perfect cost-effective accessory to make a statement and an easily update any space according to seasonal trends.  You could almost say, interiors heavily depend on cushions to finish off the space like a good hairdo. 

They’re also an item it’s easy to over-style with, which can result in many styling crimes being committed.  Clashing of colours, too many or two few cushions, or simply too forced.  If you want to make cushions work in your living room, here’s some advice. 

Over and under styling 

There is an endless supply of beautiful cushions of all colours, patterns, textures and sizes, so it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz and become a cushion addict.  At a reasonable price point, many fall victim to over styling their sofa where cushions end up taking over.  Remember to think practically; too many cushions will make it too hard to use your sofa and in reality most of the cushions will end up on the floor. 

On the flip side, many become too overwhelmed with the expansive choice and end up only with one or two cushions or leaving their sofa naked.  Under styling will leave your room looking a little bland and like it’s missing something.  Unless of course, you’re really committed to the minimalist look and then you’ll be forgiven. 

Colour palette 

Cushions on a navy sofa
Source:
Idyll og him

Cushions are helpful in pulling your interior style altogether and creating a cohesive look.  It’s also a way to add colour to the space, especially if you have a neutral sofa which, being a large piece, can dominate the room.

Decide on your colours based on the look you’re trying to create and other items in the living room. If you’re dressing a formal space, you’re best to go for colour tones that match or are more muted.  In an informal, relaxed home you can be more playful with your colour palette.  Either way, pick your colours based on other items in the room like your lamps, paint colour, art or accessories to create a stronger look overall. 

Patterns and prints

Styled sofa with patterned and plain scatter cushions
Photo Credit: Ronya Worum

The modern approach to cushions is to mix your pattern and prints to add personality to the space, but be careful because you can go overboard.  Select patterns that are in a similar scale and ones that complement the overall colour palette.  To help your cushion styling remain cohesive and avoid a headache, mix in a few plain, solid-colour cushions to provide relief. 

Shape and size 

Cushions of different sizes and shapes styled on a white sofa
Source: The Jungalow

Cushions also don’t have to be the same size.  If colour and pattern isn’t your thing, mixing up the size or shape of your cushions and varying the tone can give your sofa the lift it needs.  Adding a round or rectangle cushion amongst squares in a relaxed, contemporary space can add just the touch of play you were looking for.  For more formal living rooms, cushions in all the one size can reinforce the elegant, sophisticated look.  So choose the shape and size of your cushion depending on the feel you want to create. 

Cushion placement

Cushions styled in your way
Source: David Hicks

In the past, there has been a long list of rules when it came to the placement of the cushions.  You may have even stood in front of your sofa with a diagram in hand trying to master the art of cushion styling.  Those days are long gone! 

Instead of following a guide, take a relaxed approach and style your cushions in a way that feels right. Cushions can be placed in the corner, cover the entire couch (leaving a bit of space for someone to sit of course) or just a few in the middle.  Whatever you decide, try stick to an odd number and start with the larger cushions at the back, working the smaller ones to the front. 

Once you’ve mastered your cushion styling, all that’s left to do is sit back and relax!

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