Once reserved for the wealthy and royal, cushions are now an item of everyday luxury that complete spaces ranging from living rooms and bedrooms to outdoor seating areas. Deceptively named 'throw cushions' and 'scatter cushions,' mixing and matching these decorative pillows actually requires a little bit of know-how to get them looking just right.
"Interior styling relies on cushions," says interior designer and stylist Megan Morton. "They're the 'red-lipstick of the lounge,'" she adds.
Not only will perfectly-placed cushions make your sofa or bed look great, they will make it appear more cosy and inviting too. And these days, cushions are one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh your home. Invest in good-quality cushion inserts and swap over the cushion covers for an instant room refresh.
Follow Megan's top 10 tips for mixing and matching cushions and your home will be on its way to being styled like a pro!
1. Co-ordinate cushions with existing decor
Look for throw cushions in colours and patterns that will coordinate with the palette you are already using in your home.
The key to success with bolder prints is to balance them with cushions in neutral tones.
2. Dare to go bold
If you have a neutral colour theme in your living room, select two or three bold colours to inject a little depth into the space.
The more neutral your room, the brighter your cushions can be.
3. Layer textures
Don't be afraid to combine multiple textures from velvet to silk to fur; combining heavy textures with lighter ones across your cushions will keep your home looking cosy yet modern.
4. Re-arrange your existing cushions
Try changing the orientation of your existing cushions to give a room a new feel.
5. Draw cushion inspiration from unlikely places
When looking to update your room, take inspiration from a range of sources.
If you love the colours and print in your favourite silk scarf or a piece of art, then use that as inspiration when looking for beautifully designed cushions.
6. Make them look lived in
Use a 'karate chop' in the middle of the cushion to create a crease in them - this will make them seem more lived in and loved.
It will also help to break up uniform shapes, and unite cushions of different colours, scales or families.
7. Vary cushion shape and size
Have all your cushions in the same regimented size can look very formal.
Combine cushions of different sizes and shapes such as oval or oblong to create a homely and welcoming look.
8. There are cushions to suit every room
You can still have a gender neutral room with cushions - grey and yellow is a great combination that lifts and living space without being overly feminine.
Other trending colours you can try are are mustard, terracotta, sage green and seafoam.
9. Create contrast
Contrast block colours with horizontal lines and vertical lines in narrow spaces to play with the eyes.
10. Get your shine on
If your home consists of earthy, neutral colours, add some metallic to maintain a textured and edgy finish. Keep it chic and simple, and stick to the monochrome for a sophisticated edge.
The writer is a freelancer