Thursday, December 12, 2013

quick fix cushion mix

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels as though the days are whizzing by at the moment. That slippery slope down towards Christmas, with a million and one things still to do, presents to buy, kids to sort, Christmas baking (oh sure), those cards to write, and of course, the store humming away. I'm also still frantically juggling interior work for clients who are relying on me to make sure that their homes are going to look simply beautiful come Christmas Day. (Oh please do not let me drop any of those juggling balls!)
For those of us who haven't got a decorating fairy godmother up our sleeves, yet still want to work a little makeover magic with our homes, I thought I'd talk about one of my favourite quick fixes when it comes to interiors - cushions. Cushions are the cherry on top when it comes to interior finishing touches and one of the quickest ways I know to make over a room in a heartbeat. A room's ultimate indulgence. They are the ideal way to add colour & personality to your room, while at the same time adding a comfortable, textural layer. Done well, they should immediately invite you to sit down and cuddle up.

However, all my experience instore tells me that so many people are scared stiff by them. Truly! Scared they're a) going to get it wrong, b) scared their husband/partner/significant other will not like them, throw them on the floor and refuse to cohabitate with a floral and c)they don't know how to arrange them. Bah humbug to all of that, especially the bit about cohabitating with a floral - it's only a cushion! So, because I am lucky enough to own a store that just happens to sell lots of beautiful cushions, I borrowed a rather large bag full, & brought them home to show you just how easy it is to change things up majorly with them. 

The key when choosing and arranging cushions is to mix shapes, colours and patterns. If you reign in your colour palette to say 3 dominant hues, then you'll find it much easier to mix colour and pattern together. I can't stress enough how important this is, but we want our mix to feel harmonious, not rainbow crazy. Avoid a symmetrical look if you can - the idea is to mix your cushions rather than match them.

A large square or rectangular cushion, layered with a smaller rectangular or square cushion, & then perhaps a round cushion or smaller 'statement' cushion is a good way to mix your sizes and shapes.
Change it up at the other end of the sofa if you can. Try not to repeat the exact same arrangement, unless you're wanting a formal and sit-up-straight kind of look. Repeat some of the cushions on other pieces of furniture in the room but arrange them in different pairings. One of my favourite tricks is to use a little charcoal or black somewhere in the mix, perhaps as a trim. It's like a little full stop amongst the colour and pattern. 

Never knowingly under-cushion is a good mantra (!) unless you're after a very minimal look. There are no set rules, and the size of your furniture will determine a less or more approach.
The beauty of a mixed rather than matched approach is that you can add or subtract at any time, making it much easier to update your room with just one beautiful new cushion. And how about those cute as a button Rachel Castle penny round cushions - they honestly are the uber-mixers of the cushion world!

There you have it. One sofa, fifty ways. And I promise that much as I would have liked to keep them, all the borrowed cushions went back to the store, except perhaps one of those stunning bonnie and neil screen prints.
I couldn't help myself!

Amanda x

(cushions made from Designers Guild fabrics, mixed with Rachel Castle & bonnie and neil, and all available from Small Acorns) Pin It


  1. This is a great post--very helpful. I love the way cushions allow you to play with fun patterns and colors at minimal expense (relatively speaking). My only problem is they can get in the way of comfortable sitting, and end up on the floor or coffee table.

  2. Looks oh so inviting to curl up with a good book.

  3. Hi Amanda, I know, shocking isn't it that I've popped into blog world! I adore your sofas so much I just want to launch myself into them. The cushions aren't bad either! Where's that tree of yours? Xx


Let me know your thoughts. I love receiving your comments! Thanks for visiting. Kind wishes, Amanda xx

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