Choosing and arranging the perfect cushions

Choosing and arranging the perfect cushions

While some think of the simple scatter cushion as just part of their sofa or an inconsequential interior accessory, the cushion held great honour back in the day. In the middle ages, only the very wealthy could afford to have cushions because expensive dyes and fabrics were scarcely available.  As these fabrics were all intricately handcrafted, and took days to create just 1 metre, simple scatter cushions became pieces of art. Nowadays, we are inundated with choice due to the booming textile industry worldwide. We are spoilt with not only textiles but also ready-made cushions available in décor stores. There is no science to the perfect arrangement of scatter cushions in your home, however these tips will help you create that perfect collection to enhance your interior.

Sourcing the right size

Most people make the mistake of going too small with their scatter cushions. It is important to select your cushion size to complement your furniture. A standard 60cm x 60cm square will suit most beds, chairs, or sofas. Going that little bit bigger shows off your textile with pride. Recently, rectangular shaped cushions have made a debut into interiors, this can achieve a more relaxed and modern look. By adding a large 90cm x 60cm cushion to one sofa or bed you can create quite a statement.  Any variations of the rectangle are great to pair with the standard square.

"Play with mixtures of pattern and texture but make sure you have a common colour or pattern reference to achieve a cohesive look."


Deciding on quantity

A lot of people are wary of too many cushions on a sofa because they all end up on the floor anyway!  As mentioned above, one or two correctly sized cushions can be sufficient. However, if you are looking for a sophisticated layered look, try 4-5 cushions for a two seater sofa, and 6 cushions for a three seater sofa. Beds can handle 2 layers of cushions, and a great effect can be gained with a square at the back and a rectangle of a complementary fabric in front.

Quality inners

It is vital to choose quality inners for your cushions to prolong their lifespan and enhance comfort. A good choice is a mix of a feather/duck down inner, these remain plump and sit better than a microfibre inner. However, if you have allergies, make sure you get the best quality microfibre as sub-par qualities tend to bunch up and create lumps. Always try to get an inner for your cover that is an extra 5cm in size so that your cushions always look full.

Choosing your textiles

This is the fun part and where your creativity can run wild and there is no exact science other than to pick textiles that you love and make you happy. Play with mixtures of pattern and texture but make sure you have a common colour or pattern reference to achieve a cohesive look.
Take inspiration from your furniture colour or tone in the textile as well to marry them together.  Don’t forget the decorators chop* when arranging them, it will provide a professional interior finish.
* The decorator's chop is a way of shaping pillows or cushions. A chopped cushion is achieved by fluffing a feather- or down-filled cushion and using a "karate chop" motion to create a v-shaped notch in the top.