The quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to update the look of a living room or bedroom is to change or add to your cushions with colours or designs that introduce additional pattern, colour and texture.
When mixing cushions, consider pairing patterned with a complementary plain that coordinates with its most dominant colour or pick a few shades from the same range of solid colours, something that works particularly well with velvets and linens. The introduction of a one off design or a heavier texture can also make the look more eclectic and original and the more confident can throw together a wonderful mixture.
A great place to start is the OKA cushion arranger, whose on-line tool allows you to pick and choose different cushions from a range of styles and shapes and arrange them on a fictional sofa. With over 200 cushions to choose from it is a great way to play around with ideas and find your perfect style. Cushion arranger from oka.com.
PLAIN VELVET CUSHIONS
Velvet is always a popular choice for cushions and never more so than at Christmas, bringing warmth and texture and a wide range of colours from rich and earthy to bright and jewel-like. Velvet cushions have a wonderfully tactile quality that will make any room feel cosy and are great for adding a lively splash of colour on a sofa or armchair.
Andrew Martin’s Pelham range of velvet cushions have contrasting piping and come in a huge range of 25 fresh colours from the elegant to the fun and funky. From £49 from andrewmartin.co.uk. The piping is useful as a way of linking a contrasting colour with others in the scheme.
Kate Forman’s elegant velvets may only come in 6 colourways, but with such an edited range they mix beautifully so take the strain out of mixing and can each be made into various sizes of cushion. From £45 from kateforman.co.uk.
PLAIN LINEN CUSHIONS
A slightly more discreet alternative to velvet cushions is linen; if you want maximum texture opt for a heavy stubby linen that has a tactile quality. The other attraction that linen tends to come in a wider range of more subtle colours, from neutrals through to vibrant with many shades between.
Designers Guild, known for their huge range of plain linens, have a double fronted cushion in their Brera Lino range. With a different colour on each face framed with double seams, you can even change your look from bold to neutral in an instant. Brera Lino cushion £60 from designersguild.com.
These days, the choice of patterned cushions is vast, from subtle through to statement. For the most impact, choose choose a large scale pattern such as an ikat or a bold print.
Better known for its original selection of rugs, The Rug Company’s silk ikat cushions are not only beautiful to look at, but also a useful bolster shape for layering in front of other cushions. £130 from therugcompany.com.
Fanny Shorter’s contemporary and bold prints make a great statement on cushions, Fig comes in 4 colours and are £95 from pentreath-hall.com.
REPEATING PATTERN CUSHIONS
A pair of patterned cushions with a simple repeating pattern can transform even the plainest scheme. These work particularly well in bedrooms where softer, more discreet patterns that coordinate with some other element such as a headboard, rug or blind work as well as a splash of colour in an otherwise neutral scheme.
A personal favourite is Molly Mahon with her range of colourful hand blocked cushions from £52-£85.
Korla also do a great range of simple repeating patterned cushions. Pictured here is Grand Alhambra Stars in Mushroom, £69 from korlahome.com.
There is nothing like the tactile feel of wool to bring warmth to a scheme. Donna Wilson’s wool cushions are spun, dyed and knitted in Scotland. Geometric Cushion, pictured here in pink is £75 from donnawilson.com.
Patterned cushions in richer, moodier colours and heavier textures offer a brilliant opportunity to create a festive feel; look out for one-off’s made by craftsmen in unique designs and vibrant patterns.
Fine Cell Work with their brilliant programme that goes into British prisons and trains offenders in the art of high-quality, skilled, creative needlepoint to allow them to finish their sentences with work skills, money earned and the self-believe not to re-offend has linked up with designers such as Ben Pentreath, Kit Kemp and Melissa Wyndham to create a fantastic range of needlepoint cushions from geometric designs to tattoo art. Cushions from £39 from finecellwork.co.uk.
Tinsmiths stock a selection of one-off Turkish Kilim cushions from £43.
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