Top 10 cushions for simple make-over

OKA Direct cushions best cushions

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

 

Andrew Martin Pelham Apple - 10 best cushions
Andrew Martin Pelham Apple cushion
Kate Forman Red Velvet - 10 best cushions
Kate Forman Red Velvet cushion

 

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

Designers Guild Brera Lino - 10 best cushions
Designers Guild Brera Lino

 

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.

PATTERNED CUSHIONS

The Rug Company Silk Ikat Bolster - 10 best cushions
The Rug Company Silk Ikat Bolster cushion
Fanny Shorter Fig Cypress - 10 best cushions
Fanny Shorter Fig Cypress cushion

 

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

Molly Mahon Bagru Dark Blue - 10 best cushions
Molly Mahon Bagru Dark Blue cushion
Korla Grand Alhambra Stars - 10 best cushions
Korla Grand Alhambra Stars cushion

 

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.

WOOL CUSHIONS

Donna Wilson Geometric pink cushion - 10 best cushions
Donna Wilson Geometric pink cushion

 

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.

TEXTURED CUSHIONS

Pentreath Hall & Fine Cell Work Tetra Orange Green Pink - 10 best cushions
Pentreath Hall & Fine Cell Work Tetra Orange Green Pink cushion
Tinsmiths Kilim - 10 best cushions
Tinsmiths Kilim cushion

 

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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