Interior design is all about the little details. While some people think of sofa cushions primarily in practical terms, experienced designers know that these small accessories can make a big impact on how guests perceive a space.
Of course, the first step is to take stock of the sofa situation. Is it old or new? Large or small? What kind of shape are the current cushions in? Do they do not just the sofa but also the room, as a whole, justice?
If the cushions are worn or simply don't go with the overall decor of the room anymore, it's time to rethink things. Start by checking out Custom Cushions UK to view the latest trends in luxurious yet affordable bespoke cushions and covers. After replacing old cushions with newer, fresher, and trendier alternatives, it's time to get down to business. Read on to find nine cushion arrangement tips from interior design experts.
1. Pair Two Cushions for a Simple Look
The simplest way to dress up an old sofa is to choose two cushions with the same fabric and place them in the center of the couch equidistant from each other and the armrests. This minimalist approach is perfect for monochrome sofas of any colour. For those who want to keep things simple but also inject a little extra personality, adding two throw cushions with contrasting fabrics creates a unique look without adding clutter.
2. Adopt a More Eclectic Style
Not everyone has embraced the minimalist aesthetic. For those who like a home to look lived in, more eclectic styling is a great option. This style involves tossing multiple layers of cushions onto a sofa with no apparent rhyme or reason. Mixed prints, materials, and textures are all acceptable, but don't be fooled. Home designers need to put some thought and experimentation into getting this look just right. Here's what they need to consider:
Scale of Prints
When choosing patterned fabrics, consider the scale of the prints that will be paired together. Large, medium, and small prints mixed produce more interesting and balanced-looking cushion arrangements than prints that are all of the same size.
While there's no need to match prints, sizes, or colours, all of the cushions should have a similar style. Designers need to consider the visual quality of the cushions as well as their overall aesthetic. Adding one formal cushion in with a group of casual ones is just fine, but do it intentionally.
Adding the Extras
This style is all about creating a casual, bohemian vibe, so it's not just fine but actively encouraged to add plenty of extra touches. Fringes, tassels, and braiding are all great options for an eclectic sofa cushion arrangement.
3. Try a More Balanced Style
There are many options for people who want their sofa's appearance to fall somewhere in the middle on the scale from minimalist to bohemian. A more balanced arrangement is still the tried-and-true approach for a reason. This traditional arrangement is visually appealing and still gives designers a little leeway to play with things like color texture, and patterns without risking making the whole sofa look too messy.
Balanced cushion arrangements are great for bringing multiple fabrics together into harmonious configurations. Experienced designers can use it to give symmetry and lend a slightly more formal air even to casual cushions or eclectic fabrics.
For those who want to go the extra step, bolster and lumber cushions are both great options. They add extra visual interest without taking designers as far off the beaten path as touches like tassels and braiding.
4. Use a Central Arrangement to Add an Element of Surprise
Most people are used to cushions either placed equidistant from each other towards the center of a sofa or confined all the way at its ends. Using a central arrangement can change that norm and add an element of surprise.
To get this style right, use at least three pillows, and don't be afraid to add more on top of them, especially on curved sofas that don't have structured ends. Experiment a little before deciding on the specifics of a central arrangement. Rounded designs for round sofas, for example, make a harmonious combination. Smaller cushions might look better on a sofa that's too tiny for normal arrangements at each end. Don't go overboard and cover the whole sofa with cushions, but don't be afraid to get a little creative, either.
5. Use Separated Trios of Cushions For a Timeless Look
Want to create a timeless look that won't need to be updated every year according to passing trends? Trios of cushions placed in mirror-image to each other on either end of a sofa will do just that.
This cushion arrangement is nearly foolproof. Simply choose three pillows of different sizes that look like they go together and match the sofa's color or pattern, then place the largest of them in the back at an angle to the sofa's back and armrest. The medium pillow goes in front of the large one at a slight offset from the arm, and the smallest of them goes in front of that.
When arranging the pillows on the other side, try to create an exact mirror image for a neat, composed look. For those who prefer a room that looks more "lived in," changing up the configuration or even the fabric colors can get the job done without disrupting the balance of this classic cushion arrangement.
6. Alternating Patterns Also Create Aesthetic Balance
Want something a little more unique that still won't throw off the balance? Placing cushions all the way across the couch using alternating patterns, colours, or sizes is the way to go. The two fabrics chosen must complement each other since they will be layered one on top of the other in an alternating pattern.
Some people also place throws in the middle that combine colours or pattern elements from both designs. This gives an alternating cushion pattern a more polished look while also adding an extra dimension.
7. Get Artistic With Different Shapes
Exceptionally artistic interior designers can choose to look at cushion arrangements as they would a gallery wall, playing with the geometric strengths of different shapes and offsetting them against each other in unique ways.
Most people opt for square shapes in traditional cushion arrangements. For a more artistic look, try throwing in bolster cushions and circular or rectangular shapes, as well. Just be sure to curate the arrangement's fabrics to create contrasting designs that highlight their unique features.
8. Individual Cushions Are Good For Formal Arrangements
Individual cushions can be placed on more formal sofas to emphasise their square structure. This cushion arrangement tends to feel more formal and professional, so it's a good go-to for home offices where guests may need to be entertained. To avoid making the sofa look too harsh, consider using contrasting colours or adding a throw.
9. Welcome Guests With a Hybrid Cushion Arrangement
Hybrid cushion arrangements combine the best of many worlds. They can be formal or casual depending on how refined the fabrics and patterns are, often feature layered styles for an approach that's neither minimalist nor maximalist, and work well with accessories that contribute to visual balance. The end results are far less chaotic than an eclectic cushion arrangement but are more welcoming than minimalist designs.
How to Choose the Right Cushions
Choosing the right colours, patterns, and cushion styles is as important as arranging them properly. Some designers are happy to work with what they have, but most opt for replacing old cushions with newer ones that look clean, crisp, and perfectly suited to the sofa style. Buying new cushion covers is also a good, affordable alternative.
Want to keep the existing cushions but also play around with new arrangements that require a more maximalist approach? Custom cushions are a perfect option. Taking this approach allows designers to give manufacturers specifications such as dimensions, shapes, and colours or patterns to get exactly what they want. The new cushions will be guaranteed to be a perfect fit for the existing sofa arrangement.
Whether buyers opt for bespoke cushions or out-of-the-box alternatives, quality should always be a top priority. Foam, feather, and fibre cushions are all perfectly fine options, but none of them is right for every situation. The same goes for different types of materials. Adding a common, coarse fabric to a luxurious cushion arrangement will create a jarring contrast, and the same can be said of using one luxurious pillow in an arrangement that's otherwise casual.
Cushions and cushion covers are relatively inexpensive, particularly when compared to other interior design accessories. While it's fine to do some research and check out different looks online, don't be scared to take the plunge and start experimenting. If something doesn't look quite right, fixing the problem is usually a simple matter of adding or subtracting a cushion or investing in a new cover. Just choose affordable options that will also be versatile enough to allow for periodic changes to the design.