Decorate your living room with cushions

DOES your living room look a bit old and tired? Living rooms often become a dumping ground for “stuff” and the continual wear and tear can make them look a little dowdy and run down. Often the task of redecorating your living room is considered too mammoth a project to consider so before you get stuck in re-painting, re-carpeting or re-placing your old couch, consider the idea of using a few cushions to spruce up your room.

If chosen correctly, cushions can pull together all the elements of a room and bring harmony to a once busy or mismatched room. Selecting the right cushions for your room can be very difficult and it is easy to get it wrong. This step by step process will guide you through the decision-making process and help you to find the ideal cushions for your living room.

If they match your sofa, throw them out!

Sometimes when you buy a couch it comes with matching cushions.

This is bad. If your cushions match your couch then please do yourself a favour and donate them to charity immediately. Adding cushions to your living room is an excellent opportunity to add colour and texture to a room. Having cushions that match your couch is a massive waste as they will blend straight in to the couch and look like a lumpy bit of furniture. If you add some cushions that complement other colours in your room and contrast well with the colour of your couch, it can be as effective as adding a new piece of artwork to your walls.

Select your colour palette

This is probably the most important step in your process, even more so than selecting the actual cushions themselves. The reason for this is because, if selected carefully, your cushions can pull together all the elements in your room and help to create a stylish and harmonious look.

Often living rooms are full of lots of colours and patterns. The colour of your walls, the patterns on your curtains, the artwork hanging on your wall, as well as any coffee tables, vases, china or any other trinkets … these all add colour and texture to your room. Quite often there is a whole lot going on in a living room and things can feel very busy and mis-matched. Selecting your cushions based on the colours that already exist in your living room can subtly pull together all the busyness in the room and help the existing colours to complement each other, rather than work against each other.

How many cushions on a sofa?

The amount of cushions you should purchase depends on the style of room you prefer.

If you like the more traditional style lounge room with deep colours then you should stick to an even number of cushions. If you want a more modern or eclectic look then go for an odd number. I know this might seem strange to you but it can really make a difference when it comes to the arrangement of the cushions on the sofa, but we will get to that later.

For now, decide what look you think your living room is: Traditional or modern and let that inform whether or not you go for an odd or even number or cushions. In terms of the actual number of cushions you buy, it really depends on the size and number of sofas you have in your living room. In my opinion, three seaters can take up to five cushions, two seaters up to four cushions, and one seaters should probably stick to just one cushion.

Size and shape of your cushions

Most people choose the standard 45x45cm or 50x50cm square cushions and they purchase all of their cushions within the exact same shape. Once again, if you do this, you are missing an opportunity to add some depth to your selection. If all your cushions are the exact same size, it can start to look a bit clinical and boring.

Think about mixing up the size and shape of your cushions.

You might buy two different sized cushions in the same patterned material and then add in some solid colours. Alternatively, if you are really good at identifying and sticking to your colour palette, you could buy four to five different cushions and make them fit together really well.

How to arrange cushions on a sofa

There is no hard and fast rule about how to display cushions on your sofa but there are a few things that you can do to maximise their effect. Firstly, if you are trying to achieve a very traditional looking room, then you want to go for the classic one:one (matching cushions at each end) or two:two (same thing). This can be an excellent way to achieve a classic or traditional looking living room.

If you want a more modern look, then you have some freedom to mix things up a bit.

There are no rules when it comes to the arrangement of cushions on a sofa for a modern or eclectic look. I have seen settings with one large cushion on a two seater and it looked fabulous! I have also seen a sofa stacked so full with cushions that there was barely anywhere to sit, but, it looked amazing too.

However, unless you are confident about your styling, it might be safe to stick with an average number of cushions — three to five — and have fun with your arrangement.

If you have four squares and a rectangle try putting the squares at both ends and the rectangle in the middle. If you have five squares then maybe try the 3:2 arrangement with two down one end and three down the other.

Keep in mind the colours of the cushions when you are placing them on your sofa. If you have one cushion with one or three or your colour palette in it then try to surround that with the other colours as this will help to pull them all together. The most important thing to remember through all this is to have fun!

Try a new arrangement and leave it there for a few days while you see if you like it and then mix it up again until you find one that you love. — dengarden.com

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