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The secret art of choosing and arranging cushions

The secret art of choosing and arranging your cushions

I am a rebel, and in my own home, rules are there to be broken and my house is messy, cosy and very eclectic. But having been a chambermaid, and in furnishing our own holiday cottage I quickly learnt that when you want to make a bed or sofa look immediately enticing – and when you try to explain to your husband how the cushions need to be arranged after a guest changeover – then it turns out there are definitely cushion rules you can follow.

Here are some rough guidelines when it comes to numbers and placement of cushions that work well.

Cushions immediately make any sofa or bed cosier.

We have one super squashy cottage style sofa and a more practical sofa bed in the holiday barn. The firmer sofa really came into it’s own when we added giant squishy grey velvet cushions to soften each corner and mustard throws and smaller yellow textured cushions.

The beds immediately feel more inviting when we pop an appliquéd owl cushion on.

Number rules

There is something visually soothing about odd numbers. Try it! Arrange your ornaments or cushions in 3s, or 5s and immediately something clicks.

Texture rules

Mixing textures works really well. I love the mix of soft and luxurious velvet with knitted chevron and feathery cover materials seen above.

The 2:2:2 or 2:2:2 bed rule

Hotels often use the 2:2:2 rule, two plump pillows with a smaller shiny rectangular cushion in front and to the centre of the pillows on both sides of a double bed. This creates a feeling of space for each guest. A flash of a shinier texture creates a sense of luxury and compliments the crisp white cotton.

The 2:2:1 rule places a single cushion in front and in the middle of both sets of pillow. This is less formal and makes a bed feel cosy and inviting, and it works well in our holiday barn.

Both look eye-catching. At home I like to use a large square pillow, a rectangular pillow, then a smaller pillow which creates a symmetrical pattern and also shows off three different textures or patterns. Large square pillows are also great for reading or lazing in bed.

But just to show number rules are there to be broken, I love this arrangement from cushions found online at Simply Cushions, which uses seemingly random cushions to create a pleasing V shape. The colours and textures complement each other, plus the V shape brings it altogether. They also echo the wider colours and style of the room.

The secret art of choosing and arranging cushions

Shape Rules

Small rectangular cushions are great for finishing off a bed, but they also help to make sofas look uniform. I love collections of big and small square cushions in both corners of the sofa, but rectangular cushions across the middle also create an appealing shape as you can see below, and help to finish the look.

The art of choosing and arranging your cushions

Do you follow rules or make up your own? What works well for your home style?

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