Tips For Selecting Accent Pillows For Your Home

Accent cushions are a perfect way to dress your bed, sofa, or favourite reading chair.  They offer you a low-cost way to introduce a hint of style or seasonality to your room.  Whilst some people will select a cushion for its functionality, most of us choose our cushions because they look fabulous and match our decor.  So, their room decor is the only factor most people consider when a fabulous cushion catches their eye in the soft furnishings department.  Quite rightly, the colour and style of their room is their priority in deciding which cushion to buy and which piece of furniture it’s going to be sat on.  However, there are other factors that should be considered when selecting your cushions.

Cushion location: The cushion you buy should depend on which room you are dressing and how much wear and tear you expect the cushion to suffer.  For example, a cushion that simply sits proudly on your bed once it has been made will suffer less wear and tear than one that lives in your living room which has to cope with the spills and play fighting from your children.

Cushion material: Your choice of material should also be dictated by the level of wear you expect the cushion to take.  If you are fully expecting the dog to dribble on your cushion at some point, then opt for a machine washable cotton cushion cover. Display more delicate silks, hand embroidered cushions and sequinned pillows in your bedroom or private study where they are more likely to stay in perfect condition for longer.

Size of cushion:  The size and shape of your cushion should be related to the size of the furniture it will be placed upon.  Beds look elegant dressed in long bolster cushions with large accent pillows because they are large pieces of furniture and we do not actively use those cushions.  We suggest you avoid adding over-sized cushions to sofas and armchairs that are used regularly as they will simply be tossed onto the floor.

Using cushions as a focal point:  Another factor to consider is whether your accent pillow will be the star of the show, or whether it will be grouped with other cushions of different sizes, shapes and patterns.  This decision should help you be more focused about setting a budget for your purchase.  It makes sense to spend more on a feature cushion, than on a grouped cushion.

Cushion colours: Once you understand the location, size, expected level of use and star-rating, you should consider your colour palette.  Unless your intention is to shock your guests, it is good practice to stick to a limited colour palette for grouped cushions to create an impression of harmony.  It is perfectly acceptable to mix patterns and place stripes next to florals, and florals next to spots as long as each print contains the same two or three colours.  We suggest that you place bold patterns next to more neutral tones or next to cushions made of plain blocks of colour.  This will help highlight your more unique designs.

Seasonal Decor: It can be fun to follow the seasons and swap your accent pillows according to the time of year.  For example, it makes sense to use bright, fresh colours in light-weight cottons in the spring and summer, and then exchange these for autumnal shades in heavier threads in the colder weather.  Using cushions and other soft furnishings in this way can help you transform the look of your room without undertaking expensive redecoration each season.



by Loretta Cotterell

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