Styling Your Sofa With Cushions

Cushions help you add colour and a point of interest to your sofa. They’re an inexpensive and easy way to redecorate your room with the seasons or your temperament!

The clever selection and arrangement of your sofa cushions can make or break a room. But with so many different fabrics, shapes, sizes and colours out there, it’s hard to know what cushions will transform your space.

Here’s a simple guide to help you pick the cushions to give your room a pop of colour and the “wow” factor.


The standard rule for picking the right cushion colours for your sofa and your room is to gauge your room’s existing colour palette and make sure your cushions include an element of it. This will create a unified look, blending your sofa into the rest of your room’s features.

It’s all about complementing and contrasting here – but you can’t do this effectively without knowing your room’s colour scheme.

An easy way to identify this is take some colour swatches into your room and match up the most prominent colours – these will make up your palette and will guide your cushion choices.

There’s no need to be too nit-picky; your cushion colours don’t have to match up exactly and if they’re patterned, they only need one colour to make it work.

If you have a statement rug, keep it the statement. Don’t let your cushions compete for attention!

The great thing about cushions is that you can swap them out with the change of the seasons. In spring and summer, go for something light and airy – bright yellows, oranges and greens. In autumn and winter, darker, earthier tones will make your room more intimate and cosy.

Don’t go overboard on your cushion covers. Try to keep it to one or two solid colour options.

More importantly, make sure the colours contrast with your couch. For example, with the Kraesten 3-seater in marine blue, brighter colours will stand out better, bringing a bit of colour to the couch and helping it blend better in a light room.


Stripes, geometrics, spots, swirls, floral prints. Patterns can be a tricky choice for many, who will instead steer clear of them altogether.

But when you pick patterns carefully, they can really boost the appeal of your room. Just make sure they stay within your colour scheme!

Don’t go crazy with too many patterns and colours or the effect will likely overwhelm!

Don’t go for more than two or three different patterns, depending on your number of cushions. Keep them in the same style, colour and size so they look cohesive. And if you have five cushions, alternate at most two different designs.

For even greater effect, break patterned cushions up with those of solid colour.

Shapes and sizes

Sometimes it’s easy just to go for the simplest option: square cushions of uniform size and colour. But that can often make your sofa look uninspired and characterless.

Different shapes and sizes can add visual interest to your sofa. But don’t forget they should be practical as well as beautiful! You don’t want a cushion that dwarfs your couch and forces you to toss it aside every time you need to sit down.

If you have a long 3-seater, such as the Kraesten sofa above, rectangular cushions may work well. But for armchairs square cushions may be your best option.

Or you can mix it up with an eclectic selection of rectangles and differently-sized squares – and even the odd circle! A combined look will give your sofa personality – and if you have chosen a unifying colour or pattern, it can look stylish too.

Fabrics and textures

The fabric you choose for your sofa cushions depends entirely on your sofa itself. You can really experiment with fabrics and textures here to create a nice contrast and help set the tone for the style you want in your room.

Silks will evoke luxury, whereas corduroy trim and weaves create a fresh, contemporary look. Mix them in with plain cotton cushion covers so the unusual textures steal the show. Alternatively you can carry through a coherent theme with cushions of varying textures, as long as the colour remains the same.

Fabrics can impact how light or cosy your room feels. In winter, faux furs, velvets and knits encourage you to snuggle up and get comfy, whereas linens and cottons are perfect as lighter summer fabrics.


You don’t want so many cushions on the sofa that you have to remove a bunch before being able to sit down. So how many cushions make “the right amount”?

For a traditional look, scatter an even number of cushions across your sofa. For example, place two either end of the Kraesten 3-seater above.

For a more modern, eclectic style, go for an odd number of cushions; three for a two-seater or five for a three-seater.


It doesn’t matter how beautiful your cushions are – if you don’t make the most of them, they will lose their impact.

Your cushion arrangement should be about layering. Place larger cushions in front of smaller ones.

A popular option is the 2-1-2 arrangement:

Place two larger solid-coloured cushions either end of the couch and slightly smaller, patterned cushions featuring similar colours in front of them. Place a small rectangular cushion in the middle of the sofa to complete the look.

Of course, we shouldn’t have to tell you to keep your cushion cover zipper hidden on the underside.


Don’t forget the throw! You can’t relax on your sofa without a warm blanket to cover yourself as you settle in with a coffee and a good book.

The same rules that apply to your cushions are relevant to your throw. Keep the look coherent by choosing a similar fabric, colour or pattern (preferably two of these three!) to your cushions and surrounding décor.

Hang it over the end or back of the sofa so it’s close at hand.

Cushions are a great way to dress up your couch and create a coherent look with the rest of your living space. But make sure you choose a style that also reflects your personality and tastes. Even if they are changeable, you’ll still want to create an effect you love, rather than one you think fits!

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