Urban Road

Top stylists spill their cushion styling secrets

Cushions. Will they ever go out of style? We think NOT! They add softness and layers to a space, and are an affordable way to inject colour or pattern to a room. Today we get the inside word and cushion styling tips from some of Australia’s top interior stylists and designers.

Related article: Australia’s best designers agree, styling on a fireplace mantel should be restrained
Related article: Are you making one of these rug mistakes? Top designers share their rug pet peeves!

cushion styling _TheStables
Styling by Catherine Heraghty from The Stables

Catherine Heraghty – The Stables

“The first rule is always make sure the cushion insert is feather — they always sit so much better whether it’s in the bedroom or living room!” says Catherine.

“For the bedroom, add three scatter cushions and go for different colours, textures and sizes so there is some contrast between them all.

“In terms of the colours, try drawing inspiration from the artwork you have in the room.”

Styling by Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors

Julia Green – Greenhouse Interiors

“Work in odds, not pairs — pairs are predictable and safe. And any more than 3 is ridiculous,” says Julia matter-of-factly.

Cushion detail
Styling by Gina Ciancio of Style Curator

Gina Ciancio – Style Curator

“My advice is ‘you do you’ but here are some tips that could elevate your cushion styling:

  • Mix up shapes and sizes — especially on a bed. Using square, rectangular and round shapes adds interest. Also, using some larger and smaller will help them to sit well (and look better too!)
  • Play with texture and take a cue from the season — in summer, lighter-weight materials like linen are ideal, and in winter you can bust out chunky knit or faux fur cushions
  • Always use feather inserts. Catherine said this above and I second it — feather inserts are inexpensive but add an ultra-luxe look, cushions will be more comfortable and sit better too
  • Show some restraint. I know I said ‘you do you’ but there is a limit… Darren Palmer once said any more than 9 cushions is ridiculous and Julia takes a hard-line approach above cutting you off at just 3! My advice is that cushions should add comfort so if there are so many on a sofa that there’s no where to sit or so many on a bed that you don’t feel you should get into it, it’s time to pare things back.

I think there are also a few no-nos we should talk about….

  • Cushions on a diagonal never look good
  • Matchy-matchy everything is just a bit boring, break out of your comfort zone and introduce cushions in a few different colours and shapes — even if they’re just shades of a neutral colour.”
White panelled wall bedroom with statement light
Styling by Michelle Hart from Bask Interiors

Michelle Hart – Bask Interiors

“More is more! Well, I’ve found mostly women love having many cushions on their bed while men tend to be the opposite!” laughs Michelle.

“My advice when it comes to cushions on a bed is firstly, look at the style of the interior. It will help you to determine how the bed should look and feel when selecting and adding cushions.

“For a more formal looking bedroom, use two identical oblong or square cushions sitting side by side.

“In a minimalist bedroom, there could be either no cushions (I know, who can live with no cushions on their bed!?) or just one oblong cushion in the middle of all the pillows.

“To go for a more relaxed feel, have two or three cushions that are different in size, texture, pattern and shape. Keep bed linen simple and plain. Then add in colour with cushions and throws, which can easily be changed to give your bedroom a different look.

The colours or patterns of the cushions should mostly be determined by the style of the room and also if there is any artwork in the bedroom.

“Pull out a colour of the artwork and use the same colour in a feature cushion maybe in linen, or velvet for a luxe factor.

“Then, use a textured cushion such as a woolly sheepskin or a leather cushion. Or maybe a small round cushion, something patterned or knotted cushion to add an interesting shape to the bed.”

Styling by Nicole Rosenberg from Liberty Interiors

Nicole Rosenberg – Liberty Interiors

“For adult master bedrooms I’m a little over the look of having a plethora of different sized cushions on the bed. I feel like sometimes it makes the room look chaotic and over-styled,” says Nicole.

“Try moving towards doing 4 standard pillows at the back and then two beautiful textured/quilted euros at the front.

“On the other hand, for kids rooms mix up the pillows with different sizes and patterns and really having fun with the look!”

Did you pick up some cushion styling tips to try at your house? Tell us which decorating tips resonated with you!

Get more home styling tips here

This article was first published in October 2019 and continues to be updated with the latest styling tips.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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