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PART THREE

Choosing cushions and cushion covers

Select the right cushions and cushion covers for your needs

There are many things to consider when selecting cushions and cushion covers for your specific needs. Cushions have a pivotal role to play when it comes to breathing new life into old, tired spaces, and can be ideal purchases when you need to refresh a room but don’t have the time, money or inclination to completely redecorate it. Cushions can restore harmony to previously mismatched rooms and can help you enjoy relaxing at home once again if you have fallen out of love with your abode. When you buy new cushions, you can avoid forking out for replacement carpets, curtains and furniture and still refresh the look of your space.

Finding inspiration

There are all sorts of places you can look if you are seeking inspiration before purchasing new cushions. Many people opt to take a good long look at their existing décor so they can identify cushions that will fit in with their existing layout. You could also look at interior design magazines for inspiration or even assess what your friends and family have achieved with cushions. Some people opt for a traditional feel, whilst others aim for a more contemporary style, with many targeting a fusion of the new and old. Cushions with decorative trims are normally best suited to traditional environments, whilst larger cushions with simpler designs are generally more at home in modern spaces.

The purpose of your cushions

You should also think hard about what your cushions are being used for before you go ahead and make a purchase. Are your cushions being used for decorative purposes or will you be resting your head or sitting on them? If you are buying cushions that you will be in regular physical contact with, it may be best to opt for a more hard-wearing type of cushion or a cushion with a washable cover. It’s best to only buy expensive cushions if they are only going to be used for decorative purposes. Don’t be afraid to mix cushions up if you find it too hard to make a final decision – a range of styles, shapes and colours can look more impressive than you might expect as long as you stick with a colour palette and choose the same fabrics.

Popular cushion fillings

There are many different types of cushion on the market today, with various different fillings. Hollow fibre is the most popular filling for Cushions. These man-made fabrics are used to create softer cushions. Feather and down are more expensive but heavily associated with comfort and luxury, which is why so many hotels offer cushions and pillows manufactured via these materials. Many cushions feature feather, down or a fusion of both. Cushions with down-only fillings tend to cost more, with a mix of around 70% down with 30% feathers being common.

About cushion covers

There are also many options available when it comes to cushion covers. If you or someone in your household has sensitive skin, it’s normally best to opt for a natural fabric like wool, silk or cotton. This is because many man-made fabrics can worsen symptoms. Many cushion covers are constructed from a mix of man-made and natural fibres, though there are also many 100% wool, silk and cotton covers available. Cotton is the toughest of these. You may require professional cleaning services if opting for silk and pure wool covers.

Do you require extra-durable cushions?

Customers with children and pets may wish to purchase hard-wearing, easily-washable cushions filled with polyester if they are going to be subject to heavy use. The location where the cushions are being placed may help you make decisions on materials. Your cushions won’t need to be so durable if you are simply placing them on your bed for decorative reasons. Circular cushions have become more popular over recent years, as have larger cushions, though the vast majority of cushions are still around 43cm square.

Arranging your cushions

The methods you use to arrange your cushions can have a big impact on their visual power. You don’t always have to put your best cushion at the front of your arrangement, and you don’t always have to have all your cushions on display. In fact, it’s often wise to keep some cushions in reserve so you can bring them out when you require a change in tone, such as when the weather starts to change. What looks great during the summer isn’t always so stunning during the autumn and winter, and vice versa. Consider purchasing different sets of cushions for each season. You could opt for oranges and browns in the autumn, velvet in the winter, pale colours during the spring and yellow during the summer.

Keep hold of your inners

You don’t need to throw away your cushion inners even when the covers have seen better days. If you opt for cushions with high-quality fillings, you can use these for years, simply replacing the covers when the time is right. Feather and down inners are more expensive but can provide you with outstanding comfort for years to come as long as you provide it with a modest amount of plumping every so often.

Complementing your sofa

Think about the kind of sofa you have before you purchase your cushions. Many sofas come complete with suitable cushions, but if you are not a fan of the ones that you have been supplied with, it may be best to seek out alternative options. You could even buy cushions to complement the ones that came with your sofa, with many people opting for ones with the same fabric. By selecting the right cushions for your needs, you can make a powerful visual statement whilst heightening comfort levels.