Cushions are an easy and attractive way to add colour, patterns and contrast to any room, they can also be replaced without fuss whenever you’re after a new look.
If your anything like us we get a little confused when it comes to the of layering and styling we find it hard to create cohesion and flow in a room. We have asked Wendy Schmalkuche the Property Stylist at Coco Republic to come in and give a few suggestions to help us get the cushion size, shape, patterns, colours and styling right.
There are no set rules when it comes to styling with cushions. Scatter cushions are a wonderful way to enhance any scheme from retro to Hamptons to classic contemporary with colour, pattern and texture. I’m a firm believer in changing cushions when they start to look tired and as fashion changes – they offer an instant update to a room when replaced.
When styling a sofa or bed, start with the larger cushions towards the back and layer with smaller cushions at the front. Larger cushions act as a backer on sofas for extra comfort. Alternatively, to allow enough space for people to sit on a sofa, simply add one or two of the same size on each side.
On a bed, the standard pillows should be at the back with European or larger pillows and finished with two accent cushions. We usually balance this look with a draped throw or upholstered bench at the end of a bed if space allows.
We love ‘blender’ cushions, being a larger back feather filled cushion in a lovely block colour or refined pattern, often with a metallic thread. They are made by an upholsterer and we love using them in our schemes.
We tend not to use too much colour when styling a property for sale, as it can be polarising, particularly in real estate photography. When we do incorporate colour into a scheme, we use versatile hues like indigo and mustard to enhance a neutral base. It is important to create a welcoming aesthetic, particularly for property styling, and soft, subtle accents of colour is a great way to do this.
I suggest investing in good quality feather filled cushions as polyester inserts have a tendency to lose their shape with wear. Coco Republic’s Miami Indoor Scatter range is understated and contemporary with a feather filled design.
We employ a styling tactic named the ‘Darren Palmer Chop’ when presenting a home. Simply, we karate chop the pillow in the top centre with our hands to create a 45 degree angle on each side. This only works on feather filled designs but offers a lived in feel.
Matching cushions can offer the same end result as mixing different patterns and styles. It really is a personal preference however I always recommend layering textures in a living space or bedroom. Soften a leather sofa with linen cushions or add detail to an upholstered fabric sofa with a balance of cotton and knitted designs.
When it comes to styling outdoors, I employ the ‘less is more’ principle. On an outdoor sofa, add a few cushions as accents and never more. Think of styling as enhancing the natural surroundings rather than creating a distinct focus.
Wendy Schmalkuche, Property Stylist, Coco Republic