At Bolt of Cloth we have the most comprehensive collection of contemporary cushion covers in the country. We have put thousands of unique combinations together for our customers and have mastered how to do it. We've distilled the art down to a few simple steps that you can follow to get a contemporary cool look for your place.
Step One: Start with a cushion cover you love.
Have a browse online and find a cushion cover that speaks to you. Most of us are drawn to particular patterns and colours. Find one you love – or you may already love one in your collection – and use that Star cushion as your base.
Check out the Bolt of Cloth range here for inspiration.
I am going to use the Pieni Siirtolapuutarha cushion in Greens below, for this example.
Step Two: Add more Cushions
There are three easy ways to do this:
Add plains in tonally similar colours but a variety of textures. The safest and easiest way to add plains is to add those within the colours or tones of your Star cushion. These don't need to be an exact match, but should be in a similar tone. To keep plains interesting and add vibrancy to your look, a good tip is to add cushions in different textures - so mix up your plains in fabrics such as velvet, linen, cotton and wool.
Here is our Pieni Siitolapuutarha Cushion with a Velvet in Teal, and a Wool/Alpaca in Marine Blue cushion cover. The two plain cushions add texture and emphasize the vibrant blues and teals in our main cushion.
Another way to add plain cushions is by adding colours that are exactly the opposite to what you would expect. Some of the best combinations work just because they are not what you would expect. You could throw in a pink with greens, or an orange with blues to add spice and interest to your scheme and make sure you are anything but predictable. This tip basically means it is almost impossible to go wrong!
In this example we have added two velvet cushions that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel - one in Teal and one in Rust. It is the contrast that makes this work, even though there is no rust in our feature cushion.
Add more patterns. The easiest ways to add patterns is with stripes and spots as in the image below. It is also fun and surprising to combine these with florals and geometrics and to add patterns of different sizes and scales.
Here we have added patterns of different scale to create intrigue - large spots but quite thin stripes.
Step Three: Play! Arrange them in different flexible ways
Once you have found some great options you need to have a bit of a play. This can be done in our store using our couch - or virtually by cutting and pasting. Make sure you test out different ideas - you might find one of your crazy ideas is actually the best one. This is all about making you happy - trust your instincts for what looks good.
The best final cushion combos can be mixed and matched on your couch in endless ways – so it doesn’t matter how they get moved and used in your daily life, they always end up looking great wherever they lie. So test out your combo at different ends of the couch to make sure all your looks work.
In this example we have tried out adding a completely new print - a classic Unikko floral design.
In this example we have the Siirpolapuutarha print in 2 different scales and textured velvets in opposite colours.
Step Four: Add some finishing touches.
This step isn't critical but it is definitely a nice to do. There is nothing like a sheepskin or cosy throw to make a couch look divine and the sort of place we all want to spend an evening.
In our final look, we have 2 different scales of the signature print that we started with. We have mixed these with spots, and stripes and two plains in differing textures. We have also added a sheepskin and throw (cause it's cold in Christchurch today!).
It is easiest to use colour the more of it you have. A starting cushion with a number of colours to pull out is it going to make it easier to build a combination you love - and can add to over time.
Just like using different textured cushions, it is also interesting to use different sizes and shapes of cushions. This is also good from a comfort point of view.
Do upgrade to feather inners if you can – they are much more comfortable, make your cushions look great and you can re-use them if you change out your cushion covers.
Have fun - they're only cushions:)