Buyers Guide to Decorative Cushions

July 22, 2016
Buyers Guide to Decorative Cushions

Cushions have been adored by many for centuries. An ancient and revered accessory that used to represent stature and wealth could once only be found inside a palace. Fortunately today, the cushion has evolved to become a staple decorative accent found in each and every home!

Styling with cushions is such a simple, cost effective and safe way to introduce bold colours, tactile textures or vibrant patterns to the home. Cushions are as much expressive as they are functional and can often be seen as objects of art that offer a soft place to land.

Cushions are the key to creating a sense of coziness and comfort and there’s no better way brighten or add visual interest to a lounge or bedroom, but with so many different types to choose from it can be difficult to find the perfect decorative cushion for your space.

Fear not, we have compiled a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about the different types of cushions available and how to best arrange them to achieve maximum style factor.

Buyers Guide to Decorative Cushions

Cushion Shapes and Standard Sizes

Also referred to as scatter cushions, throw pillows or decorative cushions, cushions come in all sorts of style, shapes and sizes. The options are endless but thankfully they so come in some standard sizes.

Square Cushions

Square cushions are the most familiar and widely used profile for cushions. When buying a cushion, make sure you check whether or not an insert is included. If not, square cushion inserts can be purchased separately, and are generally available in the following sizes: 30 x 30cm, 35 x 35cm, 40 x 40cm, 45 x 45cm, 50 x 50cm, 55 x 55cm, 60 x 60cm and 65 x 65cm.

A 30cm or 35cm cushion is a good size for an armchair, while anything from 40cm up to 60cm will suit a sofa depending on the look you wish to create.

A 45cm cushion will sit just below the top of the back cushion of a standard back height sofa, a 50cm will sit just in line with the top of the back of the sofa while a 60cm will sit just higher than the back of the sofa.

Styling Tip - When combining cushions, a pairing of a 40 x 40 placed in front of a 55 x 55cm creates a balanced look. When mixing patterns with plains, generally, one would opt for a larger format plain or textured cushion with a bold or patterned cushion placed in front.

Floor Cushions - Larger format cushions such as 65 x 65cm make great floor cushions in a lounge for T.V watching. They can be stored under the sofa when not in use or stacked in a corner to create a decorative element. They are also perfect for a kid’s room to play games on or for story time.

Rectangle Cushions

The second most widely used cushion shape, a rectangular shape looks nice when overlapped in front of a square profile cushion and is a nice low profile option for an arm chair. Rectangular cushions can be found in the following sizes: 30 x 40cm, 30 x 50cm, 40 x 50cm, 40 x 60cm, and 50 x 60cm.

Round Cushions

A trend that has become increasingly popular this year is the round cushion. A circle is the most restful shape to the eye and visual interest can be created with contrasting shapes. A round shape conveys a sense of completeness and helps to soften the geometry of other items in an interior such as a rectangular coffee table, T.V unit and the lineal shape of a sofa. Including a round shape will help to create a sense of balance and harmony. Typical sizes are: 30cm Dia., 35cm Dia., 40cm Dia., 45cm Dia., 50cm Dia., and 60cm Dia.

Hides & Textured Cushions

Add some texture and interest to your sofa or bedroom with cushions made from leather, natural fur hides, Mongolian sheepskins, or chunky knits.

Cushion Inserts

There are a variety of cushion inserts so it’s good to know what your options are in terms of quality vs. price. Cushions can be filled with down, foam, polyester fibre.

Down Cushion Inserts

Feather down is the crème de la crème of fillings, it’s also the most expensive. Made from Goose or Duck feathers you can opt for pure down which is the softest part of the feather and doesn’t have any quills, or pure feather which is cheaper option. In some cases you can find a blend of down and feather – you can get the best of both world in terms of luxury and price.

Foam Cushion Inserts

Inserts made of polyurethane foam are available in different densities which will impact on longevity and comfort of the cushion. Higher density foam will hold its shape for longer but won’t be a soft and therefore perhaps not as comfortable, depending on your preference. For a softer cushion opt for a lower density foam insert. Foam inserts are fairly easy to clean and much more durable than down or fibre so are a good option for families with young children or pets.

Fibre Cushion Inserts

Polyester fibre inserts are a good a good compromise between down and foam. You will find most standard cushions come with fibre inserts as they are softer yet retain their shape better and are more cost effective, non-allergenic and easy to wash. The softer the fibre the more expensive it can become as it will have a similar feel to feather down.

If your cushion covers don’t come with an insert or if you are having some custom made, always select an inner that is 5cm bigger than the cushion cover. This will ensure the cushion looks full and fluffy rather than saggy.

Shop more Cushions online & in-store.

For more inspiration check out our Cushion Styling Tips.

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