An excessive fondness for cushions is one of those things that interior designers and decorators can get a lot of flack for. While we occasionally go a little over the top with accessorizing (I’m wondering how anyone could manage to sit on the sofa above, for example), I’m a big fan of toss cushions on the whole. After all, one of the best parts of the job is applying the finishing touches: a framed painting hung here, a table lamp switched on there, and yes, some cushions plumped and piled.
Besides, as well as looking pretty, cushions do actually serve a functional purpose in many schemes. Here are my top three reasons to embrace the toss cushion:
1. Cushions provide comfort.
This doesn’t really need explaining. Ever sat on a hard sofa with nothing to rest your head or arm on? Yuck.
2. Cushions add colour and texture.
Most people prefer neutrals and solids for the large pieces of furniture (sofa, chairs, bed coverings) in their home. Whether this is an attempt to avoid getting bored with a print or bright colour, or because neutrals appear to have more longevity, I can’t be sure. What I do know is that a room with nothing but neutrals and solids can be a little dull. Enter the cushion: it adds colour, pattern and texture with ease, and is super-easy to switch out when you tire of the look.
3. Cushions tie together a scheme.
This is the single best reason to use toss cushions liberally. Most of us don’t live in spaces which were designed from scratch, and instead have a mixture of pieces collected at different times, from different stages of our lives. Though this is the best way to create a home (because who wants to live in a showroom?), it can also, due to trends and our own changing tastes, be the best way to create a wee bit of design chaos.
This is where cushions come in. Have two chairs next to each other which don’t exactly relate in terms of colour? Find a cushion fabric which incorporates the two, and voilà! Cushions even have the power to create flow from room to room, by bringing colours or motifs from other areas into a scheme.
While designing cushions might not have the gravitas of some other aspects of my job (drawing up floor plans or conversing with contractors), it sure is fun and useful. So long live the toss cushion, I say!