How Can I Decorate My Living Room With Cushions?

How Can I Decorate My Living Room With Cushions?

Whether you’re going for the minimalistic look, Chique French, modern or simple country, adding a few well-placed cushions of varying sizes and textures may be just what’s needed to breathe new life into your tired living room.

When adding cushions to your living room, you should consider:

  • The size of the room
  • The existing wall colors
  • The furniture in the room
  • The size and shape of the cushions

Beyond these, you should also decide on the best decor style to suit the living room.

Before breaking your bank and your back trying to give your tired living room a total makeover, consider first adding a few cushions. The following article will give you some new ideas on improving the look of your living room just with a few cushions.

Seven Hints To Adding Cushions In Your Living Room

If you need some help with adding cushions to your living, seven valued hints will help you.

1. Matching Cushions Must Go!

The first rule of decorating your living room with cushions is all matching cushions must go! Give them away or spread them out in another room if throwing them out is not an option.

You are attempting to create a new look in your living room, so by adding cushions, you have the chance to add color and texture. Having cushions that blend with your furniture will make your living room look old and frumpy! 

Throw in cushions of contrasting colors to your couch and complement other colors in the living room. Adding cushions of contrasting colors is almost as good as adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls or hanging a new painting. 

2. Vary Cushions Of Different Textures And Patterns

How Can I Decorate My Living Room With Cushions?

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the matching cushions, you have a chance to play around with textures, patterns, and prints.

There is any number of prints for cushions available on the market today. There are prints to match every mood and season. No longer are we restricted to pairing plains with florals or stripes with plains. 

You can be as bold as you want. Florals, stripes, and spots can go together. You need to find the standard color amongst all three and play with that. 

Mark D. Sikes, a prominent Interior Designer for his Palm Beach Villa, chose a recurring blue and white theme on his cushions. His bold use of pattern transformed this eye-catching living room without making it look exaggerated or excessive. 

3. Choose A Color Palette

More important than selecting the cushions is selecting the suitable color scheme. This is because cushions can form the focal point of your room. They can bring together all elements of the room to create a quantum of solace for you and your family. 

Take a look around your living room. You will find an array of colors, patterns on your curtains, and furniture made from wood or covered in fabric. Your living room imagined to be a calm space, is mismatched and busy. A lot is going on, right? 

You want your cushions to pull everything together and help the existing colors compliment one another instead of competing against one another. How to fix this? It’s relatively easy, actually. Select cushions gleaned from colors that already exist in your living room. 

How To Create A Color Palette?

There are various color palettes available online. You can choose and download one that you’re most comfortable with. Take a good look around your living room, then select a color palette based on the following benchmarks.

1. The primary color for your cushions should be chosen from an object already in your living room. For example, choose a color from your curtains, a vase, a tapestry, or a painting. 

2. Select a color that blends well and complements other colors and patterns. It neglects the purpose of having a few large, brightly colored cushions that stand out and distract from the rest of the room. Cushions should look good together but should also look on their own. 

Interior designer Summer Thornton’s bold use of color in the living room of a Chicago apartment is an excellent example of where a color palette is fully capitalized on.

She pulled contrasting colors from the De Gournay wall covering for the cushions in this living room. The jewel-toned seating has a few large cushions that bring all the elements in the room together.

4. The Perfect Number Of Cushions

4. The Perfect Number Of Cushions

Can you have too many cushions? That is a question every home decorator asks themselves. The standard rule and the answer to this age-old question are to put one cushion more than the number of seats available. 

You can use four large cushions or five smaller ones for a three-seater, and a two-seater can take up to 4 cushions. However, it is best to go with a single-seater with a single cushion.

It would be best to stop when there is no more available space on the couch because it gets uncomfortable. It is best to have a few well-balanced, strategically placed cushions instead of too many haphazardly thrown around. 

Another good rule to remember when it comes to the number of cushions in your living room is that the quantity of cushions depends on the style of the room. For example, if you enjoy a more traditional living room in deep rustic colors, select an even number of cushions.

And if you enjoy the modern, minimalistic look, you should select an odd number of cushions. With an odd number, you have an excellent chance to mix up the patterns with solid colors.

5. Play With Sizes And Shapes Of Cushions 

With cushions, you want to bring a sense of depth into your living room. You can achieve this by varying the sizes and shapes of your cushions. Have you considered a round cushion? Sure, you can go with the classic look of squares and rectangles, but there is so much more to explore.

A round cushion in a sturdy fabric may look good on that single leather couch, in front of the fireplace, where you can enjoy a glass of whiskey on a cold winter’s night. 

When you have a mix of small and large cushions, the general guideline is to place the more oversized cushions at the back with the smaller ones in front. 

On the matter of size, and yes, size does matter, the standard rule is the basic square, 50cm X 50cm (20inch x 20 inches). Let loose your design genie and see what happens. If you have all the same size and shape cushions, you have a very clinical and dull living room. 

Look at the Palm Beach abode designed by Caroline Rafferty for a bit of inspiration. Her artful and creative use of cushions in various sizes, shapes, colors, and prints has transformed a plain white 20-foot-long sofa into an artist’s canvas.

If you are inclined towards design and know your color palette, play around with 4 or 5 cushions of different patterns, shapes, and sizes. You may surprise yourself!

6. Arranging Cushions On Your Living Room Sofa

6. Arranging Cushions On Your Living Room Sofa

When it comes to interior design, you can throw out all the rule books, especially when it comes to cushions on your sofas. To some degree, you can improve their effect on your living room furniture and your living room as a whole.

If you start decorating your living room with cushions, a classic or traditional look is best to try until you feel more confident with colors, sizes, and shapes. Place either one or two contrasting cushions on either end of the couch or sofa. If you are uncertain how to arrange the cushions and want to play it safe, then go for the classic look in your living room.

Perhaps you choose to try the modern look. You may choose a single large cushion in a textured corduroy or one with patterns. In contrast, you may choose two or three smaller cushions in a solid color. Then, you have the creative freedom to shake things up a bit!

Danielle Colding used her celebrated cozy but relaxed look in the living room in a Manhattan’s Upper West Side apartment. She kept the look modern by selecting a few monochrome colors for her large, rectangular cushions in a deep chocolate brown and cream. 

In this way, she achieved a very chic, sophisticated contemporary look, but one that is simplistic with just a touch of eclecticism.

The idea is for everything to tie in together and not make your living room look overcrowded. It is relatively easy to go overboard with cushions. Some caution is needed.

Try out a few combinations of cushions for a day or two. Play with a few large, square cushions on either end of your sofa or couch and a rectangular one in the center. If you aren’t happy with that combination, change it again until you reach the happy results.

That’s the thing with cushions in a living room. You can switch the look and feel by rearranging them around the furniture with a few additions. You can go from having a rustic look to a modern look in a single day! 

Another helpful point to remember is the colors of the cushions. If you have a single cushion of average size, with a few colors from your color palette, then surround that cushion with complementary colors, so they all blend in but still be able to stand alone.

7. Adding A Final Touch To Your Living Room Cushions

Now that you have your cushions in a row, you need to add that final finishing touch to make them pop in your living room. 

An easy way to plump up your cushions is to give the cushion a whack down its middle. This will create a “V” formation with the ends standing out. This simple touch can add that extra touch of style your living room needs.

Your Living Room Cushions Reflect Your Decorating Style

s Reflect Your Decorating Style

Using cushions in your living room is a great way to highlight your design taste and style. They bring out your creativity and inadvertently your personality. Here are a few helpful points on using cushions in your living room that emphasizes your decor style.

Choosing A Contemporary Style For Your Living Room

Contemporary Styles use neutral tones and bring in bold colors that don’t diminish the overall balance. If your living room sofas are neutral shades, don’t be afraid to spruce them with a bold splash of color or patterned cushions. 

For a contemporary style, cushions usually are in natural fabrics such as cotton, linens, wool, or silk. You can always add in one or two cushions in a brightly colored sateen that offsets the neutral tones and brings a touch of color to your furniture and living room. 

Contemporary styles are constantly changing, so let out your creativity and experiment with fabrics, colors, shapes, and textures. 

Choosing A Modern Style For Your Living Room

Modern styles, otherwise known as minimalist, go with the notion that less is more. The color palette is more in line with neutral tones, going heavy with black and white. Add in some primary colors such as blue, red, and yellow for a variation.

If you choose this modern look for your living room, these colors can be highlighted in your cushions without being excessive. 

Play around with a couple of more oversized-sized cushions in a bright solid color, florals, or geometric pattern instead of many smaller ones. Also, choose an odd number of cushions in an asymmetrical arrangement. Natural fabrics such as cotton and linen are the go-to choice in modern decor.

Choosing A Traditional Style For Your Living Room

A traditional decor style is all about balance to create a harmonious, calm, and orderly space. Here you find groupings of two or four cushions are used to create symmetry; everything is in alignment.

With a traditional look, your cushions should complement the furniture in the room. They should not be outlandish or too graphic that they draw attention away from the rest of the room. You should select patterns such as damask, corduroy, plaids, or paisley prints. 

Your choice of fabrics for this traditional style is rich textured fabrics such as silks, velvets, in jewel tones and leather. If you want to throw in some tassels, frills, or lace on your cushions for added appeal on your larger cushions, go ahead!

Choose An Eclectic Style For Your Living Room

Your living room is the one place, except for the kitchen, where the family comes together to loosen up from the hardships of the day, to relax. A living room in an eclectic style is an easy and fun way to combine the tastes of everyone in the family.

If you choose to go with an eclectic style, keep an odd number of cushions because this creates asymmetry. A good hint is to have two cushions on one side of the couch with a single cushion on the other end. Also, choose cushions similar in shape, between 45-55cm (18-22 inches). 

With an eclectic decor style, you can choose any fabric that suits you. This is where merrymaking comes in and where you can draw inspiration from the rest of the family.

However, you must remember to use at least one accent color that draws everything together and is a common thread running throughout the whole look.

Related: A Guide to Choosing the Right Cushions for your Sofa


A living room, the most used space in a home, can be transformed into a magazine-worthy room with the addition of a few strategically placed cushions. With the use of color, texture, size, and design, your cushions can transform the look and style of your living room. 

They are a reflection of your individual style and creativity. Go Bold! Or go for the more traditional look. Your living room will not be the same after you throw in some cushions.

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