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Cushion coordination: how to style your sofa

  • Cushions
  • Linen cushions
  • Velvet cushions
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Olivia Lowry
how to style your sofa with cushions how to arrange cushions on your sofa how many cushions should I put on my sofa

What’s a sofa without some comfortable cushions? We’re all about decor that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing - and cushions tick both boxes. They’re the easiest way to update the look of an existing sofa, and a new set can have a pretty significant impact on your overall living room feel. 

Feeling like your sofa needs a refresh? Here’s our interior expert’s guide to all things cushion related. From how to arrange them and how many cushions you should use on your sofa, we've got you covered.

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How many cushions look good on a sofa?

“Too many cushions on your sofa can end up making your living room look cluttered, which isn’t great for a space that’s meant to help you relax”, says Swyft interior expert, Kelly.

“Find the sweet spot by opting for no more than 2 cushions per seat that vary in size. Ultimately it’s about adding more cushions gradually until you have an amount that feels right for your individual space.”

How many cushions should you have on an accent chair?

When styling an accent chair, go for 1 singular, oversized cushion. Make sure the cushion still allows for enough seating room.

When it comes to solo seating, accent chairs take the limelight. Along with armchairs and loveseats, they serve both a functional purpose as extra seating, and a decor purpose by contributing to the overall style of your space. Adding an accent cushion to your armchair or loveseat finishes off the overall look and adds an extra layer of comfort.

how to arrange cushions on armchairs

“When it comes to placement of cushions on armchairs, you can go one of two ways,” says interior expert Kelly. 

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“Putting your cushion right in the middle of the chair creates too much of a formal, less inviting look. Introducing a bit of asymmetry with cushions will give your armchair a cosier ‘lived-in’ vibe. 

“I want the living rooms I style to feel relaxed and for that reason, I’d typically recommend placing your armchair cushion off-centre”, she explains.

How many cushions should you have on a 2-seater sofa?

While there’s no rule as to how many cushions you should have on a 2-seater sofa, we’d recommend no more than 4. If you feel the need to toss any to the floor when you sit down, you’ve probably opted for cushions that are too big for your 2-seater sofa.

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“The easiest way to make sofas feel more inviting is by adding depth with cushions. It’s all about creating this illusion that your sofa goes further back - this will make it both look and feel really comfortable”, Kelly explains.

scandi style cushions velvet cushions neutral coloured cushion how to style with cushions

“Most of the time I layering cushions, starting with the biggest ones at the back. From there, I like to add a smaller cushion in a contrasting colour, Kelly explains. 

“If your sofa’s a bit larger in-depth like our Model 06 or 07, I’d keep things symmetrical in each corner. For smaller sofas or a for a more relaxed look, opt for asymmetry and go for two cushions on only one side of the sofa”.

How many cushions should you have on 3-seater sofas?

On 3-seater sofas, 4-6 cushions of varying sizes work best. Layer cushions from large to small, and experiment with differently shaped cushions for a unique lookRemember to stick to the general rule of no more than 2 cushions per ‘seat’. 

how many cushions should I have on a corner sofa how many cushions should I have on a 3 seater sofa cushion ideas for corner sofas

“Larger sofas, especially corner and modular configurations can feel quite angular. Larger, contrasting-coloured cushions work well to soften corners and arm ends on bigger sofas. Once you’ve done this you can add to the comfy feeling even further by layering with differently shaped smaller cushions, again in size order”, says Kelly.

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How many cushions should you have on a corner sofa?

When adding cushions to a corner sofa, think about how many people use it day-to-day. If you’ve got a corner sofa to yourself and the extra seating is only used when guests are over, it’s fine to add up to 2 cushions per ‘seat’. If your sofa’s individual seats are all taken up regularly, scale this back to 1.5 cushions per ‘seat’ to avoid crowding.

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Bigger sofas mean more people, so it’s a good idea to ramp up the cushion count. “This is a great opportunity to add an accent colour in a way that doesn’t feel too intrusive in your space”, Kelly adds.


What size are standard sofa cushions UK?

Although there isn’t any standard sofa cushion size in the UK, the most popular sizes are medium 45 x 45 cm cushions and larger 60 x 60 cm cushions. Both sizes are ideal for layering on sofas, armchairs, accent chairs or on beds.

Should I have an odd or even number of cushions on my sofa?

Pick the number of cushions on your sofa based on what overall mood you want your space to have. Symmetrical cushions create a hotel-like formal feel. Instead, use an odd number of non-symmetrical cushions for a more relaxed, at-home look.

What are round sofa cushions called?

Round sofa cushions in a cylindrical shape are called bolster cushions. Bolster cushions are typically found on mid-century style sofas that contribute to a retro-inspired look. Bolster cushions are often flat on each end, with piped-seam detailing.

What shapes do cushions come in?

Scatter cushions used for sofas and beds come in abstract irregular shapes, or more traditional square, rectangular and round shapes. When decorating a sofa or bed, round, square and rectangular cushions are all fail-safe options.
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