OTHER than a coat of paint, there's no easier or more cost-effective way to completely change the look of a room than to add a couple of new cushions.
Cushions are the secret weapon of interior designers for spicing up a room with colour and texture. They are jewellery for any sofa or bed.
Johan Bloom of Bloom Interior Decorations says whether you want a seasonal shake-up or are looking for a trendy, vibrant change, it's easy to do so with the right cushions.
How do you know if you have the right cushion colours to complement your room? Bloom says you have to answer a few questions and you will instinctively be able to tell if the colours work for you or not.
Which colour stands out the most?
Does the colour match anything in the room?
Is it drawing attention to any specific area in the room that you do not want to highlight?
"If you are not comfortable with the answers to these questions, you may want to re-consider the colours in the room. The rule is to make sure the colours you choose either contrast or complement the rest of the decor of your room in a pleasant way," says Bloom.
He encourages people to use colour in cushions to create a vibrant effect. He adds that yellow is the colour of the year.
Ways to decorate with pillows
lBright coloured cushions are a great way to add excitement to a neutrally coloured living room. Because cushions are relatively small, you can get away with dazzling bright colours such as turquoise, orange and red.
lCushions can be used in low seating areas as well as on sofas. Make sure the ones on the floor are larger than those thrown on the sofa.
lIn the bedroom cushions on a made-up bed look pretty and elegant. Make sure the colours highlight the decor elements you want to emphasise.
lColours should either contrast or complement the rest of the decor in a room.
lYou should upgrade your rugs when you change your cushions. The two changes together will make a world of difference in your rooms.
lUpdate the look of your home seasonally with new pillow covers and accessories. Most pillow covers have zippers, so you can put lighter coloured pillow covers on your existing pillows for a fresh look.
Store your autumn and winter pillow covers flat in the linen closet. Choose lighter weight silks with a slight sheen to capture the light and add sparkle to your room.
lFor the kid whose room is never tidy, solid colour pillows will help create a less cluttered look. Or if texture and pattern is what you are after, add wide wale corduroy or striped pillows to a boy's room and wavy or floral for a girl's.
Choose soft, durable pillows for a child's room made from micro-fibre suede.
lThe size of accent cushions should be in proportion to the piece of furniture they'll be accenting. If the cushion is too big it will overwhelm the furniture, if it's too small it will look lost. If you simply can't resist extra-large comfy pillows, try leaving them on the floor for extra seating.
They're also great for people who like to curl up on the floor when watching a movie. Go for an odd number, like three or five, rather than more traditional pairs.
For an interesting and sophisticated look, combine shapes and textured throw pillows. Layer larger decorative ones at the back or in corners of a sofa and put a smaller throw pillow in front. On the other side of the sofa, add a rectangular throw pillow or bolster to the mix.