When it comes to styling beds, couches and other furniture items in your home, the addition of pillows and decorative cushions has the power to transform a space and take it from drab to fab! From patterned to solid colours, textured to plain, small to large, and square to round, cushions allow you to achieve any desired style seamlessly and without too much of an investment. In our opinion, pillows and cushions are a non-negotiable, must-have accessory to include when we stage properties or when you style your home. If you follow us on Instagram or our other social media channels, you’ll see we never style a bed, couch, occasional chair or outdoor setting without them. But… (there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there!) what you might not know is there’s more to the art of using cushions than just throwing them on a furniture item and hoping for the best. There’s a set of rules we’ve perfected and utilise to ensure we achieve a sleek, luxe look at every home we stage. Don’t worry, our go-to tips are much easier than you may initially think! 

I had a chat with two of our stylists here at Foxy, Ebony and Cassie, to get them to run me through our tips and tricks and explain why we do what we do. Keep reading to learn about all our cushion and pillow styling secrets. 

Standing vs. Slouching

One rule of thumb we always follow when placing pillows and cushions on beds, couches and outdoor settings is that they are standing on their own, not slouching on the object behind them. This makes the cushions look alive instead of dreary and sad (metaphorically, of course!). In more realistic terms, it gives them a crisp, clean, luxe look. 

When I had a chat with Ebony and Cassie about it, they gave the perfect summation of why we go the extra mile to ensure the cushions are not slouching when we stage homes. Ebony said “it looks untidy when they’re slouched and makes the bed and couch look used”, which Cassie backed up with “standing cushions look neater and more professional”.

Not Slouching Cushions

Diamond vs. Square

Diamond CushionsNot Diamond Cushions

Now this isn’t to test your knowledge on shapes… or is it?! When we say diamond vs. square, we don’t mean the shape of the cushion, but rather the angle in which you place it on your furniture item. To achieve the square look, you would place the cushion on one of its sides, while a diamond look comes about when the cushion is sitting on one of its corners (refer to the photos to the left, or above on a mobile device, to see what we mean). 

When I brought this one up with our stylists it was like I’d dropped a massive bombshell! Cassie and Ebony gasped and each followed it with “that’s a pet hate of ours – they’re squares, not diamonds!” and “oh my god, why would you do that?!” respectively. If you hadn’t already guessed, we never place cushions on a couch or bed in a diamond shape when staging homes. As Cassie put it, placing your pillows so they’re square is the difference between a professional job and cushions just being thrown on the piece of furniture.

Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical

The good news here is that there’s no right or wrong. You can have some creative freedom and place your cushions either symmetrically or asymmetrically based on your own personal style and preferences. Because this tip is fairly straightforward, I’ll let Ebony and Cassie do the talking here. Our conversation went like this:

Ebony: “We would normally do odd pairs, for example three and then two. But Hampton’s style is more symmetrical, like matchy matchy.”

Cassie: “Yeah, with most designs we go for we don’t really have rules based around symmetry, it’s just whatever works for your colour pattern or whatever theme we’re doing. Anything goes in that regard, but yeah Hampton’s probably has more structure and it looks better with all matching cushions. Pretty much any other style you can do whatever you want. Although the master bed we like to be structured and symmetrical because it looks more professional and tidy.”

Symmetrical CushionsAsymmetrical Cushions

Chopped vs. Not Chopped

Not Chopped CushionsChopped Cushions

When we talk about a chopped cushion, we mean placing the cushion on your piece of furniture and doing a karate-chop in the middle of the top-side (refer to the photos to the left, or above on a mobile device, for a visual explanation). Chopping your cushions is another styling tip that comes down to personal preference – there’s no right or wrong here and you definitely don’t have to do it. In saying that, there is a reason for it, which is why we implement it when staging a home for sale. In short, chopping a cushion makes it look more plump, comfortable and soft, which is the look you want to achieve when it comes to styling a bed or couch. Chopping cushions also results in a luxe, expensive look without making the space look overly manicured. To read more about the karate-chop, check out this blog post.

It’s important to note here that not all cushions are ‘choppable’, so choose carefully when shopping around. We recommend purchasing feather cushions, as these will hold a cut perfectly. As Cassie says, it’s personal preference, but here at Foxy we are very much transitioning to feather filled cushions due to their versatility and more high-end appearance. 

“We only have maybe 20 percent of our cushions now that aren’t feather filled. They’re just better. They’re more expensive in the store, so they literally are more expensive so they look more expensive,” Cassie said.

And there we have it, our four rules, tips and guidelines when it comes to styling with decorative cushions. We hope these will be helpful to you when next styling your home.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram – we always love to hear from you! Also, don’t forget to check out our Foxy TV episodes. In this one you see to the right (or below if you’re on a mobile device) Cody asks Phoebe some questions about styling with pillows. 

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