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Common cushion sizes and how to avoid overpoweing a sofa or bed

Originally the cushion was a fairly uncomfortable leather bag filled with horse hair or coarse wool that would have been used to make hard wooden chairs a little more comfortable to sit on. Cushions have come a long way in the last few years and is now a vital component of home decorating. They available in a bewildering array of sizes, colours and shapes. Today it's common when purchasing a new sofa or arm chair to have large cushions included in the design, but this doesn't mean you have to include them if you think they are too overpowering.

With all this choice around it can be difficult to decide what sort of cushions would best compliment your seating area or bed, so it might be worth taking a closer look at what is available before you buy.

It might be useful to say at this stage that cushions come in virtually any size and shape that you could imagine, you can even have custom made cushions for awkward seating areas. But let’s take a look at the more widely available cushions.

Traditionally the most common size and shape for a cushion was the square, and this is available in sizes from 30cm x 30cm (12inch x 12inch), 40cm x 40cm (16inch x x16 inch), 45cm x 45cm (18inch x 18inch) and 60cm x 60cm (24inch x 24inch). It is possible to get the square cushion in larger sizes also, but these are not as common and are probably classed more as floor cushions that sofa or bed cushions.

Cushions can also be found in circular form and these come in similar dimensions from 30cm (12inch) to 45cm (18inch) and even 60cm (24inch) and can be a stylish addition to a sofa or bed as they will give a different dimension to your décor. They can be especially effective when the fabric is of a more colourful or tactile nature.

There are also cushions in bolster or tube shapes, and these again start at approximately 15cm x 45cm (6inch x 18inch) and range through to medium sizes and up to the larger, bolster cushions. These are quite large, about 30cm x 120cm (12inch x 4ft) and are traditionally used to give support whilst sitting in bed.

So now we have seen that cushions can be found in almost any size you might require let’s take a look at how best to use them on your sofa or bed to get the best possible effect. As we have said before, many sofas these days come with some cushions as standard but perhaps they are not quite what you want. They might be too soft or too large or just not quite right for the look you want to achieve. It is simple and easy to enhance your sofa with the addition of some extra cushions that give the colour, style or comfort that you want.

When adding cushions to your sofa first think about what you want your cushion to do for you. Is it for support whilst sitting, comfort whilst snuggling or just to give a striking splash of colour to an otherwise basic seating area? When you have decided what it is that you want, this could be one or more of the suggested reasons, then choose your cushions in colours and sizes to compliment your colour scheme. Remember at this stage that a match does not always mean that your cushions are exactly the same colour or design as your original seating, and a pleasing look can be created by mixing different colours, patterns and fabrics together.

It is a good basic guide to try and keep larger cushions to the back of your display and to use cushions that are smaller and perhaps more colourful or made from a more tactile fabric to the front. Using different shapes and sizes of cushion in the same fabric or design can give a chic, comfortable look to any seating arrangement.
The same can be said of your bed and using cushions of different shapes, colours and sizes in a well coordinated way can easily enhance the décor of your room.

Experiment with shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. Remember your decorating motif, along with the less is more rule. In minimalist homes one or two strategically placed cushions on a sofa will look fabulous, whilst a shabby chic theme can have an abundance of cushions on both the sofa and the bed and look utterly charming.

 
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