What to do with cush­ions Sum­mer-ready nails

What should I do with cush­ions?

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Tracey Strange

When it comes to gor­geous fab­rics, there’s lit­tle that Bolt of Cloth owner Suzan­nah Tonascia, hasn’t seen. From quirky and colour­ful Marimekko prints to subtle linens and tra­di­tional flo­rals, Bolt of Cloth stocks them all. The queen of the couch makeover, Tonascia of­fers a free be­spoke on­line cush­ion ser­vice: email her team a pho­to­graph of your in-need-of-help sofa and re­ceive, in re­turn, ad­vice (and a mocked-up photo) on the per­fect cush­ion combo.

“Most peo­ple would be sur­prised by how much im­pact it has on a room to sim­ply change out some of the key cush­ions, keep­ing the plainer ones in place,” she says. “Switch­ing cush­ions is a great way to breathe fresh air into a space. It takes lit­tle ef­fort and is worth do­ing ev­ery two to three years. The re­sult is a bit like the feel­ing you get from go­ing on hol­i­day.”

She says it’s al­ways best to choose cush­ions in shades you love, whether pat­terned or plain. “Look at what colours are al­ready in the room and choose one or two, then pick out new cush­ions with the same shades in them.”

How many cush­ions de­pends on two main fac­tors: what’s com­fort­able and what will vis­ually “fill the space”. It’s usu­ally more than you think, she says. About three to eight per couch. And are odd or even num­bers best? “The think­ing used to be even num­bers for a more tra­di­tional look and odd for more con­tem­po­rary spa­ces. I have an aver­sion to ad­her­ing to point­less rules and think this is best ig­nored. Put some on your couch and have a play to see what looks good.”

Tonascia also has some­thing to say about cush­ion in­ners. “I am pas­sion­ate about in­vest­ing in feather in­ners. We of­ten en­cour­age peo­ple to buy at least one feather in­ner and try it out. They usu­ally con­vert the whole lot as the fam­ily com­petes to lean against the comfy cush­ion.

“Feather in­ners have a long life, so they aren’t dis­posed of reg­u­larly like Dacron. You sim­ply plump them up reg­u­larly and re­use them when you change your cush­ion cov­ers. They also look miles bet­ter. They may cost more as a one-off pur­chase but they prob­a­bly end up cheaper in the long run as you re-buy and dis­pose of the cheaper Dacron.

“The ex­cep­tion to this is out­door cush­ions — feath­ers will take a long time to dry if left out in the rain, so Dacron out­side makes sense.”

And as for what oth­ers think of your cush­ion choices? “Cush­ions seem to be fair game for other peo­ple’s opin­ions. I’d say ig­nore them if you like what you have go­ing on,” Tonascia says.

“Why is their taste more valid than yours? Most of us love our friends be­cause of their ec­cen­tric­i­ties and dif­fer­ent ways of do­ing things even if it isn’t what we would choose in our own place. So flaunt it.”

Swap­ping out cush­ions is one of the eas­i­est ways to give a room a lift, says Bolt of Cloth owner Suzan­nah Tonascia. boltof­cloth.com

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