Plump up the vol­ume with vi­brant cush­ions!

Daily Mail - - Home & Away - PRISCILLA POLLARA

EVER since we first took to dec­o­rat­ing our rooms and homes, it was gen­er­ally un­der­stood that cush­ions were a sign of wealth: the more of them, the greater the opu­lence.

They may have been a sign of full cof­fers in the past, but they’ve cer­tainly come in var­i­ous guises since the fab­ric-cov­ered ce­ramic head­rests that the Chi­nese used un­til the early 20th cen­tury.

But it was the Greek and Ro­man civil­i­sa­tions that be­gan to trans­form cush­ions into items of com­fort­able opu­lence, mean­ing grass, reeds, straw and feath­ers were in­tro­duced as fillers, al­low­ing a true sense of

‘cush­ion­ing’ to oc­cur. Cush­ions are the kings of soft fur­nish­ings. From bol­sters and over­sized, ob­longs, squares and tri­an­gles, to mini ones, scat­ter, furry and bean bags, we are spoilt for choice.

While there are ex­pen­sive ones to be found on the mar­ket, such as In­dia Jane’s Sandowne cush­ion, £75, ( in­di­a­jane.co.uk) An­drew Martin’s vel­vet Mo­have Red, £99, ( an­drew­martin. co. uk) or the Lawn Cush­ion by Eleanor Pritchard, £132 at Heal’s ( heals.

com), there are many hand­some va­ri­eties that are far cheaper. Topsy by Habi­tat ( habi­tat.co.

uk) at £11 and the Rosanna Blush cush­ion at Laura Ash­ley, £27, ( lau­raash­ley.com) are just two ex­am­ples. But why is there such de­mand for all colours and sizes of cush­ions? ‘ When care­fully styled, cush­ions in par­tic­u­lar are a great way to har­monise dif­fer­ent as­pects of the en­vi­ron­ment,’ says Han­nah Ed­wards, home­buyer at Heal’s, whose new collection fea­tures cush­ions that pay homage to the in­flu­en­tial Bauhaus move­ment.

‘A bright mo­tif will quickly pull to­gether con­trast­ing colours within more eclec­tic spa­ces, while tac­tile fab­rics can lift neu­tral set­tings to cre­ate a more invit­ing look,’ she adds.

SOFT fur­nish­ings are ul­ti­mately de­signed to of­fer comfort while bring­ing a quick, ef­fort­less and low- cost style re­fresh to in­te­ri­ors. Cer­tain set­tings aren’t com­plete with­out the sim­ple ad­di­tion of cush­ions. Bed­rooms be­come much more sump­tu­ous through lay­er­ing of soft fur­nish­ings.

They are also clever lit­tle things; the right com­bi­na­tion of soft fur­nish­ings will act in much the same way a piece of jew­ellery might on an oth­er­wise drab out­fit.

An an­cient sofa can be left in all

its tat­tered an­tiq­uity and yet be dressed up by a row of hand­some cush­ions, while equally, a new sofa or arm­chair can have its look fur­ther boosted by the right ac­ces­sory.

Then there’s the per­son­al­i­sa­tion el­e­ment. There might be blue and pink bean­bags des­ig­nated for chil­dren’s rooms, or hand­stitched mono­grammed square cush­ions to mark births, birth­days or age mile­stones. Koko Blos­som ( kokoblos­som.com) per­son­alise chil­dren’s cush­ions with names, birth­days and birth weights.

Other cush­ions might even be per­son­alised with an up­loaded pho­to­graph — they let us play with the de­sign of our own homes.

‘The beauty of throws, cush­ions and blan­kets is that they can eas­ily be re­moved, so go to town with your tex­tures, the more ex­pres­sive the bet­ter,’ says Jane Rock­ett, who runs in­te­ri­ors em­po­rium Rock­ett St Ge­orge ( rock­ettst­ge­orge.co.uk) with Lucy St Ge­orge.

‘By fo­cus­ing on your ac­ces­sories, from adding a vi­brant pop of colour to the cosy arm­chair in the cor­ner, to in­tro­duc­ing lay­ers of play­ful pat­tern and tex­ture to a more sub­tle sofa, the room can be trans­formed with­out hav­ing to pick up a paint­brush. Whether you are a max­i­mal­ist like us or you pre­fer a more re­fined and un­der­stated look, in our opin­ion, a home sim­ply isn’t a home with­out these cosy el­e­ments and fin­ish­ing touches.’

Of late, Rock­ett St Ge­orge’s ex­clu­sive de­signs have in­cluded oil paint­ing-in­flu­enced art.

‘Pair­ing our love of vel­vet with all things leop­ard, the Two Leop­ards Vel­vet Cush­ion [£55] is a su­per strik­ing de­sign and ideal for giv­ing min­i­mal­ist decor a chic up­lift and darker in­te­ri­ors a dose of high­fash­ion, rock-star style.

‘ Our new Sum­mer Flow­ers cush­ion [£55] is in­spired by iconic flo­ral oil paint­ings from the Dutch masters. We de­signed it with a luxe, vin­tage feel that pairs per­fectly with ochre yel­low vel­vet — one of our favourite trends of the last year that is still go­ing strong,’ adds Jane Rock­ett.

Cush­ions can be often over­looked, when they in fact trans­form a room fairly in­ex­pen­sively.

‘They are im­pact­ful, tex­tu­rally pleas­ing and guar­an­teed to add drama to your in­te­ri­ors,’ she adds. ‘A state­ment cush­ion or throw should never be un­der­rated.’

lit­tlebig­bell.com

Eclec­tic: A bright sit­ting room by Geraldine Tan from The Lit­tle Big Bell,

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