Cushions are another quick and simple way to bring a jaded interior to life or to introduce a touch of the exotic. They can also transform a newly designed interior which seems a little too tasteful or bland.
In many homes cushions become a feature in their own right, providing comfortable support on shabby chairs and sofas or used as floor seating, specially for children. It is usually best to buy the cushions from a cheap supplier and to buy the fabric or made-up covers separately; buying cushions and covers together is an expensive way of doing things.
If you are grouping cushions, choose colors and fabrics which either match each other or complement the existing furnishings in the room. If it is a fairly formal room and you have chosen pale colors and sophisti¬cated curtain treatments, such as ruched curtains with large pelmets, then the cushions should be carefully made with frills and piping in toning colors. Pale golds and greens would not be flattered by scarlet but would be better with deep greens and golds. A room with an ethnic look, with kilims on the floor and curtains in Indian-printed cotton, would look better with a group of cushions in ethnic embroideries and deep-colored prints, with no need for frills or piping. Very feminine rooms look pretty with smaller cushions than normal in lace or broderie anglicize covers, perhaps even with small bows.
Floor cushions were at one time very fashionable but if you are not actually using them they are liable to get in the way and are difficult to store. Instead, two pillows can be fitted into one large square cushion cover so that you have pillows for the spare bed or sofa-bed when visitors stay, but can conceal the spare bed with big and small cushions as a divan when they leave.
If you buy or make cushion covers the same shape as pillowcases, you can use pillows inside them so that when you have guests all you have to do is substitute pillowcases for the cushion covers.
Fabrics which drape well can be slightly gathered as though they were curtains, implying there might be a window behind them. This is a good trick for covering a bad piece of plastering or some other eyesore you are stuck with.