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Has trying to style your scatter cushions turned you into a scatter brain?

With the power to add colour and style to any space in an instance, scatter cushions have become one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh your home – from living- and bedrooms to outdoor seating areas. While deceptively named “scatter” cushions, mixing and matching these decorative pillows actually requires some know-how to get them looking just right. And so, the DIYgirls INTERIOR team has put together a quick guide to help you understand the basic rules for mixing and matching your scatters, to style your home like a pro.


Rule 1:  Identify your colour palette

Taking the soft furnishings, wall art, curtains and any other existing accessories into consideration, identify 2-3 key colours in your room.  This is your colour palette; and the goal is to carry this central theme through to your scatter cushions to allow a cohesive and harmonious space. To do so, we recommend pairing solid-coloured cushions with those that have elements of your colour palette in the pattern.  

Rule 2: Embrace prints, patterns, and colour

Bold prints and geometric patterns can really transform the style of a room, while a bright splash of colour has the power to add excellent contrast to an otherwise melancholy scheme.  The bottom line – when used in the right way, both plain scatters and those with a bold pattern can become the centrepiece of a once bleak room. If you’re unsure about the level of boldness you should embrace when choosing your scatter cushions, follow this general rule of thumb – the more neutral your room, the bolder your cushions should be.

Rule 3: Choose the number of cushions needed

The number of pillows needed is determined by the overall look and feel you want to create in your space. For a more traditional look, stick with an even number of scatter cushions to create symmetry and order. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to place two large cushions in the corner of your couch with two smaller cushions in front of the other two, for example.

For a more modern or eclectic look, create a certain amount of asymmetry by opting for an odd number.  Depending on the size of your bed or couch, pair three, five or even seven cushions together.  You can easily accomplish a well-considered, uncrowded space by placing two cushions on the left side of your couch and the last one on the right, for example.

Rule 4: Embrace size and shape

Over the years, we’ve found that our clients often think their collection of scatter cushions should all be the same regimented shape and size.  On the contrary, we recommend a more informal look by combining different shapes and sizes.  By doing so, each cushion is allowed the space to show off proudly, without being hidden behind the other.  To achieve the desired configuration, we recommend placing a couple of large pillows (between 60cm – 70 square cm) at the back; pairing these with medium-sized pillows (between 50cm – 55 square cm) as well as an accent pillow, which should be the smallest pillow in your arrangement and unique in shape. While circular and cylindrical scatter cushions are widely available, we like using a 60cm x 40cm rectangular shape to finish off our sets.

Rule 5: Experiment with texture

Layering texture is a very effective way to decorate with cushions, as a collection of scatters all made up in the same material often looks uninteresting and stale.  By injecting different fabrics and materials into the mix, such as warm knits, natural soft linen and luxurious velvets, you’re able to highlight the uniqueness of each of your cushions while creating a cozy yet modern look and feel in your home.

Rule 6: Invest in a quality cushion inner

You might think that all cushion inners are the same, but believe us, not all cushion inners are created equal!  

Choosing the right inner is just as important as choosing the right cover as it really makes all the difference to the final look of your scatter cushion.  We could probably write a whole blog around scatter cushion inners (and will probably do so soon), but in the meantime, here are the most important points to keep in mind:

  • If budget allows, invest in a feather down inner. While it is more costly than more economical ball or hollow fibre alternatives, it is a win in the long run as you will be able to use the inner over and over again – only swapping over the cushion covers for an instant room refresh, when desired. Feather down inners also don’t only look more impressive (thanks to the designer “karate chop”), but it is also more comfortable as it flattens and moulds to your body when you lean against it.
  • Choose an inner that is 5cm bigger than the cover to ensure that it fills out the cover all the way to the corners and makes your cushion look plump and luxurious.

Now that you have picked your colour palette, decided on the size, shape and number of cushions, you’re all set to refresh your home with new scatter cushions. And, if you’re still unsure of ways in which you can combine these design hero’s so that they’re the perfect match to your space, have a look at our exciting and trendy range of scatter cushions sets. Be warned though, with so much available online it might be hard to stop!


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