Throws and Cushions for sofas: how many is too many?

Most styles of sofa benefit from the addition of a few artfully placed cushions, two, three, five or seven, depending on the size and depth: uneven numbers tend to work better for the same reason that groups of plants look best in threes or fives. Nature just seems to prefer it that way.

A large backless corner sofa HAS to have cushions of course, and the Wadenhoe from Sofas&Stuff is a great example of a sofa that comes ready-prepared with a fabulous range of cushions in ikat prints, different shapes, colours, sizes and fabrics, harmonious and all-included in the sofa price for an instant boho-chic look with very little effort. Most of Sofas&Stuff modern classic sofas come with matching scatter cushions, which can be added to over the years.

The country-house look favoured by Brits and Anglophiles worldwide, popularised by 20th century decorating gurus Nancy Lancaster and Colefax and Fowler, relies heavily on the effect of piles of cushions in different textiles: velvets, needlework, applique, patchwork, matching, mismatching…that can be collected over a lifetime and are the perfect way to put family needlework to good use. Interior photographs of any famous country pile or royal residence show a predilection for cushion stitching and collecting.

Cushions and throws also make excellent presents, particularly wedding presents for the couple that already has everything. A pair of beautifully-made and finished cushions in a gorgeous velvet or tapestry fabric will always be a pleasure to receive and can even be monogrammed with entwined initials or a wedding date. Chelsea Textiles and the Monogrammed Linen Company are good sources of these very special items.

Soft and warm throws (scratchy and stiff are NOT good) in a range of simple plains or subtle plaids in wools, cashmeres, merino or mohair add comfort and cosiness to the smartest interior: folded on the arm of a chair or sofa, they promise relaxation and a cosy night in watching TV or curled up with a book. They are the lighter, modern equivalent of the heavy, doublefaced travelling rug in clan tartans found on windy Cornish beaches and Scottish moors for centuries.

Cushions and throws are the canny decorators shortcut to adding colour, country house style and most importantly, extra comfort to a brand new sofa and chairs.

Michael Curran

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