Coloured cushions are a great way to spice up your home, minus the risk of painting your living room fushia on a whim. Whether you’re just browsing cushions online or you’ve arrived home with a huge bag of colourful cushions and aren’t sure what to do with them, we’ve got some tips to help you out. It seems small, but a cushion can do a lot and when used right, colour can take your home from ‘blah’ to ‘oh wow!’ in a matter of hours.

The meaning of colours

Colour can be used powerfully in a home, not only because of its visual impact but because colours hold meaning. While the connotation can vary from person to person, there are some common meanings for different colours.

We’ll take you through the basics of colour association1:

Warm colours

Warm colours are variations of red, yellow and orange. They generally excite and make you feel inspired to act.

Red 
Passion, fire, love, importance.
Yellow Joy, sunshine, hope, gender neutrality.
Orrange Change, creativity, autumn, energy, health and vitality.

Cool colours

Cool colours soothe and are known to be more relaxing and even conservative colours, associated with nature. They are any version of blue, green or purple.

Blue Reliability, strength, calmness, melancholy.
Purple Royalty, luxury, romance, imagination.
Green Nature, balance/harmony, newness, wealth.

Neutrals

Neutral colours and shades are often used as bases or backgrounds, although they can make a sophisticated statement on their own, or combined with other neutrals.

Black Elegance, formality, power.
White Purity, virtue, simplicity.
Grey Modern, conservative, moody, professional.
  Tan/ Beige Conservative, adaptable to surrounding colours.

The objective should be to use colour to make the people in your home feel warm, safe and accepted.

Using colour: how much is too much?

Colour can be intimidating for many people because they don’t want to go overboard, regret their choices later on or give their guests a headache. Keeping in mind the meanings above, strong hues like red cushions, yellow cushions and orange cushions are great to add a pop of colour against a plain background like white and grey. These colours are best used sparingly, otherwise their impact can become overpowering. More subtle colours like teal cushions and gold cushions can be used more liberally, or even in combination.

If you have coloured couches or a bright quilt cover, black and white cushions or any decorative cushions of a neutral colour will prevent the room from looking tacky.

If you are still a colour commitaphobe, cushion covers are your best friend because they allow you to change the colours in any given room at the drop of a hat. You can even keep a variety of cushion covers and swap them around if you’re someone who gets easily bored.

When it comes to outdoor cushions your colours can be a little more wild. Think tropical florals, vivid orange, turquoise and bright canary yellow.

Combining colours for your room like a pro

If you thought introducing colour was scary, how about putting more than one together … successfully? As a general rule, almost any colour looks good with black, white or grey. If you are worried about colours clashing, try focussing on contrast. For example, navy blue cushions would work well with a blush pink throw rug or floor rug. Green cushions like khaki always look great with crisp white cushions, but would also suit black or silver. If you have found mustard cushions for your master bedroom, you could add a mustard throw rug on a dark grey bedspread - or for a more bold move combine your mustard cushions with either teal, chambray or French navy (but not all).

If you’re having trouble picking a colour scheme, jump on Pinterest and search something like ‘colours interior design’ to see which tones you gravitate towards before you start shopping.

While colours can be tricky, avoiding them altogether usually equates to a boring home that doesn’t evoke much feeling at all. Taking the tools we’ve given you, follow the basic colour rules to decorate your house with coloured cushions like a design pro.


1  https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/color-theory-for-designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/