your freshly-plumped plunge into the art of cushion arrangement.
Have you ever been thumbing through an interiors magazine only to find yourself bubbling up with sudden and unexpected jealousy? “Surely no bed can look that comfy” we hear you cry. “They’ve got to be retouching those photos” you conclude with a self-assuring nod.
The bad news? Nope – there’s no camera trickery involved, and you’ve not just uncovered the design conspiracy of the decade. The good? Just about any bed can reach the aesthetic heights of an interiors showroom or five-star hotel, and that’s including yours.
"Giving your bed that plumped-up, sumptuous show home look takes a bit of work, but it's far from impossible" says furn.'s brand manager, Anna. "If you can't afford a plush headboard, or dislike the one you have, consider buying some large square pillowcases to prop up behind your pillows. You don't have to match them to your bedding; you can be adventurous with colour, print or fabrics, depending on the look you want to achieve. Our Palmeria large cushions are amazing for adding some velvet texture to this space, without having to commit to an expensive headboard".
So, sit back and strap in – we’re giving out the golden ratio of how to arrange cushions on your bed.
We’ll start with a quick run through the basics of bed cushion design. The first thing to understand is that there’s no ten cushion commandments that you must obey to avoid eternal damnation. Like everything in decorating and interiors, cushion design is all about getting creative and letting your personality shine through. That being said, there are a few general guidelines and handy tips you can use to get closer to that sought-after showroom aesthetic.
A good rule of thumb is to use two sleeping pillows per head in your bed. So, two pillows if you’re in a single bed, and four for anything bigger.
Don’t worry if you swear by single-pillow-snoozing – this is purely for aesthetic reasons, and you can pare back your pillow arrangement once bedtime comes. Having a stack of two sleeping pillows provides a substantial, sturdy foundation on which you can build your arrangement, so it’s a must if you’re planning on a layered-up luxe look.
Stack your sleeping pillows in piles of two, and position them against your headboard either lying flat or standing up.
From here, you can move onto the fun stuff – decorating. Whether you go all-out maximalist with a mountain range of cushions or stick to a more subtle arrangement is entirely up to you. The only rule to keep in mind is that bigger cushions like shams should be placed at the back, and the smallest at the front. This will create a smooth and balanced cascading effect, and your cushion arrangement will appear in perfectly positioned harmony.
If all this cushion lingo has you feeling a little wet behind the ears, it might be worth brushing up on your pillow talk. Our expert guide on how to choose the right cushions for your home is a great place to start. It’s your comprehensive cushion crash-course, covering everything from what a pillow actually is through to different designs, sizes, fillings and ways you can style them.
Now that you’ve got a general idea of how to arrange cushions on your bed for a proportioned display, it’s time to run through the specifics based on mattress size. The kind of masterpiece you can (or should) create depends on the size of your canvas, and it’s important to play to the strengths of what you’re working with.
The beauty of a single bed is that it can look well-furnished and full with a lot less decorating than is needed for larger beds. If you're chasing a fuller look, our interiors expert Anna suggests "upgrading your duvet cover to a double size so you get more overhang around the bed. Throws are also great for styling over the foot of your bed to help create more presence, cosiness and accentuate any feature colours you want to add".
For single beds, start off with a base of two sleeping pillows stacked either flat or upright against your headboard. Next, choose one large cushion or sham, and prop it up against your sleeping pillows.
Place a small decorative cushion in front of the larger one for a tasteful less-is-more look, or go with two small cushions if you’re after a more richly-layered vibe.
Just because you don’t have as much room to play with on a single bed, doesn’t mean you can’t build an impactful cushion arrangement. Get creative and use our draught excluders as long bolster cushions, or make a show-stopping style statement with our selection of vibrant tropical, floral and animal cushion designs.
Double beds exist in the perfect goldilocks zone for cushion arrangement - not too big and not too small. They give you a lot more room to explore different designs than a single bed, while not making you feel overwhelmed or like you’ve got too much empty space to fill. Feel free to layer up, but keep in mind that a double may look imbalanced if you try to style it like a king-size.
Our recommendation is to start off with two sleeping pillows stacked on either side of your bed against the headboard. Next, introduce two large decorative cushions by propping them up against your sleeping pillow stacks.
"Two bed cushions is a good foundation, and can be built on depending on the look you want to achieve" says Anna. "Play with different size cushions to achieve a layered look, with 30 x 50cm cushions being great affordable accent cushions for the front".
Round off the look with a small, stand-out cushion sitting pretty in front, and you’ll have a cosy cushion arrangement that feels satisfyingly complete.
While styling cushion arrangements on bigger beds can feel overwhelming, it’s also exciting – just think of all those different designs you’ve got plenty of space to pull off. As a king size is naturally going to need more cushions than smaller beds, you’re going to need to pay more attention to style and colour coordination. Try choosing decorative cushions that contrast the colour of your sleeping pillows, and go with a unique standout design for the cushion at the front of your arrangement.
For king beds, Anna suggests opting for "extra large cushions - 60 x 60cm and above in size - to avoid your arrangement looking lost in the space".
When arranging your cushions, begin – as always – with your base of sleeping pillows. You’ll need four sleeping pillows for a king-sized cushion arrangement. Stack them in piles of two, and place them against your headboard in either a flat or upright position.
Next, get two extra large cushions and place them side-by-side in front of your sleeping pillow stacks. Go with cushions that are a different colour to your sleeping pillows, either complementing or contrasting.
Then, bring in two large decorative cushions and pop them in front of the extra large ones. Again, rectangular cushions look lovely when placed alongside square shams or extra large cushions, so use them or any differing shape for an extra layer of visual interest.
Finally, introduce the cherry-on-top with one crowning cushion at the very front of your arrangement.
header image credit: @nicatnumberfive