A Guide To Styling Your Outdoor Cushions

Written by Elisha Manning, Our Little Abode

There’s no doubt that outdoor cushions are a vital part of styling any outdoor space. Not only are they a cost-effective way to style a space but they can also be updated seasonally to create a different look and feel. 

Cushions and soft furnishings add interest and colour to a space, as well as luxurious comfort. But getting the combination just right can sometimes be harder than it looks. Mixing different patterns, sizes and colours in a cohesive way can be an art in itself. But don’t fret, styling cushions for an outdoor area is as easy as one, two, three (or four in this case). Let’s breakdown the secret to getting your outdoor cushions to look picture perfect!

Styling your outdoor cushions – choose your colour scheme

The first step is selecting a colour palette for your cushions that works with your existing space. Take a look around for colour inspiration – do you have an outdoor rug that you could tie the colours in with? Or perhaps you may like to use the garden or the exterior paint colour of your home to draw inspiration from? If your space is fairly neutral, you can go to town and bring in any colours you like. Just be sure to stick to 2 or 3 to ensure the space looks cohesive and not overwhelming. 

The right fabric is key

Ensuring that you select fabrics that are suited for the outdoors is essential. Here in Australia, our climate can be harsh – your fabric needs to be able to withstand the outdoors. Look for outdoor specific fabrics – these are tough and are resistant to fading from sunlight, mould and mildew. You can expect to pay a little more for these fabrics but it’s a small price to pay for their durability which will see you enjoying your outdoor space for years to come.

Mix it up – pattern play vs plain

This is possibly the hardest part when it comes to selecting cushions. When it comes to outdoor areas, cushions with bold prints work well. Mixing different prints together looks great – the secret is to find a common link between the patterns. Usually this will be a colour. Once you have chosen the colour, mixing different patterns together is easy. I like to mix a one block colour with two patterns (one small-scale, and one large-scale pattern). This creates harmony and an appealing aesthetic. Again, it’s best to try and stick to no more than 3-4 prints to avoid it becoming overwhelming.

Vary shapes and size

News flash – cushions don’t all have to be the same size. Add a sense of casualness and playfulness by mixing up your cushion combination. Trying adding some square cushions in two different sizes, or throw in a smaller rectangular cushion for fun. Alternatively, if you’re wanting to achieve a more formal look to your space, then sticking to cushions in all the same size will give you the symmetry you’re after.

Cushions are such a simple and effective way to make a big impact and refresh an outdoor space. The above guidelines will have you well on your way to creating an aesthetically pleasing cushion combination.  And there you have it – you’ve mastered the art of cushion styling in four easy steps! Now all that’s left to do is kick back and relax!

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