7 Tips to Style Your Sofa

An empty sofa always looks a little bit sad and unloved, doesn’t it? Cushions and throws add not just a bit of life and love to your settee but also can help to tie a colour palette together, to add a bit of texture or pattern and can create a living room that looks a bit more pulled together.

But with the vast array of cushions of all different kinds on offer, it can easily get a bit overwhelming when trying to decide what will look best for your sofa. So today, I wanted to share a few tips on making your sofa the stand out player in your living room and one which begs to be snuggled into.

Start with your base cushions

cream sofa with black and white pink leopard print pillows

For a symmetrical arrangement, you want two cushions on either end of the sofa to be a little larger than the others. Using a solid colour here is always a safe bet and these can either be similar to your sofa in colour or pull in another colour from the room for a bit of contrast.

Add a pattern

Love this sofa? It's our gorgeous Amelia range.
Love this sofa? It’s our gorgeous Amelia range.

Once your base cushions are in place, you can have a little fun with adding a slightly smaller patterned cushion that pulls in the colour theme from your space. You can go for a slightly larger pattern here or a mid size pattern to give the whole sofa a little bit of energy.

If you are going for a more neutral look, then consider some cushions with a bit of texture – faux fur, a woven knit or even a couple of sequin cushions are always great for layering up!

Change up the shape

pattern sofa cushions on velvet chesterfield

For your middle cushion, consider something more rectangular in shape for the most pleasing arrangement. This will be your ‘stand out’ cushion so you can have a little fun with it.

Go asymmetrical

asymmetrical pattern mixing on sofa

For a less formal look, consider mixing up your arrangement with contrasting patterns in a similar colourway. If you’re just starting out, then stick with odd numbers as they always look better to the eye. You really don’t need more than three for a smaller sofa and no more than 5-7 for a larger one. Need to store those cushions away when you’re sat down? Consider a basket or blanket box to keep them looking their best when they aren’t in use!

Pattern Mixing


You can mix up the patterns here but be sure to stick with a loose theme. Here, all the cushions are of a similar global style and look wonderful piled up together. If you want an easy shortcut to mixing patterns, consider using one larger pattern, one mid-size pattern and one small pattern in the same colourway for easy-on-the-eye style.

For more pattern mixing tips, check out our post on How to Use Pattern in a Contemporary Home.

Surprise the Eye

grey sofa with asymmetrical cushion arrangement

If you want to try something a little different, consider including one cushion that totally contrasts with the others to make it really stand out. For the best effect, make sure it’s a strong colour or design that grabs attention.

Keep It Calming

neutral living elegant living room

If colour and pattern isn’t your thing and you’re looking for something more quietly subtle, then consider bringing in a few plain cushions and contrast the textures. So for instance, you might want to try using a couple of velvet cushions with a faux fur cushion or throw or some solid colours in a plain fabric and mix them with a woven knit. Keep to neutral tones to create a beautifully inviting sofa without overwhelming the senses.

Be sure to check out our full range of sofas on Oak Furniture Land for a gorgeous living room! Many of them come with matching and contrasting cushions which make styling a breeze!

How do you style your own sofa? We’d love to see your snaps! Send us your sofa pics on Twitter,Instagram and Facebook. We’ll be sure to feature our favourites!