Soft Furnishings: The Magicians of Interior Design
By Amelia Bell on
Scrolling through Pinterest is one of our daily joys. Whether we're searching 'Sapphire Salute interior' (t's an amazing blue paint colour), 'hard to kill houseplants' (Aloe Vera) or 'festive front room ideas' (everything frosted white as far as I'm concerned!), there's always one constant feature: soft furnishings.
Cushion covered beds, throws artfully adorning sofas and rugs dotted up and down hallways, we just can't seem to shift our tendency toward textiles, nor do we need to! Yes, they have their very practical uses but soft furnishings are so much more than just somewhere soft for our feet or to keep rogue pet hair off the sofa. It's how they make our room feel and, perhaps, more importantly, how we feel in it.
Today, we're going to go one step further, we think soft furnishings are actually interior design magic. Fabric wizardry, if you will. The simple cushion or the modest throw can completely change the look and feel of your room, and swapping textile accessories from season to season can inject a new lease of life into your home. You don't need to re-paint to add a new colour and you don't need to re-carpet to add another texture. Simple swaps can create a fresh atmosphere: Same room, brand new feels.
We can't deny, adding a cushion to a sofa or bed just makes us feel better. It's that finishing touch that brings our lovingly thought-out interior together. The piece of the décor puzzle that completes the picture. Cushions are one of the most versatile soft furnishings because you can move them from room to room, indoors and out (weather permitting), creating a different look each time. They are also one of the most diverse textile categories as you can get a cushion shaped like or crafted from almost anything, giving you so much scope to play with colour and texture without too much commitment.
Our cable knit cushions (above) are probably the easiest new addition to your room. Block colours with a twist design showcasing the classic cable knit techniques will add traditional appeal to your room, brightening a bed with plain sheets or a neutral coloured sofa without fighting with existing features in your room.
Taking it up a level, you can try different textures for your cushions such as our Arco Iris tasselled velvet cushions. The velvet finish gives a more luxurious feel and the multi-coloured tassels add a boho vibe that blends so well with the more eclectic interior styles.
Printed fabrics can really add vibrancy to your home. Pastels, metallics and block prints, to name just a few, can be added to most fabrics creating images and patterns to reflect the style of your interior. If you're looking for something chic and 'deco', have a look at our metallic geometric cushion (above middle) or perhaps if an impressionistic floral is more your style, try the fringed boho floral velvet range. The options really are endless with printed cushions, they are like mini pieces of squishy art for your furniture.
Or we could *really* go to town! Feature or 'character' cushions are hitting interior headlines and are more about making a big statement than being a snuggly back support, though they'll willingly do that too!
Whether you're looking for something fun for a themed room or just to raise a smile as a stand-out piece on your bed or sofa, a shaped cushion is going to go a long way to adding interest and pizazz to your home. Some of our favourites are our parrot and fish cushions. They have realistic detailing, are oversized and, quite frankly, glorious... we should know, we have them all over the office here at B&G HQ, it's quite the menagerie in here! We get it though, an almost metre-long banana cushion is a bold statement and most certainly not for every home, but when it's right, it's really really right.
Ahh, the trust blanket. Wrapping you up on the sofa, keeping the cat hairs off the kids' beds or keeping you warm as you wait out the last of the evening sun on the patio. A throw is a multi-purpose soft furnishing that every member of the house will use in a totally different way.
Our softest and snuggliest throw has to be our selection of Sherpa throws, which has a coloured cubic imprint on one side and a soft fleece reverse. It's perfect for those cooler autumn evenings and comes in a couple of on-trend colours (below right). The yellow ochre is a particular seasonal favourite of ours as a perfect summer to winter transition colour. Alternatively you could opt for the chevron flannel fleece throw (below left) with its equally soft reverse side but small chevron detail on the front, it comes in a wide range of colours to suit every home, from mint green to denim blue, fiery chilli orange to muted plum and a natural beige for those who want a more neutral soft addition.
Not one to bury yourself under a blanket? Then try using a throw across your bed or on the back of a chair as a design feature instead. Jo, the B&G founder has the stunning textured ochre throw on her bed paired with some ochre bedding and a couple of natural and black boho cushions - it's a winning combo!
Ethnic influences are strong at the moment so we have sourced a range of modern woven throws that will add instant appeal to your home such as the Bo-Kaap (above centre). Thinner in nature than a fleece blanket, our black and cream herringbone throw has the addition of a creative tuft detail making it more of a statement piece. Fringed edging is also a popular design choice at the moment so do take a look at our fringed offerings like the blush cotton or the tassel wrap to see how well it can work.
A final note from me
Let's finish by going back to the magic of soft furnishings. They are so portable, versatile and wide-ranging that there really is a cushion, throw and rug for every home. They soften edges, dampen noise and add a homely touch like no other accessories can. They have the power to change the look and feel of a room in a mere moment. As the seasons change, your tastes evolve or your family grows, your soft furnishings can easily transition with you, creating a warm and welcoming home for a fraction of the time and cost of an interior make-over. Now, if that's not real magic, then we don't know what is.