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Tips for accessorizing your sofa

What to think about when choosing cushions and rugs to go with your sofa

Finding complementary cushions and rugs can bring out the beauty and shape of your family sofas – we’ve been looking at Laura Ashley’s selection of upholstery and accessories this week, and have come up with some tips and essential ideas to bear in mind when decorating.

First and foremost, you want your accessories to complement but not completely match your sofa. If you have a plain-coloured sofa you can work freely with contrasting patterns in the rug and cushions: these accessories bring light and interest to an otherwise dark or neutral environment.

To begin with, you need a base note or colour to work from. It is a good idea to take a photo of your sofa, print it out on a good colour printer, and bring it with you when you are shopping for rugs and cushions. This will allow you to discern ‘matchy-matchy’ from colour-complementary.

With a plain sofa – be it a big leather Chesterfield or a neutral sofa – you can be free to move into a different colour field with your rugs and pillows. White sofas look beautiful if complemented by blues, yellows or greens; darker browns are set off perfectly by lilacs, pink/purple and orange.


And when it comes to matching a rug to a cushion, they don’t need to be the same pattern; but it is an idea to have them exist in a similar colour field or grouping. We would recommend using your rug as a base for building the look, as this is the larger item and cannot be broken up and played with the way pillows can.

Rugs are expensive, and especially if you’re looking for something high quality, it’s best to choose one that you think will stand the test of time – and still look stylish and comfortable to you in twenty years’ time!

A patterned rug is a lovely choice – stripes are as much in favour these days as more traditional floral and spiral patterns. The key then is to find a way to add pillows to the mix which do not simply amplify the rug’s look; you want a complementary contrast.

If your rug is very busy, tone is down with cushions – choose slightly more subdued shades, and throw in some plain colours to settle and simplify. On the other hand, with a plain rug, you can really have fun with any pattern of pillow you want (again throw in a plain colour for continuity).



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