Modern Ways To Arrange Cushions On A Sofa

Do you know the ways to arrange cushions on a sofa to give your rooms a comfortable stylish look?Whether your room is ultra modern, contemporary or more traditional, modern methods vary from the older “one cushion at each end of the sofa” style. We need to know how to arrange them to the best effect.

Here’s a photo of a sofa  on one of the I Love Lucy TV series living room sets. Cushions are not a priority here are they?

Ways To Arrange Cushions - I Love Lucy


Neutral colored sofas are, however, still in style but our rooms tend to be plainer too. Picture rails, dados and other wall and ceiling moldings are far less common. Cushions help add a decorative touch that might be lacking in modern homes. A neutral colored sofa is a blank canvas for adding your own individual style.

How many cushions you use and how you arrange them is up to your personal taste, but it’s good to stick to a formula. This way patterns and colors don’t clash.

Stick to a Ratio to Arrange Cushions

In a Houzz article, The Secret Formula for Perfect Pillow Arrangements, interior designer Rachel Grace recommends a 2:1 ratio:

She recommends putting two square pillows of one size and pattern on the ends, two smaller pillows in a different pattern next to them and finally one jazzy rectangular pillow for the center.This is how I arrange my own cushions in my more formal living room.  Taller people tend to push them to one side but it’s first impressions that count, right?

Here’s a colorful example:


Ways to Arrange Cushions - 2:1 ratio
Living room design by little rock interior designer Tobi Fairley Interior Design


Here’s another example from the Stone Gable blog:

Ways to Arrange Cushions 2:1 Ration Greens
5 No Fail Tips for Arranging Pillows

Both use the 2:1 ratio but create completely different looks.


All In A Row

Mixing cushion patterns and colors all in a row gives this more traditionally styled Ikea Ectorp Sofa a modern look.


Arrange Cushions all in a row


Arrange Cushions To Suit Your Lifestyle

For more casual family living using 5 cushions in the above examples might be too much.  In my family living area I had two cushions at each corner of a 3-seater sofa. (2 plain and neutral, 2 with patterns) Thinking it still looked a little plain I added two more in a more vibrant color.

I’m constantly picking them up from the floor because one son just tosses them away.

Ways to Arrange Cushions - 2:1 ratio