Home Furnishings - Scatter cushions, rugs & window treatments

Cost effective ways to keep up with trends

Soft home furnishings aren't absolutely vital to make a room habitable, but they bring out its flavor, and you'd certainly know if they were missing. The great thing about soft home furnishings is that they're so flexible, but still have the power to change the look of a room. If you start from a neutral base, you can change a room's theme dramatically without having to change the furniture, the carpet or the decoration on the walls.

Scatter cushions are one of the most versatile items in your creative toolkit and readily available from American stores and in catalogs. For example, imagine you're going for urban neutrals in your living room. You've chosen shades of ivory and pared-down furniture. But you want the look to be modern, not just bland, so you add coffee-colored scatter cushions. Then a new season in furnishings rolls around, and everything's suddenly inspired by nature. All you need to do is pair your coffee-colored cushions with sea-blue, and you have a great color combination. However, sometimes a new season's look makes your cushions look dated, and no amount of clever contrasting will help that. In that case, you can re-cover your cushions in a more up-to-date style. Keep the old covers in storage ready for when the look rolls round again.

Other considerations for your home furnishings

Rugs are another great example of soft home furnishings that can utterly change the look of a room. Perhaps you've recently used ceramic or marble tiles as flooring. It looks good, but it's chilly and forbidding to your feet. So put down a soft rug and make the room more welcoming and cozy. Of course, you don't need to have a hard floor to justify putting down a rug. If you're creating a decadent vibe in your bedroom, there's nothing like an exotic rug on top of a thick carpet to convey a sense of luxury. Go for fake fur, such as tiger-skin, if you really want to be outrageous.

Finally, window treatments help to pull the whole look together. Whether it's billowing Southern Gothic curtains you want or minimalist steel blinds, framing your window with the right material is a statement of intent that should define the whole room.

Home furnishings such as drapes and rugs usually play a supporting role to other considerations, and there is some justification for this attitude. It's only right that you should consider structural issues and the kind of furniture you want, especially since these factors involve more financial outlay and disruption. However, soft furnishings go a very long way to creating the look you want, so, when you're planning a room, don't neglect the softer side.


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