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white slip cover sofa with pink velvet cushions from aura home and rattan pendant

The Secret to Plump Cushions and Where to Shop for it

It’s time to bid a fond farewell to flat cushions, decorating junkies, because I’m going to let you in on a secret that will keep yours looking plump for decades: feather cushion inserts.

I don’t know that I have a signature style as a designer. Many colleagues in my field stick to one aesthetic when decorating for clients, but I’ve always been a bit of a Jack of all trades. One week I’m doing a coastal apartment, the next a Hamptons home, and then shortly after I’m taking on a moody bachelor pad. I love the variety.

The common thread that runs through all of my designs is a sense of easy sophistication. You know; the rooms feel designed and elevated, but they don’t feel laboured over. They’re not spaces you’re scared to chill out in. I always like to keep the look approachable, but refined.

If you’re into this vibe for your own home (which I am) then you can’t be having flat cushions on beds of sofas. Trust me, it can let down the look of a room you’ve worked hard to get right. Who wants to put in the hard yards ordering an amazing rug, sofa, armchair and coffee table, and then let the entire look down with flat cushions you can’t karate chop?

urban road velvet cushions feather cushion inserts in mustard and green

The Cushion Chop: Controversial and Divisive!

I love a cushion chop. I do it in all of my clients homes and in my own. It goes back to what I was saying about me liking rooms to feel sophisticated. Having a plump cushions with a chop in the middle brings with it a designer feel. A more polished approach. And let’s be honest; feather cushion inserts not only look great but they’re also super comfortable.

The ‘bunny ear cushion’ (as some of you have called it on Instagram) isn’t for everyone though. It’s actually quite divisive. I know it’s not a look that appeals to everyone, but I personally find it rather gorgeous. Nothing excites me quite like chopping a wonderfully plump cushion does. I know, I need to get out more!

Here’s the thing though: even if you don’t like to look of a chopped cushion, you should still buy feather cushion inserts because they’ll give you a fuller appearance. A fuller looking cushion means you’ll need less of them to fill up your sofa. And that’s important to note because so many people go cheap and buy cushions with synthetic filling and the reality is that you have to buy loads of them to fill a sofa up adequately.

(To find out how many cushions you need on a sofa, check this out)

Cushions with synthetic inserts also go out of shape a lot quicker than feather cushion inserts, so you’re spending more money more often. So that’s my case for feather cushion inserts: the look better and last longer. What more could you want?

floral velvet cushion cover from l and m home on green bed linen

Where I Shop for Feather Cushions

I have a few go-to suppliers when I’m decorating client homes that sell to the public. I’l share these below for you. Many of you will know them already, but if you’ve not heard of them and want to take a closer look, I’ll link you to the cushion section of their website so you can take a peek and shop up a storm.

  • We all know that Adairs is fab for feather cushions and divine covers
  • For unique, designer-vibe feather cushions, L&M Home can’t be beat (that’s them above)
  • AURA Home (pink and white pic above) also does stunning feather insert cushions
  • I also recently saw fab feather cushions from Urban Road (hero image in this post)
  • I often also specify from Eadie Lifestyle who have such an extensive range
  • Another good one is Bambury (below) who have lots of on-trend colours and styles
  • Also don’t forget IKEA, who have always had feather cushion inserts available

I think that just about covers all of my go-to destinations for feather cushion inserts. But of course, some cushions you see and love don’t come with feather inserts…

bambury red velvet cushion cover on white bohemian bedding

Love the Cushion but not the Insert?

So often you’ll fall in love with a cushion but the insert is synthetic. I know – the horror! My advice would be to buy it anyway. Simply take the flat insert out and purchase a feather cushion insert to go inside.

Both IKEA and Spotlight sell feather inserts and they’re super affordable.

The one piece of advice I’d give you, if you do want to karate chop them in the centre, is to buy the cushion insert one size smaller than the cushion. For example, a 45cm insert would go into a 50cm cushion cover. This will give you the wiggle room to be able to chop it. If you don’t want the chop, match the insert to the cover.

Some feather cushion inserts can also be a little flat. The ones from IKEA, for example, are a bit underwhelming. My advice would be to buy two flatter inserts and put both in a cushion cover one size larger. Sometimes it just takes a bit of trial and error to get them right!

The takeaway: never let a bad insert stop you from buying a fabulous cover!

plush cushion inserts in cushion covers on sofa

Now there’s no Excuse for Flat Cushions

I don’t think there’s much more I can say about feather cushion inserts! Like I said, I need to get out more.

But truthfully, a plump and plush cushion just can’t be beat. Sit a feather cushion and a synthetic one side-by-side on your bed or sofa and you’ll see the difference immediately. And to the touch, the difference is even more noticeable.

Are you on board with the cushion karate chop? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

chris carroll post sig

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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