Home Beautiful editor Sarah Burman sat down with Interior designer and Scyon ambassador Natalee Bowen of Indah Island – also known as Australia's Queen of Hamptons – to find out how to choose cushions that you won't fall out of love with, how to do pattern on pattern, and just how many you really need.
Why do people love cushions so much?
Natalee: A lot of people steer away from making decisions, but women love, they LOVE cushions. Men hate cushions, women love cushions! But they're the added accessory that you have to have, and that can completely change and transform the whole house.
So how do we choose them?
NB: You need to fall in love with the fabric. Choose a beautiful Ralph Lauren, Warwick, Shumacher or Westbury, something that you absolutely passionately love. The good news is that investing in cushions will save you money in the long run. Instead of going down to chain stores and buying 10 to 50 cushions – ones that you will end up throwing out –get really engaged in the choice. Instead, it's 'My cushions are going to cost me this much, but I will love them forever'.
What patterns and colours work well together?
NB: With Hamptons, it's about blue and white, natural linens and textures. So it's a matter of figuring out which blue you like - cobalt, muted, pale or duck egg, figuring out what you love and then coordinating.
And how do you mix and match?
NB: Start with a print, I usually choose a floral. Normally when I say floral people baulk but they actually do love them because there are so many different styles of what you would term a floral. Some are small, like a paisley, some are more feminine and some very bold. Then I'd use a stripe with that and then a geometric, too. You can throw in a plain as well. All from the same colourway, that's important.
How many cushions are we talking?
NB: If you've got a three-seater sofa you would need at least five cushions so that you can really charge them up: floral, geo, stripe, plain and another floral will really pull it all together. It's not unusual to have an occasional chair and go completely left of centre, but still within the same tones, but again, you have to love it. And always choose quality over over quantity.
Sarah Burman travelled to The Hamptons recently as a guest of Scyon Cladding.