Outdoor pillows and cushions are the icing on the cake of outdoor décor, helping to create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor. While we may associate accent cushions mostly with indoors, modern outdoor cushions and pillows serve the same purpose outdoors: giving nuance and personality to a room or space. And because they’re small scale and relatively affordable, contemporary outdoor pillows and cushions have the ability to transform a space from ordinary to extraordinary, and impact a room strikingly, through color, shape, pattern, and texture. Consider the following questions when shopping for outdoor throw pillows.
The number of outdoor cushions or pillows you should buy depends on the size and features of your outdoor space, of course, but there’s no reason to assume that more is better. It’s just as easy to create a smart, finished look with a couple of modern patio cushions as it is with a great many more, so don’t assume that you need to go overboard with pillow dressing. A arefully chosen, thoughtfully selected outdoor pillow or two that complements the other elements in your outdoor space should be your focus, rather than numbers. Quality and imagination—not quantity—are more important for injecting character and style via outdoor furniture cushions.
Modern patio cushions are no longer limited to square and oblong shapes—round, triangular, even asymmetrical pillows abound these days—and there’s no rule that says one shape is more desirable than the others. By focusing on materials, size, and texture, in addition to shape, you’ll arrive at a more interesting composition that also enhances the other elements in your outdoor room, and creates a more harmonious esthetic arrangement. Bear in mind that variety always adds visual interest, so variation in the size and shape of your designer outdoor cushions, along with variation in color and texture, makes for a more striking design statement.
Size matters only because scale matters in any interior or exterior space. An overly large outdoor pillow or patio chair cushion that doesn’t seem in sync with the couch or chair on which it resides will detract from, rather than enhance, the other features of a room; so, be mindful of taking your cues from the seating against which your outdoor pillows will be arranged. The couch or chair that holds your contemporary outdoor cushions should inform the size of the pillow you select. And, as is the case with all design, size is a relative concept, not an absolute one.
Unlike major purchases—furniture, rugs, lighting—outdoor furniture cushions tend to be more timeless, which means they’re good investments. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend loads of money on them. Good quality outdoor throw pillows can be found at relatively inexpensive price points, so don’t go out of your way to buy pillows that eat up your budget. On the other hand, if you do find yourself drawn to an expensive designer outdoor pillow, it’s unlikely to be a waste of money. Pillows are less beholden to fashion and trends than most décor, and generally age well.