As with most topics in interior design, there aren’t too many hard and fast rules. And those that there are, ask to be...flexed. So, when it comes to the colours of your cushions, it would be too short-sighted to say that a maximum of three tones is as high as you can go.
The more colours you combine however, the more necessary that it becomes for them to be in harmony. Four or more at-odds shades and the effect is overwhelming. The neutral Eva sofa (upholstered in Harry Cloud) in front of the tall windows is evidence of that with its total of four, tonal colours – hues of navy, grey, cream and orange. You can also help the cushions in this look knit together further by choosing some with pattern or mottling where the colours repeat.
Keep the numbers lower though, and the opportunity to cause a stir is there for the taking. Our Eva sofa in Harry Flax Blue, with its cushions in more Flax Blue, slightly darker Chloe Denim and orange Burnt Sienna (blue’s complementary hue on the colour wheel) is case in point. Because there are just two tones, it works that they’re a strong contrast.
That said, if you want to keep your cushion look understated and harmonious, do. If you’re playing off just the one tone, creating depth by choosing some more pigmented cushions and some paler will stop things from falling flat. It’s what we’ve done on the orange Harry Rust Eva sofa, using cushions only in similar shades from pale Orla Apricot to rich Isla Fox. Even the Thea Natural cushion in front is on the warmer side of neutral.