One of the rumours you hear a lot in interior design is that things work best in odd numbers. Even numbers tend to lead to symmetrical arrangements, which can result in a space with a very uniform, straight-laced atmosphere. Asymmetry, on the other hand, means the cadence isn’t so measured and predictable, and in turn, that helps your room come across as relaxed – the cushions an open invitation to lean back.
But, if you like the crispness and balance of a symmetrical cushion layout, there are ways to ensure they don’t seem too stiff. In the domed sitting room scheme, the sofa has four cushions arranged with two at either end. Because no two cushions are exactly the same, the resulting aesthetic is much less formal than you might expect. Soft textures like velvet and sheepskin make sure they feel all the more inviting still.
In brief, choose odd numbers for a more obviously relaxed look and even for the opposite.