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. Choose just two colours for your cushions and you can make them complementary shades (those that sit on opposite sides of the colour wheel) without things feeling too over the top.
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. A mix of light and dark neutrals, maybe, or all colours within the orange family, such as our fabrics in Apricot, Burnt Sienna, Rust and Fox, with a dash of pale pink like Imogen Oyster pink too as your lightest shade.