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How to Choose Chair Cushions

Updated on July 10, 2009

Adding chair cushions to your kitchen, dining or outdoor furniture offers an opportunity to create a new look and added comfort to the area without having to spend a fortune. When choosing new chair cushions for your home, think about what feeling you are trying to evoke when you enter the space. Do you want to create a dramatic look in your dining room? Would you like to create a comfortable country cottage look in your kitchen? Do you want to feel like you’ve just stepped into an English garden when you step out your back door and onto your patio?

Try to get an idea of what you want as far as color, pattern, and style before you start shopping. The choices in chair cushions available in stores and online are tremendous, so it will help you make a better decision if you have a clear idea of what you are searching for.

Kitchen chair cushions / dining room chair cushions by Crate & Barrel
Kitchen chair cushions / dining room chair cushions by Crate & Barrel

Questions to think about before choosing chair cushions

  • What is your vision for the room?
  • What style are you looking for? What feeling are you trying to evoke? Do you want drama or a peaceful atmosphere?
  • Do you like prints, stripes, floral patterns, or a solid color? Do you have a favorite design you would like to use?
  • Consider the surrounding furniture and window treatments. What are the colors? If you have floral window treatment and they are in close proximity to where you chair cushions will be placed, try contrasting the pattern with stripes or solid chair cushions. They will be more complimentary then adding a similar or even identical floral design. If you already have multiple patterns in the room, on the windows, floor coverings or wallpaper, a solid complimentary color will bring balance to the décor, but an additional pattern may make the space to busy.
  • What type of fabric do you need? Does it need to be durable and easy to clean or can you go with a more delicate fabric and dress up the room or dining table set?
  • What is more important to you – comfort or style? Or both?

Outdoor Chair Cushions

Creating a comfortable and inviting outdoor space can be as simple as adding beautiful chair cushions to existing patio furniture. Outdoor chair cushions come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to compliment all types of patio furniture, whether you have wrought iron, wicker or wood chairs. Generally, they are also designed to be more durable and water resistant, but they are not all created equal!

Here are some additional things to consider if you are shopping for outdoor chair cushions:

  • Is it durable? Look for outdoor chair cushions with reinforced seams and piping for better protection from every day wear and tear and weather resistant?
  • If it gets wet, will the fabric crack, peel or tear?
  • Is it mold resistant? If you live in a moist climate, this is certainly a concern. You don’t want your beautiful chair cushions getting moldy after one season. Certain fabrics are more likely to accumulate mold.
  • Are the chair cushions easily cleaned? Check the cleaning instructions before purchasing to be sure that the fabric is suitable for your needs. If you live in a wooded area, you may see a pollen build up on your cushions, even if you are careful about bringing them in every night to protect them from the elements. If you are in an area like this, consider spending the extra money to purchase outdoor chair cushions that have removable covers so you can easily throw them in the washing machine.
  • How is the chair cushion filled? Long term, high density foam is the best filler for outdoor chair cushions. Cushions with high density foam will retain their shape and comfort longer.

Dining chair cushions add color and comfort to your dining experience.
Dining chair cushions add color and comfort to your dining experience.

Indoor or outdoor, chair cushions can be switched seasonally or when ever you feel like you need a change. Buying well made chair cushions is an investment. Adding them to your existing furniture will add style to your décor and the extra comfort will be appreciated by the entire family. The perfect chair cushions can pull a room together, add character or color to an otherwise dull room and provide comfort when dining and relaxing with friends and family.


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