I am the queen of cushions 9



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As I saw the sale sign, my breath quickened and my heartbeat increased. The adrenaline soared through my body. I love cushions and I love a sale. I am the cushion queen. The little decor shop next to my work had a sign outside, sale for a few hours only so in I went. Three beautiful cushions (for only $20). I walked off happily to put them in the boot of the burgundy Barina. It was then that I pondered, how many now? Hmm I think that the total is now 25 cushions. Now in a mansion that would not be a problem, but in a tiny little granny flat, it might seem a tad, well extravagant.

My love of cushions came because they were an easy and cheap way to change the look of a room. Most of my furniture is good but very bland in colour – lots of browns and beiges. So, I tart up the place a bit with some bursts of colour, or as the trendy people on design shows would say, ‘pops’ of colour. That would be OK if I could decide on my look.

Hmm, there has been minimalist Zen, Bali by the beach, beachy with driftwood shells, pale blues and neutrals, shabby chic with some faded florals, Moroccan bazaar with lamps, Japanese oriental minimalism with half a dozen kokeshi dolls, modern retro eclectic and right now, a mish mash of the lot. So, how do you hide 25 cushions in a tiny granny flat? Well, let me tell you it takes flair and commitment.

Firstly, I am blessed with a large outdoor verandah area, so 13 of them are out there adorning the table and chairs setting, on the chaise recliner to make it comfy and at the setting for two at the end. There are so many options to sit out there because its nice to catch the garden or sun, depending on which you prefer, so the choice is varied. I even have a chandelier out there to keep the plants company and it makes it seem like another lounge room.

Inside I have a large brown leather couch with a chaise. I chose this in a hurry as I thought it would not show dirt and would go with everything, but it is a tad dreary. Hence, it is festooned with colourful cushions to brighten up the place a little. Then there is the cane stool with a pile of Indian kantha cushions (sort of embroidered) from my Indian phase. Then there is the blue pouf (the woman in the shop called it an ottoman, but I call it a pouf) with the Cecily cartoon from my sister because she thinks she (Cecily) looks like me, then there is the bed, with a set of grey mohair cushions to match the grey mohair throw. The cat and I have to fight the cushions to find a place to sleep. So do the visitors. Is that why they don’t return? Are you bored yet? Sorry about that.

But when will it stop? I was in Kmart and I saw another, it was perfect and only $10 so I bought it. The colour was perfect. Now I have 26 cushions. I came home from work and found another on my outdoor table. It was red with Russian babooshka dolls on it. I was puzzled and through that two of my outdoor cushions had met and created a designer baby, but no, the accompanying note was from a friend saying that it was for my birthday. Now I have 27. I definitely cannot do minimalist and I hate getting rid of them in case my ‘look’ finally gels.


So, what is your decorating style? Any tips for me on finally deciding what my decor look should be?

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Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. LOL! Me too. When my son visits he chucks all my carefully arranged and colour coordinated cushions off the sofa! The husband tosses aside the bed cushions……….I put them all back!

  2. My husband hates cushions! Due to illness, he spends a lot of time in bed. He watches shows about house makeovers and complains long and loudly about the number of cushions used. I just laugh and buy another cushion.

  3. Cushions:
    We scatter them here, we scatter them there
    We scatter those cushions everywhere!
    On beds, couches, even floors
    We still acquire more and more!
    Can’t resist going all floral for Spring
    To give our homes a bit of zing.
    For texture in Winter they were handy
    A warming element, all furry and Scandi.
    And just when another one we can’t place
    We suddenly discover the perfect place!
    So, cushion designers I wish you’d desist
    I find them awfully hard to resist!

    This was a very hastily written response to a Home Beautiful post earlier in the week but it did start a train of thought. I’m sure we’re all suffering from cushion overload as there is such a wide array available, choice is unlimited and the quantity enormous! I’m not sure when they first became so popular and a desirable accessory for stylists and interior designers but maybe I’ll write a thesis on The Culture Of The Cushion one day!
    I’m trying to think of different times throughout history where cushions might have featured and the first image that pops into my mind is Cleopatra reclining on them whilst floating down the Nile on her barge. ( That could, of course, be the Hollywood version! )
    I have visions of M’lady propped up against silken ones in bed awaiting breakfast in bed served by one of those wretched servants from the very austere downstairs where no such frivolous luxury existed.
    In an Arabian tent there would be piles of brightly coloured pillows for the Sheik and his guests to lounge around on, I’ll bet!
    As I muse about the sheer amount of these soft little padded pieces I also wonder what happens to all the out of date, unsold ones that every stockist must have. Are they sent to landfill? ( If so- where?! ) or recycled somehow? Some cost hundreds of dollars and retailers probably don’t want to sell at reduced cost, like in a sale, lest customers realise the mark up!
    While there undoubtedly is waste, that doesn’t happen here! I’ve never thrown out a cushion cover but I have popped a new one on top of an existing one. I remember someone I know buying a cushion from an Op Shop and finding several layers underneath which made them to wonder what kind of laziness prompted this? I would disagree with their assessment as I think it cuts down on waste, necessity to find storage and makes for a plumper cushion!
    Archeologists needn’t do all that digging to uncover history, they could simply peel off covers to reveal the various eras they’ve been through. To illustrate my point : I have, underneath a shiny new one, a cushion cover made from a mattress ticking mini skirt I had in College 52 years ago!

    I must stress that I’m a collector, not a hoarder
    And don’t suffer from O.C.D ( Obsessive Cushion Disorder. )

  4. Yes, men seem to dislike cushions. I used to have a few extra on the bed with expensive slips but eventually abandoned them after the complaints about them from my husband.

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