Hi, my name’s Karen, and I have a little problem. It’s an addiction. I’m not sure how it started, or even when.
For some women, it’s shoes.
For me, it’s cushions.
Every time I walk into a home-wares store (which believe me, happens fairly frequently) my heart starts to pitter-patter at the sight of the cushions. Cushions displayed on storage units. Cushions arranged casually on chairs and couches. Cushions stacked in piles or heaped into wire clearance baskets.
Cushions sing to me. They draw me in. I don’t know what it is. The colours? The textiles? The patterns? The textures?
Maybe it’s the tantalising thought of how a whole room can feel magically, completely different with just a few new cushions scattered on a couch. Maybe it’s the thrill of mixing and matching different colours and styles to create a look unique to me.
Maybe it’s some sort of illness. If so, I’ve got it bad.
If I were to count up all the cushions I’ve purchased in our married life, they’d probably fill a small room. I tend to use them until I’m sick of them or it’s time for a change, then out they go, and new ones arrive to take their place.
Which is why ever since we moved into our new house, this bare entryway has mocked me each time I walk in:
The travesty! It’s a cushion-lover’s outrage! Two woeful, sad little cushions perched on a pew. There’s no colour. No contrast. Nothing that says “WELCOME! So glad you’re here!” or “aaaaah….. it’s good to be home.”
The entryway as a whole has remained untouched since we plonked down our pew and a ceramic drum stool on the day we moved in over three months ago. It was time.
Time to go cushion shopping.
I found these babies at Pillow Talk, where they always have a delectable array of homewares, and of course cushions galore. I was like a mosquito in a blood bank. What bliss!
I chose some black and white for graphic contrast, some mint/ aqua to bring a splash of “fresh” to the entryway and tie in the mint stencilling on the study nook around the corner, and a pop of yellow to marry in with the grey and yellow scheme in the living area.
I fell in love with the yellow pom-pom trim of the linen cushion below – how cute and fun!
These baskets came from Officeworks. They were reduced from $23 each to $9 each. Bargain! I like the textural element they add underneath the pew.
Of course, this is only the beginning for our entry, which is still looking pretty bare above.
I have a gorgeous (but slightly dated) oversized mirror just begging to be given an update with a lick of paint on the frame. As for the wall, I haven’t yet decided whether it needs some sort of paint treatment. It’ll have to be simple as I have a stencilled pattern just around the corner, and too much pattern would be clashy. Classic but understated broad stripes, perhaps? (Kind of like in this nursery I did?) Or will I hang the mirror and decide that’s all it needs? We will see!
The pew is something else I’ve been debating over. We bought it for $40 from the church we were attending when we were engaged. At the time it was painted a dark unattractive brown, and the paintwork was shabby and scuffed. I sanded it back to raw wood and varnished it. It lived inside our house for years, until we moved into our last place where there was nowhere to put it – so it ended up on the back deck. The deck was covered, but the pew was still exposed to weather, and it’s now looking a little the worse for wear.
I’ve been thinking about painting the whole thing black, which would be classic and striking, especially as an entry feature. Part of me is loathe to cover up that lovely old wood, especially since I was the one who stripped off the last layer of paint from the previous owner, and I know exactly how much effort is required should I ever change my mind down the track. But, it’s an easy option requiring only a light sand and a coat of primer first. And it would look pretty awesome.
The other option would be to sand it back and stain it. Advantage: I could stain it a really deep ebony colour and get a reasonably similar effect to painting it black, without covering up the wood grain completely and horrifying the wood-lovers of the world. Disadvantage: that means I’d have to sand the whole thing back now. As opposed to “maybe later, IF I change my mind.” And we’re not just talking a light sand, we’re talking, strip-it-back-to-raw-wood, get into every corner and crevice and bit of fancy moulding-type sanding. In other words: hard work. Do I have time for that right now? Realistically, no. It took me weeks last time I tackled that job, and that was pre-kids.
So, I’m wavering. The one thing I don’t particularly want to do is leave it as-is. While the wood looks kind of antiquey and weathered and cool in the close-up shot above, in real life it’s just tired and a bit too orangey for my tastes. Against the timber floors, it seems like too much wood of a similar tone. I really think my lovely old pew needs a facelift.
For now, though, a few cushions and baskets have done wonders to make our entry just that bit more welcoming.
What would you do if it were your pew – stain or paint? Or maybe just re-varnish and leave as is? I’d love your suggestions. Also, any other cushion-obsessed women out there? Tell me it’s not just me. Are there any therapy groups for this sort of thing?