Places & Spaces My Pad

a collection of cushions

July 19, 2012

I often ponder on how i make decisions in what i buy for my home. Do you ever consciously do that?

When it comes to cushions, i’m, like with everything else, very discerning. I suppose if i were to analyze it a bit further and try to trace back the first time i made a conscious decision about cushion buying it takes me back to the beginning/middle 90’s. I remember the first time i bought a ‘more expensive’ cushion was at a designers fair. It was exciting to have something that was hand-made and a little more exclusive than buying from ikea, habitat or even the conran shop. It was made by the person standing in front of me, excitedly showing me their initial design drawings.

One such time i met a girl who designed cushions and lampshades. We became friends and one day she gave me a cushion as a present and memory as she was leaving the country. She’s no longer in business so i cherish that cushion even more. It was the first time i had seen someone play with different textures on a cushion and have the front and reverse in a different material. In this case it’s silk and velvet.

That opened a whole new way of thinking to me. From that day on i never just bought a cushion off the shelf. I often buy fabrics of my choice and get them hand-made for me by my friend john at foamtec, or i buy cushions made from vintage materials. Either way, i end up with something quite unique, to my taste and exactly the size i want.

Take a look at some of my beloved collection: the first one is a vintage piece i bought in the late 90’s from an amazing lifestyle store called maisonette in kensal rise. Unfortunately they don’t exist any longer. They used to specialise in vintage cushions and i’ve so far not found a replacement for them. I absolutely adore this cushion.

A few years ago i got obsessed with fabrics from fornasetti, especially with ‘gerusalemme by day’. There is also a night version, if you’re interested.

Ok, ok, i know, you all know my love for missoni by now. So, it wouldn’t be a post about cushions without including some of my missoni collecion, right?

And now to my latest acquisition. I discovered hunted and stuffed through the lovely sophie from hiddenblossom.com. I immediately fell in love with the Oscar de la Renta one-off piece but didn’t like the cream cotton on the reverse side. That was a definite deal breaker. I called ellie who was utterly charming and explained that i was looking for a back that had colour and texture. We chatted a bit. I sent her a couple of pictures as examples and off she went to find me the perfect backing. Thank you ellie, i’m totally in love with it. I still can’t get over the size of the cushion and i will cherish it forever.

So what have i learned? I’ve learned that waiting for the right thing always pays off, not to be afraid of colours, patterns, textures or to mix and match. I’ve also learned that scale is super important and all my cushions are different sizes. The last one is a floor cushion size. I love having cushions made up for me and am not afraid to ask for what i want. The worst scenario is that someone says: no, they can’t do it but that hasn’t happened to me so far:)

Best of all, i get to live with all of them, reminding me of different memories, different times and eras. Oh, and i get to sit very comfortably.

How do you go about buying cushions? I’d love to hear some of your experiences. Have a great weekend. See you back here on monday!

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27 Comments

  • Reply Igor July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I am a cushion addict! I have admitted it in my today’s blog post along with my latest cushion purchase. I have never ordered a custom made cushion or something alike, but I always fall for cushions with various colors, patterns, textures. For me, it is the simplest and cheapest way to change my decoration mood at home, to play another style and thus to accommodate my craving for ever changing decoration accents:-)

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      I know you’re a cushion addict!!!!!

      I do love your new acquisition. Very nice indeed:)

  • Reply Toni July 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    My decisions are almost always based on colour or you may think the lack of colours! I love all shades of grey (not quite fifty though!)

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Can’t believe I even bought the book:) took a quick glance and gave it away again!!!

      You’re right, there are many shades of grey…:)

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily July 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve only ever bought one decent cushion!I agree with Igor though-the best way to change a look/feel of a room without re-decorating. I think I need to address my seriously-lacking cushion issue…!!!xx PS-Particularly like the Fornaseti design and love the pink on the first cushion!

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      You seem the opposite of Igor then! You only bought one decent cushion? I don’t believe you:)

  • Reply Theresa July 20, 2012 at 4:37 am

    I have been on a bit of cushion craze lately. I have never had one custom made, but I think I will definitely go that route one day. We have moved so many times and with each move I have changed out cushions to help match the new home’s decor. I love your collection! As with all your collections, it’s quite comprehensive and discerning. I love the Missoni ones and the pattern by Fornaseti is really great.

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      I know what you mean by changing according to the decor. I hope some cushions are timeless and as you know I love mixing colours and patterns.
      Thanks T.

  • Reply Catherine Bedson July 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I bought a couple of chevron pattern cushions recently in green and blue. I agree we should embrace colour more and not be afraid of it. My fav are the fornasetti fabric cushions. I read an article about a set designer called Kerrie Brown today who is now designing textiles.

    http://www.kerriebrown.com/index.php/cushions

    I think these cushions are stunning, especially the Le Grand Tour collection..thinking about buying the St Pauls cushion. Catherine x

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Wow, what fab cushions and really different.

      The Grand Tour Collection is fascinating. Would love to see it for real. It’s the kind of thing that’s difficult to see online.
      Go for it!! x St Pauls looks great.

  • Reply Holly July 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Wonderful post Tina. I love getting these glimpses into the Tina Museum 🙂 My favorite cushion is the Maisonette one. Yummy! And thanks for the links to Hunted and Stuffed and Foamtec – will be checking them out more thoroughly later.

    Considering my interior design tastes, you could guess that I’m nota cushions fanatic. I mean, I like a good cushion and I think they are necessary, but two or three suffice for me. Currently I’ve got 2 oversized, simple, white cushions on my grey couch. They look great and they’re super big and fluffy so they make wonderful cuddle companions.

    oh yes, and as for thoughtful/mindful/purposeful purchasing – I’m totally on board with that. Quality over quantity – being patient and discerning – definitely the way to go.

    Xx.

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Tina Museum – I like!!!!

      I’m incredibly fond of the Maisonette cushion and feel most precious about it.

      Yes, you and Mr Grey don’t really do cushions, right???
      Fluffy and comfy is best really. xx Thanks Holly.

  • Reply Ingrid Weir July 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Well I make and embroider my own cushions. My mother does too. For my birthday she gave me an old cushion she had reworked- she had embroidered some cross stitch words in the middle and added some wonderful fringing. It gave it much more drama. I love it! In a recent issue of kinfolk magazine they said if you have one handmade thing by a friend or relative in each room of the house, it makes it a home. I agree.

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      I’d love to make and embroider my own cushions but I fear it’ll be another obsession I can do without!

      What a beautiful thought: if you have one handmade thing by a friend or relative in each room of the house, it makes it a home. I also agree.
      Must get and make more things. Not heard that before, but so true!!!

  • Reply noreen July 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Hello Tina,
    I’ve never thought about cushions that way. The pink one with velvet on the back is so unique and amazing. Really they all are. You attention to detail and willingness to wait and ask for what you want – wonderful! Joy to you, N.

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Ha. I know. I find that the process of buying like that more meaningful and longer lasting. Surely that must be a good thing, right?
      Thanks Noreen.

  • Reply Kelly Sparkes July 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    What a fabulous collection of cushions! I love that you had the backing fabric changed on your Oscar de la Renta cushion, to make it just perfect. it just goes to show that if you don’t ask you don’t get!

    I’m a huge fan of cushions and love to make them, I’m always buying fabric, although recently the pile of cushion ‘to to’s’ is just sitting there taunting me…

    It’s amazing what a difference a new cushion can make to a room and the fact that yours all have a little story to tell makes them even more special 🙂

    xx

    • Reply tina July 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Yes, I absolutely fell in love with that cushion but couldn’t quite have that back:)

      I agree, cushions make a big difference. I don’t buy many as my collection is quite big and I only buy when I’m totally in love with it.
      Thanks Kelly xx

  • Reply sue July 24, 2012 at 1:07 am

    i have more cushions than pairs of shoes! shows my life priorities huh!?! i’m a huge mix & matcher… i mix colours & fabrics & sizes… sometimes i change with the seasons, sometimes when i move house… an old flatmate use to make all of her own cushions and they were divine… velvet mixed with leather, silk with linen, whatever took her fancy… and i remember reading about maisonette when i lived in oz & was gutted when i finally moved here to learn they’d closed down… viva la cushion!!! 😉

    • Reply tina July 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      I like your priorities. I ALSO have more cushions than shoes!! I also mix & match……I also mix colours & fabrics & sizes….. do you see a pattern forming?????

      Gosh, would have bribed that flatmate to make me tons of cushions…

      Oh, Sue, I ADORED Maisonette. The owners were graphic designers and just had an incredible eye. I loved so many things in that shop. They then got involved in products. One of their ranges was canvases with ‘PAINT BY NUMBER’ kits. They were gorgeous and so great for people who wanted to feel creative but did not have the confidence to paint something from scratch.

      They also collaborated with Tate Modern on these. I also had a couple of postcard books that again where paint by number… really clever stuff. Brilliant for presents.

      I have no idea what happened to them. I know they rented out their flat for shoots. They had a fab apartment.
      Oh well, I hope they went on to better things 🙂

  • Reply annie July 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I have six four cushions, five of whcih I love, one which I don’t love. None of them go together at all but I can’t bear to put any of them away in the prop cupboard.

    We have some vile ones of Richard’s on the dining chairs. But only because the chairs are so uncomfortable.

    Did you ever read my posts about Nichole’s vintage cushions at vintagecushions.com? she makes extraordinary ones and her craftsmanship is sublime. You should go to her flat in Islington and have a root around. I think you’d like her and she has millions of cushions. She does commissions too.

    • Reply tina July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Checked out viantagecushions.com…. nice but would have to commission something. Craftsmanship looks great!
      Maybe will go to her flat:)

  • Reply leah of sang the bird July 26, 2012 at 4:52 am

    My your Fornasetti cushions are divine! I have a bit of a cushion thing too…. my partner is not so cushion orientated… xxx

    • Reply tina July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Ha. Not many men are “cushion orientated”.. Love that description x

  • Reply Michaela July 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    OOOh how much do I love the Oscar De La Renta! I’m a huge Fornasetti devotee to, so thanks for sharing Tina! 🙂 x

    • Reply tina August 2, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Me too. Totally in love with it!

      I’ve always been a huge Fornasetti fan. Glad you like x

  • Reply hunted and stuffed - upcycled vintage cushions » colourliving colourliving January 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

    […] you to the lovely Ellie of Hunted and Stuffed. I first came across Ellie, well, take a look here when I saw an Oscar de la Renta one-off cushion on her site with this fabulous Kabuki performer. It […]

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