I grew up in a family where males are pretty poorly represented, I am one of three girls and out of my thirteen cousins only four are boys. Going to an all-girls boarding school further cemented female relationships, so when I moved on to university and then my first couple of years of employment it was natural for me to continue to share my space with female friends. So to say moving in with my boyfriend and another male friend has been an adjustment is something of an understatement! I don’t really ‘get’ boys, how can 6 hours on a Playstation reaching level 5 of Call of Duty be considered a viable achievement for the day? My boyfriend boasts about the Porsche and Ferrari he owns...on Gran Turismo. Repeat after me “this is not real life”! Suffice to say I don’t believe they are really too bothered about how our flat looks. The occasional discussion about which picture would look good on which wall is as far as they have come to actually hanging anything. As long as there is beer in the fridge, a flat screen TV and Dominos on speed dial they seem happy. So when we moved in I accepted that I was going to have to take responsibility for the aesthetics of our living space. What I didn’t expect was that they would actually have opinions about what I bought into the flat and not hold back in voicing them when things weren’t to their taste.
My scented candles, pots of herbs, graphic print of Battersea Power Station in shades of candy pink and baby blue (a rather attractive juxtaposition I thought) have all taken some flak. However they have taken the strongest dislike to my gorgeous (at least I think so!) ikat printed, burmese silk covered cushions in shades of hot pink and mauve. OK, I accept that these may not be to everyone’s taste but I love them and found them, reduced but still horrendously expensive, at a sample sale so I am rather protective. The boys tolerate them, by which I mean they ball them up to use as a headrest or use them as ammunition to launch at one another. I have decided it is time to reach a compromise and have started searching for some cushions that do not offend their masculine sensibilities, but still satisfy my desire for a bit of quirky style.
So far I have narrowed my wishlist down to the hand embroidered, vintage-style cushions from Barbara Coupe and the delightfully original designs from Lindsey Gardiner.
Barbara Coupe’s ‘London Calling’ collection uses original typography to create a stylish range of cushions featuring popular London place names, that would, I’m sure, be a welcome addition to any sofa. I would also not be able to resist adding the London Map cushion to my basket; its intricate embroidery incorporates iconic London streets and landmarks.
Lindsey Gardiner is an artist, illustrator and author, her ‘Quietly Eccentric’ designs are handmade from 100% wool by Lindsey herself in her Scottish studio. They are quite simply adorable and a must for dog lovers. I am particularly taken with the Scottie cushion and the Floral Dachshund would provide a comforting alternative in the absence of a real dog to cuddle up with. I also love the adorable frivolity of the Chinese Crested cushion – though I am not sure that I could slip this one past the ‘style police’ in my flat...