Summer Cushions – do we need them?

I think this one has passed me by – it’s the phenomena of changing your cushions in the summer.  Since writing blogs I’ve started to read more about trends in interiors and generally….. taking more notice.  And one thing I have noticed is people seem to have a set of summer cushions.  This includes a neighbour of mine who recently switched them into her living room, and don’t get me wrong they look great😘. I just didn’t realise this was something you were supposed to do.

I don’t know about you but I have great trouble selecting cushions in the first place, it’s more complicated than you think….

  • Should they all match, colour, size, shape? (in my opinion no).
  • How many cushions should you have? (plenty, but not sooo many they end up on the floor).
  • How much money should you spend? (shop around, cushion can be v expensive)

……… to sum it up, a soft furnishing nightmare, and that’s before you start to think about where you store your winter cushions 😧

Buts let’s not worry too much about all of the above, I’ve decided the reason I’ve missed out on this practice is come the summer I’m more outside than in. For me it’s the time of year when my living room gets used the least and becomes a corridor to the garden. So maybe I need to be thinking more about what cushions would look great in the garden? Now I’ve stumbled on another minefield as I usually grab a cushion from the living room on the way out.  Oh no I’m embarking on a vicious circle of cushions situation here – I’d better stop.

If however I were going to change my cushions for the summer, and maybe after writing this I clearly should, these are the ones I would give serious consideration.

These cushions from Habitat at £12 each for a small cushion are an economical option for brightening up your room (these are in fact the ones my neighbour has).

Habitat summer cushion

Stating the obvious, John Lewis sell cushions and have an interesting selection they claim can also be used outdoors. Can something be waterproof and comfy for the sofa, I don’t want to feel I’m cuddling up to a plastic bag? Hmm I need to investigate further. This one below is retailing for £12, it’s the Country Stripe Outdoor Cushion and a good size for the price.

John Lewis summer cushion (2)The next is a leafy design that certainly goes with this year’s theme of greenery in the home.  It’s the Cabbage Palm Leaf sold by Redbubble, with graphic designed by Adam Fahey, £23 for a medium cushion.  This is an interesting supplier where artists can get their designs on everyday products. I’ve never bought anything from Redbubble before so can’t comment on quality or service, but some great designs and worth a look.

Redbubble summer cushion (2)

A finally the blue Palayam Cushion Cover extra large  from OKA £36 cover only. I love a large cushion and although this one is not as zingy as some of the others it brings texture and says dusky, lazy summer evenings to me.  It’s my favourite.

OKA summer cushion 2


Do you have cushion dilemmas or is it just me?


Bringing The Outside In

Spring has arrived and plants are budding up, so soon I’ll be drawn into the garden at every available minute. I love being outside, so it’s no surprise to see there is an unconscious but consistent nature inspired theme building in my home.

It seems bringing the outside in is a strong interior trend for the summer with increasing indoor infiltration of floral prints and green hues, and I’m not going to complain about that. Even a white minimalist look can be improved with a splash of nature.  And on that note I thought I would take a you on a mini tour of my nature grounded bits and pieces. Here we go……


The silver birch inspired wallpaper (Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper), is slightly reflective so catches the light between the branches.  I have it hanging behind shelves in my hall, where there is minimal natural light so it makes the most of every drop. I’ll soon be writing a blog about how we made the shelves.

Moving to the butterflies, this is a big pottery platter, which I think is meant for hanging in the garden but I have it on the kitchen wall.  I bought it at a National Trust gift shop and used it at my daughter’s wedding as it was the only plate big enough for her cheese wedding cake, you can just see it peeping out in the picture below.

The second pic of wallpaper (Arthouse Opera, Provence Pink) lives in my kitchen, birds and dragonflies in pink, how can you go wrong! I picked this as it says Victorian rather than French to me – I’m thinking Darwin, so it fits in with the age of the house.

The only really cutesy thing I have in the house is my owl cushion. I used to talk to her, but we haven’t spoken for a while 😀

The leaf inspired tablecloth from John Lewis, gives a bit of a 1950’s look.

….and finally is the metal tea caddy and mug with simplistic stylised birds.  These were picked up from a local Fair-trade shop, and I use them every day .

I think there’s still space for a little more greenery around the home but its a start, and it all keeps me going during the winter.



A Subtle Moorish Look

I’m dreaming this morning about the holiday I’ve got planned to Cadiz in the summer. The sun, the seafood, the narrow streets and deep blue sky.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the Moorish influences in the town, and the small hotel where I’m staying has been picked based on its Moorish style rather than the Trip Adviser ratings of good service. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

However back in reality now, my trip is a little way away so I’ve been having a hunt around the latest offerings from some high street and online favourite stores to pick out pieces currently available that could bring a modern Moorish look  into the living room. I’ve taken inspiration from pictures found on National Geographic  encapsulating the colours and symmetry I associate with Moorish design.  I’m thinking vibrant tones, rich woods, golden hues and bold geometric design.

NG moorish (2)

This is my montage below.  The look can be further emphasised with soft furnishings and vibrant wall colours,  although I think it would look equally good against plain white or grey walls for a more subtle feel.

Colour & GeometryMoorish montage

….and here are the details of the above items

Sofa: John Lewis Duresta Vaughan Large 3 Seater Sofa, Umber Leg, Harrow Velvet Teal Green £2899. The deep colour, lavish velvety texture and structural splayed arms characterises Moorish design for me.  The sofa is also available in Navy Blue and Mustard both of which would fit the bill. Expensive I know, but I do like it – the classic design is very adaptable for longevity.

Coffee Table: John Lewis West Elm Marble Coffee Tale with brass metal base finish £599. This is a substantial statement table (78cm diameter) where the marble and brass deliver typical Moorish style.

Rug: Debenhams Blue Wool ‘Fresco Lattice’ Rug 100% wool, hand woven and tie-dyed finish styled with Moroccan motifs (120cm x 170cm) at a currently reduced price of £147.

Sideboard: House of Fraser Cleo Large 3 Door Sideboard, made from solid Mango wood with antique brass hardware, available at a currently reduced price of £570. The deep coloured wood brings warmth to complement vibrant Moorish colours, with the geometric design bringing modern simplicity.

Mirror: Wayfair UK, Herne Bay Mirror £87.99. Large metal mirror with piercing detail evoking the Moorish feel.

Floor lamp: John Lewis Joanna Floor Lamp in Mango wood £250, a table version is also available £95.  I love the tactile elegance of the curves in the rich wood.

Pouffe: Wayfair UK Souilac Pouffe by Castleton Home £107.99.  I choose this as the multitude of colours could easily fit into many decors.

Ceiling light: Marks and Spencer Tribe Pendant Ceiling Light £75 combing the wood and metal theme.

Use accessories to bring as much or as little colour variation to enhance the theme

Vases: Marks and Spencer, Lincoln Vase (blue) £29.50; Haywood Vase (green) £17.50

Cushion: Debenhams Echo Multicoloured ‘Jaipur’ Cushion £25

Throw:  Wayfair UK Grace Throw by Riva Home £28.99

There were far more pieces I liked than I could fit in the montage so I’ve added them to a Pinterest board.

Let me know what you think of my collection 🙂