Recently I stayed in a lovely hotel in Bury St Edmonds. The lounge area was so inviting with a big open log fire, carefully positioned clusters of sofas and armchairs and many interesting things to catch your eye - art work adorning the walls, imaginative lighting, assorted sculptures and ornaments. The thing that stood out to me above all else though was the selection of cushions.
The cushions in my house serve a purpose creating an extra level of comfort on my rather saggy old leather sofa and the odd hard chair. I have a couple of animal print designs (now rather faded after a summer in my conservatory) but the majority are neutral shades of beige. They do a great job of propping my arm up when I'm breastfeeding but they don't exactly make a statement.
The cushions in the hotel did more than make a statement. There was a range of designs from traditional to pop art to something that I can only describe as mystical. They were on a different planet to my functional beige variety.
Coming from a background where money was tight, I still find it very difficult to spend money on myself and the things I want rather than actually need. However, my attitude is slowly changing. At my age, I think I deserve a few luxuries and to surround myself with things of beauty rather than making do. My husband has no problem with this. He regularly buys me things that I would never dream of buying myself - and I love it when he does.
I don't think I'm about to develop a shopping addiction, run up huge credit card bills and turn my home into a tart's boudoir but it is possible that I am experiencing something of a mid life crisis and working through it in the arena of soft furnishings!
My husband bought himself a sport's car to hold onto his lust for life and fight back the encroaching potential blandness of ageing. I am heading to Dunelm Mill!
My first purchase is already in the bag.
I think the most I have ever spent on a cushion is £6.99, and then it was a special offer - buy two get one free. To spend £14.99 on ONE cushion, just because I liked it, was an odd, strangely liberating feeling. I'm not kidding myself that this particular cushion purchase is wildly adventurous. My attraction to it was more of an acknowledgment to a hobby I used to enjoy, painting insects. The cushion is fundamentally beige (familiar territory) but, much to the amusement of my children, I ADORE IT .