Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Cushion-ing

 I really love the cushion arrangement I've put together for our window seating in the livingroom, and I've posted about it way back here and here.  But it's been the same since 2008, and while I still love it as much as I did then, I've wanted a summer change to cooler colours for a few years now. Especially when we started switching over to white linen curtains each spring, the jewel-toned fabrics above just seem too heavy and rich for warmer days.

My first instinct was to go for blue and white, but I also wanted a more eclectic vibe, not something quite so classically beach cottage. The house already reads mix-and-match eclectic with the pickle-green walls, a leather club chair in burgundy and another in forest green, a tribal rug in rich dark tones of wine-red, indigo blue, and browns, terra cotta tiles in the adjoining room which also features an antique (Tiffany-style) lampshade in leaded glass of cream, burgundy, and dark green.
 But a great little homewares shop in town (The Flying Fish, Nanaimo) had some wonderful cushions using recycled saris to embroider designs on a neutral background -- you can see one, with the zigzag patterns above, and another below, with the three large stylized flowers at the right below. By my standards, they were expensive ($90 each!!), so I hesitated a day or two, but I suspected they would be the key to pulling together a collection of less expensive pillows.

So I went back and picked up the two plus two of the navy-cream hexagon-printed ones, and another with red block-printing on a white background. I thought they went together quite nicely, so then I headed off to Winners to complement the core with discounted pillows -- of which I found many. Winners had cushions with dull-red lettering on a natural background (two have French writing, even better!) and they had red and white abstract floral cushions (below, centre-right), and dill-pickle green-and-white that echoed those red ones.
 I still have four more in the trunk of the car that I haven't managed to haul home yet (Paul's been away, and all these cushions had to be walked home across our island -- they're not quite as light as you'd hope, feather-filled cushions. . . )
 But I'm really pleased with how the collection is coming together. I even snuck in one cushion with a white-cream background, with a bird-print that incorporates the acid green. Wasn't sure it would work, but I'm really liking it. So I snuck back and picked up a gorgeously spring-y floral print I'd debated - pinky-red and spring green on a white background (that's it tucked in at the far right). And I brought in two navy cushions with orange-red and acid-green abstract circles that had sat on a couch in the TV room -- they may not stay, being a heavier fabric, but I'm playing with how much blue I want, and at the moment, I rather like their ballast.

Then yesterday Paul came home, and he switched over the curtains -- it's earlier than we usually do this, but we'll be away for May, and it will be nice to come home to a lighter room.

This morning, sunlight slanted its way into the room, and I was smitten.
 The mix may not be to everyone's taste, but I love the exuberance of these colours, and I know I'm going to spend some happy hours in this room over the next several summers.

By the way, can you believe how much difference a shift of position can make in the effect of light on the same scene? The photo above and the one below were taken within seconds of each other, yet look so very different, colour-and-light -- and hence mood-wise.
 Some close-ups. . . .

I've also been re-arranging books, since we've had some new shelving and storage cabinetry built. And one thing has led to another so that I'm re-organizing considerably, filling box after box, bag after bag, de-cluttering to release some more living space here. It feels good!

But now back to the marking. And what about you? Have you been spring cleaning or putting some wintry items away and bringing out more light-seasoned ones? Or just enjoying these longer days. . . . (it's light here 'til 8:30 or so now, love it!)

21 comments:

  1. It is exuberant, and just right for your landscape. The kind of thing to put a smile on one's face for many mornings.

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    1. I'm hoping it will keep me smiling -- I do think it's a good idea to plant smile-evoking elements wherever possible in one's daily life.

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  2. I love to make a switch from the summer living room to the winter living room and back again. I was in the Flying Fish on Tuesday for a wonderful look around and accomplished a bit of shopping. Their furniture isn't to my taste, but I love the accessories.
    Exuberant - I love that new look in front of your windows!

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    1. It's funny -- that kind of switching seemed impractically silly to me years ago. Now, I find it relatively easy (curtains, cushions, a throw or two), but it lifts my spirits and changes the tone at both pivot-points of the year.
      The Flying Fish furniture isn't suited well for our house, but like you, I often find accessories I like. REALLy like Pots and Paraphenalia in Duncan, too.

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  3. Exuberant is the perfect word. I love the mix of pillows. What a great place to lounge about and gaze outdoors.

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    1. Thanks, Lorrie. It is a happy spot to sit, for sure.

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  4. Hi Mater, I have always wanted a window seat, so I'm very envious of your set-up. I love the mix of colours and patterns - in fact, I was just thinking of new cushions the other day, it's an easy way to lighten up a room. P.

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    1. I was lucky enough to have a bay window seat in my bedroom as a teen in a big old heritage house and have always been keen on the idea. . .

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  5. Mom, that looks amazing! You have such a good eye. Can't wait to come visit :)

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  6. Well done! A few expensive cushions make the entire arrangement look high-end.

    We did our major switch over today--the furnace has been turned off and the swamp cooler is now ready for the heat of summer. I hope we'll have a few weeks at least to wait for that.

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    1. Oh, I wish we could turn off the heat completely. . . it's just not warming up here yet, altho' we've started to get a couple of sunny days in a row, here and there. . . Never heat anything like yours, of course.

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  7. Beautiful array of colour and texture... hard to pick a favourite though the bird 'speaks' to me. A balance between vibrant and calm, not that easy to pull off.

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    1. I wasn't sure about buying the bird, because it's different from the rest, but I couldn't resist, finally, and I think it works in well. It seems that if you get enough chaos going on, it all ends up cohering somehow.

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  8. I love the curtain switch and those cushions are perfect for cozying up and looking out the window...
    It feels very much like a holiday home to me.
    You are both so clever to have chosen to live where you do.

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    1. Thanks, Lesley, and I do feel lucky. There are many challenges to living on our little island, especially through the winter weather (and then putting up with "tourists" cramming our commuting ferry on their way to the pub through the summer!). But it really does offer that holiday feeling in the views, the beach, the trees. And as you know, living so close to the ocean yourself, the water is always restorative . . .

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  9. My spring cleaning will have to wait until the end of the semester. I'm amazed by the gorgeous view from your corner of windows and the change the curtains make. what a wonderful collection of pillows you've put together.

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  10. Thanks, Terri -- I'm really pleased with the cheery effect.

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  11. i guess you would be smitten .. who wouldn't want to curl up in that lovely corner .. your mom's looking pretty fiesty, i'd say .. moms .. sigh ..

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  12. It is a corner for curling up -- almost wish I weren't heading off next week. . . And yes, I'll second that sigh. . . moms . . .

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  13. Oh I missed this post. Exuberant is the perfect word. I just want to dive in, curl up and spend forever.....

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  14. The cushions are lovely. This room makes me want to hang out and browse through your book collection.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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