Sofas, cushions and crockery

It’s been quite a while since our new sofas arrived. June in fact. Remember they were chosen and bought in record time, on the last day of the Habitat sale, which is actually a good time to go sofa shopping as we did get a good deal and extra discount for buying in store, rather than online. And when we let on to the salesmen we wanted two sofas, not just the one, they really couldn’t do enough for us. In most cases I’m sure people want the sofas they’ve just bought pronto, and so did we, but we weren’t so keen on having them in the house while the work took place in the conservatory, so that was something we

But this is the first time they’ve appeared here - and looking objectively at the picture below we need to sort out our power arrangements - but they’re just what we were after, and now we have the final cushions, the ones we bought recently by Carola Van Dyke I’m really pleased with how it’s all worked out. Originally the cushions behind the stag and hare cushions were supposed to be the colourful ones, but as soon as we saw the collage cushions, they were instantly demoted - it’s easy to see why, isn’t it?

our new sofa bedecked with cushions

Not only is the design of these cushions very us - we have a thing for hares and this is our second stag cushion, so it could be said we have a thing for stags too, but I’m also in awe of the textured collage, and you know how much I like a bit of colour. What’s even better is how well they go with the throw that’s been deployed over the arm of MOH’s end of the sofa, to save it wearing out and discolouring. I couldn’t have planned these to go better together if I tried.

A hare cushion for MOH
A stag cushion for me

Over Christmas in one of the craft groups I’m in on Facebook, someone posted a picture of a cow that takes a similar approach and many of the exceptional craft brains have suggested ways to reproduce that. I’m very tempted, but on a much smaller scale, perhaps on a card, one day. But back to the cushions, I never thought of myself as a tweed kind of person, but these cushions are just my thing, and if it’s possible to be in love with cushions, I’m in love with these.

You might be wondering what crockery has to do with my new sofas and cushions, and the photo below starts to explain that. They’re also my Christmas present from MOH, which I’m doubly grateful for as he doesn’t see why I need more plates, as surely we’ve got enough… Ah, but when they’re as pretty as this, and match our cushions, I think that changes things.

crockery to match the cushions

Now boiled eggs are on the breakfast menu more often than before - and they really are rather good. I’m on the lookout for the matching espresso set, which still seems to be out of stock everywhere - I’ve a suspicion that I may even make my own cow collage, before I find that set online to buy!

double sofas and twice as many cushions

So one last shot of our living room, which is the view that greets us as we walk down the stairs. I’ve gone for different cushions on the smaller sofa, as the whole matchy-matchy thing really isn’t me. I’ve still a cushion cover to make, and when that’s ready I’ll share more on the velvet cushions (with pom poms - I told you they’d be big in interiors) it’ll sit alongside.

But with ten new cushions in 2018 - there’s three more on the grey sofa in the conservatory, you’ve already seen the orange stag cushion and a sneak peek at the cushion mum made, also with pom poms - I think I’m almost at my cushion fill, well for a little while at least!

Home Etc

Talking texture and sharing some tips for adding more to your home



  1. the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance.
    synonyms: feel, touch, appearance, finish, surface, grain, quality, character, consistency, weave, nap
    "the quality and texture of the fabric"

It's something we take for granted in our homes and often it's something we add naturally when we decorate and furnish our rooms, guided by the products on sale no doubt. You might think you don't add texture, or don't have different textured items in the room you're in now.

Take a look around you, and look for the texture

Even if you're in the bathroom, a room you wouldn't naturally think would have much texture, I bet you've got fluffy towels - or wished you had - and a bath mat whose texture contrasts nicely with the smoothness of your tiles. Maybe you've got a loofah, or an exfoliator too... But enough about bathrooms, there's plenty more texture elsewhere in the house.

I'm sharing some snippets from our living room, to show how you can introduce texture easily if you think you could do with some more. 

With wooden floors, leather sofas, high ceilings and a wood and steel spiral staircase in the corner of our living room, we've had to work hard to reduce the echo and 'bounce' of sound, and we quickly realised that soft furnishings help. Cushions are a great way to add texture, and if you have cushions with removable covers then you can swap the covers to match the season.

The most obvious texture we've introduced in our living room is the bamboo wallpaper on the main wall. MOH found it years ago and showed it to me not expecting me to like it, but I did. And when we redecorated it was top of our list, and we haven't regretted it. It's also really easy to hang as it's about a metre wide and the note that comes with it says there's no need to match the pattern either - a novice wallpaper-ers dream!



But it's not just textiles that add interest. Our round CD rack does that too, in a way that a more traditionally shaped rack might not. When I explained to our decorator that we wanted these two wallpapers together and to hang the CD rack back where it was, he told me it wouldn't work. But it does, maybe not in the traditional way, but that's not a reason not to do something is it?

An unusual round shaped CD rack in the otherwise wasted space of our spiral staircase adds interest as well as texture #notcompletewithout
A throw adds texture to your room easily, even more so if it has a fringed edge #notcompletewithout

I've mentioned cushions already, and throws, especially fringed throws are another quick way to add texture. And on those cold evenings they're great for some extra warmth too. Julian Charles are currently promoting their #NotCompleteWithout campaign and if you're looking to add more texture to your house then it's worth taking a look at as they've some great homeware items.

Nature too has some great textures, think of the smooth driftwood and the fun you can have searching for that. I've opted for something slightly more easy to find and that's giant pine cones, and equally as much fun to find on a long country walk. I display mine in terracotta pots from my dad, much to MOH's dislike. But for me the pots were too nice to leave in the greenhouse, and way too nice and characterful to just have earth in, I've three in a line, and no idea why I've only photographed two.

Giant pine cones in terracotta pots with bamboo wallpaper in the background #notcompletewithout
This paper lampshade adds texture with it's feathered pattern and contrasts with the lamp base and the radiator breaking it up nicely #notcompletewithout

Lampshades can also add texture. The one above is a paper shade, you'd never think so would you, its pattern suggests texture and I love how it is against the radiator.  I said we'd worked hard to introduce texture, and along the way we've made what I can now call clever choices, at the time we just liked the chenille patterned material for our curtains.  

These add texture to the small Georgian-style windows but don't overpower the room, which I think is always a challenge with curtains. My ideal curtains are full, flowing and floor length curtains but they wouldn't suit our windows so they're on my list for another house!

Choosing a chenille patterned material for our curtains introduced texture in a subtle way #notcompletewithout
Books on a bookshelf add texture, we found these ones in a local bookshop #notcompletewithout

Books add texture too. Whether they're more decorative like these above which we picked up in a local bookshop many years ago or your reading pile. If you look carefully in the photo below through the lamp base in the top right, you can spot my reading pile, which seems to have got a little out of control.  The encyclopedias which look old and interesting, are old and interesting but sadly we've no idea just how old. We liked their battered look and that they're Nelson's Encyclopedia, especially as we're up the road from Greenwich with its rich maritime history.

Oak wooden blocks as side tables and a rug on the wooden floor #notcompletewithout

And with a beautiful wooden floor, at times it seems a crime to cover it with a rug but for us it's an essential. Without the rug the room feels bare, and we feel lost. It's amazing how a rug can help ground us, and zone the room - it's taken a while to get the right sized rug, but we're there now and we wouldn't be without it.

So, as I said at the top of this post it's easier to add texture than we think. Did you notice more texture than you first thought when you really looked?

Life With Munchers

* This is a collaborative post with Julian Charles, but all views and opinions are my own.

Treating myself with a scent-filled house

I know it's often, but not always, a female thing, but I'm a fan of candles, so when Landon Tyler got in touch recently I was keen to try some of their range. My tastes in candles aren't often overly floral though, so I was pleased to see their scents went beyond this. I like rich and spice-laden or fresh, piney scents so when I received the Dark Cashmere and Winter Woods candle and diffuser I couldn't wait to try them out.
Landon Tyler Dark Cashmere infuser providing delicate scent on the bookcase, a place where we walk past often, and it's been a big hit with us both

I'll admit I'm late to the world of diffusers, but I'm definitely a convert. They're a great way to add some subtle scent around your home. I have one in my porch and that provides a great welcome home, especially on cooler evenings when the heating has kicked in.

I've placed the Dark Cashmere diffuser on the bookcase between our main living room and kitchen, and we walk past it regularly on our way up or down the stairs. Since it's been there I've caught myself recognising the masculine smells of clove and cinnamon, and no doubt vetivert, patchouli and cedar although my nose may not know how to pinpoint the individual scents, or which one is which.

I know that my nose - and the rest of me - is a fan of this one. I've only used three reeds, because I want the scent to be subtle, and it's working.

I've even caught MOH notice the scent as he walks past. And this is the man that walks through a cosmetic department sneezing and leaves with watering eyes. I'm slowly converting him to a more delicate, but still masculine scent in our house. And if I'm honest a kind of masculine scent that I don't mind smelling...

Yes, exactly.

The good thing I've discovered about diffusers is they just provide scent without too much effort. In a way that candles don't. And that's great. I mean, when candles are lit you have to be present don't you, and alert. But that said lighting a candle can totally change the mood - often mine, and I've found that they're a great way to treat yourself without opening that bottle of wine. Especially if like me, occasionally you slip up and accidentally buy a bottle of low alcohol wine!  

Hmmn, yes, I still can't believe that happened.

Or that it's even a thing.



Having one on the side table by the sofa has meant we light the candle more often, and so we're treating ourselves more regularly. I can't promise there's less wine, but I'm enjoying the luxury of a candle. These have a burning time of forty hours, so I'm looking forward to enjoying its scent for a little while longer yet. 

The observant amongst you will have noticed that I've started my Landon Tyler scent discovery with the Dark Cashmere part of the range. It is my more usual go to scented candle and so that's partly because of the familiarity, but it's also because I'm saving the Winter Woods scent for nearer to Christmas. It's unlikely that we'll have a Christmas tree this year, and after testing the diffuser and candle I just know it'll bring that freshness of a Christmas tree indoors. And I'm looking forward to that.

It's described as having pine, fir, spruce, moss and cardamon and a classic Christmas tree scent. And I just know it's going to trick me into almost believing my little Christmas tree might be indoors once more.

I think the products are reasonably priced. The candles sell for £8 and the diffusers £10. As I already mentioned the candles have a burning time of forty hours, which is comparable with pricier candles. The packaging is good and looks classic and of good quality. I'm a bit of a magpie for cardboard for crafts and the boxes have migrated to my craft store. I found it hard to get the plug out of the diffuser, and so did MOH. I did manage it, but broke a nail in the process. But while it was hard to remove, it does show that they are well sealed so there's little chance of the liquid, or the scent escaping. 

And a final note, I could have styled these photos so the candle and diffuser look fancy, and I did think about that. But in reality that's not how I live. And as I've been enjoying these as part of my everyday life and not just for a special occasion I wanted to show that in this post. I did test my nose with their scents before I read the back of the box, and next week I'll share how I got on with that. I surprised myself, as well, I'm not known for having the best sense of smell!

If you're interested in trying these products you can find stockist details on Landon Tyler's website.


* This is a collaborative post but all views are my own.

Home Etc