Some less than perfect household tips for less than perfect ladies
On ordering your world when everyone ignores your orders:
Firstly – the people: I once invited a stylish friend, Mabel*, over for a cuppa chai latte. (I have introduced you to her already when I briefly spoke about her cleavage last time). I tell you it was terrible, never again! As soon as she left I stripped our shabby slipcovers off the sofa, went to South Africa to buy new fabric and re-upholstered the sofa – all in the space of about two years. I learnt three things from this experience:
- Pick your friends wisely, anyone who has higher standards than you may cause you to act irrationally.
- It’s easy to create that bohemian shabby chic look by using blankets to cover uncovered sofas for quite a long time, effortlessly.
- It is possible to re-upholster your own cloth-covered furniture but I suggest you do a bit of research first. (Measure well, use the original covers as a template, and tack everything, especially the curvy bits.)
Then moving along from people outside the home to those who share it with you full-time (seemingly their opinion hardly counts). Mabel says that she has found that on the whole men are rubbish at the finer points of home decor. If you have a husband who is literally minded then she’d advise you not to allow him to use your living room until you have trained him properly how to NOT scatter the pillows or NOT throw the decorative blankets. He may certainly never be allowed to get comfortable in your best room, unless he has taken orders in orderliness. Ordering your world is very difficult when nobody obeys your orders, says Mabel.
Which brings me to the second point – ‘the soft furnishings’:
I think I am going to rename the ‘throw’ on our sofa, from now on I will start referring to it as the ‘neatly folded blanket’. I feel it inspires hope and potentially gives the ‘throw’ a better future, as though it were adopted by Mabel and lovingly placed across the arm of her designer suite. Actually I spotted her keep-your-furniture-clean-because-you-have-kids Pinterest board. It was a revelation to see how many women had fluffily bright rectangles of Avoca-type** weaves lovingly folded along the top of their sitting room furniture.
That level of orderliness was enough of a shock to make me swiftly readjust the few polar fleece blankies and wrinkled old cushions we have chucked about the place. It was a revelation that it would NOT do for any casual visitor to have to sit on one of my sofas and feel as if it were less than welcoming from a throwy-pillowy point of view.
Third – the sofa: The big question today is whether to get leather or cloth covered (after style obvs).
Apart from the cloth covered one, we also have a leather sofa (and we also have a hybrid which is a mix of both, it used to be one and then I sort of started to turn it into the other – please don’t ask). A good leather finish is durable if you have kids who enjoy the occasional bit of indoor gym. The thing is, I put the throws on our leather sofa because I don’t like that cold sensation when I first sit down, but then it annoys me how any blanket-like coverings merely act as the swiftest method for transferring me onto the floor. You really have to hold your tummy muscles in to stay in an upright position, which is not relaxing at all. So not only am I folding blankets all the time but I’m also tripping over the ones left lying around and not relaxing on my leather sofa.
And if looking clean is what you are striving for, don’t get a PALE CREAM leather sofa, like we did (it’s clear by now we’ve made far too many errors in sofa judgement). Actually that’s another renaming thing, these days I think we are saying it’s beige.
Basically, next time we look at getting a sofa, it won’t be leather one but one with warm feeling removable covers that happily fit into my washing machine.
So to sum up, perhaps the best tip is to find yourself a good psychologist who will tell you that what Mabel thinks about your sitting room doesn’t matter – the chances are she is not thinking about your sitting room at all, ever. She’s more likely to be on Pinterest wondering how to upgrade hers. Also, grumbling about the lack of order in your relaxing room is ironic.
* Not her real name.
**Lovely Irish Stuff such as woven goods, food, homeware and gifts (nope, no affiliation whatsoever).