August 10, 2011

A little Custom Cushion Goes a Long Way

A small piece of advice from the Recent Paterfamilias: Do what rich people do—have your cushions (toss, throw, or otherwise) custom made.

My wife and I recently bought a particularly stupid piece of furniture. Naturally, we didn’t know this when we bought it. It was for our nursery. It was cute. It was on sale. It was online.

As it turns out, the stupid thing was stupidly designed by stupid people. Who, in their right design mind, puts the cabinet hinges for the doors on a small storage cube right in the middle of the door? To store anything of any size in the stupid thing, it is necessary to open both doors of the roughly 18 inch cube, and then, whatever it is that’s going inside, packs of diapers, say, or stacks of hard-page Sandra Boynton baby books, must be finagled past pivoting doors through a four inch gap instead of a foot wide expanse. This cube was not something a rational person would design. This cube originated in the imagination of a sadist, the kind of lost soul that makes button fly jeans, or golf courses.

And, of course, our new cube was non-returnable.

The top of the cube was recessed, which, as a seat, made it uninhabitable. So, I did what I had to do, what any rational person would do. I went and made the measurements and ran out and had a custom cushion fashioned at a place where my prop person wife has frequented for cushions used on many a film and TV job. Of course, I did this only after I’d picked the fabric (which, frankly, isn’t all that interesting, save for the little anecdote that accompanies it, being: we found the pink toile fabric at the Ralph Lauren flagship store, and it was on sale, which was fortunate because, as my father-in-law put it, the fabric only cost a measly one million dollars instead of an ostentatious two million dollars—an exaggeration). The custom cushion makers did a nice job and the custom-made cushion made the stupid piece of furniture worth keeping.

I went back to my cushion makers with more fabric (wool tartan, from Ralph Lauren home), with pillow inserts I had lying around the apartment taking up space, for more cushions. They all ended up exactly like I wanted them. They were exactly like I asked for and they’re nothing like what anybody else has. They’re originals, and it’s nice to have original effects in the apartment without having to pay a fortune for it. It makes a person feel rich. Plus, should you need an insert, it helps you make unwisely purchased furniture pieces less unsightly and considerably more useful.

(It has been brought to my attention that, should I like the Ralph Lauren, or any other company’s, fabric choices, it might behoove me, in the future, to wait until said preferred company’s sheet sets go on sale, and then run out and scoop up all the flat sheets of desirable patterns that might be available in the local area. It saves the consumer considerable cost while not having to buy bolts of fabric outright. In retrospect, probably not a terrible piece of fiscal advice.)


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