They’re referred to as ‘the handbags of interiors’ – little accessories you can afford to change more often than the bigger elements of a scheme. Racing around the Autumn design exhibitions recently, I’ve noticed so many cool and crazy new cushions. My iPhone memory is just about full of the dang things, in fact. It’s tricky to narrow down favourites, but here are my top five picks…

Numero uno, beautiful new designs from our bus blind friend (that came out wrong, she’s not blind, you understand…) – dear Barbara Coupe. At Decorex, Barbara showed me her fabulous new Origami-inspired cushions, some psychedelic 1960s swirly ones in hot fuchsia pink and a few trademark wordy ones thrown in for good measure. “I couldn’t decide between HOUSE PARTY and PARTY HOUSE,” she told me. We discussed the difference between the two for some time, deciding HOUSE PARTY is more of a single occasion, whereas PARTY HOUSE is kind of ongoing fun. I’m freelance these days, so have time to think about such things. Hmmm.

In at number two, we find some extremely fun and funky designs from our Scottish pals at Showpony. They’re reversible, so if you lose your voice or are feeling lazy, you can hold them up to answer simple questions while lounging on the sofa. ‘Cup of tea?’ YES. ‘Can we watch Match of the Day instead of Downton Abbey?’ NO. That kind of thing…

In the number three slot, we find new cushions from Michelle Mason, created for record label DECCA and due to launch TOMORROW. Another swinging sixties theme here – with Michelle’s signature bunting of course – and some pretty groovy vinyl records, too!

Moving on to number four now…creepy cushions by Naori Priestly, launched last week at Tent London and inspired by the dark and sinister tale of Little Red Riding Hood…

Her appliqué felt cushions feature frightening wolves and blood-soaked woodcutter’s axes; Cute Uzbek-style folk pom-pom trims juxtaposed with jagged silhouetted shadow-puppet-esque shapes. She’s one to watch…

Finally, in at number five are some 1980s-style colour-blocked babies – ‘Technicolour’ wool felt cushions from the trend-setters at Room39. I love the colours here – fresh turquoise, sky blue, hot pink and orange – the next big thing:

Colour-blocking was a huge trend in fashion this summer, and it looks as though it’s trickled down in to interiors already! It’s a tough call, but I think these ones are my favourites so far this season. – Ellie

Barbara Coupe: NEW cushions

December 4, 2010

Inspired by the segregation signs on the wall of her converted school house in Battersea, Barbara Coupe has embroidered these gorgeous ‘BOYS ONLY IN THIS AREA’ and ‘GIRLS ONLY IN THIS AREA’ cushions. These new additions to the fabulous London Calling collection were shown at Top Drawer and Decorex earlier this autumn and are now available via Barbara’s website and at Rockett St George.

Nice use of the Financial Times newspaper here by stylist Twig Hutchinson!

These segregation cushions remind me of the amazing 1800s school log book my other half got hold of recently. There are some hilarious entries about a lazy caretaker and lots of references to the annoying boys in the next playground who throw objects at the girls, much to the chagrin of their prim female teacher! I will try to dig it out and scan a few of the pages, then add the extracts to this post next week. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a scanner now. And an Apple key at that. And a lap top that doesn’t burn my leg with a stupidly-positioned fan. SIGH. #workingfromhome.

JAN 2011: Well, finally, I got round to borrowing the log book and taking some DREADFUL photos of the extracts I was waffling on about weeks ago! Here they are! In case you can’t read the fabulous hand-writing, I’ve copied them out below, too.

“I had to complain to the caretaker, that for the second time this week the communication door between the girls’ and boys’ playgrounds was open at the time of dismissal. The boys were allowed to run into the girls playground, causing them much annoyance.”

“Septem: 3rd. During Standard 4 Drill in the playground on Friday afternoon, August 31st, Flor Page had her head cut by an inkwell, which had come from a window in the Boys’ Department.”

Class dismissed! – Ellie