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Around three years ago, I was at a communications conference where a senior journalist from a major newspaper talked in detail about the ‘cushion revolution’.
Most of us in the audience thought he was going to talk about that time he met the Dalai Lama or when he had a tricky journalistic situation with a Bob Hawke but no. It was all about cushions.
The journalist’s main point seemed to be that our society has changed in terms of social standards over the last two decades, and our fascination with cushions was the barometer for said change. According to him, we’ve gone from having a mantel full of crystal representing class, to having large couches filled with cushions as a reflection of abundance and comfort.
At the time, I wondered what I was learning from all this, but didn’t give it another thought until I was driving to visit Georgie Beaumont in Wanniassa to check out her Luxe & Beau cushion heaven. It’s funny how memory works.
Georgie runs her luxurious pillow design and manufacture business and interior styling service out of a relatively new home that her husband and her bought about 18 months ago. Despite having two small children and a full-time business which Georgie runs out of an attached studio, the couple are refurbishing the house and garden at the same time. Probably because busy people like to keep busy and are always gluttons for punishment.
Georgie’s children weren’t home when I visited, and when I started to comment on the beautiful balance of white walls, vintage pieces, detailed table compositions and neat rooms, she quickly stopped me and said, “Oh no, this won’t last five minutes when they get home…enjoy it while it lasts.” And so, I did.
Georgie’s home has a fascinating mixture of shades of green (which she and I share a love of for its calming effect), vintage elements (check out that coffee table or dining table) and modern gold fittings (notice the differing, yet related light fixtures).
Georgie also pointed out that she is a huge fan of clashing patterns and textures but ensures they are not jarring to the eye by linking them through colour or simple, clean backgrounds. And there is no better way of presenting patterns than on cushions, which can change with your mood and modify the feel of a room at a whim.
What really stood out to me, however, was the placement of the large mirror behind the couch. This opened up the room, made the couch a real feature piece and created an additional luxe dimension. When I mentioned to Georgie that I would have never thought of that placement, she said “Um, yes…so there used to be a big TV there, but then one of the kids broke it and solved an ugly problem. I popped the mirror in its place for balance and then this magic happened.”
As I watched Georgie effortlessly style the room, using the elements in the room to set up different combinations in seconds, I realised that cushion-obsessed journalist was wrong. Cushions aren’t a show-off element of wealth or abundance, but rather an element of self-expression.
They are a tool to modify the every day and make it exciting…the more you have, the more you can change. There’s no cushion revolution, just a design revolution with a sense of comfort attached.
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Photography by Tess Godkin.