How I Do Dat: Making The Most Of Your Indoor/Outdoor Cushions
Who doesn't love a chic, comfortable and portable bedding accessory? I'm a big fan of multi-purpose home goods, so when I discovered these beautiful handwoven, hand-dyed cushions from West Africa earlier this summer, I immediately bought them for the store and for our home. Since then, they've been following me around everywhere, from backyard picnics and cross country traveling to indoor lounging and outdoor glamping. For the third installment of my How I Do Dat series, I'm sharing how I've been using these cushions to create cozy yet elegant settings both indoors and out, for fabulous year-round use.
One of the most versatile cushions, and my personal favorite is the bedroll. For hundreds of years the bedroll was made of canvas rolled up and used by a variety of travelers – from cowboys and farm workers to military and French guards to provide a convenient place of rest. This modern take on a bedroll has upgraded its materials, design and comfort level with 100% hand-dyed cotton that's handwoven using traditional looms. It's the size of a twin mattress, but the plush kapok interior, a natural fiber that comes from the fruit of the kapok tree, keeps it soft and flexible. When I bought it, I immediately knew where it would live inside our farmhouse. This little reading nook overlooks our main garden with a view of the ancient maple tree and is the perfect spot to sip tea in the morning. I folded the bedroll in half to create a cushion on top of the antique bench. I also layered in a couple indigo dyed pillows for added comfort. As you can see, this bedroll is a dog magnet too ;)
With the balmy weather we've been having in New York, Jeffrey and I have been spending evenings around the outdoor fire pit in our garden. These vintage rattan chairs are great for outdoor use but definitely need extra cushion support. So I added a few cotton pillows that I was using inside, like this striped one and an indigo dyed batik. Since they're 100% cotton, they breathe well in this humid climate and keep moisture from accumulating.
When I'm looking to relax a bit or take my office outside for the day, I like to pull out a wooden cot that I recently found, thanks to a customer recommendation (see below) and layer it with the bedroll that I use on the bench inside. It turns into the perfect sun lounger or daybed! I could spend hours sitting here laying under a shady tree.
Jeffrey and I celebrated our anniversary a couple of months ago with a campfire style dinner outdoors. It was the perfect opportunity to bring the bedroll outside for a picnic-like setting. I laid it down on the grass under our old maple tree, added some pillows and a blanket, set place settings, and ate a wonderful meal we cooked on the BBQ as the sun was setting. The bedroll was perfect as a picnic accessory, and clean up was a breeze – simply roll up and bring inside to the reading nook.
For my husband's birthday a couple of years ago, I invited a few of his friends to come and stay and bought safari tents to accommodate the large party. It was so much fun but I wish I had had the cots, cushions and bedrolls we have now to make it more comfortable and elegant. And, if you're going to spend the night in a tent, why not add a bit of luxury? This week, we decided to change things up and put up one of the tents so we could camp in our garden. To create the ultimate glamping experience, I moved our cots and rattan chairs inside the tent and added cushions, pillows and bedrolls for cozy comfort. We couldn't wait to dive in and feel the magic that sleeping outside offers.
Aside from being chic and versatile, these cushions are made with a zero waste mindset, which is something I'm very passionate about. All of the fabrics are 100% cotton and consist of more than 3,000 hand dyed and handwoven yarns. Crafted in Guinea, local artisans use centuries-old techniques and fill each cushion with kapok. Since I'm from Kenya, it's important for me to support traditional African crafts, as it helps to develop a sustainable business for African artisan communities and allows the crafts to continue to be passed down from generation to generation.
Using these beautiful cushions in a variety of settings is a great way to streamline your home, while still maintaining that luxurious feel throughout. I hope this has inspired you to mix things up and style your cushions in a few new ways and maybe even camp in your garden! Looking to see something specific featured in my "How I Do Dat" series? Comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I always look forward to hearing from you and staying connected.
Sending lots of love,