I replaced the Grateful Dead blanket on my couch with a throw from West Elm.
When I can't sleep, I like to design my perfect living room and bedroom. (The kitchen in my apartment is beyond help.) Currently, I've been looking at dressers, since mine has a broken drawer and didn't really have enough drawers to begin with. So I peruse West Elm, I add everything into my cart, and then I realize how many improv classes I could take and how many friends' weddings I could go to with all that money I don't have.
Having a broken dresser is not really a problem. The problem is I have too many things. And there are real problems in the world. There's a refugee crisis. I have a roof over my head, and I always have. And there's global warming. Oh my god, global warming. Should I start stock piling antibiotics in case society collapses?! Or what about soap? I'll need soap! Surely they must teach soap making class somewhere in Brooklyn. But is that even a world worth living in?
This is how insomnia works.
After a meeting at a coffee shop on Saturday, I realized how close I was to West 18th Street between 6th and 7th Ave. It was time to experience West Elm in its brick and mortar glory. See it all in person. Touch things. Like the leather, tufted headboard. Or the mirrored 6- drawer dresser that simultaneously screams "Do Cocaine!" and "Imagine how much bad luck you'd have if you broke me?"
They were having a 30% off sale on throws and pillows.
I used to think my Grateful Dead blanket was just about the coolest thing ever. Also, it is very soft, and it's been good to me, keeping me cozy through bad hangovers and cold winter nights, from Colorado to Brooklyn. But I'm 31 now, and I want an adult throw, goddammit. I also currently had a large, orange velvet pillow on my couch. I nabbed the pillow after a shoot when I used to work at a production company, and it was free, so hating the color seemed like a good compromise.
However, I love my couch. It is absurdly comfortable and beautifully constructed with great design lines. I bought it from an actress (I want to say which one but that would be rude) who was going through a messy break-up. Her assistant said she was moving from Park Slope back to Chelsea, "to be with her Gays." The way she said it, I assume Gays is capitalized. The couch was designed by a husband and wife team, Dialogica, and was purchased for something like $3,000 in 1994. He has since died in a plane crash, which is a horrible way to go. Their designs were warm, welcoming and beautiful, and from everything I read, which was a lot, it sounded like they were very much in love.
The couch set me back $300. It needed to be re-upholstered then. And it really, really needs to be re-upholstered now. I have great lead from a production designer on a guy who re-upholsters for cheap. Like, why on earth would he do that, cheap. And of course, when that day comes, I will use Performance Velvet in Dusty Blush from West Elm. I know because I got drunk a couple of months ago and ordered fabric samples online at 2am.
I walked around the store with what basically amounted to an oversized, pink velvet cape and held it up to throws and pillows. A wonderful, patient soul named Deborah helped me compare color schemes after color schemes, and I soon left two pillows and one throw blanket poorer.
I removed the Grateful Dead blanket from my couch and put it in the dresser in the living room, the non-broken one. It's where I keep the extra sheets, light bulbs, and everything in the apartment that I don't know what to do with. I put the two pillows, one is textured cream and one is pink and eskayel-esque, on the left side and the cream throw on the right arm of the couch.
I stepped back, and I looked at my work. And I saw that the work was good.