A Bench for Priscilla

An aging pet, an art deco bench, Shutterfly, bedroom design tips, and Pinterest color boards.  How do they all fit together?   Well . . . very loosely in this rambling post.

I have a lot to share with you this time, so let’s start connecting the dots.

An Aging Pet

A few months ago, I shared my little Downton Abbey-inspired master bedroom refresh.  Aside from needing some better bedside lamps, I thought that the project was finished.

But then 15-year-old Priscilla started having trouble jumping up onto the bed.  She tried, only to fall back to the floor.  This girl never used to miss her mark, but now she needed a little help.

Black cat
My loyal buddy.

So I searched for something she could use as a halfway point between the floor and the top of the bed.

An Art Deco Bench

I came across a small art deco bench at a consignment shop.  It was half price in the markdown room, piled so high with other merchandise that I almost missed it.

The upholstery was interesting.

Art Deco Bench as found
Bench as found

But the wood was in excellent condition.

With its rounded edges, the bench could have originally been paired with a waterfall bedroom vanity.  So it was appropriate for a bedroom.  And its small scale was perfect for the limited space I had to work with.

I put it at the foot of the bed, and Priscilla immediately saw the advantage and starting using it to climb up to her favorite napping spot.

Burkedecor.com is all new

I didn’t want her to be without it for long, so I decided to just do a quick reupholster and call it good.

I couldn’t wait to see what was under the purple fabric.  Was the original upholstery still there?  Something beautiful and interesting?

No such luck.

Old upholstery

And it looks better in the photo than it did in real life.

So I removed both fabric layers but kept the padding since it was in surprisingly good condition.

With Priscilla lounging on the front porch, I raced to the fabric store. A floral fabric would look sweet on the bench, so that is what I was after.

And this is what I came home with.

fabric closeup

It is “Avondale Vintage” by Covington Fabric and Design. It reminded me of an antique tapestry.  The pattern depicts old-world hunting and fishing scenes.  I’m a pushover for this sort of thing. And, I reasoned, this was in keeping the bedroom’s Downton Abbey-esque vibe.

I only needed an 18-inch cut, but I asked for 2/3 yard so I could center the scene that I liked the most – which turned out to be the hunting scene.

I spruced up the wood with Howard Restor-A-Finish in Golden Oak.

And then I put the bench back.

fabric detail - art deco bench

Art Deco Bench

Including the sprint to the fabric store, the project took one afternoon.

art deco bench

And Priscilla never missed her bench.

Cat with art deco bench

You may have guessed from the photos that our master bedroom is not huge.  I would still like to find ways to make better use of the space.  And my idea file just got a boost from Shutterfly.

Bedroom Design Tips from Shutterfly

Recently, the folks at Shutterfly reached out to me asking to use some of the images from my master bathroom remodel in a blog post that they are creating.

And they gave me this gorgeous bedroom design guide to share with my readers.   Full of  simple and practical advice, the guide focuses on working with a small space.  But I think most of the tips can be applied to bedrooms of any size – or even rooms other than bedrooms.

Clicking on the summary image below will take you to the full version of this guide

25 Easy Ways to Make a Bedroom Look Bigger
Image courtesy of Shutterfly

Pinterest Color Boards

The folks at Shutterfly also invited me to populate a few of the home decor color boards that they have on Pinterest as part of their post 200 Inspiring Color Schemes for the Home.

White is hot right now.  My Pinterest and Instagram feeds are awash with white rooms.  And recently barely-there pastels have started to cautiously creep onto the scene.

Done right, these trendy wall and trim colors are gorgeous, and they definitely have their place in interior decor (see hints 20 and 21 above).  I’ll probably be using white in our upcoming laundry room remodel.

But I must admit that I’m often drawn to the drama and romance of rich colors.  So I loved it that the colors that Shutterfly gave me to work with were unapologetically rich.

One argument for whites is that richer, deeper wall colors are not neutral enough to support changes in art and decor, but I don’t agree. Many rich colors can serve as neutrals. They just have to be chosen carefully.

So if you get a chance, check out these Pinterest boards for some design inspiration ranging from the trendy to the classic.  Some of the images I used were my own, but many were borrowed from other sources.

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14 Replies to “A Bench for Priscilla”

  1. Just found your site last night and subscribed. Well, this post about your bench and your compassion for your cat touched me.
    An animal lover myself, you made an instant connection with me. My Cocker Spaniel, Banjo left me in April to go to the Rainbow Bridge. He had been through so much, healthwise from ruptured disc surgery to 2 ACL surgeries to diabetes and, finally, ‘ something’ destroying red blood cells. I would have turned the whole house upside down to help him be comfortable! So, just wanted to say a ‘thank you’ for caring so much for your furbaby!

    1. Karen, first let me say I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets are family members and it is heartbreaking to lose one. Sounds like Banjo had a very loving home with you. Priscilla does have some health issues too, as does her housemate Charlie (age 16). It’s hard to watch them age – so much faster than humans! – but there is some comfort in simply doing our best for them in the short time that they are with us. Thanks for visiting my blog and becoming a subscriber!

  2. I love your makeover bench and it does have that Downton Abbey feel to it. Your sweet kitty looks like my Cyrus, a black Burmese, and he is so sweet. I would do anything for him, including making him a bench to climb on!

  3. That is beautiful!! What a great way to add extra seating or storage in a small space! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  4. Aaaawwww poor Priscilla. We have four kitties and It’s heart breaking when they get older and can’t do all the things they used to do. It’s so awesome to meet someone who cares about them and the little bench for Priscilla is purrfect. May you two share many, many happy memories for many more years.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I’m hoping my little girl is around for a long time to come. Hope your four are doing well!

  5. What a beautiful little bench for Priscilla!! I’m so glad that she has a halfway mark to help her up in bed. I bet she’s grateful for the pretty little boost.

  6. I have four cats & what you did for sweet Priscilla warms my heart! That fabric you chose is just perfect. And I absolutely love your bedroom! The colors you used are so lovely!

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