Zen and the art of blanket maintenance

Kym Seabolt's furniture

As our daughter prepares to become an old married lady, I feel it necessary to teach her some basics on “living with a male.” The long title is “Living with a Decoratively Challenged Partner” but that was a mouthful.  My daughter and I are both accomplished, capable and strong women if I do say so myself. We are also both unabashedly in possession of a strong homemaking gene.

I do not believe those things are mutually exclusive. We like to feather our nests. A comfortable place to call our own is deep in our DNA. As thrifty types, our spaces and places we call home do not need to be fancy, but they do need to be comfortable and pretty.

With that in mind, today’s lesson will be zen and the art of blanket maintenance. By this, I mean the fabric and woven throws that we ladies like to artfully lay across sofas and chairs in order that their appearance look “effortless.” Even if we tucked and fussed for a few moments over each and every one.


Entire articles have been published about how to display blankets prettily to enhance your decor. Sure, it’s nice if they are also cozy, but for many of us that really is not top priority.  My males, particularly the spouse, see throws, afghans, pashminas and the like as all falling under the blanket category of, appropriately enough, “blankets.” This is a lie.

Each has their own distinct decorative impact. Some add color, others add texture, still others might be used to fill a decorative basket.

I am also someone who spent years living with children. Lovely, delightful children but also sometimes hard on things. Our blankets and throws also serve double duty and hide flaws. The sofa arm that sags a bit since BoyWonder stood on it (to wash blue paintball paint off the crown molding, mind you) — that is covered with a neatly folded blanket.

I am a practical woman, so I understand that blankets should also be used. I am all for wrapping up, tucking in and even wandering around the house in a cozy blanket. We have often taken the blankets to the porch and patio as well. All I ask is that at some point they are all put back where they belong.


Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, likes to take a few blankets, use them, mix them up and return them to the wrong furniture. The audacity! He likes to pretend that the fact that they are all some shade of beige somehow absolves this offense.

He swears he cannot tell them apart. As if the man cannot tell “gray beige” from “cream beige” and has no idea of the distinction a pom-pom trim can bring.  How is it that we have been married almost 30 years and he still refuses to understand the concept of accent colors? He tends to put a blanket of a certain color on the piece of furniture that is the same color.

I will switch them back so that the matching blanket to the chair is on, say, the loveseat. This way the blanket can “tie the room together.” Mr. Wonderful, for his part, just laughs and says I am expecting an awful lot from a 60-inch throw.


On one hand, I’m glad I have not spent my life with a partner who cares too overly much about proper blanket arrangement in our living spaces. I feel like that is definitely a “too many cooks can spoil the broth — or blanket display” situation. I am officially in charge of home decor and arrangements. He is in charge of … well, almost everything else. It’s a balance.

I am not out in the barn moving his air compressor hoses around. He is going to leave all the blanket placement to me, apparently.

The people who share our homes are a blessing, of course. Still it bears repeating that some people just have the “accessory” gene and some people do not. Don’t even get me started on what a man can do to hamper the appropriate arrangement of throw pillows.


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