Needs and Wants: Can the Desirable be Practical?

By on February 20, 2015, in Soft Surroundings


“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.”
–Amy Poehler

Giving yourself what you want—and especially what you need—is a trait many women are notoriously bad at. We put ourselves last on the list and often end up going without. (Especially when it comes to sleep!)

But, there is a way to get what you want AND need. Some things in life are both desirable AND practical. When we adopt a philosophy to surround ourselves with comfort and beauty we nurture our body, mind and spirit and we’re able to take care of everyone (even us!) better. Now that is the definition of sensible!

That’s how we look at things here at Soft Surroundings. Busy women sometimes need to be reminded to put themselves at the top of their To Do List. And we try to make that easier by carefully curating a collection of fashions, furnishings, beauty, fragrances and jewelry to help make satisfying your needs and wants a regular occurrence.

So…in that spirit….here are a few of our favorite ways for you to meld the pragmatic with the to-die-for all in one package.


Fleuri Light Switch Plates

The hardware in a home can go unnoticed. Things like switch plates and outlet covers serve a purpose and are meant to fade into the woodwork, right? Not necessarily. Beautifully designed and crafted electrical plates can bring personality and style to a room that’s very noticeable every time you flip the switch.

Our Fleuri Switch Plates and Outlet Covers are spectacular standouts. Cast in resin and crafted to showcase a quintessentially French fleur-de-lis motif, these plates are an easy way to dress up the practicalities. Even better, you can choose from vintage, gilt or latte finish to dial up or down the pizzazz.


Allier Framed Linen Board or Chalkboard

You can’t get much more utilitarian than a bulletin board or chalkboard. Almost every busy home has one in the kitchen or home office. But few have one like either of these! Our French inspired Allier Linen Board is framed in elaborate hand-carved mango wood. In two sizes, it’s a gorgeous way to keep track of messages, theatre tickets, photos, brilliant ideas and more. And our elegant matching Allier Chalkboard reminds us of a French bistro menu board. It’s brimming with the potential of the ‘blank page’. Practical and inspirational!


Fabric Thumbtacks

Sometimes it’s the subtleties that catch the eye and bring a smile. We pay special attention to detailing in our clothing and our home furnishing and accents. And we love bringing you our latest finds—no matter how small.

Case in point: our sweet fabric thumbtacks in four delicate patterns. What a delightful way to pin up what’s important on the Allier Linen Board mentioned above.  We give these push pins a big thumbs up for spring.


Collector’s Vitrine Table

Many tables in the pages of our catalog and online are both beautiful and useful, but the Collector’s Vitrine Table is an overwhelming crowd pleaser. Here we’ve designed and built a piece that satisfies a range of penchants and personalities. Whether you collect vintage pocket watches or Victorian beaded purses, this table is perfect to protect and preserve them.

It has thick tempered and beveled glass on the hinged top and around the sides. It’s easy to admire your collection inside or remove a treasure for a close up look without a lot of fuss. The linen-lined interior is the perfect palette to set off the shiny, the sparkly or the colorful. Collections are by definition ‘wants’ but this perfectly devised and constructed display case is truly a ‘need’.


Luxury Bamboo Sheets

Ecofriendly. A renewable resource. And luxuriously soft. These are some of the attributes that describe bed sheets made from bamboo fibers. They’re also some of the reasons bamboo sheets have recently shot up in popularity.

Bamboo is a fast-growing plant from the grass family, so cultivating and harvesting it is easier on the environment than growing cotton. Tests show bamboo sheets resist bacteria better than cotton too. Out in the field, bamboo plants don’t attract insects, thus are pesticide-free.

All great, practical reasons to choose bamboo, right? But sheets are emotional, and have to be soft and slip-into comfortable to be on our (and your) beds! So our Luxury Bamboo Sheets are spun and woven to ensure the bamboo fibers are silky to the touch, without being slippery. And last but not least, the colors of our Luxury Bamboo Sheets are as peaceful and soothing as you’d expect a fiber like this to be: Silver Sage, Bisque, Grey and White.


Leather and Hemp Rug

As long as we’re spotlighting ecologically friendly Soft Surroundings products, our Leather and Hemp Rug is great example of casual, durable and good for the globe.

Hemp is a plant that produces very strong fibers used to make rope and long-lasting fabrics. For these rugs of ours, we’ve had weavers entwine 100% natural hemp with strips of tumbled, top grain leather to create a rug that’s soft on bare feet but stronger than cotton. And it’s reversible. Choose from four décor-complimenting colors and three sizes.


Francesca Bust

Do you own an heirloom or priceless hand-me-down that you’d nearly run back in to the burning building for? Okay, maybe that’s too dramatic, but you understand. A person can accumulate a few possessions that may have started out as ‘wants’ but ended up as ‘needs’. Usually it’s those things that have sentimental value or an emotional connection that has lifted them into the realm of can’t-live-withouts. We think our fancy and coy Francesca Bust fits that description. (Or will in time.)

Many of our customers write to us saying the Francesca Bust simply makes them happy every time they look at her. She’s cast in iron and resting on a white, veined and beveled marble base. Breathtaking. But we think the attraction lies in her ribbons, ruffles and watchful mien. She has a presence about her, and the likelihood of Francesca becoming more than an accent but an heirloom is great.

We look forward to hearing some of your stories about the things you own that are both practical necessities and prized possessions—you didn’t even have to get them from us! Please comment below.




  • Meredith

    Once again I am disappointed by my purchase from Soft Surroundings. Admittedly, I can afford to buy sale items so that in itself may be the reason, but I have returned almost everything I have ordered from them. This purchase was a knit top which would only have looked good on the model in the catalogue and a necklace which was made of good quality material but completely screwed-up in the assembly. It did not lie flat because the design was incorrect. The picture online was completely bogus. The presentation of SS products is so beguiling that I am fooled once again.

    • Soft Surroundings

      Dear Meredith,
      Thank you so much for your feedback regarding your most recent purchase. We are sorry that your items were not what you expected, nor what our customers have come to know and expect from our company. We have forwarded your information along to our Customer Care team, who will be reaching out to you shortly.
      Soft Surroundings

  • Cristin

    Can the Leather and Hemp Rug be used outdoor?

    • Soft Surroundings

      Dear Cristin,
      Thank you for your question. We do not recommend using this rug outside, this rug will not do well when there is heavy moisture because it has tumbled leather in its weave. Moisture will cause mold to grow on the leather. We do have several rugs currently that are well suited for the outdoors:
      Soft Surroundings

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