This Sunday marks the beginning of British summer time, so don’t forget to put your clocks forward! If you can’t afford an expensive designer clock, have a look at this gorgeous idea from Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom of The Curiosity Shoppe, published on the American Design*Sponge website.

clock3It’s a cheap IKEA Rusch clock, which costs just £1.26! They spray-painted the frame and used a sheet of pretty vintage paper to line the inside. So simple yet so sweet, I love it – but Emily’s not so keen! Tell us what you think? I’ll be making my own version this weekend. – Ellie


…and counting. We’re all a bit fragrant happy here in the Ideal Home office as we’ve just sampled the new scents from the limited edition Kohdo Wood collection for Jo Malone, which launches on 1st April. There’s a scent for day – Lotus Blossom & Water Lily – designed to be uplifting and invigorating, which includes cologne in two sizes, shower gel and a home candle:

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily

…and a scent for the evening  – Dark Amber & Ginger Lily – which is designed to be soothing and sensual. It comes in cologne in two sizes, as a bathing soak and (hooray) another home candle:


Dark Amber & Ginger Lily

We’re not sure if we prefer the madarin and amber notes of the day scent or the cardamom and orchid notes of the evening scent – so we just might have to buy both! – Emily

The latest cooker hood design from Britannia looks like it’s just floated down from space – the sleek, curvacious style of the new Omaggio cooker hood has a modern stainless steel and black glass finish, teamed with inset LED spots. It might be a bit too modern for some kitchen designs, but if you’re planning your kitchen from scratch, it’s definitely a worthwhile consideration. britannia-glossy-room-set-p61

Added features include a quick release dishwasher-proof grease filter and alerts that tell you when to clean the grease filters and replace the charcoal filters. Alerts? Is it me or does it sound more and more like a Star Wars character?! omaggio-cooker-hood-1As open-plan kitchens become the norm in many homes, a cooker hood that looks good, but that’s also silent and efficiently extracts cooking fumes is a necessity. Although it doesn’t come cheap, at £1,399 for the 90cm width, the Omaggio promises to do all this. For more kitchen inspiration, click hereEmily

Time for tea?

March 25, 2009

Today I saw these gorgeous tea cups from ceramicist Clare Gage. I love the way the way Clare uses textures and techniques from weave, embroidery and jewellery making in the production of her beautiful ceramics – she creates china pieces that look as if they have been sewn together using fabrics and lace.




To see more of Clare’s work, or to treat yourself to a posh cup, visit her website.

When you can’t get to a computer, why not jot it down the ‘old fashioned’ way:

Something vintage:

Vintage Notebook French Letter, £6.95,

Vintage Notebook French Letter,

Something fun:

Comic Covered Notebook,

Comic Covered Notebook,

Something retro:

Set of notebooks,

Set of notebooks,

Something designer:

Orla Kiely Flower Abacus ruled notebook,

Orla Kiely Flower Abacus ruled notebook,

Something recycled:

Recycled Thoughts in Recycled Leather,

Recycled Thoughts in Recycled Leather,

Something to dream about:

I'm going to be a rockstar,

I'm going to be a rockstar,

If you find any more worth shouting about, email us at and let us know – we’d love to hear from you – Emily

Today’s the opening day of this year’s Ideal Home show and we’ve been trawling the stalls and checking out the displays to give you an exclusive sneaky peak. The official Ideal Home magazine stand roomset pictures will be posted soon on the Ideal Home magazine website, so you can see them in their full glory, but here’s a few snaps we took today to give you a taste of how the gorgeous rooms look:


A stunning teal bedroom


Pink and grey children's bedroom


Hotel-chic bathroom


Open-plan kitchen/diner


Stylish living room

The Ideal Home magazine stand was busy all day with visitors coming to look for decorating ideas and gorgeous buys. We explored the rest of the show, too, and spent a while on the LG stand admiring the stunning new TVs on display there – this elegant model with built-in FreeSat caught our eye:


Panasonic released the first TV with built-in FreeSat last year, but this new LG model is going to be more affordable when it hits stores in May. Exact prices are not yet known, but it’s expected to retail at around £979. If you’re buying a new TV anyway, and you want to access FreeSat, this is a great choice as you’ll cut down on clutter – there’s no need for a separate FreeSat box. If you already have a new HD-ready TV, you’re better off just buying a FreeSat box, which costs £80 (including installation) from John Lewis. Next, we headed off to see the innovative ideas and fresh talent on the University students’ stand. Check out this bespoke understairs storage system designed by Craig Haggart from De Montfort University:

understairsWhat a clever solution for an awkward space – not an inch is wasted! We also liked the ‘Micro Kitchen’ from De Montfort University student Tommy Williams – it’s a great space-saving design for a compact kitchen area that adapts to make a dining table and a work bench, too.

micro-kitchenWe also loved this space-saving sofa system design from Phil Crook, also a student at De Montfort University, which adapts to create two extra seats if needed:


And check out this space-saving staircase idea from Joss Cook and Simon Matthews, students at Plymouth University:


Alex Hort from the University of Plymouth deserves a mention too. He created an amazing ‘Micro Hydro’ system which captures runaway rainwater in your downpipe, then stores it behind an internal ‘dam’ until the weight unleashes its power and it falls, creating energy which is stored in a rechargeable battery for use in the home. Genius! After a whole day of walking around the show in high heels (!) we were more than ready for a rest, so we had a little sit down in this funky party pod from Ornate Garden

party-podThis year’s show is bigger and better than ever – despite the recession – and it’s well worth a visit, even if you just go to get some inspiration from the lovely Ideal Home magazine stand! – Ellie and Emily



We’re loving the new retro Pasha collection from Harlequin. Check out these gorgeous pics:




Prices start at £54 per m. I love the teal and chocolate colourway. It’s a trend that just won’t go away! – Ellie