These lovely hand-painted 1930s signs from Pedlars caught my eye today. They look great arranged in a group like this in black and white frames.



If you love the look of these signs but can’t quite stretch to £125 a pop, check out the lovely vintage-style signs at Dotcomgiftshop. They might not be the real thing, but they’re much more affordable. – Ellie


This new ‘Bamboo Papers’ wallpaper from Farrow & Ball is everything we’d expect from one of the world’s finest manufacturers of paint and paper. It’s beautiful, oriental, chic and delicate. Block-printed, it shimmers with metallic paint and oozes sophistication – and it’s rather expensive, at £62 a roll. But there’s something I just can’t ignore…

007 farrowball

I’m sure I’ve seen this pattern somewhere before. According to the lovely people at Farrow & Ball, the Bamboo Papers are inspired by an iconic 19th century Japanese print, featuring bamboo as a symbol of good fortune. But I’m not so sure. Think back, all ye wise interior design experts, to the Peckham flat belonging to Del Boy Trotter in TV sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It’s a gallimaufry of retro patterns and sickly seventies colours, and with the plastic pineapple ice cube bucket and red pub-style carpet, it’s about as far away from Farrow & Ball style-wise as it’s possible to get – but look to the left feature wall. Case closed. – Ellie


We have a treat for you today, to brighten up your Monday! These three lovely retro slogan posters are featured in our new August issue, and the best thing is…they’re free to download here from the Ideal Home website. Hurrah!

free posters

The August issue is packed with lovely coastal makes from our style team…check out the tablecloth project below – it’s made of four tea towels sewn together. Simple, cheap and chic!


I love these nautical plates made using transfer paper from Lazertran. This is a great way to display your favourite photos in an original way.


And how sweet are these little painted pebbles and shells? I think these would make fabulous wedding favours or place markers at a dinner party.


If you’re feeling inspired and you’d like the full instructions for all these projects, see the new August issue of Ideal Home. – Ellie




June 19, 2009

The new autumn/winter collection from Rice is a riot of colour, bursting with cheerful patterns, zingy bright prints and crazy combinations. Just what we need to celebrate the fact it’s nearly the weekend!



I thought I was ‘over’ my coral pink addiction, but now I’m not so sure! It works so well with the bright yellow bedstead, and the hot pink rug here. This is the kind of look I’d love to be brave enough to go for!


I really like the horse print lampshade above. Also, the 1950s-style kitchen below is so kitsch it’s cool – baby blue and candy-floss pink is always a hit with me. The images look like Barbie’s house – in a good way! HOW cute are the fridge magnets…




Following on from ‘Opens shelving = the way forward‘ earlier this week, think pink and check out the lovely shelves below. Surely cupboard doors should be BANNED!? Also, I’m loving the colour-coded crockery storage going on here. In a similar way, I like colour-coded books too…although I got into a bit of bother with the boyfriend when I colour-coded all of ours because apparently he ‘needs’ an alphabetical system because he’s ‘not visual’ and he once spent three days searching for Of Mice and Men. SIGH.


Picture 2

Now, I wonder how I can convince him that a blanket with little knitted cherries hanging off it is somehow a household essential…hmmmm. – Ellie

These cute retro ceramics from Netherlands-based Etsy seller Ninainvorm are topping the Ideal Home wish list today. Nina produces stunning hand-shaped screen-printed ceramics, screenprints and collages, as well as some vintage ‘redecorated’ ceramics – pretty china pieces that she applies her hand-made screenprints to.




Nina is now up there with Lou Rota and friends in my ‘cutest ceramics’ brigade. And how sweet is her ‘Dear Pear’ collage? It would be a lovely piece of wall art for a child’s bedroom.




Thinking about decals on vintage ceramics…I’ve just written a feature for Ideal Home about the amazing A4/A3 sized fabric papers available from Crafty Computer Paper. The sheets go through a normal inkjet printer so you can print any digital image you like on to fabric – just wait for the ink to dry before peeling the backing off, like a sticker, and you’re left with washable, printed fabric. I saw lovely vintage-style cushions from Rosie’s Armoire at the Country Living Fair a few months back, which were made with these sheets. ANYWAY, Crafty Computer Paper also sells decal paper, designed to transfer images easily to ceramics and candles etc, so I’ve ordered some and I’m going to have a bash at updating some vintage tea plates next weekend! – Ellie


Oh, Toast, lovely Toast. Thou art the nicest of all mail order companies by far. I didn’t think you could top your Greek-fest summer images with their beautiful moody lighting, fresh seaside-y feel and various visual delights, but you’ve done it again.


I’ve just seen the new autumn/winter collection from Toast, and it’s every bit as gorgeous as we’ve come to expect. Think Scotland, think fog, think thistles, think chunky ceramics, snug tweedy textiles, knitted woollen socks and gorgeous rustic homewares. It might be June, but these lovely images instantly transport you to a chilly December afternoon…



I see yet another vintage milk bottle has sneaked into this blog…really need to sort this obsession of mine out! I LOVE the teal-green ceramics with the bright red tamarillo fruits here.



Cups on hooks and vintage books, these are a few of my favourite things. Loving the blue and white bobble hat with those blue and white vintage china plates behind, too.



Mmmm, check out the vintage wallpaper in the background of the matches shot – tasty! Lime green and dirty orange, my favourite 1960s combo. How does Toast manage to make something as simple as a few old wire coat hangers look like gorgeous utilitarian-chic treasures? We mere mortals will never know the secrets of Toast! But one thing’s for sure…these lovely pics are more like works of art than catalogue shots, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.– Ellie

Today I will be mostly wanting…this cute vintage-style bottle holder from Garden Trading. Perfect for barbecues, picnics, or just to hold wine bottles and look lovely in your kitchen!


Check out the Lorina retro lemonades in this shot – every stylist’s dream prop, and just £1.91 from Waitrose. You can never have too much pink lemonade in your life. – Ellie