Photographer and artist Henry Wilson has designed a gorgeous new range of rich, oriental-style wallpapers for Osborne and Little, and they’re making waves in the interiors industry. The Sariskar collection oozes Indian elegance – the designs were inspired by ‘the fine details’ in Indian interiors which, Wilson believes, are often overlooked due to the ‘soaring, overwhelming architecture.’

osborne1osborne2I love the bright Bollywood colours in these papers, but I think you’d have to be quite bold to use one in your home. It could work as a feature wall somewhere, but they’re just a bit too much for me with my boring ‘paint-everything-white’ decorating philosophy!

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If you’re a fan of Indian design, check out Henry Wilson’s book India: Decoration, Interiors, Design. It’s full of gorgeous photography and inspiring images that whisk you away to a land of spices, sumptuous fabrics and elaborate patterns.

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india1While I’m on the subject of books, I’ve just ordered a few more of the stunning Paumes books, which I’m a huge fan of. After my recent trip to France, I couldn’t resist Paris Brocante and I’ve had my eye on London Ateliers for a while, so I’ll do a full review of those delicious little books soon! – Ellie

Crafting gold dust!

August 14, 2009

Hurrah for internet serendipity! Hurrah for Fridays generally! Hurrah for the sunshine gently warming mucky Southwark! Bethan’s just found a fantastic online resource packed full of thousands of beautiful high-resolution insect, bird and butterfly pictures, and we’re already planning a myriad of exciting craft projects we could use them for. (No, we don’t get out much!) If you’re a crafting queen yourself, check out the stunning Victorian natural history clip-art illustrations at this random web address and imagine the possibilities! I’m going to make some greetings cards and gift tags, some wall art with the butterflies (think John Dilnot), some transfers for vintage china plates (a la Lou Rota) – and that’s just for starters. I don’t even have to cut up any vintage books/magazines for once. If I could only work out how to get a grave accent symbol for the ‘a’ in ‘a la’ on this stupid blog editing system, I’d be a happy girl today. You’ll find the secret stash here. – Ellie

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Vintage postcards are big news in the design world at the moment. In these days of instant text messages and emails,  postcards ooze nostalgic charm and represent a bygone era when communication took longer and was more thoughtful. There’s something so personal about receiving a carefully-chosen picture with a hand-written ‘wish you were here’ message scrawled on the back. I’m all for speedy texting…but bring back snail mail too, I say!

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I’m a huge fan of Lucie Pritchard’s work and her linen postcard placemats and napkins (available from All Things Original) are so lovely – if you get bored of conversation at the table, you can just read the messages! Cloth Ears sells cute postcard make-up bags in it’s Paper Planes collection, as does Helen Ashworth of Rosie’s Armoire, while Cox & Cox does a fabulous seed tin with a vintage postcard lid, and a framed postcard art display.

image3IMAGE4Check out Lucie Pritchard’s gorgeous black and white postcard cushions – chouette! Postage stamps are cool right now too – I’m loving these funky stamp Britannia cushions from Karen Hilton designs. And, although it’s not strictly speaking a postcard, this brown paper parcel wash bag from Cloth Ears is too cute to miss! I’ve just got back from a very relaxing holiday in the sunny south west of France, where I spent many happy hours browsing ‘Brocante’ shops and hunting for pretty vintage postcards. I found two lovely Eiffel Tower ones (below) and the plan is to get some printable linen fabric sheets from our trusty friends at Crafty Computer Paper, and sew some cushions and bags. I picked up some great tips from Helen Ashworth of Rosie’s Armoire at the Country Living Fair a while ago, so it’s high time I had a go at making some of my own postal-chic accessories! – Ellie

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Going underground!

August 10, 2009

True, we complain. It smells, it’s too hot, it increases your chance of contracting Swine Flu by 87% * but for all our moaning, if we Londoners really hated the tube that much, we wouldn’t want to fill our homes will little reminders of it, would we?

* not scientifically verified

1908 tube map

So what is it about the tube map that makes it so iconic it was deemed a British Design Classic alongside the Anglepoise lamp and the Penguin book, no less? Perhaps if it still looked like the 1908 map above, we wouldn’t be so keen. It wasn’t until 1931 when Underground employee Harry Beck realised that, given that the trains ran below ground, it didn’t matter whether the lines on the map corresponded with the layout of the streets above, as long as they ran in the right direction and the stations appeared in the right order. And so, the diagrammatic map we know and love today was born!

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Notonthehighstreet £44.95

I love this cushion from Notonthehighstreet, which features a section of the map printed on rustic linen – it really accentuates the graphic properties of the design and reminds me of the printer friendly version of the map you can download from TFL where the lines are given patterns rather than colours. Much prettier, though not as practical when getting from A-B!

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And from the subtle to the not so subtle! How cool is this tube map shower curtain, brand new from Rockett St George?

Splashback

I love this quirky glass splashback recently featured on House to Home – great with the zesty orange worktop. Try Digetex if you fancy something similar.

Balcony Gardener

And after all that journeying, pushing, shoving and getting stuck in the door, there’s only one thing for it – relaxing on this tube map deckchair from the Balcony Gardener. Zzzzz…. – Bethan

Right, I’m going to be controversial here. After wanting one for ages, I’ve gone right off this classic ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ print…

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It’s become so popular and seems to be everywhere and on everything, from mugs to tea cosies – but I think that it was the poster version being offered free in the Daily Mail that killed it for me. Anyway, that isn’t to say that I’m not still a huge fan of Lucas and Hayley at the Keep Calm Gallery… they’re not resting on their laurels and riding the wave of their namesake’s popularity, and are bringing out new designs of their own and sourcing products from talented printmakers all the time, including these latest additions by Hazel Nicholls. Both are limited editions and selling fast, so grab one while you can! – Bethan

Dolls multi mainWhat’s Inside Multi print, £80

Doing detailDoing mainDoing is Believing print, £40

Beauty in Utility

August 4, 2009

I’m all for anything that turns practical into pretty, so had to pick up this postcard from this stall in my favourite antiques shop on Northcote Road in Clapham. Such a great slogan and the perfect excuse to post some loveliness on a pretty yet practical theme – Bethan

Beauty

BaileysDolly pegs, £1.50/dozen; Wire basket, £22; Olive oil soap, from £3.35; Scrubbing brushes from £3.50, all Baileys

HousetohomeI love this idea for storing laundry products from Housetohome – the new Jme collection has lots of clip-top jars and bottles

GT ironing boardBeech ironing board, £60, Garden Trading