Vintage mirrors

January 15, 2010

Arranging vintage mirrors together on a wall always looks great. Sniff them out in charity shops or at car boot sales and collect a range of different shapes and interesting styles for a really striking display.

Yes, it’s a stylist cliche, (HOW can I get an accent? HOW?) but it’s so effective, particularly on a big boring landing/stairs wall. I always think this is a tricky spot in any home…it looks odd with a small piece of artwork in the middle of it, it’s tricky to wallpaper because of the height and the stairs, and it gets a lot of abuse as people brush against it all the time. Covering this pesky wall with quirky vintage mirrors is a great solution, and will make a poky, dark landing feel lighter and larger, too.

I have been collecting old mirrors for ages and this weekend I plan to finally screw them in place on my landing wall. It’s a good idea to cut out paper templates of your mirrors (or photo frames etc) and masking tape the paper shapes in place to get the right arrangement before you start drilling holes and making a mess, so I’ll be doing that first! Here’s a great pic from DIY Ideas:

I think the mirror display in this dark blue bathroom looks fabulous…

And in this soft shabby-chic living room…

And in this hallway, too:

If you’re after a smaller display, or happen to have a lot of old hand-held mirrors knocking around, this is a cute idea:

Have a lovely weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a HUGE trend story for you! – Ellie

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NEW tasty tomato from HEALS

January 14, 2010

Not much time for blogging today, folks – so I’m just going to give you a little taster of the new Heals spring/summer collection. Tomato and tangerine should never be seen…or should they?

OK, gotta dash but, very quickly…things to note: lots and lots of rich tomato red – LOVE it. Elegant shapes. Polished concrete = amazing. Orange + red – weirdly this nightmare combo works well here! Sanderson dandelion clocks wallpaper in orange and charcoal = mmm tasty. Dark grey wall and skirting boards = ditto. Red Anglepoise lamp, I need you in my life. Over and out, chaps! – Ellie

HOT SHOP: PiP Studio

January 13, 2010

Fresh from the Netherlands, the Dutch answer to Cath KidstonPiP Studio is about to hit the UK. Think Greengate-meets-Rice…pretty florals, bright colours and a huge dose of vintage charm.

(Note the bell jar – ding dong! Really need to get over this.)  Launching in the UK this spring, PiP Studio products will be hitting shops such as Berry Red, Liberty and possibly bigger chains like John Lewis any time now.

Feast your eyes on this floral fest, lovely people…

Ooooh, I like that blue towel with the orange flowers – bit like a Hawaiian shirt, but in a good way!! Some cute cushions here, too.

There’s nothing like a spot of pretty china for a Wednesday afternoon…

I’ve just had a quick look at a new book, due out this March – Decorating with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Now, I’m not really into the whole swirly damask LLB style (and there are some fairly hideous interiors in this book to be sure! Pebble-look carpet tiles, anyone? Or perhaps you’d prefer a floor-to-ceiling parkland vista wall mural?? Even circa 1990, surely these were a bit dodge…) but I was impressed by the simple step-by-step decorating ‘how-to’ section in the second half, so it’s our book of the week. If you’re a hardcore LLB fan, see our April issue to find out how to steal his ‘style’! – Ellie

FYI: size matters

January 13, 2010

Playing with scale is BIG right now. Ha ha. It all kicked off with the GIANT Anglepoise floor lamp – you know the one – and now, with the imminent release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film this April, it seems lots of designers have been nibbling the scale ‘shrooms and super-sizing stuff…

This isn’t just a designer thing. Oh, no. Head to the high street and pop into M&S later this spring and you’ll find a gigantic pair of wooden scissors (the ultimate Arrietty prop for a Borrowers-themed party?) which would look VERY cool leaning on a mantelpiece and they’re pleasingly Make-Do-and-Mend-ish, too. Habitat has huge button storage pots for this summer, and you can even get a giant pencil sharpener pen pot from John Lewis and a BIG Biro lid from Utility Design:

Plus, there are going to be HUGE floor lamps pretty much everywhere this year, copying the Anglepoise classic. Check out our April issue for a feature on these lamps! (PS – I like the idea of putting dolls house furniture under a glass bell jar!! Surprise, surprise…) – Ellie

Oh. My. Word. Check out these fabulous bespoke wall murals, blinds and prints from Surface View (thanks Ros!)

HOW EXCITING. You go on to the Surface View website, choose your favourite image from a library that includes V&A pics, photos, art, vintage postcards, antique lace patterns, Edward Lear’s alphabet – there really is something for everybody.

You can then crop or edit the design as you wish, and preview it on a blind, as a mural or as a print in various rooms of the house.

This is a FABULOUS tool – highly addictive! Even I, mural-hater, want a wall mural now I’ve had a play…who’d have thunk it. Give it a go! – Ellie



RIDICULOUSLY beautiful rooms

January 12, 2010

Mmmm, I’m veritably salivating over these stunning new pics, from our friends at Fun on the Floor. Not only do they prove that even though dark-stained or white-painted floorboards are LE NORM these days, crazy coloured carpets can still be cool…they also confirm for me that painting your skirting boards the same dark blue-grey shade as your walls looks AMAZING if you’re brave enough to do it. But tragically, I’m still plucking up the courage to get rid of my white eggshell woodwork!

Now, don’t you just love it when your trend fore-casting is backed up by some good, hard, solid evidence the following season? Lisa and I were high-fiving when we saw these pics and clocked: an owl; a glass bell jar; an Anglepoise lamp; horses; antlers; Union Jack flags; and even Alice in Wonderland accessories (you’ll have to buy our April issue in March for this one!)

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check these out…so many lovely ideas:

This is still my favourite colour combo – dark grey walls with hot Bollywood fuchsia pink and rich mustard yellow – grrrrr, baby, yeah! And the pink bike is DIVINE.

I thought I was over the whole Deborah Bowness books wallpaper thing. But this room looks fab with a whole wall covered in it, not just a measly strip or alcove. So perhaps I’m not quite over it yet! LOVE the rustic wood sideboard too – anybody know where it’s from?!

Mmmm, more dark walls and bright coloured accessories. We LIKE. The lamp in this pic reminds me of some cool paper-covered ones at The Hospital club, or the funky patchwork ones from Lisa Watmough at Squint. (I have an old lamp, some PVA and some pretty Origami papers all ready for my own attempt…!) In fact, while I’m on the subject of Lisa, let’s take a quick peep into her home. I bet her skirting boards are all painted dark…

They are! But her floorboards are white, so this lightens the look I guess. Erm, I don’t like to moan when I’ve pinched pics BUT check out the lamp wire in the armchair pic – eeek, stylist, hide that cable!! Anyway, back to the Fun on the Floor pics…and lookie what we have here…

More painted skirting boards!! It must be a sign! I love the red and grey combo here – so brave but OH-SO cool. Let’s finish with a pretty pic of a girly bedroom. I particularly like the heart on the wall in this shot just made of paper. Simple and sweet – and a nice Valentines idea! – Ellie

Hot diggedy DAWGs

January 11, 2010

Woof, woof – check out this fabulous Osborne and Little ‘Best in Show’ wallpaper, with flock fuchsia doggies on a graphite metallic background. I’ve seen the black and white version of this, but I’ve been meaning to share this John Lewis pic with you for ages – what a cosy corner! Perfect for a chilly day like today!

I LOVE the giant Anglepoise floor lamp – it’s expensive, but we’ve seen gorgeous cheaper copies in the new TescoNext and Bhs collections for spring 2010, so don’t despair! Hot dogs are popping up all over the place at the moment…

These wall stickers are from Brume, a fab place to find unusual wall art, blackboard stickers and window film.

Dog cushions are IN at the moment. Not really my cup of tea to be honest, but according to Debenhams, the Ben de Lisi dog cushions have all sold out nationwide! Here are cushions from Debenhams and John Lewis, and a funky Linea mug from House of Fraser:

And if you’re a dog fan, check out these dog magnets, too…

Right, I’m off to test a cheese grater. Oh, the glamour. – Ellie