HOT SHOP: Bhs

February 26, 2010

Bhs has been producing fabulous home accessories for a while now, but I think the new summer range is the best yet. Check out the Bohemia collection – all very pretty and feminine:

I’ve always wanted a bedroom with a door onto the garden like this…so airy in the summer. Love the shell pendant light fitting, too…

Turquoise, hot pink and bright yellow – what a fabulous combination of zingy colours! It’s a mix we were chatting about earlier today actually, in a live interiors surgery for the Times Online.

Cute towels here with a birdy theme (see more about Garden Birds in the May issue of Ideal Home!)…and what a crisp, beautiful bathroom. Shots like this make me want to paint everything in my house white and just have colourful accessories. Sigh.

Sweet appliqué cushions here – and a fabulous butterfly rug!! I’m sure we’ve admired the wallpaper collage in this location house before, but isn’t it lovely? I knew there was a reason for my obsessive stash of wallpaper samples! Have a lovely weekend. I’m off to an antiques fair in Detling, so I’ll be sniffing out beautiful things for my home and sorting through the weird and wonderful, too. I’ll take some pics for Monday. I can feel a photo-montage coming on already… –Ellie

Harrington and Squires

February 24, 2010

The new Notonthehighstreet catalogue has just arrived in the office and it’s packed full of lovely home accessories crafted by clever people. One of my favourite new buys is this fabulous set of shopping list magnets from letterpress lovelies, Harrington and Squires.

If you put them on the fridge, you can grab a reminder magnet as soon as you run out of something and start making a list. Love it. But yes, from these pics it looks as though these magnets are just for food, so if you run out of toilet paper, foil or anything else inedible, you’re going to have to make a note. Then again, unless you have a magnetic handbag/dog or a removable fridge door, you’re going to have to jot the whole lot down on paper anyway before you hit Tesco. I’d still like a set though. Surely this idea could be adapted for all sorts of lists. How about Nag Magnets? These don’t exist. Yet. I just made them up at lunchtime.

These would save me a small fortune in post-it notes! – Ellie

Do I need another tea towel?

February 23, 2010

No, friends, of course I do not. I made a resolution in the dim and distant past (January) never to buy another. EVER. But there are so many gorgeous new ones on To Dry For…’tis hard to resist. The nation’s textile designers are screen-printing away up and down the country, trying to tempt me to stray…naughty people like Warbeck and Cox

…with their lovely beetles, keys and vintage irons. And then there’s Gillian Kyle, with her spam, teacakes and Scottish breakfasts…

…and Snowden Flood isn’t helping much either, with cute caravans and dreamy beach huts…

…and those cheeky little monkeys at Thornback and Peel are just making things worse with their sardines, their strawberries and their general bloomin’ deliciousness.

Sigh. What’s a girl to do? (Answer: stop fantasising about kitchen textiles and get a life, probablement…) – Ellie

Craft room HEAVEN

February 22, 2010

Our spare bedroom is referred to as ‘The Zone’ at present, a room my other half claims he needs ‘for work’. A room that is in actual fact blatantly a PlayStation room. But one day, when he’s out, I’ll redecorate and he’ll come home to find THIS:

There are so many lovely things in this craft room from our January issue. The Vika table legs and top from IKEA, the laundry bin covered in pretty Cath Kidston oilcloth for storing rolls of fabric, the ribbon spools pleasingly lined up on a length of dowel, the colour-sorted fabrics…SIGH, SIGH, SIGH. – Ellie

Vintage poster JOY

February 22, 2010

Bonjour, blog-browsing-chums. It’s Monday and it’s all gone a liddle bit vintage round here.  Let’s have a peep at what is possibly the coolest poster EVER PRINTED:

I love everything about this 1930s Baldwin’s poster. The typefaces. The design. The ridiculous cure-all claims aimed at the gullible public. But most of all, the mysterious, slightly sinister phrase: ‘BAD LEGS’. It’s an absolute cracker, and I knew I’d never get tired of it when I picked it up at Alfie’s Antiques Market a few years back.

Here’s the same poster in the retro home of Irish interior designer Danielle Mac Innes, whose lovely house we featured in Ideal Home. It looks fab in a stylish see-through Habitat frame with patterned geometric wallpaper behind. If you’d like to get the look yourself, you can buy reproduction Baldwin’s postcards, magnets and signs from the wonderful Robert Opie Collection shop – and you can buy the real deal from Heatons of Tisbury. There are loads of vintage Baldwin’s posters available, featuring a host of complaints such as sour belchings, lowness of spirits, yellow coated tongue, and the rather serious-sounding spitting of blood…

The great thing is that Baldwin’s is still going strong today and has a quirky little old-fashioned shop in south-east London where you can still buy Sarsaparilla! Here are some pics of the shop’s interior. New pics are from London’s favourite shop-aholic Aussie, Wee Birdy:

And these old ones are from the Baldwin’s website:

If you’re a fan of vintage medicine adverts like me, have a look at the collection at Bonkers. There are certainly a lot of remedies here that you just wouldn’t see today! For more retro wall art, see the Keep Calm Gallery, Bold & Noble, and Garden Trading. – Ellie

I’ve just got back from Most Curious, Sanderson’s 150th birthday tea party in Marylebone Lane’s coolest shoe shop, Tracey Neuls. To mark Sanderson’s 150th birthday, Tracey has covered elegant shoes with vintage fabrics from the Sanderson archive including a quirky 19th Century squirrel design while designer Nina Saunders has created a fabulous ‘melting’ armchair installation upholstered in a beautiful blue rose Sanderson fabric from the 1950s.

The venue was decked out with an indoor silver birch forest, which was all very trendy, and woodland-chic, and all that jazz. I chatted to Nina about her amazing upholstery, and she told me that she bought the armchair on eBay for very little, then manipulated and bent the arms to create the strange flowing look. Her expert upholsterers somehow managed to cover the foam shape she carved for the base without any bumps, lumps or pleats in the fabric – incredible when you think how many creases/pleats/GENERAL ISSUES we have on photo shoots when we’re covering foot-stools or head-boards! (Thankfully PhotoShop takes care of most of them, tee hee).

Perhaps I should attempt to explain the little squirrel perched inside the squirrel shoes here…Nina Saunders is really into taxidermy (which you can see from her online portfolio…check out the fox-heads-on-the-sofa-styling…hmmmmm, no comment), so there were various little critters scattered around the installation. Including this hilarious parrot, face-down inside a beautiful emerald shoe. Curiouser and curiouser…

No self-respecting stuffed parakeet would want to get this close to my odour-eaters, that’s for sure. – Ellie

HOT BUY: Typewriter stickers

February 17, 2010

Ever wished your laptop was as pretty as a vintage typewriter? I love oldskool typing, but when it comes to sending emails, surfing the net or saving work, clearly a rickety old Corona is not much help. Laptops are practical, but they just aren’t romantic. At a typewriter, I’m a 1940s novelist – glamorous, calm, creative – with red lipstick and pearls. At my laptop, I’m just another stressed-out caffeine-fuelled Londoner with deadlines and slow broadband. Enter, stage left, the tonic to all my woes…vintage typewriter stickers to vintage-ify your laptop! (APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

Ok, so it’s a little weird. And not QUITE the same as a real typewriter. But fix the stickers either side of your mouse pad and cover the letter keys and it’s as good as it’s gonna get, folks. A set of stickers is £14.95 from Rockett St George, which has lots of other lovely new buys to check out, too…

This elegant cutlery looks ceramic, but it’s plastic – posh picnic cutlery. I LOVE it – it’s perfect for weddings/parties/packed lunches…

And have a peep at these stylish LONDON KILLS ME cushions and slate place mats. A bit Charlene Mullen-esque me thinks – VERY nice.

Rockett is also stocking some new glass chemistry flask ‘vases’ (on the right) which would look cool filled with flowers. I recently did a little photo shoot for Ideal Home with a glass chemistry beaker as a pen pot (see left!) so perhaps Science-Lab-Chic is on the horizon…?! Worth noting: you can buy inexpensive lab equipment from a school supplier if this funky look tickles your fancy!

Finally, check out this stunning Ostrich wallpaper, from Turner Pocock at Rockett. So fabulous. As is the gorgeously-worn-yet-beautiful-in-a-shabby-chic-way pink chair in this shot. ‘Enough!’ she cried, ‘TOO much temptation for one morning’! And anyway, when the first person to third person switch occurs, it’s often a sign it’s time to wrap things up, she thought to herself. – Ellie