Flicking through the Seletti catalogue is always inspiring. Highlights in the current collection include giant Lego brick furniture blocks, some fabulous wooden cutlery, and gorgeous Pantone tins:

As the youf of today (apparently) say, ‘O to the M to the G’. (I can’t believe I just typed that, even in an ironic way). ANYWAY, these stunning tins are available from The Holding Company, £17 each, and look fabulous here in a craft room.

The Holding Company also stocks the cool Pantone chairs, which I’ve had my eye on for a while:

I was pleased to learn today that the dashing young Yorkshire designer, John Green (who I met at 100% Design in September and flagged up as ‘one to watch’) is about to have his fabulous Pantone ‘wall stores’ manufactured and distributed by Seletti, so we can all get hold of them, which is good news for Pantone geeks such as myself!

On a similar theme, our art department has a beautiful book of Pantone stickers, which I thought might have great Crafting Potential until I realised that to buy one costs literally HUNDREDS. So, I just flick through it every now and again and lick the pages, instead.

And until John Green‘s Wall Stores are released, I’ll just have to gaze at my little Pantone mug (House of Fraser) to get my colour fix. – Ellie

An Easter card

March 30, 2010

A little treat from the dear Lisa Stickley, who’s been busy cutting up fabric again…

…more Easter posts to follow, folks. – Ellie

Styling in the 1950s…

March 30, 2010

How times have changed. I thought you’d appreciate this vintage 1954 Ideal Home magazine, spotted by Ros in a picnic set at the back of an antiques shop:

The owner of this ‘pleasant kitchen’ obviously has a bit of a thing for vegetables…and tartan wallpaper…yum! – Ellie

Wowzers! Have you seen the latest issue of Cath Kidston‘s catalogue-cunningly-disguised-as-a-magazine?! I thought my love affair with the holy CK was at an end, and I was suffering from EFOS (Extreme Floral Overdose Syndrome), but perhaps I’m not quite over the mighty Cath yet?! Check out this gorgeous green office with sexy desk, amazing vintage map, quirky retro accessories – grrrrr, baby, yeah!

I like the little London souvenir props throughout this shoot…(it was photographed in Palace Road location house for those that care – I’d know Jane’s bright green dresser anywhere!)…and I’ve fallen big time for the gorgeous new Britannia fabric which has been used to cover the armchair…so cool. Now, we don’t usually feature fashion on HomeShoppingSpy, us being an interiors blog and all, but since this is also a DIY themed shoot – and show-cases some of the beautiful Cath Kidston wallpapers – let’s make an exception!

Oh, if only I looked as glamorous as these young rosy-cheeked gals when decorating! The sad reality is that I wear paint-spattered Primark pyjama bottoms, an old T-shirt that used to belong to the other half (MASSIVE and MINGING), and a pair of 99p sunglasses instead of goggles because I am ill-equipped and also stingy. SIGH.

Now, I’m no kill-joy, but it appears these crazy girlies have got a bit distracted from the task at hand! Check out the new Cath Kidston floor tiles in the shot above by the way – woop woop! Phew, all this hopscotch and general merriment, not to mention the mere THOUGHT of actually decorating is SO tiring – tea time! Try the handle, love…

School-boy error coming up, brace yourselves…oi, wotchit, big foot…

OOPSY. Are you a Cath Addict? If so, you’ll LOVE this chintzy bathroom…so pretty, but a TAD too much for me!

And you’ll go weak at your flowery knees for this bedroom beauty…

I leave you with the PLEASING news that Cath Kidston has just launched a collection of seeds in pretty packets, which are perfect for propping up on a shelf in a shabby-chic shed. Like anyone actually HAS one of those. But you catch my drift. Over and out, blog buddies. – Ellie

in honour of lisa stickley’s new book, made at home, (which is gorgeous and due to be published by quadrille on the 2nd of july), this post is written in lower case letters with no upper case letters at all.

the reason for this is that lisa’s book does not have any capital letters in it. i find that typing is actually a lot quicker and easier this way. perhaps that’s why she does it? or maybe her caps lock key is bust. the mind boggles. either way, her new book is absolutely delightful, as you might expect. it starts with a ‘basic techniques’ section, then covers four key areas of the home: kitchen, living room, bedroom and laundry, with step-by-step sewing projects for each.

i love the way this book is written – lisa’s quirky style shines through on every page: “for an extra posh napkin it is nice to add a buttonhole to one corner. i first saw this done on a british airways napkin from the 1960s; it is a great idea, especially when wearing a white shirt and eating spaghetti.” indeed.

the book is filled with lovely photography that inspires you to get stitching…like this cute cushion shot…

you can get your mitts on a copy of this book for £16.99 in july. – ellie

Emma Bridgewater‘s famous black and white Toast design is now less black and white, and a bit more blue and green. Observe:

Isn’t it pretty? And a bit more relaxed than Emma’s smart monochrome Toast designs. Check out the fun new tea towels on the Emma Bridgewater website designed by Emma’s mother-in-law, Pat Albeck. (Make sure you read the ‘about me’ section on Pat’s website for a fascinating history of design in Britain from the 1950s onwards and some fantastic family photos!)

What else is cookin’ at Emma Bridgewater HQ? Well, the vintage Blue Hen design has been re-introduced for Easter 2010, and the children’s mugs are looking cuter than ever. My favourite’s still the Birds range, though! – Ellie

HOT TREND: Paint effects

March 18, 2010

Grab your paintbrush and strike a creative pose, preferably with an easel and palette…painterly (if that’s a word?!) effects are going to be huge this season, dahling. Check out these new Conran Shop plates, the ‘Prova Prima’ swatch collection…

Designer Paola Navone (who has an exhibition at Few and Far at the moment, by the by) was inspired by the discarded swatch plates she found on the floors of Richard Ginori‘s Tuscan factory which were covered in casual tester spots where plate-decorators had been testing out colours. If you’re into painterly effects, pop to House of Fraser for painted bed linen that looks like a watercolour of a summery meadow…

…then head to Bhs to stock up on painted accessories like these cute salt and pepper shakers. Chouette!

And gorgeous painterly poppy plates from our friends at Anthropologie. SIGH. – Ellie

I’ve just got back from the Fashion and Textiles Museum, where I was lucky enough to see the fabulous new Very Sanderson exhibition, to celebrate 150 years of Sanderson fabrics and wallpapers. It’s a really fascinating show, with beautiful designs from the archives on display, and a clever layout that imitates the famous Berners Street Sanderson show room (now the Sanderson hotel). I particularly enjoyed looking at the retro Sanderson adverts from the past, including some fabulous 1970s ones, and checking out the new Vintage Fabrics collection of revived archive designs:

Chatting to some of the designers was very interesting, and I learnt that they’re currently working on Sanderson’s next big collection (due out in January 2011) which will be a range of six 1950s-style fabrics, inspired by Lucienne Day. Hurrah! Right up my street. I’d recommend this exhibition to any interior design addict – I left feeling very inspired. It was funny to see how the designs started off chintzy in the late 1800s, then went all funky in the 1940s-1970s, then went back to chintz-ville for the 1980s-1990s, then flipped back to retro designs like Dandelion Clocks more recently. If you go, remember to check out the gift shop at the end for Sanderson postcards, china, stationery, and cute vintage books. Very tempting! – Ellie

NEW alphabet print

March 17, 2010

They’ve only gone and done it again. Lucas Lepola and Hayley Thwaites, the dynamic duo behind the Keep Calm Gallery, have just designed another gorgeous print….if only it had been released in time for my Alphabet trend feature in our March issue!

Lucas and Hayley launched their business while still at uni and now live and work together in East Dulwich, running the Keep Calm empire. I’m impressed – they’re only 24! Sheesh. – Ellie

Spring colour scheme

March 16, 2010

The crocuses are up, the sun is shining, and I’m just admiring the new Dulux Ecosense paint palette. I love this gorgeous, sunny combination of Crushed Aloe green and Fresh Stem yellow – stunning in a living room:

I also like the wooden cuckoo clock, (did you know Argos sells one just like this now for £36.99?!) the black crow, the Muji London building bricks…the spindle floor lamp…in fact, pretty much everything here! I’m inspired… – Ellie