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


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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


A handy trend

March 16, 2010

It’s Tuesday, and it’s trend ‘o’ clock, so let’s check out the current vogue for HANDS…

Printer’s vignette-style pointing hands were hugely popular in the early 1920s when Avant Garde Dada artists used them in their typography work…you can see these Dada hands at London’s Tate Modern in the Van Doesburg exhibition at the moment. Above left, check out the Dada pointing hand, then above right, see the latest limited-edition letterpress prints to grace the range at Pedlars. I like the handy signage in Borough Market, which is near the Ideal Home office…

The print producers at New Tricks Editions are bang on trend with this new LOVE print…

It’s not just pointing hands that are popular – it’s hands, generally! Check out these slightly-creepy-but-cool hand magnets at Rockett St George

and handy hand hooks for hanging…

The lovely people at RE conveniently sent me this gorgeous little hand-themed notebook last week – with henna-painted hands, sign language symbols and some hand-related sayings…

Let’s end on a slightly macabre note; this image brings a whole new meaning to the words HAND SOAP:

There’s something so disturbing about these little baby hand soaps. They remind me of spooky doll body parts you often see in the dusty corners of a junk shop – eurgh! Weirdly, we’ve just been sent a press release about some melting baby doll candles at Bougies la Francaise, and I spotted scary severed doll head candle holders (apparently, he’s called ‘Little Joseph’) at Utility Design yesterday. Sinister! – Ellie

Foxy wallpaper

March 15, 2010

Good news, wallpaper addicts! Turkish company Studio Nommo has just launched an online shop and now delivers wallpaper internationally, so you don’t have to live in Istanbul to get hold of some of the coolest wallpapers around…

This new collection of papers features designs from young and inspirational designers and illustrators – it’s a real breath of fresh air. It’s hard to choose but my favourite is this magical foxy design by Ashley Alexander…it reminds me of Cole & Son’s Woods wallpaper, but with a twist! It would look great in a children’s room.

I love the way these designers treat wallpaper as a canvas for pictures…no boring repeated leaves/flower patterns in sight here…instead, you’ll find illustrations that tell stories; houses, sunbathers, typewriters, windows…

Check out this blackboard-effect computer wallpaper – who knew technology could look so good? And I’d love a feature wall of the teapots and kettles paper in my kitchen…

Pop along to the new Studio Nommo website to see the full range and explore the designers in more detail. You can also shop for gorgeous wall stickers, and design your own wallpaper by uploading an image or photo – just remember to click the ‘English’ language button on the home page, or you’ll be a bit confused by all the Turkish. Like I was. For quite some time. Oh dear… – Ellie

Cute ceramics

March 13, 2010

Spring has sprung…

…and this lovely new pic from Bristol-based ceramicist Hanne Rysgaard makes me want to banish all ugly plastic Tesco milk bottles from my life!  – Ellie

TREATS for Friday

March 5, 2010

Apologies for the lack of blogging action this week, chaps, but life has been very busy at Ideal Home HQ. To make up for our absence, here are a few LOVELY things to end the week with…

Perfectly pretty cupcakes from new Kent company Estella Cupcakes

Some cute new products from Brit mail-order company Patchwork Harmony, including vintage tiles, chair place-card holders, and stylish vintage children’s alphabet blocks…oooh, there’s nothing quite like a Malted Milk…

Pretty Mother’s Day rosette cards from Bluebell 33

Lovely retro Roberts radios in NEW colours: Leaf, Cocoa, Duck-Egg, Cassis, Saffron…

Lastly, Australian bed linen company KAS is launching in the UK this spring. Check it out…

Have a lovely weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a very HAND-y post. – Ellie