Another H&M Home preview!

January 13, 2011

I can barely keep up with the designers at H&M Home – they seem to release a new collection of home accessories every few weeks! Lots of temptation in their latest offering…

I love this butterfly cushion – I think it’s been made using the Cavallini butterfly stamp set!

Other highlights include…a black cutlery silhouette tea towel (I’ve added it to the never-ending ‘turn-it-into-a-cushion’ list…), and some American-style seafood diner pieces including runners, place mats and seat cushions that are perfect for a spot of al fresco accessorising.

H&M has embraced the current trend for all things crochet/lace with Broderie Anglaise bed linen, frilly doily-effect cushions and delicate designs.

I really like the utilitarian striped tablecloths and runners with their product names and dimensions written across them: RUNNER 45 X 150. Maybe this is what was written on the blank template that the designer started with…so, lazy or genius? You decide!

There are some cheery nautical stripes going on too, and some Mediterranean-style painterly lemon and olive accessories. All very summery! – Ellie

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Now, generally I’m not a fan of souvenirs, especially royal souvenirs (although I have a wonderful Charles and Diana plate which is so hideously tacky that it might possibly now be classified as kitsch and ironic? Perhaps…) but, with the big day mere months away, the first royal wedding themed souvenirs and photo shoots are beginning to pop up. I love these fun pics from Sainsbury’s:

No doubt Wills is crafting away even now – in between flying his helicopter and rehearsing his wedding vows – Kate probably has him chained to a desk, stamping away with his little Cox and Cox alphabet stamp set and his favourite selection of crown stamps from Ginger Pickles (no connection to his brother).

If you decide to throw your own wedding tea party on 29th April (and why not?! You don’t know them personally, I presume, but any excuse for a knees up, eh…), you’ll find hand-held paper flags galore at Sainsbury’s (£2 for a four-pack). You could even frame a photo of the happy couple and create a wedding-themed display…although this might be a step too far, even for a neurotic stylist such as myself…

Check out the recyclable paper cake stands, £4.99, also from Sainsbury’s – great for a party. If the likes of the now-notorious ASDA engagement mug don’t float your boat and you prefer to mark the occasion with some good old fashioned chores, make sure you take a peep at this new ‘I DO’ (shouldn’t that be ONE DOES?) tea towel from Swedish designer Maria Dahlgren at Cloudberry Living:

You could munch on some celebratory biscuits from Biscuiteers, paper a feature wall with the special PRINCESS paper from Graham and Brown, or buy an amusing plate from KK Outlet

And, despite the fact that it’s a spring wedding, it wouldn’t hurt to wear a pair of these cute Donna Wilson gloves. Just in case you forget what’s going on. Remember: your right hand is marrying your left hand. Erm…

If you’re on a budget, might I suggest you recreate this using a biro, straight on to your skin. It’s the royal wedding, after all. Let’s get involved. – Ellie

HOT SHOP: Sparrow & Co

January 7, 2011

The Sparrow & Co shop hasn’t actually opened yet, but Samuel Sparrow of Glasgow has already been inundated with customer queries, so he’s had to set up a temporary Etsy store while his new website is completed. Just from the beautiful photography and the carefully-selected products, I know it’s going to be a good ‘un! Right up there with the likes of Toast, I predict…

Sam has gathered together a gorgeous collection of exclusive, handmade products from around the globe – from Morocco, Uzbekistan, Asia, Central America, Wales, England and, of course, Scotland. You’ll find woollen blankets, stools, leather pouffes, and pretty candles and notebooks featuring the illustrator Debbie Powell’s gorgeous designs. It’s going to be a real treat.

Sam studied Illustration and Visual Merchandising at the Glasgow School of Art, before working for Ikea and Habitat. He’s setting up Sparrow & Co on his own (although his stunning wife apparently helps out) and the full website is due to launch in a couple of months, so keep checking his blog.

Sam told me he has lots of new products on the way including hand-turned solid walnut candlesticks, quilts sewn from vintage sari fabric and patterned papier-mâché baubles. Clearly this is a man with impeccable taste; and his global-yet-harmonious and pared-down collection reflects it. Can’t wait to see more! – Ellie


HOT SHOP: Alison Milner

January 7, 2011

Tree silhouettes are – as we say in the trade – so hot right now. Think spidery branches twisting and curling against a grey winter sky. Head to Alison Milner for beautiful prints of oak trees sketched on the South Downs – often featuring a sinister magpie or two:

I took lots of snaps of wintery trees over Christmas – I think Alison’s artwork captures the shapes of trees beautifully. She also likes retro kitchenalia…

…and leaves!

As if that wasn’t enough, Alison also makes retro bespoke formica coffee tables and cute little porcelain badges…so many treats!

Why can’t I get over my thing about crows and birds in general? Still trying to convince the boyfriend that having a big black evil-looking plastic crow (eg, from Caravan) in the living room is cool – and not in a garden gnome or Hitchcock way, but no luck yet. Also, I’m rather envious of our stylist Robin’s (appropriate name!) new Christmas gift – a pink pigeon light by Ed Carpenter. The birds, the birds, the birds! – Ellie

Let’s go INDIGO!

January 7, 2011

Got the January blues? Me too. It’s so wrong to leave a warm duvet to face the cold drizzle outside. But cheer up. Think ink! Dark twilight blues are everywhere this season – so our stylish stylists have been busy creating stunning saturated schemes for our fabulous February issue. Mix dark blue with, erm, more dark blue, with accents of, er, blue, for a dramatic, designer-style look that’s DRENCHED in colour. Just don’t befriend a Smurf. You’ll never find him.

If I had this cool TIME TELLS clock (from Heals), I’d never be late again. Perfect for people who prefer words to numbers!

This rich midnight blue paint shade is ‘Sapphire Springs 1’ from Dulux, and the pendant lightbulbs are from SCP. If you’re into your Eurodance, you might like to start humming Eiffel 65’s ‘I’m blue, da ba dee‘ round about now. Then again, that might be a step too far.

Wow – this incredible digital wall mural of a moonlit forest is £172 from Udesign – I love the elegant tree branch silhouettes:

“When Margaret would only read books with blue covers while wearing denim, Terry began to worry.” – Ellie

Wood is good

January 6, 2011

I’m completely smitten with this photo shoot from our new February issue (out now!) styled by Sarita Sharma. It’s a gorgeous pared-down look with duck egg blue, retro oak furniture and mid-century accessories. Very simple. Very chic. Very 1950s with a very 2011 twist…

Our new February issue has received a lot of love in ye olde blogosphere already and it’s only been out a few days – special thanks to the delightful and indefatigable Will of Bright Bazaar for a particularly nice review!

Lots of lovely images to tear out and keep in this issue! There’s also a huge trends report, packed full of all the latest looks and buys. Hurrah! – Ellie

Ok, so it’s just yellow and purple. But remember: this is the world of magazines. More is more. Across the road from Ideal Home‘s HQ is Kirkaldy’s Testing and Experimenting Works – an austere Victorian building with: ‘FACTS, NOT OPINIONS’ engraved above the door. Whenever I see it, I automatically think: ‘OPINIONS, NOT FACTS’. Much more fun. Art over science. So, mimosa and cassis it is!

I love this huge wallpaper map mural (showing our local area!) – it’s from Printed Space. You can get 40% off the full price at the moment using the special discount code: VintageJAN. And that cassis satchel is from Pedlars. I think it’s definitely got my name on it…

Oh, I do love a good Niki Jones folk-style cushion cover!

This deep purple ‘aubergine’ Princess Alice armchair from John Lewis is electric – and it looks stunning with the white high gloss Pop stool from M&S.

Now, you know how I feel about bell jars. This beautiful ‘Beauties Hedgerow’ dome is from Helen Musselwhite. It’s £450, but you could get a similar look with a glass cloche from Wiggly Wigglers filled with a £20 Tord Boontje garland from Habitat. This magical paper scene reminds me of Su Blackwell’s work.

Harlequin is rocking this colour combo this season, too – check out the new Tamika collection above. Yellow doesn’t have to be mellow! Mix it with smoke grey,  cassis, fuchsia pink and black – as our stylist Sophie Robinson did – for a dramatic, glamorous look. That’s how we roll. – Ellie