Royal Wedding wardrobe

February 24, 2011

Imagine waking up to a big Willy every morning…

Words. Cannot. Express. How. I. Feel. About. This. Available in pink or grey from Spaceslide. I kid you not. – Ellie


Nathan & MissPrint team up

February 23, 2011

Oh, I do like a retro chair with sexy legs and I do like a 1950s-inspired dandelion print with a slightly-Scandi feel – especially when it’s in a fetching shade of mellow yellow. So, dear reader, I was THRILLED to hear that Nathan Furniture has teamed up with one of my East London favourites, MissPrint, to produce some very exciting upholstered treats such as this stunning Monty chair in Dandelion Mobile. Check it:

In the words of Veruca Salt, I want it now! But it’s £595, so I might just have to print out a picture and staple-gun it to my trusty Ektorp Jennylund. There’s plenty more retro deliciousness to be had at Nathan, so do have a peep if you’re that way inclined. – Ellie


Posh (plastic) plates

February 17, 2011

For years, our boring-but-practical melamine ‘picnic-ware’ has suffered. It’s shoved in the hardest-to-reach kitchen cupboards, unloved. Reserved for picnics and camping, it’s pulled out once or twice a year, used and abused (if it doesn’t melt beside the campfire, it gets scratched by sand or lost in the park…) then left to gather dust somewhere cobwebby and dark. But recently, melamine has had a make-over; It’s still cheap, but now it’s chic. In fact, some of it is so chic, it’s worthy of being hung on your wall with a sticky disc as art – I’m thinking of the likes of Thomas Paul at Supernice and the African-style French Bull range. Note to self: Melamine plates are fab for hanging because they’re light – very handy if you have plasterboard walls. Anyway, The National Gallery has cottoned on to all this, and has just released a collection of the poshest plastic plates we’ve ever seen…

…with portraits from the likes of Rembrandt and Cranach. You’ll find them all at Whitbread Wilkinson (AKA W2 Products) in May. Fabulous for a decadent dinner party. Perfect for your very own home ‘gallery’ – paint a wall dark grey or neon pink (?!) for a contemporary feel, hang them up, then try to memorise who’s who to impress your guests. The big platter is £12, dinner plates are £6 each and side plates £5 each. Just watch out for the eyes; You know they’ll follow you around the room… – Ellie

HOT TREND: Safari

February 17, 2011

Don your khaki trousers, grab a pair of binoculars and imagine you’re in a LandRover, not an office – today, we’re hitting the dusty savannahs to check out this season’s safari designs…

Think lions, zebras, elephants and giraffes…I love this cute wall decal from Decosticker. Working clockwise: a zebra chair from BHS (very Peter Stringfellow/Kat Slater), bargain faux-fur animal-print accessories (throw, cushion and picture frame) from Tesco Direct, and a tasty safari map cushion from our dear Africa-obsessed friends at Anthropologie

Any excuse for a spot of Turner Pocock wallpaper (top left) – this Zebra design is one of my favourites. Everything else here is from Anthropologie – I can’t help thinking the design team must have had an epic field trip to Africa – it’s difficult to find something that’s NOT safari-related there this season!

Let’s end with Sue Timney‘s stunning ‘Menagerie’ cushion – part of her new home collection for House of Fraser, hitting stores early April. It’s covered with brightly-coloured exotic animals and insects – a bit like Victorian engravings with a modern twist. I love this style – and once read a novel just because the cover had Victorian animal engravings on it. That’s how shallow I am. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of Sue Timney’s range – there are monochrome cake plates, glamorous striped lamps and quirky Fornasetti-style ceramics. Not very safari, granted, but let’s sneak it in here anyway:

Now, THAT’S a cake plate. If you can’t get enough of Sue’s quirky style, and fancy dressing up as a barcode, don’t miss her current exhibition: “Sue Timney and the Design of Timney-Fowler“, at the Fashion and Textile Museum until 25 April. – Ellie

HOT SHOP: BHLDN launches

February 14, 2011

Normally, we wouldn’t get away with this sort of thing on here, but it IS Valentine’s Day, so let’s break some rules. BHLDN – the new vintage wedding shop from those clever Anthropologie people – is now OPEN.

Now, I don’t know what they’ve got against vowels, but let’s not nit-pick. This is a beautiful website with GORGEOUS products and we should all rejoice on this marvellous day. Dresses, gloves, accessories, jewellery – it’s possibly the most exciting wedding website ever. I particularly like the ‘inspirations’ section, which contains vintage wedding photographs found in a dusty trunk in Belgium…

What a wonderful tache. BHLDN is live now – check it out. I fear it’s going to be ‘vry, VRY tmptng’. – Ellie


Plenty of excitement here at Ideal Home HQ today because the lovely H&M Home picnic-ware and general ‘high summer’ nonsense has been released…

“Rupert was disappointed to see that Beryl hadn’t paid much attention to his ‘travel light’ advice before their epic Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride.”

Ah ha, a bit of the old ‘more is more’ school of styling here… I’m wondering how the magical picnic people managed to transport all this gubbins on just two bicycles, but perhaps they spend their days balancing cupcakes on ladder steps etc rather than worrying about such things.

“‘Sod this styling malarky’, said Beryl as she whipped off her tangerine bikini for a spot of post-cheese-feast skinny-dipping in the North Sea.”

Why have one lantern when you can have nine? Why have one loaf of bread when you can have three? Glad to see my favourite grain sack designs have made it to the summer range – I love the picnic cloth – and it’s just £7.99!

“Setting up camp in Whitby Bay for the night, Beryl wasn’t impressed by Rupert’s ‘shelter’, but at least she still had her hang-in-the-wardrobe bottle holder to make it feel like home.”

Elsewhere in the high summer collection, there are are funky towels, cool cutlery design melamine trays and accessories with McDonald’s staff slogans. Have a nice day! – Ellie

Having a book day today! This one’s due to be published in September 2011 – yes, it’s the lovely (I expect!) Liberty Home Sewing Book. My prayers have been answered:

Good old Quadrille. This looks set to be a veritable Liberty-fest, packed full of sewing projects for the home, all designed to show-case the beautiful Liberty print fabrics. Elsewhere at Quadrille this year…Cath Kidston‘s been busy – following on from ‘Stitch!’, ‘Sew!’ and ‘Make!’, she’s launching ‘Patch!’– a collection of patchwork projects, as well as ‘Knit!’ and ‘Crochet!’ kits. The exclamation marks really motivate me…I feel as though Cath herself is barking crafting orders at me. Whatever next? COOK! BAKE! CAMP! DANCE! PLUMB?!

Another Quadrille highlight on the horizon (due out in September 2011 again) is ‘A Place to Live’, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway’s ‘Manifesto for the Modern Home’ in association with Charlotte Abrahams. Described as ‘a call to arms’, this book contains essays, case studies and fact files, exploring the relationship between design, home and community. It calls for a new attitude towards design and ‘aims to kick-start a creative insurgency’ that will result in homes and communities designed to benefit all of us and change the way we live forever. Deep stuff. – Ellie