It’s been a crazy day here at Ideal Home HQ as I tie things up before a two week holiday. I’ve had to set myself hourly deadlines, limit chat with colleagues and keep a steady supply of drinking water to hand. Before I go and enjoy sunnier climes on the Adriatic sea, I wanted to leave you with some very happy ceramics that I came across today from Pedlars.

I love these colour dipped plates! They’re so bright and sunny. They would look great hung on the wall or make meal times even more yummy! This is an exclusive collection for Pedlars designed by graphic designer, Gail Bryson and manufactured in Portugal where all the best ceramics seems to come from.

I think they’re pretty reasonably priced, starting from £19.95 for a set of four mugs. You will have to wait though as they’re not available from Pedlars until September. Right folks, I’m going to attempt to leave the office now. The air con is shutting down and making a right racket! I will be back blogging in two weeks, hopefully with a tan and a sunnier disposition after a good dose of vitamin D.  – Alice (notice how I’ve said ‘sunny’ 3 times in this post. I think I need some…)

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It may be a grey and gloomy day but the new Autumn 2012 look book from Cox & Cox has arrived which is enough to lift anyone’s spirits (that, plus the fact that I’m off to sunny Croatia this week – yay!). Founders Fiona Cox and Lizzie Thornton-Allan have a great eye for practical and useful homewares. As a member of ‘generation rent’, I am often looking for ways to make my home more personal to me but I have to think carefully about what pieces to invest in as obviously I can’t rip out the kitchen, knock down walls or build fitted storage. So, it’s freestanding furniture all the way for me! Cox & Cox have some lovely offerings from their new collection that would do very nicely in a rented place. Here are 3 of my favourites…

French folding mirror, £75

The photography and styling is always so beautiful and gives me lots of ideas for displays around the house. I love this pretty mirror with folding shelf, it looks like a French flea market find. Perfect for the downstairs loo!

Vintage metal trolley, £145

This trolley on wheels would be great in my kitchen. Bread bin on top with wooden boards, filled Le Parfait jars on the middle shelf, vintage fruit crates on the bottom shelf for extra storage…

Wooden ladder shelf, £225

And finally, the ladder shelf. I’m looking for one for an alcove in my living room; a great substitute for fitted shelves and I love this natural unfinished wood that looks very coastal. If you’re also a Cox & Cox fan, keep an eye on their website later this month as there are tons of tempting buys. – Alice

Planning a camping trip in Wales this summer? You’d fit right in with this enamelware from Blodwen. I got a bit excited when I saw this! The classic navy and white has been given a wonderful Welsh twist, featuring the iconic ‘Caernarfon’ pattern that you normally see used in traditional tapestry blankets…

Blodwen has lots of lovely stuff. The founder, Denise Lewis, is passionate about supporting handmade Welsh craft. She designed this ‘Gwalia’ (Welsh for ‘homeland’) enamelware herself  and, although the enamel is sourced in Europe, the design and firing of the decals is all done in Wales.

1. Enamel jug, £35; 2. Mug set, £28 for 2; 3. bowl, £15.

Based in Cardigan Bay, you’ll also find woven baskets, wooden bowls, pottery, tapestry floor mats and homemade jam! Have a browse online at their delightful wares and the Gwalia is also available through Liberty. – Alice