Gabrielle is a designer who lives with her husband and little dog in a rural cottage in Surrey. She makes cards, cute notebooks and plantable bunting (!) amongst other things. Her business is called The Green Gables. She only uses FSC certified paper, works with local printers and suppliers, uses recycled packaging and all orders are shipped from her local village Post Office. Her cheery post card designs landed in my inbox this week and I love the simple illustrations that feature some of my favourite vintage objects…
The Green Gables, eco friendly cards, illustrations, vintage, stationery, homeshoppingspy, ideal home, alice humphrys

The Green Gables, Vintage Typewriter card, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The Green Gables, Vintage tea cup, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

he Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

he Green Gables, Vintage suitcase, typewriter, vintage, illustrations, eco-friendly, sustainable, The Green Gables, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

They’re a mere £3.50 for a mixed set of 6 and if you don’t feel like giving them away then why not use as a mini piece of wall art? Lovely. – Alice

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It’s not everyday you can walk into a shop and come out with a vintage jelly mould reinvented as a pendant lamp, a Mexican bingo set, moose shaped firelighters and a deckchair. But if you’re lucky enough to live near the market town, Corbridge in Northumberland, you can! (For those that don’t, you can of course buy online, phew!), Simon Young and Jenny Vaughan’s converted workshop (round the back of an old filling station) is a treasure trove of totally unique finds for the home. They named their shop RE after two giant metal red letters they bought in a Parisian flea market…

People, step inside and feast your eyes on these wonderful buys..

I would very much like these jolly, jelly mould pendant lamps. How lovely to hang a row of these above a kitchen table…

Vintage jelly mould pendant lamps, Re, jelly moulds, vintage, lighting, interiors, unique lighting, recycled, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Planning fodder for your Jubilee street party yet? Make sure you get yourself a set of these British Isles cookie cutters..

British Isles biscuit cutters, Re, cooking, bakeware, interiors, baking, british memorabilia, interiors, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Keep your teapot cosy with this cute pom-pom number, hand knitted in Northumberland..

Tea cosy, RE, knitted, artisan, homespun, interiors, kitchen ware, tea pot, tea, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

This red, white and blue twine will come in handy for any Jubilee/Olympic crafty projects…

Red, white and blue cotton string, RE, The Queen's Jubilee, craft, twine, interiors, DIY, homespun, ideal home, homeshoppingpspy, alice humphrys

Elsewhere there are gorgeous linen cushions, inspired by American flour sacks…

Sack cushions, vintage flour packaging, vintage, rustic, sack cloth, cushions, soft furnishings, sack cloth cushions, RE, Ideal Home, homeshoppingspy, Alice Humphrys

original 50’s and 60’s mixing bowls in pretty on-trend pastel shades..

Vintage mixing bowls, RE, kitchenware, vintage, 50's, 60's, retro, kitchenalia, interiors, baking, ideal home, homeshoppingpsy, RE, re-found objects, alice humphrys

and this ‘waste not want not’ fabric is sold off the roll, for £16 a metre. It’s 44cm wide perfect for a table runner. GREAT idea..

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Thank goodness it’s March! Spring had sprung and I’ve just bought 4 bunches of daffodils for £1 in my lunch break – hurrah! They’re currently bunged in a vase and just about surviving in our air conditioned office but what I’d really like to display them in is this…

Test tube holder, RE, vase, flower display, single blooms, Spring flowers, floral display, flowers, ideal home, RE, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

A test tube for each single stem. Ah Joy! Thank you RE. Delightful finds and next time I’m even vaguely heading oop north I’m going to take a detour and pop by. – Alice


Coastal style is always a big look for Spring/Summer. Every year at Ideal Home we’re inundated with ideas, products and everyone’s different take on the trend. It’s an easy look to live with; breezy blues, crisps whites, nautical stripes, distressed wood, driftwood accessories, fisherman’s lamps…you know the sort of thing! It’s always a treat though when smaller, up-and-coming designers interpret the trend in a new way. Abigail Edwards is a freelance stylist who recently launched her own collection of hand drawn wallpapers. Her latest Seascape design is simply dreamy..

Seascape wallpaper, Winter by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

Seascape wallpaper, Winter by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

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Available in black (Winter) and soft blue (Summer), the rolling waves are so soothing to look at, I could get lost in them for hours. This paper would look gorgeous in a bathroom, a downstairs loo or even on a house boat (I actually used to live on one!)

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

At £59 a roll, the papers are all hand drawn by Abigail and printed in Lancashire at one of the few remaining traditional wallpaper printers in the UK. When she’s not busy styling she is working on two new wallpaper designs, tiles and even table linen. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Happy weekend all. Spring has nearly sprung!– Alice

Donna Wilson is one busy lady and her homespun goodies just keep on a-comin’. Today I’ve been cooing over her new Spring 2012 collection and wanted to share with you a few highlights from her friendly ‘Woodland’ range.  Hand-made and printed in Stoke-on-Trent, Baby Burt is the newest addition to her egg cup family (joining the lovely Meg, Mog and Beardy Bob). Other bone china includes Fox and Grace the plates along with Bushy Tailed Squirrel and Grey Owl beakers. Too cute!

DonnaWilson, SS12, quirky china, knitwear, tableware, interiors, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Other items include this suitably named ‘Handy’ tea towel with bright red nails and bubbles!

Donna Wilson, Spring 2012, preview, new range, kitchen textiles, fine bone china, tea towel, egg cup, plate, Scottish textiles, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

More lovely tea towel designs include ‘Acorn Leaves’ and ‘Use My Tail’ and there are gorgeous folksy flower cushions…

Donna Wilson Spring 2012, textiles, kitchen textiles, tea towels, cushion, folk, squirrel, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrysKeep your eyes on the Donna Wilson website later this month for the full range and other happy creatures. Hurrah!

And as if she wasn’t busy enough, another piece of exciting news is a little collaboration with Rococo Chocolates. (I know, not entirely home shopping but it’s chocolate….so I can’t ignore..) Donna has created a limited edition range of hand painted Easter eggs, including her own take on the matryoshka Russian Doll called ‘Food Chain’: One little solid chocolate egg with an illustration of a carrot inside another egg painted with a rabbit, all contained within a larger egg painted with a fox. LOVE IT! Beautifully presented in pretty packaging – far too pretty to throw away.

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Donna Wilson Easter eggs, Rococo Chocolates, limited edition, chocolate, fair trade, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

For those that don’t know, this is SERIOUSLY good, ethically traded chocolate. Available this Easter from Rococo stores, donnawilson.com and other selected retailers. – Alice

If you have made the wise choice of checking homeshoppingspy today, then have we got a treat for you! You will only hear it here first, so listen up! Cachette is a new Anglo-French online store that launches this week (in both the UK and France) but until then we are giving you lucky people EXCLUSIVE access with a SECRET code letting you onto their site TODAY where you can buy before the rest of the public get there!  Scroll down for a few of my favourites and for the precious code…

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1. Storm plate, £24.09; 2. Wooden spoons, £9.55; 3. Stoneware jug, £19; 4. Blue tray, £24.50; 5. Blackboard, £31.56; 6. Wooden labels, £10.80 7. Bamboo basket, £24.09.

Founders, Delphine (French) and Stephen (English) are a couple who decided to leave their life in London and move to the south of France to set up a new home and a new business (très bon!). They wanted to put together a collection of simple, eclectic and functional products for the home, handpicking items from different European artisans and unknown designers. You’ll find stationary, bathroom accessories, gourmet food, kitchenware and toys. Nothing on their site is mass-produced, it’s all uber tasteful and the code you’ve all been waiting for is ‘HOME’. Click here and type it in (must use caps lock) If you enter the code again at the checkout you can get 10% off too. Happy shopping! – Alice

Home for Christmas

December 29, 2011

Christmas has been a bit too much fun for homeshoppingspy! I’m looking forward to returning to regular blogging next week. Meanwhile, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed from a Christmas in South Devon:

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1. A blustery walk along the coast to Blackpool Sands for pasties and chips on the beach!

Winter bike Christmas card, Etsy, Christmas, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrtys

2. I received this lovely Winter bike Christmas card, available from Etsy.

Toast, Dee Puddy, Nigella Lawson, BBC Food, Christmas, Devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

(clockwise from left) 3. Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cup cocktail as seen in Stylist. Cherry brandy, sparkling wine and ginger ale (tastes like liquid cherry drops – amazing and very festive!). 4. Chocolate mince pies. I made these for a Christmas party and they went down a storm, visit BBC Food for the recipe. 5. Pretty crackers from Toast to complete our table setting on Christmas day. 6. To add a little sparkle we used these charming nativity scene tea light decorations from Dee Puddy. I hope you all have a fun New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you on the other side. – Alice

I’m sure you remember Ellie mention Sparrow & Co. earlier on this year. Well, things have been very busy in the Sparrow household of late and Samuel Sparrow (great name!) has been creatively slaving away and his lovely on-line shop is now officially open. Once an interior designer for Habitat and Ikea, Sam now runs his own little homeware business with his wife, Laura, from their home in Glasgow. The photography and styling is beautiful and all done by the man himself:

Sparrow & Co, Samuel Sparrow, textiles, Glasgow, homeware, interiors, on-line, Moroccan, Ikat, artisan, ideal home, homeshoppingspy,1. Cableknit throw, £150; 2. Campfire candles, £20; 3. Ikat cushion covers in mustard and slate grey, £35.

Inspired by traditional crafting techniques, the collection includes handmade pieces designed by Sam and made by artisans around the world from bonnie Scotland to Morocco. Sam tells me the candles have a unique fragrance of leather bound books and gentleman’s cologne (hmmm..!) and the packaging, designed by illustrator Debbie Powell, makes me very happy indeed. You may recognise her designs from the M&S savoury snacks packaging!

Sparrow & Co. Samuel Sparrow, textiles, sheepskin rug, tealight holder, candlestick, artisan, welsh tapestry, ideal home, homeshoppingspy4. Welsh tapestry cushion, £50; 5. Tin lantern, £15; 6. Spool candlestick, from £45; 7. Sheepskin rug, £75.

handblown glasses, sparrow & co, samuel sparrow, artisan, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Notebooks, Sparrow & Co. Samuel Sparrow, artisan, Scotland, ideal home, online, hopeshoppingspy

If you are a fan of Toast, love texture and warming autumnal colours – the site is well worth a visit. Look out for some of his designs in Urban Outfitters too. Sam plans to introduce two seasonal ranges a year and hopes to launch a Sparrow & Co. dining range (handmade in England). Can’t wait to ogle over that! Personally, I will be re-visiting on a regular basis. This man knows a thing or two about tasteful design. – Alice