Mon dieu, Paris-based textile designer Anne Hubert has been busy of late. If you haven’t encountered her work before (you might have spotted her Eiffel Tower tea towel and Bambi cushion at Rockett St George without realising it was from her studio…), you need to. As soon as possible.

Anne first came to my attention when she wrote ‘Customiser‘ (or ‘The Left Bank Look‘ as it was re-named for English speakers,) – a gorgeous collection of craft projects. Anne’s styling is so quirky and amusing – tea towels have never been so much fun! I love her new products, too – particularly the Moustache cushion. It’s genius:

La Cerise Sur Le Gateau (charmingly translated as ‘The Sherry On The Cake’ on the website – all the best cake contains sherry as well as cherry I find) has such a wonderful array of lovely things, all shot in such an imaginative way. I think it could become one of my favourite shops…

I’m loving the whole put-shoes-on-chair-legs thang. Instant anthropomorphisation. Tasty.

This last shot really is the cherry on the cake:

Mmm. Le lapin. Mon plat préféré. – Ellie

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Make a cameo

November 17, 2010

Our clever intern Laura has been crafting for the Ideal Home website this week and made this beautiful Victorian-style cameo from a digital photo:

Want to make one yourself? Follow Laura’s step-by-step guide here. You could make one for every member of your family and arrange them in a group for a really striking display. Thanks, Laura! – Ellie

Old school RULES

November 16, 2010

Typing like a woman possessed today, frantically trying to finish features. I pause briefly, to bring you news of this stunning recycled ruler lampshade  (designed by Rory Dobner and spotted in Roost Living‘s upcoming spring/summer 2011 range)…

I bought a load of old rulers at a junk shop recently – and now perhaps they’ll have a purpose in life again. I’m sure my PVA attempts wouldn’t be a patch on the one above though! Vintage rulers, if you like ’em, are available at shops such as Present and Correct and on ye olde eBaye of course, as well as at a car boot sale near you…

Boston-based Malcolm Studio upcycles vintage advert rulers into smart storage boxes…

…while the home-owners on the US cover of the new Decorate book (by writer Joanna Copestick and blogger Holly Becker of Decor8 fame) prop vintage metre sticks up in the corner of their lovely living room:

I won’t dwell on this, but I much prefer the US cover to the UK one! Even the fonts are nicer on the US one! Sigh. Right, I’ve gotta dash. Skirting boards to paint – oh, the glamour! – Ellie

Doctor, Doctor

November 8, 2010

At the Cath Kidston spring/summer press show last week, I spotted this brand new retro First Aid tin, which will be available early next year.

The cartoons all seem to be First Aid related – apart from the football picture bottom left. But perhaps there is about to be a terrible Eduardo da Silva style accident!? The style of the cartoons reminds me a bit of the classic NO PETTING sign that used to be to in all public swimming pools during the 70s and 80s…

…which you can buy in poster and tea towel form at Pedlars these days. Lots of shops sell cute First Aid kits and tins – here’s a HomeShoppingSpy round up to save you shopping around:

1 = Slate tin, £16, Garden Trading. 2 = Keep Calm and Carry On Kit, £10, John Lewis. 3 = First Aid Tin, £7.95, Dotcomgiftshop.

4 = Retro Medicine Cabinet, £35, Rose and Grey. 5 = Vintage Beano Wild & Wolf First Aid Kit, £9.95, John Lewis. 6 = Ladybird First Aid Kit, £9.99, The Gifted Penguin. 7 = Pharmacie First Aid kit, £16, Debenhams. 8 = First Aid Box, £13.95, The Chic Country Home at Notonthehighstreet.com.

9 = Gisela Graham First Aid Box, £13.95, ToysandInteriors. 10 = Large Red Medical Storage Box, £29.99, The Contemporary Home. 11 = White First Aid Box, £22, All Up and On. 12 = Emergency Tin, £2.95, Dotcomgiftshop.

13 = Premier Secours Medicine Cabinet, £39, The Holding Company. 14 = Medicine Cabinet, £90, Country Cream. 15 = Medicine Cabinet, £50, Graham and Green. 16 = Thomas Eriksson Cross Medicine Cabinet, £595, Design Shop UK. Ouch! That’s a painful price! Let’s soothe the sting with this ‘get the look for less’ cross tin from Store, instead…

Nice to see this tin in it’s natural habitat here before it was captured and tamed. What’s with the ‘in-the-wild’ photography?! I suppose if you’re a scout or something…

I found a lovely vintage First Aid box (very similar to the one above) at a car boot sale for 50p recently! It contains some 1940s First Aid instructions, old bandages (not used!) and some wartime Air Raid advice pamphlets. It’s got much more character than the ice cream tub I used to store plasters in! – Ellie

It launches a week today, but we’ve tracked down the spring/summer H&M Home collection to bring you an exclusive preview! It’s really cheered me up on this grey November day…

Check. Out. This. Bed linen. The colours are so gorgeous, I had to pop to the Dulux website to create a matching springtime palette. Delicious. This colour combo reminds me of Mulberry’s Sobrani design – see the H&M cushion bottom right and the Mulberry one bottom left! (FYI: The H&M one is £2.99. The Mulberry one is £100.)

Elsewhere in this collection, there are doormats…

Beautiful bed linen sets…

Cute botancial and zigzag cushions…

Towels and bath mats with a vintage look…

Fun vegetable table runners and tea towels (perhaps it’s because of my new allotment, but these have got me VERY excited!)…

And lots of other lovely little things such as storage containers, tea-themed and floral tea towels and vintage-style table runners to die for…

Eee by gum, there’s nowt like a new collection. On Tuesday, we checked out the new Oxford Street H&M Home store (at 174 Oxford Street if you’re in London) – well worth a visit. The system in-store is a bit like Argos – you collect little magnetic photos of the products you want as you go round the store, and stick them to a magnetic board (your shopping trolley) then collect your goods at the till when you pay. Genius! – Ellie





In the red

November 3, 2010

I hear there’s a chilli winter ahead. Boom boom…

If you were sensible enough to get your mitts on a copy of our October issue a few weeks back, you’ll have already seen these lovely images. If not – here’s a little taster of the kind of fabulous decorating schemes you’re missing out on every month! The wallpaper in this retro-tastic dining room is Dandelion Mobile, £55 per roll from MissPrint. The table and bench are from John Lewis.

RED ROOM RED ROOM RED ROOM… (I recently watched The Shining. It hasn’t disturbed me at all.) I love this scheme. Dark grey and red. Yum, yum yum. The grey paint here is Clouded Slate by Dulux, the curtain fabric is Connections in Chilli, from John Lewis. The EDIBLE ‘Revival’ coffee table is also John Lewis.

I love this Lego paintable wallpaper, just £6.98 per roll from B&Q‘s Superfresco range. The bulldog lamp is from Ben De Lisi at Debenhams (who else?!). The rug and bedside table are both M&S and the bed linen is Bed By Conran’s Domino range at House of Fraser.

Swing back to the Seventies with Harlequin‘s Lagoon wallpaper, a Retro Blocks rug from Next and a hanging chair from The Cow Shed. The wall storage boxes are just £25 for three from Tesco Direct. What a bargain! – Ellie


HOT TREND: Anatomy

November 2, 2010

If you’re squeamish, look away now. This trend’s gory, medical, macabre and PERFECT for Halloween. Shame I forgot to post it on the 31st really. Hmm. It is now the 2nd of November, alas. In fact, it’s nearly the 3rd. But bear with me…

Let’s kick things off with a quick visit to the mama of industrial and retro buys, Elemental, for stunning vintage ‘Elementary Physiology, Hygiene and Ambulance’ posters. The colours are vibrant, but the diagrams are not for the faint hearted. This is science-chic at it’s peak!

We’ve admired RE‘s skeleton plates AKA Bone China before on here (darn it, I knew I should have saved them…) so let’s move swiftly on to more macabre, medical buys:

Clockwise from top left: Heart model and skull objet from Ben Pentreath; a blingy diamanté-encrusted skull from Dwell; and vintage cream/paste pots and medicine bottles from Retropolitan. I have one of these old medicine bottles in the bathroom. I googled the strange name on it and found it used to contain a kind of medicine for measles. But it still looks very pretty with a flower stem in it!

Phrenology’s always fun at parties. (I made that up). So, I love this Phrenology Print from Mary Evans on Amazon. You can get a large, ceramic Phrenology head from Amazon, too. I’ve studied this head in detail and I still can’t find the area of the brain that controls ‘strange trend-related shopping decisions’, but there must be one. Surely. Here’s a £5 tea towel from RE – ripe for framing, me thinks…

If you like all things gory and live in London (or even if you don’t – there’s a ‘virtual tour‘ to check out!) you must visit the Old Operating Theatre in SE1.

It’s a fascinating place – and the process of ‘digitising’ the museum’s collection of hideous instruments, pill boxes, bottles and operation-related bits and bobs is underway. Sadly, it seems to involve a slightly out-of-focus camera…but you can see all the photos online in their new gallery which is interesting to browse, niggles aside. I’ll spare you the amputation saws and the more scary-looking ‘tools’ in case you’re eating, but here’s a sneaky peep at what’s on display:

Check out the Old Operating Theatre online shop to buy syringe pens, anatomical key rings, life-size skulls and a postcard featuring ‘the absolute cure for an in-growing toe nail’. It’s too horrible to repeat. But it involves a hammer. With this trend, it’s best to stick to just one or two accessories I feel. Unless you’re up for turning your living room into an apothecary shop à la Sibella Court, who pulls it off nicely. If you are, throw caution to the wind – stuff your bell jars full with curiosities, deck the halls with taxidermy, arrange a human skeleton on your sofa and sit back to sip tea from a vintage Victorian sputum mug. Milk? Sugar? TB? – Ellie