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

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Styling in the 1950s…

March 30, 2010

How times have changed. I thought you’d appreciate this vintage 1954 Ideal Home magazine, spotted by Ros in a picnic set at the back of an antiques shop:

The owner of this ‘pleasant kitchen’ obviously has a bit of a thing for vegetables…and tartan wallpaper…yum! – Ellie

Heal’s 200 Years of Design and Inspiration is a romp through history, telling the story of London’s most iconic furniture store from 1810 when it first opened to the present day. Being a complete interiors addict, this is just the kind of coffee table tome I love – full of retro adverts, beautiful furniture and brilliant design splashed across every page.

heals1There are fascinating photographs from the past, showing mattresses being stuffed and delivered in the 1890s, Heal’s wartime Home Guard lining up in the 1940s, and photos of machinists sewing parachutes during the war.

heals2I really enjoyed looking at all the 1950s and 60s images in this book – there are Lucienne Day fabrics to admire and stylish adverts that ooze sophistication.

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The book looks at key people who have contributed to Heal’s over the years, from John Harris Heal, who launched a mattress-making business back in 1810, to Terence Conran and Orla Kiely who have designed for Heal’s in recent years. The design of this book is perfect – there’s enough text to convey a good amount of interesting information, but it’s the images that take the lead so the balance between words and pictures is bang on for a design book. I particularly like the black silhouette illustrations, borrowed from the V&A archive.

Picture 1But I think my favourite thing in the whole book is this little plate about ‘good taste’ from a vintage Heal’s leaflet. It’s such a good motto! Heal’s 200 Years of Design and Inspiration will be launched on Monday. – Ellie

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These cute retro ceramics from Netherlands-based Etsy seller Ninainvorm are topping the Ideal Home wish list today. Nina produces stunning hand-shaped screen-printed ceramics, screenprints and collages, as well as some vintage ‘redecorated’ ceramics – pretty china pieces that she applies her hand-made screenprints to.

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Nina is now up there with Lou Rota and friends in my ‘cutest ceramics’ brigade. And how sweet is her ‘Dear Pear’ collage? It would be a lovely piece of wall art for a child’s bedroom.

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Thinking about decals on vintage ceramics…I’ve just written a feature for Ideal Home about the amazing A4/A3 sized fabric papers available from Crafty Computer Paper. The sheets go through a normal inkjet printer so you can print any digital image you like on to fabric – just wait for the ink to dry before peeling the backing off, like a sticker, and you’re left with washable, printed fabric. I saw lovely vintage-style cushions from Rosie’s Armoire at the Country Living Fair a few months back, which were made with these sheets. ANYWAY, Crafty Computer Paper also sells decal paper, designed to transfer images easily to ceramics and candles etc, so I’ve ordered some and I’m going to have a bash at updating some vintage tea plates next weekend! – Ellie

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