HOT SHOP: Caravan

October 20, 2010

Last week, when I wasn’t bopping along to IKEA‘s ‘You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties‘ Jona Lewie advert,  I managed to bop on down with House to Home to stylist Emily Chalmer’s eclectic shop Caravan, on London’s Redchurch Street. It gets better every time I visit. And this time I actually remembered my camera for once…

The vintage-themed, quirky buys are watched over by the enormous, resident, ginger shop cat: ‘Bagpuss’. Every shop should have one, really. He’s such a cool cat, he hangs out with glowing Bambi lamps and wears a neck scarf:

Following on from last week’s floorboards post (and thanks so much for all your fabulous advice – much appreciated!) Emily told me that her floors are painted a very forgiving but stylish off-white colour – Dulux Trade floor paint in 1002Y, ‘fashion finish’ – mental note! There’s something else for me to obsess about…as well as large golden ants in jars…

Emily revealed that she’s been working on a new book called ‘Modern Vintage’ due out in February 2011 – can’t wait to see it. If Flea Market Style is anything to go by, the new book is sure to be right up my street.

Caravan has something lovely to admire, wherever you look! Emily kindly gave me some little rusty wings to put on candles – you can see them on the angelic blue candle in the bell jar below left…

Still not sure how I feel about Bambi and his little glowing friends…but the bird cages are definitely on my ever-growing wish list! – Ellie

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RIDICULOUSLY beautiful rooms

January 12, 2010

Mmmm, I’m veritably salivating over these stunning new pics, from our friends at Fun on the Floor. Not only do they prove that even though dark-stained or white-painted floorboards are LE NORM these days, crazy coloured carpets can still be cool…they also confirm for me that painting your skirting boards the same dark blue-grey shade as your walls looks AMAZING if you’re brave enough to do it. But tragically, I’m still plucking up the courage to get rid of my white eggshell woodwork!

Now, don’t you just love it when your trend fore-casting is backed up by some good, hard, solid evidence the following season? Lisa and I were high-fiving when we saw these pics and clocked: an owl; a glass bell jar; an Anglepoise lamp; horses; antlers; Union Jack flags; and even Alice in Wonderland accessories (you’ll have to buy our April issue in March for this one!)

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check these out…so many lovely ideas:

This is still my favourite colour combo – dark grey walls with hot Bollywood fuchsia pink and rich mustard yellow – grrrrr, baby, yeah! And the pink bike is DIVINE.

I thought I was over the whole Deborah Bowness books wallpaper thing. But this room looks fab with a whole wall covered in it, not just a measly strip or alcove. So perhaps I’m not quite over it yet! LOVE the rustic wood sideboard too – anybody know where it’s from?!

Mmmm, more dark walls and bright coloured accessories. We LIKE. The lamp in this pic reminds me of some cool paper-covered ones at The Hospital club, or the funky patchwork ones from Lisa Watmough at Squint. (I have an old lamp, some PVA and some pretty Origami papers all ready for my own attempt…!) In fact, while I’m on the subject of Lisa, let’s take a quick peep into her home. I bet her skirting boards are all painted dark…

They are! But her floorboards are white, so this lightens the look I guess. Erm, I don’t like to moan when I’ve pinched pics BUT check out the lamp wire in the armchair pic – eeek, stylist, hide that cable!! Anyway, back to the Fun on the Floor pics…and lookie what we have here…

More painted skirting boards!! It must be a sign! I love the red and grey combo here – so brave but OH-SO cool. Let’s finish with a pretty pic of a girly bedroom. I particularly like the heart on the wall in this shot just made of paper. Simple and sweet – and a nice Valentines idea! – Ellie

The bell jar obsession

November 25, 2009

There’s an atmosphere of slight hysteria in the office today. It might have something to do with the arrival of a scratch ‘n’ sniff Yankee Candle press release (low-lights include  ‘Strawberry Buttercream’ and ‘Tutti-Frutti’…), or perhaps it’s the news that two of the most lovely home brands, Farrow & Ball and Jo Malone, are teaming up to launch an exciting new collection next week? (We’ll keep you posted!) Then again, perhaps it’s the thought of today’s annual Cath Kidston sample sale that’s getting us all a bit over-excited. For me though, it’s bell jars that are floating my boat today…

Whether it’s ogling the gorgeous bell jar displays in London’s hippest Shoreditch shops, Comfort Station and Caravan, or staring longingly at the stunning pages of Australian stylist Sibella Court’s new book Etcetera (which has just landed on my desk. Hurrah, hurrah! Hopefully we’ll show some pics on here soon – it’s due out in April in the UK. For now, check out her shop The Society Inc for a flavour or click here for a preview…), I seem to be surrounded by glass domes filled with curious objets…and I’m hooked! This all ties in with the current vogue for dark romanticism, macabre Victoriana drama and dusty museum display cases – something we’ve discussed before. All very Darwin. All very Gothic. All very dead. Of course, you don’t have to fill your bell jar with beady-eyed taxidermy or creepy skeletons…dried hydrangeas, vintage silk ballet pumps and mercury glass candlesticks would all look lovely. Or you could always opt for a little china bird. For reasonably-priced bell jars, see yesterday’s hot shop, Dee Puddy (£22 for a large 30cm one), Hibbitt, or Crocus. If you can wait until springtime, we spotted a fab little glass bell jar in the new Sainsbury’s spring/summer 2010 collection for just £7.99! Bargainous, to be sure. Of course, garden cloche bell jars DO look a bit like boobs, and they don’t come with bases – but a glass cake plate does the trick. Vintage lab bell jars with bases are REALLY expensive, even on eBay, tragically.

Here’s a cute bell jar pic from The Guardian to add yet more fuel to my bell-jar-obsession fire! I really can’t stop thinking about bell jars. Perhaps I’m actually losing the plot. Or maybe I’m just high on ‘Tutti Frutti’ scratch ‘n’ sniff…– Ellie