Ok, so it’s just yellow and purple. But remember: this is the world of magazines. More is more. Across the road from Ideal Home‘s HQ is Kirkaldy’s Testing and Experimenting Works – an austere Victorian building with: ‘FACTS, NOT OPINIONS’ engraved above the door. Whenever I see it, I automatically think: ‘OPINIONS, NOT FACTS’. Much more fun. Art over science. So, mimosa and cassis it is!

I love this huge wallpaper map mural (showing our local area!) – it’s from Printed Space. You can get 40% off the full price at the moment using the special discount code: VintageJAN. And that cassis satchel is from Pedlars. I think it’s definitely got my name on it…

Oh, I do love a good Niki Jones folk-style cushion cover!

This deep purple ‘aubergine’ Princess Alice armchair from John Lewis is electric – and it looks stunning with the white high gloss Pop stool from M&S.

Now, you know how I feel about bell jars. This beautiful ‘Beauties Hedgerow’ dome is from Helen Musselwhite. It’s £450, but you could get a similar look with a glass cloche from Wiggly Wigglers filled with a £20 Tord Boontje garland from Habitat. This magical paper scene reminds me of Su Blackwell’s work.

Harlequin is rocking this colour combo this season, too – check out the new Tamika collection above. Yellow doesn’t have to be mellow! Mix it with smoke grey,  cassis, fuchsia pink and black – as our stylist Sophie Robinson did – for a dramatic, glamorous look. That’s how we roll. – Ellie

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Skulls, insects, diagrams of horrific medical instruments, Victorian-style Darwin-esque etchings and Natural History sketches are all over the world of design at the moment. Let’s call this trend: Macabre. It’s dark. It’s gothic. It’s black. It’s creepy. Think of a dusty museum display case in the 1800s – full of spidery death and decay; skeletons, faded labels, stuffed birds with beady eyes, sad rows of dead butterflies, scientific diagrams of insects, plants and animals – all lifeless.

Re-found Objects/NorthumberlandHas this dark romanticism got something to do with 2009 being the bi-centenary of Charles Darwin’s birth? Perhaps. But whatever the roots of this dark trend, I’m LOVING it all. RE, one of my favourite shops, has embraced it with relish, launching a whole new ‘Macabre’ collection, with vintage plates covered in skulls, eyes, snakes, scorpions, lizards, lobsters and spiders, as well as insect napkins.

Re-found Objects/Northumberland

Re-found Objects/NorthumberlandAlso, check out their ‘Esquire’ notebooks with sketches of lethal-looking barber’s and dentist’s tools as well as some less-scary brushes. Their ‘Gardener’ notebooks and ‘Cook’ books all feature similar Victorian etchings, too.

mensware

notebooks REThe recent revival of the glorious Pictorial Webster’s – A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities might have contributed to the current obsession with flora, fauna, and dead things sketched or etched…

Picture 20Picture 19Featuring over 1,500 engravings that originally graced the pages of Webster’s dictionaries in the 19th century, this chunky volume is absolutely fascinating. Meticulously cleaned and restored by fine-press bookmaker Johnny Carrera, the alphabetically-arranged engravings show everything from Acorns to Zebras, Bell Jars to Velocipedes – a Victorian list of ‘curiosities’. Crafting fans will be as excited as I am about the rubber stamp set that features these fantastic images…and the A-Z wall cards are CRYING out to be framed as wall art, or propped up in nurseries and designer offices…

pictorial webster's stamp set

pictorial webster's wall cardsThese cute cards also tap into another trend we’re seeing emerge – the Alphabet trend – but let’s not complicate things with all that now!! Having a quick look for some high-street Macabre buys, I spotted a black skull candle in Paperchase, a skull cushion in Dwell, and some funky flock skull wallpaper from Barbara Hulanicki at Graham & Brown

skulls

I’ve been a fan of the Victorian-style sketched jewellery at Paraphenalia for a while now, and it fits in with this look perfectly!

paraphenalia

Let’s end with this pretty butterfly calendar from Anthropologie. Have a lovely, if a tad macabre, weekend. – Ellie

butterfly calendar