Millions of people will be embracing all things Jubilee this weekend. B&Q have reported sales of 100,000 metres of union jack bunting and 3,100 gnomes (who buys those!?). 10,000 streets will be closed for celebrations and I’m gonna bake a Victoria sponge, eat it and wash it down with a jug of Pimms. Hurrah! For months leading up to this weekend we homes journos have been bombarded with patriotic memorabilia and homeware that’s not gonna be available for much longer, so buy it now! (Or wait til Tuesday when it’ll all be reduced). There’s a lot of tat out there but also some rather nice things that I felt worthy of a blog post. Here’s my pick of some of the best jooby booty. Have a jolly weekend! – Alice

Jubilee, Queen's Diamond Jubilee, homeware, patriotic, street party, bunting, The Queen, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys, B&Q, Sainsburys, Pedlars

1. Assorted vintage London postcards, £10.95, Rigby & Mac. 2. Queen’s Guard corkscrew, £45, Alessi. 3. Corgi apron, £22.50, Thornback & Peel. 4. God Save The Queen print, £210 (!), Pedlars. 5. British Jubilee ribbon, £4.99, Jane Means. 6. God Save The Queen shopper, £3, Cancer Research. 7. Union Jack wellies, £36.95, Joules. 8. Honeycomb tissue balls, £3.50, Papermash. 9. Queen egg cosy, £14.50, Poppy Treffry. 10. Press out London taxi, £4.50, Muji. 11. Jubilee teatowel, £12.50, Victoria Eggs. 12. Teapot, £12, Sainsburys. 13. London bus plant pot, £9.99, British Heart Foundation. 14. Trooping the colour tray, £20, Unique & Unity. 15.  Jubilee red & blue paper bags, £4 a pack, Not On The High street. 16. You Rule wrapping paper, £7.95, Nancy & Betty Studio. 17. Solar powered Queen and Corgi, £14.95, Pedlars. 18. Lizzie Allen directors chair, £89, Habitat. 19. Red striped straws, £3, Pearl & Earl. 20. Colour your own Jubilee bunting, £5.50, Art & Mable

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So, you’re after a roll of ultra-gorgeous, statement, quirky, unusual, on-trend, playful-yet-elegant wallpaper to brighten up that boring little alcove. You know the one. Where do you shop? Cole and Son? Pedlars, perhaps? My friends, the answer is much closer to home. Why, B&Q, of course. And at just £19.98 a roll, forget the alcove, baby – you can do the whole flippin’ room!

The contemporary toile design is called ‘La Vie Ordinaire’ and features city-chic scenes from London, Paris and New York, while the birdy paper with little patriotic robins is called ‘Birds of a Feather’. Reassuringly in-expensive! – Ellie

‘Posh’ paint

January 27, 2010

Check out this new range of fabulous paint colours from Laurence Llewelyn Bowen at Graham and Brown, soon to be stocked by B&Q. We’ve talked on here before about how much fun it must be to name paint colours…and it looks as though Laurence has had a ball! Touchy Tealey anybody? Exceedingly Kipling Pink? Plummy Accent? These made me chuckle…

Old School Crockery is a great name for a paint – my grandparents used to have 1950s utilitarian tableware in EXACTLY that shade of pistachio green. And Clooney is perfect for a sexy shade of grey. SIGH! – Ellie

Move over magnolia

April 7, 2009

New research released today reveals we’re injecting more personality into our homes than ever before, as the recession means we’re decorating for ourselves, not potential buyers. The survey, conducted by B&Q, showed that nearly a third of us (32%) are already using braver and bolder prints and more vibrant colours, while almost two thirds of us (62%) are planning to bring personal style into our homes. Perhaps we’re using bright colours and cheerful patterns to cheer ourselves up and beat the Credit Crunch blues, too?

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Cole & Son's Automania wallpaper is bold, bright and bursting with personality. It harks back to the swinging sixties when daring colour combinations and funky patterns were all the rage.

Industry experts have already picked up on this shift towards colour and personality. Speaking at London Design Week recently, designer Nina Campbell declared: ‘The Age of Beige is officially over. Hotel-style homes are a thing of the past – as the housing market has collapsed, fewer of us are moving, so we’re decorating for ourselves, not future buyers.’ She likened teenagers who have been brought up in the magnolia-drenched neutral homes of the Nineties and Noughties to moles ‘…emerging, blinded and blinking into a 2009 world of bright, bold colours and patterns.’

Personally, I love bright colours – even in smaller spaces, so this trend is right up my street. Check out our brilliant Ideal Home galleries for great ideas about how to use colour and pattern successfully in your home. – Ellie