For years now, I have hankered after the Bluebell Sofa from sofa.com and now they’ve only gone and bloomin’ collaborated with the talented textile designers at St Jude’s Fabrics – offering even more tantilizing designs to their range.

The project is the first in a new initiative called ‘Design Lab’ which sofa.com launched as a way of supporting and promoting British design. Together they have chosen three different prints in three colourways by well known artists and printers. Mark Hearld is known for his nature inspired lithographic prints and Angie Lewin is the co-founder of St Jude’s Fabrics and creator of the lovely skeletal plantform designs:

st judes, sofa.com, ideal home, upholstery, textiles, print, limited editionLook how well they translate onto upholstery! Available on six different models from sofa.com, these are limited edition pieces and only available from their showroom so if you like what you see, don’t dilly dally! Great chair but there’s room for improvement with the shelving:

st judes, sofa.com, interiors, angie lewin, simon lewin, textiles, printed textiles, upholstery, limited edition, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

and the wingback chair (below) showcases Angie Lewin‘s fabulous hedgerow design. I love it’s mid-century style, blending in nicely with the sludgy green paint colour and retro enamel lighting…

st judes, sofa.com, interiors, angie lewin, simon lewin, textiles, printed textiles, upholstery, limited edition, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

st judes, sofa.com, interiors, angie lewin, simon lewin, textiles, printed textiles, upholstery, limited edition, ideal home, homeshoppingspyIt’s all VERY lovely. So VERY comfy and perhaps far too pretty to sit on. – Alice

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Anorak, Showpony and Roddy & Ginger are TOP OF THE SHOPS for me this week, and if you’ve not heard of them before, now’s the time to add them to your little black book, filed under: ‘GORGEOUS THINGS’. Let’s kick off with a quick look at Roddy & Ginger.

roddyandginger2Based in south east London, graphic and textile designer Virginia Armstrong designs retro bags, cushions, clothing and prints, and also stocks cute vintage items. Her latest design, Spanish Village, comes in two colourways and is inspired by family holidays in a tiny village in Catalonia and the Sardana, a traditional Catalan dance performed by young and old at village fiestas and holidays. Virginia’s designs are full of colour, warmth and fun. Check out the rest of her collection – I’ve got my eye on the cute folkdance print…

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Next stop is Anorak, run by designer Laurie Robertson. Having both been made redundant from their jobs, Laurie and her boyfriend decided to put her Royal College of Art print textiles Masters to use and launched a company they’d been dreaming of for some time, specialising in stylish homewares and outdoor accessories inspired by retro 70s camping holidays. Now, Laurie’s brother works with them too, and the company’s going from strength to strength.

anorak1I love the first range – called the ‘Kissing Animals’ collection for obvious reasons – and it’s the stags oilcloth that’s top of my wishlist. By the way, check out the horse prints – bang on trend!!

anorak2

I’m also a huge fan of Showpony. Based in Glasgow, designer Emma Henderson creates stunning screen-printed bags, tea towels, cushion covers and accessories, all with a quirky feel. I adore the ‘Hot Dogs’ cushions, but it’s the Alphabetti circus font badges that I’d really love to own.

showponyEmma makes personalised commemorative teatowels for weddings that are so lovely – mental note! There are so many designers in the UK at the moment creating fabulous, fresh work, it’s a really exciting time. From the future of design to the past…here in the office, we’re gearing up for a big party. Myself and the other Ideal Home girls are heading over to Whisky Mist soon to celebrate Heal’s bicentenary furniture collection and the new book Heal’s: 200 Years of Design and Inspiration. Tune in tomorrow for a sneaky preview of the book before it’s launched…expect a visual feast – vintage adverts, retro furniture, fascinating black and white photos and style icons galore. – Ellie

Going underground!

August 10, 2009

True, we complain. It smells, it’s too hot, it increases your chance of contracting Swine Flu by 87% * but for all our moaning, if we Londoners really hated the tube that much, we wouldn’t want to fill our homes will little reminders of it, would we?

* not scientifically verified

1908 tube map

So what is it about the tube map that makes it so iconic it was deemed a British Design Classic alongside the Anglepoise lamp and the Penguin book, no less? Perhaps if it still looked like the 1908 map above, we wouldn’t be so keen. It wasn’t until 1931 when Underground employee Harry Beck realised that, given that the trains ran below ground, it didn’t matter whether the lines on the map corresponded with the layout of the streets above, as long as they ran in the right direction and the stations appeared in the right order. And so, the diagrammatic map we know and love today was born!

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Notonthehighstreet £44.95

I love this cushion from Notonthehighstreet, which features a section of the map printed on rustic linen – it really accentuates the graphic properties of the design and reminds me of the printer friendly version of the map you can download from TFL where the lines are given patterns rather than colours. Much prettier, though not as practical when getting from A-B!

Rockett St George

And from the subtle to the not so subtle! How cool is this tube map shower curtain, brand new from Rockett St George?

Splashback

I love this quirky glass splashback recently featured on House to Home – great with the zesty orange worktop. Try Digetex if you fancy something similar.

Balcony Gardener

And after all that journeying, pushing, shoving and getting stuck in the door, there’s only one thing for it – relaxing on this tube map deckchair from the Balcony Gardener. Zzzzz…. – Bethan