HOT SHOP: Alison Milner

January 7, 2011

Tree silhouettes are – as we say in the trade – so hot right now. Think spidery branches twisting and curling against a grey winter sky. Head to Alison Milner for beautiful prints of oak trees sketched on the South Downs – often featuring a sinister magpie or two:

I took lots of snaps of wintery trees over Christmas – I think Alison’s artwork captures the shapes of trees beautifully. She also likes retro kitchenalia…

…and leaves!

As if that wasn’t enough, Alison also makes retro bespoke formica coffee tables and cute little porcelain badges…so many treats!

Why can’t I get over my thing about crows and birds in general? Still trying to convince the boyfriend that having a big black evil-looking plastic crow (eg, from Caravan) in the living room is cool – and not in a garden gnome or Hitchcock way, but no luck yet. Also, I’m rather envious of our stylist Robin’s (appropriate name!) new Christmas gift – a pink pigeon light by Ed Carpenter. The birds, the birds, the birds! – Ellie

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HOT TREND: snow globes

October 27, 2010

I know it’s not winter yet and it’s not exactly snowing. But, the clocks go back this weekend, and the lovely new December issue of Ideal Home has just landed on my desk – so it must be close! ‘Shake it like a Polaroid picture’ – snow globes are all the rage. Snow joke. Groan.

This new A3 Papermash print is by Clare Owen – who did a Paris one last year. They’re really sweet:

Kitsch woodland creatures in snow globes can be found at the lovely Lapin and Me

…while Mary Fellows (AKA Pintuck) has been busy screen-printing romantic snow globe prints:

Head to Laura Ashley for snow globe Christmas tree decorations (in a month or so, it’s still a tad early, surely?!) and you’ll find a stylish snow globe photo frame at Dwell. Illustrator Charlotte Farmer is a snow globe fan…

Charlotte’s ‘Shake it’ tea towel is available at New House Textiles. I like the King Kong one the best! – Ellie

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