Ah, moquette. The hard-wearing, patterned, furry fabric that the London Underground train seats are upholstered in. (I once went to a great lecture about the history of moquette and the various designs, but there were some rather gruesome details about the bed bug problem on various tube lines and I haven’t sat down since without a quick inspection first…) The London Transport Museum design team has already covered various objects with this practical retro stuff – pouffes, headboards, cushions, even handbags – and now, they’ve joined forces with those clever upholsterers at Shoreditch studio Squint to create  a collection of limited-edition moquette patchwork sofas, which will be unveiled during the London Design Festival at Tent London:

If you visit Tent, you could win a stylish moquette armchair…and the rest of the collection will be available from the London Transport Museum’s online shop from the end of September and their bricks-and-mortar Covent Garden museum shop. – Ellie

Today, Crown has launched a new paint range called Vintage, in association with Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway. It’s a collection of 30 matt emulsions and will be sold in Homebase later this month (for £22.99 per 2.5l) coinciding neatly with the upcoming Vintage at Goodwood (well, actually it’s now at Southbank, London, cough) festival and the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. The colours are ‘inspired by music, fashion, film, art and design from the 1940s to the 1980s’ – I like their retro, groovy names such as ‘Chelsea Girl’ and ‘Free Love’, maan.

Here’s the 1970s-inspired ‘Bell Bottoms’ orange shade…and the 80s-tastic ‘Shoulder Pad Purple’ colour:

And, just for fun, here are Gerardine and Wayne (holding daffodils, of course) in what appears to be Paddington Bear’s house– Ellie

I’ve just got back from Most Curious, Sanderson’s 150th birthday tea party in Marylebone Lane’s coolest shoe shop, Tracey Neuls. To mark Sanderson’s 150th birthday, Tracey has covered elegant shoes with vintage fabrics from the Sanderson archive including a quirky 19th Century squirrel design while designer Nina Saunders has created a fabulous ‘melting’ armchair installation upholstered in a beautiful blue rose Sanderson fabric from the 1950s.

The venue was decked out with an indoor silver birch forest, which was all very trendy, and woodland-chic, and all that jazz. I chatted to Nina about her amazing upholstery, and she told me that she bought the armchair on eBay for very little, then manipulated and bent the arms to create the strange flowing look. Her expert upholsterers somehow managed to cover the foam shape she carved for the base without any bumps, lumps or pleats in the fabric – incredible when you think how many creases/pleats/GENERAL ISSUES we have on photo shoots when we’re covering foot-stools or head-boards! (Thankfully PhotoShop takes care of most of them, tee hee).

Perhaps I should attempt to explain the little squirrel perched inside the squirrel shoes here…Nina Saunders is really into taxidermy (which you can see from her online portfolio…check out the fox-heads-on-the-sofa-styling…hmmmmm, no comment), so there were various little critters scattered around the installation. Including this hilarious parrot, face-down inside a beautiful emerald shoe. Curiouser and curiouser…

No self-respecting stuffed parakeet would want to get this close to my odour-eaters, that’s for sure. – Ellie

Just back (in the pouring rain!) from the Jo Malone launch party, where flawless living-the-brand Jo Malone girls presented a  new collection of gorgeous candles – a collaboration with paint gurus from Farrow and Ball. There was great discussion and debate on the way to the launch about what we were going to see…would there be a Dead Salmon scented candle? How would Elephant’s Breath work as a fragrance? And what about Smoked Trout…Mouse’s Back…or Arsenic…? But, luckily, the scents are the same Jo Malone ones we know and love – the wax is still white, and the paint colours are just being used for the glass cups that hold the wax. Phew!

Now, I’m a traditional gal and I like my candles black and white – they ooze classic charm and can go in any room, any scheme, in front of any coloured wall. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about coloured Jo Malone candles, but the matching of scents with paint colours has clearly been given a lot of thought, and the result is a stylish collection in gorgeous, very use-able colours. Blue Agava and Cacao fragrance has been teamed with Oval Room Blue; zesty Grapefruit scent has been given Farrow Cream; Wild Fig and Cassis goes perfectly with rich Pelt purple; Pomegranate Noir is the natural partner for Eating Room Red; and Lime, Basil and Mandarin (Jo Malone’s signature scent) is combined with Breakfast Room Green. Deliciousness, indeed. They’re available from April until June 2010, from Farrow and Ball showrooms or Jo Malone. – Ellie