Love, love, love the new collection from Random Retail. Always a sucker for a nice cushion and these screen printed beauties (all handmade on the Isle of Wight) are simply tip top!

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Textile designer Joy Joliffe took inspiration from 1950s ceramics and her leafy garden to create these vintage prints. I love her attention to detail, even on the backs…

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The three designs are called Four Rose Plates, Stalks & Leaves, Lines & Spots and cost £38 each (including a good quality feather pad). And if you have a hankering for yet another calico shopping bag, they’ve also relaunched these rather fetching, limited edition designs. Lovely stuff. – Alice

Random Retail, festival collection, Joy Joliffe, cushions, screen print, mid-century, handmade, isle of wight, soft furnishings, living room, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

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If only my house had the same look as the lovely new online lifestyle shop Rowen & Wren. Everything is wonderfully co-ordinated, beautifully styled and quite frankly all items are (annoyingly) utterly LOVELY. Obviously, there is an awful lot I ‘need’ to make my life more complete. So, in sharing with you a selection of their wares I found the editing process a tricky task in itself, as it’s all so darn delightful, but here are a few of my favourites from their new Spring collection…

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, bird cushion, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

I love this sunny hand printed bird cushion and the rustic glass houses below with handsome leather straps would be perfect for the alfalfa sprouts I’m encouraging to germinate on my kitchen window sill!

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, glasshouse, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, tea pot, napkin, storage jars, coasters, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

I love the denim blues mixed with natural textures, the Swedish teapot with wooden saucer and the tactile earthenware jars/bowls with wooden lids/plates are such a good design, if not a little pricey (£108 each!). Eeeek, wouldn’t want to drop one of those.

Elsewhere, there are cosy Welsh blankets and note the sweet little Trook Hooks (made from wood wastage), now they’re only £9 each!

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, glasshouse, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, notebooks, artisan, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

I’m a big fan of metal trunks and love this bottle green colour that I’ve not seen anywhere else…

Rowan and Wren, homeware, interiors, decor, metal suitcase, Spring collection, online, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

They have a really good range of furniture and lighting too.  Their collection is split into three different looks depending on your style. Happy browsing folks. Let me know what catches your eye and tempts you to buy. Have a sunny weekend and don’t forget the clocks go forward on Sunday. British Summertime here we come! – Alice

HOT SHOP: Bhs

February 26, 2010

Bhs has been producing fabulous home accessories for a while now, but I think the new summer range is the best yet. Check out the Bohemia collection – all very pretty and feminine:

I’ve always wanted a bedroom with a door onto the garden like this…so airy in the summer. Love the shell pendant light fitting, too…

Turquoise, hot pink and bright yellow – what a fabulous combination of zingy colours! It’s a mix we were chatting about earlier today actually, in a live interiors surgery for the Times Online.

Cute towels here with a birdy theme (see more about Garden Birds in the May issue of Ideal Home!)…and what a crisp, beautiful bathroom. Shots like this make me want to paint everything in my house white and just have colourful accessories. Sigh.

Sweet appliqué cushions here – and a fabulous butterfly rug!! I’m sure we’ve admired the wallpaper collage in this location house before, but isn’t it lovely? I knew there was a reason for my obsessive stash of wallpaper samples! Have a lovely weekend. I’m off to an antiques fair in Detling, so I’ll be sniffing out beautiful things for my home and sorting through the weird and wonderful, too. I’ll take some pics for Monday. I can feel a photo-montage coming on already… –Ellie

I’m a Sacks Addict

January 20, 2010

No, I said SACKS. Indian rice sacks. French linen flour sacks. Old English wheat sacks. Colourful American ‘grain’ sacks. What-evaaa. I want sacks in the morning, sacks all day long, and sacks every night.

They make such fabulous cushions! Retro, cheery, quirky, recycled, cheap, easy to sew – what’s not to love?! I think my addiction kicked in properly a few weeks ago, when I spotted some VERY cool patterned sacks of Basmati rice for sale in a Halal butcher’s shop in south London. Of course, I like rice, but it was the sack I really wanted!! I bought one (just £8), slung it over my shoulders and trudged home with a tonne of rice on my back. Decanting the rice (into, like, a million Kilner jars) took a while BUT it was worth it – the empty sack is covered in Indian writing and bright colours, and it’s going to make a fantastic cushion!! I think this was all a step too far for the boyfriend. He thinks I am completely mental. And he’s a bit bored of eating rice, too.

Of course, new sacks are all very well. But it’s the vintage ones I really love – particularly the colourful American ones, which often pop up in vintage shops or on ebay. I’ve been hunting for two really gorgeous sacks for ages, and just bought a fabulous pair from Coast and Country Home:

The first one has a pretty orange and brown retro carnation design on it, and comes from Oregon, USA originally. It used to contain bleached pastry flour.

The second one has a lovely ‘Colonial Rose’ design and was used for ‘phosphated’ flour, which doesn’t sound very appetising! I really love this sack, because at some point somebody has traced the sewing pattern for a little girl’s apron onto the back of it, but for some reason (and luckily for me!)  they never got round to cutting it out.

Could this embody the ‘make do and mend’ philosophy any better?! It’s funny that I’m re-using this piece of sacking to make a cushion cover all these years later!

And if you prefer the simple, rustic French linen sack accessories, head to Notonthehighstreet and check out Parna‘s range. Right, it must be time for lunch, now. Basmati rice salad, anyone? – Ellie

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Are you a Tachonista?

August 19, 2009

I’ve just read in the papers that since the economy took a nose dive, facial hair has had a huge revival and is well and truly back in fashion – for men, obviously. (Not sure it’ll ever be a style statement for women!) From Brad Pitt’s trendy ‘door-knocker’ beard to Johnny Depp’s skinny ‘villain’ tache, every papp-able male celebrity worth his salt is sprouting stubble at the moment and September is now offically ‘TacheBack’ month in the UK, when blokes grow face fuzz to raise money for Cancer Research. The article went on to quote a psychotherapist who claims that facial hair is always popular during stressful times as men often ‘hide’ behind it when they’re anxious about job security blah blah blah, but by that point I had stopped reading because: firstly, I’m a girl, with no ability or desire to grow a goatee. And secondly, I wouldn’t have thought that this ‘Tachonista’ trend was one which could easily cross over from fashion to homes…but how wrong I was. Feast your eyes on this, lovely people. Now you too can enjoy facial hair in your home, regardless of your sex, with the fabulous Mr Moustache cushion, available on Etsy (where else!)

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The interchangeable velcro taches are stored in a handy pocket on the reverse of the cushion when not in use, so you won’t misplace your moustache. Choose from ‘Trucker’, ‘Gentleman’, ‘Fu Manchu’, or ‘Salt ‘n’ Pepper’. Hours of fun for all the family. – Ellie 

I went to the Natural History Museum yesterday to see the Darwin Big Idea exhibition, which was of course fascinating – I thoroughly recommend a visit before it ends on 19th April 09. It’s inspired me to go on the hunt for wildlife furnishings today and I’ve just come across Wesley Barrell’s charming new collection of bird and fish cushions:

Fish cushion, £65, Wesley Barrell

Fish cushion, £65, Wesley Barrell


bird-cage-cushion

Bird Cage Cushion, £60, Wesley Barrell

 

And how gorgeous are these bird wallpapers from The Little Greene:

Gt Ormond St parchment, The Little Greene

Gt Ormond St parchment, The Little Greene


Gt Ormand St parchment detail

Gt Ormand St parchment detail

I also bought a Bird House Painting Kit yesterday in the Natural History Museum shop, but  I’m slightly concerned that with my artistic skills I’ll scare away the birds in my garden, as opposed to encouraging them…hmmm…

Bird House Painting Kit, £9.79, NHM

Bird House Painting Kit, £9.79, NHM

I’m going to paint it and put it up in my garden this Easter weekend, so I’ll let you know if I get any ‘big ideas’ whilst bird spotting. In the meantime, as I’m sure you’re not holding your breath, check out the garden ideas section of the Ideal Home website and our top garden tips in the latest issue of the magazineEmily 

 

The great outdoors…

March 18, 2009

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Fresh tonal shades of green in the Linum cushion cover range

I’m sure you’ll agree that it only takes a little bit of sun, which is beaming through the clouds over London today, to start daydreaming about weekends relaxing outdoors. I’ve also just come across this picture of the new cushion cover range from Linum, which has added to my daydreaming!  Tonal shades of green are big news this season, in furnishings and accessories, and you can read about this trend in our April issue – I’m now green with envy – Emily