I have some very exciting news! As from next week I can’t wait to share with you a brand new look for Home Shopping Spy. My wonderful art team and I (and our very patient, digital whizz-kids) have been creatively slaving away with lots of ideas, fonts, colours and backgrounds. The new design will be far easier to navigate, has a fresh feel and looks much more professional. There are going to be five new categories including Favourite Shops, Look What I Found and Latest Trends. The final touches are still being put in place but here’s a sneak peek screen grab for you. I really hope you like my new logo which I ended up drawing myself on an ipad using the Paper 53 app!

Stay tuned for the launch which goes live next week. – Alice

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After a two week break I’m feeling quite rejuvenated, sunny and actually a little excited to be back at my desk at Ideal Home HQ. On my return our new September issue had just arrived and if you haven’t yet bagged yourself a copy, it is packed full of stylish storage solutions and ideas to help organise your life (it’s in the shops now, hint hint!). One quick flick through and I felt overcome with calm and order. A little something to share are these two home office shoots our stylish stylists did. The first is from our Cash Clever feature on how to create a work area for less than £215…

Chair, £39, Ikea + Picture frames, £65.96, Ikea + 5 magazine files, £45, The Holding Company + Lamp, £60, John Lewis + Two jars, £4, Sabichi = £213.96. Bargain!

You may have also spotted this fab industrial style home office from our ‘Class of 2012’ decorating feature. I love the metal school-style cabinet from The Old Cinema and the lovely Conran desk for Marks & Spencer and there’s a place for everything with wall mounted storage ideas galore! No excuse for a messy desk. – Alice 

Coastal style is always a big look for Spring/Summer. Every year at Ideal Home we’re inundated with ideas, products and everyone’s different take on the trend. It’s an easy look to live with; breezy blues, crisps whites, nautical stripes, distressed wood, driftwood accessories, fisherman’s lamps…you know the sort of thing! It’s always a treat though when smaller, up-and-coming designers interpret the trend in a new way. Abigail Edwards is a freelance stylist who recently launched her own collection of hand drawn wallpapers. Her latest Seascape design is simply dreamy..

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Seascape wallpaper, Winter by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

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Available in black (Winter) and soft blue (Summer), the rolling waves are so soothing to look at, I could get lost in them for hours. This paper would look gorgeous in a bathroom, a downstairs loo or even on a house boat (I actually used to live on one!)

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

At £59 a roll, the papers are all hand drawn by Abigail and printed in Lancashire at one of the few remaining traditional wallpaper printers in the UK. When she’s not busy styling she is working on two new wallpaper designs, tiles and even table linen. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Happy weekend all. Spring has nearly sprung!– Alice

Happy flipping Pancake Day!

February 21, 2012

Wall prints for Pancake Day? Why not? I love yellow. I love lemons. I love Pancake Day and I love these prints brought to you from Etsy

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From the top: 1 & 3. Amanda Katherine Designs 2. Lajlaj – Small Cute Things 4. Freya Art 5. Eco Print. 

Hope you’re all stocked up on eggs, milk and flour. What’s your favourite topping? If you’re stuck for ideas why not try this buttermilk with lemon syrup pancake recipe as seen on Housetohome.  – Alice

TESCO SS12: THE QUIZ

October 27, 2011

Checking out the new SS12 Tesco home collection recently (all available in-store as from Feb 2012), I politely ignored the small ceramic meerkats, who now seem to grace every home collection on the high street (WHO IS BUYING THESE THINGS?! OWN UP!) and focussed instead on the new stylish designer-style statement cushions. SO. Let’s have a little quiz to see if you can sort the supermarket stunners from the costly cushions. ROUND ONE: DING DING…

Which of these attractive accessories is cheap as chips at just £8 from Tesco’s Florence and Fred collection, and which is £57 from talented textile designer Clarissa Hulse? ROUND TWO:

Which of these Uzbek-style padded pretties is bargain-acious at just £10 from Tesco, and which is £66.50 from trend-setting designer Niki Jones? Hmmm, these are getting tricky…. ROUND THREE:

Which of these Ikat (eee-cat, eye-cat, yeah, you know…) cushions in autumnal hues is a Tesco £10 trolley-filler, and which is an expensive woven beauty worth £50? ROUND FOUR:

Which of these gorgeous green mid-century scatter cushions is £8 from Mr Tesco, and which is the real deal and £50 from a vintage shop? Answers are below in a comment! All cushions are on sale as from February 2012. And that is the end of this exciting and no-expense-spent quiz. Good night. – Ellie

HOT SHOP: Zara Home

May 26, 2011

So, Cheryl’s been dropped from the X Factor, Sam Cam has a mustard-coloured Graham and Green sofa, and Marmite has been banned in Denmark. It’s clearly a slow day in the UK news-wise, so let’s entertain ourselves instead with a little look at what the lovely Zara Home has to offer…

The answer is: some bloomin’ brilliant bargains. This small Danesh rug (above) is just £19.99 and perfect for a hallway or landing. I love this new Melita rug (150cm x 200cm), too, which looks pricey, but it’s an absolute steal at just £99.99…

The rug joy doesn’t end there – check these babies out, too:

I love this navy Ikat-effect rug – It’s 170cm x 240cm and just £99.99. Hurrah! Worth noting that the whole Ikat (eye-cat? eee-cat? Help me…) trend has kicked off big time in the AW11 high street home collections, with the likes of M&S, Toast and BHS all releasing new Ikat-style ranges, but Zara Home is one step ahead with these beautiful cushions:

Elsewhere, there are beautiful accessories to be found: glass decanters and lab flask vases, quirky magnifying glasses, rustic tea towels, new golden cutlery and pretty napkins-on-a-roll…

The one item that’s got me really excited is the CECIL runner rug. It’s 70cm x 200cm (so perfect for my hallway!) and just £35.99. Perhaps my quest for a stylish but affordable runner is at an end…!

Now, pass me that marmite; I’m going to overdose on B vitamins, buy a shelving unit at OKA for all my very normal DVD box sets of ’24’, and blow-dry my hair like Daphne from Scooby Doo. It’s so hard to keep up these days… – Ellie

Designer style at BHS

May 13, 2011

Spot the difference. On the left: Maria Dahlgren’s (2008) London tray. On the right: ‘new’ autumn/winter 2011 BHS cushion. Erm…

Maria Dahlgren’s designs are really lovely and can be seen on her website, Metagram. We spotted a couple of other look-a-likes in the collection, too. The top image (below) is a close-up of a ‘new’ AW11 BHS cushion, the bottom image is a close-up of Charlene Mullen’s hand-embroidered ‘London Calling‘ cushion:

Hmmm. – Ellie