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!

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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

It’s not everyday you can walk into a shop and come out with a vintage jelly mould reinvented as a pendant lamp, a Mexican bingo set, moose shaped firelighters and a deckchair. But if you’re lucky enough to live near the market town, Corbridge in Northumberland, you can! (For those that don’t, you can of course buy online, phew!), Simon Young and Jenny Vaughan’s converted workshop (round the back of an old filling station) is a treasure trove of totally unique finds for the home. They named their shop RE after two giant metal red letters they bought in a Parisian flea market…

People, step inside and feast your eyes on these wonderful buys..

I would very much like these jolly, jelly mould pendant lamps. How lovely to hang a row of these above a kitchen table…

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Planning fodder for your Jubilee street party yet? Make sure you get yourself a set of these British Isles cookie cutters..

British Isles biscuit cutters, Re, cooking, bakeware, interiors, baking, british memorabilia, interiors, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Keep your teapot cosy with this cute pom-pom number, hand knitted in Northumberland..

Tea cosy, RE, knitted, artisan, homespun, interiors, kitchen ware, tea pot, tea, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

This red, white and blue twine will come in handy for any Jubilee/Olympic crafty projects…

Red, white and blue cotton string, RE, The Queen's Jubilee, craft, twine, interiors, DIY, homespun, ideal home, homeshoppingpspy, alice humphrys

Elsewhere there are gorgeous linen cushions, inspired by American flour sacks…

Sack cushions, vintage flour packaging, vintage, rustic, sack cloth, cushions, soft furnishings, sack cloth cushions, RE, Ideal Home, homeshoppingspy, Alice Humphrys

original 50’s and 60’s mixing bowls in pretty on-trend pastel shades..

Vintage mixing bowls, RE, kitchenware, vintage, 50's, 60's, retro, kitchenalia, interiors, baking, ideal home, homeshoppingpsy, RE, re-found objects, alice humphrys

and this ‘waste not want not’ fabric is sold off the roll, for £16 a metre. It’s 44cm wide perfect for a table runner. GREAT idea..

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Thank goodness it’s March! Spring had sprung and I’ve just bought 4 bunches of daffodils for £1 in my lunch break – hurrah! They’re currently bunged in a vase and just about surviving in our air conditioned office but what I’d really like to display them in is this…

Test tube holder, RE, vase, flower display, single blooms, Spring flowers, floral display, flowers, ideal home, RE, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

A test tube for each single stem. Ah Joy! Thank you RE. Delightful finds and next time I’m even vaguely heading oop north I’m going to take a detour and pop by. – 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..

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

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

SO! I’m sure you’re all aware but Christmas is less than 6 weeks away. 6 WEEKS, I cry! To make things easier in the madness of London life (we must do what we can) I have vowed to buy all my shopping on-line this year. Everything. Including decorations and suchlike, which is why I’m most excited to discover that The Original Pop-Up Shop have gone on-line. Ding dong! Two years ago the lovely interior stylist, Louise Rastall and her mum, Carol, decided to transform their family run ice-cream parlour in Newark into a little festive pop-up shop, chock full of handcrafted Christmas delights. Think Cox and Cox crossed with Papermash

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Their natural, Scandi-style decorations include porcelain keys and handmade crochet snow flakes. Their ribbons and patterned tape work really well with brown paper wrap and how cute is this felt acorn garland!?

handcrafted, Christmas decorations, garland, Scandi, rustic decorations, country styleThe traditional wrap packs are perfect for homemade mince pies which include Kraft bags, bakers twine, vintage style paper doilies plus hand stamped tags..(you just have to make something tasty to go inside)

kraft bag, bakers twine, mince pies, Christmas ideas, Christmas, pop-up shop, Ideal Home, The Original pop-up shop, doilie, handmadeand last but by no means least are these folky style cards from boutique stationers, Rifle Paper and Co. Scrum!

The Original Christmas Pop-Up Shop, Christmas, online, boutique stationery, folkTra-la-la-la-laaaa-lala-la-la. – Alice

Turkish delights

August 25, 2011

Ah, it’s been a while, friends. But I’ve blown the dust off the old WordPress dashboard and managed to locate the log in password lurking in the darkest corner of my holiday-addled brain. For the past few weeks, I’ve been pottering around Istanbul taking low resolution disappointing iPhone photos of cushion covers, admiring amazing architecture, loitering in markets and developing a serious apple tea (or elma çay) habit. Despite my best intentions, I returned to London with a suitcase packed full of beautiful Turkish home accessories, of course…

A metal tray and a set of six pretty little tea glasses were the first things that slipped in to my shopping bag as I tried (unsuccessfully) to haggle. Apple tea (which, if you have the powdered kind, is basically just sugar with four different e-numbers added – no wonder it’s so addictive) is drunk by everyone everywhere in Turkey, so, like typical tourists, we stocked up on a few boxes which will no doubt sit in our kitchen cupboard for the next ten years, alongside the suspicious ‘spices’ we picked up in Marrakesh.

Luckily, you don’t have to hang out in the Grand Bazaar to get the gear… 1. Idyll Home sells beautiful Turkish tea glasses and china saucers; 2. Dotcomgiftshop does a bargainacious hammered metal tray; 3. You can even get hold of the dreaded apple tea powder from Goodness Direct. Diabetics, beware…

The next thing I accidentally bought was a beautiful ‘Suzani’ quilt from Uzbekistan. Not strictly-speaking Turkish, but sold everywhere IN Turkey, so bear with me. Apparently, Suzani quilts are traditionally bridal dowry blankets – embroidered by hand by Uzbek women who start sewing when a girl is born and continue, with the help of family and friends, until her wedding day when the quilt is completed and presented to her. The bold, folk-style patterns and the bright colours are gorgeous – and every throw is unique so it took me about three hours to choose one…

Again, while it’s certainly cheap as chips to pick up a beautiful Suzani bedspread like this in a Turkish market, you can get the look in the UK, too… 1. Check out the Uzbek-inspired designs from the talented Niki Jones; 2. Shop at Yurdan for the real deal (but at highly-inflated prices).

Of course, no trip to Turkey would be complete without a visit to a mosque’s hammam – a traditional Turkish bath house where you lie on a slab of hot marble then get covered in foam and flipped about like a baby by a large Turk. It was all good fun and the full body massage was amazing – if a little painful at times. The hammam we visited had a whole room full of beautiful woven cloth towels (peştamalsin pleasing stacks – like some heavenly linen cupboard. Emerging like a mole, blinking in the daylight, weak, dazed and highly-polished, I marched straight to the local market and bought six for next to nothing.

Luckily, you don’t have to lie topless in a stone chamber having your shoulder knots kneaded by gigantic hairy elbows to get hold of a hammam towel, although they’re not cheap outside of Turkey. 1. Pop to L’Aviva Home to see a huge selection of designs and colours; 2. Head to Toast for beautiful loom-woven ones with knotted fringing. They’re Anatolian, dahling, yah, and you can even find traditional hammam olive oil soaps at tasteful Toast, too.

Luckily, easyJet is quite generous on the old baggage allowance front. – Ellie

Who needs expensive trend forecasting companies when you’ve got the new February issue of Ideal Home? It’s in the shops now and contains a massive trend-prediction pack full of beautiful photography and great buys. Here are the six key high street homeware looks for this season…

Think: streamlined 1950s-style furniture, subtle prints, Scandi influences, Ercol, Robin Day, Eames. Shop for the look: John Lewis, Dwell, Aram, Illustrated Living.

Think: Bold floral prints, bright colours, eclectic quirky accessories, craft, folk. Shop for the look: M&S, Anthropologie, Berry Red, Plumo.

Think: workshops, warehouse, school rooms, labs, factories, functional, industrial, retro. Shop for the look: Baileys, Elemental, Junk Deluxe, In My Room.

Think: Midnight blue, starry touches of silver and gold, night skies, saturated colour, inky indigo, copper and bronze. Shop for the look: Heal’s, Crown, Kazzbar, Bo Concept.

Think: Nostalgic, pared-back, coastal, country, hurricane lanterns, nautical stripes, grain-sacks. Shop for the look: Ian Mankin, The Linen Works, Roger Oates, Nordic House.

Think: grown-up, caramel, oyster, silk, blush, velvet, pearls, satin, ruffles and full-on glamour. Shop for the look: Laura Ashley, Lavender Room, The White Company.

PHEW! I think that’s quite enough trends for one post. Just in case you’re taking notes: 1: Mid Century Modern, 2: Floral Folk, 3: Factory Lines, 4: After Dark, 5: Back to Basics, 6: Age of Elgance. Over and out! – Ellie