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

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Little drawers

May 6, 2011

Are what I wear on a Friday night…

I’m actually talking about apothecary chests. Or haberdashery shop storage units. Teeny tiny drawers all labelled and vintage and LOVELY. I spotted the huge one above on my travels recently – complete with original German labels. ‘Watte’ apparently means cotton wool, so I presume this was originally in a chemist’s shop, but it’s being used to store tea nowadays. ‘Oh, where can one buy such a thing?’, I hear you cry…

You can find beautiful antique originals at The Old Cinema – the top one shown here is a vintage 1930s treasure. Beautiful. But, how can you ‘get the look’ when your budget is, well, less than £2000? You could head to John Lewis (bottom right) for cute numbered drawers with a galvanised zinc case for £60, or to your local HomeSense (bottom left), where little four-drawer units start at just £14.99 each! Here’s my lovely new HomeSense one, with labels I made using a Muji stamp set:

This brings me conveniently on to my next post, entitled: The Joy of HomeSense (OR, Where To Find An Angora Throw For Eight English Pounds, No, Really).  – Ellie

If you’ve been wise enough to pick up a copy of the new May issue of Ideal Home, you might have spotted the gorgeous bespoke wall art we commissioned British screen-printers Jane Tobitt and David Wardle at Bold & Noble to produce for our front cover:

These bespoke prints were made for our ‘Quiet Revolution’ issue (it’s in the shops now, hint hint!) – a celebration of British design, packed full of beautiful buys and fabulous decorating schemes.

They’re from a beautiful blue ‘back to basics’ shoot our stylists did – think lovely linens, retro wooden furniture and hand-thrown pottery. Doesn’t the white blossom look stunning against the inky blue walls? In fact, it’s so nice I might actually have to paint a room in my own house this colour – it’s Bamiyan Blue, from Fired Earth. SIGH. – Ellie

NEW BOOK: Creative Walls

March 28, 2011

Selfridges Home Buyer, Geraldine James, has just published her first book with Cico Books: Creative Walls. It’s a winner; Packed full of beautiful photography (from Andrew Wood) and filled with loads of fresh ideas for weird and wonderful wall displays. We’re lucky enough to have an extract today, hot off the press…

Now, here are a few of my favourite things: a glass bell jar, a dried hydrangea, vintage floral postcards, the inevitable antlers (natch) and, presumably, a tonne of Blu-Tac. What a lovely, eclectic corner. Geraldine says she views every wall as ‘a beautiful blank canvas’ and she can’t wait to ‘get painting’…

This book is divided into chapters such as ‘Collectibles’, ‘Memories’, and ‘Children’s and Students’ Spaces’, but it’s definitely one to dip in and out of rather than a cover-to-cover read. I particularly like the cool fonts and typography throughout and the luxurious full-bleed pics to devour. There are lots of different homes and styles shown, but the general theme is a bit macabre and a bit rock and roll – think bones, crows and butterflies. All very Sibella Court. All very cool. This book isn’t just about wall displays – it’s about creating mini still-lifes around your home in front of the walls, too…

Ah ha, the blackboard wall. It looks as if this maker of very small shoes has excellent taste in the typewriter department, too. I have a panel of blackboard paint in the kitchen but I’m not quite brave enough to do a whole wall, yet. Are you?

As Peaches Geldof would say (with an auto-cue): ‘O to the M to the G’. I think I might have just found my dream shoe storage unit. A vintage ‘POISONS’ cabinet – wowzas. Love it! I really like the idea of hanging a slab of reclaimed, engraved stone on the wall, too – but I’m thinking it would require a pretty sturdy wall – and some extra large screws! Such a quirky hallway display. What a lucky fish.

John Derian‘s sinister plates look stunning grouped together here, with poison bottles and hammers in front. Macabre. Are these taxidermy tools?! I prefer to think they’re for bashing in picture pins, not stag skulls…

If you’re against the dead head trend, you might like this idea of displaying old family photos in a stag shape, instead. Creative Walls is £19.99, and available now. I’m off to buy some Blu-Tac. – Ellie


Plumo worship

August 25, 2010

It’s raining. It’s chilly. The leaves are falling. I’ve been in denial, but let’s face it: summer is well and truly over in the UK. It’s not all bad news, though. The new autumn/winter collections are popping up online left, right and centre. Today, the new Plumo range went live…and it’s an absolute stonker:

I love the cheeky little owl pot holders and I’m lusting after that Danish bedside table, too!

Whoever had the GENIUS idea of putting a giant reel of butcher’s twine inside a glass cloche bell jar deserves a Trend Merging Medal. They’ve basically combined two of my favourite things to create something so completely unnecessary but absolutely gorgeous at the same time – and for reasons I can’t quite fathom, I LOVE it! – Ellie