Get the Ken Barlow look

March 14, 2011

Firstly, apologies if you’re not from the UK or if you are from the UK but actually have a life and don’t watch trashy soaps. The following will make no sense to you at all.

‘There’s nowt quite like a trio of decorative flying ducks’, I thought, as I stood in Ken Barlow’s living room. On Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting a bizarre but accurate reconstruction of Ken and Deirdre Barlow’s terraced Coronation Street house inside Earl’s Court at the Ideal Home Show. (See a tour on As I chatted to the stylists about the trials and tribulations of scouring eBay and junk shops to find exact replicas of sideboards, ash trays and the like, my eyes were drawn to the rather lovely (well, perhaps in grander surroundings…) William Morris Windrush wallpaper (available through Morris & Co, Sanderson) on the Barlows’ walls:

UK soap set designers have a whale of a time decorating, but, alas, there are no credits, so internet forums are full of confused, lost people trying to get that gorgeous soap set ‘look’ in their own homes and other people trying to advise them as best they can. Exhibit A:

Well, I am tragic enough to know that Phil Mitchell in Eastenders has new curtains made in Sanderson’s Dandelion Clocks fabric…clearly Shirley has better taste than I thought. In fact, the old Dandelion Clocks is a favourite design in the soap sets at present; Katie Sugden in Emmerdale has the wallpaper on her walls, as does that annoying Nancy girl from Hollyoaks. Although she doesn’t look very happy about it. Exhibit B:

Talking of Hollyoaks, I was pretty devastated to see my favourite Cole & Son ‘Woods‘ wallpaper in Warren’s house* recently:

(*This may or may not actually be ‘Warren’, I might have made that up. Also, this may or may not be ‘recently’. I’ve never really seen Hollyoaks. Thankfully.) Elsewhere in Chester, there’s some elegant B&Q wallpaper (inspired by Sanderson Pillemont?) going on:

Going back to Corrie, I know this has been keeping you awake at night: Before Ashley Peacock died in that tragic tram crash and the house he shared with Clare exploded and burnt down and she ran off to France (I know), what was that [INSERT ADJECTIVE HERE] watering can wallpaper on their kitchen walls? Answer: It’s Galerie Kitchen Concepts, £26.54 a roll. (Here they are, in happier times, when Ashley nearly choked to death on a Lancashire hot pot):

Meanwhile, over in Albert Square, as Kat and Alfie mourned the death of their baby (although, as we all may or may not know or care, said baby was actually pinched by Ronnie), I couldn’t help noticing Kat’s stylish walls, papered in Cole & Son‘s Rococo Leopard. I bet she didn’t buy THAT down the market:

Queen Vic chic…coming to a magazine near you? Or maybe not. – Ellie