Let’s go camping…

May 29, 2009

Today is the last official day of National Camping Week and it’s gloriously sunny outside, so let’s mark the occasion with this dreamy image from Laura Ashley.

la camping

Yes, the Teepee-without-a-roof looks a bit impractical, the white armchair isn’t ideal for a muddy field, and there’s no electricity supply for the lamp – but that’s the joy of styling! I love the pretty bunting – it’s £14.69 and perfect for a garden party. – Ellie

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Entomology is the buzz word on the lips of designers this season – butterfly motifs swarmed all over the spring summer 09 fashion catwalks, and now insects are invading our homes, too.

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Butterfly teacups, £30 for four; butterfly tealight holder, £10; Laura Ashley

The Laura Ashley design team has really embraced the trend, scattering butterfly patterns liberally across its entire summer collection – there are butterfly magnets, butterfly lolly pop moulds, butterfly lights, butterfly jewellery boxes, butterfly mirrors, butterfly lamp shades – you get the idea.

Picnicware, from £2.50 for a tumbler, Laura Ashley

Picnicware, from £2.50 for a tumbler, Laura Ashley

Butterfly lights, £22, Laura Ashley

Butterfly lights, £22, Laura Ashley

Susanne Philippson’s iconic Butterfly clock (£120 at Heals) has never been more popular, and Matalan has just introduced a similar clock for recessionistas with a credit-crunch-busting £18 price tag.

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Butterfly clock, £120, Heals

Chatting to artist John Dilnot at the recent Brighton Artists Open Houses festival, he told me that his butterfly and bug prints are selling particularly well at the moment. I’ve spotted John’s lovely entomological screen prints on the American Decor8 blog recently, too, so it seems the insect trend is going global!

Garden Pests print, John Dilnot

Garden Pests print, £110, John Dilnot

If you’re after the real deal, Bugs Direct sells framed butterflies and insects in museum-style cases…

Swallowtail butterfly in frame, £17, Bugs Direct

Swallowtail butterfly in frame, £17, Bugs Direct

…or you can just get the look with a striking cushion from Barker and Stonehouse instead.

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Red admiral cushion, £75, Barker and Stonehouse

Designer Clarissa Hulse has designed a new Dragonfly pattern blind for Eclectics, which is really delicate and pretty – perfect for a bedroom:

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I’ve also been admiring this lovely butterfly print fabric from new shop Runaway Coast. (Look out for our Runaway Coast post tomorrow!)

Butterfly fabric, £34 per m, Runaway Coast

Butterfly fabric, £34 per m, Runaway Coast

If you’re not a fan of creepy crawlies, look away now – Queen of Posh GraffitiEmily Readett Bayley, has just launched a range of giant wooden bugs…

Beetle, £15, Emily Readett Bayley

Beetle, £15, Emily Readett Bayley

So, why are butterflies and other insects in vogue this season? Perhaps they’re welcome positive symbols for troubled times? Butterflies are seen as cheerful, carefree creatures, while other insects are usually tough, adaptable survivors. Insects have been around for 175 million years (ish!) and they’ll probably be around for another 175 million, so maybe they represent reassuring continuation in our ever-changing world? Whatever the seed for this trend was, I’m quite content to be surrounded by butterflies this summer. I’ve been admiring artist Tracy Bush‘s wall art for a while, and now I’m making my own version by cutting paper butterflies out of vintage magazines using a stencil and pinning them in an IKEA Riba frame. It’s budget art, but time consuming and now my house is full of paper butterflies! – Ellie

Paper butterflies by Tracy Bush

Paper butterflies by Tracy Bush