Sorry it’s been a week since my last post. I’ve been busy gallivanting around the country shooting lovely reader homes for Ideal Home’s September issue. A little something to share with you though this fine Friday is House of Rym’s chinaware, available from Couverture soon. House of Rym founders are a Tunisian and Swedish duo who worked with Swedish designers Anna Backlund and Elisabeth Dunker to create this beautiful range of porcelain that I simply LOVE…

House of Rym, Couverture, porcelain, china, tableware, dining, Scandinavian design, collection, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

It’s delicate with clean lines yet whimsical with a natural woodland feel…

House of Rym, Couverture, porcelain, china, tableware, dining, Scandinavian design, collection, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Mmmm, don’t you just love the monochrome pattern on this teapot!? Feel’s a little Marimekko-esque crossed with Lisa Stickley

House of Rym, Couverture, porcelain, china, tableware, dining, Scandinavian design, collection, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

The blue and white lattice style pattern on the cup below reminds me of a modern take on Royal Copenhagen’s blue fluted design…

House of Rym, Couverture, porcelain, china, tableware, dining, Scandinavian design, collection, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Teapot, £59; cup, £12; saucer, £12; milk jug, £29.

Yet again, scrummy Scandi design at it’s best! Another something for the wish list. Keep an eye on the Couverture website come June. – Alice

2012. The year of The London Olympics and another extended bank holiday, with thanks to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. So, make sure you’ve got yourself a lovely calendar/wall chart/year planner to set you on your way. Lately, I’ve become a little obsessed with this lovely food blog Simply Breakfast by photographer Jen Causey. Everyday, she photographs her wholesome brekky propped with an extensive range of covetable kitchenalia. You may wonder why I’m suddenly wittering on about a food blog. Well, she has decided to design a 2012 calendar complete with a lovely breakfast idea for each month and recipes:

2012 calendar, simply breakfast blogFor another idea, over at Lisa Stickley London HQ, they’ve come up with a cute illustrated calendar with a phrase to sum up each month.

Lisa stickley, 2012 calendar, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphryslisa stickley, 2012 calendar, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphryslisa stickley, 2012 calendar, stationary, illustration, ideal home, homeshoppingspyFor the Rifle Paper fans out there, these botanical illustrations are very pretty and oh so country. Available from the lovely Lynne at Papermash:

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2012 calender, Papermash, rifle paper, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

And how nice is this typographic wall chart from German designers Snug Design?

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Now for those who aren’t anticipating a busy year (each day = 1cm) but are planning on doing a lot of measuring (doubles up as a tape measure); this is a quirky idea from Present and Correct and great stocking filler:

Tape measure calendar, Present and Correct, 2012, calendar, ideal home, unique stationary, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrysLastly, Lollipop kindly sent me this wall planner that I wanted to share with you. Plan is to hang it from a bulldog clip in an alcove above my desk at home. Love the colours. Thank you Lollipop!  – Alice
2012 wallplanner, Lollipop, stationary, graphic, 2012, calendar, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

I know, I know, we’re spoiling you today. It took a lot of persuasion, a few bribes here and there and perhaps a little bit of cheek, but we have it. Le scoop: Lisa Stickley‘s new bed linen designs for Heals (launching on 8th December). Regardez:

HURRAH for Lisa who, despite a punishing schedule churning out Debenhams designs, craft books and beautiful handbags, still manages to come up with such a fresh, pretty collection. I particularly love the trees design (which would look oh-so-cute in a kids’ room with the new Harlequin Boutique trees wallpaper but that’s by the by…) and also the orange set below, which is called Tangerine Hankie Flower:

As the youngsters round my way say, this is bare good, innit. – Ellie

Yes. I know. It’s true. No, really. I wouldn’t lie about this. It would be CRUEL. Lisa Stickley has indeed designed a range of stationery and it’ll be in Selfridges and at Lisa Stickley London this autumn.

Having just ordered 100 Penguin postcards (possibly to frame, possibly to send, possibly to hoard in my pointless-yet-continually-expanding chest full of stationery), I don’t strictly speaking NEED this range, too. But we’ll see. (Translation: I will be buying it anyway because I am WEAK.) – Ellie

Debenhams has all the cool kids these days – Henry Holland (tartan, tight trousers, Jedward hair – you know the one) is the latest fashion designer to join the Designers at Debenhams stable, and now Lisa Stickley and Matthew Williamson have signed up too. We brought you news about Lisa’s Debenhams range a while back, but until now the images of the new products were somewhat ‘limited’. So, let’s have a proper look…

This collection is called ‘Buttercup’ and features cute storage tins and a ceramic storage ‘house jar’ – the mind boggles! To give you some idea of pricing, the egg cups will be £3.50 each, a big cake tin will cost £12, and plates start at £5 each, so it’s all very reasonable. When I meet with Lisa to chat about the range, she tells me she had a lot of fun collaborating with the Debenhams team. “Normally, when I design, it’s just me, the wall and Radio Four!” she says, “So it was nice to work with a team and be a bit more sociable.” Her style is fast becoming ultra-popular with the Japanese (she now has a Japanese mailorder website) and she tells me she was amused to be asked to autograph Lisa Stickley handbags with permanent marker on a recent trip to Tokyo. “It was crazy!” she laughs. “People were coming up to me in the street – it felt really weird.” But she’ll have to get used to fame, and fast – her face will soon be plastered all over Debenhams stores up and down the country. Lisa doesn’t seem to have a spare moment to absorb this fact…she’s just finished her first book and is currently dashing around London viewing shops to find the right place to set up her new flagship store. “The book took me four months. I wrote it all myself, sewed every project, and did all of the illustrations so it was a real slog,” she confides, ” – but really exciting to see the final result. And the fresh print smells SO good,” she says, sniffing a page hungrily, then generously offering it to me. I sniff politely, and agree. Lisa has just gone up in my estimation – it’s always nice to meet a fellow book-sniffer. (Tap into the Zeitgeist, see our review of her book: Made at Home).

Lisa’s new ‘Myrtle’ and ‘Posie’ bed linen designs for Debenhams are really cute – and I especially like the ‘Text’ bedspread and cushions – covered in little whimsical words in true Lisa style: FRENCH BED, FUTON BED, SLEEPING BAG, BREAKFAST IN BED, BED SOCKS. Prices start at £20 for a pair of pillowcases, in case you’re wondering. During our chat, Lisa told me all about her own home and excitedly described the recent renovations her flat (above her Clapham shop) has undergone: “I’ve got these two lovely 1960s armchairs, which I inherited ages ago, and they’ve been upholstered in my fabrics, so I’m really pleased with those,” she says. “And I love my new kitchen. Especially my amazing black Baumatic retro fridge!” Lisa’s top tip is to  EDIT your belongings. “I gave a lot of stuff away to the charity shop and had a real clear out – and it makes such a difference.” 

This is the ‘Posie’ tea collection, complete with butter dish (£16) and a fabulous glass cupcake stand (£30). I like the shape of the tea pot and the 50s-style floral design. Before I leave, (the Debenhams party was in full swing and Four Poofs and a Piano had started to compete with us noise-wise), I ask Lisa where her new shop might be? “Well, I’m looking at Portobello Road and that area…” she reveals, “…but I also love Spitalfields, so we’ll have to wait and see.” Lisa smiles and I sense her ambition and energy. It’s such an exciting period for her, and she’s timed things perfectly; just when everything vintage, eclectic, and quirky is BIG, she hits the high street. Clever girl. These new products won’t be out until the early autumn, so you’ll have to wait to get your hands on those egg cups. In the meantime, dear readers, you’ll just have to visit her shop on Landor Road in Clapham, or pop along to her website to get the Lisa look. What do you think of this new collection? Let us know by commenting below. Have a lovely weekend 🙂 – Ellie

An Easter card

March 30, 2010

A little treat from the dear Lisa Stickley, who’s been busy cutting up fabric again…

…more Easter posts to follow, folks. – Ellie

See inside Anthropologie

October 22, 2009

Is there anything I DON’T want in this shop? Erm, no. London’s new Anthropologie did not disappoint when I checked it out yesterday. It was everything I hoped it would be – and more. The interior of the shop is fabulous in itself, before I even get started on the lovely stock! From the huge luxury changing rooms, to the gigantic whale hanging from the ceiling and the incredible living vertical garden wall with 18,000 live plants in it, this shop interior is by far the coolest London’s ever seen.

anthropologie londonThe plants in the vertical garden are watered by rainwater collected on the roof, and reminded me of an eco-house I saw in Paris recently. Every 12 weeks, a team of style gurus and creative set designers will put together a fresh interior look, so it’s going to be one of those shops you’ll never tire of. I spotted strips of vintage sewing needles on the walls, huge apothecary-style chests of drawers, china plate clocks and a curtain made of tea bags.

anthropologie london2Can I just say at this point that, tragically, just when I needed it most, my stupid digital camera failed me and the battery ran out at a crucial moment, so the images on this post are a mixture of PR shots and some snaps taken by the wonderful Wee Birdy, to whom I am very grateful!

anthropologie ukI spent hours browsing and had to be very restrained spending-wise. I basically liked/wanted everything I saw. It was good to see a mixture of American products and stock from home-grown designers such as Becky Oldfield (stunning Union Jack quilts) and the lovely Lisa Stickley. There were too many interesting home buys to mention, but highlights for me included: paint-by-numbers plates from Trey Speegle, cute stamp sets from Yellow Owl Workshop, gorgeous Tokyo Milk bubble baths, cook books from the likes of Ginette Mathiot, Alice in Wonderland drawer knobs, zinc letters, beautiful cards and notebooks, stylish chemistry-set style flasks, and coloured folksy aprons – straight out of Hansel and Gretel. The new folk trend has been embraced by Anthropologie in a big way – I spotted wooden mushrooms, ceramic owls, folk-style patchwork quilts and an unusual vintage-look book titled: ‘Mushroom Magick, a comprehensive guide to psychedelic ‘shrooms‘!




anthropologie uk3Even the packaging is delicious at Anthropologie, and I was delighted to be given a little Nathalie Lete lily soap in my red-handled goody bag, which made it twice as nice! ‘Mon savon qui sent bon’…sigh. I’m already planning my next Anthropologie trip. – Ellie

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nathalie lete soap

THREE tea towel projects

September 4, 2009

We were chatting in the office the other day about the two types of tea towel in the world. (Oh dear.) The first kind is the manky, tea-stained, torn, faded, bought-in-IKEA-a-million-years-ago kind – the sort you use for drying up, washing the cat, wiping up mud, milk, sick etc. The second kind is the ‘decorative’ type – the colourful, stylish, gorgeous, never-used, never-washed, beautifully-made designer tea towel – possibly from the likes of Jme, To Dry For, or Cath Kidston – which is displayed at all times and is there to be admired. It is ironed. Cared for. Loved. Sometimes it is moved from one hook to another, but it is never, ever, EVER used. And woe betide any poor soul who attempts to use it.

an apple a dayIn my house, the concept of a purely ornamental tea towel is lost on certain folk – namely, the boyfriend, my visiting mother, and the naughty cats – so keeping a lovely tea towel in pristine condition is something of a challenge. That’s why the crafty tea towel makes from the October issue of Ideal Home magazine are so cool – by turning your favourite tea towel into wall art, a knitting needle case, or a cushion, you can preserve it much more easily. This ‘An Apple A Day’ one looks fab in a simple IKEA Ribba frame, while polka dot tea towels from Dotcomgiftshop make fantastic knitting needle holders.

knitting-needle-holderI like these cushions made from pretty tea towels bought at John Lewis. This idea would work well with Penguin Classics book cover tea towels, or vintage tea towels from holiday resorts, too.

tea-towel-cushionsIt’s the weekend, and I’m excited because Bethan and I are treating ourselves to a Eurostar day trip to Lille in France for La Braderie, Europe’s biggest flea market. We’re going to do some serious bargain-hunting, and we’ll take lots of photos and write a nice big post all about it on Monday. Just before I sign off, check out this gorgeous photo of Lisa Stickley‘s scrapbook:

lisa stickley scrapbookI always think that blogging is a bit like having an online scrapbook – but there’s nothing quite like the real thing. More on scrapbooking next week! Have a lovely weekend. – Ellie

What a great start to the week. My breakfast bagel didn’t catch fire in the IPC toaster (most days, it does), it’s sunny here in London and the new Paumes book I ordered, London Ateliers, has just arrived in a little parcel from Japan. It’s far too gorgeous to keep to myself, so it’s officially my ‘Book of the week’ and the ideal excuse for a tasty little post to kick things off…

paumesLondon Ateliers is a real visual feast, packed full of photos showcasing the studios of some of London’s hippest young designers. From Lisa Stickley‘s Clapham workshop, to Sharon Elphick‘s stunning Columbia Road base and Becky Oldfield‘s amazing studio (of Lost and Found)…there are some really interesting and inspiring work spaces in this book, packed full of quirky objects, gorgeous retro furniture and ideas to steal for your own home.

paumes2paumes3The colourful collages of photographs that fill the pages make up for the fact that all the captions are written in Japanese and I can’t understand a single word! Actually, the Japanese text looks really cool visually and kind of adds to the overall effect in my opinion.

paumes4As well as being a coffee-table stunner full of pretty pics, this cute book is also a handy directory of some of London’s most talented designers, most of whom I already know and love, but there are a few names I need to google and investigate further after admiring their style in this little design bible. You can order the Paumes books online for 1800 Japanese yen (roughly £12) each. – Ellie

Picture 51

Do I need another cushion in my life? Probably not, but these gorgeous limited edition designs from Lisa Stickley are so more-ish, I can’t resist!


Hand-made and hand-printed, these cushions are made using Lisa‘s drawings and vintage linens. I love her scribble-writing, and the ‘Party’ cushion with a list of retro party games has got to be the cutest one.


I got chatting when I visited Lisa’s shop in Clapham North recently and discovered she’s planning to open another shop soon – more details coming soon, so watch this space! – Ellie