After a two week break I’m feeling quite rejuvenated, sunny and actually a little excited to be back at my desk at Ideal Home HQ. On my return our new September issue had just arrived and if you haven’t yet bagged yourself a copy, it is packed full of stylish storage solutions and ideas to help organise your life (it’s in the shops now, hint hint!). One quick flick through and I felt overcome with calm and order. A little something to share are these two home office shoots our stylish stylists did. The first is from our Cash Clever feature on how to create a work area for less than £215…

Chair, £39, Ikea + Picture frames, £65.96, Ikea + 5 magazine files, £45, The Holding Company + Lamp, £60, John Lewis + Two jars, £4, Sabichi = £213.96. Bargain!

You may have also spotted this fab industrial style home office from our ‘Class of 2012’ decorating feature. I love the metal school-style cabinet from The Old Cinema and the lovely Conran desk for Marks & Spencer and there’s a place for everything with wall mounted storage ideas galore! No excuse for a messy desk. – Alice 
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Flower arranging with M&S

February 20, 2009

A group of us headed over to M&S HQ yesterday for a flower arranging master class and to see the new spring/summer collections. The press show had a summer fayre theme, complete with a Lucky Dip and a coconut shy – fabulous! I spotted a fantastic floral pop-up tent, which assembles in seconds. It will be out in April for £39 – what a bargain.

tent

The flower arranging master class was good fun and we got to take our masterpieces (!) home with us afterwards. It was nice to get a sneak preview of the new flower collections from M&S, which are all grown in Britain. My favourites were the pretty pink peonies, shown here. This gorgeous image has inspired me to start collecting vintage bottles so I can recreate the look at home! – Ellie

peonies

 

Let them eat cake

January 29, 2009

Emily and I have just sampled the new collection of retro cupcakes from M&S, so our New Year de-tox is officially over. The bakery team very kindly brought us some samples to taste and let us decorate cakes in a hands-on workshop. It all got a bit messy and I’m feeling slightly nauseous now!

The cakes were absolutely delicious, but they’re more like iced buns than real American-style cupcakes. The icing on them is made with fresh fruit, there are no artificial colourings used and all the cakes have a sinful gooey centre, too. With flavours like Lemon Meringue and Strawberries and Cream, I think they’ll be a hit – they’re perfect for weddings or birthday parties.

They’re due to be launched in M&S shops this April priced £2.99 for four. It seems M&S is planning to take on retro, independent bakeries such as Humming Bird and Treacle – let the cake war begin. Ellie

Percy Pigs combined with cake – heaven on a plate

Percy Pigs and cake combined – a dream come true