These Amy Ruppel wall stickers launched in the US earlier this year, but the good news is you can now get them in the UK, too, from Supernice

Cute owl and tree designs with Amy’s trademark retro twist…

…and Supernice also has some pretty darn cool Nintendo wall stickers well worth a peep! – Ellie

Make room for a ‘shroom

January 22, 2010

As a Brownie, (in the late 1980s, before Political Correctness reached Worcestershire), I was forced to skip around a large wooden toadstool in the village Scout Hut, singing: “I am a helpful gnome, helping mother in the home.” I think this traumatic episode, combined with weird Enid Blyton books (which I always hated), cemented within me a great dislike of toadstools, mushrooms and funghi in general from a very young age.

It is therefore with great surprise, dear reader, that in 2010 I find myself drawn inexplicably to ‘shrooms – like a moth to a flame. The woodland trend (of which we have previously spoken at great length of course, being fully tapped into the Zeitgeist and all that) is in full swing and, some might say, has actually got a bit out of hand. Walk down any high street and you’re practically bombarded with owls, squirrels, bowls made of bark and funky folk-y designs…and, of course, retro 1970s-style ‘SHROOMS. The little toadstools above are kitsch salt and pepper shakers, recently featured in Living Etc, in case you crave them.

Trawling for toadstools…from top left, working clockwise: Toadstools in a basket, Hunter Gatherer; Mushroom Magick book, Anthropologie UK; Wooden ‘shroom, Dotcomgiftshop; Mushroom pouffe, Anthropologie USA; Toadstool hottie, Dotcomgiftshop; Woodland mushroom doilies, Dotcomgiftshop. Have a lovely weekend. – Ellie

RIDICULOUSLY beautiful rooms

January 12, 2010

Mmmm, I’m veritably salivating over these stunning new pics, from our friends at Fun on the Floor. Not only do they prove that even though dark-stained or white-painted floorboards are LE NORM these days, crazy coloured carpets can still be cool…they also confirm for me that painting your skirting boards the same dark blue-grey shade as your walls looks AMAZING if you’re brave enough to do it. But tragically, I’m still plucking up the courage to get rid of my white eggshell woodwork!

Now, don’t you just love it when your trend fore-casting is backed up by some good, hard, solid evidence the following season? Lisa and I were high-fiving when we saw these pics and clocked: an owl; a glass bell jar; an Anglepoise lamp; horses; antlers; Union Jack flags; and even Alice in Wonderland accessories (you’ll have to buy our April issue in March for this one!)

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check these out…so many lovely ideas:

This is still my favourite colour combo – dark grey walls with hot Bollywood fuchsia pink and rich mustard yellow – grrrrr, baby, yeah! And the pink bike is DIVINE.

I thought I was over the whole Deborah Bowness books wallpaper thing. But this room looks fab with a whole wall covered in it, not just a measly strip or alcove. So perhaps I’m not quite over it yet! LOVE the rustic wood sideboard too – anybody know where it’s from?!

Mmmm, more dark walls and bright coloured accessories. We LIKE. The lamp in this pic reminds me of some cool paper-covered ones at The Hospital club, or the funky patchwork ones from Lisa Watmough at Squint. (I have an old lamp, some PVA and some pretty Origami papers all ready for my own attempt…!) In fact, while I’m on the subject of Lisa, let’s take a quick peep into her home. I bet her skirting boards are all painted dark…

They are! But her floorboards are white, so this lightens the look I guess. Erm, I don’t like to moan when I’ve pinched pics BUT check out the lamp wire in the armchair pic – eeek, stylist, hide that cable!! Anyway, back to the Fun on the Floor pics…and lookie what we have here…

More painted skirting boards!! It must be a sign! I love the red and grey combo here – so brave but OH-SO cool. Let’s finish with a pretty pic of a girly bedroom. I particularly like the heart on the wall in this shot just made of paper. Simple and sweet – and a nice Valentines idea! – Ellie

Fairy tale time

October 26, 2009

Folklore, magic and homespun charm – flicking through the latest images in the lovely House to Home galleries today, I stumbled upon this gorgeous bedroom. It could be a room inside Snow White’s cottage, and sums up nicely the current vogue for fairy tales and all things folk.

BedroomAfter spying hundreds of toadstools and owls last week at the lovely Anthropologie, I’m getting quite into this trend now. Colourful patchwork, ribbons, pom poms and homemade, knitted accessories – it’s really growing on me! Note how the plastic squirrel, which in any other setting would look tacky, looks cool here. The magic of styling! – Ellie

Push ma button

October 6, 2009

Buttons – useful little blighters. And not just for clothes – oh no. There’s a whole wide world of button CP (Crafting Potential) out there, just waiting to be discovered. Rejoice. Unless you’re koumpounophobic. (Word of the day. Possibly word of the year.)

button craftYou could super-glue them to magnets (available from Hobbycraft) and use them to fix notes and photos to the fridge…way more classy than plastic fruit/food magnets, and not as annoying as word/poetry magnets, which: A.) Tempt friends and family to write the rudest sentence they can muster with the given vocabulary. B.)Have a tendency to fall off and get lost in the fluffy depths of the sub-fridge region – and it’s usually the important words such as ‘AND’ that go astray. C.) Are a complete nightmare when you want to clean the fridge door/move house, and you spend half a day picking all the little words off the fridge, only to put them back on again. That way, insanity lies. ANYWAY…back to the buttons…

craft buttonsYou can use buttons to create your own gorgeous artwork. Download the designs here, then use glue to stick on a few buttons for cute-folky-kind-of-homemade-well-they-definitely-ARE-completely-homemade-if-anybody-asks prints.

crafty button fun2Finally, it’s been done before, but it’s always a winner – pick some pretty buttons and tie them to coloured ribbons to make napkin rings. Bitten by the button bug? Wanna buy buttons? Try Claire Grove, Knit and Sew, or The Button Queen. – Ellie

BIRD STRIKE: Owl-tastic

September 2, 2009

Slowly, but surely, they’ve been creeping into our homes. One by one. At first, there were just a few. There were rumours of glimpses…sightings…murmurs…myths…the occasional talon print seen fading in the carpet pile – but nobody really noticed. Then, we heard the soft rustle of feathers on the breeze…and sometimes a distant: ‘twit twooo’ – so quiet you could have imagined it. But they were there. And breeding. Their numbers grew day by day. And now it’s too late…the owls are OUT.

Picture 3Owls have been a fave with crafters for years and as such have a thriving population over at Etsy (see above), but they’ve had a makeover and gone mainstream this season. Like most random trends, this one was born in the world of fashion (if you’re interested in the likes of Jessica Alba wearing an owl necklace, yawn, you can read about fashionista owls here, or bag yourself an owl handbag at Topshop, or even some yummy owl socks…) but now the little feathered critters are ruling the roost and they’re nesting in our living rooms, too. Owls are sprinkled all over the pages of the new October issue of Living Etc magazine. Now, I’d like to emphasise that I’m not a complete geek, but I counted at least five owls including glass ones from Ittala, a blue ceramic one from Aldo Landi for Bitossi at SCP and a paper one from Muji (just £3.95!)


owls2Owls were trendy back in the 1970s…think small, creepy, wooden ornaments on your granny’s mantelpiece or manic, bug-eyed Girl-Guide-style brown owls for kids. Not very cool. In fact, in the 1970s, owls looked like this little fella. Thankfully, the owls of the Noughties are a bit more classy. Well, sometimes. Check out the lovely wall stickers from Rockett St George below:

Picture 4All very nice. But if you look at the selection below, all from ultra-cool American shop, Anthropologie, alarm bells start to ring. An owl light switch surround…an owl door stop…an owl lamp…oh dear. A trio of small cartoon owl sake pots anyone…?

anthropologieEven Urban Outfitters has a few dodgy owl-wares on offer. Try as I might, I just can’t get excited about an owl jug. Even in green. SIGH.

urban outfittersI can’t help but dislike owls generally. They look cute in pictures but in reality, they’re a bit spooky. It might be their bushy eyebrows. Possibly their beady little evil eyes. Or maybe their tufty ears. Something about them bothers me, but there’s no sign of this trend slowing down – there are owl designs littering the high street shops now (even my beloved Paperchase sells an owl gift bag) and I can’t help but suspect they’re taking over…you heard it hear first. Twit Twoooooo.  – Ellie