I have always been a fan of Vanessa Arbuthnott’s printed textiles and her new Swedish Collection is my favourite yet with its ’50s feel and Scandi-twist. Friends, feast your eyes on her pretty patterns that are launching later this month…

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

With four different designs in the range you’ll find stylised birds, whimsical trees and flowers, pinstripes, spots and trailing leaves. I love the mid-century sludgy colour palette with cutesy, country  names including pumpkin, sweet pea, mushroom, lime and dove.

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, country decorating, cushions, ideal home, alice humphrys

I love the retro orange paint colour used in this kitchen, it’s nice to see how she’s introduced vibrant colours that merge well with her softer signature shades…

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, retro, paint colour, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

Ooooh now I could quite happily live in this shepherd’s hut decked out in teal and lime spots and stripes. It’s just the right size for me! Plonk me in a sunny field with chickens and bunting and I could invite all my friends round for tea and boiled eggs. Ah, the good life…

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Swedish design, shepherd's hut, bunting, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

Vanessa Arbuthnott, Swedish Collection, textiles, hand print, mid-century, Scandi-style, Gustavian, Nissan Figaro, Swedish design, country decorating, ideal home, alice humphrys

All her fabrics are printed in the UK on 100% linen that is handwoven in Scotland from Belgium yarn. But MY goodness that’s A LOT of cushions for a picnic and I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to drive their Nissan Figaro quite like that! But HURRAH for Vanessa because this is a very fresh and pretty collection, just in time for spring. Prices start from £39 a metre. Keep an eye on her website later this month. – Alice

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HOT TREND: BEES

April 20, 2011

Bee-hold: the latest trend to hit the high street. I’ve bee-n flying about, keeping buzz-y, finding this season’s must-hive buys (groan, groan). But, to bee or not to bee? That is the question…

Let’s kick things off with this cute Honeycomb print from The Spotted Sparrow. (It’s well worth having a peep at The Spotted Sparrow’s card collection while you’re at it – 80s song lyrics combined with Victorian newspapers. Nice.)

Designers are buzzing about hexagonal honeycomb patterns, bee motifs and golden honey colours. (I can’t bee-lieve I get paid to write this.)

1 = Honeycomb pendant light, Dwell. 2&3 = Honeycomb patterned table lamp and votive, M&S. 4 = Bee cushion, Dwell. 5 = Vintage print, Roost Living. 6 = Tea cosy, The Gifted Penguin.

7 = Honeycomb chair, Next. 8 = Hexagonal wall stickers, Ferm Living.

My dad’s a bee keeper, so I asked him for some honey (as usual) and an insider quote about this important trend. “Buzz off…” he said, “…with your trend-related nonsense, and stop stealing ‘vintage’ things from our house.” – Ellie

RAINBOW time at RICE

June 19, 2009

The new autumn/winter collection from Rice is a riot of colour, bursting with cheerful patterns, zingy bright prints and crazy combinations. Just what we need to celebrate the fact it’s nearly the weekend!

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I thought I was ‘over’ my coral pink addiction, but now I’m not so sure! It works so well with the bright yellow bedstead, and the hot pink rug here. This is the kind of look I’d love to be brave enough to go for!

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I really like the horse print lampshade above. Also, the 1950s-style kitchen below is so kitsch it’s cool – baby blue and candy-floss pink is always a hit with me. The images look like Barbie’s house – in a good way! HOW cute are the fridge magnets…

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Following on from ‘Opens shelving = the way forward‘ earlier this week, think pink and check out the lovely shelves below. Surely cupboard doors should be BANNED!? Also, I’m loving the colour-coded crockery storage going on here. In a similar way, I like colour-coded books too…although I got into a bit of bother with the boyfriend when I colour-coded all of ours because apparently he ‘needs’ an alphabetical system because he’s ‘not visual’ and he once spent three days searching for Of Mice and Men. SIGH.

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Now, I wonder how I can convince him that a blanket with little knitted cherries hanging off it is somehow a household essential…hmmmm. – Ellie

After last year’s successful ‘MAKE!‘ book, we can reveal that Cath Kidston is publishing another craft book later this year. ‘SEW!’ is due to hit shops in early October, but we can’t wait until then, so here’s a sneaky peek at what to expect…

CATH1The book will come with a length of Cath Kidston fabric, a label and buttons so you’ll have everything you need to sew the pretty bag shown on the front cover. When you consider that Cath Kidston‘s bags start at £16 in her shops for a basic cloth bag, and this book is retailing at £14.99 – plus, you get loads of other sewing patterns and projects too – I think this is an absolute bargain!

CATH2Pia Tryde‘s colourful photography is cheerful and bright in truth Cath spirit and the styling is as gorgeous as ever – how cute is the little red vintage sewing machine on the back cover?! Love it! There are some lovely projects in this book, guaranteed to keep us all stitching and sewing for quite some time – expect hot water bottle covers, kitchen aprons and clothes hangers.

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cath4Even if you’re not a sewing expert, you’ll be OK – there’s a handy step-by-step section at the beginning of the book where all the basic stitches and techniques are explained nice and clearly.

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Craft and sewing has taken the country by storm this year. TV show Kirstie’s Homemade Home has proved so popular that Channel 4 is filming another series, where Kirstie Allsopp will transform real people’s homes (apply online here!), and it has been announced today that a new sewing magazine will launch on 29 May in the UK, called ‘Sew‘ (not to be confused with CK’s book, ‘SEW!’)

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With the strapline: ‘Join the sewing revolution’ splashed across the cover, it’s aimed at a new generation of younger sewing fans. If you’re embracing the craft movement, check out the easy-sew cushion projects in the June issue of Ideal Home, out now. – Ellie

I’ve been a fan of designer Emily Burningham‘s work for a long time, so I was excited to see her new fabric collection on her recently re-launched website.

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It’s hard to choose a favourite, but I love the Berries design, which is inspired by a 1930s pattern and so cute I think it would be perfect for a tea-dress! If you’re based in or near London, there’s an exhibition of Emily Burningham‘s gorgeous fabrics, wrapping papers and greeting cards opening soon at  50 Albermarle Street, W1S 4BD. Entitled ‘Inspirational Designs’, the collection can be viewed by appointment from May 6 until June 30 – call 020 7493 4361 to book a slot. – Ellie

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