Ahoy there, land-lubbers. Now, don’t get me wrong. The nautical look is usually a summer thing. Sailor stripes, hurricane lanterns, curious fish-shaped hanging decorations, drift wood furniture and she sells sea shells on the sea shore – you know the kind of thing. Here at Ideal Home, we embrace all things red, white and blue around July/August time in a gorgeous coastal issue, published at the height of summer when the UK seas are just about warm enough to swim in (not). But here’s proof that the designers at IKEA – those brave Swedes (fuelled by a diet of crayfish, meatballs and lingonberry jam) are not afraid to take a dip in the sea-faring trend as late as October, when the rest of us are shivering beside our radiators and reaching for our knitted knickers…

No pink sticks of rock or donkeys here, though. The new IKEA Benzy range of fabrics and accessories (which has just gone in-store this week) is elegant and antique-style – all faded linen hues decorated with charcoal-effect sketches of ships. It’s nautical, Jim, but not as we know it…

The new treasure map Benzy Land cushions (just £9.99 each for 50cm x 50cm size) feature vintage compass designs and whales’ tails – but you don’t have to turn your living room into a pirate ship; They work really well with IKEA’s other new Benzy additions – 1970s-style paisley and checked cushions (and fabrics) in rich, autumnal chocolate, navy and plum colours.

I foolishly cropped the ‘OCE’ off this linen-look cushion on my first attempt at re-sizing with unfortunate results.

As always, IKEA = strange gravy, confusing product names but BARGAIN price tags. The Benzy fabrics look expensive, but are just £6.99 per metre, so you can save your pieces of eight. – Ellie

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Having a WHALE of a time

February 4, 2010

Shiver me timbers, Thomas Paul‘s released some fabulous new designs. You’ll find these fantastic Scrimshaw-esque plates in his new collection at Supernice. Apparently, Scrimshaw is an art form traditionally practised by sailors at sea who used whale bone or teeth as canvases for drawing and carving elaborate whaling scenes.

Luckily, Thomas Paul‘s plates are made of dishwasher-safe melamine, not whale bone!

His soft furnishing collection features similarly nautical designs, so you could have your whole house ship-shape in no time. – Ellie