It’s not everyday you can walk into a shop and come out with a vintage jelly mould reinvented as a pendant lamp, a Mexican bingo set, moose shaped firelighters and a deckchair. But if you’re lucky enough to live near the market town, Corbridge in Northumberland, you can! (For those that don’t, you can of course buy online, phew!), Simon Young and Jenny Vaughan’s converted workshop (round the back of an old filling station) is a treasure trove of totally unique finds for the home. They named their shop RE after two giant metal red letters they bought in a Parisian flea market…

People, step inside and feast your eyes on these wonderful buys..

I would very much like these jolly, jelly mould pendant lamps. How lovely to hang a row of these above a kitchen table…

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Planning fodder for your Jubilee street party yet? Make sure you get yourself a set of these British Isles cookie cutters..

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Keep your teapot cosy with this cute pom-pom number, hand knitted in Northumberland..

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This red, white and blue twine will come in handy for any Jubilee/Olympic crafty projects…

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Elsewhere there are gorgeous linen cushions, inspired by American flour sacks…

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original 50’s and 60’s mixing bowls in pretty on-trend pastel shades..

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and this ‘waste not want not’ fabric is sold off the roll, for £16 a metre. It’s 44cm wide perfect for a table runner. GREAT idea..

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Thank goodness it’s March! Spring had sprung and I’ve just bought 4 bunches of daffodils for £1 in my lunch break – hurrah! They’re currently bunged in a vase and just about surviving in our air conditioned office but what I’d really like to display them in is this…

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A test tube for each single stem. Ah Joy! Thank you RE. Delightful finds and next time I’m even vaguely heading oop north I’m going to take a detour and pop by. – Alice


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If you have made the wise choice of checking homeshoppingspy today, then have we got a treat for you! You will only hear it here first, so listen up! Cachette is a new Anglo-French online store that launches this week (in both the UK and France) but until then we are giving you lucky people EXCLUSIVE access with a SECRET code letting you onto their site TODAY where you can buy before the rest of the public get there!  Scroll down for a few of my favourites and for the precious code…

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1. Storm plate, £24.09; 2. Wooden spoons, £9.55; 3. Stoneware jug, £19; 4. Blue tray, £24.50; 5. Blackboard, £31.56; 6. Wooden labels, £10.80 7. Bamboo basket, £24.09.

Founders, Delphine (French) and Stephen (English) are a couple who decided to leave their life in London and move to the south of France to set up a new home and a new business (très bon!). They wanted to put together a collection of simple, eclectic and functional products for the home, handpicking items from different European artisans and unknown designers. You’ll find stationary, bathroom accessories, gourmet food, kitchenware and toys. Nothing on their site is mass-produced, it’s all uber tasteful and the code you’ve all been waiting for is ‘HOME’. Click here and type it in (must use caps lock) If you enter the code again at the checkout you can get 10% off too. Happy shopping! – Alice

Turkish delights

August 25, 2011

Ah, it’s been a while, friends. But I’ve blown the dust off the old WordPress dashboard and managed to locate the log in password lurking in the darkest corner of my holiday-addled brain. For the past few weeks, I’ve been pottering around Istanbul taking low resolution disappointing iPhone photos of cushion covers, admiring amazing architecture, loitering in markets and developing a serious apple tea (or elma çay) habit. Despite my best intentions, I returned to London with a suitcase packed full of beautiful Turkish home accessories, of course…

A metal tray and a set of six pretty little tea glasses were the first things that slipped in to my shopping bag as I tried (unsuccessfully) to haggle. Apple tea (which, if you have the powdered kind, is basically just sugar with four different e-numbers added – no wonder it’s so addictive) is drunk by everyone everywhere in Turkey, so, like typical tourists, we stocked up on a few boxes which will no doubt sit in our kitchen cupboard for the next ten years, alongside the suspicious ‘spices’ we picked up in Marrakesh.

Luckily, you don’t have to hang out in the Grand Bazaar to get the gear… 1. Idyll Home sells beautiful Turkish tea glasses and china saucers; 2. Dotcomgiftshop does a bargainacious hammered metal tray; 3. You can even get hold of the dreaded apple tea powder from Goodness Direct. Diabetics, beware…

The next thing I accidentally bought was a beautiful ‘Suzani’ quilt from Uzbekistan. Not strictly-speaking Turkish, but sold everywhere IN Turkey, so bear with me. Apparently, Suzani quilts are traditionally bridal dowry blankets – embroidered by hand by Uzbek women who start sewing when a girl is born and continue, with the help of family and friends, until her wedding day when the quilt is completed and presented to her. The bold, folk-style patterns and the bright colours are gorgeous – and every throw is unique so it took me about three hours to choose one…

Again, while it’s certainly cheap as chips to pick up a beautiful Suzani bedspread like this in a Turkish market, you can get the look in the UK, too… 1. Check out the Uzbek-inspired designs from the talented Niki Jones; 2. Shop at Yurdan for the real deal (but at highly-inflated prices).

Of course, no trip to Turkey would be complete without a visit to a mosque’s hammam – a traditional Turkish bath house where you lie on a slab of hot marble then get covered in foam and flipped about like a baby by a large Turk. It was all good fun and the full body massage was amazing – if a little painful at times. The hammam we visited had a whole room full of beautiful woven cloth towels (peştamalsin pleasing stacks – like some heavenly linen cupboard. Emerging like a mole, blinking in the daylight, weak, dazed and highly-polished, I marched straight to the local market and bought six for next to nothing.

Luckily, you don’t have to lie topless in a stone chamber having your shoulder knots kneaded by gigantic hairy elbows to get hold of a hammam towel, although they’re not cheap outside of Turkey. 1. Pop to L’Aviva Home to see a huge selection of designs and colours; 2. Head to Toast for beautiful loom-woven ones with knotted fringing. They’re Anatolian, dahling, yah, and you can even find traditional hammam olive oil soaps at tasteful Toast, too.

Luckily, easyJet is quite generous on the old baggage allowance front. – Ellie

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

WhEn I told my mothEr I was addictEd to Es, shE assumEd I had a drug problEm. ShE soon realisEd, howEvEr, that I was, in fact, still just a mild alcoholic, but obsEssEd with sprinkling lEttEr Es all around my housE.

It bEgan with a fEw old printing blocks, pickEd up in LillE for pEncE (or cEnts). Things got sErious whEn I trEatEd mysElf to a massivE rusty E from RE. Caravan stylist Emily ChalmErs sharEs my initial and hEr collEction of Es madE mE grEEn with Envy. I bought morE. And morE. I got grEEdy for Es. An Emily REadEtt BaylEy E or thrEE appEarEd, thEn an E from PaperchasE – morE Es for mE. ThE boyfriEnd dEspairEd. I bought him a big ‘R’ from Bo ConcEpt, but hE still didn’t ‘gEt it’. ThE vintagE ScrabblE tilEs wErE thE final straw. ‘Enough with all thEsE Es’, hE scrEEchEd.

‘At lEast I’m not writing ‘EAT’ in the kitchEn and ‘SLEEP’ abovE thE bEd and ‘WORK’ in the officE’, I said. (LovE If ThE LampshadE Fits post on that malarky, by thE way). OnE day, HE wrotE ‘mEntal stylist’ in big lEttErs on the fridgE. I stopped.

So, I was dElightEd, dEar rEadErs, to opEn an EnvElopE today from DEsign LEttErs, containing my initials: ET. I know. Extra TErrEstrial. PhonE homE. Etc Etc. Enough.

ThEy’rE just £3.95 Each from 95% Danish – and arE madE by Danish company DEsign LEttErs, foundEd by journalist MEttE ThomsEn. LovEly. – ElliE

Primark Home. Oh yeah.

November 23, 2010

Hear ye this here, good citizens of blog world: there aren’t many places where you can find a funky cushion for under a fiver. But. Le Primarche, AKA Primarni, AKA the-shop-where-you-can-buy-a-pair-of-French-Sole-style-ballet-pumps-for-four-quid-OK-they’re-plastic-but-who-care’s-they’re-FOUR-QUID has finally begun to up its game, homeware-wise. And about time too.

This ‘Parisian’ postcard cushion (which seems to have taken a rather round-the-globe route, but let’s not nit pick) is pretty darn cool. And it’s just £3.50. Yes, you heard correctly. THREE POUNDS AND FIFTY PENCE.

This handsome chap costs just £6. Which ain’t much when you consider there are similar cushions elsewhere for £129!

These knitted hot water bottle covers are just £4 each (cute for Christmas presents! Just hide the label…) while the ‘London’ and ‘Floral Woman’ cushions are £3.50 each. Pop to Primark now to fight your way through the crowds (literally) to nab these bargains – I don’t think they’ll be on the shelves for long. But if you miss out, just remember, there will always be a million of those famous ‘faux fur throws’ to choose from. Ah, yes. – Ellie

HOT SHOP: HANNAH ZAKARI

August 17, 2010

I’ve been at the Edinburgh Festival for the past week, in sunny (no, really) Scotland. As well as seeing about a million amazing plays and comedy acts, I managed to find time to pop into a few shops, too. Thanks to my local guide, Zoe (from Conversation Pieces), I found Hannah Zakari – a lovely shop owned by jewellery-maker and all-round crafty-type, Rachael Lamb.

As well as selling her own lovely designs, Rachael stocks a mind-boggling array of home accessories and treats from other designers, including the likes of Lou Rota, Clare Nicolson and Eclectic Eccentricity. I had a lovely time browsing the shelves, but if you’re not in bonny Scotland, don’t despair – the Hannah Zakari website has even more to choose from. – Ellie