Coastal style is always a big look for Spring/Summer. Every year at Ideal Home we’re inundated with ideas, products and everyone’s different take on the trend. It’s an easy look to live with; breezy blues, crisps whites, nautical stripes, distressed wood, driftwood accessories, fisherman’s lamps…you know the sort of thing! It’s always a treat though when smaller, up-and-coming designers interpret the trend in a new way. Abigail Edwards is a freelance stylist who recently launched her own collection of hand drawn wallpapers. Her latest Seascape design is simply dreamy..

Seascape wallpaper, Winter by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

Seascape wallpaper, Winter by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

wallpaper, coastal trend, abigail edwards, nautical, spring, summer, trends, coastal, beach-style, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

Available in black (Winter) and soft blue (Summer), the rolling waves are so soothing to look at, I could get lost in them for hours. This paper would look gorgeous in a bathroom, a downstairs loo or even on a house boat (I actually used to live on one!)

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

Seascape wallpaper, Summer by Abigail Edwards, coastal, Spring Summer, interiors, wallpaper, wallpaper trends, abigail edwards, ideal home, homeshoppingpy, alice humphrys

At £59 a roll, the papers are all hand drawn by Abigail and printed in Lancashire at one of the few remaining traditional wallpaper printers in the UK. When she’s not busy styling she is working on two new wallpaper designs, tiles and even table linen. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Happy weekend all. Spring has nearly sprung!– Alice

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Home for Christmas

December 29, 2011

Christmas has been a bit too much fun for homeshoppingspy! I’m looking forward to returning to regular blogging next week. Meanwhile, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed from a Christmas in South Devon:

Blackpool sands, South Devon, coastal walk, coast, beach, Christmas, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

1. A blustery walk along the coast to Blackpool Sands for pasties and chips on the beach!

Winter bike Christmas card, Etsy, Christmas, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrtys

2. I received this lovely Winter bike Christmas card, available from Etsy.

Toast, Dee Puddy, Nigella Lawson, BBC Food, Christmas, Devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

(clockwise from left) 3. Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cup cocktail as seen in Stylist. Cherry brandy, sparkling wine and ginger ale (tastes like liquid cherry drops – amazing and very festive!). 4. Chocolate mince pies. I made these for a Christmas party and they went down a storm, visit BBC Food for the recipe. 5. Pretty crackers from Toast to complete our table setting on Christmas day. 6. To add a little sparkle we used these charming nativity scene tea light decorations from Dee Puddy. I hope you all have a fun New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you on the other side. – Alice

Caravan cool

February 10, 2010

Oh, if only I had a 1950s caravan to play house in and decorate in a crazy, retro way…

Our lovely Book of the Week is My Cool Caravan (£14.99, Pavilion), and it’s packed full of inspiring interiors. This first one makes me want to sew some Cath Kidston bunting, fill a vintage thermos flask with tea and take to the road for an adventure!

I love the moody Ralph Lauren floral wallpaper and the pretty Cole & Son Hummingbird paper in this next caravan (which used to belong to Pearl Lowe apparently)…

Note the glamorous crystal light fitting in this interior – just because a room’s on wheels doesn’t mean it can’t ooze decadence!

This next caravan has an American country diner feel about it. NICE Coca Cola chairs…

…wooden panelling and checked curtains? yes, ma’am…

…and this retro Mike’s ‘drive in’ hot dogs sign is a thing of beauty:

The last caravan we’re going to take a peep at belongs to Shoreditch stylist extra-ordinaire, Emily Chalmers, who owns the appropriately-named shop, erm, Caravan

Now, here’s the thing. Her ‘caravan’ is actually a vintage French undertaker’s van! (Hearse Chic? Stop it.) But she’s made it look very pretty all the same…here are some more cute pics of it (borrowed from Casa Sugar):

To see all these gorgeous interiors and many more, place your orders now – My Cool Caravan is out later this month. – Ellie

I’m a Sacks Addict

January 20, 2010

No, I said SACKS. Indian rice sacks. French linen flour sacks. Old English wheat sacks. Colourful American ‘grain’ sacks. What-evaaa. I want sacks in the morning, sacks all day long, and sacks every night.

They make such fabulous cushions! Retro, cheery, quirky, recycled, cheap, easy to sew – what’s not to love?! I think my addiction kicked in properly a few weeks ago, when I spotted some VERY cool patterned sacks of Basmati rice for sale in a Halal butcher’s shop in south London. Of course, I like rice, but it was the sack I really wanted!! I bought one (just £8), slung it over my shoulders and trudged home with a tonne of rice on my back. Decanting the rice (into, like, a million Kilner jars) took a while BUT it was worth it – the empty sack is covered in Indian writing and bright colours, and it’s going to make a fantastic cushion!! I think this was all a step too far for the boyfriend. He thinks I am completely mental. And he’s a bit bored of eating rice, too.

Of course, new sacks are all very well. But it’s the vintage ones I really love – particularly the colourful American ones, which often pop up in vintage shops or on ebay. I’ve been hunting for two really gorgeous sacks for ages, and just bought a fabulous pair from Coast and Country Home:

The first one has a pretty orange and brown retro carnation design on it, and comes from Oregon, USA originally. It used to contain bleached pastry flour.

The second one has a lovely ‘Colonial Rose’ design and was used for ‘phosphated’ flour, which doesn’t sound very appetising! I really love this sack, because at some point somebody has traced the sewing pattern for a little girl’s apron onto the back of it, but for some reason (and luckily for me!)  they never got round to cutting it out.

Could this embody the ‘make do and mend’ philosophy any better?! It’s funny that I’m re-using this piece of sacking to make a cushion cover all these years later!

And if you prefer the simple, rustic French linen sack accessories, head to Notonthehighstreet and check out Parna‘s range. Right, it must be time for lunch, now. Basmati rice salad, anyone? – Ellie

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There are few books in the world as lovely as this. According to the blurb, reading it is ‘like opening Pandora’s box’, or delving into ‘Darwin’s cabinet of curiosities’. Both of these claims are true – Etcetera is the biblio equivalent of pottering around a junk shop you’ve stumbled across in a back alley of Paris – there’s so much to see, and so much to inspire. Court is a creative curator with a magpie eye – her home and styled shots reflect her passion for colour, texture and fascinating ‘objets’. She’s like a magical chef, throwing together unexpected and wonderful ingredients from the past and the present to create beautiful interiors where every object tells a story. And her penchant for all things Natural-History-related is oh-so-NOW…

I could wax lyrical about the typography and design – the old typewriter-style fonts, the gorgeous transparent vellum paper pages that are utterly decadent – but this is the kind of book you have to see for yourself and hold in your hands to fully appreciate.

Postcards, letters, tickets – Court refers to herself as a ‘keeper of collections, or a bowerbird’ (a quick Google-search reveals this is a black crow-like bird, probably the Aussie equivalent of a Magpie!) – and her extensive stash of ephemera is evidence of her hoarding nature. It’s all so beautifully presented. But you wouldn’t want to be her cleaner!

Among the interior shots, there are pages of to-die-for paint swatches (Court is a part-time colour consultant for Murobond Paints in Australia) with enticing titles such as ‘Tales of a Sea Gypsy’ and ‘Travellers and Magicians’. One paint colour is called ‘Moustache’. What’s not to love?

Etcetera is out in Australia and the USA already and it’s due to be published in April by Murdoch Books here in the UK, with a £20 price tag. The good news is, the April issue of Living Etc magazine (out in March) will have a cover-mounted extract from the book, so we can all get our hands on a slice of the pie before the publication date. Until then, here are a few more gorgeous pics to whet your appetite…because I just can’t resist! – Ellie


Kazzbar magique

October 12, 2009

A sack of wool has appeared beside my desk. It’s big. It’s heavy. And it smells, unsurprisingly, a bit sheepy. The delivery man gave me a withering look after he had heaved it up to the seventh floor, sweating, and rolled it off his trolley. I admit I’m not looking forward to lugging it home on the train tonight…but at least if all the seats are taken, I can sit on it. And, if I don’t manage to roll it up the steep hill I live on, I could always use it to create some sort of emergency overnight nest.

style500I foolishly didn’t realise that my birthday Moroccan pouffe was sold un-stuffed – we live and learn. But now all that stands between me and the Moroccan cosy corner of my dreams is a tonne of wool and an hour-long commute in high heeled boots…

pouffeI don’t think my other half truly appreciates or grasps fully what The Arrival of The Pouffe means. Now I can play with all my pretty trays and tealights creating styled displays on the top of The Pouffe. I can put my feet up on The Pouffe when I’m watching TV without kicking over the wine on the coffee table. I can produce The Pouffe for last-minute extra guest seating in a flash. I can pat The Pouffe, proudly. The cats can sit on The Pouffe. I can perch on The Pouffe. How did I ever survive without The Pouffe? It’s quite unimaginable. What a misery my pre-pouffe, pouffe-less existence must have been. Check out these lovely pouffes in the elegant white and silver Moroccan-magic home of Cecilia Granath in Copenhagen, (but it could be Marrakesh). This is how my dream Moroccan cosy corner looks (in my head):

granath354When I travelled around Morocco a few years ago, I should have brought some un-stuffed leather pouffes back with me. Instead, I packed my suitcase full of twenty five large plastic bags of red, unidentifiable ‘spice’ which I accidentally bought in a souk due to peer pressure and which is so potent and strange-tasting, I did at one point wonder if it might be some sort of powdered paint. I used the boyfriend’s suitcase for a ridiculous, never-used, rarely-dusted, tagine. Sigh.

EME_M1Thanks to Bethan for her pretty wedding-themed post on Friday. Lovely! Makes me want to be a wedding planner. I spent my birthday weekend dragging polite-but-bored people around my favourite antiques barn in the Cotswolds, where I found some excellent vintage buys. More about that tomorrow – I need to start the wool transfer now. No pain, no gain. – Ellie

Yesterday I popped into Mitsukoshi on London’s Regent Street to pick up some pretty origami papers and a tin of my favourite Kusmi tea. The tea is delicious, of course. But the real treat is the tin…

Picture 9This is author and stylist Selina Lake’s kitchen – she’s clearly a Kusmi fan – and no issue of Livingetc magazine is complete without a Kusmi Tea tin prop in at least one photo shoot. The brand was founded in 1867, and today has over 700 followers on Twitter – it’s thriving!

Kusmi_Tea_003web3

kusmi_tea_packaging_design_3With Baroque-style funky-coloured tins, and delicious tea, it’s no wonder the Kusmi Tea collection is considered a style statement all over the world.

kusmitea

Last night I went to the launch party of a new Homesense store in north London. We were taken there on a vintage Routemaster bus, sipping champagne – it was all very decadent! I have to say that I was REALLY impressed. I’ve never been to Homesense before, and I was kind of expecting it to be a bit like TK Maxx, but it was much better. There was loads of really beautiful furniture at tiny prices – I bought a fantastic, retro anglepoise chrome floor lamp for £69.99. I’ve just found the same model online for £225, so I’m pretty chuffed with my bargain buy! I also spotted Missoni blankets and Cath Kidston bedding at low, low prices so I’ll be back! – Ellie