Tag Archives: design

Wraptious Applause

There will be hearty applause indeed for the winner of the biannual Wraptious cushion competition, where they invite artists and designers to enter up to three cushion designs for the public to vote on. Wraptious are an artist community whose work you can buy on gift wrap, stationery, prints, homeware and t-shirts that are all made in the UK.

I felt a little intimidated to enter as there are some really amazing entries, but when Wraptious extended the competition deadline I summoned up the courage to enter three of my designs.

This morning the postman delivered a plump cushion-shaped package to me and upon opening it, I discovered that my lovely husband had decided to surprise me with a cushion in my Butterfly Florals design!

Butterfly Garden Cushion

The cushions are printed on a vegan suede material which is very soft and stroke-able and the printing is really crisp with vibrant colours. I’m really very happy with it.

You can vote for your favourite until Sunday 8th May by liking the post on Wraptious’s Facebook page, Instagram feed or if you love an entry you can buy it from the Wraptious competition page, with or without a filler.

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Display Space

I’ve written about bell jars before, our one got smashed recently so I was on the look out for another and found these unusual display cases from I Love Retro. They are a bit more unusual, I’ve only really seen them in shops, but I would love one at home.

Have you got a special book that you could display in this low display cabinet, open at your favourite page perhaps? Jewellery would look wonderful too and would mean you can easily see all your collection without it gathering dust. This is £99.

I Love Retro - Display Cabinet Low

This rectangular cabinet could hold something quite large and there’s also a square one. Both are £119.

I Love Retro - Display Cabinet Rectangular

Or make your own snow globe with this more unusual round bell jar, it is also available with a dark base. The small one is £29 and the large £39.

I Love Retro - Large Round Glass Bell Jar White

I’m going to re-home some wedding nick knacks in one, what would you display in yours?

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Bright Buttons

I saw this sofa by Graham and Green with contrasting colourful buttons and had a bit of a swoony moment. Isn’t it handsome?

Graham and Green - Bath Button Back Sofa

It was rather out of my price range so I decided to emulate it by getting a couple of pieces of our existing furniture recovered in a similar fashion. I ordered some cream faux leather upholstery fabric & some sample swatches of bright velvets in yellow, duck egg, purple, orange and fuchsia to use for the buttons. Here is our old chaise lounge…

chaise longue

…and here is a footstool that we picked up in a second-hand shop a couple of years ago. I used a local upholsterer who did a far better job then I ever could.

footstool

We had a bit of a splurge (but still half the price of the version I was inspired by) on this two-seater Chesterfield style sofa bed from Designer Sofas 4 U and added the same colourful buttons. This is a great company who have an excellent sale section where you can often pick up a leather two-seater sofa for around £500. The sofas are handmade in the UK and they will make bespoke sizes. Their colour range is really extensive or you can send them your own fabric to use.

Chesterfield sofa

What do you think?

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Bedroom Zig Zags

My new zig zag lights didn’t quell my hankering for zig zags, I wanted some more to finish off our bedroom and found this set of two cushion covers from Etsy seller Say It With Pillows.

Throw Pillows Set of 2 - Say It With Pillows

Along with these John Lewis value cushions in red and blue for £5 each, I now have enough zig zags and cushions in my life.

Red and blue cushions galore

I like that the zig zags on the cushions and lights are a bit different and don’t match exactly, do you?

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Light Up, Light Up!

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last month or so, we’ve had a few sad weeks and I wasn’t hankering for anything that I could share with you here. But I’ve finally got my hanker back.

It feels like we’ve been decorating our bedroom for months, it started off as 1970s hideousness. Brown carpet, huge brown fitted wardrobes with smoked mirrored doors to make it even darker, gold spotlights, peach vertical hanging blinds, leaded windows that made you momentarily think you were in prison upon waking and an Artex ceiling. To make it more brown we had some beautiful but massive teak Lombok furniture that my husband brought with him when we moved in together.

We wanted rid of the brown and in its place a clean white room with navy and red accents. So once the ceiling had been skimmed, the double glazing replaced and the wardrobes removed we could think about the colour scheme. I had in mind chevrons or zig zags. (Don’t know the difference between a chevron and a zig zag? Discover it here). But after looking in all my usual places and more I couldn’t find any zig zag or chevron fabric in the UK that was just one colour on white, the few I found were a mish-mash of colours. It was while reading about Natasha’s wedding fabric on Writer Reader Baker Bride that I discovered Spoonflower, unlike Natasha I didn’t create my own fabric design but I did find the zig zags I was looking for.

Bias Zig Zag Navy on White by RuthiePearl at Spoonflower

In my excitement at ordering samples, I totally missed that Spoonflower are based in the US and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks had passed that I looked back at the website and found out. So it did restrict how much I ordered as I wasn’t sure if Her Majesty’s boys at Revenue & Customs might whack a little extra on when it arrived in the UK. But when my three yards arrived less than two weeks later it came straight to my door.

The fabric was for lampshades, I wanted two small shades over the bed instead of bedside lamps and a big lampshade in the centre of the room. As I’d never tried making lampshades before I bought two small kits from Needcraft and thought I’d make them first to figure out how to do it and then bought the parts to make a big drum shade 70cm in diameter. They were surprisingly easy to make, if a little fiddly getting the fabric on straight. It reminded me of covering my school books with sticky-backed plastic as a kid.

My homemade lampshades trio

Talking of school, I made the schoolgirl error of cutting the fabric for the small lampshades from the wrong edge of the fabric which meant I didn’t quite have enough for the big one and had to fill it in with a patch, which caused a fair amount of swearing at the time, but you can hardly tell now it’s up.

What do you think?

If you’re wondering how to make a lampshade you can watch a video here.

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Studio Nommo

Whilst I was searching for wallpaper last week I stumbled upon Studio Nommo. They are a Turkish wallpaper company with some really beautiful designs across three wallpaper options.

Choose from their Pattern Collection which are hand-drawn by illustrators from around the world, my favourites are Sedat Girgin’s Typewriters (wouldn’t this be great in a home office?) and Ashley Alexander’s Foxy.

Typewriters by Sedat Girgin - Studio Nommo

Foxy - Ashley Alexander - Studio Nommo

Alternatively, choose a design from their Bespoke Collection and have it made to fit your wall at €65 per m2. My love of typography made me choose this Letters design.

Letters - Studio Nommo

I like the simplicity of This For Bees and the slightly clashy colours.

This For Bees - Studio Nommo

If you just can’t find the wallpaper that you have in your head then Make Your Own with Studio Nommo’s third option.

What would you put on your self-designed wallpaper?

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Love Tubs vs. Bouji Bargains

I saw these beautiful Love Tubs recently and developed a strong hankering. The curvy legs, button seat and back and the rolled top have certainly made me fall in love.

Velvet Love Tub - Oliver Bonas

There’s just enough room to snuggle up with someone lovely on here, but if you like your seat to yourself they come as single tub chairs too. Both designs come in these bright and sunny colours. Probably best not to keep them outside though…

Velvet Tub Chairs - Oliver BonasGo the whole hog with a matching ottoman in a contrasting colour.

Velvet Ottoman - Oliver Bonas

The Love Tubs are £545, Tub Chairs are £385 and the ottoman is £365 from Oliver Bonas.

Made.com’s Bouji collection is similar in shape but comes in more subtle cotton-linen fabric or gothic black or cherry velvet.

Bouji Chair - Made.comI can hardly believe they make a profit by selling the chair at £189 and the rather gorgeous and ornate ottoman at £169. But who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? Delivery can take a while with Made.com but the quality of the products I’ve bought has always been excellent and the wait is definitely worth it.

Bouji Ottoman - Made.com

I love the velvet brights of the Oliver Bonas chairs but I also love the contrasting piping and legs of the Bouji collection. Which do you prefer?

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Wipe Your Mouth

For me, napkins make dining feel a bit more special. The process of smoothing the linen over your lap, or better still tucking it into your collar, helps to whet the appetite and prepares the subconscious for the freedom to dine with abandon and without a second thought to ruining your clothes. Got food all round your mouth? No matter, you can delicately wipe it off with your napkin without looking like a glutton.

Saying that, my Dad and step-mum are the only people I know who actually use napkins every day at their dining table (kitchen roll doesn’t count people!). After eating at their house recently I thought it would be nice to get some napkins at home. Here are some of the ones I’m hankering after.

Subtly remind guests of their table manners by giving them Polite Napkins to use, you can always resort to holding one up if you notice any elbows on the table. By Imogen Luddy they are available in grey or green at £10 each or £35 for a set of four of one design.

Polite Napkins - Imogen Luddy, Bouf

I really like these beetle napkins by Warbeck & Cox but maybe not for the squeamish? Available in green or black at £20 for a set of four. The same design is available in all sorts of other products too.

Beetle Napkins - Warbeck & Cox

Personalise your napkins for all your regular guests. The generic ‘guest’ and ‘the girlfriend’ will mean you won’t have to update them every time your tastes change. By Jonny’s Sister, they are £9 each or £30 for a set of four.

Personalised Napkins by Jonny's Sister

I’ve not seen anything similar to these lovely Another Rainy Day napkins and an extra bonus is they’re dark and are less likely to show any stubborn stains. Made in Ireland by Handmade By Me, who also do custom designs if you know what you want your napkin to look like but just can’t find it anywhere.

Another rainy day napkins by Handmade By Me

Do you think fabric napkins are too muh faff to wash and iron or do you enjoy the luxury of using one?

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Junk Bear

Today I came across Junk Bear and his ‘junkdar’ and I’m so glad I did.

Not only was my mood brightened by the Jaffa juicer‘s description (designed to be sung to ‘I Like To Move It’), but I found these beautiful and sexy 1950s French glass mugs.

French Blue Cups - Junk Bear

Aren’t they gorgeous? The set of six is just £15.

There’s a whole section of old cameras for you to choose from including a Super 8 camera and a camera with bellows. A portable record player for vinyl lovers, plus a toys and games section. I’ve never seen a Cress Board before, but I’m hankering after one now and thinking of all the messages I could leave on it.

Cressboard-Junk Bear

Junk Bear is full of wonderfully quirky pieces but to be honest I’m not sure which you’ll like best, the items for sale or the descriptions of Junk Bear dating flapper girls and wrestling crocodiles. I think regular visits will be needed to keep my mood lifted.

Now the song is in all our heads, let’s just go with it. All together now, “Physi-cally fit, physi-cally fit…”

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Al Fresco Apparatus

Now the weather is showing signs of brightening up I’ve been planning summer days sipping a long drink in the garden. Although the only thing in our garden is a trampoline and I can see that combination getting a bit messy so I’ve been hankering after garden furniture.

Not strictly a garden chair as it would look just as nice indoors or outdoors this seat has been inspired by a beer barrel making it lightweight, weather-proof and pretty darn gorgeous in my opinion. I really like the cushion too. It’s £155 from Garden Trading.

Barrel Seat by Garden Trading

I’ve always wanted a hammock but am a bit scared that whatever I attach it to will collapse on me when I’m in it, so this hammock and stand set by Hammock Heaven would let me relax rather than lie there rigid with fear. At a little over £96 I think it’s great value. They’ve also got a baby hammock which is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Jet Set Hammock & Stand Set by Hammock Heaven

Also from Hammock Heaven is the Globo, a gorgeous sculptural version of the swing seat. It isn’t cheap at just over £530 for the single version but it is beautiful. There is a double version and a kid’s version too.

Single Globo by Hammock Heaven

Taking garden furniture literally are Parameria who handmake these armchairs from natural sustainable materials in Thailand. They are so intricate and the curvy shape is wonderful. Available in two sizes from £275, I’m hankering for one of these.

Handmade armchair made from natural sustainable materials - Parameria

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