Adoring all things vintage, retro and downright quirky

Monthly Archives: July 2008

 

While updating my Squidoo Lens, I came across this great little site and as usual,  my search spiralled off into this: The Guardian Guide to Craft – just thought it was an excellent guide worth a mention…


Since creating this guide…

 

I have received emails from a number of people who have expressed relief that, finally, some sensible blogger (moi!) thought to create a comprehensive guide to stylish wall coverings. This got me thinking: mini guides are the way forward.

 

To this end, I have already dreamed up the next mini guide which looks at a sub-category of wallpaper and that is… wall stickers! They are so cool they deserve their own post, anyway, enough of that, are you ready for the next instalment of paper madness? Brace yourselves!

 

To kick off, we are moving up a category to what I consider to be the more expensive papers that are harder to find (unless you know where to look that is.) They don’t usually come up on any Google searches, at least nowhere near the top.

 

First of all is probably my favourite wallpaper designer: Alberto Fornasetti who creates classic, rich, jaw-droppingly beautiful designs. My favourite is his Mediterranea and the exquisite Riflesso:

 

 

 

His designs can all be found at Cole and Son as can my other favourite prints, Cow Parsley which can be found in the New Contemporary collection section – not sure who designs it, could by C & S themselves. No prices are given which means they are expensive – I have seen Mediterannia on Wallpaper Direct for around £200 a roll (ouch!)

 

Over at 95% Danish, you can access Ferm Living’s uber funky wallpapers – my particular faves are Bindweed and Silhouette and they range from £39.00 to £45 a roll.

 

 

 

For a great all-round site that can source papers from all over, at any price, check out Wallpaper Direct  but I warn you, it can be really time consuming and rather overwhelming but you can save your favourites (and order 2 free samples) as well as being able to see how the papers will look in different flash rooms which is handy – however, despite ordering samples over two weeks ago, I’m STILL waiting! Not a good show!

 

Seen enough? Well, hold your horses my pretties because I haven’t even begun! What kind of purveyor of fine papers would I be if I neglected to mention the Designers’ Guild? Oh my, some of the papers are almost good enough to eat, like a Popsicle on a hot summer’s day; the vibrant colours will bring a room to life.

 

 

And I know you are not meant to covet such things, but sod the kids, I want to have this delish paper all for myself! Cuter than cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I haven’t really covered them in detail, but Marks and Spencers,

Laura Ashley and my old mate Cath Kidston all sell a rather limited assortment of papers – although they tend to be mid range prices. But to be honest, nothing is exceptionally exciting. I do think Cath K’s clown paper is great for kiddies’ bedrooms and the rose print is fresh and chintzy…

 

But if you are a hardcore Vintage lover and want real bonefidee vintage paper, look no further then Rosie’s Vintage Papers.

 

This site is a gem and if you are after something authentic, you’ll feel like you have struck gold. Below are just a few samples of the great timeless prints you can get your hands on – and not too expensive either – only drawback is, yep, you guessed it, they are US based! Pants!

 

 

 

Similarly, Secondhand Rose (another US company) offer all kinds of vintage prints – they totally remind me of Granny Gough’s back bedroom – I can almost smell the carmine soap and beeswax floor polish. Ahh!

 

 

And how about an original 1920s Sarah Bernhardt design below – magic! The irony is, we would have stripped this sort of paper out of our homes a few years ago and now we are willing to pay through the nose for a little authenticity – nowt as strange as folk as my old mum would say.

 

 

But, if you are not into fusty old designs, however authentic, you might want to have a look at Deborah Bowness’s creations.

 

 

I have been lauding this lady for a while now since spotting her hand-printed papers in a design mag and, heavens above, they are beautiful – shame about the price tag. Still one can dream…

 

Finally, I may have mentioned her in my last post but she certainly deserves another mention – the first lady of wallpaper, Suzy Hoodless. Her divine prints are just the right side of edgy and will doubtless adorn many an achingly cool Manhattan loft apartment (and hopefully a quirky little Victorian mid terrace in Bristol, ehem!)

 

 

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed your trip through the wallpaper world – remember to come back for the wallstickers saga…

 

Ciao for now…x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This is a call out to all you design lovers with great taste!

We need your help for a brand new design resource that aims to catalogue the best secret shopping spots from across the globe so wherever you are in the world, style is only a street away.

(picture: Hansel Und Gretel – an amazing Scandi design shop in Bath, UK, that also has an uber cool strudel bar tucked away beneath it)

Please visit our sister blog – Secret Shopping – and give us your nomination for the funkiest shop in your neighbourhood.

We plan on shortlisting the best to go into a hardback book – and of course will credit any contribution and photography supplied – this is an exciting design project and YOU can help!


 
When it comes to wallpaper, ever find that you are bamboozled with choice yet nothing quite hits the mark? Hmmm?

 

Balk at the thought of another season of woodchip? Well, I am in the throes of redecorating my living room after a horrendous leak way back in January and it has got to the point now where I am sick to the back teeth of looking at the same old bland wallpapers for my feature walls. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, so to that end, I have decided to put together a list of the best places to find that perfect paper to give your walls back their zzzzzzzzing!   

 

To begin at the beginning. There is a problem with the availability of good wallpapers of a reasonable price so to help; I have split this guide into three categories:

‘Low-price bargain-fanciers’’, the ‘Fair to middlers’ and ‘Wowser, I need to take out a loan’. Just skip down to the one that most describes your needs. Part two will cover the more expensive options… 

The low-price bargain fanciers’ guide

 

 

 

B & Q. Very disappointing (I hate their website, it’s so un-user friendly) but they have lots of useful info for dummies who can’t paste a bit of paper onto a wall and confusingly, they give you a chart of symbols to help you decipher the symbols they created to help you understand the wallpaper – confused?

 

However, I managed to pick out one or two cheaper reproductions of the more expensive ones I have had my eye on and they do sell some British Design Talent prints as well as some Wayne Hemingway numbers. However, there are couple that are ticking the box, albeit in a rather weak soft pencily way that is barely visible (see below).

 

This statement Kristen Flock paper is lovely and comes in at £39.98 per role.

 

 

 

 

 

Basso and Brooke Soma wallpaper at £24.98 per roll is crazy and busy and might just do my head in, but I loves it (I am thinking I might go and get a sample and frame it for a funky piece of wall art!)

 

Contour Geo wallcovering (below) – I like this Mondrian-inspired number but it would need to be restricted to one feature wall.

 

 

 

 

 

This City Scape paper (below right) by is an absolute steal at just £16.98 a roll – totally cosmic and very on trend with the illustrative style – love it!

 

For retro meltdown, try this seventies inspired uber-cool paper in chocolate and orange (below) –  if only it was scratch n’ sniff paper! Again a snip at £16.98 a roll.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so that was about it from B & Q but I’m pleased to report that thankfully the lovely people at Graham and Brown are trying to do something this shocking lack of tasteful papers about. If you are after a mid-level price paper, try these beauties for size…

 

 The Fair to Middlers’ guide

I love this Macintosh Rose wallpaper by Wayne Hemingway – it’s very stylish and I put my money on it becoming a timeless classic – cheap as chips at £25 a roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want a bit of something different, the Frames wallpaper by Taylor and Wood is pretty funky. You can add your own pix and make it totally individual.

 

I have also discovered the fabulous designs of Erika Wakerly – such as this delish Waltzer print – I’m totally in love with monochrome geometrics at the mo – have a look at more of her designs at The Farnsworth Design Studio.

 

 

 

They stock all sorts of lovely papers but I have my peepers on Graham and Brown’s Eclectic Birdcages paper (£30 a roll)

 

 

While Osborne and Little’s divine deco will have your eyes popping out – I have fallen for the Tara collection – in particular the Grove Garden print below…

 

 

Another lesser known darling of the wallpaper world is Susy Hoodless whose delicious spring collection has my mouth watering. Here is a selection of my own personal faves.

 

 

 Ok, so to avoid an information overload, I will end here but get your wallets at the ready for part two – serious wall candy extravaganza awaits you!