Ye Gads! Are you ready for a style and colour overload? I am aghast with the loveliness I have stumbled upon today whilst researching for a feature for Craftseller magazine. I write the best buys pages and was looking for summer essentials for crafters when I spotted Marie Perkin’s City Centre fabric – Oh how pretty! *see image above.
Further prodding about revealed Print and Pattern blog’s latest post on Brighton-based Sukie’s bloomin lovely postcard designs (below). As I am currently doing up the nursery for baby number two (due in August!) I think this would make a splendid addition!
Oh go on, one more….this foxy treat is by another home-grown talent called Scion – they are fabric desginers and I really like this little fellow!
Oooo I love, love, love these quirky cushions. Aptly named The Marionette Collection, they are by Scandi design whizzes, Ferm Living. Reminiscient of 1950s American children’s books these cute characters – particularly Mr Fox, should totally be adorning the comfy chair in our lounge. Cushions for kids? Pff! £30 a pop – spotted these ones at the wonderful Lollipop Shoppe.
I have been promising for ages to blog about some of the super-cute products for babies and children with a design slant for those mummies who prefer a bit of edge rather than the schmaltzy stuff that is on the highstreet. So first up is an excellent site I subscribe to called Project Nursery – it’s great for getting inspiration for your own little one’s rooms and I often find a new online boutique to check out. The stunning nursery below was created by one of the PN members – now that’s how to do pink!
Another great site that has caught my magpie eye recently is ModGenes Designs – and Etsy store – this talented lady creates customisable prints for your little tinkers – there are some really funky designs.
The images above are totally my cup of tea, but if I was choosing one for my little Elsie Valentina, it would be these beauties…
ModGenes Designs are all fully customisable and cost around a tenner a print. Created by Lori, an art therapist who works primarily with children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the company is based in the States but will ship over to the UK. I reckon it makes a change from all the pink fluff you usually get! Happy browsing!
I just bought a set of these white Matryoshka measuring cups for £9.99 at Bristol’s coolest gift-shop-type -emporium ‘Iota’ – it doesn’t have a website, but does have a Facebook page. Now I can bake my cakes in style! But while I was browsing for an online supplier, I came across Fred & Friends – a rather quirky little shop that stocks unsual and humorous products to make your home look good and put a smile on your chops.
I particularly like the ‘Foot in the door’ door stop (frustratingly prices are not listed next to the product – i believe you have to purchase through their outlets including Amazon and Fredflare.com) but well worth a browse.
I also found some other Matryoshka measuring cups in technicolour, but for quite a bit more (£28) at Antropologie:
I am totally in love with their bedding section too…have a look (if you dare!) Also in their sale section, they have this exquisite tea set, plucked from the very depths of the ocean! Feel like a mermaid while having a brew…only £7!
One last Matryoshka inspired bit of loveliness: How about this bunting? Cute eh? It costs £22 and can be found in Hunky Dory Home.
And their beautiful cushion too…(£22) Now that’s enough 🙂
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
Oh how I love a good dose of Scandi-chic – it can inject a real calm, streamlined feel to interiors, whether it’s through the simple fabric in pretty red and white check, chic alpine flower prints or bold statement textiles that scream sophisticated style.
Having lived in Holland for a couple of years, I have long loved Dutch designs but more recently I have cast my net further afield and have caught a whole new generataion of Scandi designers that I just have to tell you about. As such, I have taken it upon myself to create a mini guide of designers to watch, places to find these gems and a couple of local haunts to try if you are on the hunt for a dose of Scandi –love (and we’re not talking strapping Swedish hunks in the sauna).
The good, the old and the ones to watch…
We can’t really talk about Scandinavian design without mentioning Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen. Panton, made famous by his chair of the same name, used rich colours and soft lines to create his signature look, while Arne Jacobsen’s striking design and architecture is embodied by his famous Swan chair.
As for the young Scandi upstarts worth keeping an eye on, Sofie Refer and Jacob Staer – are two budding designers that are currently gaining a great deal of press thanks to their jaw-droppingly exquisite lighting accoutrements – in particular their glamorous chandeliers while René Hougaard who goes under the name of Dnmark – is definitley worth noting.
I have also fallen hook line and sinker for the Lily light by Janne Kytanen and Jiri Evenhuis. This is part of a new collection by Freedom of Creation called Materialise while this quirky Yes/No pillow by Nicolette Brunklaus is simple yet striking. See her unusual lampshade designs, reminicent of a Dutch Deborah Bowness
However, we must now move swiftly on to more of the good stuff:
As your first port of call in the Scandi design trail, it is worth checking out The Scandinavian Design Centre this website which has a good overview of Scandi design, however, if you are after fabrics with a difference, Finnish company, Skandium, runs its own sumptuous fabrics and daring design shop called Marimekko – a regular haunt for me – the only problem is deciding which fabric to choose from the extensive collection – I defy you not to love them all. Here a re a few of my pickings:
This Hetkiä fabric with black and grey pattern makes perfect wall candy art. Designed by Maija Louekari, it is very on trend – see my previous post on doodling and illustrations.
Try Unique Interieur for great lamps –
this delicious one, clearly inspired by Panton, looks good enough to eat!Likewise, this happy horse oilcloth, by Susanne Schjerning
is one of my latest finds, she is a serious contender for my top list of all-time great inspirational designers.
While this spring-influenced oilcloth, entitled family tree, by Trine Andersen can be snapped up through Ferm Living (which Trine founded) at around €25 a pop, I reckon it’s a bargain – I expect to have one gracing my kitchen table before too long.
And there’s more…
Nordic Style has all sorts from chairs and tables to fabrics and is great if you are looking for a starting point
Filippa and Co – despite a shop closure, they are still up and running and have a host of original pieces of furniture to tempt the pounds out of your purse
Dutch by Design is one of my faves
Absolut Form offers Danish inspired design
95% Danish, is another one worth favouriting – a fantastic cutting-edge Scandi designers’ site
Elias and Grace have the cutest toys for kids in the signature Scandi style
Scandi Living – another good resource with a host of links and info to designer sites
Ferm Living, as mentioned earlier is a veritable smorgasbord of delicious design treats to get your inspiration flowing…
So there you have it (for now). There are of course plenty of other fab places and if you happen to live in the south west then I recommend a visit to ‘Hanzel und Gretel’ on Brock Street in Bath.
Walking into the shop stuffed to bursting with cookoo clocks is the first treat, as well as the hand-crafted Austrian lace and other fripperies but if you go down stairs there is a little grotto type coffee and strudel bar where the Sound of Music plays and the lights twinkle…a secret space worth visiting.
I advise you to favourite these little beauties so if you are ever in need of a serious dose of design, you can get your fix!