Sunday, 19 June 2011

Gillian Kyle designs

If you're a fan of the humble Tunnocks teacake then you are going to love today's find. Whilst browsing the internet on this fine Sunday evening I stumbled across Gillian Kyle, a lovely shop selling totes, tea-towels, aprons, mugs and cards printed with classic Scottish foodstuffs. Think Iron Bru, Spam, Creamola and the iconic foil-wrapped teacake. Genius. 
This handy shopper is probably my favourite piece of the collection. It's screen-printed in shiny foil so it looks just like the real thing, and is a nice big size (51cm x 39cm), especially good for all those car-boot trips! If you like what you see, here's more of the collection.
How much do you love the grumpy Scottie dog on that shopper, so cute!
If you need greeting cards, Gillian Kyle do a little selection of blank cards which are perfect for any occasion. The Glasgow Breakfast foil card (below, right) would have been perfect for Fathers' Day, but I think I'm a little bit late for this year! Two of their greeting card designs have been printed on an antique letter-press machine, can you guess which ones?
Although in a similar vein to the Marmite merchandise you can buy at the minute, I think these are a lot fresher and more creative. I really like the simplicity of the products and the unique foil-effect on many of the prints. What do you think? Keep an eye out for new products as the company are in talks with a certain iconic Scottish whisky brand.
If you want to find out more about Gillian Kyle, click here to view their website, I'm sure you'll find something that will take your fancy!

{All Images: Gillian Kyle}

Friday, 17 June 2011

Beg Bicycles

Beg Bicycles, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1) You sell pretty bikes
2) You sell pretty bikes that are vintage-inspired
3) You sell pretty bikes that are vintage-inspired and have baskets on the front

Now, get ready to be 'wow-ed' guys, these bikes are seriously beautiful...
How pretty!
If you haven't heard of Beg Bicycles before, here's what you need to know: They are a Cambridge-based classic bike seller, launched in March this year. They offer four core designs, two for ladies and two for men, and also provide a bespoke service, where their hand-builders in Belgium will tailor a piece to your specific needs. The bikes come in a nice selection of muted shades including Flirty 30's Green (top and above) and Chalk (centre). AND they do a nice little selection of accessories to keep you and your new bike happy. Think checked blankets, tan satchels and wicker baskets.

Below are the four core designs on offer:
1. BELLA, in Persephone Pink
2. BETTY, in Flirty 30's Green
3. BILLY, in Lamp Post Grey
4. BERTIE, in Toad

I think Betty in the pink shade is my favourite. What about you? Here's a look at all those cute accessories I was telling you about.
If the gorgeous leather saddle and matching handlebars weren't enough to please you, the beautiful hand-crafted blankets and satchels certainly should. I'm in serious swoon mode right now!
There are more products available on their website too, so why not have a look.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I've been inspired to go for a bike ride and a picnic, lets hope the weather holds out! x

{All images: Beg Bicycles}

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Amy Butler's Stylish Ohio Home

If you missed Apartment Therapy's House Tour of designer Amy Butler's home, you missed a real treat. Her home, which she shares with husband David, is such a creative space. It's full of Amy's electric prints, with lots of wood and soothing white walls. It's a hub of activity but still manages to create a sense of tranquillity and calm. For those of you that did miss it, you can see the full tour here. Alternatively, just scroll down for my edited version. I've picked the best photographs from the tour which, for me, really capture this creative pad. All photography is by David Butler.

Let's start with the entrance...
Amy sees gardening as "as much of a passion" for her as her print-work, and this can certainly be seen from the outside of her home. There's lots of colour in the trees and plants surrounding the doorway, and they are perfectly placed to frame the entrance. The huge open doorway merges the outside with the inside and the white ceiling in the hallway works well creating a light, airy feeling.

Moving into the sitting room/ lounge area...
In the main sitting area, Amy has papered her walls in her own design, Lacework, from Graham & Brown and has mixed vintage and modern furniture. In the close-up shot of her dresser you can see her vintage trinkets all sat together, creating a wonderful display that is both personal and pretty to look at. I LOVE the boxed butterfly, I've been looking for one of those for my own home for ages now!

Next up is her easy-going kitchen and dining area...
Amy says her kitchen was one of her biggest indulgences. She has two refrigerators, two ovens, two dishwashers and an ice machine, so that the space would be perfect for entertaining. Although the kitchen is appliance-heavy and functional, she has maintained a pretty exterior- a hard task when there are lots of gadgets around. Don't you just love the simplicity of the large wooden dining table! Right next to those patio doors too, swoon.

So far we haven't seen too much of Amy's textiles and prints, but these come into play in the bedrooms and chill-out zones, which you can see below.
The floral cushions and artwork in the chill-out area complement the turquoise feature wall so perfectly. What a beautiful room. And the fun, colourful printed textiles in the bedroom really add a burst of energy to the pared-down neutral colour scheme.

I really love how this house works as a creative workroom for the couple (Amy and David's studios are in the basement) as well as it being a relaxed space. There are elements of Amy's work dotted around the house, as in the photographs below, but it is so clutter-free and relaxing at the same time.
A big thanks are due to Amy for sharing her beautiful space with us. Thank you, what an inspirational place you have! I've blogged before about how much I love Amy's work, so to see the inside of her house was a real treat for me. I hope it was for you too, and you've been inspired as much as I have!

{All images: David Butler via Apartment Therapy}

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

9 of the Best... On-line Stores

I never used to be a fan of on-line shopping, I much preferred seeing things in the flesh, touching the material, and imagining it in my home. However, over the past year or so there have been so many beautiful on-line stores crop up that I have been persuaded into the virtual realm. It was only last week that Ellie Tennant of Home Shopping Spy introduced me to Willow & Stone, and I've been following the progress of great new on-line stores Rowen & Wren and Ruby Rhino since they opened just a few weeks ago. So, with so many lovely on-line stores out there, which ones are the best? Here are my personal favourites.

The daddy of on-line shopping with so many lovely things to choose from. It literally has everything you could want. Looking for a fathers day gift? There will be something on here. How about a new ironing board cover? Yep, it'll be here too. NOTHS also do a lot of personalised items, which are great for that extra special gift.
Glass Art Deco jars; Crown candle holders; Scrabble cushions

These guys have a store in Hereford but for those of us that don't live there, their on-line space has everything that the shop has plus more! Lots of quirky home and kitchen accessories with a few well-known names thrown in the mix too (think Rob Ryan, Rifle Paper Co., Orla Kiely). Colourful and fun.
Sunflower salad bowl + servers; Retro kitchen timers; Ceramic flower bowls

This one is a recent discovery for me. You know those porcelain tags that you put on glass Kilner jars? This is where you get them from! And thus, how I found them! Dee Puddy is an on-line boutique selling lovely home and garden accessories as well as a small vintage collection. The range is not huge, but that just adds to the charm.
Porcelain sugar labels; Egg cup: Butter dish 

Yes you guessed it, it's the home of the squirty tomato! When The Big Tomato Company launched in 1999, their goal was to get an iconic squirty tomato on every kitchen table in the UK. With over 500,000 sold to date, they are certainly on their way. TBTC specialise in quirky kitchenware, stocking mugs, plates, bowls, storage jars, and of course those squeezy tomatoes.
Yellow tomato for mustard; Red tomato for ketchup; Pink tomato for um, er, prawn marie-rose sauce?

5. Angel
Again, Angel have physical store (in Easingwold, North Yorkshire), but they also have a fantastic on-line outlet for those who live further away. Angel specialise in textiles and linens and have such a great range of cushions and vintage Welsh blankets. Also available are candles, crockery and garden accessories. As I write this, interiors blog Style Made Simple  currently have a feature on Angel where there is a chance to win one of their lovely Beach Hut cushions. Click here if you're interested.
Butterfly cushion; Vintage Welsh blanket; Floor Jack cushion

This beautifully designed website is only three weeks old! But you certainly wouldn't think it with their elegantly designed site and sophisticated products. They stock everything your home may need from large pieces of furniture such as mirrors and storage trunks, to smaller accents like candlesticks and button vases. The website is a pleasure to browse through so do take a look, I'm sure you'll see something that takes your fancy! I'm particularly taken with those white ceramic pears down there...
Button vases; Ceramic pears; Peony cushion

With an ethos of rebelling against today's "throwaway society" in favour of selling items that will stand the test of time, it's hard not to love Garden Trading. These guys stock garden, laundry room and kitchen accessories that are not only more attractive than most, but they are built to last and useful too. Think pretty-looking compost and recycling bins (yes, they do exist), elegant gardening tools, durable wooden furniture and simple storage jars. Simple products that will last a life time.
Clay jug; Utility bucket; Compost bucket

Yes, this is Emily Chalmers' on-line version of her hip London store. Oh how I wish I could live in that Shoreditch shop! Anyway, the on-line Caravan is unfortunately nowhere near the physical shop in terms of product range and size, but they do have a small and entirely original collection available to us on-line folk. The collection changes every so often too so keep checking for new additions. Think red and white mushroom lamps and knitted dogs. Kitsch at it's absolute best.
Toadstool lamp; Bambi family; Pineapple wall sconce

This is an on-line boutique established by husband and wife Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote. As with their book of the same name, this on-line store specialise in top quality furniture and accessories that reflect their beautiful style. There's an emphasis on handmade, vintage and mixing the old with the new. Beautiful site and beautiful book.
Antique mirror; Vintage French chairs; Tin ceiling tile 
So that's my round up! There are so many more I would have liked to put in here, but I'll save them for another time. I hope you have a look around some of these beautiful stores as their collections are so interesting and they have many products that you just wouldn't be able to find in big chains and department stores. Let me know if I have introduced you to one of these stores or if you went on to buy something, I'd love to hear about it!
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