Wednesday, 24 October 2012

English Romantic

I've been a fan of independent homeware and textile store Chocolate Creative for over a year now and love the graphic prints and bright colours they sell. However, when I took a look at the new English Romantic collection I was completely blown away. The collection, though small - only cushions and door knobs at the minute - is truly stunning. The products feature serene and typically English scenes such as woodlands and lakes, but still retain a modern feel. Here are a few images of the new pieces, I hope you like them as much as I do.
One of these cushions would look great scattered amongst lots of plain ones on a sofa. From left the designs are: Blue Lake, Red Lake, Vintage Beach and Woodlands. I love the colours in the Blue Lake design, so pretty!

Now for the door knobs.
Don't they look great against a dark charcoal background? Thank you Chocolate Creative, what a stunning collection!

{Images: Chocolate Creative}

Monday, 22 October 2012

My Dream Living Room via

As you read this I will be just about to start my new job at I'm so excited to be working for a brand that I have admired for a long time and one that is dedicated to providing great design to the north of England and beyond. So today I thought I'd share with you a few of my favourite items from the 15,000-strong collection available at It was hard to whittle it down to just a few but, with my soon-to-be-decorated living room in mind, I've chosen the pieces I would love own right now.
The sofa is a Cassina Reef Two Seater Sofa in Biscuit - a nice warm alternative to grey or white. The cushion is a classic Hay Dot Cushion in Graphic with a bright yellow contrasting button. Hay make these in lots of different colours too, each with a contrasting colour button, see the full collection here. The rug is a Nani Marquina Luna Rug which, not only is a cool design, but is also made from 100% New Zealand wool, so will be super cosy to sit on too! Last but not least are the Ercol Nest of Tables. These have been a favourite of mine for a very long time and I hope to finally buy them this year. Originally designed in 1956, they are a true design classic and will stand the test of time. They are made from solid wood and come in a number of finishes, including colour versions too.
I hope you like my round-up, but why not have a look at the website to choose your favourite pieces too?


Friday, 19 October 2012

Fantastic Foxes

The humble fox has always been a favourite of mine. Their big bushy tails and mischievous ways never fail to delight me. Until now, I thought I was the only one with this affection for our fury urban creatures, but it seems the world of interiors and fashion now agree with me. This A/W the fox motif is appearing on everything from cushions (Donna Wilson) and plates (Jimbob Art) to jewellery (Tatty Devine) and jumpers. Hurray! As much as I'd like to own all of these lovely items, I fear I may come across as some crazy fox lady so will make do with just one instead: a nice, cosy jumper. I've had a good look around for the best ones and here are my top picks...
I particularly like Peter Jensen's offerings (top), but the high street has some good alternatives. Below the Peter Jensen ones are, clockwise from left, a cream Topshop number, a royal fox from Dorothy Perkins, a grey knit from Aubin & Wills; and a navy one from the menswear collection at Aubin & Wills. Do you like them?

{Images: Peter Jensen; Topshop; Dorothy Perkins; Aubin & Wills}

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Paper Shades

Today I'm loving these beautifully designed paper light shades available from French store Cachette. The lights are inspired by the art of origami, and each light is folded from only one sheet of specialist paper. They come in seven colours (white, grey, pink, green, gold, canary yellow and autumn yellow) and are €89 each.
The paper shades come with a lovely fabric-covered cable and take a low-wattage bulb, meaning they give off a lovely soft light. Find them on-line here.

{Images: Cachette}

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Bright and Cheery Swedish Home

Hi guys, happy Monday! I want to start the week off on a bright and cheery note so I've featured a lovely Swedish home, complete with lots of yellow accents. A nice antidote to the dull, grey skies outside!
I absolutely LOVE the yellow tiled splashback in the kitchen - what a great way to add pattern and colour to the room. I stumbled across this pretty house tour on the Hus and Hem website which has lots of lovely home tours and room ideas, so if you've got an hour to spare have a peek!

{Images: Hus & Hem}

Friday, 12 October 2012

Carboot Tips for Sellers

Since I returned from Munich I've had a renewed urge to de-clutter. We seemed to manage so well on just the necessities whilst we were out there, both in terms of clothes and home-y things, so I decided to have a massive clear-out. I've been tackling a little bit day by day from my wardrobe to the kitchen cupboards to the bookshelf, with the eventual aim of holding a stall at my local flea market. I like to hold a stall every now and again as they are a quick, easy way to make a bit of money and they're good fun too! So, on Wednesday, I held a little stall in my local town of Arnold in Nottingham and began selling my things! Although it was a good sale, there were things that I could have done better so I thought I'd share my tips with you today.

1. Presentation is key

My best tip for making the most money at a carboot is to display items well. I'm always amazed at the dumped piles of clothes you see at markets like this, I'm so surprised they sell anything at all. Customers often hurry through the market and only glance at each stall to see if they want to look further. If your stall looks well presented - arranging things at different heights, putting your best items in the centre of the table - you will get more people looking at your stall and will get more sales.

2. Go with a friend

I made the mistake of going by myself this time - never again! When you get that initial 'rush', when customers left right and centre are screaming 'HOW MUCH IS THIS?!' at you, you need a buddy to help you out otherwise customers will leave if they wait too long for you.

3. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Take a packed lunch and a hot flask of tea. Not only will you will need it, it saves you spending your hard-earned cash at the over-priced burger van. Take warm clothes. Whether you hold your carboot in the early hours of the morning or, like mine, into the early evening, you will get cold standing around. Take a fold-up chair if you have one. And remember to take carrier bags and lots of change!

4. Be realistic about what will and won't sell

There is not point carting down your GCSE Maths study books from 1998 or your moth-eaten jumpers, these things won't sell! People come to browse carboots because they want a bargain, not because they want your old things.

5. Resist the urge to browse the other stalls

It sounds obvious but I've done this so many times before! There's no point de-cluttering only to bring back even more than you had before. Resist the urge!

I hope these tips help!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Pretty Pegs

In an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like to own designer or bespoke furniture. However, for most of the time, we have to make do with what the high street or Ikea has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I love Ikea - I think the way they offer great design for a reasonable price is fantastic - but sometimes it's nice to own something that no-one else has got. So when I came across Swedish accessories company Pretty Pegs who make add-on legs for Ikea sofas and beds, I was quite ecstatic. The little add-on legs add a nice bespoke feel to your existing furniture and can make a mass-produced piece feel a lot more you. They come in lots of different shapes and colours from natural ash to acid yellow so there's bound to be something that suits both you and your d├ęcor style.
Above is just a selection of the different shapes and colours on offer from the pink bobble 'Siri' (for the sofa) to the yellow-dipped 'Carl' (for beds). The pegs are predominantly made for Ikea furniture, but they can fit other brands, just check the product information on-line.

Here's how the 'Estelle', with brass tips, look on a simple bed. I like the mid-century feel the pegs create.
And here's the 'Dagmar' in black on a sofa.
I know these pegs aren't going to magically transform your Ektorp sofa into an Ercol studio couch, but they will make it make it feel a lot more unique and personal. What do you think?

{Images: Pretty Pegs}

Monday, 8 October 2012


I love these new Kaleido trays from Danish design store Hay. Brightly coloured and geometrically shaped, they are the perfect home accessory. I can see them as a centre piece on a coffee table, maybe filling them up with those bits and pieces that just end up as clutter - sweets, pens, loose change. What do you think?
There are five differently shaped trays in the collection, but they are all sold separately and come in lots of different colours so you can mix and match to suit your tastes. A great piece of design that's practical too.

{Images: Hay}

Friday, 5 October 2012

New Vs. Old: The Things I Brought Back from Munich

I'll be writing a proper post about my time in Munich soon, but today I want to show you a few things I bought back from my travels over there. Munich has a good mix of old and new in terms of shops and markets, reflecting the city and it's history, so was a bit of a dream location for me. There are plenty of regular car boots and flea markets where you can find vintage treasures (if you are English-speaking and Munich-based try out for lists and dates) as well as contemporary homeware and stationery stores for more recent products. Below are some of the bits and pieces I picked up on the high street.
I bought lots of washi tape for a few craft projects I have in mind, some good quality bakers twine, some pegs (also for a craft project), some coloured pens and some notebooks from a shop called Semicolon. The postcard is a picture of my new favourite drink - Augustiner's Edelstoff - mainly because that's all the beer gardens sold! The heart? Well, I couldn't leave Munich without one really!

Now for the older things.
The photos aren't great, sorry! I've included a few close up shots so you can see the details in some of the pieces. The embroidered hankies are so sweet, they show a typically dressed Bavarian couple - the man in lederhosen and the woman in dirndl. The tear-out floral sheets are from a book I was given for free, the Bavarian soldiers were a bargain at €1, though I did notice later that the red one is missing arms - ooops! Finally, the vintage hanger is my favourite find, I love the typography and the cream clippers, I think it's so chic. Another bargain at €1. The rest of the items are, from the top left: a set of hand-crotchet hangers, a hand-made tapestry, knitted pan-holders, a prettily illustrated children's music book, a vintage Munich postcard, some doilies, a few meters of lace trim, seven vintage gold-coloured buttons and a mint green vintage jumper. Phew.

I hope you've enjoyed having a peek at all my new things! Hope you all have a great weekend.

{Images: Laura Blanksby}

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Polaroid Z2300

When I first bought my Polaroid P600 instant camera I remember being so happy. I had finally got what I had wanted for a long time. However, for some reason could not think of what to take photos of. I soon realised that that didn't matter though - whatever I decided to take photos of (my cat probably) wasn't the point. It was that I could hold that picture in my hands in seconds. It was the most fun thing in the world. I loved taking my camera out when I met my friends, I loved being able to give the photos to friends and family as a little memento. It was cool.

However, the Polaroid instamatic didn't last. Film was expensive - around one pound a print - and there were faults in the design. It was clunky and heavy to transport, I could only take 10 photos at a time (unless I carried more film) and film could be accidentally exposed. Adding to this, digital cameras were also on the rise. This was a sad time for me as I knew what was coming. I held out as long as I could tracking down the last remnants of film in my area, but when my P600 began to break down I knew the game was over. I bought a digital camera and contentedly used that thereafter. I love digital too, there are so many benefits in it. You can take as many photos as you like and only print the best, you can easily store and share images and you can take a digital camera everywhere you go. Though there is still that part of me that craves being able to develop your picture seconds after you take it.

This is the reason I am ecstatic about the recently released Polaroid Z2300, a digital camera that allows you to print on-the-spot. The new design is slimline and takes a memory card, just like a normal point-and-shoot, but it also gives you the option to instantly print your best images onto credit-card sized paper.
I love the nice touch of the coloured stripe on the new Z2300, it's so reminiscent of the classic Polaroid designs.
The camera prints credit-card sized photographs which have a sticky back so can be used for scrap booking or craft projects. Although the size of the prints aren't the classic size, the fact that this camera exists is fantastic, and maybe in the future they will be able to introduce a camera that prints the classic-sized, square prints.
The idea is that you load your camera with paper and a memory card. You can take as many photos as you like and can view these on the screen, and then you decide if you want to print or not. No film is wasted and the option to print instantly is always there. I'm so pleased that this camera exists as it recognises our feelings of nostalgia towards the physical print, but also that we might want to take hundreds of snaps on a night out too. I'm still secretly hoping they will develop a camera that will print the classic square prints, but until then, this will do just fine.

{Images: Photojojo}

Monday, 1 October 2012

New at Muuto

Scandinavian furniture designers Muuto have released a new collection of elegantly designed furniture and accessories. There's a lovely fresh colour scheme running through the collection with plenty of light ash wood, pastel pink textiles and white accessories. Photographer Petra Bindel shot the new products and the results are wonderful.
My favourite new designs are: the 'Corky Carafe', designed by Andreas Engesvik; the 'Under the Bell' pendant lamp, designed by Iskos-Berlin; and 'The Dots' coat hooks (not shown) designed by Lars Tornoe.

{Images: Petra Bindel for Muuto}
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