The most ludicrously luxurious cushion ever

There’s nothing I like more than over-priced homewares, but I don’t think I can justify¬£138.60 on this Covelli Tennant cushion no matter how much I like it. It’s made from a vintage silk scarf which in theory sounds like it should be easy to replicate but who am I kidding? This is another ‘ooh I could make one of those’ projects that will never, ever materialise.

Buy it here!

Emma Bridgewater x Liberty

There’s nothing I like more than interesting crockery – true fact! I’m the kind of mug (lol) that spaffs their wages on Nathalie Lete’s stuff for Anthropologie only to go batshit when anyone tries to eat off it.

Ceramics designer Emma Bridgewater has always been a little sophisticated for my tastes, but I really like the new limited edition ‘Splatter’ series of plates, bowls and serving bits she’s created for Liberty.

Using a traditional earthenware palette of blue and white but laying it on willy nilly makes for a fun twist on a classic. You can buy (what’s left of the) limited edition range online and instore at Liberty.

Plastic chandeliers are better than glass ones

My house doesn’t actually have one single normal light-fitting. It’s all weird IKEA strips and spotlights. Annoying enough at the bets of times, but even more so when you see things like this Marks & Spencer Acrylic Chandelier.

As a mid-teen, I had the Barbie backpack, the tiara, the pink leather jacket. I went down that Shampoo street and loved it there. Obviously I’m over that stage of my life now (hmm), but I still get excited by novelty plastic things. Is it worth just buying this and holding on to it until I buy a house with normal light-fittings?

Wartime posters – there’s more than just Keep Calm…

I know everyone and their actual grandmother has either a Keep Calm and Carry On print or some kind of spoof version, but what about the other propaganda posters that were released by the government at the same time?

You never seem to hear so much about Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution or Freedom is in Peril, and I don’t know why. To me, they’re more attractive – lexically speaking, that is. There’s also the fact that these other two posters were produced in much smaller quantities than the KCaCO option, surely making them more interesting? Who knows.

All I care about is getting a Freedom Is In Peril print to scare people and depress potential house guests. You can buy both of the other propaganda posters, as well as the original Keep Calm one, at Wartime Posters.

Wooden office igloo

Igloos are pretty awesome, even more so since it became public knowledge that Seal and Heidi Klum got engaged in one. Imagine how much better your 9-5 would be if it took place within the confines of this cubicle;

This amazing contraption is the work of Core Furniture in Australia, although I’m not sure if it’s just a design concept or something that one can actually purchase to enhance your day to day living. I would like to give all my books a white dust jacket, stack them up, then hide away inside, perhaps in a snow suit.

Silvia Venturini Fendi’s amazing house

I knew picking up Elle Decoration was a bad idea. I used to buy it regularly in the past for research purposes, but I haven’t read it since I got in to this obsessive nesting frame of mind… Now I spend all my money on cushions and stupid plates, browsing the interiors bible was bound to be a bad idea.

This month’s issue actually wasn’t too bad in terms of additions to my mental dream shopping list, but it did include a great feature on Silvia Venturini Fendi’s house in Ponza – a beautiful island just west of Rome.

Casa Madonna is an absolutely beautiful place; basically my dream holiday home. Silvia is, obviously, part of the Fendi clan and as accessories designer, is the woman responsible for the Fendi Baguette. Her house is nowhere near as ostentatious as you’d think…

Harpers did a similar feature on Casa Madonna last year, and as they have photos online and Elle don’t, here they are. Continue reading “Silvia Venturini Fendi’s amazing house”

Sanderson: The Essence of English Decoration

It seems like an extraordinarily long time since I wrote my original post about Sanderson prints and the exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum.

Since writing it – in fact almost straight after writing it – the kindly folks at Thames & Hudson sent me a copy of the exhibition’s corresponding book, The Essence of English Decoration. It’s a real treat of a coffee table style, full of amazing images that can’t fail to get you excited if you’re a textile geek. It’s also done nothing to discourage my crazy nesting habit, which has recently extended to bidding on Alfred Meakin plates on eBay. Speaking of which, if anyone has any Circus designs knocking around, I’ll buy them off you.

Anyway… Here are some of my favourite designs from the book;

Cover, obviously.

Savaric, a block-printed wallpaper designed c. 1896. As with most of Sanderson’s designs, it’s amazing how modern and right for now this print feels. This was originally used in a bedroom in Victor Horta’s house in Brussels. It’s still available in the Sanderson hand-print range, supplied to order.

Block-printed Percy Heffer design, c. 1912. The colours on this IRL are amazing. So dark with incredible punches of bright, almost neon pink. I love it but can’t even imagine how intense it would be on the wall of… well, any room. Having just read Dope Girls and London society’s obsession with opium dens at the time, can’t help but imagine it lining some sordidly amazing bedroom.

This is a detail from a 1930 advert by Horace Taylor. The wording reads as follows;

When you decorate a dull room with a Sanderson Wallpaper you transform it. It is like pulling up the blinds on a sunny morning. The room which had the sulks now smiles, the room which was so dowdy and dreary is now the sunniest room in the house. The Sanderson Wallpaper Book shows you paper after paper which is a joy to look at, and will be a pleasure to live with. On no account have any decorating done until you have asked your decorator to show you this most inspiring book.

Inspiring words for an inspiring book, but all I care about is getting sunshine print paper like on the right page of the book.

This Snow White print from 1938 reminds me, of course, of my beloved dress. Such lovely colours, not like the primary hued Disney of today.

Sanderson is famous for its chintz and Chapter 9 is (fabulously) called ‘Whole Hoggers on Chintz’. All the ad campaigns in this section are brilliant – ‘To save pennies, some manufacturers prune their roses’ on a particularly floral number. Here we see the cover of House & Garden from 1980 with an entire room decorated in ‘Only a Rose’. The design was eventually proved to bold and was withdrawn. Boo!

My palm-reading jewellery stand

I’ve been eying up this palm reading dummy hand jewellery stand from Urban Outfitters for months, but it did seem like yet another example of Something Expensive That I Don’t Need. Joy of joys, then, to find this semi-replica vintage model on Portobello Road for a fiver. I think I like it better, even if it is just because it fits my homeware criteria of looking ‘old’. Only problem is that some of the fingers are even fatter than mine (didn’t think it possible??) and I can’t squeeze my rings on all of them. Might go back and buy one of the phrenology heads for storing… one hat?

Inside Lynn Yaeger’s apartment

Incredible pictures of the awe-inspiring Lynn Yaeger’s amazing apartment. Read the whole feature here! I love how obsessed she is with eBay and collecting oddities. A real hero and so much more fun than a white, big-windowed, minimalistic swankster flat that you usually see on these things.

All pics from The Inside Source, where Lynn will now be a guest columnist. Please go read the full article too, it’s a great read!

Very Sanderson at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

Another week, another great exhibition… Aren’t we lucky to live in London? This week the Very Sanderson exhibition opened at the Fashion and Textiles Museum and I’m really excited to get down and see it ASAP. Along with the quilts, it’s probably a bit geeky if you’re not into textiles but I enjoy any opportunity to get down to the FTM and there are loads of good pubs round there too which always makes a trip worthwhile.

Sanderson is one of the oldest English design houses still going and its their 150th anniversary which is being celebrated at this exhibition. They’re the people responsible for some of the most iconic prints you’ll have seen — all those classic kitschy 50s Festival prints that you study in art school and drool over, triangles and circles and Miro-esque squiggles… lovely lovely. They were also the first people to create a range of mass produced coordinated wallpapers and curtains and created all sorts of revolutionary technical techniques to get excited about.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what the FTM have done with the collections as their exhibits are always so brilliantly curated. You can read more about the exhibition here and more about Sanderson here. Up there are some of my favourite wallpapers, showing designs from the 1800s up the 50s. Isn’t it weird/fantastic how any one of those would work just as well I’ve today?