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Clock this baragin!

31 Aug

Copper clock £4.99 B&M Stores (boxed)

A few weeks ago, I visited one of the country’s biggest B&M stores and wrote about it for the Daily Mail (you can read it here).

I confess, I’d never been to either a B&M Home (huge warehouse-like stores selling thousands of products) or a B&M Bargains (the smaller high street version) before. And I LOVED it! It’s a bargain-hunter’s paradise. You really can buy anything there, from food to furniture – and it’s all an absolute steal.

What I really liked though was the homewares section. Yes, there were the cushions, kitchenware and picture frames you might find in any high street shop, but there were also some brilliant designer-look bits at frankly criminal prices. Think mirrors with straps, copper cutlery, wire storage baskets and several amazing clocks. My favourite was this cool wall clock, above (available with either numerals or lines on the face). Not only does it nail this season’s copper trend, but it costs just £4.99. Yep, a fiver. Unbelievable!

Here’s the numeral version next to an almost identical Karlsson one, which costs £68 from Idyll Home; and an Acctim one, £40, from Debenhams. Can you spot the difference? Tricky, isn’t it?!

bmstores-301329-Copper-Wall-Clock-2 £4.99From L to R: Copper clock £4.99 B&M; Karlsson copper clock £68 Idyllhome.co.uk; Acctim copper clock £40 Debenhams

So, if you haven’t already paid a vist to a B&M Store, I think it’s, ahem, time, you made a special trip! Race you to the tills…

 

Copper load of this!

30 Mar

Dunelm Cleo Copper Pendant -ú19.99

From high end stores to the high street, copper accessories are EVERYWHERE right now.

H&M Home, Habitat and Sainsbury’s have all got some lovely pieces, but my favourite find of the moment is this Cleo pendant shade from Dunelm (buy it here), with its designer looks and bargain £19.99 price tag.

It’d look particularly good in a hallway, letting maximum light shine through, and casting cool geometric patterns on the walls. And if you’re feeling really flash, why not make a feature of the lightbulb too and fit this fab Retro Bayonet Faceted Light Brown Bulb, £4.99, also from Dunelm (buy it here)?

1000056075_main

Let it glow

3 Feb

 

Get-Lucky

I’ve been hankering after a large circus marquee style wall light for a while, and once our loft conversion was complete, I had the perfect blank wall at the top of the stairs to hang one on. Thing is, these kinds of lights are usually so darn EXPENSIVE.

So, I was chuffed to discover the range of bargainous oversized vintage lights at chic online homes boutique Oliver Hayden. There are five designs to choose from, including a question mark, a ‘Get Lucky’ arrow, a ‘Sweet heart’ heart and a tattoo-style star, plus a smaller ‘Love’ heart:

Large-Star-300x270

At £45 for the large versions and £25 for the small, they’ll make a statement without breaking the bank; plus unlike other more costly designs which need to be plugged in with an unsightly cable, these use batteries and have a discreet switch at the side, meaning you can hang them anywhere.

Mr Treasure Hunter and I treated ourselves to the Get Lucky arrow light, which now hangs – slightly cheekily, as my mum has pointed out – just outside our new loft bedroom:

photo (93)What I particularly like about it is that it looks cool whether it’s lit or not, and whether it’s day or night.

Fancy one of your own? They’re in stock now (buy the arrow light here) but do keep selling out. I’m assured Oliver Hayden re-stock regularly, but still, better get your name down pronto!

 

 

Admit one (into your house)

11 Nov

Cinema ticket doormat

Doormats, let’s face it, are usually pretty boring. After all, there’s only so much you can do with a rectangle shape. This rubber one, however, is thinking a little bit outside the box- and I think it’s pretty awesome.

In the shape of a cinema ticket, it’s perfect for a film fan (or anyone bored of run-of-the-mill mats) and shows guests you’ve got a sense of humour before they’ve even crossed the threshold. Just don’t be surprised if they start demanding a giant vat of Coke and a tub of popcorn.

Get yours from The Gift Oasis for £22.99 here.

The future’s orange

1 Nov

Lifestyle shot from John Lewis

Pic courtesty of John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)

I recently wrote a trends piece for Closer magazine about Autumn’s hottest shades, as predicted by world colour experts, The Pantone Color Institute. There are some lovely ones – a deep Greek sea blue; a calming sage green; a spicy hot red… but my surprise favourite has to be ‘Koi’, a cheery bright orange.

Pantone colour predictions Autumn Winter 2013

It’s not a colour you’d automatically think of when buying things for your home, but while it can look too kitsch if splashed over an entire room; a few pops of orange in a plainer white or grey colour scheme can look really cool indeed.

To prove the point, I’ve found a whole host of lovely orange accessories that will add instant wow factor to any room, and that won’t break the bank price-wise. Which one is your favourite?!

ORANGE Fox sculpture £18 Littlewoods

Fox sculpture, £15, Littlewoods (www.Littlewoods.com); Fan lampshade, £36, http://www.Hunkydoryhome.co.uk; Linnell table lamp, £69 Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com)

ORANGE Cushion £18 Next

Shaggy cushion, £18, Next (www.next.co.uk); Essentials orange pyramid kettle, £25, BHS (www.bhs.co.uk); Bonjour! print £35, http://www.howkapow.com
orange selection one

Musca table lamp in ‘squirrel’, £19.98 B&Q (www.diy.com); Trimphone, £32, http://www.zincandco.com; Orla Kiely pots and jars, £20 – £23 each, http://www.Onebrowncow.co.uk; Jasper dining chair, £39, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)

orange selection two

Digital radio, £49.95, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk); Mod tealight holder, £10.50, Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk); Linea Egyptian cotton towels, from £8, House of Fraser (http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Linea+Egyptian+cotton+towel+in+orange/EGYPTORANG,default,pd.html)

One day my prints will come

16 Aug

Visual Philosophy Russian cockerel print

There aren’t enough walls in my house for all the prints I’d love to own, but after discovering a little gem of an online store called Visual Philosophy, I might have to make some space sharpish.

Inspired by “…Mid-Century Modernists, Scandinavian design, typography and retro graphic design”, the Oxford-based designers have created a lovely range of colour-popping prints that are available in various sizes – they’ll even customise them with different shades or words if you ask them nicely. Perfect for present ideas, I’d say.

Everything’s priced individually, with discounts if you buy more than one, but as a guide, you can expect to pay around £16.95 per unframed A3 print, or £23.18 for a trio of A4 prints. The store runs through Etsy at

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/visualphilosophy

My absolute favourites are Russian cockerel, above, and the kitchenalia prints (immediately below) – I can just see one of them sitting above my bread bin!

Visual Philosophy on Etsy set of three kitchen prints

Visual Philosophy on Etsy are we having fun yet print

Visual Philosophy on Etsy set of three bird prints

Visual Philosophy on Etsy children's print

Visual Philosophy mid century modern coffee print etsy

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section. Voting closes on 31st August. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

Very pin-teresting

12 Aug

Giant metal safety pin with tea towel

The new http://www.Notonthehighstreet.com catalogue has just popped through my letterbox and it’s a corker. If you’re not familiar with it, the website brings together thousands of different products from individual designers and small independent stores as well as bigger names. I’ve spent many a happy hour just putting different search terms in and seeing what goodies pop up.

Anyhow, my absolute favourite item from the new catalogue is this Giant Display Pin from Gertie & Mabel, top. It would look great in a kitchen with a tea towel on; in a bedroom to display necklaces; in a hallway to hang scarves; or in a craft room with spools of ribbon on. In fact, you can also buy vintage style wooden spools (£3.95 each) also from Gertie & Mabel to wind lovely ribbons on (yes, they sell the ribbons too!).

Giant metal safety pin with ribbon spools

Other standouts include these Industrial Metal Letters, below, from the Letteroom – at £29.50 each, they’re a lot cheaper than most designer ones you can buy…

Industrial metal letters

…and these AMAZING lights shaped like balloons (called Memory Balloon Wall Lights, by designer John Moncrieff). Made of handblown glass, they’re not just things of beauty, but they’re clever too – you attach them to the wall or ceiling, then pull on the string to switch them on. The only reason I haven’t run out and bought a load immediately? They start at £134 each, yikes!

Memory balloon ceiling light

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

Pop goes the easel

9 Aug

Call Me Pop Art Style Print £17 very.co.uk

Looking for something striking (yet cheap) to jazz up a white or monochrome room? I love these new Pop Art style canvas prints from http://www.Very.co.uk.

Ready to hang, the ‘Call Me’ print, above, is £17; while the ‘I wonder why’ print, below, is £22:

I_wonder_why_pop_art_print_£22

There’s even a matching ‘Carmen’ cushion, for £15:

Carmen_printed_cushion_£15

Want something you can frame yourself? This print by Clay Sinclair is just £5 from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk):

House by John Lewis, Clay Sinclair - Beautiful Glance Unframed Print £5 John LewisDON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

Push (and pull) the button

31 Jul

55550007-Acrylic-Retro- Button Knob-Red -Vera

I’ve long been a fan of changing drawer and door knobs on furniture to give it a whole new lease of life. However, there isn’t actually a huge choice of little knobs around – you can get a few at Ikea, Bombay Duck,  John Lewis and Oliver Bonas, but to be honest, the selection isn’t that great and they’re often fairly expensive.

So, I was excited (and admit I went a little overboard with my online shopping basket) when I found Trinca Ferro, http://www.trinca-ferro.com.

They sell literally hundreds of different little knobs in a huge variety of shapes and colours (below), for around £2.95 – £3.20 each. Bargain!

My absolute favourites are the chunky Acrylic Retro Button knobs, above. They come in eight shades and are a decent 4cm wide. You could use just one to jazz up chest of drawers; or even change all the handles on your kitchen cupboards for a really quirky look. I’ve got a big white chest of drawers in my bedroom – I reckon a mixture of different colours on each drawer would look amazing!

yellow floral knob

Strict doormat policy

18 Jun

If your name's not down doormat

On a trip to Whitstable at the weekend (more on this later in the week), I spotted this brilliant doormat, above. Granted, it’s not understated or classy, but it is funny and unusual, and it’d definitely raise a smile when people came to visit.

You don’t have to travel to the south coast to buy one though – you can get it for just £12 (plus £3.95 P&P) from http://www.jadoremavie.com; or £12.99 from http://www.beautifulcountryhomes.co.uk.

If I were you, I’d put your name down for one quick!

Picture perfect

18 Mar

BHS_Wall_art_from_£15

When it comes to homewares, BHS have really stepped up their game. Years ago, the store was quite mumsy and safe, but recently they’ve been coming out with some lovely stuff to rival other high street big hitters like Next and Matalan.

It started with their lighting ranges, and now their wall art selection has had a makeover. This season sees the launch of affordable, fun canvases and framed prints, almost all under £25, above.
My favourites? The Stamp mounted canvas print, £18; the London framed print, £22 and the Time for Tea framed print, just £8 (all below).

BHS_Stamp_print_canvas £18

BHS_London_cavas_£22

BHS_Time_for_Tea_£8

Let there be lights!

13 Mar

B&Q COLOURS ZAIRA GOLD EFFECT CUBE PENDANT £49.98

I’m looking for a new bedroom light. At present, I’ve got a round paper lantern-style one from Ikea, that has a hole in it where I bashed it, trying to kill a mosquito. Classy.

Top of my wishlist is this AMAZING new Zaira pendant. It’s already been featured in Living Etc magazine (the official stamp of coolness) and it looks like it ought to cost hundreds of pounds. In fact, it’s £49.98 from B&Q (www.diy.com). It looks stunning in the daylight, but I particularly love the delicate pattern it makes on the walls and ceiling when it’s all lit up at night.

However, anything I buy has to get past my other half, and he hates things that make ‘weird shapes’ on the ceiling, so the hunt continues!

In the meantime though, while we’re on the subject of lights, I can’t wait for summer when I can string up these fun solar bottle lights, £16 for three, from Next (www.next.co.uk), in my garden. They’re part of their new range of outdoor lighting, below, which includes fun light-up words and even a solar seagull. Brilliant!

GARDENS - LIGHTING Set of 3 solar bottle lights £16 Next

GARDENS - LIGHTING all lights and accessories from Next

GARDENS - LIGHTING all lights from Next

Tray chic

22 Feb

zinc memoboard 40x20cm £20 roseandgrey.co.uk

I’ve been looking for just the right kind of noticeboard for the wall of my home office for a while. It needs to be useful, yet look stylish too, as my office is really just a grand name for our spare room.

And I think I’ve found just the thing.

This Zinc Memo Board, £20, from Rose and Grey (www.roseandgrey.co.uk), looks like a chi-chi zinc tray – the kind you’d get drinks served on in a backstreet Parisian bar – and comes with a hanging rope loop and ten little magnets to hold all those important notes, cards and reciepts in check.

Don’t like the rectangular one? They’ve got round ones too, for the same, very reasonable price.

It had sold out completely, but the nice people at Rose and Grey tell me they’ve just received a new delivery – so they’re all stocked up and ready to go.

Send in the clouds

18 Feb

Cloud eraser and pencil set

I’ve recently started working from home*, and to get myself in the right frame of mind, I’m trying to make my office space (erm, a desk in the spare room!) as welcoming, fun and lovely as possible.

While searching for nice stationery – a favourite pastime of mine – I discovered a new mini trend: clouds. I love their jolly rounded shape, and the fact they’ll bring a bit of the outside in for those times when I’m chained to my computer.

So, here’s my pick of the best cloud-shaped accessories around at the moment. Maybe best to stick to just one or two in a room though – you don’t want things to get too over-cloud-ed, do you?!

TOP:
Cloud Pencil Eraser Set, £10, http://www.suck.uk.com – I LOVE this as it includes a rainbow too. The only problem is that the giant cloud-shaped eraser is too pretty to use!

BELOW:
Magnetic keyholder, £20, http://www.suck.uk.com – keys stick ‘magically’ to this handy keyholder, and look like rain. Genius! It’s stylish and unassuming even when not in use, and would go well in any room in the house.

Cloud magnetic key holder suck uk

Design Ideas Cloud Magnet Memo, £24.95 John Lewis, http://www.johnlewis.com
This clever write-on/wipe-off memo board is also magnetic and would look particularly lovely on a coloured wall.

cloud memo board john lewis

Luckies Sunnyside Egg Shaper, £7.95, http://www.luckies.co.uk or http://www.suck.uk.com
Place in your frying pan, then pop a yolk into the ‘sun’ section and the white into the ‘cloud’ – voila! (NB: want a quick way to separate egg whites and yolks? Crack an egg onto a plate, then gently lower the open neck of an empty water bottle over the yolk – it creates a vacuum and sucks it up! Then you can transfer it easily in the bottle to your pan).

Cloud sunnyside in pan

Cloud necklaces, from £6, http://www.Etsy.com and http://www.notonthehighstreet.com
Ok, so these won’t decorate your home, but they’re so sweet I thought I’d include them anyhow! Just seach for ‘cloud necklace’ on Etsy or Notonthehighstreet.com and there’s a huge range to choose from. Lovely! (on the left is an antique silver finish cloud by thewoodlandburrow on Etsy for £6.64/$10; on the right is Blue Raindrop Silver Cloud necklace by SUNnMOONcafe on Etsy, £21.58/$32.50)

silver cloud necklace thewoodlandburrow on etsy £6.64 or $10

*If you’re interested, you can check out my new ‘professional’ website here: http://www.jennywood.co.uk

Colour me happy (part three!)

4 Feb

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

Last week, I revealed the top ten shades of 2013, as predicted by colour boffins the Pantone Colour Institute.

Today, in my last post on this subject, I’m picking out some great accessories from the  high street in the final three shades – Poppy Red (bright pillar box red); Linen (classy cream) and Monaco Blue (deeper-than-royal blue):

MONACO BLUE
From left to right: Swallow bird cushion £9 Asda Direct (direct.asda.com); Jolie table lamp £35 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea Nautical Blue glass bathshop pot £8 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Japanese wave bowl £4.95 Dotcomgiftshop (www.dotcomgiftshop.com); Chunky knitted cushion £15 TU at Sainsburys (in store). 

Pantone Monaco blue

LINEN
From left to right: Owl lamp £10 (bargain!) Asda Direct (direct.asda.com); Coin storage box £3.49 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.co.uk); Knitted pouffe Littlewoods £85 (www.littlewoods.com); Jam jar vase £10 Next (www.next.co.uk). 

Pantone Linen

POPPY RED
From left to right: House by John Lewis Tony task lamp £25 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea tealight holder £12 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Retro Skittles alarm clock £20 John Lewis (as before); Large red tagine £35 House of Fraser (as before); Medium traditional lantern £12 John Lewis (as before). 

Pantone poppy red

 

Colour yourself happy (part two!)

1 Feb

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

On Wednesday I introduced you to the hottest ‘it’ hues of the year, as predicted by the experts at the Pantone Color Institute (they’ve got a cool job, haven’t they?!).

Today, I’ve picked out some fab new homes bits in three of my favourite shades – Lemon Zest (fun, sunshine yellow); African Violet (stronger-than-pastel lilac) and Grayed Jade (a lovely minty teal-y green):

LEMON ZEST
From left to right: Bone china scallop mug £10 The Richard Bramble Collection (www.richardbramble.co.uk); Bubble knit throw £40 Next (www.Next.co.uk); Linea Tropical Pineapple lamp £40 House of Fraser; Vintage by Wayne Hemingway coffee storage tin £7 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea Urban Tribe Stripe Vase £25 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk).

Pantone Lemon Zest

AFRICAN VIOLET
From left to right: Gertrude cushion £36 Home and Kids (www.homeandkids.co.uk); Multi photo frame £7.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Optic tea light holders £15 for a set of 3 Marks and Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com).

Pantone African Violet

GRAYED JADE
From left to right: Chunky knit cushion £14.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Personalised vintage apple crate £34.99 Getting Personal (www.gettingpersonal.co.uk); Terracotta jug £15 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Wooden bird cage £8.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Linea Curiosity teacup and saucer set £10 House of Fraser (as before); Big Ben cushion £7 Asda (direct.asda.com); LSA Firo carafe and tumbler £16.99 Beautiful Homes Direct (www.beautifulhomesdirect.com).

Pantone Grayed Jade

Colour yourself happy (part one!)

30 Jan

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

Every year, colour experts, The Pantone Color Institute, visit all the fashion shows and observe global trends. They use this information to collate their predictions for the next year’s hottest hues. These are the colours that’ll be everywhere – from clothes to homes accessories in the coming months.

For 2013, they’ve predicted a rainbow of stronger-than-pastel shades, above. Aren’t they pretty?!

The high street has already started to catch on, and there are some fab new colourful bits and bobs in the shops. To celebrate, I’m going to show you my picks of the best over the next week or so, starting today with Emerald (the overall ‘it’ colour of the season), Tender Shoots (a lovely fresh green), Nectarine (a peachy orange shade) and Dusk Blue (sky blue)…

EMERALD
From left to right: Apothecary bottle £19.50 Conran for M&S (www.marksandspencer.com); Non-slip chopping board £8 M&S (as before); Small glass vase £9 TU at Sainsburys (in store).

Pantone Emerald

TENDER SHOOTS
From left to right: Ingrid pendant shade £15 Littlewoods (www.littlewoods.com); Hourglass £8.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); John Lewis Summer Brights tableware £4 – £5 (www.johnlewis.com); Personalised mug £9.99 Getting Personal (www.gettingpersonal.co.uk); Loop cushion £27 Littlewoods (as before).

RRD-GBSPE-4393457

NECTARINE
From left to right: Orange rustic knit cushion £22 Next (www.next.co.uk); Ross Lovegrove style Supernatural chair £39 Cult Furniture (www.cultfurniture.com); Hummingbird votive candle holder £3 Asda (www.asda.com/direct).

Pantone Nectarine

DUSK BLUE
From left to right: Basis jug by LSA £20.50 Beautiful Homes Direct (www.beautifulhomesdirect.com); Bookend

DUSK BLUE Verona Desk Quarto Week to View (Aqua), £19.29 - Letts

Owl right now

21 Jan

Rigby & Mac Xmas felt owl wall clock £16.95

I was going to write about this fun little fella before Christmas, but then he sold out, and one of the promises I made when I first set up this blog was only ever to mention things you could actually buy.

Anyhow, I’ve just received an email saying he’s back in stock, so let me introduce you!

Called the Grey Felt Owl Wall Clock, from the lovely Rigby & Mac (www.rigbyandmac.com), he looks like a trendy uber expensive Scandi-style timepiece you’d get somewhere like Heal’s. But actually he’s a very reasonable £16.95.

I love his little winking eye, his soft felt-y body, and the little baby owl on his pendulum. I think he’d look very smart in a hallway, living room or kid’s bedroom.

What a hoot!

All mapped out

11 Jan

map covered 3D letters and ampersand

Map covered 3D ampersand

My other half is pretty easygoing when it comes to what we put in our house – he’ll go along with most of my ideas without putting up too much of a fight (sensible boy!). It’s rare he makes a real point about mentioning something he likes, and when he does, I always take note.

This Christmas, he had his heart set on some lovely 3D freestanding letters from http://www.etsy.com, that have vintage maps on the front, and can be personalised to show any country you like. He fancied our initials (we’re both “J”) and an ampersand. And he wanted Bali, where we went for our honeymoon, on one of them. Only thing was, when I checked the price of the ones he liked, they cost over £40… and I reckoned I could make them myself for much less.

So I did! And the results are above. I managed to get Bali on one ‘J’; the UK, Marrakech and Paris (favourite holiday desinations) on another; and California (where we got engaged) on the ampersand. They now have pride of place on our bedroom shelf and I’m pretty pleased with how they came out. What’s more, they were really easy to make. In fact, so easy, I thought I’d share the ‘how to’ with you, at the bottom of this entry.

Not into crafting? You can buy various versions of these letters, in different sizes, on http://www.etsy.com – they come covered in everything from vintage  maps to music scores and comic book pages. Seller Roseberry Stone makes some nice ones for £7.68/$12:

etsy map 3D letter

While you’re visiting Etsy, you can also get sweet locket necklaces (£22.39/$35 by PAPERandPLACE), personalised prints (£14.07/$22 by FleaMarketSunday) and even metal keepsake tins (£4.64/$7.25 by HocusFocus) with the map of your choice on fairly cheaply – they’d make really thoughtful, unusual presents. Some pics are below.

etsy custom map locket letters on mannequin

etsy custom map initial

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN 3D MAP LETTERS…

1. Buy a 3D letter in the initial of your choice. You can get them from http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk (search for “3D Letter” – they’re currently on sale for just 99p!) or Amazon; or I got mine from Ebay (they were listed as “Large 7 inch 18cm Decopatch Freestanding 3D Cardboard Letters” £2.75 from seller bigbaggiepeck).

2.Paint it in any colour you like. You can use any leftover ordinary emulsion paint, or buy a little tester pot. I used a tester pot of a shade called Vintage Map (I thought it was apt!) by Farrow & Ball.

3. Choose your map or covering paper. I bought a sheet of vintage world map wrapping paper from a travel shop called Stanfords for just £2.99. Just visit travel.stanfords.co.uk and search under ‘wrapping paper’ – it’s a really cheap way of getting some great old skool style maps on the cheap.

4. Lay your 3D letter on the covering paper and trace round it. If you want to make sure you get a specific country on your letter, you can make a see-through template first. Just place your 3D letter on a plastic see-through slip-in document wallet; draw round it and cut it out; and then position this template on your covering paper and trace round that instead.

5. Cut out the letter shape from the covering paper, cutting about 1mm inside the lines you traced.

6. Stick your cut out paper letter shape onto your painted 3D letter (I just used Pritt Stick); trim any overlapping edges; and you’re done!

Chair and chair alike

7 Jan

Eames DSW chairs various colours

The chairs above are all swanky Vitra Eames DSW chairs – a modern update of a 1950s classic by designers Charles and Ray Eames. It comes in various lovely colours and costs £315-320 from places such as Heal’s, John Lewis and http://www.funkylittledarlings.co.uk

The green ‘Malmo’ chair, below, also comes in white, black or red. However, it’s currently just £49  from Asda Direct (directasda.com). Spot the difference? Neither will 99% of your visitors.

You can buy six of these – SIX – for the price of one of the designer versions. Amazing.

The green and red versions are usually £99, but have £50 off at the moment, so snap ’em up quick. They’d look equally great round a dining table; as a statement on their own in a bedroom or bathroom; in a spare corner in a hallway; or as a smarter-than-usual home office chair.

TENDER SHOOTS Green Malmo chair £59 Asda

 

How much is that doggy in the window?

4 Jan

Rover lamp £30 Next

This ‘Rover’ lamp looks so expensive – like something you’d find in an edgy designer homes shop. But he’s not! This clever canine is from Next’s brand new homes collection (more about that in future posts) which is available in stores and online at http://www.next.co.uk right now. Oh,  and he’s just £30.

£30! I know, a bargain for something that cool. If only my other half wasn’t allergic to dogs…

My prediction is that Rover will be a sell-out within weeks. So, you’d better be quick if you want to (ahem) get your paws on one!

 

Luxe for less

2 Nov

Last week, I wrote a feature for the fabulous LOOK magazine on how to get designer-look homewares at high street prices. I found loads of great luxury copies (or ‘lookalikes’ or ‘tributes’ if you’re being kind!), including Asda’s amazing fox cushion, as featured on Monday’s blog post.

Anyhow, I came up so many great comparisons that they wouldn’t all fit in the mag. So, here, for your eyes only, are the ones that didn’t make it on the page. There are some spookily good lookalikes here… better snap up the cheap versions quick, before the lawyers are called in!

Above…
Left: Handknitted Urchin Pouffe, £470, http://www.hollys-house.com
Right: Scilla knitted floor cushions, £39.98 each, Colours at B&Q http://www.diy.com

Below…
Left: Deknudt Decora Silver Nugget Mirror, £825 , Heals http://www.heals.co.uk
Right: Home of Style Round Faceted Starburst Mirror, £49.99, Homebase http://www.homebase.co.uk

Left: Large Red Folding Vase, £75, The Conran Shop http://www.conranshop.co.uk
Right: LineaMix Red Vase, £30, House of Fraser http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Left: Bulb Table Lamp by Ingo Maurer, £655.20, http://www.ambientedirect.com
Right: Idea bulb shape table lamp, £19.98, B&Q http://www.diy.com

Left: EyeTest cushion, £25, John Lewis http://www.johnlewis.com
Right: Eye Test Card cushion, £12, Next http://www.next.co.uk

Left: White deer head, £99, Dwell http://www.dwell.co.uk
Right: Porcelain white deer head wall mount, £15, Matalan http://www.matalan.co.uk

Left: Vakash Cushion Cover, £120, OKA Direct http://www.okadirect.com
Right: Orange circles cushion, £20, Debenhams http://www.debenhams.com

Left: Film Lamp, £1,250, http://www.mufti.com
Right: Alfred Tripod Floor Lamp, £139, http://www.made.com

Left: The Small Baroque mirror, £900, Squint http://www.squintlimited.com
Right: Infini Baroque mirror in pink, £89.97, Tesco Direct http://www.tesco.com/direct

Time for a new clock

31 Oct

The clocks went back at the weekend (if you live in the UK, that is) and to celebrate, I’m thinking of treating my new kitchen to a new clock. The forerunner at the moment? This fun Newgate Milk Bottle Wall Clock, above, £35 from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com).

Fancy doing the same? There are LOADS of cool clocks out there at the moment. Here’s my pick of the best – let me know which one you have the most, ahem, time for!

Lexon Around clock, £28, Heals (www.heals.co.uk):

Canvas Cuckoo clock, £14.99, Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com):

Multi-coloured Photo Frame clock, £29.99, The Contemporary Home (www.tch.net):

Retro Aylesford wall clock, £19.50, M&S (www.marksandspencer.com):

Silver Star Wall Clock, £30, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com):

Jones & Co Dover Wall Clock, £19.92, Tesco Direct (www.tesco.com/direct):

Mini [working!] metal alarm clocks, £4.99 each, The Contemporary Home (www.tch.net):

Sunburst Gold Wall Clock, £25,  M&S (www.marksandspencer.com): 

Taking a stand

19 Oct

Shopping in one of my favourite stores, Tiger, the other day, I spotted this fantastic black tree-shaped coat stand (top) for just £20. It’s not just great-looking, but usually this kind of thing costs hundreds of pounds.

It got me thinking – maybe there are other bargainous coat stands out there. While most are mega expensive, the high street is finally catching on, and even Ikea has gotten in on the act. It’s stylish Knippe hat and coat stand is just £22:

And that’s kind of it! The only others in the vaguely reasonable price range are from Dwell, below, who have a good selection. They’re riced from £69 to £129, and come in various colours and finishes. The only downside is that they’re almost too nice to cover in bulky winter coats…!

Kimono-ver to my place

12 Oct

As a big fan of all things Japanese, I was properly excited to discover it’s a big trend for Autumn/Winter this year.

In fact, it’s so huge that John Lewis are theming a whole range of Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and ornaments around it. I got a sneak preview the other day and it’s all GORGEOUS!

I’ll bring you pictures and details nearer December, but for now, a whole host of Japanese-inspired home goodies have just hit the shops.

Here are my favourites:

Origami crane light, £8, http://www.cubicuk.com (main pic, above).

Nanako duvet cover, £60, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com):

Japanese blossom bowls, £4.95 each, http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com:

Origami cushions, £6 each (bargain!), Colours at B&Q (www.diy.com):

White ceramic origami bear, £8, Ben de Lisi at Debenhams (www.debenhams.com):

O is for Origami alphabet mug, £8, http://www.magpieline.com:

Silver and gold origami necklaces – triceratops, swan, rabbit and parrot – £110 each, http://www.thepodcompany.co.uk. I know these are so NOT a bargain, but a girl can dream!

Colours Norland pendant lightshade, £40, B&Q (www.diy.com):

Stick ’em up!

3 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Top Drawer, a trade show for people who own gift shops and homeware stores, where I met some brilliant designers including the lovely Adele from Nutmeg Wall Art (www.nutmegwallartstickers.co.uk) who makes removable wall stickers/decals.

I’d first stumbled upon her website when I was looking for a way to brighten up my son Sam’s nursery. I emailed her a picture of his room, which has very tasteful, but not very kid-friendly tree wallpaper on the walls. She came up with the idea of making brightly coloured parrot wall stickers to perch in and fly around the trees. Cute! She even superimposed the parrots on the picture I’d emailed her (above), so that I could see what the stickers would look like before I commited to buy them.

So, I thought I’d share her site with you. She sells ‘normal’ wall stickers like these:

But what is particularly fab – and what sets her apart from many of the other wall decal companies out there – is her bespoke service.

If you drop her a line at sales@nutmegwallart.co.uk, Adele will make you a personalised sticker for a very reasonable price. For example, a personalised London street sign sticker (immediately below – you can make up your own street name and postcode) is £30; a bespoke kitchen sticker (below, middle) is £26; and a personalised script sticker (below, bottom) is £19. But of course you don’t have to, erm, ‘stick’ to words and text – you can copy me and pick anything you like, as apparently Adele likes a challenge!

Parrot fashion

3 Sep

Wandering around Debenhams the other day, looking for a can opener that actually works without getting stuck, mangling the can or cutting my fingers (I’ll tell you all about it if and when I ever find one), I spotted this AWESOME lamp for £40.

The base is a giant, just-the-right-side-of-kitsch, china parrot – it comes in soft lime or white and would look brilliant perched in a bedroom, living room or on a hallway console table.

Parrots not your thing? Debenhams (www.debenhams.com) have got a thing for table lamps with fun-shaped bases at the moment – check out the dogs, £40-45; Owl, £32; telephone, £40; Bird and branch lamp, £75; and Eiffel tower lamp, £75, all below.

Just another brick in the wall

10 Aug

If you live with anyone else – whether that’s a partner, friend or even your mum, you’ll know how hard it can be to choose stuff for the home that you all agree on. My husband and I are like that about wallpapering our bedroom. We had it replastered over a year ago, and the wall behind our bed stays stubbornly blank, while a small tower of paper samples builds up on the chest of drawers next to it.

Then I had a breakthrough. I spotted the new Colours Woodland wallpaper from B&Q, above. Paste it up and it looks like your wall is clad in hip, weathered , Scandi-style timber. It’s a bold look – best suited to just one feature wall – but surprisingly, we both love it!

What’s more, this designer effect costs just £14 a roll! It’s an absolute bargain considering most fancy wallpapers cost at least £50 per roll these days.

And looking around, optical illusion papers like this are everywhere this Autumn/Winter. B&Q also have a cool “instant library” wallpaper (below, with red/black chair) depicting shelves of books (which would work well in a living room or study) for £19.98 per roll; Next sell wood panels too, as well as a brick effect (great for a kitchen or dining room) and bookshelves, all for 15 per roll (panels and bricks below);  while www.wallpaperdirect.co.uk have a plethora of designs (check out the new ‘Serendipity’ collection, bottom two pix), panels, multicoloured bookshelves and even a pebbledash print, all at £28-£34.95 per roll.

I think they’re wonderwall – sorry – wonderful. And for once, my other half agrees. Maybe yours will too?

Word up!

1 Aug

Do I need to spell it out? I’ve just discovered www.theletteroom.com and I think it’s font-tastic!

The site sells 3D letters in every size, colour, typeface and material imaginable (from wood and plastic to metal and even light-up neon); plus cute accessories decorated with initials, and personalised word-y prints.

The letters cost from just £3.75 each (for the bright wooden versions), meaning you can go minimalist with your favourite initial on a mantlepiece or shelf; or buy several and get creative on a bigger scale. How about a row of Zs above a bed; a colourful “Splash” in the bathroom; or even a whole alphabet of different fonts on a plain wall?

PS: I’ve written a piece for Look magazine this week all about using letters as wall art. And you can get 15% off at http://www.theletteroom.com too! Simply enter code LOOK at the online checkout between now and 7th August.

 

Feathered friends

6 Jul


I love feature wallpaper, but I don’t love the price. These days, you’re looking at an average of £50 a roll for anything even vaguely stylish. And if you’re papering anything other than a chimney breast or box room wall, you’re going to need two or three rolls. Daylight robbery, I tell you.

So when I saw this lovely Opera Aviary wallpaper was just £8.98 a roll, I did a double-take.  Three rolls would cost under £30 – can you believe it? – which is an absolute steal for something so classy. It comes in a very of-the-moment charcoal grey and yellow colourway, and would look great alongside white, grey or if you’re brave, black walls.

Get yours at B&Q or http://www.diy.com pronto!

Thanks for the memo boards

18 Jun

Shall I tell you a secret? I have a memory like a sieve. When I’m working, everyone thinks I’m incredibly organised, but the truth is that at home, I can barely remember my own name sometimes.

The only way I can stay on top of things is with endless lists, writing things on my hands, diaries (I have two paper ones and one on my phone) and memo boards.

Yep, memo boards are the forgetful girl’s best friend. And after years of using my fridge and some magnets as an organisation station (a great phrase!), I’ve decided to upgrade to a smarter, ‘proper’ board.

I’ve got my eye on two at the moment, both from www.shoponmydoorstep.com. First up is the ingenious Drip Magnetic Strip memo board with five tiny magnets, £12.95 (above). It looks like a swoosh of paint, comes in red,  purple or black, and is the perfect size – not so small you can’t fit anything on; but not so big you lose stuff on it.

Secondly, I’ve always liked the idea of a blackboard wall, but have never gotten round to faffing about with chalkboard paint. Now I’ve found the answer-  chalkboard wall stickers, from £5.45 for an A4 size (they go up to huge A0 size sheets for £29.45).

You can stick ’em up as they are, then write notes on them with chalk – or you can cut them into any shape you fancy. Job done!

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

At home on the branch

11 Jun

I first spotted these powder-coated stainless steel twiggy coat hooks over two years ago, in a homes magazine. They’d styled up three of them, in beige, olive and white, on a grass green wall – they looked lovely.

At the time, I was in the process of selling my flat, so I promised myself I’d get a couple for my new place… then I lost the magazine in the move!

I couldn’t find them for sale anywhere – until now. I’ve just stumbled upon them at www.shoponyourdoorstep.com, where they’re £23.45 each for the slim Twig Hanger – not bad for something that looks like a cool  piece of modern art as well as being darn useful, too.

Style them like the mag against any strong coloured wall, or keep things subtle with a white one on a white background,  and let the things you hang on it do the talking.

Whatever you decide, I guarantee it’ll look tree-mendous (sorry!).

What happens Next…

6 Jun

Take a look at the photo above. You’d think it was taken in a  chic French Brocante (bric-a-brac) shop. But in fact, this Aladdin’s Cave of goodies is a selection of Next’s new honewares ranges for this coming Autumn/Winter!

I was given a sneak preview of their new collections and was seriously impressed. Lots of stuff looks designer, and I particularly love the large zinc-edged wooden letters (above); the red miner’s lantern; the cotton reel candlesticks and designer-look light fitting made of four vintage-style lampshades (bottom). How about you?

Prices are still tbc, but as it’s Next, they’re likely to be more than reasonable. I can’t wait to start shopping!

Keep your eyes peeled for the new collections instore and at www.next.co.uk from the Autumn.

By hook or by nook

25 May

Keys, mobiles, iPods, glasses/glasses cases, pens, lipbalm… you can never find things like these when you need them. Which is usually just as you’re trying to leave the house and are in a bit of a flap anyhow.

That’s why I’m thinking of investing in a HookNook – a genius new cubbyhole and coat/bag/scarf hook combined. It’s big enough to hold all those vital bits and bobs, yet discreet at the same time

Why not get one for each member of your household and put them in a line

The Hook Nook by Flip & Tumble is £11 (for the white version) at http://www.junkskull.com or £13.35 (for a green or brown version) at http://www.amazon.co.uk

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter http://www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

Switch craft

26 Mar

One of the quickest ways to get a professional finish after you’ve decorated a room is to change the lightswitches. Replacing discoloured switch plates with  new chrome or fresh white plastic ones (B&Q have a wide selection) costs just a few pounds and instantly makes a room look classy, sparkly and fresh.

But if you’re looking for something a bit different, check out the quirky Mr Switch Plates from http://www.johncaswelldesign.co.uk. They turn your lightswitches into fun little faces and look way more expensive than their £10-a-pair pricetag.

No good at DIY? The people and animal face light switch stickers, £7.50 per pack, from http://www.coxandcox.co.uk (below) give much the same effect – just stick the little eyebrows, moustaches, lips, beards, whiskers etc onto your existing lightswitches to make friendly faces. Similar are the ‘Light Up Your Mood’ stickers, £6 per pack, from www.howkapow.com.

Welcome to the house of fun

2 Mar

I love Cox and Cox (www.coxandcox.co.uk). They sell a really good mix of beautiful vintage-style pieces, unusual homewares, decorations and quirky gifts.

They’ve just stocked up with loads of new products – some of which I’ll write about in the next few weeks – but for now, I had to show you this brilliant storage house, £35.

Made of heavy duty cardboard, it’s got 24 little drawers, which you can paint, stencil, stick stuff onto (as in the pic above), or cover with patterned paper (I’d decorate mine with different coloured origami papers) At 40cm high, 38 cm wide and 6cm deep, it’s handy for storing stationery, jewellery, sewing or craft stuff, household bits and bobs or even as an advent calendar later in the year.

Prefer to keep your nic nacs on display? I’m also coveting the new Dolls House Shelf, £49, (I know it’s not cheap, but check it out below – it’s gorgeous!). It has 23 little shelves, each backed with 70s-style paper and is 53cm high, 45cm wide and 5cm deep. The perfect size for both big and little girls!

Lights fantastic

16 Feb

How cool is this lightshade?! It looks like something from an upmarket, swanky shop, but is in fact from BHS (www.bhs.co.uk) and costs just £20. New this month, it’s called the Nico pendant, it slots over a normal light fitting, and comes in yellow and white, too. I reckon would look particularly striking in a hallway – you could even have different colours upstairs and downstairs!

Along the same ‘I can’t believe it’s not designer’ lines is this Nara paper lampshade, below, just £12 from Next (www.next.co.uk). As it covers the bulb with an origami-style flower, the soft light it produces makes it perfect for a bedroom. I’m putting in my order now!

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