• Insect invasion of UK homes

    by  • Monday, May 11, 2009 • 2 Comments

    Entomology is the buzz word on the lips of designers this season – butterfly motifs swarmed all over the spring summer 09 fashion catwalks, and now insects are invading our homes, too.


    Butterfly teacups, £30 for four; butterfly tealight holder, £10; Laura Ashley

    The Laura Ashley design team has really embraced the trend, scattering butterfly patterns liberally across its entire summer collection – there are butterfly magnets, butterfly lolly pop moulds, butterfly lights, butterfly jewellery boxes, butterfly mirrors, butterfly lamp shades – you get the idea.

    Picnicware, from £2.50 for a tumbler, Laura Ashley

    Picnicware, from £2.50 for a tumbler, Laura Ashley

    Butterfly lights, £22, Laura Ashley

    Butterfly lights, £22, Laura Ashley

    Susanne Philippson’s iconic Butterfly clock (£120 at Heals) has never been more popular, and Matalan has just introduced a similar clock for recessionistas with a credit-crunch-busting £18 price tag.

    Picture 13

    Butterfly clock, £120, Heals

    Chatting to artist John Dilnot at the recent Brighton Artists Open Houses festival, he told me that his butterfly and bug prints are selling particularly well at the moment. I’ve spotted John’s lovely entomological screen prints on the American Decor8 blog recently, too, so it seems the insect trend is going global!

    Garden Pests print, John Dilnot

    Garden Pests print, £110, John Dilnot

    If you’re after the real deal, Bugs Direct sells framed butterflies and insects in museum-style cases…

    Swallowtail butterfly in frame, £17, Bugs Direct

    Swallowtail butterfly in frame, £17, Bugs Direct

    …or you can just get the look with a striking cushion from Barker and Stonehouse instead.


    Red admiral cushion, £75, Barker and Stonehouse

    Designer Clarissa Hulse has designed a new Dragonfly pattern blind for Eclectics, which is really delicate and pretty – perfect for a bedroom:

    Picture 12

    I’ve also been admiring this lovely butterfly print fabric from new shop Runaway Coast. (Look out for our Runaway Coast post tomorrow!)

    Butterfly fabric, £34 per m, Runaway Coast

    Butterfly fabric, £34 per m, Runaway Coast

    If you’re not a fan of creepy crawlies, look away now – Queen of Posh GraffitiEmily Readett Bayley, has just launched a range of giant wooden bugs…

    Beetle, £15, Emily Readett Bayley

    Beetle, £15, Emily Readett Bayley

    So, why are butterflies and other insects in vogue this season? Perhaps they’re welcome positive symbols for troubled times? Butterflies are seen as cheerful, carefree creatures, while other insects are usually tough, adaptable survivors. Insects have been around for 175 million years (ish!) and they’ll probably be around for another 175 million, so maybe they represent reassuring continuation in our ever-changing world? Whatever the seed for this trend was, I’m quite content to be surrounded by butterflies this summer. I’ve been admiring artist Tracy Bush‘s wall art for a while, and now I’m making my own version by cutting paper butterflies out of vintage magazines using a stencil and pinning them in an IKEA Riba frame. It’s budget art, but time consuming and now my house is full of paper butterflies! – Ellie

    Paper butterflies by Tracy Bush

    Paper butterflies by Tracy Bush

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    Quirky cushions

    by  • Thursday, May 7, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Spice up your sofa with these crazy cushions from French designer Laissez Lucie Faire. We’re fans of high street shopping at Ideal Home, but when you want something unique or a little bit different, shopping online is often the answer. I love the Matroyoshka doll designs!

    laise21Imagine the impact one of these colourful cushions would have on a plain armchair! Or, if you’re feeling brave, you could mix several on a sofa for a really eclectic look. – Ellie

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    Pedlars magic

    by  • Wednesday, May 6, 2009 • 0 Comments

    Quirky mail order company Pedlars has a knack of stocking everything that I dream of owning, and the new spring collection is as lovely as expected.


    Branches wall sticker, £29.50, Pedlars

    The ultimate designer desk for 2009. Anglepoise lamp? Check. Vintage globe? Check. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ mug? Check. Funky wall sticker? Check. Vintage marmalade jar used as a pen pot in an oh-so-cool way? Check. If my desk looked like this, I’d get more work done, I’m sure…


    FUN print, £75, Pedlars

    Following on from yesterday’s post about circus fonts, this new FUN print couldn’t be more on-trend. Love it! Even though it’s May, I’ve got a thing for this fabulous reindeer oil cloth too, which proves that reindeers are for life, not just for Christmas:


    Oil cloth, from £32, Pedlars

    More Cool Britannia buys here for flag fans. Like them or loathe them, you can’t escape Union Jack designs this summer! Luckily, I’m loving this look and have even draped Union Jack bunting around my bedstead, much to my other half’s chagrin. (He muttered something rude before sulkily accepting the shabby chic vibe and the fact that his home now resembles some kind of crazy village fete, circa 1950. He’s well trained.)


    Union Jack tea towel, £11.50, Pedlars





    Enamel tea set, from £4.95, Pedlars


    Bunting, £14.95, Pedlars

    So many lovely things. Have a look at the full collection on the Pedlars website, and you can ogle the lovely cluttered home of founders Charlie and Caroline Gladstone in this Guardian article. – Ellie




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