• Move over magnolia

    by  • Tuesday, April 7, 2009 • 0 Comments

    New research released today reveals we’re injecting more personality into our homes than ever before, as the recession means we’re decorating for ourselves, not potential buyers. The survey, conducted by B&Q, showed that nearly a third of us (32%) are already using braver and bolder prints and more vibrant colours, while almost two thirds of us (62%) are planning to bring personal style into our homes. Perhaps we’re using bright colours and cheerful patterns to cheer ourselves up and beat the Credit Crunch blues, too?


    Cole & Son's Automania wallpaper is bold, bright and bursting with personality. It harks back to the swinging sixties when daring colour combinations and funky patterns were all the rage.

    Industry experts have already picked up on this shift towards colour and personality. Speaking at London Design Week recently, designer Nina Campbell declared: ‘The Age of Beige is officially over. Hotel-style homes are a thing of the past – as the housing market has collapsed, fewer of us are moving, so we’re decorating for ourselves, not future buyers.’ She likened teenagers who have been brought up in the magnolia-drenched neutral homes of the Nineties and Noughties to moles ‘…emerging, blinded and blinking into a 2009 world of bright, bold colours and patterns.’

    Personally, I love bright colours – even in smaller spaces, so this trend is right up my street. Check out our brilliant Ideal Home galleries for great ideas about how to use colour and pattern successfully in your home. – Ellie

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    New designs from Emily Burningham

    by  • Tuesday, April 7, 2009 • 2 Comments

    I’ve been a fan of designer Emily Burningham‘s work for a long time, so I was excited to see her new fabric collection on her recently re-launched website.








    It’s hard to choose a favourite, but I love the Berries design, which is inspired by a 1930s pattern and so cute I think it would be perfect for a tea-dress! If you’re based in or near London, there’s an exhibition of Emily Burningham‘s gorgeous fabrics, wrapping papers and greeting cards opening soon at  50 Albermarle Street, W1S 4BD. Entitled ‘Inspirational Designs’, the collection can be viewed by appointment from May 6 until June 30 – call 020 7493 4361 to book a slot. – Ellie




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    Darwin-inspired bird spotting

    by  • Monday, April 6, 2009 • 0 Comments

    I went to the Natural History Museum yesterday to see the Darwin Big Idea exhibition, which was of course fascinating – I thoroughly recommend a visit before it ends on 19th April 09. It’s inspired me to go on the hunt for wildlife furnishings today and I’ve just come across Wesley Barrell’s charming new collection of bird and fish cushions:

    Fish cushion, £65, Wesley Barrell

    Fish cushion, £65, Wesley Barrell


    Bird Cage Cushion, £60, Wesley Barrell


    And how gorgeous are these bird wallpapers from The Little Greene:

    Gt Ormond St parchment, The Little Greene

    Gt Ormond St parchment, The Little Greene

    Gt Ormand St parchment detail

    Gt Ormand St parchment detail

    I also bought a Bird House Painting Kit yesterday in the Natural History Museum shop, but  I’m slightly concerned that with my artistic skills I’ll scare away the birds in my garden, as opposed to encouraging them…hmmm…

    Bird House Painting Kit, £9.79, NHM

    Bird House Painting Kit, £9.79, NHM

    I’m going to paint it and put it up in my garden this Easter weekend, so I’ll let you know if I get any ‘big ideas’ whilst bird spotting. In the meantime, as I’m sure you’re not holding your breath, check out the garden ideas section of the Ideal Home website and our top garden tips in the latest issue of the magazineEmily 


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