Tag Archives: accessories

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Cowboys and Indians at Zara Home

2284000250_1_1_2 Screen shot 2014-05-02 at 09.14.03

3744009999_1_1_3Zara Home is doing some extremely cute kids’ accessories at the moment. Like the best children’s homewares (or maybe it’s just me) you kinda want them for yourself. If I had a decent little home office I’d definitely be resting my back against the sheriff’s badge cushion.

Urban Outfitters makes good (kinda)

In my twenties I used to love Urban Outfitters’ homewares; fun and affordable, they were a good way to spruce up your flat with what little money you had left at the end of the month, and there wasn’t really anything else like it on the high street. Some of my purchases endured, like the scandi-style graphic ‘bedspread’ (ie giant square of cotton) that my mum made into a roman blind for me, but I’d never think of going in there now – too much plastic, too many office novelties (step forward, Jesus action figure. Or perhaps, wheel forward).

But I urge you to take a look at its online shop at the moment, because there are good things to be found at small prices there. It is true that there is a lot of nonsense to wade through (iffy art by Rankin, toucan-shaped shower caps); I have no idea who their buyer/brand manager thinks their customer is. But clicking on the ‘online exclusives’ filters out a lot of it; bedding, rugs and retro-style furniture are particularly strong. Squint a bit and it could be Anthropologie, but without the heart-attack at the till. Here are some best bits (I bought the grey bedspread. Happy customer).

Multi half stripe rug, £65

Grey tufted cotton bedspread, was £75 now £40

Colour block quilt, £120

Yellow Brimfield Bookcase, £80

Retronaut-inspired ethnic chic

Here’s a scheme inspired by a great picture from one of my new favourite things, How to be a Retronaut, a cavalcade of visual fabulousness dragged from the archives (I can’t really explain it better than that, have a look though, it’s brilliant if you love social history and totally addictive). Its ‘…in colour’ series is the first thing I click on, and features rare early colour photography of everything from New York in the 1940s to Egypt in the 1920s. Nothing transports you directly into the past than old colour photography and some of the colours and textures are so unexpected; I think my brain thought that everything was actually black and white in history. I can glean more design inspiration here than in any glossy magazine, and this pic of Russian girls, taken from a set shot in 1909-15 seems right for autumnal plummy colours. I love their sombre expressions and stiff deportment (I guess you had to hold pretty still then) especially compared to their exuberant clothes. I was going to cast my shopping net a bit wider here but Zara Home was my first port of call and it pretty much nailed it, so hurray for that.

Clockwise from top left: Flecos blanket, Melia bread plates, Filigree cushion, Cameo tableware, Wayne stool, Rombo jug, Gardenia tray, Velvet cushion, all Zara Home 

Urchin pouffe

Spotted today in Darkroom on Lamb’s Conduit Street – Urchin, the squashiest, most touchable and most, um, knitted, pouffe ever. By Thomas Eyck, a Dutch publisher and curator with a little sideline for commissioning designers to make products for him (how do people find the time to do three jobs? I always wonder). Darkroom is launching an online store soon so hopefully they will be available to buy from there.

Wallter mobiles

Mobiles must be one of the most useless objects on earth (apart from for insomniac babies, maybe), and God knows I don’t need anything in my flat that simply takes up lots of space without serving a purpose, but I’m still allowed to like them. US company Wallter makes this ‘Palm’ model which has a vaguely ’60s/’70s vibe in its shape and comes in great colours – shades of orange/brown, blues and pinks/reds, plus all-white and (my favourite) a burnished gold that looks black until it catches the light. Sadly it doesn’t look like they ship to the UK, which leaves me wondering whether I could get my DIY dad to fashion something similar.If you want to see/buy more of Wallter’s work its very nice hexagonal 3D wall decals are available from Bristol shop Home Contrast.

Autumn/winter Argos catalogue picks

I flippin’ love it when the new Argos catalogue comes out. Not ‘cos it’s packed with amazing things to buy; more, it’s really not at all packed with lovely things to buy, but I like finding the nuggets of goodness that might sit well in a stylish house and you’d never know. I used to get the same buzz going round Woolies but that dream is over. Slim pickings this time, but here are some good inexpensive bits.

Argos-picks

Clockwise from top left: Bentwood white chair; red Doughnut chair; Karlsson rainbow wall clock; Warsaw walnut melamine table and benches; See See Sanctuary tea towels; white metal six double hook rail; cowhide rug; cuckoo clock; aluminium cylinder shade; candy spot and stripe duvet covers (also available as a double); Pi desk

Online store: Berry Red

Discovered this nice-looking online shop (which is also a nice-looking real shop, in Hereford) while having a browse. Berry Red’s owner Karon Hamilton has a really good eye for accessories that are quaint and sometimes kitsch without being super sickly sweet, as well as smart grown-up things such as enamel pendant lights. I particularly like the ceramics and tableware, which look much more classy (ie, expensive) than they are. One thing, though: it’s all pretty feminine. So this post is strictly for the ladies.

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