Posts Tagged ‘cambridge news blog’

By Leonie Walker

Recently I have come across several designs that take inspiration from urban living and city landscapes, offerings some refreshingly original design motifs and patterns.

One example is Timorous Beasties fantastic Toile collection. Unlike traditional French toile designs of charming pastoral scenes, Beasties’ toiles offer a contemporary twist on the French classic. Their wallpaper and fabric motifs display a surprising and honest depiction of city life. Iconic cityscapes, park life, crime scenes, promenading and rude boys are just a few of the engaging narratives that take place in these designs. There are differing toiles for London, New York, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and each with its own feel and cityscape.


The New York Toile


The London Toile














The Glasgow Toile



The Edinburgh Toile














Another example of urban themed decor is Marimekko’s new Siirtolapuutarha range. Made up of a selection of crockery and textiles, the pieces have a lovely illustrative design motif that eludes to cityscapes and urban living. Sure enough, the design for this range is inspired by city life, in particular small city gardens. The word siirtolapuutarha is a Finnish term that refers to small community plots of land in the city that are used for gardens and allotments. Each piece tells a different part of the siirtolapuurtarha story, from ‘a morsel of nature in the urban jungle’ to the ‘tiny gardens tucked into the nooks of urban life’ – Marimekko.


Siirtolapuutarha bowl, available at Skandium



Oiva Siirtolapuutarha coffee cup, available from Nord













Siirtolapuutarha plate, available from Skandium



Siirtolapuutarha red coated cotton











So you need look no further than out onto the street to find something new to be inspired by.

This article first appeared on the Cambridge Evening News website.


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Until I started thinking about this blog, I had no idea quite how popular hares had become.  See below a wonderful selection of whimsical designs.  This is a modern rustic look in fresh, leafy greens and warm, earthy tones.

 Red March Hares

 Jane Churchill March Hare Wallpaper in red £42 roll

 Dashing Red March Hares give playful touch to a country scheme.  Particularly suitable in a kitchen, study, nursery or cloakroom.  Several other colours available.

I have just come across an interesting website called Peony & Sage.  They sell a great selection of fabrics and accessories in pastels and florals, including this fabulous Hare print.

fudge hare

Their Fudge Hare Cushion is beautifully handmade, piped and finished with covered buttons.  Available with or without a feather pad.  £39.95-£49.95


 Also from Peony & Sage, these lovely lavender filled bunnies have matching gingham and button collars and come in a variety of colours.  Would make great alternative Easter gift.  £9.95 each

drum shade 

For a nature loving child’s bedroom these Drum Shades in Mini Hares are just perfect.  They are available in large and small sizes and in a great selection of colours.  They are made by Lolly and Boo and you need to contact Louise at this website if you would like to order one.

I recently came across a great website called Thornback & Peel.  They sell a wonderful selection of intricate screen printed pieces for the home. These include cushions, deck chairs, aprons and lampshades and I just love this cream cotton cushion with chocolate brown rabbits and green cabbages.  Their designs are inspired by artistic traditions from Mrs Beeton’s household management to Mr McGregor’s garden. 

rabbit & cabbage cushion 

Rabbit and Cabbage on Cotton Cushion 45x45cm £60

Then, flicking through Country Living Magazine I noticed a picture of the chair below, and read that Thornback & Peel have recently collaborated with ‘the design lab’ at Sofa.com.  A small, exclusive range of their fabrics is available to order on all sofa.com products. I think this chair is fabulous and would sit perfectly in a corner of the kitchen.

sofa.com chair

Alderney Armchair in Grey/Green Rabbit and Cabbage £840

This blog first appeared on the Cambridge News website

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Your hallway is the first glimpse that visitors will get into your home so consider your decor carefully to make sure you show off your house to its best advantage.

A slim console table set near to your front door for keys and post is useful but try and keep it as uncluttered as possible to promote a feeling of calm when you step through the door. A vase of flowers is lovely as well, to greet visitors and family.

This image by Sally Storey for John Cullen lighting is a great example of using multiple light sources for different purposes; notice the floor level lighting mixed in with spotlights and uplights. You might not need quite this much lighting in your hallway but it’s worth giving it some careful thought and if you are not sure consider getting an expert to help you plan this stage.

A simple row of coat pegs makes a feature of hats and scarves and the shoes lined up below look neat and practical. Painting the woodwork a bold shade is a clever way to add interest to a simple scheme.

The hallway is the traditional place for a telephone table, although with cordless phones this is no longer the case in many homes. But if you do decide to have a telephone table, hanging a painting above and adding a vase of fresh flowers makes it into a pretty display. A smart notepad and pen are useful for jotting down names and numbers.

Hampton Terracotta shown with a complementary natural floor covering

A jaunty stair runner like this one by Roger Oates makes a feature out of your staircase and is a practical, hardwearing solution to endless feet traipsing up and down.  Your hall carpet will also need to be sturdy to cope with the high level of footfall and for most homes the sturdier the carpet the better!

Image credits: Angel+ Blume, Sally Storey for John Cullen, Fired Earth, Roger Oates

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