Month: March, 2010

People we’re loving: nkuku

nkuku pocket journals

Last night I was detained quite some time in Wholefoods by the prettiest selection of fair trade journals and notebooks. You’re probably thinking, “not another pretty fair trade notebook”, but these are worth a second look.

Devon-based brand Nkuku, which is the name of a village in Zambia, combines traditional Indian and African artisan techniques with simple, modern designs – with stunning results at affordable prices.

nkuku photo albums on wooden table

They also do photo albums, pictured above, and textiles and jewellery. I also have my eye on one of their simple, snug quilts:

nkuku quilts close up blue pink

If you’re over by Wholefoods, nip along and check it out, or visit their website for more info.

Etsy love-in: Judy Kaufmann

world by judy kaufmann

Browsing on Etsy – the best way to spend ten free minutes, guaranteed – I spotted these prints by Judy Kaufmann and it was love at first sight.

people by judy kaufmann

I like her retro style and attention to detail. Giving hope to doodlers across the globe, she says, “I never was interested in economics or law, not even in art, but somewhere amongst my hundreds of notebooks, I began to draw stories of my life, that have transformed me into the girl that carries a ball-point pen in her knapsack.” Carry one in yours and you never know where it might take you…

cats by judy kauffman

A funky vase for Spring

john lewis vase metal grey

Vase, £30, John Lewis

People we’re loving: Lulu & Nat

lulu and nat quilts and cushions

I am always seduced by Indian textiles and crafts. Unable to hop on a plane and stock up, I like to keep an eye on Indian-inspired homewares available a little closer to home.

When I first saw these designs by English duo Lulu & Nat, my heart gave a little flutter. Their products are hand made using embroidery and block printing, in lovely warm colours – the quilts are so soft they even come in cot size. They also do tablecloths, wall hangings, cards and clothes.

lulu and nat  pink butterfly quilt

lulu and nat cushions in a pile

Oriental lavender cushions

green, yellow, pink silk lavender cushions

Browsing on notonthehighstreet.com, you can always find original and affordable things. I recently spied these cushions, with bright oriental designs, stuffed full of French lavender. At £8 you can invest in the whole bunch.

Peep show: Sophie Conran’s countryside Temple

Sophie Conran does it all – she bakes, she writes, she arranges flowers, she designs porcelain, cutlery, and she’s a mum on top of that. And she does it all so well.

She has recently added another string to her bow with Temple Guiting – a countryside retreat in the Cotswolds where you can go and cook shoot clay pigeons, eat yummy food or do whatever takes your fancy. Here is a peek inside the converted barn, which Sophie did up herself. It has a laid back but luxurious vibe, and I particularly like the exposed brick wall.

temple guiting bedroom

temple guiting sitting room

Peep show: Tobias and the Angel

tobias and the angel interior

Everyone’s talking about Tobias and the Angel, a furniture, gifts and one-stop shop for all things pretty, based in Barnes. Sophie Conran and Kirstie Allsopp are fans, and that’s just the start… it’s a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of treats.

I was lucky enough to interview the lovely Angel for mydeco – check it out here – and thought I’d post some pictures of the shop.

tobias and the angel

tobias and the angel

Say it with a postcarden

postcarden

I have not seen anything as cool as this postcarden – that’s a postcard-cum-pop-up-garden – in a long time; I can’t think of anything cuter to send a loved one. I also grew one myself and can guarantee that it works. For £7.50, it’s a bargain.

People we’re loving: Jimmie Martin

jimmie martin chair "i am a f*ing star"

Every day, I walk past the Jimmie Martin shop on Kensington Church Street shop on my way to work and I have slowly but surely become obsessed with their designs. Their provocative, colourful take on classical pieces is totally unique – modern and playful with a whole lot of nerve.

jimmie martin imperfect wardrobe grafitti

jimmie martin green sausage dog chairs

silver orchid bedside tables

Cash vs Credit: Heart cushions

brown dibor heart cushion

Brown heart cushion, £14, Dibor

jane hornsby linen and leather heart cushion

Cream heart cushion, £36, Jane Hornsby