Archive for March, 2010

Coat stand functional wall sticker

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Fab functional wall sticker

Fab functional wall sticker

We’re big fans of wall stickers, but even more so when they have a functional element to them. In the same vein as the wonderful Big Ben clock wall sticker comes this coat stand wall sticker.

It’s a black vinyl wall sticker, ready to be put up on your wall, but as well as looking like a coat stand, it can act like one too. The sticker comes complete with a hook that can be added in your desired spot (in keeping with the design of the stand works best) and, voila, you can hang your coat, bag or umbrella on your stand.

It’s funky and different, plus saves heaps of space compared to a traditional coat stand. The black wall sticker is by Vynil and is available to buy from Made in Design.

Fold up low garden seat

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Fold-up garden seat

Fold-up garden seat

We love the idea of this low, fold-up seat. It would be perfect for using in the garden when you’re entertaining, if you want to pop out and sit in the sun for a few minutes or if you’re hosting a barbecue. It’s also useful to take with you to other outdoor events and is the perfect size for use on a picnic or at a festival.

The chair is small, lightweight and easy to carry and is made in England from recycled polypropelene.

The low fold-up seat is available from The Urban Garden, where it’s currently reduced in price.

Deal of the day: Artificial orchid plant display

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Everlasting orchids

Everlasting orchids

Not everyone is blessed with green fingers and, if you have trouble keeping plants alive, help is at hand.

Artificial flowers have improved immensely over the years and now look just like the real thing. These artificial orchids will successfully fool people into thinking you’ve developed the knack of keeping plants alive and thriving, but you’ll never have to worry about watering, or over-watering, them.

The artificial orchid spray, which comes in a ceramic bowl, is the special Deal of the Day offer over on M&S today. For the next 13 hours, you can get £25 off the usual price and snap up this floral beauty for only £30. Hurry, don’t miss the deadline!

Pastel rainbow ball chair from Bouf

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Iconic ball chair

Iconic ball chair

We featured some glossy, single coloured ball chairs a few weeks ago, but now we’ve stumbled upon this one.

We rather like the colouring – pastel shades subtlely mixed together to create a swirling rainbow effect - and it would be nice if you prefer more pastel colours to the bright glossy ones.

The ball chair is made by Finn Stone from fibreglass, is suitable for use both indoors and out in the garden, and can be purchased from Bouf.

Decorative twigs with lights

Monday, March 29th, 2010
Pre-lit chocolate brown twigs from Homebase

Decorative twigs with lights

We’ve just been given some of these decorative twigs, that come with lights on them, and they’re so nice that we couldn’t resist writing about them here.

Twigs are a popular choice of decorative accessory and you can buy bunches of nice plain twigs to use in vases around your home. But these are extra special, as they come with a set of small lights (like fairy / Christmas tree lights) already attached.

All you need to do is find a suitable vase – the twigs are lightweight, so a small one is fine – pop them in, plug it in and, voila, you’ve got a lovely lit up twig decoration. It’s perfect to go by the fireside, on a windowledge or in a corner of your room and is the ideal way of having a bit of extra light in a room. If you choose a glass vase, even the lights at the bottom of the twigs can be seen when they’re lit up.

The pre-lit chocolate brown twigs are available from Homebase.

John Lewis revolving Easter tree for Easter decorations

Monday, March 29th, 2010
Perfect for Easter decorations

Perfect for Easter decorations

This contemporary style silver metal tree is perfect for using to hang Easter decorations on (and to get full value for your money, it can easily double up as as mini Christmas tree too).

The branches are finished off with metal scrolls and, if you pop two batteries into the base, the tree will revolve and show off all your decorations to full effect. The revolving tree is available from John Lewis.

luxury-beaded-easter-eggs   speckled-eggs

For a seasonal Easter display, you could hang these luxury beaded eggs (6 for £7.99) or these traditional speckled eggs (6 for £5.99) on the revolving tree.

Related Post

Easter blossom paper tree

Set of six scalloped edge tea light holders

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Tea light holders

Tea light holders

Tea light holders are the perfect size and shape to hold a small tealight candle and are lovely to use for occasions when you want to be surrounded by the glimmer of candlelight, like dinner parties, when you’re entertaining inside or outdoors, when you’re relaxing on a night in or enjoying a candlelit bath.

These scalloped edge tea light holders come as a set of six, so you can have multiple tea lights lit at once and dotted around, or you can use one or two on their own. The set includes holders in red, pale pink, turquiose, silver, gold and pale green and they’re available to buy from Graham and Green.

Special offer: stripe directors chair

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Stripy chair

Stripy chair

This colourful stripy directors chair is a great way of adding some colour into your seating. The chair is made from wood that is FSC, or certified as sustainable, and it’s been treated with oil so that you can successfully use it outside without the wood deteriorating.

The directors chair would be great for use in a conservatory, or outdoors when the weather improves and it folds down well for storage purposes.

The stripe chair is available from Sainsbury’s. The usual cost for one chair is £29.99, but if you buy a pair, you can currently take advantage of a special offer for two chairs for £40.

Stylish affordable wallpaper from M&S

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

flock-damask-wallpapertextured-plain-wallpaperWallpaper you can affordbold-stripe-wallpaper

As you may already have noticed, we’re big fans of wallpaper. But whilst there are some truly scrumptious designs available, not all of them are affordable for everyone. It’s not always too bad if you just want a single roll to do a small wall, or a create a statement in a room, but if you need to cover a larger space, the cost can add up significantly and make wallpapering an expensive decorating choice.

Thankfully, help is at hand and there are various places selling more affordable rolls of wallpaper that look just as impressive as their expensive counterparts.

Take M&S, for example. Their current wallpaper range has a great selection of designs, from modern and contemporary, to classic, and the majority of options are available for under £20 a roll. Here are some of our favourites.


The flock damask wallpaper features a striking black and white design and has the added bonus of a luxurious velour texture, which makes it nice to touch (you won’t be able to resist touching it!). This wallpaper is £19.50 for a 10m roll.


If it’s texture you’re looking to add to your wall, then this textured plain wallpaper is the perfect solution. Available in red, blum or lagoon (blue), the wallpaper is £9.50 for a 10m roll.

Wallpaper you can afford

The hydrangea print, shown here in lagoon (blue), but also available in plum, is a perfect floral print for introducing into your home this spring. It’s £15 for a 10m roll.


If stripes make you excited, then this bold stripe wallpaper is available in four colour choices, including a red mix, natural, cream and plum. It costs £15 for a 10m roll.

Unsure how many rolls of wallpaper to buy? Ideal Home have created a useful wallpaper calculator tool, that helps you work out how much wallpaper you’ll need for your decorating project.

Related Posts

M&S tree silhouette wallpaper

Top 10 contemporary floral wallpapers

Top 10 designer wallpapers

Tin can openers on trial: Fresh Design Blog product test

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

sy70-stellar-prem-gadgets-can-opener                  oxo-soft_handled_can_opener


There are a lot of kitchen gadgets on the market, with some being essential for getting everyday kitchen jobs and cooking done, and others useful for occasional tasks. One of the essential pieces of equipment that every kitchen should own is a tin or can opener.

There’s a huge variety of tin openers available, from the quirky ones with unusual designs, to contemporary can openers. Having recently struggled with a tin opener that was tough to use and took ages to open a tin, leaving a multitude of jagged edges behind, we decided to investigate the other options available, as surely there must be some effective, user friendly and stylish tin can openers out there somewhere?

We put four tin can openers to the test, opening a standard sized can:

1. Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener (product id: 30081)
2. Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener (product id: SY70)
3. Judge Black Satin Can Opener (product id: TD62)
4. Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener (product id: 28081)

1. Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener (product id: 30081)


This tin opener has soft padded handles, that made it comfortable to hold. It was easy to get the tin opener into position and easy to push the handles to get it started. This product did live up to its name of being a good grip and it worked like a dream – it seemed effortless to turn the padded knob and get the lid of the tin off. The lid came off very well, with no sharp edges left behind.


As far as style and design goes, the product is nicely shaped and contoured and we especially loved the snap-lock function. Not only does this help release the can at the end, when you’ve finished opening it, but it also means the product can be ‘shut’ together when you’re not using it, which helps it become more slimline and easy to store in a kitchen drawer.

Where to buy it: The Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener can be bought on Amazon, for £9.98.

Also available at retailers nationwide; for stockist information, call 0114 290 1455

2. Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener (product id: SY70)


The Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener is a sleek and stylish product that would look right at home in any contemporary kitchen.

I was a bit apprehensive about whether an all over stainless steel tin opener would be as comfortable to use as one with padded handles, but I needn’t have worried. It has a large elongated handle, with moulded fingergrips on the back of the handles, which makes it verycomfortable and pleasant to hold.

It was quick and easy to get the can opener latched onto the tin, and for the first puncture to be made. Once on, the knob turned with ease and the tin lid was off before I knew it.


Compared to the other can openers we tested, it was one of the longer products, but it’s not too wide, so for storage purposes it’s relatively slimline, as tin openers go. Due to the design, it could very easily be hung up too, if you have a utensil hanging rack in your kitchen. The hanging ‘hook’ looks like it could also function as a handy bottle opener, but we didn’t try this out.

Where to buy it: The Stellar Stainless Steel Can Opener is available from Cooking Time for £8.99.

More stockists available nationwide; search by postcode here.

3. Judge Black Satin Can Opener (product id: TD62)


The Judge Black Satin Can Opener has smooth black handles that are comfortable to hold and instantly gives an idea of what the ‘satin’ in the name refers to. The handles are flat, rather than chunky, which makes them easier to grip, and they have loops in the ends, which you could use for hanging the tin opener on a utensil rack if you wish.

This one also has what looks like two bottle openers built into the stainless steel design.


When it came to the crucial issue of tin opening ability, the Judge Black Satin Can Opener did the job very well. The product was easy to use, it latched onto the tin easily and the knob was easy to turn. It seemed to whizz around quickly, and before we knew, the lid was off.

Where to buy it: The Judge Black Satin Can Opener is available from Bradbeers for £5.10.

More stockists available nationwide; search by postcode here.

4. Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener (product id: 28081)


Having been so impressed with the Oxo Good Grips Snap-Lock Can Opener, I had high hopes for this product. It’s a different design and the soft grip is only on the knob and arms of the product, with the rest left as stainless steel.The design is a bit chunkier and it’s not got quite such as streamlined a look as the other Oxo Good Grips tin opener that we tested.


Unfortunately, the tin opening experience wasn’t as good with this product. It was harder to squeeze and puncture the tin and it seemed a lot stiffer to turn the knob and get this tin can opener moving. Compared to the other can openers we tested, it was a lot more sluggish in its movement and when the lid finally did come off, the cut wasn’t as smooth as the other products.

Whether this was due to how we used it, or perhaps a dodgy tin, we’re not sure, but it sadly didn’t match up to the effectiveness of the other tin openers on trial.

Where to buy it: The Oxo Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener is available from Amazon for £10.56.

Also available at retailers nationwide; for stockist information, call 0114 290 1455

* With many thanks to Horwood Homewares and The Lenny Agency for kindly supplying tin openers for us to test.

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