Archive for February, 2012

Semarang chair: Tsantai Fair Trade Furniture

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Did you know it’s Fairtrade Fortnight?

Contemporary fair trade furniture

Semarang fair trade chair

The event is currently in full swing and helping raise awareness of fair trade issues, as well as the many products now available that meet the fairtrade criteria.

Amongst them are some great furniture ranges, including the Tsantai collection from Fair Trade Furniture.

The are six different furniture ranges within the Tsantai collection, including some lovely contemporary styles. We’ve tried out some of the furniture this week and particularly love the quirky style of the Semarang chair, which features an unusual asymmetrical design and is wonderfully comfortable.

The asymmetrical chair design, by Tord Kjellstrom, makes it ideal for curling up in – the high side provides the perfect corner to nestle into or curl up in to read a book. The chairs are available with a right or left high side, so you can pair them up well, plus there’s a matching sofa and other pieces available to complete the look.

The chair frame is made from Indonesian Mindi wood, with panels woven in seagrass, and the cushion covers are all made from fairly traded fabrics. There’s a great choice of fabrics and colours available, from rich ruby and azalea pink, to neutral almond and black grape.

The Semarang chair is available to purchase from the Fair Trade Furniture Company, who currently have up to 20% off all their furniture ranges.

Get the look: Red American retro diner

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

American retro home ideas

Love the look of classic American diners? Here’s a guest post from Becky Yardley, with some ideas and products to help you create a red retro diner look at home in your kitchen.

The American Diner look is an iconic fun flashback to the fifties, think stars and stripes and big impact pieces.

Go large with your appliances – this Siemens American style fridge freezer is a whopping 562 litres in size, perfect for storing all those yummy treats.

Recreate your own Pulp Fiction diner scene with this retro red and white bar chair, sip milkshakes from these stripy straws and tuck into some homemade popcorn.

Jam Roly Poly or Knicker Bocker Glory? Treat your eyes on this fab puddings print then cook up your favourite.  Be bold and bright with colourful appliances like this red Bosch dishwasher to add to the overall look.

Where to shop to get the look:

Pudding Framed Print – £19.95 from Olde Glory.

Cheer up decanter – $8.21 from Fishs Eddy (Also available from Liberty for £10.95)

American Diner Chair - $129.95 from Bar Stools and Chairs.

Siemens American Fridge Freezer - £1166 from Appliances Online.

Red and white Striped Straws – $4.95 from Fishs Eddy.

Bosch Dishwasher – £273 from Appliances Online.

Popcorn Maker -£24.95 from Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

Typoon Cookie Jar - £19 from Red Candy

Tam Tam Pop low stool: stylish and affordable

Monday, February 27th, 2012
Contemporary affordable seating

Stylish Tam Tam stool

For those times when you need extra seating, but don’t want to spend loads to ensure you’ve got it, these Tam Tam stools are incredibly useful and stylish to boot.

Originally designed by Henry Massonnet and now made by Branex Design, the stools are created from polypropylene and available in a lovely choice of colours.

As well as being handy as an extra seat, the stools can double up as small tables too – perfect for using as contemporary bedside table or a place to pop a drink at a party.

The Tam Tam Pop stools are only £16.60 each, from Made in Design.

The Best Bed Linen in the World: Pillowcase review

Friday, February 24th, 2012
Luxury designer pillowcases

Oxford pillowcases

The Best Bed Linen in the World makes a huge claim, but does it live up to its name?

Whilst I’ve not tried the whole of their bedlinen range, I have tried some pillowcases and have been very pleasantly surprised.

The quality is excellent and it’s far superior to my usual pillowcases. The white Oxford pillowcases have a silky, sateen feel to them, just like you would get in a five star hotel. They’re very comfortable to sleep on and look good too.

The only small downside was that they seemed to swamp my standard sized pillows – perhaps a superior pillow is needed for these cases?!

Having tried the pillowcases, I have high hopes that the rest of their bedlinen range is as good as they claim.

If you want to put the bed linen to the test, then a set of two plain white Oxford pillowcases costs £22 from The Best Linen in the World.

Fab Friday Bargain: Brit Pop Table Lamp

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Fab Friday bargain table lampContemporary glass table lamp light

I absolutely love this style of lamp, with its clear glass base and creative swirl of ribbon like material in the base.

The Brit Pop table lamp is fromDunelm Mill and is available in a cheery bright red or classic black.

It’s a complete bargain as it was originally £19.99, but is now reduced down to only £4.99. The only slight catch is that it’s unavailable for home delivery (I’m so disappointed, as I would have ordered it in a flash) – but if you’ve got a store near you, you can reserve it to collect.

Alternatively, the Jolie table lamp at John Lewis is very similar. It’s available to buy online in the same colours, plus green, pink and blue.

Fresh Design Competition: Win Tickets to the Ideal Home Show 2012

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Home shopping ideas

The nation’s best loved consumer home show is back for its 104 year. The Ideal Home Show, sponsored by Everest, is returning to London’s Earls Court for 17 days from the 16 March to 1 April 2012, and we have 10 pairs of tickets for our lucky readers to win to this year’s show!

The show famous for making home-making a national passion, boasts a new celebrity Ambassador line-up for 2012, over 600 exhibitors and EIGHT inspirational show sections all under one roof.

Flamboyant interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen will be the new celebrity ambassador for the ideal Interiors section, whilst TV gardening royalty Alan Titchmarsh joins the Ideal Home Show family as ideal Gardens ambassador along with Lorraine Kelly, the new face of ideal Woman.

These new celebrity faces will join existing show ambassadors and favourites, Gregg Wallace of ideal Food, Suzi Perry of ideal Gadgets and George Clarke of ideal Home Improvements at Earls Court this spring.

This year’s Ideal Home Show will take visitors through an exciting and spectacular showcase of inspirational living offering everything from full scale show homes to explore, expert advice, must have gadgets and gizmos, live cooking demonstrations, PLUS  stunning interior room sets, creative show gardens, tasty treats to purchase, an indulgent pampering zone and more ideal Shopping than ever before!

Offering an unrivalled range of products, home innovations and top tips and tricks for the home, the ideal Home Show is UK’s biggest home show and a great day out for the whole family!


To be in with a chance to WIN one of 10 pairs of tickets to this year’s show, simply answer the question below and leave your answer  as a comment.

Question: Who is the new celebrity ambassador for the ideal Interiors Section?

Tickets can be either booked online or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0844 8580 6763. For further information about the show visit the website

The 2012 show is once again supporting the Ideal Homes For Heroes appeal in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – see for details.

Follow the Ideal Home Show on Twitter

Show opening times

Opening Day, 16 March: 10am – 6pm

Weekdays & Weekends: 10am – 6pm

Thursday – late night: 10am – 9pm

Are you a budding wallpaper designer?

Design your own wallpaper competition

If you’ve ever fancied designing your own wallpaper, then the Ideal Home Show are also running a wallpaper competition. Aimed at budding interior design fans, you could win the chance to have your own unique wallpaper designed and go on sale at

The top five designs will be chosen and displayed at the Ideal Home Show, with the winner announced by designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Check out more details of the Ideal Wallpaper Design of the Year 2012 competition, which closes on 2 March 2012.

Ticket Competition Terms and Conditions

1. This offer is only open to UK residents.

2. Complimentary tickets are valid for one day only, on any one day of the show between the 16 March and 1 April 2012 at London’s Earls Court.

3. Tickets are non transferable.

4. Complimentary tickets obtained through this offer may not be duplicated.

5. All tickets will be scanned on entry to the show.

6. The closing date for this offer is midnight on 1st March.

7. A winner will be drawn randomly after the closing date and notified by email within 7 days.

8. The winners names will be posted on Fresh Design Blog.

Mexican light garland lighting idea

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Novelty light garland

Mexico inspired lighting

Lighting doesn’t have to be boring! Why not bring an element of fun into a room by using a light garland?

This light garland is full of colour and life and draws its inspiration from the bright colours of Mexico.

Measuring 240cm in length, the Mexican 35 light garland is suitable for indoor use only and costs £40 from Heal’s.

Woody bread bin and board

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Funky green bread bin and bread boardFunky modern kitchen accessoriesStylish kitchen storage accessories

Dual purpose bread bins are great, as not only do you get a place to store your loaf, but you also get a bread board too – and better value for money to boot!

This Woody bread bin and board is available in three bright colours (green, red and yellow) and offers a refreshing pop of colour in the kitchen.

The bread bin is made from a high quality plastic and it’s accompanied by a solid beech lid to use as a bread cutting board. Matching kitchen accessories, including a cheese grater, biscuit barrel and storage jars are available too.

The colourful Woody bread bins are available from Ziggi Ziggi and cost £35.

Wordsearch wallpaper from Identity Papers

Monday, February 20th, 2012
Personal customised wallpaper ideas

Puzzling wallpaper

For die hard fans of the classic word search puzzle, what could be better than decorating a wall with wordsearch wallpaper!

The wallpaper is digitally printed in the UK and can be customised, so you can choose the selection of words and letters you’d like to appear on it – a great way of creating home decor with a personal touch.

The made-to-order wordsearch wallpaper costs £150 from Identity Papers. Samples are available for £3.

The biggest problem could be resisting the urge to circle or cross through the words as you find them….

Simon Lewis Custard Cream biscuit cushion

Monday, February 20th, 2012
Giant custard cream biscuit

Custard cream cushion

What’s your favourite biscuit?

If it happens to be a custard cream, then here’s a fabulous way to celebrate your biscuit love at home with your very own custard cream cushion!

The giant custard cream design was created by UK illustrator, Simon Lewis, and it’s been screen printed onto this 100% cotton cushion (the reverse is plain).

The custard cream cushion costs £45 from Hunkydory Home.

For true custard cream addicts, there’s a matching foot stool and tea towel available too.

Not a fan of custard creams? How about one of these biscuits or maybe a Jammy Dodger‘s more your cup of tea?

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