Archive for the ‘Decorative accessories’ Category

Who’s a pretty Polly? Add a parrot to your wall

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


Give a pet parrot a home

What a cheeky chappy this feathered friend looks like! If you’ve got a bare wall that needs to be livened up, why not add a wall hanging parrot?

This parrot won’t moult feathers or give you any cheek, it will simply hang on your wall and look a bit quirky. It’s made of ceramic, with a lively turquoise finish, and has a brilliant level of detail all over its body, head and feathers.

The parrot is available from Graham and Green for £20, which seems like a good price for an unusual piece.


Jonathan Adler squirrel match strike

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Homeware by designer Jonathan Adler

Lately we don’t seem to be able to resist a quirky squirrel design and here’s another nifty idea that’s caught our eye.

Made by Jonathan Adler, the squirrel isn’t just a decorative piece, but it’s also a match holder and strike too. The squirrel holds the matches in an upturned acorn and the whole of the base can be used to strike a match.

Whether you’re a regular user of matches, or simply want to have some handy to light occasional candles, this is a nice white porcelain design with a useful purpose.

At £42 from Amara, it may also be a somewhat more affordable way of owning one of Adler’s Menagerie style pieces.

Five ways with…Christmas pine cones

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

If you’re keeping an eye on your budget this Christmas, fancy having a more natural look or just want to try something different, then get your hands on some pine cones. They’re easily available in any pine forest at this time of year, so organise your family as workforce, pack some flasks of hot chocolate and a collecting basket and take yourself off for a family day out.

When you’ve collected the pine cones, they need to be dried out thoroughly before use. Cover a baking tray with aluminium foil, arrange the cones on it and put it in the oven for about an hour at 100 degrees Celsius. In addition to drying them, the heat should encourage any closed cones to open into lovely, spiky, architectural shapes.

Traditional pine cone door wreath


For a traditional wreath, you’ll need an oasis ring (available from florists or online), and some plastic-covered garden wire. You’ll also need a selection of greenery, including holly and fir. Wrap the wire round the base of the pine cones, pulling it through the spikes until it’s as invisible as possible. Leave a ‘stalk’ of wire at the bottom, and wrap this round the oasis ring to hold the pine cone in place. Wire 8 – 10 cones at intervals around the ring in this way. Remove any surplus leaves from the holly, and trim the stem down to 3 or 4 centimetres. Push the holly into the ring around the base of the pine cones (it’s a good idea to wear gloves at this point, to protect your fingers). Fill in any gaps with fir twigs until no oasis is visible. Finish by wiring on cinnamon sticks tied with coloured ribbon, or tiny baubles.

Modern pine cone door wreath

If your taste is for something a little more contemporary to decorate your door, you’ll need 40 – 50 pine cones. You’ll also need a wire or wicker ring (available online and from some craft shops and garden centres). Divide the pine cones roughly into three piles, and spray the cones in each pile with a different metallic paint such as bronze, silver and gold. If you’re using the wreath outside, buy water-resistant paint if you can find it, to combat the British weather! Once the cones are dry, wire them onto the ring with one row facing inwards, one row facing straight out and one row facing outwards, either mixing the colours up or using one colour per row.

Pine cone firelighters

What could be more Christmassy than a roaring fire? Pine cones are very flammable thanks to their high oil levels, and burn well all by themselves. These scented firelighters add a little festive spice though, and also make great presents. You’ll need some large pine cones, a small quantity of soy wax (available from online suppliers) and the scented oil of your choice – cinnamon or orange work well.

Put the pine cone in a small container that will hold it upright, such as an old ramekin or mug. Boil some water in a large saucepan, and put the candle wax in a small metal can or heatproof bowl inside the saucepan. Stir until melted, then add a few drops of oil. Carefully pour about two tablespoons of wax into the bottom of the pine cone container, and leave it to dry. As it dries, the cone should adhere to the wax so that you can lift it out. These make an attractive display piled in a fireplace or wrapped in cellophane bags as gifts.

Christmas tree decorations

A simple craft idea is to spray the pine cones with metallic paint, then dip the ends of the spikes in white glitter to look like snow. Add a look of dark-coloured thread for hanging from the tree.

Place card holders

For this, you’ll need a set of pine cones that are roughly matching in size, some all purpose glue and some air-hardening modelling clay (available from online suppliers). If you’d like to paint your cones, you’ll also need some spray paint. Roll the clay into small balls, then flatten each one into a disc about 5 cm wide 1 cm thick. Coat the bottom of the first cone with a little glue, and press it into one of the discs. Repeat for the others, then leave to dry. To use, push the place card between the top spikes.


Create a design statement: Contemporary wall brick vases

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Create a design statement on your wall

Hot on the heels of the dot design wall vases we’ve spotted these equally fab brick design vases that look brilliant hanging on a wall.

The bricks are made of glossy ceramic and come in four funky colours, perfect for mixing and matching. If you’re short on space for growing culinary herbs and haven’t got room to have pots or planters on your kitchen windowsill, then the bricks are an ideal space saving solution. Alternatively, fill them with your favourite scented flowers or plants and enjoy having a touch of nature in your home.

They are easily mounted on the wall and, as well as being practical, are a good design statement for a contemporary house. The wall brick vases cost £28 each.

Quirky dot design china wall vases

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Quirky contemporary wall art vase

If you’re looking for a different way to display a flower stem, and create a unique wall art display at the same time, then a wall vase is the ideal way to achieve this.

We’ve featured some wall vases before, but here’s another contender to the party. The dot wall vases are made from glazed china and produced in a range of cheery colours, like poppy red, tangerine orange and sky blue.

Quirky and fun, the dot vases are just as effective used singly as they are arranged in a group or row. They’re £20 each from Deservedly-So and ready to be hung creatively on your wall.


Handcrafted bird by Splinter Designs

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Contemporary wood home accessories

Nothing quite beats the look and feel of natural wood and it’s the perfect material to use for hand crafted home accessories.

These cute wooden birds are designed and made in the UK by Jacob Pugh from Splinter Designs and are a wonderfully distinctive design. They’re made in either English sycamore wood or walnut wood, with each finished with a splash of colour plumage.

Used singly, in pairs or in small flocks, these charismatic wooden birds make gorgeous home accessories for display in a contemporary home. They’re £29 each, which seems a reasonable price to pay for a handmade ornament.

House Doctor DK large contemporary crinkled effect vase

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Best contemporary vase for a modern home

Contemporary flower vase

If you’re looking for something a bit different to display a large bunch of tall stemmed flowers in, then how about this contemporary crinkled effect vase?

The vase is by Danish interior design brand, House Doctor DK, and is an eye-catching design before you even get to the stage of adding flowers. The tall vase is made from stoneware and cleverly looks like it’s a paper bag that’s just been slightly crumpled (although thankfully it’s a lot more substantial than that!).

Bodie and Fou have the crinkled vase available on pre-order.


Ferm Living House of Money modern money box

Monday, April 1st, 2013
Modern piggy bank money saving box

House of Money

Doing up a house, decorating and furnishing it can be a costly business. So if you’re trying hard to save money for home improvements, perhaps a house of money would be a worthy investment?

This modern take on a traditional money box is an appropriate design for encouraging home savings. Designed by Trine Andersen for Ferm Living, and drawing inspiration from modern graphics, the fine bone china money box has a slot at the top for popping in your hard earned cash and a rubber stopper at the base for removing it.

It’s a simple but effective design and looks great used for decorative purposes, as well as money saving aims.

The house of money is available for £24 from 95% Shop.

Contemporary giant light bulb vase

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Modern and contemporary design flower vase Contemporary funky vase ideas

Looking for a contemporary design vase? How about displaying your flowers in a giant light bulb.

This clever design vase is based on the traditional Edison style light bulb and can be safely used to display flowers at home.

The bulb is available in small or large sizes and, as well as a standing vase, there’s a nifty hanging option too, which is certainly an eye-catching way of displaying flowers or greenery.

The light bulb vases are sold by London Garden Trading and cost from £19.75.

Give your home some love: Heart shaped homeware

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Celebrate hearts in home design ideas

We couldn’t resist featuring a few heart shaped ideas today, so here are some products that we think would make great treats for you and your home.

The mustard yellow safety pin heart print cushion is a big favourite. This contemporary heart print cushion features a hand drawn design of pins made to form hearts. It’s designed and made in England and part of the Graduate Collection, of work by new designers. It’s £40 from Graduate Collection.

Trivets are always useful to have in the kitchen and these come as a pair. With the set of two bamboo wood heart shaped trivets, one fits neatly inside the other, so you can use them as one or separately. They’re £18 from John Lewis.

The mini unscented ceramic heart tealight candles come nicely boxed as a set of four. They’re perfect as a treat for yourself or to give as a gift, and once the candles have burnt, you can use the ceramic hearts as little dishes. They’re £18 from The White Company.

For a bit of fun in the kitchen, why not try your hand at making heart shaped waffles? The Gourmet Gadgetry non-stick waffle maker allows you to make one large waffle or five small heart shaped waffles in minutes. It’s £26 from Selfridges.

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