Archive for the ‘Soft furnishings’ Category

Laura Ashley throw challenge

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Along with 14 other bloggers, we recently took part in a challenge set by Laura Ashley, on alternative ways to use a throw.

You can read all about our ideas, and the eventual use for our throw, in our previous post, but if you hop over to the Laura Ashley blog, you can now find out what everyone else came up with.

We like Amanda’s idea for creating a table setting, and think the blue stripe Shaldon throw worked very well for this. Sara, blogging over at Cosy Home, really went to town with her alternative use for a throw, by creating an amazing curtain. She even turned the ribbon packaging into a curtain tie back – very thrifty!

It was interesting to see that clearly great minds do think alike, as there were several other bloggers on the same wavelength as us!

Thanks to Laura Ashley for inviting us to take part.

Laura Ashley challenge: Alternative uses for a throw

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Tartan homeware trend

At Fresh Design Blog, we are big fans of throws and, at this time of year especially, they really come into their own. Snuggling up under a throw on the sofa, adding one to your bed on a chilly night or wrapping one around your shoulders are all our favoured approaches to using throws.

Despite these old favourites, Laura Ashley challenged us to come up with an alternative way of using a throw. So we put our thinking caps on…..and came up with a child-friendly idea for miserable, cold or wet winter days when they can’t play outside, but want to do something fun.

With our throw, we created a den!

Warm and cosy throw for your home

We used the Laura Ashley tartan cranberry check cotton mix throw, a rich and cosy throw that arrives beautifully wrapped in ribbon. At 180cm by 180cm, it’s a good size for all sorts of requirements, dens included.

How to make a children's den

A throw is a brilliant tool for creating a warm and cosy den inside your home in the winter (or outside in the summer) and it’s something most children love to play in. For our den, we draped the throw over a couple of chairs, with comfy cushions inside to lean on and a blanket to sit on.

There was plenty of room inside to sit and play, read books or watch a DVD, plus it’s a great little space for children to have a secret picnic or tea party.

You’ll have to excuse the fact that it looks a bit dishevelled. Every time we got it all neat and nicely arranged, Binky the cat decided she wanted to jump on top of it or play with the tassles of the throw. However, after the excitement of exploring what was going on, she rather liked sitting inside it too…

How to make a cat den

Tartan designs keep popping up in homeware products this season, so the tartan check throw is very apt. It’s also a lovely rich colour for this time of year.

Laura Ashley sell a range of other cosy throws in a rainbow of colours and, whether you make a child or cat-friendly den, or simply wrap up in it on a cold day, they’ve got a multitude of uses.

Fourteen other bloggers have also been challenged to come up with alternative uses for a throw, so it will be interesting to see all the different ideas!

Review: British stamps design cushion from Cushions Online

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

British design cushions

The iconic British stamp design is brought to life on this colourful cushion, from Cushions Online.

Celebrating the best of British postal designs, the cushion has a contemporary vintage feel to it, with sepia tones and authentic looking stamped markings dotted around the stamps. As you’d expect, stamps of different denominations are featured, including a good old half penny stamp as a blast from the past. Although it’s multi-coloured, the predominant colours are red, purple and gold.

The square cushion is made from 100% cotton and features the printed design on the front and back. It’s filled with a comfortable and plump duck feather pad. At 43cm x 43cm, the cushion is a good size and makes just the right amount of impact when used on a sofa or chair.

British postal stamp cushion

The stamp design cushion is made by soft furnishings business, Cushions Online, who are based in Lancaster. They’ve been making cushions since 1985, using a lovely selection of designer fabrics, and supply cushions to companies such as John Lewis.

It’s possible to buy direct from them, via their website, and one major bonus of doing so is the cost. As you’re buying direct from the manufacturers, there’s no big retail markup on the products. The stamps print cushion, for example, is only £11, which is incredibly good value for such a quality item.

Some other examples of their cushions include:

Save money on soft furnishings

Top row:

Moyka teal stripe cushion, £19; Virginia pink velvet cushion, £17; World metro map large cushion, £25

Middle row:

Anoushka embroidered long cushion in turquoise, £19.50; Cornwall cotton print cushion, £10.50; Oakley blue cushion, £15

Bottom row:

Grasses design silk cushion, £39 for a pair; Ruby red silk doupion bolster cushion, £18; Talish kilim cushion in bright multi, £16

Cushions Online is a great find and definitely a company we’ll be going back to when we’re in search of cushions.

(Disclosure: We were sent a cushion to review). 


Autumn blues: Soft furnishings and bedding

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Interior design ideas in blue

Attractive, eye-catching and colours you’ll never tire of, blue and white soft furnishings and bedding feature heavily in the new Autumn /Winter 2013 collection from Habitat.

Indigo, denim and mid blue shades all work wonderfully well with crisp white and, as you can see in the image above, the different patterns are made to mix and match.

Choose from spot, stripe, plain or patterned cushions and mix with chunky blankets, decorative bedspreads and cotton bedding for a warm inviting mix.

Add a coordinating rug to the floor for a soft and comfortable surface to step out of bed onto on a chilly autumnal morning.


Timorous Beasties butterflies luxury fabric

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
Luxury designer butterfly linen fabric

Butterflies fabric

We’re rather entranced by the Timorous Beasties butterflies design fabric.

Having spent some time recently in a butterfly house, with the most exotic colours and designs of butterflies, the butterflies on this fabric look amazingly realistic.

The colours stand out wonderfully and, even though there’s an enormous amount of detail on the background, with stems and branches weaving around, the butterflies don’t detract from this at all.  We love the different butterfly sizes and colours, and the tiny ones that you almost miss.

Designer screen room divider made of fabric

Butterfly fabric screen

The fabric is lovely and looks brilliant used on this fabric covered screen.

Sadly it’s not cheap – it will set you back £120 per metre (ouch!), but for a very special project or treasured cushion, it would be ideal.

The butterflies printed linen fabric is available from Timorous Beasties.

Golden butterflies cushion from More Vibrant

Monday, April 16th, 2012
Handmade vibrant cushion

Colourful cushion

Fresh, uplifting and colourful sums up this cushion very well, we think.

Golden butterflies are depicted flitting between bright fuschia branches, on a background of turquoise blue.

Definitely uplifting and a great splash of colour for a chair or bed, the cushion cover is made from 100% cotton canvas and is finished off with decorative natural wood buttons.

The golden butterflies cushion is a snip at only £12.99 from More Vibrant.

Kitty McCall: Among The Trees cushion

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Contemporary cushion for a modern home

Contemporary cushion

Cushions are one of the easiest ways of updating the look of a sofa, chair or bed and we’re constantly on the lookout for new designs.

This cushion design – Among The Trees – from textiles company Kitty McCall (run by London-based print designer, Catherine Nice) is buzzing with colour and energy. It has a fresh and contemporary feel to it and is unlike any other cushion design we’ve featured before.

The printed design is, “inspired by layered patterning created while drawing with no fixed starting point or end,” and each cushion is unique.

At £69, Among the Trees is not a cheap cushion, but it is unusual and there’s plenty of depth and interest to keep drawing your eyes back to it.

Maple cream chunky knitted cushion

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Contemporary knit cushion

Natural knitted cushion

This is the most lovely, soft and snuggly cushion (trust me, you won’t want to put it down) – and the chunky knitted design is on trend too!

With an autumnal chill already in the air (where has the summer gone?), this is the perfect cushion for snuggling up to on a chilly night.

The knitted cushion is made from 100% acrylic, with a polyester lining, and comes in a maple cream natural colour.

It’s usually priced at £55, but is currently on offer for £41.25 from Laura Ashley.

Animal inspired cushions from ContemporaryLab

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

ContemporaryLab have some great new animal inspired cushions in stock, all designed by Katie & The Wolf.

Modern fox design cushion

Martha cushion

The Martha cushion features a striking fox design. It’s made from digitally printed silk and screen printed organic cotton and the back of the cushion is nicely finished off with button details.

Perch bird cushion designed by Katie and the Wolf

Perch cushion

As the name suggests, the Perch cushion features a brightly coloured turquoise bird perched on a leafy bush. The back of the cushion is plain (the same bluey grey shade as the bush), with two contrasting buttons.

Contemporary bird cushion by Katie and the Wolf

Gather cushion

Birds also feature on the Gather cushion, but in a rather different design. Definitely more modern and contemporary in style, the monotone colours of the bird and black background of the cushion contrast with the bright colours below.

All of the cushions by Katie & The Wolf are priced at £54 each and can be purchased from ContemporaryLab. The site sells lots of unique and unusual pieces of furniture, lighting, textiles and kitchenware by award-winning new designers, so is well worth a browse.

Quirky moustache cushion cover from Selfridges

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Celebrate facial hair quirky cushion

Moustache cushion cover

Who knew we’d be featuring home accessories involving facial hair? Although slightly mad, we couldn’t overlook this quirky and humorous cushion!

The La Cerise Sur La Gateau moustache cushion cover features six illustrations of different types of moustaches, together with a tongue-in-cheek French description.

It’s not cheap at £52 for just the cushion cover, but if you’d like to pop this on a cushion of your choice, you can buy it from Selfridges.

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