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Trend Watch: Faux Knits

BHS AW13 Knits Lifestyle Shot, featured on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Another lengthy gap from me I’m afraid – just raising my head above the parapet now that all my Christmas features are (tentatively) finally complete ready for your festive delight in a couple of months, to focus on a more on-season matter. As one of  a team of writers and bloggers contributing seasonal trend reports for Most Wanted’s High Street Hunter series, I’ve been scouring the interweb for a topic I felt was most timely. With both Wool Week (and Autumn) fast approaching, the knitted stuff is – as they say – so hot right now, and in more ways than one.

Whilst Wool Week’s most honourable focus is on championing us to use more wool in our homes, as well as supporting the British wool industry, another little trend has been peeking over its coat tails. A micro-trend, if you will. Faux Knits (working title: How Faux Can You Go – snigger) is Real Wool’s sassy little sister, celebrating abstract printed versions of knitted designs alongside woollen imprints in resin and porcelain, washed down with a bit of engineered chunky knit. Use her to inject both texture and humour into your homes this season, and all for under £80.

Faux Knits Shopping Round-up p1 featured on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

1. Lana pendant (resin), £50, BHS. 2. Knit Knit bedding in Ink, from £18-£80, Room39. 3. Cable knit letterpress coasters in grey, £14.06 for ten, RedBirdInk at Etsy. 4. Knitted effect deer head, £40, John Lewis. 5. Weave porcelain cup in mauve, £14. Clare Gage. 6. Knitted Room IV dark mural by Chae Young Kim, £50 per m2 (available as both a permanent and a removable stick-it-up wall covering and made to your custom size), Surface View.

Faux Knits Shopping Round-up p2 featured on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

7. Chunky knit towels in smoke, from £3-25 each, John Lewis. 8. Lope purple knitted cushion (created from squares of ribbing for a knitted look), £45, Habitat. 9. Cable knit porcelain bowl, £26, Magpie Miller. 10. Purl baskets in overcast blue, £69 for three, 11. Red herringbone 3×5′ rug, £35, Urban Outfitters. 12. Cable knit storage boxes, £65 for three, Cox & Cox.

{Images: All taken from the websites credited above. Main top image features the Aviemore footstool, Lana pendant, Waffle knit cushion, Vintage cushion and throws from a selection, all at BHS. This post was created in collaboration with Most Wanted magazine, part of}


Borderline: The Return of the Paper Wall Trim (in a good way)

Trend Watch Header

As my post on Monday decreed, the paint effect is poised for a major comeback in the style stakes. Well, in my book anyway, having now committed a bedroom wall to its dual-coloured charms.

Designer's Guild & M&S Images for Stylist's Own blog by Joanna Thornhill

Don’t just take my word for it – the lookbook for none other than Sir Terence Conran’s SS13 collection for M&S featured a gorgeous painterly background, and Designer’s Guild’s stunning Castellani paper consists of a subtle ombre, sneaking its way up many a stylish wall.  But that’s not the whole story. Its fickle friend the border, last seen circa 1992, has also quietly been nudging its way back into polite society.

Pure Style borders by Jane Cumberbatch for Stylist's Own blog by Joanna Thornhill

Take a moment to let that sink in. Now think about it: the paint effects in Dulux’s Collective Passions trend are, in the main, essentially bands of colour. Kinda like a border. So converting it into paper is, really, a logical progression. But think not of those sad, dog-eared strips of fleur-de-lis designs butted up to Auntie Maureen’s Artex ceiling. These are MUCH more exciting. Take these little striped fellows, above. The newly-launched brainchild of Pure Style pioneering author and stylist Jane Cumberbatch, each 10m roll comes with its own little pot of wallpaper paste and a brush, ready to stick up as a charming little dado, trim a doorframe or even add colourful detailing to a tired piece of furniture.

Freizes by Cole & Son for Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

And ever at the forefront of cool wallpaper offerings, Cole & Son have just launched a fantastic new collection by Fornasetti (called friezes, mind), offering a witty take on the idea of panel designs. I’m desperate to install Promenade (bottom) in my hallway once I’ve shed it of its current textured wallpaper, and I’ve actually used the  beautiful Pennini (middle) design in a shoot I styled for the Spring issue of Heart Home magazine, out tomorrow!

Wallpaper tape by Custhom, blogged at Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

Also featuring in the same Heart Home shoot is this clever ‘wallpaper tape’ by Custhom. Available in five colours, its super-sized circle design is inspired by Dutch typography and gives a unique pattern every time it’s displayed (and it’s removable, too).

Washi Tape Display, blogged at Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

Which segues us rather nicely into the somewhat inevitable: Washi tape for walls. After a write-up in Ellie Tennant’s hilarious post on the topic, the worldwide washi sensation continues to grow apace with the launch of extra-wide rolls, perfect for all manner of interior customisations. Originating from Japan, the rolls are currently stocked in the UK by children’s e-tailer Molly Meg (but will doubtless be everywhere by the end of the year). Though you can still achieve magic with the humble small roll, as proven by designer and blogger Ann Kelle, who created this amazing striped washi wall with a megamix of thin tapes.

Patterned Paint Rollers by The Painted House, blogged on Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

And to finish, a rather charming idea from The Painted House, as featured recently on the equally charming Decorator’s Notebook blog. Based on a traditional Romanian product, company owner Clare Bosanquet adapted the traditional roller system to create several different designs for use on both fabric and walls. I’d particularly love to give this a go on a flat furniture door, possibly adding some vibrant Bongo Jazz 1 over a dusky Chalk Blush 1 background…

{Images: all copyright the companies/blogs they are credited to. Marks & Spencer’s products, from a selection, Terence Conran for M&S. Designer’s Guild Castellani wallpaper, price on enquiry. Pure Style borders, £30 for a 10m roll. Cole & Son Multiplette wallpaper, £190 per 7.5m roll; Pennini, £110 per 10m roll; Promenade, £350 per 68.5x10m roll. Custhom Offset self-adhesive wallpaper tape, £32 per 10m roll. Molly Meg washi masking tape rolls, £3 for 1cm wide/£7.50 for 5cm/£15 for 10cm wide. The Painted House rollers, £10 and patterned rolls, £15 each.}

{Psst: wondering why I’m blathering on about Dulux all week? Well, I’m working on an exciting online collaboration with them, exploring their latest SS13 trend, Collective Passions. All week I will be producing blog posts with this trend as the starting point, and then on Saturday 9th March I will be presenting my findings at Meet the Blogger London. To find out more about both, click here.}

Dulux Collective Passions – and an Exciting Collaboration!

Introductory Header Dulux Collective Passions by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Exciting things are afoot at Stylist’s Own: eagle-eyed readers will be aware of my love of colour and affinity with Dulux paints – I’ve always found them to give excellent coverage, there is a brilliant range of colours and finishes, and as paint goes, they actually smell pretty good, too. But that’s kind of an aside. And having regularly liaised with their press office whilst creating magazine features and shoots over the years, they very kindly thought of me as they searched for a blogging journo to work with them on a very special upcoming project for Meet the Blogger London, a unique weekend workshop-cum-conference-cum-social for some of Europe’s biggest and brightest interiors and lifestyle bloggers. My mission, which I have very much chosen to accept, is to create a series of blogposts exploring one of their key SS13 trend stories, Collective Passions, then report on my findings in the form of a fifteen minute presentation (yikes!) at the event itself, of which Dulux are a sponsor. No pressure, then…




Luckily the trend itself is a real favourite of mine, and contains a truly scrumptious colour palette. Rather aptly, it’s partly inspired by social media, and the new possibilities it’s created to connect and share ideas. The way we consume trends, images and concepts has changed dramatically in a relatively short space of time thanks to the power of the Internet, as we flock like birds, gathering together and flitting from one look to the next, putting one down as quickly as we pick the next one up.

Dulux_FlyingFeather_LilacSpring3_ParadiseGreen4 Dulux_OrangeFizz_RockCandy2_LilacSpring3 Dulux_SapphireSprings4_BermudaCocktail2

Inspired by this spontaneous and energetic behaviour, the way we use these colours is almost as important as the colours themselves. ‘Flocking’ – pairing up two or more colours to create rough bands across a wall – perfectly sums up this transient new approach, along with its more disciplined cousin, the stripe.

Dulux Collective Passion Named Colours LRES

At first glance, the palette can seem somewhat frenetic, with its bold, attention-grabbing fluro and candy-pastel tones, but is (importantly) kept grounded by chalky whites and warm greys – an equally important element in the mix. As a total package, the palette allows you to be as bold as you dare, mixing bright on bright, or keep things subtle yet lively with swift flashes of colour.

The Palette Collective Passions by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Pots with Brushes The Palette Collective Passions by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

After somewhat excitingly popping all 16 lids open (a moment that always makes me wistfully think back to the colour-reveal moment in Changing Rooms where a floppy-cuffed Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would try to appease terrified contestants with his wonderfully lurid colour choices), I couldn’t resist having a quick play with all the colours myself. Rather than just paint them on scraps of paper, I decided to multi-task by creating my own bespoke ‘artwork’, based on the colour palette above, to provide a great reference to all these colours and create a lovely visual in itself (I happened to have a spare canvas knocking around from Hobbycraft, left over from a recent shoot). I do love the way it pops out against my dark grey living room walls (also Dulux, natch).

My Palette Canvase Photography and Styling Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

My Palette Canvas close-up Photography and Styling Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Throughout next week, I will be creating numerous posts inspired by this trend, showing the different ways it can be interpreted for interiors, crafts and beyond. See you there?

{Images: main roomset shots, all courtesy of photographer Emma Lee for Dulux. Other images, all copyright Joanna Thornhill.

Meet the Blogger London is taking place this coming weekend – Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th March, at the ME London hotel near Covent Garden, London. Tickets are still available at the time of writing – click here to book}

Trend Watch: Artist

Palette Sketch range, from £12 for a cup and saucer, Anthropologie

It’s often the way that, after extensively researching a trend for a shoot or shopping page, as soon as it’s wrapped you see examples of that look everywhere you turn and begin to find it takes over your life. No bad thing, though it does make you wish someone would invent a time machine specifically for stylists wishing to go back three weeks and pop that perfect accessory into a now-already-published feature.

Having just finished working on a shoot for a *certain* online magazine (to be revealed next month) and having just been commissioned by a *certain* paint company to undertake a rather exciting online project (to be revealed this week!) one key trends for Spring/Summer 13 stands out to me in particular at the moment, having cropped up in both: The Artist. A mixture of painterly, artisan brushstrokes and witty plays on the paint drip, this look fits with the nation’s current yearning for the humble, crafted touch, yet bright colour pops stop it all feeling too worthy. Behold:

Artist Blogpost Visuals by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own 2

1. Blue Dip-dye wall mural, from £79 for 125x227cm panel, Digitex Home Lifestyle. 2. Hjartar Tre cotton cushion, £65, Kristjanas Williams. 3. Anemone print, £65, Bluebellgray. 4. Painted Amaryllis measuring cups, £32, Anthropologie. 5. Cataclysmic Pink paperweight, £14.95, Damien Hirst at Other Criteria. 6. Spindle bowls, £35 each, Sapetra.

Artist Blogpost Visuals by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own 1


7. Paint Drip wall hooks by Artful Kids, £59, Not on the High Street. 8. Almedahls Picknick Lok cutting board, £24.95, Illustrated Living. 9. Marine fish patterned platter, £20, Habitat. 10. Large Paint Pot Storage Jar £24, medium £12, Laura Ashley. 11. Pencil Tidy fruit bowl, £45, Loglike. 12. Mell Patterned cotton dhurrie 120x180cm, £40, Habitat.

So don your jauntily-angled beret and painter’s smock and get creating (or, errr, just get out your credit card and go web-surfing…)

{Images: All taken from the websites credited above. Main top image features the Palette Sketch range, from £12 for a cup and saucer, Anthropologie. This post was created in collaboration with Most Wanted magazine, and will also feature there as part of their High Street Hunter project}

Clarissa Hulse for Harlequin

Um. Hello! Apologies for the rather impromptu blog break there. Life has been somewhat full-on (and then some) of late. I’ve actually gone and got me a Proper Job (well, on contract for nine months anyway) at British stalwart magazine Woman’s Weekly, where I’m now working full-time as Assistant Homes Editor! All uber exciting. So the past few months have involved frantically tying up loose work ends and finishing off freelance work, along with a few additional sneaky gigs on the side. Still getting back into the swing of things but I wanted to say hi and share these outstanding images with you:

Textile designer Clarissa Hulse is gearing up to launch a new range of fabrics and wallcoverings for Harlequin at Decorex next month – and it’s rather outstandingly lovely. Named Kallianthi (translating to ‘wild flowers’ in ancient Greek), the range nods to Clarissa’s half-Greek heritage whilst taking in her trademark botanical prints. I’m a little bit obsessed with these amazing product shots though – stunning!

Back soon for more (honest!)

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Fit for Royalty

Eek! The guests are already arriving, the bunting is fluttering away on Regent Street (above) and I still haven’t finished putting together my Royal Wedding gift list. So let’s refer to this instead as a ‘special souvenir’ list, thus making it relevant again. No one need ever know, mwah hah hah. So without further ado:

1. A Very British Street Party range, at Talking Tables; 2. King’s Choice biscuit tin, £9.95, dotcomgiftshop; 3. Royal Wedding cupcake toppers, £5, at Selina Lake Living; 4. Cakes under dome, at Pat a Cake Pat a Cake, styled by Pippa Jameson Interiors;  Kate and Wills tea bags, £7.95, at Pedlars; Royal wedding biscuit tin with biccies, £40, at Biscuiteers.

1. Pearly King cushions, from £58, at RE; 2. Union Flag tea caddy, £710, at David Linley; 3. Silk memento coronation cushion, £48, at RE; 4. Royal Wedding facebook plate, £12, at John Lewis; 5. Will and Kate wedding mug, £9.50, at Pedlars;  6. Royal Stafford Cool Britannia dinnerware range, at Heal’s; 7. Queen of Everything mug, £10, at House of Fraser; 8. God Save the Queen chair, by commission, at Jimmie Martin; 9. Stamp collection multi stamp mug, £10, at House of Fraser.

1. Commemorative Royal Wedding framed poster, £135, by James Brown at Liberty; 2. I Rule print, £38, by Rebecca Winter at Rockett St George; 3. Stamp mirror, and 4. Coin mirror, both £19.40, at Hidden Art Shop; 5. I Do Royal Wedding tea towel, £11.75, at London Transport Museum; Pearly Crown Jewels buttons on canvas, price on application, by Ann Carrington.

Happy wedding day William and Kate!!!

Concrete and Dye, Oh My!

…well, not all together, but thought I’d post a couple of unrelated stories to make up for my blogging absence of late (it’s been kind of manic at Styling HQ of late, with Christmas 2010 jobs galore via a Bollywood wedding and Autumnal textured bathroom story – but more on that later). I’ll be posting up reviews of last weekend’s Bust Craftacular and New Designers Exhibition once I’ve finished going through my reams of cards and scribbled notes so do stay tuned!

First up, concrete: as a regular reader of Di Overton’s Designer’s Block blog (one of my fave UK stop-offs for quirky design news) and admirer of Kathy Dalwood of really-cool-things-made-of-concrete fame, I was somewhat excited to read of their recent collaboration on this outstanding range of concrete tassels which, states Kathy, are ‘stunningly realistic pieces created by direct casting from real vintage silk originals – to create a range of striking, one-off, sculptural accessories’. As seen in the pics (take a look at Kathy’s blog post on the making process here), as well as actually functioning as curtain tassels, they can also be used as wall art or just as a lovely decorative thingy to spruce up your space (hmmm, how to justify needing another decorative thingy to the boyf…)

The collection, known as Concrete Ghost, co-incides with the relaunch of Di’s Ghost Furniture website, which I’ve admired for some time (and wrote about in this post on my old blog). Living a somewhat idyllic lifestyle, she regularly travels to the flea markets, passementeries and Brocantes of France to pick up unloved vintage goodies, before promptly whipping them home to Northumberland where she transforms them with a lick of paint, trim of fabric and sprinkling of fairy dust (probably) to create, amongst others, these lovely fellows:

But back to concrete: hankering to have a go at making something with the grey matter yourself but lacking in Kathy’s precision skills?

Then head on over to The Beat That My Heart Skipped, where my organisational and item labelling hero Benita from Chez Larsson has guest written a tutorial for making this personalised bookend using a bag of ready-mix concrete, a small wooden letter and an empty Ferrero Rocher box (hmmmm, how to justify eating an entire tin of dinner party faux-posh choccies in the name of craft to the… oh, OK, you get my drift)

And next, a little ‘that’s sooo 2010’ moment – move over Ikat, there’s a new kid in town. If your opinion of tie-dye consists of painful memories of mixing up tubs of Dylon in the back garden and subsequently sporting oversized, multicoloured, always-slightly-off-centred circular t-shirt monstrosities in an attempt to get into grunge in the early 1990’s (shudder – flashback!) then prepare to be stylishly surprised.

Using the ancient Japanese dying techniques of Shibori, the ladies over at Honestly…WTF have done a spectacular DIY jobby on some leftover clothes and fabric, creating three iconic looks using Arashi, Kumo and Itajime techniques. I have a sudden and desperate urge to buy some crisp white bedding, a tin of indigo dye and a large bottle of bleach (for the aftermath) and get crafty with some garden stones and leftover piping. Or whip up a batch of cushion covers, which I could team with a mustard-hued pom-pom trim. Ooooohhh!!