So I asked Pandora to Tete a Tat & now I've got her to do This & Tat (yes I confuse myself with all these pun titles) and I was beyond happy that she agreed. She has chosen a host of creative, colourful pieces to brighten up our day - which, if they are anything like mine, need a bit of razzle-dazzle.
I'm always on the lookout for affordable art, and young dealer Domenica Marland's website is delightful to scroll through (not always a given with art on the internet). It's especially useful for those buying their first piece of art. There's plenty to fall in love with, including quirky ceramics by Alma Berrow (the daughter of equally wonderful ceramicist Miranda Berrow, whose mugs I have been collecting since I got married) and Hannah Watts's collage vase prints.
Cafe curtains are having a moment (although I will forever be a fan of shutters to ensure a reassuringly dark bedroom), and I love the sheer linen ones in this Etsy shop for a bathroom. I can't quite bring myself to buy something monogrammed for myself, which means my lucky husband will be getting the blind he never knew he wanted for his birthday.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most impactful: and such is the case with The Drum's pressed seaweed, framed in gold. Buying someone art can be risky - but these are inoffensive, without being boring. They'd look lovely hung as a pair in a cosy corner.
I find it really hard to buy pictures that don't feature people. I'm trying to resist because there are only so many faces you can have on a wall. But my latest discovery, Robson Stannard, is making my new mantra very hard: I love his colourful abstract faces. A self-described fashion portrait artist for the likes of GQ and Dazed and Confused, his prints start at £20 and would look the bomb in a colourful glossy frame.
I love designer Alice Warwick's creative and eclectic approach to homewares: her double-tiered lacquered red heart side table is the piece of furniture you'd never even dare to dream about. More purse-friendly are her divine embroidered pillowcases, which come in every colourway of flora. They remind me of my mum - but I'm keeping them for myself.
You know when you get given a present that you love so much you insist on telling everyone about it, apropos of nothing? That's how I feel about the avocado vase by London-based studio Ilex. A straightforward design, you simply pop the seed into the cradle at the top of the vase and watch the roots and leaves flourish. I find it so gratifying to watch it grow, and unlike many of my house plants, it appears to be impossible to kill.
I am so impressed by what people can do with seemingly basic mediums. The one-woman show, Sarah Harley, is one such person: lamp shades handwoven with soft cotton yarn, in all different stripes and colours. She'll also make bespoke colours. They're well-priced for handmade items and beautifully finished.
I spend a lot of time poking around eBay, and Tess Hill is one of my favourite antique sellers. She sells lovely decorative pieces and is particularly good for buffets, washstands and anything marble-topped. I recently found a 19th-century pine sideboard for my kitchen. Not only was it the carbon copy of what I had had in my head for the last 2 years, it also happened to be a fraction of the cost of a high street one!
I am besotted with Epoch's mini rugs - they are like a little shot of dopamine. Perfect for beside the bed or the loo. For anyone who wants a larger, one creator, Sophie will make a bespoke one - she made a red and sky blue checked one for my son's room, and it's quite the loveliest thing in the room.
I scroll through Marie's Etsy store every week. There's something about its marshmallowy softness that makes it a very soothing activity. They aren't cheap because antique quilts aren't, but they are gorgeous and nostalgic and would - could! - transform the plainest bedroom.
One of the most baffling things about home decor is how many lights you need. I used to think one lamp per room would suffice until I moved into a Victorian house, where rooms are predisposed to gloominess. My lamp bases are a mix of eBay finds and the ever-reliable Pooky, but I have my eye on Spanish brand La Veste's Dolce Vita lamps to bring a shimmy to a hall table. Imagine one of these greeting you when you came home from work?
My sister recently introduced me to her local vintage superstar, Relic Interiors, based in Suffolk. It's particularly great for bobbiny furniture, little framed oils and things you never knew you wanted, like a miniature limestone frieze and onyx (yes, onyx!) wine glasses.
Huge Thank You To Pandora For That Excellent Round-Up!