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mydeco goes under Ella Doran’s umbrella (Ella Ella) 12 March, 2010

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If there’s one thing Ella Doran is, it’s creative. Her eye for detail and colour bring the generic mug, coaster and tray to life with vibrant photography and eye-catching subject matter. So no doubt you’ll know (and love – how can you not?) her kitchenware even if you don’t know Ella. But there’s far more to it than flowers and sweets – as I found out when I popped along to her Cheshire Street shop.
Ella Doran Magnolia mug and tea

What was once mostly studio with a shop window attached, is now a colourful  boutique with green leaved umbrellas, knitted children’s chairs, Sweetie Love mugs and a whole lot more. She’s had to expand – demand for Doran’s trademark photographic designs has soared over the past few years and she sells with John Lewis as well as being part of our exclusive design boutique.

So, just how did she carve such a ‘boumercial’ niche for herself? (that’s boutique/commercial btw. See what I did?) She said: ‘There’s a lot of beautiful illustrative designs out there, and we are offering something different with my bold vibrant photographic eye and passion for colour and detail.

‘Photography is becoming more and more widely used; with the advent of the digital camera everyone can essentially take a great photo, but I shoot specifically and work on the image in post production creating repeats from often quite small aspects of the photograph.’

Ella Doran Geo wallpaper and tray and Sunlight through Leaves  blind and placemats

Her lovely assistant, Ruth, showed me some examples. Take her Geo collection, above left. The original shoot focussed on just a small section of the geometric design, yet the post-photo work repeated the image seamlessly to create it’s eye-fuzzing effect – you’d never know!

This brings me, nearly as seamlessly, to Ella’s brand new (quote) ‘never before seen’ Geo Play silk scarf. Ruth showed me a sample and it’s so new, in fact, that the hemlines still needed to be sewn.

Ella Doran Churchill Sweetie Love mug and Pinky umbrella

Image credit: Ella Doran @ design boutique

Ella’s latest success has been her umbrellas – made by the manufacturers that keep the Queen’s silvery head dry: ‘They invented the see-through umbrella for the Queen, so she could stay dry and see people,’ explains Ruth.

‘The Pinky umbrella, aka Meadow umbrella, is a take on this design with a floral edge. We sold out with the four trial designs and our manufacturer had to order extra to meet the demand.’

Ella Doran's Artists brushes mug and tray

My favourite design, Artist’s Tools, above.

Watch out for more new products on the Ella-horizon: a new stripey collection for men, new designs for Churchill China plus aprons, tea towels and oven gloves in her Sweetie Love pattern. A brilliant way to brighten up your cooking – afterall, who wants generic white oven gloves with those tell-tale scorch marks of black sausages and tears…?

What do you think of Ella Doran? Rate her with a comment below >

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A Sneaky Spring Preview! – design boutique Friday Favourite 5 March, 2010

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With spring now upon us, now is the perfect time to revive your home with a few new treats (or maybe even a treat for mum) this Mother’s Day.

Keep an eye out for one of our new design boutique additions, joining mydeco in the next few days. We are so excited about getting designer Heart Zeena on board that we couldn’t wait to give you a sneak preview!

Image credit: Heart Zeena

From cute birds to pretty hearts, these wonderful cushions are a sure way to brighten up an old sofa or a boring bed.

Or how about bringing the freshness of the outdoors in with these lovely heart shaped lavender bags?  I absolutely adore them, they are so cute and smell amazing. Hang them up in your wardrobe or place them in your chest of drawers to make your clothes smell lavender sweet.

Image credit: Heart Zeena

Make sure you keep your eyes open for Heart Zeena’s products making and appearance amongst the other design boutique treasures in the next couple of days.

design boutique Friday Favourite 26 February, 2010

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This week’s Friday Favourite is dedicated to one of my favourite and relatively new design boutique designers, Martha Mitchell. Her gorgeous ceramic bottles have that lovely handmade feel to them, each one being completely unique.

Image credit: Martha Mitchell

Image Credit: Martha Mitchell

These tilting Diamond Bottles look fantastic grouped together. Available in a range of blue, green and white glazes from mydeco’s very own design boutique collection.

Image credit: Martha Mitchell

De-clutter with Domesticity – design boutique Friday Favourite 19 February, 2010

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Image credit: Domesicity

Fed up with never having enough storage space? These funky shelves from Domesticity are the perfect design solution for keeping any kitchen, bathroom or hallway tidy. Not only are they super stylish, they also provide an incredibly useful way to de-clutter and display your favourite treasures.

And if your home is already spick and span, take a look at these cool chalk notice boards, totally on trend and ideal for keeping your life in check. Being magnetic you can inject a bit of fun into your kitchen by putting up photos and recipes along with your all important notes.

Image credit: Domesticity

Visit the mydeco design boutique to see more of Domesticity’s great products along with lots more by our fantastic handpicked collection of designers.

Right on Time – design boutique’s Friday Favourite 12 February, 2010

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Image credit: DesignK

It’s that time of the week again – your chance to see my favourite, gold-star product from the treasure trove that is the mydeco design boutique.

This week’s Friday favourite are these charming Little time chairs from DesignK,  one of our exciting, brand new designers to join the design boutique chest of jewels .

Do you often find yourself racing against the clock? These chair clocks are the most stylish solution: they’re a perfect accessory for your mantle piece or office desk and will ensure you’re always on time – due to their cute design, you’ll be glancing at the clock (in admiration) every second!

Or do you never allow time to rule your life? Firstly, lucky you, and secondly, if time is never an issue, why not sit back and relax in candle light with DesignK’s Little light chair? Using the same miniature design as the Little time clocks, these adorable tea light holders look beautiful when lit up by candle light.

Image credit: DesignK

Available in three different colours, these ‘little chair’ designs will brighten up any home with their cute and quirky style. See for yourself at mydeco’s design boutique – along with all the other original and hand-picked delights we have to offer!

Let us know what you think of DesignK’s creations by posting a comment below.  Does size really matter? We think not.

Exclusive saucy Scoops…..design boutique’s Friday Favourite 5 February, 2010

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We are really excited to reveal this week’s Friday Favourite!

Image credit: Dessert Bowl by Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design

Forget limp roses and cheap chocolates, this sexy little dessert bowl is sure to win hands down on the gifts front.  It is made by Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design – a favourite on the design boutique shopping pages.

We love the upside down doll design and the fab legs spoon.  Use it to serve luscious ice-cream or even a chocolatey profiterole and you will have your other half begging for more!

Hand-crafted in the UK, as many of our snazzy design boutiquers, Tina’s pieces are highly collectible.  They are not just for “the young” (as my Dad would say), but look equally at home nestling amongst the blue and white crockery of your Granny’s dresser.

Not only is it the coolest piece of crockery, but it can only be bought from mydeco during the month of February.  Get shopping – we have a feeling these are going to be a saucy sell-out!

Ps…….. I love You – design boutique Friday Favourite 29 January, 2010

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Image credit: Fuff

You’re going to just love this week’s Friday Favourite! Hopefully your Valentines’ preparations are well on the way and all you need now is that perfect card to say ‘I Love You’. Well, look no further than the mydeco design boutique. These cards from our designers Fuff are fun, funky and definitely have a bit more style than your usual pink and fluffy Valentine’s cards. For those of you on the hunt for the perfect gift, for God’s sake, do it with style and check out our favourite Valentines gifts.

With five eye-catching and unique designs to choose from you’re sure to find the right card for that special someone in your life.  But what about you singletons I hear you say? Well not to worry, there are many other handpicked designs in the design boutique that you could treat yourself to this Valentines to make the day a little more brighter!

Image credit: Fuff

And seeing as I’m in the Valentines’ spirit, I’ve added a special bonus to your usual Friday Favourite. The first two people to post a comment on this blog about Fuff will win themselves a pair of these fabulous Valentines cards. Can’t get much better than that guys, so if you love these cards as much as we do, then get commenting!

design boutique Friday Favourite: New kids on the block 22 January, 2010

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Image credit: Turner Pocock Cazalet

I am really excited about this week’s Friday Favourite, a brand new edition to our collection of designers on our design boutique. As ‘design boutique guru’ I am always on the look-out for fresh, exciting design with that extra wow factor and these wallpapers by Turner Pocock Cazalet certainly fit the bill. Established by Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock, the designer duo joined forces with artist Catherine Cazalet and came up with these gorgeously sophisticated designs, which I think are just fabulous!

‘British’ is the big trend of the moment and these charming hand drawn wallpapers, ‘Cricket’ and ‘Tennis’ definitely give the feel of a traditional English summer’s day. They almost make me want to put on my sun hat and get out the strawberries and cream!

Image credit: Turner Pocock Cazalet

But if sport isn’t really your thing, check out their other beautiful designs using animal motifs. The cute ‘polar bear’ design is perfect for a kid’s room, adorable, quirky yet understated.

See all of Turner Pocock Cazalet’s wonderful wallpapers and many other unique, hand-picked designs at mydeco’s design boutique.

Cosy weekend breakfasts: design boutique Friday Favourite 15 January, 2010

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting fed up of these cold and icy mornings!? The only thing that’s tempting me out of bed at the moment is the prospect of a warm and hearty breakfast. So, for this reason this week’s design boutique Friday favourite has to be these quirky little egg cosy’s from The Black Rabbit.  Knitted from lamb’s wool and with three different characters to choose from, these cute little guys are a guaranteed way to inject some fun into your breakfast and keep your eggs toasty warm. A perfect start to any cold winter’s day!

See all of The Black Rabbit’s cute creatures at mydeco’s design boutique, our hand-picked selection of independent designers.

Image credit: The Black Rabbit

My personal favourite is this adorable owl, he could join me for breakfast anyday!

Chick and Cockerel egg cosy’s.

Image credit: The Black Rabbit

design boutique: Friday Favourite 8 January, 2010

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So it’s been a while since your last dose of design boutique Friday favourites, but were back with another fab new treat for you!

For those of you who love a bit of bling, check out this Special Edition ‘Lotus’ lampshade studded with 36 Swarovski crystals by designer Studiomold. Great for keeping a bit of post-Christmas sparkle!

Image credit: Studiomold