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mydeco 3D Room Planner intro 30 July, 2010

Posted by Annie Deakin in Uncategorized.
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mydeco 3D Room Planner helps you to design your own room in photo-realistic 3D. All you need is an internet connection to get started.
Choose from over 75,000 models of real furniture, wallpaper, paint, flooring and accessories todecorate your room. Add doors, windows and architectural features to customize your room. This short video gives an overview of how to use the tool to create your own 3D room design.
Try it for yourself at mydeco.com

Wallpaper made for wallflowers 2 March, 2010

Posted by Nicola Wilkes in mydeco guest blogger, Uncategorized.
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Image credit: Michael Angove 2010

Being a huge fan of wallpaper it’s not easy to single out specific designs. To be honest, if I had enough walls in my house (and if I thought it was a look I could get away with) I’d have a different print or pattern on every wall. But I don’t – and neither would I get away with it, so that calls for a bit of favouritism…

Image credit: Michael Angove 2010

Having first stumbled across Michael Angove’s stand at 100% Design two years ago, and fallen in love with the delicate patterns of a unique wallpaper designer who looks to flora and fauna for design currency, I’ve long since had his work at the top of my interiors ‘wish list’ …not to mention the fact that Michael himself hails from a town only a few minutes drive from my own South Wales home. Which is why, when the Welsh designer announced that his newly revised website was live and ready for business last week, I was scrolling pages of chinoiserie-inspired gold and platinum gilded wallpaper within milliseconds.

After all, what more of an excuse does one need to browse page after page of wallpapers so aptly named as Wisteria, Magnolia, Clematis, Fir and Lilium? And no, nothing unique in the names I agree, but one look and you’ll see that the designs themselves are far from ‘standard’ with print descriptions such as ‘Sprawling Wisteria heralds from the Peak District and is loved for the exquisite butterflies from the aviary at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Blue Sacra beetles and a very discrete and delicate praying mantis lie within the design. A shy butterfly will only be found by the most patient’.

Image credit: Michael Angove 2010

Look even further and you might discover a delicately camouflaged butterfly, beetle or ‘nimble spider’ that Michael suggests might be trying to hide from us… as the designer explains that just like in nature itself, you never know what could be hiding behind the leaves.

Bring Alice in Wonderland magic home with oversized furniture 28 February, 2010

Posted by Annie Deakin in Uncategorized.
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Image credit: Disney Enterprises

Like the rest of the design world, I’ve gone completely potty for Alice in Wonderland in the run-up to Tim Burton’s film. There’s no need to tumble down the rabbit hole to enter Lewis Caroll’s fantastical world; instead, look to the Spring/ Summer 2010 collections; Habitat, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are releasing oversized furniture.

“Alice in Wonderland is a big inspiration for me both at home and in the store,” says interior designer Abigail Ahern. “Magic happens when you start playing with scale – big oversized objects in small rooms, tiny teeny furnishings in large rooms look incredibly theatrical and way more impressive than they really are.”

Don’t you just love this oversized teacup stool (£140) by Holly Palmer?!

Image credit: Holly Palmer

Designer illustrator Johanna Basford is equally intrigued by the book’s play on scale and its reverberations in the real world; “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a disorientating neurological condition which affects perception,” discovered the Scottish artist. “Sufferers experience Micropsia (things appearing smaller than they actually are) or Macropsia (can you guess?!). It got me to thinking about scale, our perceptions of it, how altering the scale of an object changes our emotive reactions and perceived value of it.”

Changing scale plays with our pre-determined judgments. At Marks and Spencer, there is a fantastic – and gigantic – pair of wooden scissors (£65) being sold as wall art.

Image credit: Marks and Spencer

The mischievous proportions of the now-iconic Giant Anglepoise lamp (£1,900 and three times bigger than the original) – lend an Alice in Wonderland magic to any room.

Image credit: Heal’s

In Habitat’s new Spring/ Summer 2010 collection, the outsized Button Pots, available in red, pink and purple, play on scale – rather like their popular oversized baubles back at Christmas.

So is the world going mad? Here’s hoping that Burton’s film will give people the confidence to play with scale.

Valentine looms – are these Britain’s sexiest hotels? 11 February, 2010

Posted by Annie Deakin in Uncategorized.
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Image credit: The Grove

Tired of playing the British prude, interior designers are becoming brazenly sexy in many of the country’s top hotels. “Some blame the recession, some the increasing attractiveness of the British people, but whatever the cause, UK hotels are getting sexier,” asserts Ben Cooper, Editorial Director of Travel Intelligence. “It seems you can’t enter a suite these days without being greeted by an 8ft four poster or a roll top bath.”

Over in Hertfordshire, luxury hotel The Grove is now saucy enough to make the more coy blush. “Suite no 25 was designed to bring out the courtesan in anyone who stays there.” A hotel spokesperson told me. “The bathroom [pictured above] has a square glass bath-tub which was made to fit the space, and was designed so that the edge is actually the window sill, so that you can lean in the sill and look at the garden below and your loved one can see your bottom!”

Image credit: Windermere Suites

Then there’s Windermere Studios [above] in the Lake District; “A picture-perfect rural setting belies this hotel’s luxe-contemporary interiors, all Philippe Starck furnishings, bathtubs big enough for two and a palette of platinum and mirrored surfaces.” Cooper says of the retreat, “Basically Windermere Studios is made for the sexiest bath-times ever: there’s mood lighting in them that can constantly change in rainbow hues.”

Meanwhile, over in Wiltshire, Lucknam Park – where Meg Ryan and Mick Jagger have stayed (separately, I hasten to add) – is popular with the more romantic types. Sexiest hotel feature? The newly opened £14 million spa which has a retractable glass wall linking the indoor jacuzzi to the outdoor jacuzzi.

Image credit: Lucknam Park

Back in London, I’ve always loved The Berkeley where guests can swoon by the rooftop swimming pool [pictured below], which overlooks the nights of Knightsbridge and is open in the evening for a romantic dip.

“Another golden oldie,” adds Cooper “is the Hotel Pelirocco [pictured below] in Brighton and its infamous Durex play room with a round bed, mirrored ceiling and adult toy menu.”

Image credit: Hotel Pelirocco

It’s official, Britain has shed its reserved facade to become shamelessly provocative in its hotel offering. And the best bit? No pink petals on your pillow.

Post-Pandora depression? mydeco is here for you… 25 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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Image credit: Picselect

Dear Auntie Katie,

My life has seemed empty since I completed all three versions of World of Warcraft, so last weekend I decided to go and see Avatar. The film was amazing, but as soon as it ended I was filled with this sudden hopelessness – it was like reaching into a supersize bag of Doritos only to realise there aren’t any left.

Pandora (the planet which the aliens live on in Avatar) is so wonderful – all the Google images of ‘beautiful places on earth’ that I’ve looked at don’t even compare to it. I want so badly to be a Na’vi, I keep looking down at my hands and thinking “What I wouldn’t give, to be blue….” I have seen the film 26 times now – I’m not sure, but I don’t think this has helped with my obsession.

Please provide an easy solution that will solve all my problems.

Single and jobless, London

Auntie Katie says:

I can understand your idealisation of Pandora – this is a world that has never known the pain of celebrity talent shows, spam emails or Kerry Katona. However, before making plans to set off on a spaceship I would seriously consider the following:

1. mydeco’s technological advances are far superior to James Cameron’s: you can even create your very own Pandora using our moodboard tools. Above is an example of one I made earlier.

2. As I assume you are still living with your parents, why not take the first step towards independence and redecorate your room? Using mydeco’s 3D planner you can design your own blue paradise, like the one below from mydeco community member SylviaAst.

3. If you are really determined to ‘become one with nature’, why not go and live in the rainforest?

If you have been affected by the content of this post, please leave us your comments below, and Auntie Katie will do her best to provide you with advice that is in no way mean or sarcastic. Alternatively, send me a message at http://mydeco.com/people/katiehodgkiss/summary/ if you would like your problem to be featured in next week’s blog.

Fantastic five from Top Drawer 20 January, 2010

Posted by Jenny Cooper in Uncategorized.
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Top Drawer is an annual buying event that showcases new products for the home, fashion and accessories markets.  Featuring over 600 exhibitors, 7 seminars and offering a range of retail surgeries,  the three day fair was a hub of activity for buyers and talent spotters alike.

I spent yesterday morning browsing the stands and was inspired by some great experimental lighting designs from ArevaloAuthentics and Mathmos.  I also enjoyed the huge sense of environmentally aware designers, producing new and exciting alternative products for everyday use.  Green Pioneers offer beautiful bamboo kitchenware finished in a selection of bold colours and Rowena Gilbert creates award winning slip cast ceramics right here in the UK!

Check out my favourite products from Top Drawer 2010 and if you missed the show, why not check out mydeco’s design boutique to source your very own unique designer products.

Home office colour trends follow fashion? 20 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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Image credit: Laura Ashley

Rare is the occasion when ‘office’ and ‘fashion’ are used in the same sentence, but if claims from interior design experts are to be believed, this could soon be a thing of the past.

According to Jennifer Way, marketing manager at the Interior Concepts Corporation, colours that you spot on the runways in spring will soon be seen everywhere on the high street, and home offices and workplaces will follow suit shortly after that.

“Since colours influence interior design, this will lead to complementing and coordination of the furnishings,” she said.

“Thankfully, more and more people selecting furnishings for call centre and office spaces look to current design trends and outside of the traditional (and slightly boring) all grey colour schemes of the past.” Slightly boring? The only thing worse than working in a call centre would be decorating it.

Jackie Jordan, director of colour marketing for Sherwin-Williams has predicted that energised floral colours evoking “optimism and exuberance” will be a major trend in 2010.

So to conclude, this year’s colour trends mean that we will all be receiving calls from extra-chirpy telesales workers –  energised by the nice floral wallpaper in their office. Great.

Make sure you’re up to date for Spring/Summer 2010 – keep checking our blog for news on the latest trends making their way off the catwalk and into your home.

Spring trend watch – Lascivious Lolita 18 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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In today’s culture, youth reigns supreme (unless you’re a graduate looking for a job, in which case you’re bottom of the food-chain). Nowhere is the obsession with juvenescence more evident than in fashion – these days it seems models are plucked straight from the womb and then sent tottering down the catwalk.

This Spring, designers have taken their preoccupation with youth a step further – appointing as their muse Nabokov’s infamous nymphet: Lolita. Whilst sweet lace sundresses and gingham two-pieces featured at Chanel and Moschino Cheap and Chic, Prada embraced plastic sunglasses and cherry-red lips.

Image credit: Korcula / A Glimpse of Glamour

The interiors market is always hot on the high-heels of fashion, so it is inevitable that the Lolita trend will be appearing in home stores in the near future as well. Judging by what’s appeared on the catwalk, we can expect kitsch fifties accessories, delicate vintage fabrics and lots of (deep breath) gingham.

Though this trend may be problematic in its origins, the 2010 interpretation of Lolita seems to be more about having fun than sexualising young girls. Last year’s muted palettes reflected the sombre mood of a nation still coming to grips with the recession: this spring designers have reverted to youthful optimism.

Image credit: Lifestylebazaar

Should you choose to embrace this trend, there are various ways to go. If the thought of pastel checks makes you shudder, look instead for pieces that combine girlish innocence with a bit of added raunch, like this teapot (£69.95) from Undergrowth at Lifestylebazaar.

What do you think of the Lolita look? Love it or loathe it, we want to know your thoughts!

Save the date: Top Drawer 2010 14 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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This weekend the mydeco team are looking forward to more than a trip to the pub – Sunday marks the opening of Top Drawer 2010, an event that showcases new products from the best design talents around the world.

Image credit: Lulu and Nat

If you’re a retailer looking to replenish stock in the New Year, this event is a must. With over 600 exhibitors selling everything from homeware to fashion accessories, buyers are sure to find something worthwhile. Personally I can’t wait to see what some of our design boutiquers have to offer – Lulu and Nat are launching a new range of cards that are guaranteed to be gorgeous!

The event will be running from Sunday 17 – Tuesday 19 January. Visitors will also have the opportunity to attend a series of seminars offering advice from the experts on how to get the most out of your business this year.

For more information, visit the Top Drawer 2010 website.

Deal of the day – 50% off Geraldine Mattis plate in our design boutique 12 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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We love this cute side plate from Geradine Mattis – not only is it a bargain at just £8.50 (was £17), but it provides us with the perfect excuse to indulge. After all, when your crockery looks this good it’s only right that you use it to serve something delicious!

Image credit: Geraldine Mattis at Design Boutique

The quirky, unique design is actually a collage made from paper and magazine cut-outs. As part of mydeco’s design boutique, you’re unlikely to find a product like this on the high-street, so it’s perfect for adding a little individuality to your kitchen.

If you think you can you find an even better bargain–busting deal you should take part in mydeco’s Outlet bargain challenge. Finding the best bargain will also win you that product, courtesy of our brilliant Outlet section! What are you waiting for?

Browse more great discounts on mydeco’s special offers page. In addition to the Deal of the day, check out the top ten deals this week and for all the latest deals and offers, sign up to our Sale Scoop. Happy bargain hunting!