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

Posted by mydecoblog in design boutique blog.
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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 >


Another favourite from Designersblock 2009 28 September, 2009

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I said I’d be back with more delights from Designersblock and here I am, true to my word.

After my ride on Chichi the Rocking Piano I was left in a lighthearted mood, and followed my nose for fun to Peter Ibruegger’s stand. As it happens, I found the perfect companion for my discerning nose in the form of  a moustache. A family of moustaches actually.


Image credit: Peter Ibruegger

Ibruegger has created three, cheeky mugs (above), with a different moustache on each side to let you masquerade as you sup your coffee. You can choose from feisty Fu-Magnum, enigmatic Mustafa-Chaplin and cheeky Maurice-Poirot. I’m definitely going to be investing in a Magnum mug for my PI-loving best friend.

Scooters, kaleidoscope rugs and saucy tea cups at 100% Design 25 September, 2009

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Yesterday afternoon, the mydeco editorial team moseyed down to Earls Court to check out the first day of 100% Design. As we bounded through the revolving doors, with our press passes swinging in the wind, we stood slightly bedazzled by the labyrinth that spread out before us.

Whether it’s fresh talent, design inspiration, or just a keen snoop around some fantastic stands, 100% Design is quite simply a design lover’s paradise!

Our first port of call was, naturally, the mydeco stand which seemed to have lots of interested folk milling around and wanting to find out more about our website – positive response indeed.

Then the editorial team split up and each took on a different area of the exhibition. I hit the 100% Futures area, which was showcasing some of the best emerging talent in the design industry. It was impressive to see so many young and professional designers cheerily selling their products.


Image credit: Jamily

Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite brand was the practical and fun Jamily, which was launching its first three products at the fair. The products included an apron with oven mitts cleverly embedded into the corners, a collapsible scooter and a set of interlinking mugs. The simply practicality of the products, combined with their playful and colourful edge made them really stand out.



Image credit: Jamily

I also coveted Claire Alderdice’s carpets from the brand Print Tuft and Fold. In her work, Clare explores the idea of order and chaos by taking inspiration from the optical illusions found in kaleidoscopes. Her daring carpets would add a touch of flamboyance to any floor or wall.


Image credit: Print Tuft and Fold

A bonus of swanning around the100% Futures section was bumping into Undergrowth Design, one of mydeco’s hottest labels in the Design Boutique. It’s good to know that mydeco has already picked out the talent before anyone else. I took the opportunity to chat to Undergrowth’s founder whose design ethic is based on sex, lace and lingerie! The saucy tea cups and cake stands are beautifully made and would certainly add a touch of naughtiness to your daily cuppa.


Image credit: Undergrowth Design