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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 >


Wednesday’s news: Snobby squatters, ice-cool sculptures and a slice of lamp heaven 9 September, 2009

Posted by lucindaeverett in Daily news.
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Surfing the design web this morning I found plenty of Wednesday wonders to share. So grab a cuppa, curl up on your Chesterfield and have a read of the latest news from the world of design and interiors.

The Independent: What a creation! Darwin Centre’s new wing is a triumph of design


Image credit: The Independent

It’s six days and counting until the new Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum throws open its doors to evolution-mad fans.

Personally, I was going to give it a miss – science has never been my thing – but now that I’ve seen the building itself I might have changed my mind. Described as a cocoon by its architects and cleverly suggesting a form still in the process of evolving, the centre is a gem of futuristic, intriguing design. I’m dusting off my lab coat and heading on down.

Trendir: Sink into a super-deep Soaking Tub by Vaselli

Moco Loco: Sleep under the stars in a wooden hotel

Moco Loco: Ice-cool, Ice-fern by Aurélie Mossé & Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen


Image credit: Moco Loco

If you feel like getting into the Christmas spirit a little early this year, why not commission an Ice-fern window sculpture by genius design duo Aurélie Mossé & Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen? With its intricate detailing and striking silhouette, it’s no wonder that the sculpture scooped the Aesthetics Award in the Création Baumann Gecko Think Forward Competition. A winter wonderland in your own window – very cool.

Design Week:  Glasgow School of Art building gets a US face lift

The Guardian: Powerful photography exhibition in Battersea Power Station

dornob: Now you see ’em, now you don’t – hidden homes

dornob: the teeniest home office you ever did see

dornob: A little slice of lamp heaven


Image credit: dornob

Meandering on dornob this morning I came across this brilliant new lamp design. Great for small spaces and displaying all the creative sparkiness of high-end design, Ji Young Shon’s Quarter Round Lamps are now firmly topping my wish list.

The Daily Mail: Circus heir moves out of his Big Tops

The Daily Mail: The Yorkshire shack worth £150,000

The Daily Mail: Stylish squatters take over Mayfair mansions (and keep them spotless)

Here’s a weird one for you: if the word ‘squatter’ conjures up images of grubby students living in squalor, you’ve obviously never heard of the middle-class, Mayfair bunch. Six squatters, including a Cambridge graduate, a former Marlborough College pupil and Philip Firsov, the son of Russian composers, have moved into two Mayfair mansions worth £30 million. And, much to everyone’s surprise, they’ve actually cleaned the place up a bit,  water-blasting the front of the building and giving it a hefty dusting before moving in! What’s next? Planning their renovations with our 3D rooms tools? You never know…

Interior Design: Room Mate unveils chic new boutique hotels


Image credit: Interior Design

I’m off to Barcelona. Actually, I’m not. But I’m sorely tempted to pack my bags now that Room Mate have unveiled yet another super-chic, boutique hotel. ‘Emma’,  located in the city’s art nouveau Eixample District, is a bright and futuristic space, almost Kubrickian in its minimalism. But it still retains the luxurious features we’ve come to expect from Room Mate. The result? I’ve booked a plane ticket for the new year.

The Telegraph: The crumbling glories of Buenos Aires

The Telegraph: Roald Dahl’s garden of imagination

If you were (or still are) a fan of Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, Matilda or any of Roald Dahl’s brilliant stories, I urge you to take a ramble through the mastermind’s beautiful garden. There’s a meadow, an orchard and a maze to explore, as well as the painted gypsy caravan where Dahl conjured up his unique characters. Still buzzing with the child-like author’s imaginative spirit, this secret garden is an absolute must see.