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Kelly Hoppen joins forces with B&Q 8 March, 2010

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Kelly Hoppen's plain, neutral wallpaper range for B&Q

Image credit: B&Q

Hooray! Kelly Hoppen hits the high street on the 1st March with her new collection of wallpaper for B&Q.

Hoppen follows in the hallowed footsteps of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Sophie Conran and Linda Barker who have also added to B&Q’s designer wallpaper range.

There are five fab designs to choose from, ranging from a pretty Vintage Flock to a graphic Hicks design (seen above).   We are loving their subtle, textured quality and how well they work in both a classic or contemporary interior.

They cost £19.98 per roll and are available online at mydeco now….hurry, hurry!

Kelly Hoppen's new range of plain and neutral wallpaper for B&Q

Image credit: B&Q

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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.

Would you put willies on your sitting room wall? 9 February, 2010

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Image credit: Robert Gober, Male and Female Genital wallpaper, 1989

Last weekend saw the opening of a new wallpaper exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester: ‘Walls are Talking: Wallpaper, Art and Culture’ (ends 3rd May).

However, this is no ordinary wallpaper and if you think you are in for cheery florals and regal flocks, think again.  Instead are a series of hard-hitting, controversial wallpapers made by over 30 artists, including Andy Warhol, Damian Hirst.

‘Kitsch ideas of home decoration’, say the Whitworth, ‘are turned upside down as artists subvert the stereotypes of wallpaper to hit home messages about warfare, racism, cultural conflicts and gender’.

From a distance, Robert Gober’s submission looks likes a series of white drawings against a black background.  It is only on closer inspection that you realise these drawings are, in fact, hundreds of penises, vaginas and bums.

Image credit: Abigail Lane, Bloody Wallpaper, 1995

Abigail Lane’s work is altogether more sinister.  At first glance it appears to be a kind of Pollock-esque array of red paint splashes on a white ground.  As you approach, your heart sinks as you realise you have walked into a murder scene.  Red paint splashes transform themselves into gory blood splatters and handprints.

‘It works well as a pattern repeat’, says Christine Woods, the curator. ‘My hunch is that if were made commercially available, it would find a substantial niche market. Which personally, I find quite terrifying’.

I think most of the world finds that terrifying.

Whatever you think of the exhibition, it does make you think about the role of wall coverings and how we view it in our homes.  I like the idea that for once, wallpaper is not just the backdrop to something, but the main event itself.

If you have seen the exhibition, we would love to hear your views. Love it or hate it, we want to know!

mydeco catches up with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 25 January, 2010

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Image credit: Plank PR

At the B&Q press day, not only did we browse the new collections and scoff a tasty array of muffins: we also caught a second with the man who made home improvement trendier than a skinny decaf soya latte –  Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen himself.

When asked what the next hot trend is for 2010, Laurence feels that this year is more about an attitude than a trend.

“The makeover and ‘improve, don’t move’ motto are seeing a big revival. We’re all poor and fat, we all have winter blues, and with a pot of matt emulsion you can basically change your life for £16. And the best thing is, it’s so easy. You start after lunch on a Saturday, and you’re done by the time Dancing on Ice starts”. (Bonus).

“Improving the home provides a quick fix adrenaline rush. The future’s bright, the future’s orange, turquoise, teal…” It seems, with a bit of organisation and DIY prowess, the future can be whatever colour you want it to be.

And what should we be investing in for the home this year? Antiques.

“The antiques market is really slow at the moment and the great thing is that a one-off antique is never compromised in value, and no one else will have it. Don’t be nervous of mingling styles and incorporating a quirky, unusual antique into a contemporary scheme.”

Finally, what does the decorating doyen think of wallpapered ceilings? For the moment, Laurence says, he is a dispassionate observer. “The trend is most prevalent in hotels and restaurants at the moment, with experimental textures such as zinc, or embossed patterns. It will happen, but it might take a while. And if it all gets out of control and I think it looks pants, I will step in and stop it before it’s too late.”

Paper yours with caution…

Laurence’s new book, Decorating with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, is available in shops from March 5th.

B&Q’s Spring/Summer collection, and a Wendy house to die for 25 January, 2010

Posted by CandidaB in Candida's blog.
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Last Thursday, picture editor Vicky and I headed over to the B&Q Spring/Summer press day at the Haymarket Hotel.

As always, the products were stylish and great value.  We particularly loved their bedlinen, which was launched in September 2009, and features some beautiful ethnic-style floral designs in bold colours, as well as pale blue nautical stripes and subtler floral prints.

Image credit: B&Q

Also on our wishlist is their new blossom range of wallpaper and cushions, with pale ochre and lime shades for a fresh Springtime feel.

Image credit: B&Q

But Vicky was particularly taken with a grown-up wooden Wendy house, decorated with paper lanterns and fuchsia damask cushions.

It took a fair few muffins to tempt her out.

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.

2010: The year of layered rugs and wallpapered ceilings 20 January, 2010

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Image credit: Graham & Brown

Every year has its own trend. This year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, homeowners are making their mark with layers of rugs and wallpaper-covered ceilings.

Just like the endless pots of Marmite lurking in the kitchen, these trends have divided the mydeco team already – there are those of us who love it, and those who wouldn’t paper their ceiling for all the tea in China.

Personally, I think layering rugs is a great way to channel next season’s clashing trend, and for indecisive decorators it keeps all the options open. But my ceilings are certainly staying white.

If, however, a patterned ceiling is all you’ve ever dreamt of, listen to the Chronicle’s advice and avoid using the same paper for walls and ceiling before you jump on the bandwagon.

Do you love these trends, or should they be binned before they’ve even begun?

As always, we want to know what you think, so post a comment below!

Room Rescue 11: bringing a modern living room to life 15 January, 2010

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Hello and welcome to Room Rescue 11!  Each week, we choose a different person’s room to have our community make over with our great 3D tools.  Design expert and mydeco Design Board member Kelly Hoppen helps choose the winning room, and lends her advice.

The room chosen for a 3D makeover this week was sent in by Lyn Coutts, who is hoping to inject colour and personality into her new-build living room.

‘The house is modern and fresh, but we would love to create a cosy, livable lounge – rather than a bland open space.’ says Lynn.

There were plenty of great contenders to choose from, but in the end Lynn opted for this contemporary black and fuchsia design by mydeco community member chezzamc.

‘I really liked Chezzamc’s design as she had stayed pretty close to our original lay out.  Given we’ve just built & moved into the house we weren’t really looking to put lots of other furniture in, but we needed something to help transform it into a proper living space. My husband also liked the colouring on this design, so we have started jazzing the place up with wonderful purple and fuchsia colours – it already looks so much better!’

We were impressed with this room too – especially the geometric print wallpaper, which is very on trend for Spring. Unfortunately Kelly Hoppen wasn’t so keen: ‘I do not like the design of this room at all. The colour scheme of fuchsia and black is too clumsy and will date very quickly. A palette of neutral shades and luscious textures using art or a star piece of furniture to add colour would have made the room feel more  luxurious  and contemporary.’

Image credit: The Telegraph

We agree with you on the luscious textures Kelly, but with nothing but grey skies outside surely you can’t blame Lynn for wanting to see some colour?

Lynn chose this summery design by Sylvia Ast as her runner-up:

To buy any of the items used in this week’s winning design, visit the winning room’s page for a  list of products used in this scheme.

Love another design?  Think the runners-up designed better rooms?  Tell us what you think.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the Room Rescue article in the Telegraph this Saturday 15th January!

Think you can do better? Put your design skills to the test and redesign next week’s room at www.mydeco.com/roomrescue13. Or to enter a room in your house for a redesign, email a photograph to roomrescue@mydeco.com. Each week a different photograph will be rendered as an empty virtual room for you to redesign.

Sanderson: celebrating 150 years of English chintz 12 January, 2010

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A big anniversary demands recognition, and what better way could there be to celebrate than to collaborate? British wallpaper company Sanderson are commemorating 150 years with a sculpture by contemporary artist Nina Saunders and a collection of Sanderson shoes designed by Tracey Neuls. This fusion of art, fashion and decorating will appear in Neuls’ Marylebone shop in February –  just in time for London Fashion Week.

Image credit: Sanderson

Both the shoes and the sculpture will employ reissued vintage Sanderson textiles from the company’s extensive archive. Nina’s art installation – set to follow the same ‘morphed’ theme as previous works using Sanderson fabric – will fit in nicely with the eclectic displays in Neuls’ store. ‘A collaboration that combines three completely different disciplines and generates contradictions like classic/ avant-garde, or heritage/ timeless is exactly what 29 Marylebone Lane is about’, says Neuls.

Image credit: Sanderson

If you prefer seeing chintz on your walls to wearing it on your feet, fear not – the Sanderson design team have also put together a special collection of 16 prints and wallpapers, featuring designs dating from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s.

Image credit: Sanderson

Finally, for those of you who love to learn, there will be a Sanderson exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum running from March until June. The best designs from Sanderson’s archive will be showcased alongside new collections, with prints to satisfy a plethora of tastes: from fifties festival designs and Pop patterns to contemporary decor.

mydeco chats to…Barbara Hulanicki 1 January, 2010

Posted by Bethany Wrede Peterson in Bethany's blog, Interviews.
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Image credit: Barbara Hulanicki

Miami-based Sixties icon Barbara Hulanicki has designed for fashion legends Naomi Campbell and Bridget Bardot. The founder of BIBA, her latest project is retro wallpaper designs for Graham & Brown. She talks about Madonna, growing up in a war zone and being hit by a hurricane.

I fell into interior design when… Ronnie Wood asked me to design a nightclub for him in Miami in the late Eighties. And I never moved back to London.

If you’re a designer… and working a lot with colour, you don’t wear much colour because it interferes with what you are working on.

Most of my walls are painted… a pearl grey colour; it works well with the bright sunshine of Miami. I have odd walls painted in a burnt orange shade.

Recently I have been bombarded with… requests for BIBA designs. My inspiration for my BIBA wallpaper prints actually came from the public’s nostalgia.

‘Viva’ wallpaper by Barbara Hulanicki. Image credit: Flock The Wall.

I was thrilled to… work on this project with Graham and Brown. They produce such wonderful printing and colour palettes, and I love the fact that is it produced in the UK.

I will never get rid of… my Fifties chair that keeps getting re-upholstered. It’s silver at the moment but I’ve changed the cover of it three or four times. I also adore my huge seahorse doorstop which I picked up in a junk market.

I admire… minimalism, but I need clutter. I like having different shapes and colours that my eyes will focus on.

‘Shoes’ wallpaper by Barbara Hulnicki. Image credit: Flock Your Wall

Update your home by… moving around photo frames and having furniture on wheels, so you can move it around too.

My all-time favourite project was… designing the Marlin hotel in the Eighties for Chris Blackwell. He always gave me a blank canvas to design whatever I wanted.

If my house was burning down… I’d grab pictures of my son, [my late husband] Fitz, and my passport. Then I‘d think, ‘great, I can start again’.

Shop for designs by Barbara Hulanicki

Barbara Hulanicki has joined mydeco! See her profile