Why I'm still in a flap over exotic bird wallpaper

What is it with me and brightly coloured birds with big beaks? I somehow find myself gravitating towards them. Like, there I was on my first night on holiday here in Portugal. I'm just finding my way around, when suddenly a wrong turn has me treading a path paved with a giant flamingo. What are the chances?

And then when I tried out the gym over here and, on my first sit up, noticed the ceiling was one huge mural depicting a sky of exotic flying birds, swooping at my imagination. An intense set of cloud gazing was all I could manage thereafter. (Okay, so it doesn't take much).

Regular readers will know I have this thing with flamingos and I was alarmed when recently, somebody asked me if they were passe? I laughed, obviously.

Sure, they've been a round a while, but I still don't think I'm late to the party. More like I refuse to leave the party. Especially the one hosted by King of maximalism Matthew Williamson whose wallpapers, lamps and side tables all err on the side of exotic.

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from  Amara.com

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from Amara.com

Exotic birds are great for adding a bit of unexpected interest. I particularly like to find them in downstairs loos, dressing rooms, utilities.... anywhere in fact that's not an obvious place for showing off.

But if you are concerned that flamingos are too, um, 5 years ago, here's a few other birds of wallpaper paradise that might still fit the bill.*

Hummingbird Wallpaper by  Cole and Son

Hummingbird Wallpaper by Cole and Son

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from  Rockett St George

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from Rockett St George

Bird print wallpaper by  Julia Rothman

Bird print wallpaper by Julia Rothman

Happy bank holiday all. Hope your feet help you seek out some inspiration too!

Love Claire xx

*It's 30 degrees in the shade and I got off my blow up pool flamingo to bring you this post. Allow me one little holiday pun won't you?

House of Hacks - The art of beautiful cheating

There are some beautiful cheats out there. Ref Maria Sharapova. 

Cheating is wrong. Of course it's wrong, but weellllllll, tennis would be ugly without Maria, so I have found it in my heart to forgive her. Just like I know you will forgive me for my recent (but rather beautiful) cheating spate too. 

Sainsbury's Botanist cushion and Ikea striped fabric.  Swan Lake wallpaper  £67 per roll by Nina Campbell. 

Sainsbury's Botanist cushion and Ikea striped fabric. Swan Lake wallpaper £67 per roll by Nina Campbell. 

So it's time to come clean.

I love House of Hackney. In fact I have an unhealthy obsession with the brand. I love its modern vintage vibe, its unapologetic maximalism and I adore its rock star credentials. 

Palmeral  print cushions £148 House of Hackney

Palmeral print cushions £148 House of Hackney

And yet (guilt face) I've been reduced to cheating in order to achieve the look.

Exhibit 1 -  My twelve quid Sainsbury's palm print cushion. Intended to pretty up outdoor furniture and currently residing very happily indoors.

Botanist cushion £12 www.sainsburys.co.uk

Botanist cushion £12 www.sainsburys.co.uk

But that's not all. Unable to land this dreamy (and yes, rock-star expensive) House of Hackney London stripe Mortello chair to the tune of £2,495 ...

... I bought some £6 per metre Ikea copycat fabric and made my own accent chair instead. (Exhibit B below and top).

Sofia fabrc £8 per metre  www.ikea.com

Sofia fabrc £8 per metre www.ikea.com

But you know what? Throughout this sordid designer hacking ordeal, I have experienced none of the shame associated with real life cheating. In fact. I'm actually quite proud of myself. You will be pleased to know that interior cheating, done well, feels really quite good.

What's more, it allows me more cash to splash on gorgeous actual House of Hackney accessories that:

a) I would not otherwise be able to afford and

b) Will fool everyone into believing that the fake stuff might actually be designer anyway (because a House of Hackney soap dispenser says a lot about your standards if you know what I mean.)

Palmeral ceramic bathroom gift set £55  www.houseofhackney.com

Palmeral ceramic bathroom gift set £55 www.houseofhackney.com

Clean hands and clean conscience. Who'd have thought cheating could be so rewarding?

Got any designer cheats you want to 'fess up about? Tip me off in the comments section below. It takes one to know one, right?

Claire x