The annual Christmas Card Conundrum, solved

Day Seventeen

Is anyone bothering with cards this year? There seems to be a general loathing of them. The joy of spreading Christmas cheer via the post box appears to have turned into a chore we could do without. I bought mine in November with the aim of being super organised. Needless to say they are still in the box. At this stage of the game I thought it wise to invest in Nickie Kelly's festive poster instead. Does it still count as a greeting if I send you a screenshot?

A bit of friendly festive filth £7.50 by  www.nickiekelly.com

A bit of friendly festive filth £7.50 by www.nickiekelly.com

Displaying Christmas cards is always a bit of a pain tho isn't it? I do love getting them and if there's a letter or photo inside then that's extra nice, but please don't be offended if I don't blue-tack them to my new walls. Poor Des the singing/dancing decorator would never forgive me. Here he is tending to his covings again. What do you think to the dark panelled wall that happened yesterday? I can't get a lot done because I keep having to break off to go and look at it in a different light.

Panelled wall colour matched to Magnet's Newbury Midnight kitchen. Railings by Farrow and Ball is similar.  

Panelled wall colour matched to Magnet's Newbury Midnight kitchen. Railings by Farrow and Ball is similar.  

Hope all your final prep is in place. There's still a whopping great to-do list here but I'm looking forward to opening the doors of The Love Cafe for the first time on Thursday when my mates are coming round for mulled wine. I'm sure the kitchen will look great, but there's a good chance I'll be looking something like this:

Bad Santa print now £6.99  www.nickiekelly.com

Bad Santa print now £6.99 www.nickiekelly.com

Thank you for all your comments and messages throughout the advent posts. Here goes for the final push.

Claire x

The print with natural pulling power

There's a little bit of punk and a little bit of Pollock in my latest vintage upcycle. There's also a hint of my son's reception class art apron when it came home for its first term's wash.

The vibrant, paint splattered pattern of Earthed Fabric's Osmosis print is my favourite of the nature inspired Upperlands collection, mainly because it has unexpectedly pulled my eclectic interior decor scheme together. 

I needed a fabric to work hard for the sixties dining chairs that came to me en-route to the skip (above). They're not classics, but have sleek modernist shape. They are also light and amazingly comfy - perfect for moving from room to room as the need for extra seating is required. But choosing a fabric was proving difficult as I searched for a colour that would work in different rooms and for various situations.

Osmosis in Self Heal combines splashes of my favourite brights, yet combines sweeter blush tones on a rich purple background. It makes for a riotous mix, designed to invoke positivity, passion and wellbeing. 

So far (and they only arrived on Monday) those qualities have rocked my white dining room, complimented bold accent colours in my kitchen and nurtured a hip, artistic vibe throughout my whole interior aesthetic. 

The vintage chairs that had to work hard AND look nice!

The vintage chairs that had to work hard AND look nice!

For a pair of chairs that were heading for landfil, that makes for one impressive comeback. They not only look good, but the luxury Irish linen gives them a high quality, individual finish that feels super expensive and translates easily from a laid back to a formal setting.

The entire Upperlands collection reflects the rich and abundant mix of colours found in that one big paint splattered canvas we all call nature. If you're looking for a fabric to bring cohesion to your chaos, these are the prints with natural pulling power. Explore the full range here: http://earthedbywmclark.co.uk/collection/the-upperlands/

Bolster cushions made from Osmosis in Self Heal by  Earthed Fabrics.

Bolster cushions made from Osmosis in Self Heal by Earthed Fabrics.

What do you think to my latest upholstery updates? Do you love pattern or shy away from prints? Are you good at sticking to one colour scheme or have things gone a bit, um, artistic of late? I would love to know your thoughts, please drop me a line in the comments section, it would be so cool to connect.

Claire x

Treble Rebel - 3 ways to rock the street art trend at home

No longer an outlet for angry teenagers to voice their beef, street art is one of the coolest and instagrammable art forms out there and its influence on the interiors scene is so loud it deserves an ASBO.

Graffiti inspired home furnishings dominated at Decorex International, with luxe home furnishings brands resplendently rebellious in their paint splattered prints and powerful papers. Here's 3 ways I'm looking to work more street into my semi.

1) Make a splash

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

At Blackpop, it wasn't a stinking bad mood, but an obsession with artist Jackson Pollock that inspired designer Maxine Hall's latest range of edgy wallpapers and sumptuous velvets. Pair the two together and your room turns into one big, bad-ass work of art.

For a more colourful take on the trend I fancy the gorgeous Blue Note design for a feature chair and will add playful lighting or some cute neon - 'cos I'm girly like that. 

Blue note velvet £144 per metre  www.blackpop.co.uk

Blue note velvet £144 per metre www.blackpop.co.uk

Blackpop's designs are now available at Curiousa & Curiousa. Visit their store on Amwell Street in Islington for more inspiration on luxuriously eclectic living, including bespoke lighting and furnishings.

Scottish art-meets-homefurnishings brand Timorous Beasties has been crawling all over the street art vibe for some time now and its trademark statement wallpanels have all the hallmarks of a boss boutique hotel.

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300  Timorous Beasties

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300 Timorous Beasties

The luxe home furnishings brand also does paint splattered masterpieces as wall panels, wallpapers and seriously sexy velvets. 

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120  Timorous Beasties

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120 Timorous Beasties

2) Get less cushty with the cushions

If you want to start with more of a scribble than a full on wall of art, head to Society 6 for the coolest range of cushions, pillows and framed prints at bargain prices. I'm looking to use some spray painted prints like the one below to brighten up my sons' room.

B is for Bamm cushion £14  Society 6

B is for Bamm cushion £14 Society 6

3) Buy Actual Art 

For me, having a fabulous piece of abstract art in your home, is the equivalent of adding a studded leather jacket to a vintage tea dress. It takes away all the twee.

I can't say enough good things about London artist Rowan Newton, whose work has transformed my home and for whom I have a special savings pot where I'm excitedly collecting all my £2 pieces ready for my next purchase.

Delphic Ambiguity by  Rowan Newton

Delphic Ambiguity by Rowan Newton

For more urban art originals and prints to suit a variety of budgets, visit new online urban art seller www.graffitistreet.com

3F-XO (Red) Print £125  www.graffitistreet.com

3F-XO (Red) Print £125 www.graffitistreet.com

So what's your thoughts on street art? Drop me a line in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.

Also this week, I'll be looking at the new graphic prints that are big news for next season and filling you in on my delve into the design archives at Denby Pottery. 

Happy new week all,

Claire