New designer for Anthropologie: Charlotte Taylor
Hip London fashion designer Charlotte Taylor is making the leap into homeware at Anthropologie and, inspired by the current trend for animals on everything, has designed a collection of silk cushions featuring goats and foxes, which will be available to buy from September at £98 each. Visit Anthropologie.eu.
Furniture and homeware store Barker and Stonehouse opens in Battersea
The old Price's candle factory in Battersea has had a makeover and has just reopened as Barker and Stonehouse. It's the first time the Northern-based brand, which has eight stores that sell furniture, lighting and home accessories, has ventured south. For the store's launch, it will be selling a new design by Timorous Beasties for Ercol — the Blotch Studio couch, A snip at £4,145. (Barkerandstonehouse.co.uk).
Laura Ashley's first ever boutique hotel
Laura Ashley is going into the luxury hotel business, with the opening on July 31 of its first boutique hotel in a Tudor Revival property in Elstree, Hertfordshire. Each of the 49 rooms have been decorated in trademark floral style, although mercifully without the pelmets. Set in 10 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens, the hotel aims to attract newlyweds and Elstree Studio film folk in need of a bed for the night. From £150 a night. Visit lauraashleyhotels.com.
Interior designer Nicky Haslam branches out into the music industry
© Matt Writtle
There no stopping Nicky Haslam? The interior designer-turned-crooner has just released a moody music album called Midnight Matinée, featuring Bryan Ferry, Rupert Everett and others, and has got together with his pal Annabel Astor to design his first collection for her posh home brand, OKA. It goes on sale in September. A painted Gothic-style side table is pricey at £450, but then Haslam advises us to choose "nothing safe, nothing obvious, the emphasis always on useful but imaginative furnishings" (Okadirect.com).
Alain de Botton launches stationery range
Pop philosopher Alain de Botton is branching into stationery. His new range of beautifully designed notebooks, pencils and boxes — Questions and Aphorisms — are "toolkits for the mind" and inspired by his online emotional intelligence forum, The School of Life. Colour coded, depending on whether you consider yourself a literary (orange), psychoanalytic (grey) or visual arts (turquoise) buff, they're just the thing to get smart and impress friends. See theschooloflife.com.
Ryan Gosling tea towels
Serve Ryan Gosling up as your dish of the day. The charismatic actor we can't get enough of is depicted on a new eco-cotton tea towel in three difference guises — hipster, charmer and classic. It's part of a new range called Dishes I'd Rather Be Doing. Designed by New Zealand-based graphic artist Colleen Pugh, sales of the tea towel have already gone through the roof Down Under and likely to do the same here (£9.95 each at todryfor.com).