About Design_Soda_Ruthie

Hi, I'm Ruthie, welcome to my blog. Design Soda charts the renovation of our house through an eye that lives for colour, pattern & patina. We are as at home finding great design in flea markets as in supermarkets and with more than a dash of kitsch to our homes aesthetic it is never too staged or contrived. From d.i.y and house renovation posts, to focus on design items i love, styling or shots of things that inspire me in my home city (London), I hope that you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Deck The Halls With Boughs of Holly – My Decorations Wishlist.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Similar to a small child, Christmas makes me feel giddy and excited. It is such a sensory overload, the sights and smells are a true sensualists dream.

My first acknowledgment of this is my excited perusal and horde planning of decorations for the home. And as advent has officially started I have already begun to hang the first of my Christmas decorations.

Here are my favourites of the year, from bright and shiny to white and understated, like all other areas of home decor I love eclecticism in my Christmas touches.

Winter Wonderland:

Winter Wonderland Deer, pine cones & Birch star Decoration

If there’s one thing Cox & Cox excel at, its classic Christmas items, the top two items are their staples which have been available for the last few years and they just don’t date. Birch Scatter Stars £9.50 and the Birch Stars Pinecone Garland £15.50, I have one of these for the mantlepiece and one to entwine on their willow wreath. Adorable  Deer Figurines available from Angel at My Table and these bargain Deer Magnets £2 each in store at Tiger.

Paper on String:

Paper Hanging Christmas DecorationsI just love these stars made by Danish company House Doctor, hanging these stars from the top of window frames looks particularly effective. You can get them from many places online, I found the cheapest was through Design Vintage and Rockett St George’s collection.The Meri Meri Pinwheels are £15.95  from Selfridges. All Retro Honeycomb Paper Decorations made by Miss etoile are available at Rockett St George.

White Christmas

White ChristmasI bought this Ceramic Fox Bauble last year, its very expensive but just exquisite, available through Notonthehighstreet for £19.95. Another Cox & Cox classic, the opulent wreath for £45, but their Willow Wreath for £14.50 is a better cheap option. I just love this Pearl in Oyster Decoration from the V&A shop. And lastly the Xmas Lace Bauble £6.95 from Selfridges

Christmas Kitsch

Kitsch ChristmasI love a bit of Xmas tackiness and tat, these are all fabulous examples of supreme kitsch. Snow Doll Candles £19.95 from Rockett St George. Deer & Holly Tealight Holders £6 from Cath kidston. Nutcracker Figurines £9.41 for 8 available on Etsy. Horse and Rider Moulds from Pedlars. Cute Guardian Angel Candle Holders 8 for £40 via Rose & Frank. Pink Reindeer £2.50 from Paperchase.

Bauhaus Baubles – Geometric Xmas

Geometric Bauhaus Christmas BaublesI love these Xmas geometrics, they are super stylish and interesting. Red & White Geometric Blocks from Sketchinc on Etsy. Gold Geometric Decorations £15.95 from Selfridges.

All That Glitters is Gold….

Gold Shoes & Gold Concertina Globe Christmas DecorationI don’t tend to do gold very much in the home, it tends to remind me of eighties fleur-de-lys and the like but at christmas I make an exception. There is nothing so stylish as white and silver but also nothing more Christmass-y-joyful than shouting-sunburst-gold. Gold Slipper Decoration £3.95 from Graham & Green. Gold Concertina Globe Decoration £4.95 for two, Rockett St George.

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String:

Christmas TrimmingsWho doesn’t love fancy trimmings and wrap adorning their presents? These are my favorites of the year, all would look incredible tied around craft paper, best quality cheap wrap is from Tiger in my opinion, but Ikea comes a close second. Merry Christmas Black Printed tape £4.50 from Selfridges. Hot Pink Velvet Decorative Ribbon on Spool £6,.50 from Oliver Bonas. Neon Coral Ribbon with Stars £16, Rockett St George. Multicoloured Bakers Twine available through a plethora of sellers on ebay.

Now time to crack open the second door on the advent calender….

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Through the aperture…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Anthropologie Rabbit CupsGleaming Green Rabbit Cups - Anthropologie horde.
Dick Bruna AngelsDick Bruna's Christmas Angels.
Islington Georgian ArchirtectureIslington Georgian Townhouse Spledour.
#Latergram - Winter in Reigate#Latergram - Reigate, Bleak Mid-Winter.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Its that time of year when spare time turns my thoughts to Xmas mini-crafts. I am the laziest crafter and shortcut taker in the world so am always tickled by simple and easy but eye catching touches. These gold animal memo holders (I would use them as table place settings) are fabulous. Tutorial from a beautiful blog I’ve recently discovered called Sugar and Cloth here.d.i.y gold animal place settings
  2. There was a brilliant episode of The Culture Show earlier this month which I’ve just got round to watching called Wars of The Heart about literary affairs and experiences in wartime London based on the works of Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, Dylan Thomas and Henry Green. Suspended moments of infidelity amongst the bombings, and the license given to such liasons by the extraordinary circumstances of wartime living was fascinating. I particularly liked a morbid phrase of the time ‘ Who are you going out with tonight darling, is it someone you’d like to die with?’. As reading group is out of the way for another month, I am finally going to read Elizabeth Bowen’s novel Heat of The Day based on her wartime affair with Charles Richie, I have always loved Bowen novels so hope this one doesn’t disappoint.                                                         bowen heat of the day
  3. I love, love, love these calligraphy canopy plates, new in at Anthropologie this week, £8 each. If I had to choose I’d pick the gorgeous octopus, unicorn and oyster with    pearl ones.                                                                                                                      Anthropologie Unicorn Canopy plate Anthropologie Octopus Canopy plate Anthropologie Oyster Pearls Canopy plateAnthropologie Lovebirds Canopy plate Anthropologie Jellyfish Canopy plate
  4. Winter on the Southbank looks pretty exciting, Christmas markets, afternoon teas and of course a host of cultural events and activities, take a look at the guide here:Southbank Winter Season
  5. Since remembering a lovely vintage Xmas wrap I purchased at the V&A a few years ago, I have been looking at cute retro Xmas scenes online. Here are some of my favourite current muses:                                                                                        Vintage Xmas CardRetro V&A wrapping paper winter scene pudding-boy-large-rectangle   Vintage Xmas Card FiftiesRW_1210_XmasStationery_605x340 Winter Ski Fabric Vintage Christmas fabric bunting Retro Xmas fabric

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Through the aperture…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

IMG_0175Re-issued Warhol Soup Cans.
IMG_0174Vintage Christmas Figurines
IMG_9574My favourite Xmas Craft - Wreath Making: 
glittering acorn cups and spray painted pine cones.
IMG_0194Squid Glass Sculpture.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Finding these wonderfully kitsch and cute figurines at my very favourite local store – The Paint House on Northcote Rd. Who knew that finding suitable pieces for my snowdome was going to be so easy!?!
    IMG_0169  IMG_0171
  2. If there’s one thing Carluccio’s are always on the money with its their amazingly enticing and covetable packaging. And this Christmas they have really excelled themselves. I want it all, from the gold chocolate stars to the nostalgic advent calender and most definitely this glorious Pandoro in exquisite box.  This is a major hint to Dan, I hope he’s listening….Carluccio's Pandoro Carluccio's Panettone Carluccio's Advent calendar Carluccio's Chocolate Hazelnut Stars
  3. The staircase at the newly re-opened Tate Britain, so stark and opulent, just stunning, I can’t wait to visit it and muse on it in real life.rotunda-staircase new tate britain
  4. Yvonne Ellen‘s wonderful vintage tableware with modern customisations available at her Etsy Shop, found via Domestic Sluttery. I had to buy these Giraffe plates because they were just too cute to resist, but I am also charmed by her gin tea cup and Perky Puffer plate:Giraffe Plate Yvonne Ellen Gin Teacup Yvonne Ellen Perky Puffer Plate Yvonne Ellen
  5. We watched a lot of movies this week, the very best of which was Mia Hansen-Love’s latest film ‘Goodbye First Love’. There is something really intimate but unobtrusive about her film making, she treats characters with the lightest of touches. Her previous project The Father of My Children was easily the best foreign film of 2009 and this is a pretty exceptional follow up.goodbye-first-love mia hansen love

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

 

Treasuries in Miniature – Snow Dome Decorations

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Snow Globe decoration Anthropologie 1 Sometimes, something which you’ve been thinking of suddenly pops up everywhere you look! Either you have unconsciously tapped into a zeitgeist subliminally absorbing a trend, or you are noticing objects because of a connection already articulated in recent memory. Now I’m sure there is a very cynical marketing answer to this, but at the beginning of Autumn I found myself rueing a wonderful collection of snow globes I threw away several years ago.

Low and behold, some weeks later, there are a zillion Christmas hanging decorations on the market which take their cue from traditional snow globes. Much like the stags, bells, Nordic prints & owls of yesteryear, it is nearly impossible to look at any high street stores  decorations in 2013 without finding a knowingly kitsch cloche style hanging decoration or snow globe.  I pretty much adore all of them, on the same principle as I love terrariums –  as miniature treasuries of display, curiosity or sparkle.

Some are absolutely enchanting. I bought the deer globe at the top of this post for £12 from Anthropologie (also retailing at more than double the price in Selfridges!). Here is an assortment of my favourite globes currently bombarding the market, from the kitsch to the pretty, the simple to the ornate:

Party Dog Cloche Angel at My tableMarks Spencer Snow Globe Christmas
Party Dog Mini Glass Cloche £15 from Angel at My Table.
Nativity Scene Dome, £25 from Marks & Spencer.
Anthropologie Snow Globe Christmas  Decoration1original_ornamental-party-dog-christmas-globe
Castle Globe Decoration £16 at Anthropologie.
Bulldog in Gold Top hat Globe £12 from Heals.
Rockett St George Snow Globe Christmas Decoration Butterfly Bauble M&S
Bird in Glass Dome Xmas Decoration, £9.50 Rockett St George.
Long Butterfly Bauble £6 from Marks & Spencer.
French Bulldog Sequined bauble SelfridgesMarks & Spencer  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
French Bulldog Sequined Bauble, £22.95 Selfridges.
Robin Bell Jar Decoration, £6 Marks & Spencer.
Paperchase Tree Snow Globe DecorationJohn Lewis Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
Christmas Tree Snow Globe Decoration, £6 from Paperchase.
Vintage House Dome Decoration, £4 from John Lewis.
Paperchase Kitsch Snow Globe DecorationgRAHAM & gREEN  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration
Set of 3 Snowglobe Characters, £15 from Paperchase.
Polar Bear Snow Globe, £12 Graham & Green.
gRAHAM & gREEN  Snow Globe Christmas Decoration 1Selfridges Forest Owl Glass Bauble
Penguin Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green.
Forest Owl Glass bauble, £26.95, Selfridges.
graham & Green Snowglobe.Selfridges Woodland Scene Bauble
Snowdoll Snow Globe, £12, Graham & Green.
Woodland Scene bauble, £24.95, Selfridges.

And for those who like a Christmas craft to keep them occupied on wintery evenings, here are some online inspirations for d.i.y cloche displays and mason jar snow globes. I don’t know how, but you may be able to guess I have a slight propensity for deers in the holiday season!

Freedom-1024-800x1200  IMG_7092

Deer-in-SnowOr, for a super easy personalised display, brilliant company RE (whom I adore), have brought out a lovely clear bauble with lid for £3 for you to fill with whatever you fancy. I’d fill mine with glittery acorns, what would you do?Re Glass Bauble decoration with lid

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Through the aperture…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Decaying Building Devonshire House, Borough
Decaying Building near London Bridge
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetGlorious Salt Pigs - Anthropologie
Fortnum & Mason Teacup Topiary Fortnum & Mason - Teacup Topiary

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

  1. Stationary at Present & Correct, amongst the pastel coloured masking tapes and geometric notebooks, the items I most love are these painted wooden rulers and vintage French Postcard books.                                          Present and correct rulers Present and correct rulers 1 French Postcards french postcards
  2. One thing that we are spoilt for choice with in Tooting, other than curry houses, are Indian sweet shops which I adore. I never quite know what I’m ordering and can be a bit of a magpie with the brightly coloured & edible silver leafed ones but my sweet tooth loves these amazingly bright phantasmagorical sweets.                             IMG_0014 Processed with VSCOcam with se1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_0013
  3. There is almost nothing that thrills me more than cheap interior goods when the high street gets it right, and looking at the press shows for Debenhams Spring 2014 I think I can confidently assert that they have nailed it. I see both a pelican lamp designed by Abigail Ahern and a brass pineapple that I simply must have, but there are also some lovely entomology cross stitch cushions and fab geometrics, behold:                                                                     Abigail ahern debenhams pelican lamp 2014 Debenhams ss2014
  4. The Christmas season at Kew Gardens where they plan to install a fabulously illuminated trail through the winter landscape, a Christmas market, Santa’s grotto and this gorgeous carousel. Running from November 28-4 January.Christmas at Kew Gardens
  5. The 1952 film Pleasure Garden which I watched this week, its very short at just over 30 minutes, set against the ruins of the Crystal palace, a quaint bizarre piece of burlesque. Really interesting to see what stood of the original derelict building and grounds just after the fire in light of the new plans announced last month to rebuild the palace and gardens. BFI Pleasure garden Crystal palace

    My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

Through the aperture…

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.

 

Roupell Street, WaterlooMy favourite street in Central London 
 Roupell Street, Waterloo.
Fireworks, Battersea ParkPattern - Falling Fireworks, Battersea Park.
ArtichokesArtichokes at Lidl, the prettiest vegetable.
Menier Chocolate FactoryMenier Chocolate Factory, Borough.

My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.