Well the countdown to Christmas has really begun, and it's time to grab those credit crunch bargains as presents for friends and fmaily, or perhaps just a gift for yourself. This lovely pure silk cushion from Marks and Spencer was £25, but is currently discounted by 40% so is just £15 at the checkout, which is a really fab price for 100% silk. It's available in blue and in the honey colour shown here.
Today Lovely Things is supporting Blog Action Day 2008 by writing about this year's chosen theme of poverty in the context of our homes and interiors focus. (If you're a blogger and would also like to get involved in Blog Action Day today, visit their site.)
Ensuring the products we buy are fairly-traded and made by people working in appropriate conditions can be difficult at times - retailers often aren't able to tell us much about where the product came from and who made it. That's why organisations like the RugMark Foundation help us as consumers to make better choices when we come to parting with our cash for home accessories.
RugMark is an international campaign dedicated to stamping out illegal and exploitative child labour in carpet and rug weaving factories in South Asia. Nearly 300,000 South Asian children, driven by poverty or kidnapped and sold into slavery, are being exploited in the handmade carpet industry. Kids as young as four are made to work in dangerous conditions in factories or loom sheds and can be further trafficked into the sex industry.
Since 1995 RugMark has worked to free 3000 children from this exploitation and runs accommodation, rehabilitation and education programmes to offer these children new opportunities in their lives. The organisation is funded by RugMark-certified rug sales and donations so it can make a real difference in the lives of children who've been forced to make a living in shocking conditions.
When you buy an imported rug, look for the certified and numbered RugMark label on the back. Not only does this number ensure no children were exploited in the manufacture of the rug and that the label is genuine, you can also trace the origin of your rug to learn about the area, craft process and the programmes in weaving communities that your purchase will support.
Image shown is of a RugMark certified rug made in India. 'Quintessence' features a peacock feather design and is available from Wovenground in black or cream (shown), and starts at £256 for a 120 x 180cm pure wool handtufted rug. [21/10/08 This has been edited as it came to our attention that the previously featured rug was not certified by RugMark].
There's a fresher feeling this season than you'd often expect for A/W looks which is really modern and autumnal, in opposition to the 'cuddly' feel we often see for winter. The setting in a huge warehouse space is luscious (makes me want to live without walls!), with an open, airy feel for some shots, and a tucked-away secret delight with others.
As always, Zara gives us a variety of options in their look book, from eclectic colour and retro-modern to a touch of chinoiserie and traditional romance. As is my favourite thing about this time of year, we see delicious colours with deep jewel tones, plus some fresher palettes such as light blue with tan and neutrals.
Continue reading below for more images from the gorgeous Zara Home A/W catalogue...
If you're a fan of flock on a budget, look no further than these cushions that are on sale at Dwell. Pictured is the flock damask cushion in sapphire blue with black flock at £5.95 for the small (a not so teeny 43cm x 43cm), and £9.95 for the large (56cm x 56cm). Also available is the taupe version with the small for £7.95 and large for £9.95. Happy flocking!
Zara Home's Autumn/Winter 2008 collection has come over all dramatic - there's loads of architectural shapes, dark gold and glossy black. Continue reading below for details of the items featured here...
This really is a bargain price for a bedding set - just a tenner no matter which size you order. The Wallace Sacks paisley bedlinen set comes in a deep pink with yellow and green stripes on one side, and a bold paisley pattern on the other for contrast.
The single set is a single duvet cover and one pillow case, and all other sizes come with two pillowcases. Sizes single to superking were from £20 to £35, but now all just £10 each.
When we live in a country with summers as unpredictable and un-sunny as England's it's criminal to write what I'm about to write: I can't wait til autumn! Okay, well maybe that's overdoing it a bit, but you see, I've been so inspired by the beautiful blankets and throws at the Atlantic Blanket Company's website, that the thought of snuggling up against the chill suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
As well as a lovely array of woolly cosiness, I'm impressed with the clean, simple look of the site, the beautiful photography and customer-friendly design. Read below for a very special discount code for Lovely Things readers.
Now comes the difficult part - trying to decide which products are my favourites that I just have to show you. Here goes...
Most of the sales are over and you'd be forgiven for thinking all that's left are a few dregs that nobody wants. Okay, well that is true on many counts, but if you have a little rummage, there are still some bargains to be nabbed as stores clear out the last of their old season's stock.
Here's a few picks from the Heal's clearance section at 50 to 70 percent off...
Lovely Things is dedicated to bringing you fabulous finds for your home and life. It's edited by Elizabeth Varley and published by Online Content UK.
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