[Star Buys] How to add a touch of quintessentially British style to your home
I am feeling immensely patriotic today as an adopted Brit and Londoner. It's the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings and watching the various tributes taking place today in the capital to remember those who died, but also the bereaved, survivors and rescuers of what remains the most shocking attacks on the English capital, has made me feel so proud to call myself a Londoner. No, I am not British, and I wasn't born or raised in London. I was born in France, grew up in Corsica, went to high school in Spain, and only came to London in my early twenties. However, 11 years on, London is now the place I have actually lived in the longest... and what I now call home.
I think this love for my new surrogate country explains the many little touches of quintessentially British style dotted around my house. It reminds me why I fell in love with the place that's adopted me. So I thought, as a little nod to this beautiful country, I'd feature cool items for your interiors that represent both the UK and London, for those of you like me who are feeling London proud, particularly today...
London Tube limited edition print
I recently visited the London Transport Museum for the first time (I know, I am slow sometimes...) and their shop is an absolute gold mine. They have lots of really fabulous prints in particular this new limited edition screen print by Andrew Spencer for Transport for London, exclusive to London Transport Museum. A typographic tribute to the city he also calls home and the enduring design of its most iconic brand. Would look fab with a white frame and as a standalone piece or as part of a wall display feature. Available from London Transport Museum Shop, £95.
NUD Hanging Lights Underground Collection
'Underground Line' is a bespoke range of hand painted LED lamps inspired by the iconic London Underground map, in collaboration with Transport for London, to mark the 150th anniversary of their underground service. You can choose from individual tube lines or all lines together painted on one single bulb. Also available from the London Transport Museum's online shop, £110 each.
Iconic Royal Mail stamp rug
For royal lovers out there, this is the dream rug for you. This stamp rug has the Queen's head embossed and is hand woven from 100% New Zealand wool in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Notic its scalloped edges, which mimic the perforations on Royal Mail postage stamps. Each rug is individually hand carved to create a clever 3D effect. It can be used as a conventional rug or hung on a wall for an alternative look (see pictures above). Available in 5 colours from I Love Retro, prices start at £695. If you watch Alan Carr's TV show, Chatty Man, you may recognise this rug as it used to be on the set of the show.
Art work featuring Queen Elizabeth
This holographic portrait of the Queen, called Equanimity, by Chris Levine is one of my favourite photographs, ever. It was commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust to create a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. The portrait was to mark 800 years of allegiance to the Crown by the Island of Jersey. You can buy a print or postcard from the National Portrait Gallery museum shop, like I have done... Who doesn't want a picture of the Queen meditating in their staircase?!
Last one on the Queen I promise, as we don't want to upset the anti-monarchy peeps out there, right? Get a little pop art touch on your walls with a print of Andy Warhol's Reigning Queen. Available from Allposters.co.uk, £45 each.
Union Jack artwork
How cool is this golden version of the Union Jack flag by illustrator Julie Smith? It's made on canvas and hand painted in grey, white acrylic and gilded with silver leaf. Available from Notonthehighstreet.com, £220.
Union Jack mat