Sunday, 25 May 2014

Celebrating 150 Years

Now that the building work is finished on our house (thank goodness, feels like forever), we're at the point of sorting out furniture and starting to move into the new rooms. My shoe-room is still some way off, as it's currently a makeshift bedroom for my sister. So once she moves into her new bedroom and empties the old one, I'll start deciding on paint and furniture for it and then once that's done, the fun begins! I honestly can't wait, as the thought of having to do the 'seasonal switch' and constantly fight a losing battle against leaning floor to ceiling shoe box towers is enough to make me want to wear the same pair of shoes forever! Anyway I'm starting to browse furniture and storage ideas online for inspiration and then I got totally sidetracked by this lovely lot from John Lewis (as I do)!
John Lewis vintage deckchair and tea towel prints

If you live in the UK, you've perhaps already seen the ad on TV to celebrate 150 years of the department store. Hard to believe they've been on the go since 1864! To commemorate it, they've got tonnes of special edition items across all departments. This 1950s Fashion deck chair sling (£15) above, features a gorgeous retro fashionista, reinterpreted from John Lewis fashion brochures of the 1920s-50s.  You can find lots of sewing items featuring these prints and even iphone/ipad cases with each stylish lady of the decade.  Shown above (bottom right) is the 1920's tea-towel £6.   John Lewis vintage telephone and Oxford Street cushion
If you like one of the special prints, it's worth typing it into the search box to see what else it comes in.  Take this daisychain printed retro telephone £59.95.  This is the teal version, but it pops up in varying colours on everything from scissors to a baby romper suit, ghd styler case and even a specially boxed Lancome makeup set.  This archived print was originally inspired by William Morris back in the 60's and was used in several colourways on items, over a period of more than 20 years.  It's certainly a statement piece and although the 'technology' may not match some of the digital phones used today (caller id, answerphone etc), I'd much rather have this sitting in my house!  Another favourite is this Oxford Street cushion £30.  The basis for this print came from an old photograph of the John Lewis flagship store on Oxford Street, London.
John Lewis Ercol Studio Couch
Now this is what I mean, when I say you can find the commemorative prints on anything.  This 'Cummersdale' design dates back to 1864 and was originally used as a furnishing fabric.  So no surprise to see it on this Ercol studio couch £2750.  There's actually only been 30 of these produced, so it's an extremely limited piece.  Now how would you like a Smeg fridge (£1499) to match?  I'm not kidding, I've wanted a Smeg forever!  My sister actually alerted me to this, as she's obsessed with yellow and fell in love with the 'citrine' version below.  It also comes in black and again you'll find this print on Samsonite suitcases, wallpaper, lampshades, purses and makeup bags and even a men's shirt! Imagine wearing that and standing in front of your fridge and against your wallpapered would be like some sort of Cummersdale chameleon!
John Lewis Smeg Fridge
Another print I want to mention is 'Loewy lady'.  A cutesy illustration with birds and birdcages and flowers on a brightly coloured background.  The print comes from the Raymond Loewy studios, who were commissioned to design prints for the re-opening of the London flagship store after it was bombed during the war in 1940.  You can find it on purses and even a hip flask! Shown below from top left are, coasters (set of 4, first two images) £10, mug £10, tea towel £8.50, cushion £35 and bird cushion (main) £28.  John Lewis Loewy Lady
Finally these 'street scene' images inspired by John Lewis brochures from the 20s-30s.  The illustration was reinterpreted from an archived image that dates back to the mid 19th century and again is Loewy inspired.  It comes in a cross-stitch pack, a scarf and a notebook.  Shown here are the coaster set £10, mug £10, cardholder £9 and flask £17.   John Lewis Street Scene
Can you believe JL are 150 years old?  Do any of these vintage inspired prints or pieces tickle your fancy?

This post contains links which can earn this blog a small commission when purchases are made.  Opinions are still my own. All images John Lewis.    


  1. Oh man! That smeg fridge is amazing! I'm really drawn to the yellow one, but I can't imagine I'd ever have a kitchen that it would suit!

  2. Everything is so pretty but I love the thermos the best:))


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