Snap up signature style for your home; Designer labels needn't be confined to the wardrobe, says Gabrielle Fagan.
IF you've ever yearned to own a piece of homeware which is unmistakably the work of a well-known designer, you're in luck.
A host of famous designers are now also creating homeware collections, which means you can dress your rooms as stylishly as you dress yourself.
Designer pieces have boast-appeal and demonstrate to the world that you're a savvy shopper with an eye for quality and craftsmanship but, crucially, you're in the know about 'who's who' in interiors.
"In the current market there's definitely evidence of selected extravagance in homeware sales, with an increasing awareness of designer collections," confirms Kate Mooney, managing director of Occa-Home, which specialises in designer brand homeware and features collections by Mulberry Home, Vitra and Missoni.
"People feel that designer brands equate to style, luxury and quality, and by possessing them, those positive characteristics translate to their home.
"There's a growing desire among home lovers for name-drop pieces for rooms, much in the same way as fashionistas crave Mulberry handbags or Louboutin shoes."
There's a glittering array of designers to choose from. Well-established specialists in interiors such as Kelly Hoppen and Tricia Guild are being joined by fashion designers, such as Ben de Lisi and Matthew Williamson, who are bringing a touch of catwalk glamour and glitz to our homes.
And buying one 'signature' piece and making it a star in a room could be a wise buy, according to Mooney: "A trend for fast interior fixes is waning and instead, people are investing in timeless, classic, designer pieces that are well made and will stand the test of time."
Check out some of the leading designers whose affordable home ranges are at a high street near you.
MATTHEW WILLIAMSON The Manchester-born designer has a host of celebrity devotees for his fashion range, including Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley and Cheryl Cole. Colour, nature and international travel have all shaped Williamson's clothing collections, themes echoed in his interiors range, too.
He says: "India's exoticism had an enormous impact on my work. I was enthralled by the exquisite craftsmanship, vivid colour palettes and extraordinary beadwork and jewelling."
He describes his home collection as "an abundance of explosive kaleidoscope colours meets interesting shapes and patterns."
BAG THE STYLE: Striking ikat prints, sequin and applique embellishments adorn soft accessories and bedlinen in the Butterfly range. Double duvet covers start at pounds 50, cushions, from pounds 20, are adorned with atmospheric sepia images, and vibrantly coloured bird-shaped candle holders are pounds 8 each. All from Debenhams.
CELIA BIRTWELL A British style icon, she's a textile designer known for her distinctive bold, romantic, and feminine designs which draw influences from Picasso, Matisse and the classical world.
Described as "the face that launched a thousand prints", she started out creating fabrics for her husband Ossie Clark in the 1960s, and created clothes for The Rolling Stones, Paloma Picasso and Twiggy.
But she's also been designing textiles for interiors for nearly 30 years, and her fabrics grace many leading hotels.
She says: "This year I've focused on three areas: fantasy, featuring creatures and birds as I love nature and delight in Josephine cus designer Celi s shion, a making it slightly surreal; mystery - I love using mysterious motifs and dark colours in my work; and I've designed a ticking-style stripe that's quite subtle and makes you think of old-fashioned laundry maids - maybe I was influenced by Downton Abbey a bit with that one!" BAG THE STYLE: Her homeware collection has a vintage, hippy chic feel and includes fabrics such as Candy Flower, from pounds 18 a metre, and cushions, from pounds 35. Available from John Lewis. Birtwell's fabrics are also available from her London shop and online.
pounds 45, by Birtwell BEN DE LISI Renowned for dressing celebrities on the red carpet, American-born fashion designer Ben de Lisi has turned his talents to interior design.
He says: "It doesn't matter if I'm designing for a curvaceous body or a square room - I keep it pure, elegant and rich, never overstated.
"It's Dogs cushion, pounds 20, by designer Ben de Lisi, for Debenhams hard-working chic. But there should always be a twist so it's neither over-the-top, nor too minimal."
BAG THE STYLE: His bold, colourful home collection for Debenhams has proved a huge hit, especially items inspired by his French bulldogs.
Trio of dogs cushion, pounds 20, and zingy geometric Flash bedlinen starts from pounds 35 for a single duvet set.
LISA STICKLEY She's a rising star in the interiors world who's tipped to be the next Cath Kidston.
Her nostalgia-inspired interiors collection has a homespun, almost home-made feel, and has attracted fans such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirsten Dunst and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Lisa, just 32, says: "I think with the current economic climate people are searching for a slice of nostalgia.
"It's always comforting to go back to basics and indulge in a little home comfort - but also to have something chic and elegant that makes you smile. It's lovely to see people embracing the traditional values of Britishness."
BAG THE STYLE: Her range has an 'at home with the Aga' feel and her latest Buttercup collection features kitchenware scattered with flowers and wire cake stands.
Her Posie collection includes bedlinen and pretty Posie china, including a plate for pounds 9, which is available from Debenhams.
She also has her own shop in the capital and a bath and bedlinen collection at Heal's.
Storage box, from pounds 20, by designer Lisa Stickley Designer destinations CELIA BIRTWELL: 020 7221 0877 www.celiabirtwell.com Debenhams: 08445 616 161 www.debenhams.com Heal's: 020 7636 1666 www.heals.co.uk John Lewis: 0845 604 9049 www.johnlewis.com Lisa Stickley: 020 7737 8067 www.lisastickleylondon.com Occa-Home: www.occa-home.co.uk
Champs Elysee bedlinen in blue, by designer Lisa Stickley: pair of pillowcases, pounds 28, and double duvet cover, pounds 80, all from Heal''s Flash duvet cover, from pounds 35; gomada vase, pounds 16; dogs cushion, pounds 20; and Noah dog money box, pounds 12.50, by Ben de Lisi, at Debenhams Bird candle holders, pounds 8, from the Butterfly homeware collection, by Matthew Williamson cushion, pounds 25; Foorence tussar cushion, pounds 30; Camel cushion, pounds 20; and Celebration throw, pounds 100, by designer Matthew Williamson, for Debenhams Fabrics from the Jacobean collection, by designer Celia Birtwell, pounds 60 per metre, www.celiabirtwell.com Curtains in Candy Flower fabric, blue, pounds 18 per square metre; and tablecloth in Pop check fabric, blue, also pounds 18 a square metre, by designer Celia Birtwell, for John Lewis