Celebrating International Women’s Day: March 8th 2017

International Women’s Day on March 8th celebrates the social and cultural achievements of women around the world. Thank you to just some of the many outstanding women who are responsible for creating and supplying us with such beautiful products. It is a pleasure to work with you all. We thought you may like to meet just a few of them:

NARIEMAN AND CHRIS

 

Narieman and Chris: creators of our favourite ceramic tableware

Narieman and Chris: creators of our favourite ceramic tableware

Founder Chris and her right hand woman Narieman are the very heart and soul of our favourite pottery in South Africa. They work tirelessly to create our best selling hand painted ceramic tableware collections, ensuring every individual bowl, cup and platter we receive is a beautiful work of art. Their sense of colour, design and form is inspirational and the pottery’s refined decorative creations, which reflect the flora of the Cape, are loved by all. Huge thanks to all at the pottery. It is our absolute pleasure working with you.

DEEPTI

Deepti: designer of our spectacular soft kantha throws

Deepti: designer of our spectacular soft kantha throws

In the heart of Jaipur, Deepti and her team work tirelessly to source the very finest vintage saris which they use to create our stunning kantha throws. Deepti is a perfectionist and is renowned and respected for her creative energy, her appreciation of design and her great use of colour, pattern and texture.

FIONA CAULFIELD

Fiona Caulfield: author of the 'Love Travel' guides

Fiona Caulfield: author of the ‘Love Travel’ guides

Fiona is an avid traveller and the writer of the fabulous “Love Travel’ guides to India. These are essential reads for those who travel to India in search of the authentic and long for local recommendations that stray from the tired tourist path. We live by them! Her travel brand is committed to conscious travel too and Fiona promotes a number of socially and environmentally sustainable organisations in her guides, as well as contributing a percentage of the profits to assist these groups. A craft organisation in Bangalore that has a livelihood programme teaching block printing skills to underprivileged women is just one of her many recent recipients. We are delighted to be stocking Fiona’s guides.

VRATIKA

Beautiful, bubbly Vratika works with her family who own a wonderful emporium on a dusty road on the outskirts of Jaipur. It is a treasure trove of textiles and authentic old tribal pieces, antique fabrics and rich embroideries. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Vratika and we love visiting her and working together. An amazing source of old and new textiles, vibrant new kanthas, embroideries and all manner of locally crafted colourful embellishments.

Vratika: in her family emporium, Jaipur

 

 

To our incredible suppliers: A very Happy International Women’s Day to you all.

Take a peek at more of their stunning collections: head to http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

 

 

Safe Travels In India: Our Top Tips For First Timers

unspecified-949 unspecified-948 unspecified-947 unspecified-945 Breathtaking, beautiful, bamboozling India: a country where we spend many glorious weeks each year, meeting with our suppliers and discussing our various product ranges. Spring is such an amazing time to visit India, so just in case you’re heading off there for the first time sometime soon, we thought we’d share out top five travel tips which have been so helpful to us over the years. It can be an overwhelming, sometimes daunting place to visit..but it’s magical too. Read on..

  1. Be realistic about what you can achieve during your trip and don’t try to cram too much in to your visit. Seeing places slowly means you’re less stressed and you’ll gain a far greater, deeper understanding of the land and its people.
  2. An iron clad constitution you may well have, but remember the tap water is never ever safe for drinking. Bottled is always best ( avoid singing in the shower too). And play safe by only eating fruits that you’ve peeled yourself. Avoid salad and ice cream too. And if you do have issues..and need to rehydrate.. remember it’s half a level teaspoon of salt and 6 level teaspoons sugar to 1 litre of clean water.
  3. Hand sanitiser is a great idea and use frequently particularly after climbing in and out of cars and tuk tuts or after handling money.
  4. We always stick to a pure vegetarian diet when we’re in India. Not only is it unbelievably delicious but undercooked veg is never going to be quite as harmful as undercooked meat. If you’re eating out head to the restaurants or street stalls that are heaving with locals (always the best barometer as far as hygiene standards go)
  5. Be courteous and always ask permission before taking someone’s photograph. More often than not the subject will be extremely jovial and highly delighted with your request..but not always. Frustrations boil up easily in India.. but so often can be avoided.

So there we go! And our final tip: check out Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. We live by them. Each book is cloth bound and hand made in India and is essential reading for any visitor planning a trip to India. These guides detail all manner of local recommendations far from the tired tourist path. For those who search for the authentic.

Fiona’s Love Travel guides are available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

unspecified-944

 

Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. Essential reading for those heading to India.

 

 

 

Go Colourful

unspecified-914unspecified-919

Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:

  1. Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos:  take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
  2. Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
  3. Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
  4. If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
  5. Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!

There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.

unspecified-918unspecified-913

 

 

A Good Night’s Sleep. Not As Easy As It Sounds..

unspecified-599 unspecified-597

It may be essential for energy, health and a lifetime of happiness but getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. When it comes to proper shut eye, we all know we’re supposed get plenty of good sleep and avoid snoozing, but sadly for most of us it’s not always easy.. and often, the harder you try to still your mind and count the sheep, the worse it gets. So read on: perhaps some, or all of the following, may just help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Sniff lavender: the calming scent will help you relax and bring on the zzzzzs by decreasing your heart rate and your blood pressure. And keep it dark: if your bedroom’s not a pitch black place then find a comfortable eye mask and block out any annoying light
  2. Limit your caffeine intake after 3pm and if you can, steer well clear of it after 12. Easier said than done!
  3. Eat 3 hours before you plan to head to bed. Sleep’s not easy if you’re too full or too hungry
  4. Meditate: still your mind, switch off your brain
  5. Switch off your screens too: no phones, no laptops. Light emitting from screens apparently can disrupt the production of melatonin and ruin your sleep
  6. Exercise: it will definitely help you sleep more soundly
  7. Read a good book to still your mind: let your brain know it’s time to unwind
  8. De stress, stretch out, try some yoga or simply try some progressive muscle relaxation once you’re tucked up in bed: clench your muscles for a few seconds then relax. Start at your toes and work your way up!
  9. Keep fluffy pets out of the bedroom..not easy for some..but the fewer late night disturbances the better..
  10. Last but not least: have a hot bath before bed: raise your body temperature  a degree or two and then keep your bedroom cool (around 60 degrees is ideal). Throw the window open, keep your hands and feet warm (wear socks if necessary) and keep the bedding light. A cotton sheet and a cotton quilt is great..it keeps you more comfortable and feels fabulous against your skin too.

Sleep well… And Happy Valentines Day!

unspecified-854

All ibbi pure Indian cotton hand block printed quilts and throws are now 25% off until Sunday 19th February 2017.

ibbi block printed eye masks arrive this Spring.

http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

 

Storage Solutions ibbi Style

unspecified-814

 

A rather belated Happy New Year! and welcome to our first blog of 2017. It’s been an exciting start to our year and we’re already on the hunt for more beautiful, colourful, whimsical products to add to our affordable homeware ranges. We’re excited to have just launched our new website too and we really hope you find it an inviting, fun place to spend some time happily browsing..

Last weekend we were thrilled to see Eleanor Doughty’s fabulous article in the Sunday Telegraph (15th January) about ibbi and our HQ, Capheaton Hall in the heart of rural Northumberland. The response has been incredible and we’re so pleased so many of you enjoy our colourful curated collections. A particular hit seems to have been our decorative floral metal tennis pots shown here: these we found in Rajasthan and we thought they’d be a great storage solution for busy households. They’re bold and bright and here’s just a few ways we think these really work.

  1. In the Hallway: to help you get rid of just a little of that inevitable hallway mess. They’re great for walking sticks, tennis racquets, brollies and dog leads. (I’m hopeless at de cluttering but at least this way there’s less to trip over)
  2. In the Living Room: great fireside, for logs and kindling
  3. In the Bathroom: a fun, quirky laundry basket that might just encourage your kids to drop their dirty stuff in one place,  rather than scattering it across the length and breadth of the house
  4. In the Conservatory: they’re good for garden tools and all those other outdoor odds and sods that need stashing away
  5. In any dark corner of your home: as a stand alone ornamental object. A splash of colour is always uplifting, even if you prefer a more neutral colour palette. Surround the pots with bold cacti, big ferns and other leafy greens and create a stunning colourful impact and add some life and style to dull areas of your home.

Any other ideas please share! We love to hear from you.

Now it’s time to get to Paris for the Maison show and then India to see our amazing suppliers and discuss our new collections. We’ll be back in touch again soon..

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/luxury/capheaton-hall-northumbrian-manor-family-funhouse-historic-home/

Autumn Chills and Block Printed Quilts

unspecified-599

There’s already an Autumn chill in the air and don’t you think it’s a perfect time to be thinking about adding a touch more style, warmth and luxury to your bedroom space.  Our latest Indian block printed quilts are a perfect addition to throw on the bed when the temperature starts to fall and they look so pretty when layered with soft linens, crisp cottons or cosy knitted throws. Much as we love  a splash of the vibrant, we think quilts should be rather soothing in colour but they look wonderful, scattered with colourful rich velvet and cool vintage kantha cushions.  Happy styling.. and stay cosy! And if you’d like to learn more about the traditional art of block printing fabric, have a look at the info attached. unspecified-597

10-things-you-might-like-to-know-about-block-printing

http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Cosy Autumns and Kantha Throws

So it’s farewell to the Summer and time to cosy on down and embrace the Autumn! And as textiles are such a quick and easy way to add comfort to any room, we’re delighted with our latest collection of little vintage kantha quilts (queen size kanthas arriving very soon too..we’ll keep you posted!). Kantha quilts have been created in Bangladesh and West Bengal for over 500 years. They’re made by stitching together layers of vintage saris with a ‘kantha’ running stitch, often in a bold contrasting coloured cotton thread and every kantha is entirely unique, oozing cool style and timeless charm! They’re great for uni rooms as they’re very easy to maintain and are machine washable too. So be bold with your hues and get ready to drape away: you can throw little kanthas over your tables, chairs and sofas and queen size kanthas are fabulous as chic bedspreads. You may not want to colour up your entire home but you can always dip your toes in by adding a few colourful hints here and there. Take a peek…

All little kanthas available now. £40 plus p&p at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Queen size kantha throws will be available soon

unspecified-504