Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A new home for The Treasure Hunter!

The Treasure Hunter has moved!

You can now find this brilliant shopping & interiors blog at

It's got all the lovely stuff you'd expect, plus it's easy to subscribe to and keep yourself up-to-date.

See you there!

Friday, 5 August 2011

A placemat for everything

It's always amazed me how few cool, tasteful placemats there are out there. The usual options are cheesy faux leather stitched numbers, heavy glass ones or woven mats that little bits of food get stuck in (don't even bother using a cocktail stick to get them out - it doesn't work).
So, I was pleased to see these bargainous little beauties in Dunelm Mill's new collection ( At just £4.99 for a set of four - and with four matching coasters available for £1.99 - they're a slightly classier way to protect your table.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Light fantastic

It's hard to say what I love more about these lamps - the fact they're so simple, stylish and fun, or the fact they're called 'Kylie'. I've just bought two in red for my bedroom and they make the perfect bedside lamp - just bright enough to read by without blinding you, and with a surprisingly small footprint so that you can still fit your glass of water/alarm clock/bedtime bits and bobs on your bedside table. They look far more expensive than they cost (£35 each) and come in cheerful bright red, green or blue.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ship shape

I usually try to limit this blog to bargainous products, but this handmade boat-shaped salt and pepper shaker by Takae Mitzutami is a piece of art, so I can see why you might be tempted to, ahem, splash out £39.75 for it. Available from, a lovely site where you can buy stuff by little-known but talented ceramic artists – it’s worth checking out.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Pencil me in!

Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. I spotted this pic on The Cool Hunter site ( and think it’s absolutely genius. The next time I’ve got a random pile of logs in my back garden (don’t laugh – until a few weeks ago, I actually did!) I’m so doing this with them.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bake to the future

I’ve been away on holiday (Istanbul) for the last week but I got back in time for my road’s Big Lunch street party. The bunting was up, the stalls were set up, the band started playing… and then the heavens opened. Still, we managed to have a couple of hours of fun before the whole street resembled a swimming pool. And the cake baking competition still went ahead. To give myself the edge (well, that was the excuse I gave myself), I invested in some new kit from Marks and Spencer’s gorgeous retro baking range ( In this year’s hottest ice-cream pastel shades, it looks almost too cute to use, and starts from just a couple of quid. Did it help me win? Nope – the Swedish guy from a few doors down, who wins every year, won yet again. I’m trying not to be too bitter – at least my kitchen looks a tiny bit more glamorous as a result!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A wick-ed idea

These candle holders from Scandi brand Ferm Living were supposedly inspired by "...the scene in the film Lady & The Tramp where the tramp treats Lady to a candlelit meal, and the candle is stuck into a bottle." Hmmn, I'm not sure the filmmakers were the first people to come up wtih that idea - hands up who hasn't stuck a candle in an old wine bottle at least once when they were a student/broke/working in a 'rustic' restaurant? Anyway, inspiration aside, they come in three different heights and eight different colours and look way classier than the real thing. Starting at £17.95 each (from, they're not cheap, but they do look brilliant when you group an odd number of them together. Put them on your Christmas list now!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Mat-ter of fact

Doormats. Not the most glamorous of things, but they're useful. However, most of them are either deadly boring, or made of that coir/coconut husk material that moults all over your hallway. So, I'm swapping mine for one of these brilliant rubber peacock door mats from which come in purple, orange or hot pink. Okay, so it's £38.50, but unless you're agoraphobic, you'll use it at least twice a day and it won't moult anywhere. Besides, I reckon it's worth it to have something a little bit quirkier than the usual 'Welcome' print.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


These new Peppersmith mints have such a stylish pastel green packet I couldn't resist them. There's a chewing gum version too, they're approved by the British Dental Health Association, and at around £1 a pop, they're not much more expensive than 'ordinary' chewing gum or mints (I got charged 80p for some Orbit the other day - shocking!). Available in health food shops, Selfridges and

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bean there, done that

I went to Grand Designs Live at London's Excel London last week and fell in love with a Fatboy (that's a huge garden beanbag, for sitting, lying or collapsing on, in case you were wondering). 
Only thing is, they cost £159, which is just a bit too much in my book to pay for something I'll patently only use about four times a year. 
So, I've lowered my sights to these great copycat outdoor beanbags, new from Sainsburys (www.sainsburys.couk), available in red, turquoise and lime. At £49.99 each, they cost less than most deckchairs, and are probably a damn sight comfier.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bottling it up

More and more people are coming round to the idea that ordinary plastic bottles aren’t suitable for refilling time and time again, because chemicals from the plastic may leak into the water, particularly when bottles get hot in sunlight. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, but anything that gives me an excuse to buy one of these AWESOME reusable Lego drinking bottles is alright with me!
They’re £10.99 from, available to buy from 18th May (or you can pre-order them right now). They’re dishwasher safe, and at 25cm high and 7cm wide, they fit a decent amount of liquid in. I’m ordering one for my desk at work right now!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Tray funny

I love this tray - the thing I like most about it is the fact that it apologies for itself! It's just £7.99 by Waldo Pancake for They do various other bits and bobs in the same range, including this sunshine yellow shopper (below), £12.99. The two together would make a great gift for anyone with a slightly (okay, very) cheesy sense of humour. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Time for tea

Coffee is old news - tea has been quietly making a comeback for a while now, which gives me the perfect excuse to splash out on one of these fun teapots from John Lewis (
At £15 each, they'd make a brilliant brithday or cheering-up present for a special friend - especially if you make it a 'tea for two' gift by wrapping one up with a pair of brightly-coloured mugs and a big packet of PG Tips.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Tell me of a sundae

The temperature this weekend is predicted to be in the 80s - and that, in my book, is officially ice cream weather. I'm craving a big ol' ice cream sundae with several kinds of ice cream, bananas, cherries, plus loads of old school chocolate sauce (hands up if you can remember Ice Magic? It's now called Monster Crackin' Chocolate Topping, and it's £1.25 from Tescos).
I'm going to put the whole lot in one of these gorgeous bright sundae glasses (above, £15 for four from John Lewis, and eat it with a long-handled spoon (below, Cecelia spoons, £4 for five, Habitat - perfect for getting at every last mouthful! Finally, because I'm a lady, I'm going to mop up any mishaps with Indian-style napkins, £3.29 for a pack of 20 from Lakeland,, below.
If you end up doing the same, send me your pix!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Pot luck

Getting organised pt.3!
I've got my eye on these pretty yet practical storage pots, £6 from Berry Red ( They're perfect for jewellery, stationery or just general bits and bobs. If they weren't so obviously girlie, I'd be tempted to get one for my other half's 'man drawer'...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

At your service

Looking for a way to freshen up your dinner table without splashing out on a whole new set of crockery? Try the food stylist trick of investing in a set of patterned bowls or dinner plates to mix in amongst your plain white table settings. I can’t decide whether to go for all-out glamour with these gorgeous beautiful Kimono plates in teal, red or blue, £7.50 each from Maxwell & Williams ( above; or keep it classic with John Lewis’ Spot bowls (£31 for four) or plates (£25.50-36 for four, depending on plate size) at, below.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Foxy lady

Funnily enough, since writing that squirrel post a couple of weeks ago, the bushy-tailed little fellas haven't been in my garden much (although this could just be because I stopped putting food on the doomed bird table!). However, I have seen a fox, cheekily sunbathing on my shed roof. So, I'm going to embrace him too - not literally, as he's probably got fleas - and champion foxy chic for the home. Check out this sweet Urban Fox mug, £12.50 from - it's quirky, unusual and should make anyone who lives in a city smile. Unless you're my ex-neighbour Alan, who just wanted to shoot all foxes on sight...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A bird on the handle

I'm always reading how giving a piece of old furniture a lick of paint and adding new handles can transform it, but finding that perfect item of 'old furniture' can be harder than you'd think. Plus, all that sanding, undercoating and painting can take ages. So, my top tip is to simply replace the handles on a new piece of furniture - I've just added one of these cute bird knobs, £4.95 from, to a white Ikea bedside table, and lined the drawer with a piece of leftover Japanese print wallpaper. It now looks unique, and only took ten minutes max. Whereas I only had one handle to replace, I reckon a mixture of coloured birds dancing down a white chest of drawers would look awesome.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Jelly good

The last time I ate jelly was back in the very early 1980s, when my mum made me orange-flavoured jelly in a rabbit mould and surrounded it with wobbly green jelly 'grass'. I don't know why it went out of fashion - it's cheap, tasty, low in calories and takes just minutes to make. So, I was pleased to hear that it's making a comeback, thanks to the retro baking revival (more on that in future posts). My mum no longer has that rabbit mould, so I've got another excuse to go shopping - only thing is, I can't decide between these gorgeous 50s-inspired mini moulds from, just £2.95 for four; and these pastel silicone set, £7.50 for four from Marks and Spencer ( which you can also use to cook cakes in...

Friday, 22 April 2011

Just tin time

I'm a big believer in the 'hide everything away and the place will automatically look tidy' philosophy. So, anyone who visits my home will see neat-looking chests of drawers and not the piles of rubbish that lie inside. But now my drawers are so full I have to ram them shut, and I've realised it's time to take action. So, I'm going to invest in some pretty tins, like these doily patterned tins from, (£9.95 for four) and retro fruit tins from Jamie at Home (, £16 for three). That way, when people open my drawers, all they'll see is a load of pretty tins, not the rubbish inside them.... Well, it's a start, isn't it?!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Get your fax straight

This year, I'm determined to be organised... so, I've invested in a Filofax. Once the domain of 80's city types in suits, the brand is having a revival, thanks to new, pretty prints and smaller sizes (some of the old ones were like carting a brick around). I've gone for a little green 'Songbird' pocket version (above, £27 from John Lewis,, At just 12cm x 8cm, it's big enough to find easily in my bag, and small enough not to be a nuisance. Plus, unlike an iPhone, it'll never run out of battery!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hot goss: bunnies

Stuck for a last-minute Easter present? I've fallen in love with these floppy-eared fellas from posh teddy bear company Steiff ( They come in this year's pastel shades - pink, blue, lilac and green - with contrasting coloured scarves and carry the trademark Steiff button. At £36, they're not cheap, but then as nearly everything Steiff make seems to become a collector's item, it could be an investment. Well, that's what I'm telling myself, anyhow!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Gnome sweet gnome

Since posting about the bride and groom gnomes specially created for the Royal Wedding, I've started seeing the be-hatted little fellas everywhere. In fact, when I saw these cute gnome flares (above) and candles (below), £7.50 each from, in this year's hot bright colours, I even started seriously considering buying one for my own garden. I must be getting old...

Monday, 18 April 2011

Thank folk for that!

One quirky trend that's quietly sneaking onto shelves at the moment is 'folk' inspired products. Think Polish papercutting, homespun accessories, traditional fox and dove motifs and brightly-painted Romany patterns. Folk stuff looks unusual and expensive, but you can pick it up quite cheaply if you know where to look.
Here's my pick of the best:
Folklore tea towel, £9.99, The Contemporary Home; Set of three nestling folklore tins, £12.99, Strawberry Fool; Ania Mug in turquoise/berry, £8,

Friday, 15 April 2011

All things considered

The perfect wedding present is well-designed, useful, classy, and has a bit of personality. Stuck for ideas that aren’t a) picture frames or b) vases? Check out the Well Considered range of quirky, colourful products at The Conran Shop ( Seeing the word ‘Conran’, you’d assume they were pricey – which is exactly what you want people to think when you give them a wedding gift! – but while this stuff looks designer and comes in pretty boxes, the prices are very much high street. 
Next time I’m invited to a Big Day, I’ll be splurging on either the cute set of four mixing bowls, £29; this cool bread bin, £19.95; or a couple of these handy kitchen/garden chairs, just £12.95 each (also available in black, white and turquoise – if certain colours aren’t in stock, they’ll disappear from the website, but keep trying!). 

Flask in the sunshine

I'm not a big camper; I'm not one of those people who needs a hot drink on their way to work; and if I'm going on a picnic, I'll just chuck a couple of cans of pop in a cool bag. But there's something so lovely about these new candy-coloured flasks, £20 each from that makes me want to change my ways immediately! The only problem I've got now is which one to choose...

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Eggs-tra special

There’s a Waitrose next to my office, and since moving here, I’ve had to try and avoid it, as their stuff is always so prettily packaged that I end up spending a small fortune. Still, I couldn’t resist these gorgeous jelly eggs today (£3.50 or three-for-two). In theory, I’m going to put piles of them in a cute butterfly serving bowl, £11.58 (below, available in yellow, blue or lilac) from on my Easter table; in reality, I’ll have scoffed them long beforehand. But it’s a nice thought.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Come dry with me

I've seen some crazy Royal Wedding memorabillia in recent months - everything from crown-shaped biscuits and 'commemorative' garden seats to bride'n'groom gnomes (below, £20 a pair from B&Q, if you must know!). And as someone who secretly has a soft spot for the Queen, I wanted to get at least one souvenir of the Big Day. So, I've just bought the blue and green "I Do" tea towel, by Swedish designer Maria Dahlgren.
It's got sweet little touches like a "W hearts K" carved in the tree, and two little birds, one of whom is wearing a crown, carrying a heart-shaped twig (or is is, slightly less romantically, a worm?) in their beaks. It's available all over the web, but have it cheapest, at £11.99 (with free P&P).

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Just the stool for the job

The humble stool, one of the most useful pieces of furniture you can buy, is making a comeback.
I'm loving this beautiful lacquered bamboo version from House of Fraser ( Available in sunshine yellow, purple, hot pink and this year's 'it' colour, teal, it works as both a handy seat or mini table in any room of the house. It looks ultra expensive, but is just £40 - a bargain if you're just buying a single stool, but I'm betting that once you get one, you'll probably want the full set!
NEWS JUST IN! I've just discovered these stools are reduced for a limited time only - they're currently £32. Snap 'em up quick!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Ear we go...

Now I know, and you know, that no-one ever really 'needs' salad servers - a couple of big spoons will do the job just as well. But then I saw these - not much to look at out of the salad bowl, but stick 'em in a heap of lettuce and they're transformed into something genius. Rabbit Ear salad servers, just £5.95 from

Friday, 8 April 2011

Build a little birdhouse in your soul

Following my failure with the birdtable, I've now decided to try a different tack – I’m going to try and lure birds into my garden by providing the best-looking birdhouses on the block. 
There are lots of ‘ordinary’ ones around, but I’m going to go for something prettier, like this Decorative Wood birdhouse, £8.99, The Range ( or this brilliant designer-look Hot Pink Cube Nest Box, £4 (was £4.98) from B&Q ( 
Can’t be bothered to buy one? Get a paint tester pot and revamp an old wooden birdhouse by painting it in a bright purple, teal or sunny yellow.