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Image: Unknown
Last week I noticed a strange looking fruit in the supermarket.  It didn't look quite the way I remembered (probably a different variety) but I recognised it to be guava, a fruit which grew abundantly in our garden when I was growing up.  I had to laugh when I saw the supermarket was selling them for US$2.25 ... each! 

Guava isn't a typically mainstream flavour and so you can imagine my surprise when I learnt that Choward's, the traditional confectioners, had introduced the flavour.  Maybe this marks the beginning of a guava trend.  
Image: Claiborne Swanson Frank
I love this fun and whimsical take on a bar found in Vogue editor Lauren Santo Domingo's living room.

I knew Blabla made cute soft toys for kids, but I wasn't aware they also made a wider variety of things like t-shirts and these very cute canvas backpacks. How adorable are they? They're not huge so probably won't be suited for school, but for everyday use, they are perfect.
Image: Shopbop.com
A little obsessed with this bag from BE & D for being the perfect size, shape and colour.
Image: Sprout Watches
I swear I'm not a tree-hugging enviromentalist, but recently I seem to be featuring things which not only look great, but purport to be good for the environment as well.  Take these watches for instance.  I was initially drawn to their bright, lively colours, contrasting faces and bands, but have since found out that they are made of eco-friendly materials like bamboo, cotton and corn resin which means they are biodegradable.  Batteries are mercury free.

I like the simpler designs but if you prefer something more flash, they do offer some watches with mother-of-pearl and diamonds.  You can buy Sprout Watches here.
Image: Unknown
One of the stories making the rounds today, is the fact that Karl Lagerfeld is set to design a new Diet Coca Cola bottle. I'm not sure why this is such big news, because he collaborated with French department store Collette last year to produce what was at the time, a highly covetted limited edition bottle for that company.  Perhaps the excitement is due to the fact that this new collaboration will be more far-reaching as, rather than just one design being made available in France, it appears that there will be three versions, available in eleven European countries come April.  

A few years ago Charley Harper's designs and illustrations started showing up on children's books and toys introducing him to a whole new audience. I think that the bright colours and simple lines of his drawings are a great way to expose children to good design and illustration from an early age.
Image: island*atelier

I think the ongoing popularity of mid-century design comes from the fact that a lot of people my age actually grew up with the items at home which means there is a lot of nostalgia at play.

Back then however the design would have been full-on. Now it's more about use in moderation, with the odd mid-century piece thrown in among more current and minimalist pieces.

Several years ago I was looking for a more substantial dining room set and knew right away exactly what I wanted. Eventually I found a table, chairs and matching sideboard for sale. When I went to see the pieces, I didn't know much more than the fact that they were in excellent condition and I had to have them. Fast forward to getting the pieces home, and on closer inspection I noticed the inside one of the doors of the sideboard had a plate which said "G Plan". I did some research and I learnt that G Plan is seminal for Danish mid-century design and are highly coveted. I know why. Even after all these years the furniture is in near-perfect condition and it's obvious lot of attention and detail was put into the design. The result: well-designed, simple, timeless pieces which will be appreciated forever.
I love kids' birthday parties and I am always on the lookout for good, interesting ideas and themes, as well as toys for the goodie bags.  I am not a fan of cheap, plastic toys, and prefer to give out fewer better quality items rather than a lot of cheap stuff which will simply be thrown away by the end of the day.

One of the party ideas I have been considering is an art-themed party, so I was happy to find these adorable, natural paints, crayons and even modelling dough from Clementine Art.  They are made from soy products and other plant and natural pigments and are free of paraffin, chemical dyes and additives.   They come in sets which are small enough to fit in a goodie bag and are sure to bring a smile to more than just a child's face.

I've been to St Vincent, but not the Grenadines, the small group of islands which lie to south of that island and together with St Vincent, form part of that island nation.  St Vincent is beautiful but very basic island.  I found it hard to reconcile that place with what I'd heard of the glamour and luxury found just a short ferry ride away in the Grenadines and have always wondered why there was no real crossover between the two lifestyles. 

Anyway, I came across this gorgeous house which is situated on Bequia, one of the islands of the Grenadines, and I think it personifies my ideal island home.  I love the blurring of the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.  The views are spectacular, the best use is made of the hilly terrain and the house is designed with high ceilings and wooden shutters to allow maximum circulation of air enabling the occupants to keep cool naturally, rather than relying on air-conditioning to do so.

More photos of this gorgeous house after the jump.
Image: IKEA

IKEA gets a lot of flack for being such an ubiquitous, mass-market retailer with its flat-packed, pressed board furniture, but I for one, love it.  I look at it as bringing good, affordable design to the masses.  I'm not advocating outfitting your entire home with IKEA, but a few well-chosen pieces can go far.   

I particularly like the IKEA PS Collection, the company's higher-priced, designer line.  This lamp is a current favourite of mine being quirky, yet functional, and at $189 it won't break the bank.  I think it's just perfect for adding a little interest to a room.
Image: The Guardian Newspaper
No, nothing like that.  Every Saturday, the Guardian newspaper's fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morely writes about various fashion-related topics.  Her articles are accompanied by video footage of her wearing and talking about the topic of the week.  I must confess that I very rarely read the articles, but love watching the videos and particularly reading the comments left by others who feel obliged to pass comment on everything from her hair and make-up to her favourite pigeon-toed stance.

I enjoy watching because I am amazed with the way she comes up with these obscure topics and also how she talks about them with such authority.  Past gems include "How To Dress ... Chubby Coats", "How To Dress ... American Tan Tights" and "How To Dress ... High-heeled Hiking Boots".  

Have a look at Jess in all her glory here.

I appreciate the sentiment as much as the design of these tongue-in cheek souvenirs in honour of Britain's upcoming royal wedding.

Image: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty
I have never written about cars before, but I love the spinning seats and doors of the KV7 concept van debuted by Kia at the Detroit Motor Show which is being held at the moment.
Image: Calypso
Although there have been a few since I last wrote about Target here, there have been so many of these collaborations in recent months, I promise only to feature those I think are newsworthy.  So, once again, Target has announced its latest designer collaboration and this time it will be producing clothes and some household items with Calypso St Barth.  I'm happy about this because their clothes are perfectly suited to preppy, island life, so it will be interesting to see whether the designs, if not the quality, stay true to their aesthetic. 

The line is due to hit stores and online on May 24.

Here is a funny story.  It's strange how coincidences sometimes occur.  Several years ago I created the web address islandatelier.com with vague plans to start a fashion retail business here.  I chose the name and got the web address, however due to other commitments the retail venture never took off and I ended up using the website as this blog.  The plan was to open a retail store selling the fashion labels I love, so you can imagine my great surprise when I saw in the news a few years ago that a store called "Atelerie" would be opening in Bermuda.  The name and concept chosen were similar to the one I had planned and they were targeting the exact sort of market I had hoped to!
Image: Shopbop.com
... these Jil Sander tubular elastic sandals, though I know they would look awful on me.

I've noticed a huge trend for hunting trophies on walls over the past few years.  Like the "Keep Calm" poster in it many variations, it's a trend I keep expecting to die but which keeps hanging on.  You know none of these people actually went out and  killed any of these animals themselves, so I have to wonder what the attraction is.  The trend has now crossed the pond and is showing up Stateside.  Anthropologie are offering a sanitised papier mache version of wild animals (picture after the jump) which are so non-threatening that they could be used in kids' rooms.  The Anthropologie versions are also handmade in Haiti and are therefore supposed to benefit the people of that country.

More heads after the jump.
Image: island*atelier

The one thing you don't see much around here is graffiti. This country is unusually clean and tidy and tags and graffiti marks are very rarely seen. A couple of months ago I noticed these little gnomes popping up in various places around the island. It appears to be a stencil and is always done very circumspectly and neatly which is why I think they have largely been left untouched. I wonder who is behind them? It's quite fun to think we have our very own Banksy here.
Images: Marie Gardeski
These hand soaps by Marie Gardeski, which are modelled to look like dolls' hands, may appear to some to be cute and adorable but the effect is creepily off-putting to me.