Wednesday, 26 June 2013


The Duck Egg Team was very fortunate this month to feature in a great website magazine called the MUMDRUM. Below is a copy of the article:

The Mumdrum Mumpreneurs: Ellie Harrington, Founder of Duck Egg

This month we caught up with Ellie Harrington, founder of the beautiful interior design company Duck Egg to discuss motherhood, her business and working with Kirstie Allsopp. If you haven’t come across Duck Egg already we’re sure you will be inspired by their beautiful fabrics, prints and vintage furniture.

Ellie Harrington, Founder of Duck Egg

 Duck Egg Designs

 Ellie Harrington

Q. What inspired you to set-up Duck Egg?

Ellie: It was my family that really inspired me to start Duck Egg. After teaching Art for four years I realised I was keen to go back to practical art and with the arrival of our son I also wanted to work from home. It was our move to the country from London that provided us with the space for my business idea and the challenge of renovating our own cottage. I was unable to find a fabric that suited a male-dominated household, yet fulfilled my wish for pretty vintage fabrics. So I decided to create my own fabric prints. We also moved with little furniture so I started to shabby chic individual pieces and friends who came to the house started to commission me; Duck Egg was hatched!

Q. How do you juggle being a mum and building up your business?

Ellie: We had some very late nights in the early days and even now my working day often doesn't start until my little one is in bed. I learnt that the ironing can wait another day!  I have also learnt to prioritise and could not live without our enormous blackboard with all our planning scribbled across it. I think being a Mum and running a business from home means you have to be super organised, I learnt the hard way that the paperwork does not stay in the piles sorted on the kitchen table and after a few days of seeing invoices swiftly being posted through the floorboards I have come up with an organised filing system, very much out of reach!

Q. What’s been the highlight of setting-up your business?

Ellie: I have loved every minute of setting up a business and it has been a steep learning curve. We have met some fantastic people on the journey of Duck Egg. Social media has introduced us to some very talented artisans and the business has evolved through many of these exciting connections. We were also thrilled to take part in Kirstie Allsopp’s series ‘Kirstie’s Vintage Home’. Filming was so exciting and we loved every minute working with her and her production team. It was a dream come true to see our fabrics on screen!

Vintage Interiors Wall Words

Q. Do you have any top tips for other working mums?

Ellie: I think my top tip is to not be too hard on yourself, sometimes the housework can wait. And I have also learnt to delegate.

Q. What would your perfect family day include?

Ellie: Our perfect family day out would be a trip to the seaside. I always find inspiration at the seaside and it is wonderful to see our little boy running about and exploring. He recently found two starfish and was so thrilled, giving me a few more ideas for our prints! The seaside heavily influences my work, as it has such happy connotations of hazy, summer days.

Q. What’s next for Duck Egg?

Ellie: I am really excited about starting the next stage of Duck Egg. We will be expanding our furniture range and taking our ever popular toy boxes forward. We have new print designs to launch soon and we will be working on some interesting large scale projects, providing soft furnishings and sourcing vintage and antique items. We hope to expand further to make Duck Egg a one stop shop for all aspects of interiors.

About Ellie

Ellie trained for four years in History of Art, earning her BA at the prestigious Courtauld Institute before her Masters from the London Consortium in ‘Humanities and Cultural Studies’. Ellie’s love for print and art was further founded as she worked in galleries. After a return to studying practical art Ellie began teaching art. Four years later and a little rascal in tow she decided to turn her ideas for her own interior into a business, ‘Duck Egg’. Firmly leaning on her ever-patient and long-suffering husband Duck Egg created a brand that aspires to add a fresh, vintage touc

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Winston Churchill Poster - Never Never Give Up

Winston Churchill Poster

Winston Churchill Poster

Our latest addition to our poster range comes thanks to an inspiring quote from Winston Churchill.

In 1941 Winston Churchill gave one of his inspiring speeches to about the having the resolve and determination to never give up even when facing extreme times. This expression is very close to us all at Duck Egg and the phrase is one of "Mr Duck Egg's" favourite quotes..... "Never Never Give Up". Our poster print is in tribute to the great man himself and very true saying that has helped us all by over the years. Hopefully it will bring some colour to any modern or vintage interior.

We hope this saying inspires you as much as it inspires us with our day to day missions. We are working card versions of all our posters and prints and hope to bring them out in the near future due to demand.

All Duck Egg Designs NEW range of posters and prints are available in any colour you want (we will colour match any colour). We believe these give any wall a unique, vibrant burst of colour, style and a bespoke finish.

A3 (Medium) Posters: £14

Below is a sample of colours we love but email us with your colour if you want a bespoke poster.

Please contact to discuss what colour you would like and size.

To order the poster click Winston Churchill Poster and looking forward to catching up soon.

Team Duck Egg

For more details visit or email

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

How to Upcycle like a Pro

How to Upcycle like a Pro


Upcycling a piece of furniture is a really exciting process, but it can seem a little daunting at first. Ellie Harrington talks us through the basics, from how to choose the right pieces to decorative effects and adding the perfect finishing touches. You’ll be ready to go in no time!


Upcycling provides both piece of mind for the environment and an opportunity to explore and express your creativity. I started Duck Egg Designs with my husband partly because I wanted to customise a look for our home. After studying Art for over four years, I was eager to be creative myself and upcycling gives you a chance to experiment with customisation and develop your own taste and style with minimal cost (don’t forget you can generally paint over any mistakes!) I am a great fan of the ‘Make do and Mend’
ethos and transforming pieces can be greatly rewarding. Here I’ve put together some essential advice to think about when upcycling for the firrst time.

Painted Chest of Drawers

When upcycling furniture you first need to decide what it is that you’re looking for.
Antiques fairs or car boot sales can be fascinating places to wander around but they are sometimes overwhelming, so if you go with a specific idea you can direct a more structured search. Our most popular items of renovated furniture at Duck Egg are chests of drawers. Customers come to us looking for an item with history, yet a more modern finish. Vintage and antique chests of drawers have practical storage, yet the advantage of interesting carvings, ornate details and elegant handles that distinguish them from some of the mass produced pieces of today.

Look for a piece with individuality, for example turned legs, scrolled backs and detailed woodwork. This does not mean that you have to spend a fortune, just take some time to thoroughly look over the furniture. Don’t be put off by orange stains or dark veneers; this can all be transformed by a coat of paint. Detailing will look really pretty and less overbearing once painted a lighter colour. Take a paint colour chart with you to inspire you!
Minor surface scratches may also reduce the price of furniture – as long as they can be sanded over you could pick up a good bargain. Most crucially with wooden items, you need to check they are sound. This is probably most important with woodworm. Look for out of the ordinary dust in drawers and tell-tale holes. Ask the dealer if they know if the piece has been treated if you do spot these signs. Look for damage that might be difficult to repair and be realistic about your limits with regards to renovation. If you wish to paint pine furniture, look for the darker or stained pieces of wood. Also keep in mind the finishing touches or the re-upholstery that you might be able to do to transform a piece.

I love using chalk paints and customers often request these for a matt and chalky finish.
They also lend themselves to those new to upcycling. Once you have a smooth surface these are the perfect way to paint over a dark stain or veneer. They require no priming and give excellent coverage. There are also many different ways of experimenting with finishes.

Once the item has a smooth surface, apply two or more coats of paint, wax and buff the piece, then sand to add a distressed look. Sand in the areas that would generally see the most use – on corners or arms of chairs, for example. Once you are confident with applying the paint, be as creative as you can. Chalk paints allow for many different finishes: you can water them down for a streakier look, or add a crackle glaze to give the effect of an aged oil painting. Also try layering different colours which can be exposed when rubbed back. A bright white under a dark green or blue gives a fresh seaside appeal, or red will provide a warm, decadent look. If you want to use emulsion paint you will need to sand your furniture to provide a surface for the paint, prime with fine sand paper, undercoat and then use either an emulsion for a more distressed look or eggshell for a durable finish. Paint effects on top of your upcycled finds will add great charm and personalise them too. Items with carving or detailing lend themselves perfectly to gilding with a dust of gold leaf. For a more cost effective way of gilding, purchase loose leaves of brass rather than gold, which will add a rich....
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