Thursday, 13 June 2013

Melamine chic

I've long been a fan of melamine as a homewares material. I love the massive range of shapes and colours and patterns it can take on, the way it turns slightly matte as it ages, the sound it makes when you tap your nails against it, its hugely retro appeal.

Travelling Southeast Asia, I've been treated to a lot of melamine. In the UK it may be more common as a durable, smash-proof picnicware but in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia it's widely used as dinnerware in cafes and restaurants.

Breakfast: Bali, Indonesia
Coffee shop: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Matching set: Chau Doc, Vietnam
Chinatown: Penang, Malaysia

Melamine is widely available in SE Asian markets, stacked in teetering rainbow piles. I'd be returning to London with a whole kitchen's worth if I had any room in my backpack!

The good news is that designers back home are joining the party. Orla Kiely has a range of gorgeous melamine dishes, all emblazoned with her iconic patterns. 

Plus, it's at really affordable prices - beakers from £5, bowls and plates from £7 - so it's a great value way add a touch of designer chic to your home.

Bunny x

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