• Dress up a dresser

    by  • 27/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Country room Country Days country dining room

    Painted furniture is a staple of country decorating and it certainly ticks all the boxes here at Country Days. So we just couldn’t help but fall for the beautiful distressed dresser shown in this country dining room – not only is it perfect for storage but it’s a real statement piece that’s guaranteed to draw admiring glances from guests.

    The golden toned woodwork of the dresser links with the rest of the room – from the wood-topped farmhouse table to the textured rattan dining chairs, which help create an informal and casual scheme.

    We love the mix and match feel – the quirky metallic feature wallpaper (Mulberry Home’s Family Silver) and the dramatic glass pendant light add a touch of luxe.

    For more inspiration from this beautiful house, take a peek at our Open House video at http://bit.ly/15L68Uk.


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    Time to think about seeds

    by  • 26/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes & Interiors, seedsIf you’re anything like us here at Country Days, we are already mentally planning what we’re doing in the garden this spring. One of our favourite seed catalogues that has popped into our postboxes in the last few days is Sarah Raven’s always beautifully photographed range. Her cut flower and meadow mixes are exclusive to her and easy to grow.  Top of our wishlist is the Aromatic Meadow Mix, a new and wonderfully scented herby mix. Scatter them on a prepared patch, to fill your garden with wow factor.

    Happy planning!


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    Craft covered files

    by  • 25/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Covered box files | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Get organised in the new year with a delightful set of covered files. Smart and stylish, these simple to create colourful files are a great way to introduce colour into the home and can be co-ordinated to match accessories and décor alike. You’ll find this craft in our out soon March issue. Easy to make, follow these simple instructions to create your own.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, see our latest issue.

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    New! The Country Decorator video series

    by  • 23/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Today we’re very excited to launch our brand-new video series, The Country Decorator. Style Editor and queen of country style, Tamara Kelly, will be in our country kitchen studio every week showcasing the buys, bargains and beautiful things she’s found for every room in the home. This week, she’s talking ‘Scullery Chic’. Watch and be inspired…

    Thank you to Neptune, Hobbycraft, Garden Trading, Berry Red, Nordic House, Vanessa Arbuthnott and Butlers for all your help.


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    Become a happy, healthy eater!

    by  • 23/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Healthy cooking class | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

     We started off so well with our healthy-eating resolutions, but, halfway through a chilly January, we’re finding ourselves ditching plain salads in favour of warming comfort foods. Sound familiar? Stay motivated by signing up to a healthy cookery class and discover how to make the best of seasonal produce with nutritious cooking tips and delicious wholesome recipes.

    My Deliciously Healthy Kitchen, Kent
    Discover how to make deliciously healthy food in a relaxed and informal setting at the Kitch Café, situated in the beautiful city of Canterbury. From guilt-free baking to quick, healthy lunches, the classes are designed to get the most out of fresh seasonal ingredients. Small, friendly groups make it a lovely experience – perfect for nervous cooks!

    Abbey Home Farm, Gloucestershire
    This organic farm hosts an array of mouthwatering vegetarian cookery courses. Their farm garden produces more than 150 varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits each year, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to seasonal ingredients. Make a weekend of it; there are plenty of places to stay on site, from a rustic shepherd’s hut to a beautiful country cottage.

    Trill Farm, Devon
    Chef and nutritonalist Daphne Lambert runs the most wonderful workshops, demonstrating the benefits of nutritional cooking. Living Nutrition is a two-day course held at Trill Farm, near Axminster, and focuses on the foods found growing in hedgerows, woods and meadows. With foraging trips and hands-on teaching, it’s an inspiring way to pick up alternative healthy cooking methods.

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    Say yes to comfort food

    by  • 22/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    butternut squash and sage bakeEveryone here at Country Days loves this recipe for Butternut Squash and Sage Bake. Such a versatile ingredient, butternut squash is brilliant in comfort food dishes and it’s our go-to when we’re looking for something to keep the chill from the door. Sage partners it perfectly, adding just the right amount of zip. Enjoy this dish on its own or served with a roast leg of lamb. Just the thing for a cold January day.

    Serves 4
    1 butternut squash (approximately 800g), peeled, deseeded and chopped into 4cm cubes
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    small bunch of fresh sage leaves, roughly torn
    300g Classic Greek yoghurt
    200g Parmesan, grated
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place the squash cubes in a shallow ovenproof serving dish, approximately 15 x 20cm. Season well, drizzle the oil over and toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and mix in the torn sage leaves and yoghurt. Sprinkle the cheese over and cook for a further 20–30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

    *Recipe from the Total Greek Yoghurt Cookbook by Sophie Michell, published by Kyle Books (£18.99). Photograph by Emma Lee.

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    Meet Katie Leamon

    by  • 21/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Katie Leamon | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors  When it comes to sending feel-good cards, we opt for Katie Leamon’s nostalgic designs every time – her signature illustrative style is guaranteed to raise a smile. Launched back in 2011, her luxury stationery is now sold in shops across the world, including Selfridges, Anthropologie and Harrods. She’s dropped by to talk us through her inspiration and traditional making methods…

    What made you want to become a designer?
    I have always known I would work in design. I love to draw and create beautiful things, so I think it’s been a natural evolution for me from school and college. I worked in fashion straight from university, but decided to follow my preferred route of graphics and illustration and to apply it to a medium that I have always had a more effortless understanding of.

    Describe your design and making process.
    I start with sketches and doodles. I then modify them so they can be applied to stamps, or modify them accordingly for notebooks & wraps. The cards are handprinted using polymer stamps and packaged in-house at our production studio in rural Essex.

    What inspires you?
    I am lucky that I am constantly inspired by my own collections. As soon as I launch something new I’m looking for ways to develop and evolve it. I also take great inspirations from vintage typography, signage and nostalgic paraphernalia.

    What’s your business ethos?
    I work very hard and ensure I remain true to the brands identity even when it can be challenging.

    What’s next?
    I have some new and exciting designs up my sleeve, which I hope will tie together some of our current collections. I want to develop a hard-back journal soon, as well as work on more illustrative designs. I have a long list of ideas, it’s just finding the time to make them happen!

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Considered, tangible and understated.

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    Be inspired by a dream kitchen

    by  • 20/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Country kitchen Country Days Country Homes and Interiors

    If your new year’s resolution is to treat yourself to a new country kitchen, take inspiration from this dreamy design from Humphrey Munson.

    It’s a contemporary take on a classic painted kitchen featuring two tones of grey – a pale shade on the units and a darker one used to highlight the island.

    Islands are still big as the hub of the kitchen and this one has a sink, as well as a prep area, plus space to pull up stylish rattan bar stools for a quick cuppa. The island becomes a stunning feature when it’s finished off with a trio of metal pendant lights overhead.

    We’re also loving that handy alcove by the range for condiment storage… what a great idea!



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    Enjoy the beauty of holly

    by  • 19/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes and Interiors, HollyOut and about this weekend, Country Days was struck by how beautiful variegated holly is looking right now in the countryside. While other shrubs are fast asleep, the two-tone Ilex aquifoliums are wide awake and wowing us with their leaf shape and colour. Look out for ‘Madame Briot’ and  ’Golden Queen’ – both small, bushy evergreens with spiny leaves and bold golden-yellow margins. Take your pick and you’ll be sure of a brighter day.

    What’s your favourite winter tree or shrub at the moment?

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    Make the perfect picture

    by  • 18/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Craft hanging frames | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    A cold winter’s day is the perfect time to get creative by making your own pictures. Display photos, postcards, vintage stamps or flora and fauna found on country walks in these stylish double-sided frames from Decorator’s Notebook. Quick and easy to do, it’s a lovely way of injecting personality into a room. What’s more, it’s easy to update, so can be changed along with your interior. Firm down edges with pretty paper tape (Paperchase have a nice range) and hang frames in groups of three for a picture perfect finish.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects  for you to try. Or for more country crafts, see our latest issue.

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    Artist in residence: Looking

    by  • 17/01/2015 • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes & Interiors, Arists in residenceAt the start of the New Year, Country Days’ Artist in residence sent us this lovely watercolour. ‘This is called Looking,’ says the Dorset-based artist Sarah Hough. ‘I’ve had a lot of fun over the holidays but it’s good to be back. I’ve missed heading out on a walk with my sketchbook. Observation, imagination and experimentation.’

    We’re looking forward to seeing more of Sarah’s pictures in 2015 – you can see more here.

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    Light up the dark…

    by  • 17/01/2015 • 0 Comments


    If ever there was time for mood lighting…it has to be the dark evenings of January! We found just the thing earlier this week in the beautifully illustrated lighting collection from A Northern Light (spotted at the Craft exhibition).

    The designs are all inspired by nature with picturesque drawings of wildlife, landscapes and foliage; we love this tall lamp featuring a Barn Owl perched on a snowy tree stump (above).  The illustrations are printed onto heavy parchment paper that allows the light to illuminate the artwork to create such stunning visuals.

    You can choose any of the designs to be made into lamps, lampshades or candle covers; all perfect solutions for adding a warming glow to your country home this winter.

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