• A burst of yellow…

    by  • 18/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Whether sunshine bright or serene and mellow…yellow is the go-to colour of the moment. This favoured shade, in all its glorious tones, is the perfect colour to lift the spirits and bring a little ray of sunshine indoors.

    Watch our latest video to see which fabulous sunny buys we’ve chosen to introduce this feel-good hue into your country home…

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    See spring lambs…

    by  • 17/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Spring lamb_Bluefaced Leicester

    Have you noticed the arrival of lambs in the countryside this month? They join our flocks of free-grazing sheep to play a crucial role in the British wool industry, providing an astonishing 30 million kilos of wool to the textile industry every year! Discover the sheep breeds that are responsible for natural carpet, bedding and crafts…

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    Make these delicious apple fritters

    by  • 16/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    apple fritters

    These spiced Granny Smith fritters are a scrummy combination – crispy on the outside with soft, tart apple in the middle. Like apple doughnuts but so much better!

    Makes about 20 fritters

    225g self-raising flour
    2 tablespoons caster sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    pinch of ground nutmeg
    pinch of ground cloves
    2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 5mm cubes
    2 free range eggs, beaten
    180ml whole milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    butter for frying
    icing sugar to serve

    1 Combine the flour, sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together in a bowl. Add the apple and toss around in the dry mixture until all the cubes are well coated. Pour in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract, and stir gently until everything is combined.

    2 Put a small knob of butter into a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Use a large spoon to add a portion of apple batter to the pan. Spoon more fritters into the pan, but don’t overcrowd it – doing 4–5 at a time is enough. Fry for 2–3 minutes until golden and then flip the fritters over to fry the other side for a further 2–3 minutes until golden and crisp all over.

    3 Remove the fritters from the pan using a slotted spoon or spatula and drain on kitchen towel. Add more batter to the pan and continue cooking until all the batter is finished. You can crisp the fritters back up in a very hot oven for 5 minutes before serving.

    *Recipe taken from Breakfast: Morning, Noon and Night by Fern Green (Hardie Grant, £18.99). Photograph: Danielle Wood

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    Catch up with 2014′s My Country Business Awards winners…

    by  • 15/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    To celebrate  Country Homes & Interiors’ 2015 My Country Business Awards, we’re catching up with last year’s winners to find out how the award has helped them progress their amazing businesses and realise their dreams.

    Ready_group

    Cath Caesar of Plain Huts has a modern take on shepherd’s huts, combining the romance of traditional country design with an expectation for insulation and heating. Our judges singled out her flatpack idea as a clear winner in the Hospitality and Leisure category. Cath chats to us about what’s changed for her since winning…

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    Make life a bed of roses…

    by  • 14/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Floral country bedroom from Country Days at Country Homes and Interiors

    Cottage style is the perfect scheme for a country bedroom in spring and summertime with its abundance of pretty floral fabrics in shades inspired by the garden, homely vintage-find furniture and simple, laid-back vibe. And it’s a style that’s one of our favourites here at Country Days.

    Florals bring an instant hit of summer to any country bedroom, and we were immediately smitten with this pretty bedlinen covered in a vintage rose print by Julie Dodsworth at Bedeck, which works perfectly in a cottage-style scheme.

    Julie’s work is inspired by the English waterways and her beloved narrowboat Calamity Jane, and this beautiful design, Mary Rose, is adorned with trailing roses that are influenced by childhood memories of patterned linens and colourful silk threads from Julie’s mum’s sewing box, complete with a small rosebud motif on the reverse.

    Big up the cottage feel by using the bedlinen in a room with a muted backdrop so it becomes the focal point of the scheme. Floral designs work beautifully with a wrought-iron bed, and you can create the cosy feel that’s integral to cottage style by layering up with a co-ordinating throw and cushions and accessorising with crisp white sheets and pillowcases.

    Team with vintage furniture such as a timeworn wooden chest of drawers or a Windsor chair for homely character. If you want to add a modern twist and be on-trend, introduce some industrial lighting. Then finish off with painted floorboards and a natural fibre rug to enhance the simple, rustic look.

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    Learn to design beautiful rooms

    by  • 13/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Countyr Days, Country Homes and InteriorsWe’ve teamed up with KLC School of Design to create My Design School, a fun new online interior design course. Covering everything from colour and pattern to space planning, this five-week programme is run by a dedicated course tutor with an interactive online community where you can work in your own time at home or on the move. Plus, its only £199, which is a saving of £100, when you use promo code HOME0415.

    Sign up to join My Design School here.

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    Style up stairs with wallpaper craft

    by  • 12/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Resized_APRIL-MAY DECO STYLEGive personality to painted stairs by adding wallpaper to the risers, as featured in our May issue. Soft pastel patterns (we chose Fretwork, £39 a roll, Sanderson and Capello Rose, £80 a roll, Liberty) bring a relaxed charm to any room, perfectly complimented by a striped runner in similar hues on the floor. Here’s how…

    Carefully measure your stair risers and cut out pieces of wallpaper to fit. Stick in place using a thin layer of PVA glue; smooth the paper, pushing out air bubbles and creases. Wait until the glue is completely dry (about 24 hours) before using a soft-bristle brush to apply a light coat of clear water-based varnish, to finish.

    If you like this idea, we’ve got lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Click here for creative inspiration.

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    Gardening buys to behold…

    by  • 11/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    The sun has got his hat on hip-hip-hip-hooray! Perfect as we head outdoors to enjoy a spot of gardening, made all the more enjoyable when basking in sunshine.

    If like us you’ll be busy pottering, planting and tidying your garden this weekend don’t miss this latest video, we’re sharing our pick of the best gardening buys…

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    Step back in time with a house tour…

    by  • 10/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Wordsworth House_National Trust_NadiaMackenzie

    With the unbridled success of TV series Downton Abbey, stately homes are enjoying a huge revival of interest. Imagine life as Lady Mary surrounded by opulent style in an elegant drawing room, or head downstairs and step into the shoes of a diligent young housemaid preparing dinner for the Master’s guests. Experience what living in an historic home used to be like years ago on a special house tour. Here are out top three…

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    Retro biscuits we love

    by  • 09/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Gypsy cream

    Today we’re reminiscing about the gypsy cream, the squidgy chocolate and oat cookie sandwich with a smooth chocolate cream filling that harks back to the Seventies. You can’t really mention it without an honorary nod to other era-defining classics such as Space Hoppers and Spangles. As it’s so moreish, this biscuit has acquired something of a dedicated following so we tracked down a recipe to see if they are as good as we remember. This short and sweet recipe is one of the stars of the new Women’s Institute cookbook and frankly what the WI doesn’t know about baking doesn’t count, so it’s over to the experts…

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    Catch up with 2014′s My Country Business Awards winners…

    by  • 08/04/2015 • 1 Comment

    To celebrate  Country Homes & Interiors’ 2015 My Country Business Awards, we’re catching up with last year’s winners to find out how the award has helped them progress their amazing businesses and realise their dreams.

    Emma Cornes | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    The judges were bowled over by Emma Cornes’ handbags, making her the winner of last year’s Fashion & Beauty category. Her British-made bags feature classic tweeds that are woven in the UK and inspired by our landscapes. Emma chats to us about what’s changed for her since winning…

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    Pop colour into a country kitchen

    by  • 07/04/2015 • 0 Comments

    Green and pink country kitchen Country Days Country Homes and Interiors

    Country kitchens are characterised by their classic cabinets and muted shades, but there’s no reason why you can’t introduce some personality and add a modern edge with a few well-chosen touches, right?

    One of the best ways of making a statement is with pops of colour. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose a colourful appliance such as a range cooker – Aga’s just introduced models in Rose and Lemon – or one of Smeg’s fabulous retro fridges. You can also use colour to provide definition on an island by painting it in an eyecatching shade. Or try adding vibrant tones into your scheme with accessories.

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