• Archive for July, 2009

    Great Dixter

    by  • 31/07/2009 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    One of my all-time favourite gardens to visit is the late Christopher Lloyd’s truly beautiful garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex. The combinations of colours and plants are always exciting and inspiring, and I love the way he mixed lots of seemingly different colours to great effect. I came across this picture on flickr and it reminded I must go again soon…

    Great Dixter's long border

    Great Dixter’s long border

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    Christmas in July!

    by  • 29/07/2009 • Country style • 1 Comment

    It’s that time of year again – when the magazine world does the Christmas press shows in preparation for filling our lovely December pages with the best on offer from department stores and interiors shops. Even though it sounds strange to be looking at Christmas trees and decorations in July when the sun is shining and I am longing for my summer break – I always spare a thought for the Christmas buyers who are looking at baubles and tinsel all year round!

    One of my favourite Christmas collections this year is Linea’s Nostalgia range at House of Fraser. The embroidered felt houses, carved wooden birds and mini trees are perfect for that homemade look in a country home. In store… October time!

    Nostalgia collection by Linea at House of Fraser

    Nostalgia collection by Linea at House of Fraser

    Small table tree, £6. Wooden carved birds £3.50 for two. Felt houses, £5.50 for three, Tartan teddy £3.50. All House of Fraser.

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    Homemade coasters

    by  • 29/07/2009 • Country craft • 2 Comments

    I do like to have a go at little stitch projects whenever I have the time, but they have to be simple and quick, quick, quick… That’s why I love these ‘coasters in an hour’ from the wonderful Australian blog Penelope Waits. They’re a great way to use up old fabric offcuts and – best of all – you can just stick them in the washing machine, give them a quick press and they’re good as new! Click on the link above for instructions.

     

    Make your own fabric coasters

    Make your own fabric coasters

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    Welcoming house guests

    by  • 28/07/2009 • Country style • 3 Comments

    The start of the summer holidays signals a stream of friends and family coming to stay – I think it’s the lure of the beach, the laid-back lifestyle and Justin’s constant supply of Budvar that does it.

    I always think its important to make sure that everything looks simple but thoughtful in our small guest bedroom. At the weekend, Will picked flowers from the garden and put them in a glass for our guests Debbie and Mat and their four children.

    But I do love the way Martha Stewart sets out essentials such as towels and an alarm clock, as well as providing little luxuries as well: bottles of water, foil-wrapped chocolates, and a few cut blooms in a vase.

    Martha Stewart's welcome kits for guests

    Martha Stewart's welcome kit for guests

    Inspiration for next weekend…

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    Walking along The Royal Military Canal

    by  • 27/07/2009 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    We walked for miles yesterday!  It was a warm breezy day – the perfect conditions for ambling along The Royal Military Canal. The waterway was dug between 1804 to 1809 and stretches from Shorncliffe in Kent to Cliff End in East Sussex,  just a hop, skip and a jump from our home. It was dug to deter Napoleon should his troops ever make it across the channel. But I understand from A tour along the Sussex Coast (Snake River Press)  that it was more effective for transporting contraband!

    Today it is the perfect Sunday walk to spot all kinds of wildlife and wild flowers. Six children, four adults and buggy in tow we spotted Grey Heron, majestic swans and hundreds of butterflies (that have apparently flown all the way from Morocco). The bulrushes with their deep brown spiky flowers swished in the breezes sweeping in from the sea.

    Jamie – my little one – stopped to admire and inspect all in minute detail. Needless to say it took hours… Our reward? Fish and chips at The Smuggler’s Inn at Pett Level. Perfect!

    Military Canal

    Big skies and vast plains...

    These cows were just beautiful - look at their amazing colours

    These cows were just beautiful - look at their amazing colours

    The only way to travel

    The only way to travel

    Have you got a favourite walk? I’d love to hear about it…

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    New collection from Sandberg

    by  • 24/07/2009 • Country style • 0 Comments

    I am totally in love with the new Gustav collection from Sandberg. This Swedish company has always been a personal favourite of mine thanks to its fresh and pretty country-style fabrics and wallpapers. The latest collection features delicately drawn oak foliage with pretty birds as well as trailing honeysuckle and flamboyant floral garlands. Here’s my favourite…

    Sandberg's Waldemar wallpaper

    Sandberg's Waldemar wallpaper

    Wallpaper: Waldemar 471-09 £56.00/roll from the Gustav collection, Sandberg. Sandberg is distributed exclusively in UK by Little Greene, 0845 880 5855

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    Butterflies…

    by  • 23/07/2009 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    For the last few days our garden has been inundated with butterflies! When we first came to this area I remember seeing butterfly couples dancing and playing on the beach having made their way across the Channel from continental Europe, but last year they were few and far between.

    This year they are back! Sitting on the steps at the front of our house yesterday I counted eight Painted Ladies on one lavender bush alone. I also spotted Tortoiseshells, small whites, Gatekeepers and Red Admirals all on the plants they love – verbena boniariensis, stachys and buddleia. They were enjoying the warm and sunny morning just like me…

    Painted Lady

    Painted Lady

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    A favourite blog

    by  • 22/07/2009 • Country style • 1 Comment

    One of the best things about the internet is the huge number of people blogging about things I love. A favourite is decor8, where I’m always sure to find inspirational posts and homeware sources from all over the world that are always contemporary and sometimes quirky and eclectic. Decor8’s creator, Holly Becker, is passionate about interiors and it really shows – go and have a look and you’re sure to find something gorgeous!

    Holly loves Atelier Eva Hearn's pictures

    Holly loves Atelier Eva Hearn's pictures

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    Crayfish cocktail

    by  • 20/07/2009 • Country food • 0 Comments

    One of my all-time favourite things to eat is Prawn cocktail – don’t ask me why! So this weekend I thought I would try the variation on the theme – Crayfish cocktail. You can find the recipe in the current issue of Country Homes & Interiors (August). Verdict? Not bad…!

    Crayfish cocktail

    Crayfish cocktail

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    Front door inspiration

    by  • 17/07/2009 • Country style • 0 Comments

    I just had to post this email from reader Carol in East Sussex – it made me smile… and made my day yesterday!

    Hi ‘Country Homes and Interiors’ magazine,

    I have been looking for the right colour pink for the front door of my little country cottage for ages, so far to no avail.

    However I was reading the July 2009 edition of your magazine on the train to work and I suddenly noticed a wonderful paint colour called ‘Mischief’  in the ‘Be Inspired by…. New Provencal Style’  article and thought ‘That’s it! 
I excitedly bought a tester pot of the paint by the Little Greene Paint Company and it is as fantastic as I’d hoped.

    I’m now looking forward to my newly painted stunning front door which will make the front of my cottage look wonderful!

    Here's the pink (bottom right) Carol loved so much

    Here's the pink (bottom right) Carol loved so much

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