• Archive for July, 2013

    Country style: Sun-kissed rooms

    by  • 31/07/2013 • Country moment, Country style, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Sun bleached petals; new mown hay; tennis and croquet on the lawn- these are truly hot English summer memories to cherish!

    Inspired we took a look at fabrics in hot house flower designs and teamed them with sun-bleached furniture, such as limed oak and rattan, to produce our Sun-kiss your home decorating story (September issue out on 1st August).

    We love throwing open the doors and windows and living between the house and garden during the lazy summer months so take a look and find out how to bless your home with summer decorating happiness all year long.

    Curtains, Gardenia, Art & Soul collection, Prestigious Textiles. Weekender armchair, Angel At My Table.

    Curtains, Gardenia, Art & Soul collection, Prestigious Textiles. Weekender armchair, Angel At My Table.

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    Country room: French-style bedroom

    by  • 30/07/2013 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Here’s an elegant country bedroom that’s perfect for those summer nights when you alternate between being too hot and too cold.

    The beautiful French-style bed from Loaf is handmade from weathered oak, adding a contemporary edge, and has a headboard upholstered in a lovely linen fabric. Layer it up with with cool, crumpled linen bedding and a snuggly blanket for an informal yet chic look. A pretty vintage floral throw adds to the summery feel.

    Team with curved French-style furniture to link with the curves on the bed and pretty accessories such as the ornate mirror and oversized lamp to finish off the look.

    Coco bed, £745 for a double, Loaf

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    Country Business of the Year winners

    by  • 29/07/2013 • Country business, Country craft, Country food, Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    We spent an exciting morning recently, looking through and reading the entries from the Country Homes & Interiors Country Business of the Year competition.

    In March this year, we launched the competition for the fourth year running. Aimed at promoting and empowering young startups at the beginning of the business journey, this year attracted a fantastic array of well thoughtout and inspiring entries all hoping to win professional advice from School for Creative Startups. The judges spent an enjoyable few hours discussing and deciding who impressed us most. It was tough, but here is a quick preview of the four amazing winners…you can read all about them in our October issue (on sale 29 August).

    Ellena Llewellyn, Chillies Farm Dairy, East Sussex for her amazing artisan cheese.

    Brenda Fraser, La Coquine, County Down for her stunning handmade chocolates.

    Chloe Lamb, Counting Lambs, Norfolk, with her luxurious eiderdowns.

    Chloe and Adam Pollard, The Willoughby Book Club, Leicestershire for their unique ‘book a month’ gift service.

    Read the stories of all the winners in our October issue.

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    Country craft: Patchwork tablecloth

    by  • 28/07/2013 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Patchwork tablecloth

    Sew this stylish tablecloth using simple plains, stripes and checks.

    A firm favourite in the country style stakes, patchwork is an easy way to bring a colourful look to a room. We love this simple patchwork tablecloth idea taken from our out-soon September issue with its easy on the eye mix of Ian Mankin plain, checked and striped fabrics. Why not have a go and follow our instructions?

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

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    Country garden: Pretty & edible

    by  • 27/07/2013 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    We’re looking forward to making up bundles of herbs fresh from the Country Homes & Interiors garden for use in cooking as well as flavouring cooling summer drinks. The mint, marjoram, rosemary and thyme are all enjoying the summer sun and some are prettily in flower at the moment.

    If you’re looking for inspiration on growing culinary herbs, you’ll find plenty at Jekka’s Herb Farm in Gloucestershire, run by ‘Queen of Herbs’, Jekka McVicar. Her amazing Herboretum is open to the public on selected days. You can also book on a workshop to learn about growing your own (the next one, ‘Year-round herbs’, is on 7th September), or buy a great selection of herb seeds from her website.

    In the meantime, here are some pictures from our very own herb garden…

    The mint now has pretty purple blooms

    Delicate white flowers on marjoram

    Frothy fennel

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    Country buy: Cool accessories

    by  • 26/07/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Keep cool and carry on. We’re all enjoying the glorious sunshine, but there are times when you want to stay indoors and beat the heat.  We’ve been thinking of ways to do just that, from lightweight voiles and bedlinens to handy doorstops that allow for a gentle summer breeze to waft through your home. Below is a little something to get you in the mood for enjoying a chilled weekend…

    Curtain, Shadows, £67 a metre, GP&J Baker; Voile, Natural Elements, £32 a metre, Harlequin; Roxy chair, £373, Vincent Sheppard; Swarovski Homebar fridge freezer, £1,850; Tu Rope doorstop, £12, Sainsbury's; Hammock, similar from Idyll Home. Wooden Beach sign, £17, Coastal Home; Sentimental ice bucket, £48, Anthropologie; Paisley stripe bedlinen duvet, £99, matching pillowcase, £22, both Toast; Matti Walker table fan, £100, Heal's.

    Curtain, Shadows, £67 a metre, GP&J Baker; Voile, Natural Elements, £32 a metre, Harlequin; Roxy chair, £373, Vincent Sheppard; Swarovski Homebar fridge freezer, £1,850; Tu Rope doorstop, £12, Sainsbury’s; Hammock, similar from Idyll Home. Wooden Beach sign, £17, Coastal Home; Sentimental ice bucket, £48, Anthropologie; Paisley stripe bedlinen duvet, £99, matching pillowcase, £22, both Toast; Matti Walker table fan, £100, Heal’s.

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    Country food: Simple summer salad

    by  • 25/07/2013 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Try this new potato, crisp salami and sesame salad tonight

    The summer salad season is well and truly upon us and the search for cool and crispy food combinations continues while my oven is ‘resting’. The perfect accompaniment to barbecued meat and seafood, potato salad is essential fare when the temperatures are pushing 30 and all you want to do is fan yourself in the garden while thinking about a really quick supper. If it really is too hot to get whisking, use good-quality bought mayonnaise combined with a squeeze of lemon juice instead. To serve 6 people you will need…

    800g waxy new potatoes
    pinch of sea salt
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    150g thinly sliced salami (a fatty, unflavoured variety)
    1⁄2 quantity lemon mayonnaise (see below)
    75g rocket
    small bunch of dill, chopped

    For delicious home made lemon mayonnaise:
    1 free range egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    pinch of sea salt
    125ml plain-flavoured oil of your choice
    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    Serves 6

    1 To make the lemon mayonnaise, put the egg yolk, half the lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Whisk to mix. While whisking continuously, slowly add the oil a drop at a time until fully incorporated. Whisk in the sesame oil and remaining lemon juice. Cover and set aside until needed. (By the way, this recipe makes approximately double the quantity required for this salad. The remainder will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days – perfect with grilled tiger prawns.)

    2 If necessary, cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. Put in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, add the salt, bring to the boil, then simmer until tender. Drain and set aside.

    3 Heat a frying pan/skillet to medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toast for about 6–8 minutes, stirring until golden. Set aside.

    4 Reheat the frying pan/skillet until hot, add the salami slices and cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Remove and drain on paper towels. (It will crisp up more as it cools.)

    5 Arrange the rocket in a serving bowl. Toss the potatoes with the lemon mayonnaise and pile on top of the rocket. Scatter with half the toasted sesame seeds and dill. Crumble over the crisp salami and scatter with the remaining sesame seeds and dill to serve.

    *Taken from the new book Salads & Dressings, simple recipes for delicious food every day (£9.99, Ryland Peters & Small, rylandpeters.com). Packed with ideas that are so right for now, I’ve also got my eye on the Melon, Cos and Cucumber salad with Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette…

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    Country style: Garden party

    by  • 24/07/2013 • Country moment, Country style • 2 Comments

    Pressed flowers, herbariums, flower drawings – these are all things that have inspired Garden Party, the latest collection from Borastapeter.

    “We wanted to find patterns that bring greenery into the home and remind us of the simple pleasures of outdoor life but with a  nostalgic twist’, says Hanna Wendelbo-Hansson, their head designer.

    It’s a relaxed decorating style that is close to our hearts at Country Homes, where we draw upon elements found in nature as our primary inspiration.

    Garden Party 3482, £39 per 10 m roll.

    Garden Party 3463, £39 per 10 m roll.

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    Country room: Floral living room

    by  • 23/07/2013 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Bring blooms inside and decorate a country living room with pretty posies and floral designs.

    The focal point of this elegant space is the beautiful statement carpet, which adds eyecatching interest against a neutral backdrop. The design, Helping Hands in colourway Baking Cakes, is by Sophie Conran for Axminster. ‘Inspired by special times with my children, this floral is sweet and fun too,’ Sophie says. ‘The design will bring together either a vintage or modern interior and provide a gorgeous alternative to neutral plains. Try with accessories and fabrics in the highlight colours.’

    A design like this is a great starting point for a room and works best if you take your inspiration from it and plan the look around it. Here, old and new are combined with clean-lined furniture teamed with ornate French-style drawers and mirrors to create a modern, eclectic style.

    Helping Hands carpet in Baking Cakes colourway, £80 a sq metre, Sophie Conran for Axminster Carpets

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    Country craft: Crochet Club

    by  • 22/07/2013 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Crochet Club squares

    Squares made by the Country Homes & Interiors online Crochet Club

    Stuck for something to do over the school holidays? We’re still running our hugely successful Crochet Club over the summer months. The perfect hobby for all ages whatever the weather and it’s easily transportable to holidays afar! To date we’ve had 533 squares sent in to us which will then be used to make accessories to auction for Mencap – including this lovely lot which arrived today!

    Click here to find out more about our Country Homes & Interiors Crochet Club. Click here for more easy craft projects or if you need more inspiration and country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not buy our  Country Home Ideas app?

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