• Archive for January, 2014

    Country look: Woven layers

    by  • 31/01/2014 • Country style • 3 Comments

    Behind every beautiful product there’s an equally beautiful story, Tori Murphy’s collection of cosy blankets and cushions was inspired by childhood memories of exploring West Cork beaches.

    ‘Blankets were essential, whether shading from the sun or more likely for keeping warm,’ she remembers. ‘I would take the blankets to school still smelling of the sea. They reminded me daily of family and friends back home. The feeling of being enveloped by love left a deep impression and marked the beginning of my passion for textiles.’ As the weather turns colder let’s all be sure to wrap ourselves up in a little love.


    Chevy woven cushions, from £65; Murphy woven throws, from £250, all Tori Murphy.

    Using a muted colour palette, along with a contemporary approach to pattern her collection of homewares is perfect for adding a hint of on-trend monochrome and subtle geometric prints to the modern country home.

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    Country food: cake heaven

    by  • 30/01/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Orange syrup semolina cake

    A slice of this lush orange syrup semolina cake is just the thing for grey days

    The markets are filled with the juiciest oranges right now, perfect for making this soft, moist, buttery cake to add cheer to your day. It contrasts nicely with the tangy crème fraîche on the side and makes an excellent dessert, with a small espresso coffee on the side. But really it’s an any time of day treat – we never need an excuse to eat cake here at Country Homes & Interiors magazine so why not follow our example.

    For the cake:
    150g butter, softened
    175g plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar
    grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 orange
    2 free range eggs
    100ml crème fraîche
    125g plain flour, sifted
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    125g plus 2 tablespoons fine semolina
    a pinch of salt

    For the orange syrup:
    juice of 1 large orange
    150g caster sugar
    1 teaspoon orange flower water

    Crème fraîche, to serve

    serves 8

    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well-mixed. Add the orange zest and juice, then the eggs, one at a time, followed by the crème fraîche and mix well. Add the flour, baking power, semolina and salt and fold in. Transfer to a loose-based 20cm cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until golden-brown.

    2 While the cake is baking, prepare the orange syrup. Place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and wait until the pan has cooled, then mix in the orange flower water.

    3 Test whether or not the cake is ready by piercing it with a fine skewer; if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked, if not, bake it for a few minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. While still warm, pierce the top of the cake all over with a skewer. Pour over the orange syrup, then cover the cake and set it aside to cool and soak up the syrup, for a few hours or overnight. Serve in slices with crème fraîche on the side.

    *The Creamery Kitchen by Jenny Linford  is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from rylandpeters.com. Photograph by Clare Winfield

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    Country style: Small space storage

    by  • 29/01/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Turn a forgotten corner, behind a door, at the end of the hallway, or at the back of a cupboard into an eye catching storage area.

    Get the look in 3 steps

    * Paint the wall in your favourite colour to make you happy!

    * Fit a peg rail as it provides slim line storage and takes up less space than selves.

    *Use to hang up cleaning apparatus, even chairs, Shaker style!

    For more innovative decorating ideas see our February issue, out now!

    Teal, Acrylic eggshell, Zoffany. Peg rail, After Noah. Chair, Habitat. String bag, feather dusters, Labour & Wait. Carpet beater, John Lewis.

    chair blog

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    Country room: library

    by  • 28/01/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    If wintry days make you feel like curling up with a good book, here’s the perfect space to do it – cosy and comfortable and with plenty of storage for your literary collection.

    Snuggly wool upholstery fabrics, plaids in burnt orange and earthy tones and rich leather sofas (all from Multiyork) create a warm and inviting scheme for a mid-winter living room and library.

    Team with chalky paint shades and period-style dark wood furniture and accessorise with vintage globes and pewter desk lamps for a gentlemen’s club feel.

    Rochester Large Sofa in Warwick Habitat Jute fabric, £1,739; Universal Grande Footstool in Linwood Hudson Bay Maple Check fabric, £539; Imogen Large Sofa in Apache Leather, £2,039; Grosvenor High Back Chair in Yucatan Lobster,  £429; Diplomat Small Sofa in Capri Leather, £2,119; Trafalgar Coffee Table, £479; all Multiyork

    Rochester Large Sofa in Warwick Habitat Jute fabric, £1,739; Universal Grande Footstool in Linwood Hudson Bay Maple Check fabric, £539; Imogen Large Sofa in Apache Leather, £2,039; Grosvenor High Back Chair in Yucatan Lobster, £429; Diplomat Small Sofa in Capri Leather, £2,119;
    Trafalgar Coffee Table, £479; all Multiyork

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    Country moment: catkins

    by  • 27/01/2014 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Sunday was a ‘grey’ day if there ever was one. Yet, as I looked carefully for something to inspire me amongst the low light and dark tones of the local countryside, it was these unassuming catkins that caught my eye. A hint of yellow peeped quietly in small clusters from a willow tree. I was delighted to be told – by the friend I was walking with – that the word catkin comes from the Dutch word katteken, meaning ‘kitten’, on account of the resemblance to a kitten’s tail. I loved hearing that story!

    A hint of yellow on a grey day

    A hint of yellow on a grey day

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    Country craft: ironing board cover

    by  • 26/01/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Ironing board cover by Country Homes and Interiors

    Brighten up your ironing board with a homemade cover by Country Homes and Interiors

    Make ironing less of a chore and give your ironing board a makeover with a lovely homemade cover. As seen in our spring decorating feature in the March issue – available from next Thursday – why not have a go following 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 look: Cornish landscape

    by  • 24/01/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    I’d like to introduce you to Helen Round, a contemporary textile and homeware designer who makes beautiful things for the home, all inspired by the Cornish landscape.

    I met Helen last week at an exhibition and got the chance to see how lovely her collection of hand printed cushions really are –  made using the finest quality linen and hemp, they are so tactile! My personal favourite is the Rame Head design (below). The simple illustration depicts a charming house on a hill reached by a winding path surrounded by cow parsley & grasses – it looks like an idyllic place to be.


    Hand printed ‘Rame Head’ linen cushion, from £55, Helen Round.

    With a background in fine art textiles and printmaking, Helen lives and works in Cornwall and the countryside surrounding her studio inspires her hand-sketched picturesque designs. The Rame Head, Hedgerow and Birdsong collections all feature on a selection of cushions, lampshades, tea towels and mugs – perfect for  bringing the beauty of nature indoors.


    Fine bone china Limited Edition ‘Rame Head’ mugs, £12.50 each, Helen Round.

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    Country food: homemade yogurt

    by  • 23/01/2014 • Country food • 5 Comments

    Home made yogurt

    Served in glass pots drizzled with honey: home made yogurt is the bee’s

    A pot of thick creamy yogurt you’ve created in your own kitchen is the perfect way to start the day – just add honey or fresh fruit and you’re good to go. But there is so much more to yogurt than just as a wakeup call. You can mix yogurt into bread and cakes, or stir it into soups, casseroles, stews and curries to add a touch of creaminess. It also makes a great base for homemade dips – try adding fresh herbs, garlic, cucumber, feta cheese, lemon juice or spices such as cumin and cayenne. And of course yogurt is great frozen. Our recipe is really simple to do – and once you have tasted it you’ll be hooked on making your own.

    Makes 1 litre

    1 litre whole milk
    25g dried milk powder
    100g shop bought or homemade natural yogurt
    Clear honey, to serve

    1 Pour a little of the milk into a saucepan and add the milk powder. (You can make perfectly good yogurt without the milk powder. It simply gives a thicker, creamier result). Whisk to combine and break up any lumps before adding the rest of the milk. Bring slowly to the boil and remove from the heat. Let the temperature cool until it feels like a warm bath when you dip in your finger, or 43°C to 45°C on a thermometer. You can accelerate cooling by standing the pan in a sink half-filled with cold water – this should take about 25 minutes.

    2 Stir in the yogurt to thoroughly combine. Pour into a large Thermos flask, cover and leave to stand for 6 to 8 hours or overnight until thickened. Alternatively pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place such as the airing cupboard or on a towel over a radiator.

    3 Stir the thickened yogurt – it should be the consistency of a bought creamy natural yogurt. Store in the fridge for up to a week. You can use 100g of this batch as your starter for the next. Spoon into glass pots and serve drizzled with clear honey.

    Photograph: Myles New. Recipe: Joanna Farrow

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    Country style: Tailor made technology!

    by  • 22/01/2014 • Country moment, Country style, Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    With so many great designs that are pleasing on the eye, incorporating home technology into your décor is has never been easier!

    Get the look in 3 steps

    *Check the spec! Before purchasing on looks alone, check that your tech performs to your requirements and check that it is compatible with your existing equipment. This is especially true for i docks.

    * Work out where the equipment will be on display and choose a design that will fit right in, such as this retro style DAB music system in a wooden casing, which looks great displayed upon a quirky wooden cabinet.

    *Style around the product with your favourite accessories.

    For more inspiration on incorporating and displaying great looking tech in your home, from wooden and leather headphones, to widescreen tv storage ideas, to colourful felt speakers, see our February issue, out now!

    Paint: Bamiyan blue, Fired Earth. Chest, £995, Graham and Green.

    Music System+, Tivoli Audio UK.


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    Country room: cosy dining room

    by  • 21/01/2014 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Don’t you just fancy pulling up a chair, warming yourself near the fire and drinking a steaming mug of tea in this cosy country dining room?

    The key to this welcoming scheme (apart from the fire!) is its homely simplicity. The ancient timbers speak for themselves against a backdrop of warm neutral walls. Linen Roman blinds add a rustic touch at the windows and tone beautifully with the scheme, while a clean lined farmhouse table and vintage wooden chairs keep the look unfussy. A pop of bold blue is added to the mix with some well-chosen flowers and tableware.

    The talking point of the room, though, has to be the stunning flooring –  a lovely weathered-look laminate from Carpetright that resembles old wine and fruit crates. Not only does it look good, but it’s a practical solution underfoot in a country house.

    Chateau Laminate, £39.99 a metre, Carpetright

    Chateau Laminate, £39.99 a metre, Carpetright

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