• Archive for March, 2014

    Country moment: spring decorating

    by  • 31/03/2014 • Country moment, Country style • 1 Comment

    Have you got that spring DIY tingle? This weekend, did you look around your home and notice the scuffs and kicks of daily life and decide that it’s time to refresh and redecorate? I spoke to two sets of friends this weekend who were happily painting walls and doors, climbing ladders and hanging pictures. It always happens at this time of year – the need for something new. If this sounds familiar, look out for the new issue of Country Homes & Interiors. It’s on sale on Thursday and full of spring delights, including vintage looks inspired by the kitchen garden.

    Happy decorating!

    Spring decorating

    Love cottage style this spring with the latest vintage looks

    Read more →

    Country craft: jewellery display

    by  • 30/03/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Jewellery display Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Pretty heart shaped jewellery display made using a notice board from Not on the High Street, Fairhaven yellow fabric from Colefax & Fowler and ribbon and trimmings from VV Rouleaux.

    We love this hand crafted decorative jewellery display. Not only does it very simple to make, it’s ideal for using a favourite fabric such as this pretty floral too. Featured in Country Homes & Interiors May issue – out soon – why not have a go following our simple 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?

    Read more →

    Country news; crochet club auction success!

    by  • 29/03/2014 • Country craft, Country moment • 0 Comments

    Many thanks to all our crochet club crafters who created and donated squares for our Mencap appeal. With your help we have managed to raise almost £1000 at a charity auction held at the 10th annual Mandarin Lunch and Fashion Show.

    Up for grabs was a chic throw by Sophie Conran, a stylish coat by Barbour, a smart stool and cushion combo by Rose Sharp Jones, a sassy poncho designed by Lisa Richardson for Rowan, a lovely chair by Josephine Ryan and a cute and cuddly Hippo by Rupert’s House. Many thanks to all our designers for creating such gorgeous and individual items for the auction, and many thanks to all our crochet club crafters for making and donating so many beautiful squares.

    Country Homes & Interiors crocheted creations auctioned for Mencap

    Country Homes & Interiors crocheted creations auctioned for Mencap

    Read more →

    Country moment: Mother’s Day

    by  • 28/03/2014 • Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    This weekend we celebrate Mothering Sunday, a time to treat, pamper and celebrate Mums.

    Mother's day moodboard on the Country Days blog

    Ideas for a perfect Mothering Sunday

    Looking for a gift or inspiring ideas of things to do? A delicate fragrance; a pretty cushion; breakfast in bed; feet up with a cup of tea, or a scenic walk through the great British countryside – National Trust have a huge array of events and ideas for Mother’s Day.

    Where to buy from our Moodboard; Glass teapot, £26, Cox & Cox; Lazy linen double duvet cover, £140 & matching pillowcase, £15, Loaf; Butterfly Bloom teacup & saucer, £35, Wedgwood. Fragrances, from a selection at Jo Malone. Louise Body Plant Life cushion, £70, John Lewis. Minscot button stool, Wesley Barrell.

    Read more →

    Country food: spring pasta

    by  • 27/03/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Fresh tortelli

    Fresh tortelli – pasta squares stuffed with crab

    A fresh and simple supper idea packed with flavour, tortelli are closely related to tortelloni. The largest shape in the family, sometimes they are flat square parcels, and sometimes they are round with a hole in the middle. Here they are stuffed with crab, mascarpone cheese and fresh herbs. The British crab season starts next week, so why not get things off to a flying start?

    Serves 4 (3 tortelli each)

    200g fresh egg pasta
    4 small sprigs fresh dill, chopped, to garnish
    salt and pepper, to taste

    For the filling:
    1 large crab, about 1.5kg, freshly boiled
    75g mascarpone cheese
    1 tsp brandy
    2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

    For the sauce:
    60g unsalted butter
    1g saffron strands or 2 sachets powdered saffron

    1 Extract all the meat, white and brown, from the crab, making sure there are no bits of shell left. Mix this with the mascarpone, brandy, dill and some salt and pepper to taste. Keep to one side.

    2 Roll out the pasta dough to 1mm thick, preferably by machine, into 1 or 2 long strips. Place 1 tsp of the filling at intervals in the centre of each strip, wet the edges, and fold over. Press to seal, then cut into 7cm squares with a serrated cutter.

    3 Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan until foaming, then add the saffron. Divide the tortelli between warmed plates. Pour some of the saffron butter over the top, and decorate with a sprig of dill. Serve hot.

    TOASTING SAFFRON Put the saffron strands in the bowl of a kitchen spoon and toast over a gas flame, the flame under the bowl. This dries the saffron, which is then easy to grind to a powder.

    *Antonio Carluccio’s new book Pasta is out now (Quadrille, £20). Photograph by Laura Edwards

    Read more →

    Country style: Indulge in the finer things

    by  • 26/03/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Afternoon bliss is a decorative table set for high tea

    Get the look in 3 steps

    * Layer up the pattern. Mix and match cloths, napkins, plates and teapots that are awash with scatterings of Spring flowers

    *Pot up pansies, violets or violas, using moss, in a footed glass vase and create a table arboretum

    *Invite friends and family and enjoy their company

    For more Spring decorating ideas see our April issue, out now!

    Chairs, The Kitchen Furniture Co. Voile at window, Jane Churchill. Tablecloth and seat pad fabric, Clarke & Clarke. Crockery: The Orchard; Emma Bridgewater at Liberty; Greengate at Houseology; Rigby & Mac; The Contemporary Home.  Napkins, Ochre & Ocre. Tea towel Cath Kidston. Cake, Amy Swann Cakes

    Country style: Indulge in the finer things

    Country style: Indulge in the finer things

    Read more →

    Country room: faded floral country dining room

    by  • 25/03/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    With the clocks due to go forward and longer light-filled days on the horizon, here’s a country dining room that maximises the light and is a great space to enjoy informal entertaining.

    White panelling creates a beach-house feel, which is accentuated with limewashed floorboards. Team with a distressed table and wooden benches, and decorate with a tablecloth and cushions in pretty faded floral fabrics such as these from Cabbages & Roses. Floor-length curtains provide an elegant touch. Then finish off the look with a vintage industrial lamp and an old school clock.

    Fabrics from £38 a metre , Cabbages & Roses

    Fabrics from £38 a metre , Cabbages & Roses

    Read more →

    Enter the My Country Business Awards 2014

    by  • 24/03/2014 • Country business, Country craft, Country food, Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    Be inspired to enter the Country Homes & interiors My Country Business Awards 2014

    Be inspired to enter the Country Homes & interiors My Country Business Awards 2014

    Emma Boyles is a sheep farmer based on the Surrey-Hampshire borders. A keen knitter, she launched The Little Grey Sheep when she realised that there was a gap in the market for high-quality British knitting yarn. Emma now grows, produces and sells beautiful wools in hand-dyed colours and you can read about her story in the current issue of Country Homes & Interiors.

    If you think you’ve got a good business idea or are running your own small business, why not enter our My Country Business Awards 2014? We are looking for creative country-based businesses and you could win a money-can’t-buy package of expert advice to help you create a thriving enterprise.

    Read more →

    Country craft: fringed runner

    by  • 23/03/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Make a fringed runner using Country Homes and Interiors easy instructions

    Fringed runner made with Culpepper J676F-01 £75 m, Jane Churchill

    We love a well dressed table and this stylish table runner can be made up in minutes by following Country Homes & Interiors simple instructions. To make measure a length of fabric to cover roughly half the width of the table plus 2 cm for hems and over hang at either end by about 20cm. First fringe the narrow ends by pulling the threads loose, using a needle to help loosen and pull the threads if necessary, then turn up 1cm side hems along the long edges and sew in place.

    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?

    Read more →

    Country look: Fine china

    by  • 21/03/2014 • Country style • 4 Comments

    With prettily decorated fondant fancies at the ready (see below, in case you missed it), all you’ll need now for the perfect afternoon tea is a beautiful tea set. Look no further than Holly Lasseter’s hand-painted Blue Salvia design…

    Holly Lasseter Designs on the Country Days blog

    Blue Salvia design, Side plate, £17; Sugar bowl, £23; Teapot, £59.50, all Holly Lasseter Designs.

    Holly’s delicately painted designs on fine bone china really are works of art, with precise but subtle brushstrokes. This new design captures the pretty blue saliva flower, incorporating the odd insect – dragonfly and bee.

    Holly Lasseter Designs on the Country Days blog

    Blue Salvia design, Tea cups & saucers, £22.50 each, Holly Lasseter Designs.

    Read more →