• Archive for April, 2014

    Country craft: roman blind

    by  • 06/04/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Learn how to make this roman blind with Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Roman blind made with Found Seasons fabric by Vanessa Arbuthnott.

    A roman blind at a window is a great way to showcase a favourite fabric pattern in all it’s glory such as this soft pink design by Vanessa Arbuthnott. As seen in the latest issue of Country Homes and Interiors why not click here to find out how to make a similar style for your home.

    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: simply beautiful

    by  • 04/04/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    ‘Love how you live’ is the endearing sentiment behind new online homeware and gift boutique Dimity Fayre. The handpicked collection of ceramics and textiles are all chosen to make the everyday objects beautiful and functional in equal measure.

    Celebrating the tradition of the artisan – they are working with UK designers to create individual pieces to bring a touch of joy to your home. We love the sophisticated yet rustic charm of Rebecca Callis’ ceramics (below).


    Tea cups, from £18; Blue Knives napkins, £28 set of 4, all Dimity Fayre.

    Another favourite from the collection is Jessica Hayes-Gill’s quirky cutlery designs (above & below), all hand-drawn before being hand-printed onto natural cotton and linens.


    Civilised Cutlery apron, £39, Dimity Fayre.

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    Country food: spring lemon cake

    by  • 03/04/2014 • Country food • 1 Comment

    Lemon cake

    Lemon heaven: lemon cake with lemon cheesecake icing…

    Monday nights are Mary Berry nights in our house. I love her new show and the cookbook that accompanies it is packed with fabulous recipes. In particular I like the cake section. Lemon cake is my favourite so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. There are three whole lemons (three!)  in this, so the flavour is intense and utterly delicious. The baked cake will keep for up to 4 days in a tin but sadly didn’t last that long in our house. 

    2 small thin-skinned lemons or 1 large one
    275g softened butter, plus extra for dusting
    275g caster sugar
    275g self-raising flour
    2 level teaspoons baking powder
    4 free range eggs

    For the filling and icing
    50g softened butter
    175g icing sugar
    250g full-fat mascarpone
    175g fondant icing sugar

    To decorate
    1 thin-skinned lemon
    50g caster sugar

    1 Grease two 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.

    2 First make the lemon decoration. Peel long strips of lemon rind then cut into fine strips (keep the lemon to juice it for the icing). Place the peel in a saucepan with half the caster sugar, cover with boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry, then place on baking paper. Scatter over the remaining sugar and dry out in a low oven set at 110°C/90°C fan/Gas ¼ for about 1 hour, until crispy. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice, then set aside for the icing. Increase the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.

    3 To make the cake, place the 2 whole lemons in a small saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until very soft and tender. Drain and cut the lemons in half and remove any pips.

    4 Place the boiled lemons in a food processor and process to a pulp but with some chunky bits left. Transfer to a small bowl. Add all the remaining cake ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth. Lift out the blade and stir in just over half the processed lemon pulp.

    5 Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and just shrinking from the edges of the tins. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn the cakes out, peel off the paper and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.

    6 To make the lemon filling, place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and mix till smooth and creamy (you could also do this in a food processor). Add the mascarpone, mix again, then add the reserved lemon pulp and mix until just combined.

    7 Cut both cakes in half horizontally so you have 4 layers. Spread the lemon cream evenly between 3 of the layers, stacking them on top of each other. Place the remaining layer on top.

    8 Mix the fondant icing sugar with 1–2 tablespoons of the reserved lemon juice to make a thick pouring consistency. Pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down. Sprinkle the candied lemon rind on top.

    Mary Berry Cooks published by BBC Books, £20. Photograph Georgia Glynn Smith

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    Country style: casual chic

    by  • 02/04/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Relax and unwind in a hue of soft neutrals with the brand new Croft Collection by John Lewis, perfect for the modern country home.


    Water hyacinth basket, £30; Tunstall floor lamp, £180; Berwick medium sofa including-cushions, £1,300; serving bowl, £28, all from the Croft Collection at John Lewis.

    Here’s how to create this look in 3 easy steps…

    Add a scattering of pale blues, pinks and greys for a desirable infusion of gentle colour; which can be achieved by the addition of cushions, throws and rugs.

    Build a subtle contrast of textures by including natural wood, with a floor lamp and a wooden bench or table to complement the soft touches of light fabrics.

    Shaded ceramics with a handmade feel add an artisan touch to the croft inspired style of utilitarian and nostalgic trends.

    by Nikki Bradley

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    Country room: romantic bedroom

    by  • 01/04/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Feeling full of the joys of spring? Here’s a dream country bedroom in a beautiful barn conversion that will certainly put you in the mood, as well as providing lots of inspiration.

    With its white clapboard backdrop and stripped floorboards, it makes a stunning space. And it really does feel as if the outside has been brought inside with pretty floral bedlinen, botanical prints and potted plants.

    A classic wrought-iron bed (this one is from Feather & Black) will never date and, dressed with florals, creates an utterly romantic scheme.

    Canterbury bedstead, £399, Feather & Black

    Canterbury bedstead, £399, Feather & Black
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