• Archive for June, 2015

    Picnic treats

    by  • 18/06/2015 • Country food • 0 Comments


    It’s National Picnic Week so we’ve been on the lookout for tasty ideas to fill your hamper. This recipe is not only super healthy it’s a super posh country-style alternative to the average sandwich. Enjoy!

    Beetroot, Black Rice and Pear Wraps [Serves 4]

    4 wholewheat tortillas
    2 large romaine lettuce leaves, torn in half
    1 large pear, grated
    Sea salt

    For the beetroot paste

    2 cooked beetroots, roughly chopped
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    Small handful of fresh coriander
    Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
    35g walnuts
    1 teaspoon coconut oil
    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

    For the black rice

    240ml water
    100g black rice
    ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
    Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lime
    35g sultanas
    35g flaked almonds, toasted

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    Fun on the farm

    by  • 17/06/2015 • Country business • 0 Comments

    Ready_Izzi-Rainey groupFrom her family farm in Norfolk, Izzi Rainey creates striking hand-printed textile homewares including lampshades, cushions, tea towels and more. She chats to us about the unusual inspiration behind her designs…

    How did IzziRainey come about?
    Selling my own designs is something I’ve always dreamt of doing. I established the business in July 2014 with my school friend Lara Mullis. We make a great team. I’m the creative one and Lara is fantastic at selling – she’s always been so passionate about my work.

    What’s your work space like?
    Our studio is a converted milking parlour which we have renamed ‘The Old Dairy’. It’s a great space with lots of character; it still has original features including old wooden beams and milking lines!

    What inspires your designs?
    I take photographs and pencil rubbings from textured surfaces around the farm. They can be of anything from tyre tracks and fan vents to agricultural machinery. I like to introduce colour too – my inspiration comes from old oil-cans or the original paint on old barn doors.

    What’s next for the company?
    We’ve just invested in a caravan from a local recycling website and are in the process of transforming it into a traveling shop – it’s going to be bright turquoise! We’re so excited to take it out to fairs and festivals.

    Describe your happiest countryside moment.
    I grew up on a farm so I have many! I remember visiting an agricultural show at the age of six and taking part in the Young Handlers competition with my calf, Rufus. He had exactly the same colour hair as me, and we came first. To this day I have a picture of us both next to my bed, with a red rosette and a big grin on my face!

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    Embrace gorgeous colour

    by  • 16/06/2015 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Turquoise and orange country living room

    Bored with neutrals? Then you’ll love this zingy combination of on-trend teal and orange – perfect for introducing a summery feel to a country living room.

    The colours work so well together because they’re opposites on the colour wheel. Turquoise lends an air of calm and tranquillity; the darker tones of teal injecting a sophisticated edge. Orange brings warmth and energy, so vibrant pops of it introduce flamboyant touches.  It’s a colour combination that teams beautifully with the gorgeous ethnic and bohemian fabrics and accessories that are wowing the high street at the moment.

    This is a living room scheme that is big on the comfort factor – the squishy sofa and stacks of cushions are so inviting. Partner with an upholstered buttoned footstool for a sumptuous look. (The sofa, footstool, cushions, side table, table lamp, bowl and candle are all from I & JL Brown.)

    A multicoloured patterned rug makes a statement as well as tying the colours together and adding a modern touch.

    We also love the shelving unit that is built into the wall and surrounds the window. It’s such a clever use of space as there’s plenty of room to display much-loved books and collectibles.

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    Make Elderflower cordial

    by  • 15/06/2015 • Country food, Country moment • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes and Interiors, Elderflower cordial

    Seeing the first elderflowers is a favourite time of year for us here at Country Days! So this weekend, it was time to pick those just-opened blooms and head back home to make this super-easy, super-yummy summer cordial.

    Here’s the recipe we used:

    1.3 litres of water

    1.8kg granulated sugar

    25 heads of elderflower

    2 lemons, sliced

    65g citric acid

    Add all of the sugar to a large pan with the water. Bring to the boil, take off the heat and add the elderflowers, slices of lemon and citric acid. Leave to infuse for 2 days, strain through a muslin into sterilised bottles. Serve with fizzy water or fizzy wine – the choice is yours!

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    Lay a summer table

    by  • 14/06/2015 • Country craft • 0 Comments


    Whether it be a relaxed garden party or an elegant wedding reception, this stylish table setting is perfect for any summer dining occasion. To recreate the look, lay glass tableware onto a natural linen runner; we chose sunshine stripes for a cheery pop of colour. Make guests feel extra special with a personalised menu printed onto Kraft card. Peg it onto patterned paper bags filled with napkins and breadsticks, or after dinner mints for a fun party favour. Fill tiny vases with fresh-cut blooms for sweet-smelling ambience and a country-inspired finish.

    If you like this idea, we’ve got lots more easy craft projects to inspire you on the Country Homes & Interiors homepage.

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    The Country Decorator’s perfect picnic buys…

    by  • 13/06/2015 • Country style, Country Videos • 0 Comments

    Smiles a-plenty – it’s National Picnic Week and here at Country Days we’re seizing the opportunity to get together with friends and family over a spread of finger-teasing nibbles and tutti-frutti coolers!

    As a much-loved summertime tradition, picnicking celebrates Britain’s beautiful open spaces and seasonal produce across the sun-kissed months. Watch our latest The Country Decorator video to share our perfect picnic picks…

    Homemade deli-inspired delights deserve to be presented in style. Unpack your full-to-the-brim picnic basket and dispense goodies in to delicious serveware. The bright and cheerful colour pop bamboo bowls from Oliver Bonas are feather light making them the perfect portable choice. With an on-trend burst of colour on one side, these dare-to-be-different lovelies are sure to make a stylish statement at any spread!

    As we all know, alfresco dining has to be practical. As luck would have it, Laura Ashley has come-up trumps with the ideal solution for drinks. The vintage-inspired set of six glasses in blue metal carrier is oh-so-pretty and will ensure any cheeky spillages are kept at bay.

    Plastic is fantastic! Colour your picnic happy with durable and family-friendly melamine serveware to ensure a relaxing (and breakage-free) outing. The petite curved cups from Rice at Debenhams come in a set of six assorted pastel colours – damage control in its chicest form!

    Whether you’re stealing an impromptu half an hour in your lunch break or unwinding for the day with family and friends, picnicking couldn’t be easier with the right kit. In these short-but-sweet summer months, there’s no better incentive to claim your spot, unpack the hamper and enjoy the great outdoors with a country style, buffet!


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    Meet Abigail Edwards

    by  • 10/06/2015 • Country business • 0 Comments

    Abigail Edwards | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Bring the magic and textural elegance of the great outdoors into your home with nature-inspired textiles and wallpapers from artist and renowned stylist Abigail Edwards. We love her latest collection featuring beautiful hand-drawn illustrations of decorative feathers, rolling waves and twisted brambles.

    Describe your design process.
    Long! The seed of an idea can be in my head for years before the actual design comes about. I work in a tiny sketchbook, just doodling the same idea on and off for ages before I feel ready to start working on it life size. Everything I do is hand-drawn, so I just draw and redraw until I get it right.

    What inspires you?
    I grew up in a very rural area and spent a lot of my childhood reading fairy stories whilst surrounded by nature. A pheasant actually inspired my most recent design, ‘Bird’ (above, wallpaper £75 per roll, fabric £82/m). I moved back to Gloucestershire while my home in London was being renovated and he came to visit every day!

    What do you love about what you do?
    When I’m drawing I switch off from everything and feel really calm. It’s incredibly satisfying seeing my design develop into an actual product. Customers send me pictures of my wallpapers hanging in their homes, and I feel so grateful that they like them enough to live with them.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Moving out of London to somewhere rural and living in a big sun-filled house with a vegetable garden. I want to continue designing wallpaper and fabric and aim to expand into other areas as well, such as bed linen and more ceramics.

    What do you love about the countryside?
    Awareness of the seasons, wildlife, space, fresh air, star-gazing and woodland walks. I have insomnia in London but for some reason I can sleep in the countryside.

    Sum up your creative style in three words.
    Organic, illustrative and intricate.

    Do you run a small country business? Enter the My Country Business Awards 2015 by the closing date of Wednesday 10 June 2015 for the chance to win a money-can’t-buy package of advice from leading industry experts and mentors. Click here for details.

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    Enjoy the coastal vibe of our new July issue

    by  • 09/06/2015 • Latest Issue videos • 0 Comments

    This month it’s our waterside special and we’re loving all things coastal, from seaside houses, gardens and views, to new nautical decorating inspiration with an easy-come, easy-go feel you’ll love.

    You’ll also find delicious recipes and tips for cooking and smoking fish simply and honestly in the fresh air as well as shopping advice for the perfect garden party and a chance to rediscover traditional flower pressing in our creative crafts feature.

    We hope you enjoy reading through and if you want a quick glimpse of what’s in store for you now, take a look at our short video.


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    Create a wow workspace

    by  • 09/06/2015 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Neutral country home office

    Make working from home a breeze by ensuring you have delightful surroundings, like this elegant country home office, to knuckle down in.

    Natural light is an important factor, and this space works particularly well because it’s so close to the window, and has the advantage that it allows you to gaze out at the view for extra inspiration!

    A neutral palette has been used here, and muted colours are always a great choice as they help create the sort of calm environment that’s conducive to work.

    For extra versatility, create a workspace that really feels as if it’s part of your home by decorating in a similar style, then you can use it for other purposes if necessary.

    Comfort and functionality are key when choosing furniture. A large, practical table allows plenty of room for spreading out papers – here the stylish trestle table adds a modern touch and can also double as a dining table if space is an issue.

    If you’re a a fan of co-ordination, you’ll love that the stool is upholstered in the same gorgeous fabric as the stunning floor-length curtains (Ferndown in Lichen from the Dorchester Collection by Prestigious Textiles).  The leafy trail motif helps bring the outside in and is perfect for creating a relaxed mood.

    Finally, the parquet flooring sets the look off beautifully as it tones with the table and emphasises the natural, pared-back feel.


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