• Archive for February, 2016

    Celebrating 30 years of Country Homes & Interiors

    by  • 29/02/2016 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Country Hoems & Interiors 30th-Birthday-Mags-X4

    We’re celebrating our 30th birthday!

    Country Homes & Interiors was launched in 1986 as a country lifestyle title that showcased the best of ‘people’s lives, people’s homes and people’s style’. Tastes may have changed, as these front covers show, but our original ethos of ‘Living the life… and loving the style’ is still alive and thriving.

    These days, you can access us 24/7 in print, on digital and through our social sites, but the enduring appeal of living by the seasons, being connected to the landscape and creating contented homes that are liveable and lovable is why we’re as popular now as when we started.

    In celebration our latest issue shortlists 30 country style icons that have stood the test of time and we’ve got together with some of your favourite brands to offer you exclusive discounts. And, as always, we have the best houses, gardens and seasonal style ideas to inspire you. Pick up a copy this Thursday, 3 March.

    I hope you’ll join us in wishing us a Happy Birthday!

    PS… Don’t miss our special birthday half-price subscription offer.

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    Plant up a kitchen herb garden

    by  • 28/02/2016 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Ready_150902_CHI_MARCH_INDOOR_PLANTING_SHOT03_005Pot fragrant garden herbs in enamelware mugs, teapots and jugs with tea-bag style plant tags for a neat and rustic kitchen display that packs a style (and flavour!) punch.

    To make the tags, simply cut a square of patterned card and fold in half. Pierce through the middle of the fold and thread a length of string through, leaving a small amount behind. Write the herb name on a smaller piece of card then staple the whole thing together.

    Attach the end of the string to the inside of the planter with sticky tape and place the plant pot inside. The herbs can be potted up directly inside – just remember to add a layer of grit at the bottom to help with drainage.

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    The Country Decorator’s shopping shortlist – breakfast-in-bed buys

    by  • 27/02/2016 • Country style, Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    Ready_Linen Works bottomLonger days and lighter mornings… Enjoy this precious weekend with a lingering lie-in and honey-drizzled breakfast in bed. We’ve selected a trio of duvet morning buys to help you savor every final ounce out of hibernating patterns pre the springing of spring!

    Wake-up in warmth and texture in lovely linen. This linen bedding collection (above), £170 for a double duvet cover, from The Linen Works, is luxurious, relaxed in style and 100% pure. Each set is thoughtfully pre-washed to soften the fibres and ensure the sweetest of dreams. Prop yourself up on a feather-filled friend dressed in this co-ordinating pillowcase, £30 for a housewife, to enjoy your leisurely Sunday latte. This beautiful collection is available in a range of sizes and a neutrally nurturing palette of rustic pastels.

    Ready_White CompanyServe up comfort and romance on the loveliest of trays. This aptly named Breakfast In Bed Tray (above), £50 from The White Company, is the perfect answer. Generously sized with foldaway legs, it’s easy to store, while the top is lacquered in a friendly wipe-clean shiny finish.

    Ready_Nom LivingStart the day in the best possible way with a heaped bowl of healthy yumminess. This hand moulded Breakfast Bowl (above), £22 from Nom Living, has a unique snow white glaze – mineral rich, it’s the perfect pick for dishing up homemade granola with an extra dollop of creamy yoghurt.

    It’s the weekend so embrace this excuse to take your early bird meal back to the bedroom… Another hour won’t hurt…

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    Video! Country colours moodboard

    by  • 26/02/2016 • Country Colour Moodboard Videos, Country style • 0 Comments

    We know how passionate you are about colour so we’re excited to present the first in a new series of short videos called the Country Homes & Interiors Country Colours Moodboard.

    We take your favourite nature-inspired colours and show you how to build an inspirational decorating scheme for a room with paint, fabrics, wallpapers and accessories.

    First up is Cherished Gold by Dulux. Inspired by hot days, fields of corn and warm copper, the video moodboard shares how one simple and beautiful country-inspired colour can be the starting point for a look and style you’ll love.

    Watch it now!

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    Celebrate Wales!

    by  • 26/02/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Celebrate St Davids DayWith St David’s Day approaching (1 March), there’s no better time to visit Wales. Here are three of our favourite ways to celebrate with a family day out…

    See daffodil displays, Conwy
    Meander among carpets of daffodils,  and Celebrate Wales’ national flower to the backdrop of Snowdonia at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden (pictured) in Tal-y-Cafn. The garden is packed with colour and scent to lift the spirits, and you’ll see champion trees, National Collections and plentiful birdlife chirruping with the excitement of springtime. Cosy up with hot drinks and refreshments from The Pavilion Tea Room or browse the gift shop, book stall, and plants in the garden centre.

    Enjoy a country walk, Powys
    Put on your hiking boots and take to the great outdoors for the Crickhowell Walking Festival in Powys (27 Feb to 6 March). There are guided walks for all levels along the Brecon Canal, through the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park plus talks and workshops. Don’t forget to bring your camera too, there’s a photography competition for the best landscape shots.

    Embrace Welsh culture, Pembrokeshire
    Join the annual Pilgrim’s Walk, for a cultural and spiritual experience by the coast in St Davids, Britain’s smallest city. Witness the Illumination of the Stone, hear poetry readings and Welsh blessings, and head towards the coastal park’s gallery and visitor centre Oriel y Parc. No visit would be complete without a visit to St Davids cathedral and the Welsh market, though be sure to leave time to also enjoy live music and street entertainment…

    Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day!

    Do you have a favourite place to visit in Wales? We would love to hear more about it…

    Want more inspiration for weekends in the country? Sign up for your weekly Country Post!


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    Rhubarb & ginger loaf

    by  • 25/02/2016 • Country food • 0 Comments


    Rhubarb season is just beginning but we can’t wait to get our hands on some of this year’s bumper crop, so here’s a wonderful recipe to add to your repertoire. Don’t worry if the mixture seems thick before the rhubarb is added – this is because it will release a lot of moisture during cooking. Suitable for freezing.

    Serves 6-8

    250g (8oz) self-raising four
    1tsp ground ginger
    Pinch of salt
    150g (5oz) butter, softened
    150g (5oz) caster sugar
    3 medium eggs
    300g (10oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2-3cm (3⁄4-11⁄4in) slices
    Icing sugar, for dusting
    1kg loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment

    1. Set the oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4. Sift the four, ginger and salt into a bowl and add the butter, sugar and eggs. Beat to give a smooth, thick mixture. Stir in the rhubarb. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and level the surface.
    2. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until just firm to the touch in the centre and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
    3. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for 5-10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack.
    4. Dust the cake with icing sugar just before serving, either warm or at room temperature.
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    Meet Elissa Palser

    by  • 24/02/2016 • Country business • 0 Comments

    Ready_birdsCeramicist Elissa Palser was taught the art of making stoneware birds by her mother who made them before her…

    Describe your workspace.
    When my mum died last year I inherited her studio in rural Carmarthenshire – the hidden gem of Wales! It’s a large space in a converted farm building. I have it better organised than she did but her presence is still there – to have her work, tools, sculptures and paintings surrounding me is very comforting.

    Tell us about the making process.
    The first part is making a press mould to create the bird’s shape – it can take months to get right! I fill the mould with clay, leave it to harden, then pop out and smooth down before moulding the tail, wings and beak. Each bird is biscuit fired and decorated by hand, then fired to lovely glazed stoneware.

    What makes your birds special?
    They are impressions rather than painstaking reproductions of British garden birds. This gives them more vitality and a sense of life that many bird ornaments often lack.

    Do you have a favourite?
    It has to be the Bullfinch. He’s the latest addition to the collection and it was such a struggle to find the right colours! I think he’s rather smart.

    What do you love about what you do?
    Being connected to the earth through having my hands in clay and the soothing rhythm of the making process. I particularly like opening a kiln after a glaze firing, they never fire exactly the same twice and it’s so exciting to see what magic has occurred!

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Across-medium, colourful and natural.

    To find out more about Elissa’s characterful creations, visit The National Trust.

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    Love spring greens

    by  • 23/02/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Country living room

    Spring is definitely in the air with snowdrops, crocuses and even the odd daffodil appearing. Here’s a country living room that has a gorgeous spring feel about it with its fresh palette of pastel greens and soft golds.

    The hero piece has to be the beautiful Chatsworth sofa in an opulent leaf green fabric (Chester Velvet Hedgerow) that adds a zesty feel to the room and partners beautifully with the mellow wooden tones of the coffee table and vintage-inspired Whitworth leather sofa. Adding in the Newbury armchair with its French linen feel upholstery emphasises the old meets new look.

    You can introduce an extra dash of nature with fabrics featuring versatile garden leaf prints, such as the Willow Leaf Hedgerow curtains, and accessories adorned with delightful garden bird motifs.

    Sofas, chair, coffee table, rug, curtains, blinds and Garden Birds cushion and vase, all from Laura Ashley.

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    Make-you-smile potted primroses

    by  • 22/02/2016 • Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    Make you smile MondayWhen the day is grey, it’s good to brighten it up with pretty potted primroses. Easy to find at garden centres and inexpensive, primulas in their happy-go-lucky palette of pinks, oranges and yellows can transform a windowsill or mantelpiece.

    Of course, how you display them is all important. Simple and stylish is always the Country Days mantra. In this case, that means pure white ceramic ware in decorative or organic shapes that will let the primroses show off their colours.  We particularly love this family of Swan Planters from The Hambledon (above) by a window. Or line little bowls planted with the same colour primrose for a pleasing arrangement on a kitchen shelf (below).

    Remember to apply the design principle known as ‘the rule of three’. This dictates that everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete. Happy arranging!

    Make-you-smile primroses


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    Create a house garden

    by  • 21/02/2016 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Ready_150902_CHI_MARCH_INDOOR_PLANTING_SHOT02_041Achieve a modern country look in your home with a decorative display of succulent terrariums filled with plants, herbs and blooms that are happy to be indoors at this time of year.

    Add a layer of grit or pebbles to the base of your chosen glass vessel for drainage – we mixed glass domes, cylinders and dishes for a rustic chic feel. Sprinkle with a layer of activated charcoal (this will keep the soil fresh), then cover with specialist potting soil for growing succulents (find activated charcoal and potting soil in garden centres). Plant the largest succulent first, then work the other smaller ones around it. Finish with a decorative top layer of pebbles, shells or moss.

    We also added bleached cones – make these by soaking cones in a 1:2 parts bleach to water mix overnight.

    Water succulents sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out in between, especially if growing in a cloche or enclosed glass vessel.

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