• Pretty as a picture

    by  • 29/03/2012 • Country style • 2 Comments

    When I saw this quintessentially feminine and country style bedroom, it immediately appealed to me. I LOVE everything about it, the romantic bed, the flower paintings on the walls, even the cute bicycle with basket perched on doorway leading to the garden. What’s not to love? This ‘Juniper’ bed, which is also available in black, or antique silver is by And So To Bed, and is perfect for you who love period style furniture. Typically Victorian, it features elegant bed knobs and curving top rails in polished brass. If I could, I would spend all day luxuriating in it. However, with two rambunctious boys of six and three, I’d be lucky to have five minutes!

    This beautiful ''Juniper' bed is available in sizes ranging from 3ft to 6ft wide. The 5ft wide (pictured here) is £1195

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    What would be your dream farmhouse?

    by  • 21/03/2012 • Country style • 8 Comments

    What does the word ‘farmhouse’ conjure up in your mind? Is it fresh eggs for breakfast, wooden beams or relaxed living? For me, I can’t help but think of living on a farmhouse as being akin with nature and having the freshest homegrown ingredients on your doorstep. In the beautiful new book Perfect English Farmhouse by Ros Byam Shaw (£30, Ryland Peters & Small), you will find farmhouses of contrasting styles and chapters are divided according to style: Organic, Traditional, Farm Fresh, No Frills and Funky. I particularly love the idea that this stylish home office used to be a sheep pen. It now looks anything but, and the old metal desk looks stunning against Cole & Son’s Hummingbirds wallpaper. Whether you live in a farmhouse now, or simply dream about living in one, this book will definitely provide you with plenty of inspiration. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you…

    Perfect English Farmhouse by Ros Byam Shaw (£30 hardback, Ryland, Peters & Small). Photographs by Jan Baldwin.

    It is hard to believe that this stunning office used to be a sheep pen.

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    New eye-catching Zoffany wallpaper

    by  • 15/03/2012 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Do you live in an Elizabethan house and love the idea of choosing wallpaper inspired by the era of your property? Well now is your chance… This stunning Verdure design is part of a new range called Arden by Zoffany, in association with artist Melissa White. ‘Some of the designs in this collection are very precious to us,’ she says. ‘They are like old friends because we have painted them many times, each time adapting the design to suit its new setting.’

    Melissa created the artwork for the collection in her Hastings studio using large plastered canvases, hand painted and engraved in order to emulate the hand-crafted appearance of the originals.

    This new range is perfect for those of you looking to create a bold style statement in your hall or living room. What do you think?

    Verdure wallpaper, £90 a metre, Arden collection, Zoffany.

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    If money were no object…

    by  • 08/03/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    When I read about people winning the lottery, I am always surprised that they don’t make more drastic changes to their lives i.e. swap their home for a country estate etc. If I had a spare couple of million pounds, I could definitely see myself splashing out on a 4-6-bedroom waterfront home at The Lakes by yoo, a private estate, set amongst 650 acres of glorious Cotswold countryside. As you can imagine, the properties are the height of luxury, and are the brainchild of yoo, which is a collaboration of property entrepreneur John Hitchcox and world famous designer Philippe Starck. I just love this fabulously funky Jade Jagger designed kitchen, with the turquoise aga and cool lighting. The vibrant glassware on the table contrasts perfectly with the black kitchen surfaces. The doors also open out onto a terrace, perfect for sipping cocktails on a warm summer evening. Now, I must stop daydreaming…

    This funky Jade Jagger designed kitchen is enhanced by the turquoise aga and brightly coloured glassware.

    Could you see yourself living in this waterfront property with the amazing view?

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    All things bright and beautiful…

    by  • 28/02/2012 • Country style • 2 Comments

    I don’t know about you, but there is something so heartening about seeing a home filled with vibrant colours and bold patterns. All too often people feel restricted when it comes to decorating and as a consequence, choose something far removed from their personal taste simply because they think it is appropriate.  This beautiful living room features in Homespun Style by interiors stylist Selina Lake (£19.99, Ryland Peters & Small), and shows that you don’t have to choose a muted shade on the walls in order to complement a bold floral design on a sofa. On the contrary, the strong blue colour on the walls only enhances the sofa rather than overpowers it. Would you be tempted to go for something similar in your own home?

    The pretty yet bold floral design on this sofa looks simply perfect against the vivid blue walls. Perfect for a contemporary country living room.

    Homespun Style by Selina Lake (£19.99 hardback, Ryland, Peters & Small). Photographs by Debi Treloar.

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    Magical Moroccan-style bedroom

    by  • 21/02/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours curled up on this bed with a good book or magazine. I love the mix of different colours and textures used in this stylish bedroom look by Oka. The subtle cream on white embroidered fabric used as drapes is the perfect contrast to the ethnic style throw on the bed. All that you would need is some refreshing fresh mint tea served in a Moroccan tea glass to feel right at home. Now back to reality…

    Single divan bed with drawers, £799. Upholstered headboard, £295. Off-white plain linen headboard slip cover, £95. Gunnebo bedside table, £265. Elephant lamp, £220. Cream card rectangular shade, £66. Roslin throw, £290. Urla rug, £725, all Oka. Similar drape fabric can also be found at Oka.

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    Something blue…

    by  • 16/02/2012 • Country style • 3 Comments

    What do you think about blue for a country kitchen? It might not be an obvious colour choice, but I think it looks beautifully fresh and contemporary, especially when teamed with white. This kitchen features in Flea Market Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell (CICO Books, £19.99), available at all good bookshops. Don’t just think of opting for one shade of blue- I love how the striped and polka dot mugs on the checked tablecloth range from navy to aqua blue. Another great feature in this room are the garden benches, which is an easy way of bringing elements from outdoors inside.

    Flea Market Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell (CICO Books, £19.99). Photographs by Simon Brown.

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    Contemporary country dining room

    by  • 09/02/2012 • Country style • 4 Comments

    When it comes to décor, sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most beautiful and effective.  Using reclaimed wood in your kitchen or dining room is not only environmentally friendly, but also gives the room instant rustic charm. Marks & Spencer has a great new Orchard collection for spring that is crafted from solid reclaimed pine with a subtle whitewash finish. Opt for accessories in natural shades such as creams and whites to complete this elegant look. As much as I love colour and all things floral, there are days when I feel that less is definitely more…

    Extending dining table, £699. Dining chair (set of 2), £479. Bench, £199. Diner pendant light in Cream, £49.50, all Marks & Spencer.

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    Country kitchen you’ll love

    by  • 01/02/2012 • Country style • 2 Comments

    I couldn’t agree more with the saying that ‘a kitchen is the heart of the home.’ Long gone are the days when all you did in it was prepare and cook meals. Today, people want it to be a multi-functional space, i.e. a room for entertaining, a possible play area for your kids, and simply, a place you feel good in. If you are fed up with the recent plummeting temperatures (I am!) and can’t wait for spring, you are sure to be inspired by Designers Guild new ‘Country collection,’ (pictured below). Using a mix of small-scale prints and ticking stripes, it is effortlessly fresh and undeniably feminine, perfect for any home. I’d be interested to hear what you think of it…

    Designers Guild new Country collection

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    Contemporary barn dining room

    by  • 26/01/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    I could spend hours whiling away my time in this open plan casual style kitchen come dining area. I am a huge fan of using whites and creams when teamed with traditional oak beams as shown in this gorgeous barn, which is featured in ‘More Dream Homes’ by Andreas Von Einsiedel and Johanna Thornycroft (Merrell £19.95), available on amazon.co.uk. As the barn has such a warm feeling, colour would only detract from the beauty of the architecture rather than add to it. Would you love to live in a place like this?

    More Dream Homes by Andreas von Einsiedel and Johanna Thornycroft (Merrell £19.95). Image copyright Andreas von Einsiedel

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