• Summertime seating

    by  • 19/07/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    country living room

    Here’s a super pretty country living room that’s just right for summer, mirroring the colours and blooms of the garden beautifully.

    It’s a fabulous example of how to use a neutral backdrop – off-white walls and rug, plus elegant neutral painted furniture – then introduce colour and pattern with furniture and fabric.

    The gorgeous green sofa (the Chatsworth, upholstered in Willoughby 01, from The Dormy House) provides a stylish mainstay of the scheme.  Its opulent buttoned back ensures it ticks the box as regards classic good looks, while the subtle striped upholstery fabric injects a modern touch. A neutral ottoman, with a buttoned lid (in Cirrus 03,  from The Dormy House), continues the button detail and makes an eyecatching centrepiece, providing plenty of concealed storage.

    Liven up the scheme with joyful co-ordinating fabrics – both florals, stripes and windowpane checks – for an individual and eclectic interior. Flowing floorlength curtains make a delightful frame for the windows, while the tones are picked up in the cushions and the bold floral design of the statement armchair. Add into the mix the smart striped Lounge chair Portland Stripe 02 from The Dormy House and you have all the ingredients of a quirky and distinctive look.

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    Into the blue

    by  • 12/07/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Blue country living room

    Blue is the colour of the moment, and we’re loving the different tones that are used here in this gorgeous country living room. If you’re bored with neutrals and are looking to bring a little colour into your life, here’s a way to introduce different patterns in summery shades, while creating a soothing palette.

    The hero piece in the scheme is the classic sofa (the Snowdrop two and a half seater sofa in Blue Marl from Sofa.com), which is given a modern update in a bold shade. Keep the look graduated by varying the tones of blues around it. Here, cushions in coastal stripes and windowpane checks in a paler hue of blue, as well as white, soften the scheme and add interest. A stunning cowparsley design wallpaper in a sky blue makes an eyecatching backdrop while emphasising the country element.

    Occasional and coffee tables with an industrial edge bring the look bang up to date. Pop an artisan striped vase filled with pretty flowers into the room to link with the pattern on the cushion.

    Then finish off with a subtle blue grey rug to soften the wooden floorboards.


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    Coastal chic

    by  • 05/07/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    nautical bedroom

    Oh we do like to be beside the seaside… and here’s a coastal-inspired bedroom that really makes us feel as if we’re on holiday!

    Classic white furniture paves the way for an East Coast look. We love the gorgeous handpainted bed with its panelled head and footboard, and dressing the bed in subtle striped bedlinen gives a modern edge to a maritime classic, while toning throws and blankets are ideal for keeping chills at bay. Pop a matching blanket box at the end of the bed for handy storage of bedlinen.

    Stripes are a key ingredient of the nautical look, so create a stylish window treatment with a Roman blind that combines ticking stripes and plain fabric for an informal feel.

    Walls painted in the softest hue of blue create an ever-so-subtle backdrop. Hang up a seascape canvas to add a focal point to plain walls and bring back happy holiday memories.

    Make sure you keep it simple underfoot for a beach hut feel with limewashed wooden flooring broken up with a jute rug and a pretty pale sea blue design. (Furniture from the Devon range, Newport Stripe Seaspray bedlinen, Dylan duck egg throw, Pale Seaspray paint, lighting, Lewes Seaspray and Shepton Natural rugs and Bay canvas, all Laura Ashley).


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    Shades of summer

    by  • 28/06/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Rustic dining room

    If you want to inject subtle colour into your country dining room, take your inspiration from all things summery and, in this case, a delicious ice cream colour palette.

    Here, a panelled wall becomes an eyecatching feature wall when painted in a variety of pretty pastel shades, such as Dusty Lilac, Coquette Lt, Smoketree Lt, Sand Tan and Mercury Lt, all by Sanderson Paint, creating a rustic backdrop with a difference.

    Keep the look calm and pared-back for best effect. Introduce a Scandinavian edge by painting the rest of the scheme white and bringing in vintage furniture that has a distressed finish. Choose a farmhouse table with a wooden top to cosy up the room and link with the wooden floor. Then partner the table with vintage mismatched chairs to create an eclectic and informal feel. Complete the scheme with a pretty, neutral rug underfoot.

    Accessories are a great way of bringing homely character to a scheme and we love the simple display on the top of the sideboard – a beautiful vintage seascape propped against the wall is teamed with a minimal display of country flowers in a glass jar to finish off the look beautifully.


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    A well-crafted country dining room

    by  • 21/06/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    country dining room

    Here’s a country dining room with the wow factor – a space that’s full of natural texture, from the exposed stone wall to the beautiful beamed vaulted ceiling and wooden floor.

    Such a setting demands a decorating scheme that epitomises honesty and simplicity and, here, the hero pieces are a cabinet with a mid-century modern feel, an industrial-style chair and artisan-crafted trestle table and ladderback chairs.

    To soften the look, flowing curtain fabrics (Pure Willow Bough and Pure Strawberry Thief from the new Pure Morris collection by Morris & Co) in a pared-back, neutral palette have been incorporated. The collection, out at the end of June, takes its inspiration from the past and William Morris’ values of craftsmanship and iconic patterns to create a collection for modern living.

    ‘Surrounded by the current desire for simple living, of taking things back to their very essence, it seemed like a good time to explore a different viewpoint on Morris’ iconic patterns,’ says Alison Gee, Head Designer of Morris & Co. ‘Re-visiting the archive with this in mind, we were excited to discover monochromatic patterns and wallpapers printed using different techniques such as crushed glass and metallic inks.’

    The fabrics have mostly been inspired by the monochromatic wallpapers from the archive and are perfect for creating dreamy and ethereal escape-from-it-all rooms and schemes with honesty, integrity and craftsmanship at the core.

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    A feast of faded florals

    by  • 14/06/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    alfresco dining area

    Here’s the perfect solution to summertime alfresco dining –  a garden dining room that can withstand the vagaries of the British weather, providing shelter from the rain, as well as shade from the sun, but still gives you a sense of being outdoors.

    And you can transform a space like this into a magical place with a little clever decorating. Choose a large table to provide plenty of room for entertaining, and set the scene for midsummer merriment with a beautiful faded floral tablecloth for subtle colour. Shabby chic vintage chairs (hunt them out at antiques fairs) inject an elegant touch, but don’t forget to add faded floral cushions for extra comfort. Introduce extra seating with a wrought-iron bench stacked with pretty cushions. (All fabrics by Cabbages & Roses.)

    Top the table with candles and decorate the space with lanterns for candlelit soirées, stringing up fairylights to create a magical atmosphere. Then big up the garden feel by filling vases with beautiful flowers so you can enjoy the sweet scent of summer.

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    Do you run a B&B, restaurant or pub? Be mentored by River Cottage HQ

    by  • 10/06/2016 • Country business • 0 Comments


    If you run an amazing B&B, hotel, campsite, pub or and restaurant, we’d love to hear all about it. Enter the 2016 My Country Business Awards category for Hospitality and Leisure now and you could be mentored by Lucy Lomas, Business Director at River Cottage HQ.

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ is an award-winning Cookery and Chefs’ School hosting a range of dining experiences, festivals, fairs and weddings. Lucy’s background is in PR and marketing in the food, drink and live entertainment sectors.

    Remember to enter the My Country Business awards now at housetohome.co.uk/business

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    Breezy country bedroom

    by  • 07/06/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    romantic country bedroom

    Those lazy, hazy days of summer are almost upon us, and there’s nothing like creating a bright and airy summery country bedroom for when the heat is on…

    This stunning cream metal bed with its sophisticated swirls and curves creates a gorgeous airy focal point and bigs up the romantic mood. Team with neat bedside chests in an ivory shade to emphasise the breezy feel and counterbalance the ornateness of the bed.  Floor-length embroidered voile curtains keep the look elegant and filter the sunlight, helping the room stay cool on sunny days –  though you’ll need heavier weight curtains to keep out the early morning light. Dress the bed with pretty floral bedlinen and pop an extra throw at the bottom of it to keep evening chills at bay.

    Wooden floorboards are perfect for keeping cool underfoot and introducing an understated feel.

    (Clarisse double bedstead, Hastings Ivory bedside chest, Adriana Floral printed bed set, embroidered voile curtains, Diamond quilted throw, Phoebe print cushions, lamps; all Marks & Spencer.)


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    Meet Kesri Smolas, the winner of the 2015 My Country Business Awards

    by  • 06/06/2016 • Country business • 0 Comments

    Ready_Kesri Smolas

    Enter the 2016 My Country Business Awards in association with Notonthehighstreet.com now and you could be like Kesri Smolas of Drover’s Rest, the winner of last year’s Hospitality & Leisure Award.

    Kesri’s boutique glamping holidays, run with husband Paul from a 16th-century farm in Herefordshire, aim to reconnect guests to nature and the simpler things in life. The judges were excited by the idea of roll-up-your sleeves-and-get-involved holidays.

    What did winning mean to you? We are so proud of what we have set up and this has given us the motivation and inspiration to be even better. It has endorsed us and recognised that people love what we are doing.

    How have you developed the brand? Drover’s Rest started in its first season by bringing families to our wonderfully quirky space where they could experience hands-on farm living. In 2016 we are extending our brand to offer Adults Well-Being Breaks (packages will include accommodation, wholesome natural food, pilates, meditation and walking the old drovers’ routes) together with our farm activities. In addition, we are offering custom-made Well-Being Corporate Breaks. We are also adding a forest and foraging school, as well as developing our vegetable garden to create meals using our organic produce.

    What’s your long-term goal? To be known as THE place to come to recharge and enjoy rural life or the great British countryside at its best.

    How helpful was the support you got from winning? To have people who have been successful in your field inspiring you to build your business is incredible. Alastair Sawday and Canopy & Stars have been wonderful mentors. I have so many ideas to put into practice.

    Why don’t you enter the My Country Business awards now at housetohome.co.uk/business?

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    Say it with flowers

    by  • 31/05/2016 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Floral living room

    We love classic English country style. And there’s nothing like pretty floral fabrics for injecting a fresh summery feel into a country living room.

    Choose neutral furniture such as this classic grey sofa with a smart white trim to ground your scheme, then go to town with colourful florals. Flowing full-length curtains are perfect for framing French doors.

    These gorgeous fabrics are from the Avania collection by Blendworth and feature a selection of hand-painted floral designs. Wild meadow flowers in painterly watercolour arrangements sit alongside ink drawings of tulip and chrysanthemum trails, inspired by still life master painters of the Dutch Golden Age, and traditional floral prints, originally found in the Blendworth archives, have been modernised and printed on satin for a clean, contemporary finish.

    The florals are complemented by a decorative fretwork design, reminiscent of elegant garden trellises, that co-ordinate perfectly and introduce a contemporary edge to the scheme.

    Finish off the look with beautiful floral arrangements in simple white vases.

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