Night, Night, Sleep Tight

Getting a good nights sleep during the summer months can sometimes be a bit of a problem. Our body clocks seem to adjust to the daylight hours no matter what we do, and no matter how late we stay up, sleep is elusive. If you regularly toss and turn all night at this time of year, maybe you need a few tips to help you rest well and wake up feeling refreshed.

©Andrew Boyd

©Andrew Boyd

1. Go to bed at your usual time. You may feel that by staying up you will get more tired, but actually you just get a second wind. It's best to stick to your usual routine.

2. Make sure your room conditions are conducive to sleep. In summer that may mean using a fan or simply opening the window. A blackout blind may also help to block light and fool you body into sleep. Earplugs (pesky birds never seem to sleep during the summer) and an eyemask might also work for you.

3. Invest in a summer duvet. A 4.5 tog duvet should be enough for this time of year. If you are too hot in bed you will not get the quality of sleep that you need. And it's worth noting that a duvet filling plays a major role in determining warmth and vice versa; so a 4.5 tog down duvet will be significantly warmer than a 4.5 tog microfibre duvet.

4. Develop a bedtime routine. For some this may mean a cool bath or shower. Others may prefer to take a herbal tea to bed and read for a short while. The important thing is, to do the same thing at the same time every night so that your body anticipates sleep. This is your chance to take the opportunity for a little 'me' time too. Fill the bath with bubbles and invest in some fluffy towels. Or play some relaxing music while you unwind.

5. Avoid any stimulents late at night. Don't have coffee or sugar for several hours before bedtime and it's also best not to eat that late too.

6. Don't use the computer for at least three hours before you go to bed either. Or for that matter, any other bright lights such as TV, phone screens or overhead lights.

Hopefully by following just one or two of these tips you quality of sleep will improve and you will be more ready to face the day each morning.

Did you know?

  • The shell of a duvet should be a high enough thread count to prevent noisy crunching. The softer the shell, the lighter and more breathable the duvet will be.
  • The construction of a duvet should be baffle box (not channels) to prevent clumping and cold spots.
  • The best quality pillows are filled with white goose down or a blend of down and feather.
  • Soft: A good choice for stomach sleepers. Look for a pure white goose down pillow. 
  • Medium: Preferred by back sleepers. Choose a pure white goose down pillow with extra fill. 
  • Firm: Ideal for side sleepers. Look for a feather and down blend. The more feathers, the firmer it will be.

This post was written in collaboration with My Pillow and Duvet, a family business that offers you some of the finest duvets, pillows and bedding products available, and all at the best price.

A Light, White, Spanish Holiday Home

With all out thoughts now firmly on summer holidays, we couldn't resist showing you this beautiful, light-filled, holiday apartment in Barcelona. Designed by Susanna Cots Interior Design, the minimalist space and white walls are warmed by the wooden floor stretching the length of the apartment and by the wooden fenced outside space.

We particularly love the window design and the way the deep frames provide seating both inside and out, whilst also flooding the interior with that gorgeous Spanish light. And the modern fireplace built into a corner is also a favourite feature - for those cooler evenings when you just want to cosy up inside.

"Because white does not scare us, or make us feel blocked nor we are afraid of staining it. Because we do not want it to be related to trifles nor fashion crazes. Because we believe that the authenticity of white resides in its purity and brightness. Because this is the white we love." - Susanna Cots Design Studio

Win A Stylish Divan Bed Base From Bed Guru

Here at Heart Home for our latest competition we have teamed up with online bed retailer Bed Guru to giveaway a stylish Divan Bed Base.

Divan bases are Britain’s most popular bed base. And with good reason. Sturdy and long lasting divan bases complement a range of different mattresses. Available in a wide range of different fabrics and colours from a stylish mink chenille, dark grey velvet to classic black faux leather or faux suede. You can match your new divan bed to your existing bedroom décor or go for a complete new look and bedroom makeover.

Simply changing your bed base can improve the quality of your sleep. Your mattress needs a quality base to rest on and protect it. 

As well as standard bed sizes Bed Guru also produce bespoke and special size beds and mattresses and can create divan bases in a range of different special sizes such as short double beds and short king size and EU sizes.

Based in Yorkshire Bed Guru is a family run business who are committed to helping you get a good night’s sleep!

Enter below for your chance to win a Bed Guru Divan Bed Base.

Please not that Prize is the  Bed Guru Firm Top Divan Base: Available in any size and any choice of fabric. Under-bed storage options not included in the prize. 

Terms and conditions: The prize draw is open to individuals in the UK residents aged 18 or over. Any person or persons connected with Heart Home magazine or Bed Guru, without limit, their families, agents, or anyone else involved in the administration of this offer are not eligible to enter. All entries must be received by 5pm on Thursday 4th August 2016. By entering this competition you consent to share your email, name and postcode with Heart Home magazine or Bed Guru who may wish to send you mailings in the future. There will be one winner who will receive the prize above. The prize must be accepted as offered (there are no cash alternatives) and they are non-transferable and non-refundable. The winner will be chosen from the list, at random, on Friday 6th August 2016 and the winner will be notified by email or post within 7 days. No correspondence will be entered into. Unclaimed prizes will be redrawn after 28 days of the original draw. Heart Home magazine reserves the right to replace the prize with a product of equal value, if necessary. The winner will be asked to confirm their postal address before the prize is awarded. Details of the winner may be posted on the Heart Home magazine website and Facebook page. By entering this competition, you automatically agree to the terms and conditions above. Promoter: Heart Home magazine, 4 Oak Crescent, Wickford, Essex, SS11 7FF.

Quirky Charm in a 300 Year Old Cottage

Henny Tate was brought up in the countryside by a mother who loves nature. Following in her footsteps she now lives in a country cottage in a small village in Wiltshire where she works as an interior designer. She discusses the inspiration behind her work and setting up a family home.

Interior Designer Henny Tate lives in a stunning grade II listed house with her three young children and husband Rupert. They fell in love with the country cottage six years ago and decided to follow their hearts and buy the property, “We had no reason to move here whatsoever!” she laughs, “but we just loved the house”.

The house has evidently evolved throughout its lifetime and if walls could talk, it could certainly tell some stories. It is 350 years old in parts and occupies what would originally have been two and a half cottages. In its time it has posed as a hardware shop, hairdressers, a bakery and even an armoury during the war. “There’s a little door in our bedroom that’s bricked up - I think it’s from when it was a bakery, but I’m not sure what would have been brought up through that window” Henny says with interest. “That’s what I like - houses like this that grow organically. Some of the doors aren’t square - they just lean!”

Henny has maintained the character of the house beautifully when renovating and asserted her own style with quirky, and thrifty furnishings. Dotted around the home you can spot old church pews, re-upholstered chairs, a bargain sofa bought from her local auction house and, her favourite piece, a work top cleverly re-crafted from an old billiard table top - need I say more!

From looking at the combination of cleverly put together crafts and objects it is clear that Henny has an inherent talent. Very few could inject touches of ethnic art and colourful textiles into a quintessential English country cottage quite so effortlessly. A quick delve into her background reveals where she gets her creative flare from. Her mother, Celia Lewis, is an artist and author whose published books, ‘The Illustrated Guide to Keeping Chickens’ and ‘The Illustrated Guide to Keeping Pigs’, are proudly placed on the coffee table.

“We were brought up in a house down a two mile bumpy track into the middle of nowhere; Mum and Dad were always quite self-sufficient, they had chickens, sheep, pigs and a huge vegetable garden” Henny says warmly. “Mum’s on her fourth book now which is an ‘Illustrated Guide to Nature’- she’s nature mad!”

Celia’s illustrations can be seen on various cushions or table mats throughout the house and although she is not as big on nature as her Mother, it’s evident that the country theme is very close to Henny’s heart.

“I find bits from everywhere!” she smiles“I love things that friends and family have made, a lot of items in this house have come from them. I like blending things together and prefer it to a curated look - particularly in cottages and family homes, as I think it’s nice to have everything thrown together”. Alongside all the mix-matching even the most eclectic designers such as Henny have their staple pieces. After a memorable trip to France one year she discovered French linen and hasn’t looked back. “There are linen curtains here, there and everywhere - it’s the one thing I still use all the time!”

Henny’s earthy background and love of all things wholesome have undoubtedly influenced her attitude to life and design. She places great emphasis on homemaking, and her penchant for cultural pieces, natural fabrics and up-cycling has proved the perfect recipe for creating a beautifully nurtured family home.

Photographs: Emma Lewis

Words: Liggy Griffiths

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Heart Home mag.

The Hanging Gardens of Berthelot Restaurant

Berthelot Hotel was opened 8 years ago in Bucharest, with an uncovered outdoor terrace used only in the hot weather. In time, the hotel felt the need to enlarge the restaurant area and explore the possibility of using this space to appeal to more than just the hotel guests. At the end of 2014, the hotel owners initiated a project to cover the terrace with a glass and metal structure. This has been designed so as to allow maximum natural light creating a modern, bright space.

“The concept I presented was that of “Hanging Gardens", introducing an element of abundant natural vegetation to balance the amount of glass and metal used to cover the terrace. I wanted to create a verdant interior, resembling a green house, a harmonious and comfortable restaurant where customers could feel like they were in a spring garden.” - Alexandra Zabunov Henry, interior designer.


Forty flower pots made of powder coated pressed steel were filled with vegetation and suspended from the roof metal structure - these pots and their fastenings were custom made especially for this project. A corner garden behind the sofa completed the picture of a green terrace. Moreover, the organic approach using fluid curvaceous shapes was continued in all details and interior fittings, in order to contradict the rigor of the metal structure. The sofa follows the shape of the wall and was also custom made after a thorough survey and the two tone green fabrics completed the picture of a natural terrace.

The large areas of glass resulted in acoustic problems, something that is particularly important in the public space of a restaurant. This was solved with a wall padding and the addition of sound-absorbing materials, in the sofa as well as installing a curtain at the entrance. The padded wall replaced the building ventilated façade system and in this way the outer wall of the hotel was visually transformed into an interior wall.

The image of raindrops on the glass surface of the roof inspired the idea of the round mirrors mounted on the curved wall above the sofa and these were visually transposed on the wall at an exaggerated scale.

As a result or natural light flooding the space, the covered terrace is a perfect place for a breakfast and lunch time. However, dinner time requires a special ambience, so Alexandra thought of an atmospheric lighting scheme using DelightFULL’s wall lamps with long adjustable copper arms, descending over the tables. The rhythm created by Diana Wall Lamp's slender shapes enriches the design whereas the soft spotlight gives the desired effect of a sophisticated ambient. The scissor arms of the Pastorius Wall Lamp, which was, in fact, mounted on the padded wall, above the tables, allowing the guests to direct the light as they feel comfortable. The possibility of customizing the colors and the materials of the lamps allowed the interior designer to create a coherent color scheme throughout the space.

Photograghy by Cornel Lazia; Interior Design Studio: I Love Colours Studio

Sticky Fruit Loaf with Green Tea

Official sponsors of The Patron’s Lunch PG tips Green Tea has collaborated with former royal chef Carolyn Robb to create a selection of updated, iconic afternoon tea recipes - all with a green tea twist! Carolyn has combined the nation’s two great loves – tea and cake – to offer Heart Home readers a fresh take on traditional recipes using PG tips Green Tea.

“Soaking the dried fruit in a cup of PG tips Green Tea, before adding it to the mixture, makes a wonderfully moist loaf with the subtle flavour of the tea coming through. It is worth shopping around for dried fruit that is extra plump and juicy - I like to use jumbo flame raisins and Orange River sultanas, of South African origin. The mixture can also be divided between mini loaf cases, to make 8 - 10 little individual sized loaves. Sticky fruit loaf is served daily for 'royal' afternoon tea!”

Makes one loaf You will need one 20cm (8 inch) loaf tin 

Ingredients for the cake:

1 PG tips Green Tea teabag

6oz soft butter

6oz dark soft brown sugar

3 medium free range eggs

7 1/2oz plain flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

4oz glacè cherries

4 oz soft plump sultanas

4 oz soft plump diced apricots, diced

Ingredients for the sugar syrup:

1/2 cup water

2oz granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Make the tea in a cup and then pour it over the sultanas and apricots and leave for about an hour to soak.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C /325'F

3. Line the base and sides of the loaf tin with baking parchment.

4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding in 2 tablespoons of flour with the last egg. Sift in the remaining flour and spice and mix well.

6. Wash and dry the glacè cherries, cut them in half and dust them lightly with flour (to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Lastly, drain the excess tea off the sultanas and apricots and mix in the fruit.

7. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out perfectly clean.

8. While the cake is baking make the syrup: Combine all the ingredients in a small heavy - based saucepan, stir while heating to dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 4 minutes.

9. Leave to cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack. G laze it all over with the sugar syrup; paint it on using a pastry brush.

10. When completely cool, store in an airtight container. Keeps for up to two weeks. This cake gets better with age!

Next week ..... Vanilla bean shortbread biscuits with 'Mint Green Tea' chocolate and ganache.

Tiles With Texture

The perfect antidote to glossy, sleek, contemporary kitchens. Whether you favour a farmhouse look, an industrial loft look, or just a more 'organic' look, we recommend a passing glance at tiles with texture.

A recent collaboration between deVOL and Floors of Stone, has resulted in these amazing new hand-printed ceramic splashback tiles. Featuring vintage-style patterns, each tile looks a little bit different creating an aged look. They would suit a farmhouse style kitchen but would look equally sensational in a modern kitchen too contrasting with smooth surfaces. Priced from £4 per tile and available from Floors of Stone.

These charming hand painted bugs tiles from The Winchester Tile Company would bring life to any area. With characters including bees, caterpillars, butterflies and wasps. Each ceramic tile is handmade and hand painted and would look lovely with wood surfaces, farmhouse pottery and traditional looking appliances and units. To find a stockist click here

The Hudson wall tile from Tile Mountain is an authentic concrete effect brick tile. Laid here in a herringbone pattern it will suit an industrial look kitchen paired with wooden worktops, stainless steel appliances and chunky wooden shelves. £17.99 per square metre.

These brick slips from Original Style feel and look exactly like traditional bricks, and can be used on both walls and floors. Perfectly suited to a seventies style kitchen as shown here, they would also look great with industrial lighting and reclaimed flooring. To find a stockist click here

Where To Eat: German Gymnasium

Welcome to German Gymnasium, a newly renovated Grade II listed former gymnasium between King’s Cross station and St Pancras International. Designed by architect Edward Gruning in 1864-5, this was the first purpose built gym in England and home to the first-ever indoor Olympic Games in 1866. 150 years later the historic establishment has reopened with a brand new complex, comprising one of King’s Cross’ largest al fresco terraces, a patisserie counter, an all-day Grand Café serving breakfast through to dinner, a restaurant and the Meister Bar.

German-born Executive Chef, Bjoern Wassmuth has created menus featuring some classic Mittel-European dishes as a nod to the site’s German heritage. The new interiors, designed by Conran & Partners, feature an awe inspiring triple height ceiling and contain a beautiful blend of restored original features and modern interpretations, such as the gold mesh screens inspired by Victorian detailing and fencing masks.

Grand Cafe from balcony.jpg

The finest Mittel - European cuisine is available for lunch and dinner in the first floor restaurant, where guests can experience impressive views of all dining areas and admire the breathtaking roof structure. Starters include lamb‘s lettuce with crisp bacon, pumpkin seeds and potato dressing and truffled beef broth with liver dumplings and shaved black truffle. Main courses range from seared scallops and mettwurst with Granny Smith, pistachio, butternut squash and saffron potato and schupfnudeln and wild mushrooms with celeriac, butter sauce and fresh winter truffle, to heartier meals such as veal schnitzel with warm potato salad and lingonberry compote.

German Gym Blossom City Dessert - Rhubarb and custard brûlée, elderflower ice-cream.jpg

The ground floor Grand Café, suffused with natural light which creates bold silhouettes from the buildings cast steel columns and Victorian archways, will serve an all-day dining modern European menu, including German classics and a comprehensive grill selection. Signature dishes include beef goulash soup with bell peppers, sour cream and paprika and pickled Bismarck herring with onion, apple and Vollkornbrot. There is also a choice of German sausages such as Nürnberger Rostbratwurst or smoked Schinkenknacker, served with sauerkraut and potato purée or pommes frites; and sharing dishes such as roasted Creedy Carver free range duck from Devon served with braised red cabbage, dumplings and orange sauce.

German Gym Summer Terrace.jpg

The Grand Café is set to become a favourite spot for both leisurely weekend brunches and quick healthy breakfasts, with dishes including Chia pots with coconut and almond milk, vanilla, pomegranate and lemon balm as well as a selection of energising smoothies. The patisserie counter showcases freshly baked breads and pastries including sour cherry and pistachio buns or Berlin Doughnuts with jam, all available to take away. Further breakfast treats include the potato rösti with fried eggs and The GG Breakfast, a full English with a German twist. When the bespoke Smiths of Derby clock strikes 4 p.m., a chime will sound signalling the beginning of the quintessentially German tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen. Guests are offered cakes and pastries from the patisserie display, such as apple strudel with vanilla sauce; Sachertorte with Chantilly cream and twice baked cheesecake with blueberries.

German Gymnasium is an exciting addition to King’s Cross’ thriving community and is set to become a dining and drinking destination for London foodies, King’s Cross locals and international commuters alike.


Don't miss this  summer as German Gymnasium is teaming up with roaming Berlin pop-up, brünch, to bring the ultimate Berlin brunch experience to North London from 11th June until 17th July 2016.  

Available every Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 3pm. To reserve a table or to attend the closing event, please visit

Tips To Arrange Wall Art

It’s always a great idea to add wall art to a room, it makes it far more interesting and personal. Whether it’s paintings, prints, photographs, here are a few tips to help you arrange your wall art (for a good selection try ) without the stress factor.

Keep It Eye Level

Think about where you want to hang your wall art. Usually people have a tendency to hang it too high. A good tip is for the centre of the image  to be at eye level. In living rooms, in particular it is always a great idea to hang it about 10cm  above the sofa,.

Make It Personal

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words especially if they are your own photographs. There are so many ways to achieve this especially with canvas prints. They can look great on their own or grouped together. A good tip is to keep the colour schemes together; either group the black & white photos or the coloured ones together.

Size Matters

The wall space available and the size of your art is essential. If you place small pieces on a large space it will end up looking lost. Small photographs or prints look great between doors or windows to fill up those small gaps.

Arrangement Is Key

As mentioned above small pieces on their own will end up looking lost in big wall spaces. However if you gather lots of artwork together in different sizes, then arranging them on a wall can end up looking great. Best way to do this is use masking tape to grid out the frames and play with the display. A great way to see the overall look. Make sure to add interest by mixing it up with different picture sizes and different frames. 

3 Crispbread Pizza Recipes for Summer Dining

Guilt free pizza? 

Crispbreads - in this case Leksands from Sweden - make the perfect healthy, light and crispy pizza base and we’ve got not one but three fantastic recipe ideas below on how best to use them. A pulled pork pizza, a chicken pizza and a bacon, spinach and gruyere number. Now you can have your pizza and eat it.

Pulled Pork Pizza - with pickled onion and avocado


One large round of Leksands sourdough crispbread

100 ml tomato sauce

75g pulled pork

Butter or oil for frying

1 tomato

60g mozzarella

2 handfuls grated cheese – e.g. a mix of Grana Padano and Cheddar

½ Red onion

1 avocado

Fresh chili

Fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius. 
Start by prepping the pickled onion. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible and put in a bowl. Squeeze the lime into the bowl and massage into the onion. Leave to one side whilst making the pizza.

Thinly slice the onion and fry in a little oil or butter, with a pinch of sugar added, until soft and translucent. Spread the tomato sauce onto the crispbread and spread the onion on top. Slice up your tomato and add along with the pulled pork. Salt and pepper, then top with chunks of mozzarella and the grated cheese.

Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 10 minutes; whilst it bakes, prepare your avocado. Scoop out the flesh and mash with finely chopped chili, salt and lime juice to taste.

Remove the pizza from oven, and add dollops of your avocado smash and a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander to serve.

The Chicken Pizza – With Apple, Crème Fraiche and Dijon Mustard


1 large round Normalgraddat/Original Leksands

100 ml tomato sauce

3 slices chicken breast

½ tart apple, such as Granny Smith

1 tomato

1 small onion + oil or butter for frying

Pinch of sugar

60g mozzarella

Handful of grated cheddar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp crème fraiche

½ tbsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp lemon juice

Rocket salad


Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius. Finely chop onion and fry until soft and translucent in a bit of oil or butter. Add a pinch of sugar and let caramelize slightly. Spread the tomato sauce onto the crispbread. Wash and slice both the apple and tomato and cut the chicken into smaller chunks. Scatter these onto the base and finish with chunks of mozzarella and the grated cheese. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Whilst baking, put the crème fraiche, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a little bowl and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dollop some on top of the pizza and scatter rocket on top before serving.

 Bianco Pizza – with Bacon, Spinach and Gruyere


1 large round Brungraddat/Brownbaked Leksands

100 ml crème fraiche

3 rashers of bacon

1 small onion

Butter or oil for frying

1 pinch of sugar

30 g fresh spinach

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

60g mozzarella

Good handful grated Gruyere cheese

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius. Finely chop onion and fry until soft and translucent in butter. Add a pinch of sugar and salt and let caramelize slightly. Remove from pan and add spinach to the pan. Let soften slightly then add the garlic and fry for a short while, careful not to let the garlic burn. Add salt and pepper. Spread crème fraiche over the crispbread base and add onion and spinach. Slice the bacon into smaller pieces and add to pizza; finish with chunks of mozzarella and grated gruyere. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Leksands crispbread are a wonderful alternative to bread/pizza dough and are now available throughout the UK from and ScandiKitchen.

Home for Now By Joanna Thornhill

Even if yours is just a couple of old chairs and a makeshift coffee table in a corner, there’s no reason your seating areas shouldn’t be comfy and stylish.

Forget the rules about matching furniture sets and the notion of spending hours in soulless out-of-town furniture depots. When you’re setting up a new home, be it your own or landlords, adopting a more fluid approach will allow you to create a far more interesting space, in a way that’s flexible to your finances. And after fees and deposits, it’s likely your funds will have taken a bit of a battering.

Whilst it may take a while to get everything as you’d like it, creating a sitting area – however modest to begin with – will give you somewhere to relax and entertain guests coming to visit your new place. Regardless of whether you already have furniture or it’s a totally blank canvas, spend some time assessing your needs before making any purchases: what do you need to store in the room? How do you need to prioritise the accessibility of these items? Does the space need to double up with another use, such as a home office, or a guest bedroom when friends come to crash? If space is limited, make the most of every inch by running shelving right up to the ceiling, using every last inch of space for storage – such as under and behind the sofa – and employing multi – functional furniture, like chests of drawers in place of sideboards, or a stool as a coffee table which can be used as additional seating when guests visit.

Instead of a side table a storage cube with liftoff top provides a handy spot to store occasional items.

Style Your Storage

If you need to use the space under your sofa for extra storage, keep things neat and chic in pretty vintage baskets.

Modern Vintage

Whilst with an undeniable vintage feel, this room still feels modern thanks to contemporary textiles and quirky objet, such as this porcelain hand.

Setting Boundaries

Placing a chair in the middle of the room, like this one in the foreground, visually defines the seating area in this large multi-use room.

Home for Now, Making your rented space or first house beautiful By Joanna Thornhill. First three Photographs by Emma Mitchell  & last image by James Gardiner. Published by Cico Books.

A Barcelona Home Designed for Two Booklovers

This modern apartment in Barcelona was designed by Susanna Cots Interior Design for two book lovers. We were struck by the clean white lines of the space and the contrasting wooden lacquered sheet that crosses the apartment vertically and horizontally creating an emotional and warm passageway. 

The starting point of the apartment is the centrally located dining room. The ceiling is dressed in wood that, at the same time, shapes the furniture that holds the TV and a fireplace. This wooden wrapping continues across the ceiling and separates the living and the water areas inside and outside. The wood even reaches the bedroom suite defining the sleeping area and finally becoming the bed head.

As reading is a large part of the daily routine of the owners, the central area is surrounded by bookshelves and in addition the studio is fully integrated into the living room creating a corner flooded in light that faces the terrace.

The bedroom suite includes a water area to evoke a relaxed feeling, with the bath next to the bed, and with a door system that turns the bath into a relaxing bench. The shower is flooded with natural light. 

Throughout, the rooms have been accessorised with black touches, such as shelves and decorative lamps, creating a further contrast against the white and wood surfaces.

"Because white does not scare us, or make us feel blocked nor we are afraid of staining it. Because we do not want it to be related to trifles nor fashion crazes. Because we believe that the authenticity of white resides in its purity and brightness. Because this is the white we love." Susanna Cots.

Choosing Windows and Doors to Complement your Home

Choosing the right windows and doors for your home can transform your space and change the way that you view it. Installing windows and doors that complement your home are core design elements and features that enhance your living environment. You can also use them as inspiration for your interior design ideas and choose décor that suits your windows and doors. We have put together a guide to help you choose and give you some ideas for your own home.


First and foremost, you need to choose windows and doors that are high quality and durable. This type of infrastructure is a sound investment that needs to provide you with value for money and long-lasting quality. Windows and doors that are made from robust materials such as PVCu, Aluminium and Timber are proven to be hard-wearing, cost-effective and excellent quality. Choosing a company that employs experienced and talented tradesmen to hand craft windows and doors, means that your bespoke requirements can be realised and implemented.


Before you buy your new windows and doors, what do you want to achieve? You might want to have a seamless connection between your garden and home. If this is the case then Warmcore bi-fold doors offer the perfect opportunity to merge your interior and exterior spaces together. It’s a folding door system that delivers a thermal performance framing solution and a way of breaking down the boundaries between garden and home. Aluminium bi-fold doors also allow you to open them easily and create an integrated interior and exterior space. They can allow you to have an easily accessible patio and garden area all year round.

Bi-fold doors enable you to move easily between your garden and home and the modern glasswork and aesthetics let you view your garden in a new light. They merge the practicality of a sliding door system, with the visually appealing benefits that large windows bring. You can mix and match colour options to create a dual-colour finish and personalise your bi-fold door, so that it complements the rest of your house and your other windows and doors.

Style of Home

It’s important to take a step back and look at the type of house you live in; what materials is it built with, what period was it built in and what style of house is it? All of these factors can influence the types of windows and doors you might choose and what will complement your house best.

If you live in a traditional home, such as a townhouse, cottage or farmhouse with period features, then replacing windows and doors can be a sensitive job. If you want to stay true to the era and original fittings then sliding sash windows can provide simplistic, attractive design that do not distract. On the other end of the scale, with a modern bungalow you might want to adopt a modern, contemporary look so PVCu casement windows are ideal for making your home light and airy.

Whatever you choose, taking a look at the bigger picture and how your door and window choices will fit in with the rest of your aesthetics is a good way to maintain your perspective and create something attractive and high-quality.

Decorate With Flowers

Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring show us this simple and fun step by step project, taken from their book Decorate with Flowers.

 Liberty Print Flower Pots

Flowers used in this project:




Cow Parsley

White Nigella

Garden Rose




You will need:

Terracotta plant pot and tray, sponge brush, Mod Podge, cotton floral fabric (we used Liberty prints), scissors, white spray paint (optional), glass jars.


1.     If your fabric is thin, you may want to spray paint your pot otherwise the orange might show through. Let it dry thoroughly. Cut your fabric to a size that can easily fit around your pot, leaving at least 10cm above the rim of the pot and enough to cover the bottom. Apply Mod Podge to a small area of the pot and press the fabric down, applying more to the fabric with your sponge brush as you go.

2.     Work in small areas, starting at the top rim and working down and around the pot in one direction. Apply Mod Podge to both the pot and the inner side of the fabric. Gently pull the fabric smooth as you go. Work quickly as the Mod Podge dries quite quickly.

3.     Once the surface is covered, with fabric, apply Mod Podge beneath the remaining fabric at the top and tuck it inside your pot. Repeat this process on the bottom of your pot, too. Apply Mod Podge all over the outer side of the fabric.

4.     Let your pot dry on a piece of plastic and then follow a similar process for the bottom tray. Use little jars to hold the water for your flowers in the pots.

Decorate with Flowers: Creative ideas for flowers and containers around the home by Holly Becker & Leslie Shewring. Published by Jacqui Small, £20.

How Do You Make Your House A Home

With house prices constantly rising up, it has almost become impossible for Brits to buy their own property, therefore renting seems to be the only solution. It does somehow leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth as one really wants to decorate their home as it pleases them. Well the good news is that Shared Ownership is making it easier for first time buyers to finally own a place of their own in London. No more renting means it’s up to you how your new home looks and you can put those DIY and interior design skills into practice at last.

First-time buyers who have invariably spent all their cash on a steep deposit, find themselves looking for thrifty, creative and out-of-the-box decorating ideas, without doing anything to upset their landlord or risk their investment. So here a few with styling ideas and simple makes, that will help anyone settle into their new home.

Mix and Match

Forget the rules about matching furniture sets. When you’re setting up a new home, why not adopt a more carefree approach, thinking outside the box and helping you create a far more interesting space. Don’t worry about buying chairs – hunt down second-hand wooden chairs, and paint one each in different colours.

Storage space

If space is limited, make the most of every tiny corner. Think about ways to make the most of your storage space. Why not run shelving right up to the ceiling, using every last inch of space possible. Also look around the room and think of ways of employing multi functional space. Perhaps use a chest of drawers in place of a sideboard, or simply a stool used as a coffee table but turns into additional seating when guests visit.

The word storage can sound ugly but doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style. For example if you need the space under your sofa, keep things neat and chic in pretty vintage baskets. It will look pretty and space effective.

Go green

Okay, so it might mean a little bit of extra work, but filling your home with plants really brings the outdoors in, especially if you don’t have a garden. It’s such a beautiful way of making the home feel cosy. If you don’t have green fingers, start with something easy – cacti and succulents as they can withstand a little more neglect before they give up on you.

What Next?

London living with friends is better all round and Shared Ownership is a great way of doing it and also creating that dream home of yours. Find out more about buying a Shared Ownership home with a friend.

This video also gives a better understanding about Shared Ownership

This post is sponsored by L&Q

How Does Your Garden Grow? - Part 2

Last week we shared with you stylist Joanna Thornhill's innovative garden 'fake-over'. This week we are featuring her ideas for some very stylish and economical planting ideas. 

Pots painted in spray paint, from a selection, Plastikote.

Pots painted in spray paint, from a selection, Plastikote.

An old fruit basket makes for a pretty tiered planter when lined with hanging basket lining and filled with trailing plants.

Found dumped on the side of the road, these tyres make surprisingly good large planters. By creating a ‘bottom’ with some plastic sheeting punched with holes for drainage, it provides a happy home for numerous blooms.

Cut flowers from the garden look sweet displayed in a vintage milk bottle holder.  

Old food tins are given a new lease of life, spray-painted and then used as planters (with drainage holes punched in the bottom) and candle votives (with a star design punched in the side to allow the light to shine through). Both were created by punching a nail through the can with a hammer, to puncture its surface.

This unusual tiered plant stand is great for making the most of small spaces or balconies, and helps stop smaller plants looking too disparate.

Some leftover emulsion paint was used to add streaks of painterly colour to this cheap terracotta pot, with pinks selected to pick up on the Fuchsia plant it houses. The pot was sealed with two coats of PVA glue inside and out, to prevent the paint from running off whilst allowing the terracotta to breathe.

Lined with hanging basket lining, this cute colander was just 50p from a local charity shop and makes for a sweet planter.

Feature and styling: Joanna Thornhill.

Photography: Rita Platts.

This feature originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Heart Home mag. All stockists and prices were correct at time of publication.

Fabulous Floral Designs For All Rooms In The Home With Reed Harris

Leading the trend for florals within the home, tile, paper and paint specialist Reed Harris’ latest, stunning ranges incorporate show-stopping designs that will make a statement in both traditional and contemporary interiors.

New to Reed Harris for 2016, the Grandefiore Adour and Como wallpaper ranges, which exude elegance and provide a fresh and contemporary look and feel, incorporate beautiful floral designs that look like works of art.

Perfect for feature walls, which always benefit from a bold statement, the Adour range features a Parisian theme alongside beautiful, romantic florals in a series of watercolour scenes, while Como is characterised by tie-dye, oversized florals, mixing colour and pattern to great effect. Priced from £60 per roll, Reed Harris’ stunning Adour and Como wallpaper comes in a range of colours and patterns, providing something for everyone.

Those looking to continue the floral theme in kitchens and bathrooms will love Reed Harris’ recently introduced Impressions range of ceramic wall tiles, which include the Bloom décor tiles.  Softly textured, the beautiful, floral-inspired tiles are embossed with a pattern reminiscent of their name and come in six chic and sophisticated shades of White, Almond, Rock, Coffee, Cappuccino and Fog. They measure 560mm by 140mm and cost £79.95 per sq m.

Karen Brimacombe, Reed Harris’ Business Development Manager, says: “From bold, oversized patterns to understated textured designs, our stunning wallpaper and tile ranges embrace the trend for florals within the home and are perfect for adding interest to your space without overwhelming
the room.” 

Recipes for a Summer Picnic

Picnic weather is here at last, and what better food to serve than some great British classics. Both the sausage rolls and the scotch eggs are quick to prepare, easily transportable and will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Enjoy!

Sausage roll recipe:

500g puff pastry

400g good quality sausage meat

100g pancetta or dry cured streaky bacon, diced small

Small bunch of sage

Yolks of 3 eggs

Sea salt & black pepper


In a large bowl mix the diced pancetta sage and sausage meat grinding in some black pepper.

Roll out the puff pastry to half a cm thick and 10cm x 30cm

Make a thick line of sausage meat in the middle. Fold pastry over and seal with egg yolk. Place seam underneath.

Cut into 7 cm lengths and brush with egg yolk. Grind some pepper over. Place in fridge for at least half an hour.

Bake 180C fan 25 minutes then 20 minutes at 160C. 

Scotch eggs recipe:

420g sausage meat-use your favourite variety

6 eggs medium



2 eggs for eggwash


Boil the eggs for 6 minutes then put in ice water. When cool peel.

Divide the sausage meat into 6 balls, flatten them. Roll each egg in flour, then fold the sausage meat around the egg. It’s tricky. Make sure there are no gaps.Roll them in flour then eggwash and finally breadcrumbs. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Heat your deep fryer to 180C. Fry the eggs for 6 to 7 minutes...depending on how runny you like them.

Recipes are courtesy of The Hour Glass pub in South Kensington.

Luke Mackay and David Turcan are at the helm of the pub - the wildly successful duo behind Brompton Food Market, these guys know proper picnic ingredients..  In terms of food their philosophy is “the best tasting ingredients left alone” they supply only seasonal offerings in their pub and shop throughout the year. They prize themselves on preparing British classics cooked with flair and no fuss.

Wild & Wolf: V&A Gardening Collection

With the beginning of June feeling more like Autumn than Summer, we're still feeling pretty positive that the rays of sunshine will soon be shining upon us. We wont let the wet weather dampen our spirits, in fact we're getting excited at the prospect at spending more time in the garden.

So lets get ready to make hay while the sun shines with Wild & Wolf's new collaboration with Victoria & Albert museum. The new range of floral home & gardening tools is available in three archive prints - a detail from William Morris' 19th century botanical Bower wallpaper and two patterns based on William Kilburn's delicate century textile designs.

So come on sun, we need to play with these gorgeous new accessories. 

Wild & Wolf V&A gardening collection from £9.95 

Rule Britannia – DFS Creates a New Sofa for Olympic Team GB

We're always happy to fly the British flag here at Heart Home. So when we heard that DFS are the official homeware partner for Team GB at this summer’s Olympics in Rio, we just knew we had to spread the word. 

In honour of this, Philip Watkin DFS’ design director, and his talented design team have created The Britannia, a specially designed, limited edition sofa that celebrates Team GB and provides a centre piece to British House: the home of Team GB at the games. And very handsome it is too. 

Britannia was inspired by the British Chesterfield design from the Victorian era, but with a modern update for 2016. It has a distinctive sweeping ‘camel back’ shape to the silhouette and striking gold studs on the scroll arms and on the front border. In anticipation of all of the gold medals of course.

The equally stylish and compact Britannia accent chair has 233 studs, which is the exact number of gold medals Team GB has won in Summer Olympic Games to date.

The sofa comes complete with a set of beautiful scatter cushions, available in an assortment of luxury plains or motifs inspired by iconic British images. Many in red white and blue and giving more than a nod to the Union Jack, natually. For this design element, DFS worked with British textile designer, Susan Munns, from Art of the Loom to design a beautiful range of cushions that brought the spirit of Team GB alive through colour and pattern.

The Britannia range includes a four, three and two seater sofa, an armchair, an accent chair and a large footstool and is finished with a commemorative upholstered plaque. The plaque not only provides authenticity but pays tribute to the UK design and craftsmanship, by DFS, in honour of Team GB’s participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

As the of icial homeware partner for Team GB, we wanted to create something that our own craftspeople could apply their skills to in order to support our athletes when they most needed to relax during the games. In doing so, we set out to design an iconic piece of furniture that would represent Great Britain’s proud history of design, quality and craftsmanship. We enlisted the help of one of the best fabric suppliers in the UK to join forces with our own upholstery team to hand­craft an update on the Chesterfield classic that Olympics fans can cherish for years to come. “ Philip Watkin – DFS Design Director


This post is sponsored by DFS.