Layered Pear Cake with Honey Frosting

A perfect light, fruit filled sponge covered with sweet frosting that will make a sensational centrepiece at tea-time. The combination of pears and honey nestling in a light-as-air sponge will surprise the tastebuds and make a welcome change from the usual fruitcake.

For the caramelized pears:

3 pears

20g unsalted butter

60g clear honey

40g caster sugar

For the sponge:

4 large eggs

120g caster sugar

40g soft light brown sugar

120ml buttermilk

120g clear honey

120ml vegetable oil

1 tsp lemon zest

280g plain flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

For the frosting:

500g icing sugar

100g unsalted butter, softened

250g cream cheese

50g clear honey

Ground cinnamon, for dusting (optional)

Use four 20cm (8in) diameter loose-bottomed sandwich tins

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas mark 3, and line the base of the sandwich tins with baking paper.

Cook the pears. Peel and core the fruit and cut each lengthways into about 12 slices. Place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Add the sliced pears and cook until the fruit is soft and golden. Set aside to cool while you make the sponge batter.

Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the eggs and both types of sugars until light and fluffy. In a jug, stir together the buttermilk, honey, vegetable oil and lemon zest. Pour this liquid mixture into the creamed ingredients while mixing on low speed.

Sift together the remaining ingredients, add to the creamed mixture and mix together on a medium speed to ensure everything is well incorporated.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake tins. Top the batter with the cooked pears, allowing nine slices per cake and placing them in concentric circles, each slice spaced evenly apart.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until each sponge is golden brown on top and bounces back when lightly pressed. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack, before you frost them.

Using the electric whisk or mixer, slowly mix the butter and icing sugar together until no large lumps of butter remain and the ingredients have a sandy consistency. Add the cream cheese and honey and continue mixing on a low speed until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.

Once the sponges have cooled, place the first layer on a plate or cake card and top with 3-4 tablespoons of the honey frosting, smoothing it on with a palette knife and adding a little more if needed. Continue this process, adding the second layer of sponge and topping with frosting. Repeat with the third layer, then add the final sponge and frost the sides and top of the cake, covering it completely so that no sponge can be seen.

Lightly dust with ground cinnamon if you like.

This recipe originally appeared in the January  2015 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Photographs and recipe by Giedre Augustinaviciute.

New Teepees Wallpaper From Hibou Home

Luxury children’s brand, Hibou Home is excited to reveal its latest wallpaper addition to their already popular and playful collections. Designed and made in England, the new and exclusive Teepees range features a delightful selection of geometric tribal designs that are guaranteed to spark little one’s imaginations and give rooms a hint of individuality.

From teepees and arrows to tribal motifs and feathers, the Native American inspired, non-woven, ‘paste the wall’ wallpaper adds personality and fun to homes, making it the perfect backdrop for mini adventurers to embark on an action-packed playtime. Fabulous for creating a statement wall in any room, its stylishly muted Storm Green on Grey or Indigo on White colourways beautifully sit in keeping with today’s modern homes, transforming any bedroom or nursery into a charming den that children will love.

Available in Storm Green/Grey and Indigo/White, £70 per roll.

Available in Storm Green/Grey and Indigo/White, £70 per roll.

It's a Bugs Life - The Home of Lou Rota

Hunting down tired vintage and unwanted salvage and transforming them into things of beauty is not so much a hobby as a way of life for Lou Rota, with echoes of her work being felt throughout her London home.

“I don’t think you can instantly create a home, it takes time to evolve, much like in the natural world,” is the belief of Lou Rota, graphic artist and former producer of science and natural history TV programmes.

Lou has become well-known for her craft of upcycling vintage plates and transforming them into decorative pieces adorned with bugs, birds and other wildlife, and her work is sold worldwide, including Liberty’s in London. Her fascination with the physiology of insects and the natural world as a whole is something that dominates not only her business, which began from her kitchen table six or seven years ago, but which is reflected throughout the styling in her home too.

“Things like insects and flowers are incredibly beautiful simply because when you look closely, there is so much more there,” she explains. “I suppose you can say the same about my home; it is full of things I have collected and found which means there are little stories about all sorts of things all over the house. That’s what gives it its soul.”

Lou’s home is an Edwardian terrace property in Kensal Rise, which she shares with husband Gavin, their daughters Rosie, 13 and Ava, 11, plus of course the obligatory stick insects and a goldfish. The family have spent the last 11 years making the house into a home, with Lou being keen to take her time and really get a feeling for the space before settling on the décor. “The kitchen diner was painted acid yellow and had been decorated by Alan Rickman who was a friend of the previous owner, so for years we would joke about that!” reveals Lou.

“We’ve done the house up gradually over time, sorting out the boring bits first and then experimenting with the décor, with some of it being changed several times until it was right.  We tend to spend money on the building but not that much on the furniture and there’s very little brand new stuff, apart perhaps from the lighting.”

In much the same way that Lou would source vintage plates from car boot sales with a view to turning them into works of art, she waited until she found items for her home that would add a sense of character. “I waited until I could find a reasonably priced fireplace and had it sandblasted, rather than buying something brand new, and my sister gave us the sofa and I had it re-covered with lots of different fabrics.”

This talent for upcycling old pieces is where Lou’s business success first began of course, as before she began working with tableware she would customise old bits of furniture simply as a pastime. It was when she sent some pictures of her work to Liberty that they bought the lot and the rest, as they say, is history. “I’ve been upcycling since before it was even a word – it was just recycling then!” she laughs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Lou’s career background, she has a style that is almost museum-like, with her home giving off a distinctive vintage charm. “Much like my ceramics are made with love and care, I think you have to create a home over time,” she explains. “There is a joy in finding things to fill your home.”

It's a Bugs Life originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Words: Kelly Lavender.  Pictures: Penelope Wincer.

Signs With Soul By Goodwin & Goodwin

Set up in 2010 by Viviane and Paul Goodwin, Goodwin & Goodwin has turned the world of signmaking on its head. The north London-based company produces a range of signs for private and corporate clients including cinema style bill boards, illuminated letters, neon and light bulb signs, vintage letters made of metal or Perspex, light boxes plus a range of homeware.

The company came to life when Paul and Viviane spotted a gap in the market for typographic based signs for use in the home. “We’d always noticed that there were many fantastic type-based items out there and asked ourselves why they weren’t available for people to have at home,” explains Viviane. “So we started creating iconic signs, marketed them at a price point that was accessible to people, and the business went from there.”

Today Goodwin & Goodwin’s client base is made up of private individuals located all over the UK and abroad, including royals, pop stars and celebs, but also prestigious organisations who have commissioned bespoke signs to create a specific look in a commercial environment. For example the company has created, among many others, the lightbulb “Movies” sign for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, LED letter signs for Timberland, illuminated arrows for Ted Baker and bulb signs for Coca-Cola.

What makes their products stand out is the company’s ability to combine good design and strong typography, meaning its products not only exude fun but also incorporate their own unique style. “What we’ve tried to do is combine signage with great design to produce something that really conveys a message,” says Paul, who was previously design director for a creative agency. “Design in typography is hugely important and it really does work; we receive a lot of positive comments about how our signs have changed the image of a business, improved the appearance of a shop front and brought more people through the door.”

Many of Goodwin & Goodwin’s design ideas are inspired by iconic 1950s Americana and also draw on the skills involved in typographic design of that era. “There is an element of nostalgia in what we produce which people really like,” says Viviane. “Our signs are very atmospheric—the lighting is warm—and they really do look good in the home or workplace where they add a sense of soul and style. People just love them and that’s part of our success.”

Another aspect of the company’s success is the quality of the products themselves. “The design is key of course,” says Paul. “But also vital is producing a high quality product. The vast majority of ours are made here in our workshop, mostly by hand so the craftsmanship is excellent, with the rest manufactured locally.”

Also important is keeping up with trends in design, fashion and desire. “We keep our eyes open for new ideas and take inspiration from what we see around us,” explains Paul. “For example I’m always looking at old fonts and typefaces for inspiration and recently saw some vintage machine name plates with great typography so I will create some work based around that. Yes the company’s growth has been phenomenal over the past five years, which is terrific, but as we don’t want to stand still we need to keep up with trends in design and fashion and ensure we stay one step ahead!”

For more information, visit:

Chilled Sweet Pea Soup With Cream

So, summer is surely on its way and we all want to spend a lot less time in the kitchen. This chilled soup is quick to prepare and is perfect for a lunch or appetizer on a hot day. The dollop of cream and cheese shavings take it to a new level and we think it looks mighty pretty served in a dainty cup. Serves 4 as an appetizer.


·        ½ cup double cream

·        1 ounce Comté, finely grated (about ½ cup packed), plus Comté for shaving

·        Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·        2 tablespoons butter

·        1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

·        1 garlic clove, minced

·        1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint

·        ¼ cup white wine

·        2 cups defrosted frozen peas or blanched shelled peas

·        1¼ cups chicken stock

·        2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·        ¼ teaspoon sugar


1.     In a small saucepan, cook the double cream and Comté over low heat, stirring, just until the Comté melts. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill until cold.

2.     In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are softened but not browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and mint; cook, stirring, 30-60 seconds. Stir in the white wine and reduce by half. Scrape the mixture into a blender. Add the peas, broth, lemon juice and sugar. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold.

3.     Using a hand blender or large whisk, beat the chilled Comté cream until thickened with soft peaks.

4.     Pour the soup into serving glasses. Dollop the Comté cream on top and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Comté over each. Serve immediately.

This recipe is courtesy of Comte Cheese.

Comté cheese is made in the Massif du Jura region of France and has been for over 1,000 years.  Montbéliarde and French Simmental are the only cows allowed for the production of Comté milk. They must only be fed with natural feed and have at least 2.5 acres of grazing pasture.

Crafting A Pattern: The New Collection From Sheila Bownas

Four very British designer makers have come together with Chelsea Cefai of the Sheila Bownas Archive to launch an exclusive range of contemporary pieces for the home.

To commemorate what would have been Bownas’ 90th  year this collection draws upon the newly released pattern ‘West Riding’. It’s distinct structural lines reflect elements of the architecture in Linton and surrounding villages of North Yorkshire where Bownas lived and worked until her death in 2007.

Chelsea has worked closely with each designer, exploring materials and their creative skills to bring about something truly unique. The collection comprises - porcelain by Elisabeth Barry, fabric by Sarah Waterhouse, furniture by Parlour and lighting by Zoe Darlington.

Collection available now online at

A Shore Thing

A little sunshine and it seems we all want to rush to the seaside! But fear not. It is possible to recreate those sunny, watery days at home with a few well chosen paint colours and some nautical themed accessories. Ahoy there!

This Colours look at B & Q was inspired by bringing nautical style bang up to date. The statement on trend boat scene wallpaper sets the tone of the room contrasting beautifully with the slate grey Fisherman’s pendant light, tiles and accessories bringing a more industrial edge to this classic bathroom theme. Wood effect tiles are a practical option and work perfectly to give this room a real nautical look. Colours Harbour wallpaper, Colours Organik Oak Effect Ceramic Wall & Floor Tiles, Colours Paynton Fisherman's Light Shade, Colours Circular Mirror, Bottles In Wicker Basket, Colours large Clear Hessian Wrapped Decorative Bottle, all B & Q.

1. Globe Lantern, £86.95, Annabel James. 2. BeachHarbour Nautical Baskets, £35, House of Fraser. 3. Seaview Ahoy cushion, George Home. 4. Indoor, outdoor Clarence rug, £475, Cuckooland. 5. Puffin Billy Handmade Lampshade, £50, Martha and Hepsie. 6. Nautical wooden boat, £13.95, Coastal Home. 7. Seaview Wooden heart, George Home.

Newhaven Blind Blue from £24.99. Henley Cream Coffee Table, £299.99. Jug With Titled Spout, £13.99. Small Hurricane Bottle With Rope, £9.99. Esther Chunky Knit Cushion, £14.99. Nautical Stripe Rope Trim Cushion, £9.99. Rope Rug, £149.99. Nautical Stripe Boudoir Cushion, £12.99. Bird Sculpture, £9.99. Hamptons Stripe Mug, £2.99. Marine Cushion, £7.99. All Dunelm.

8. Nautical Round Jute Mirror, £125, Puji. 9. Harbour Collection Placemats & Napkins, Ville et Campagne. 10. Decorative Coral Ornament, £78, Sweetpea and Willow. 11. Lalique Oceania Paperweight, £195, Amara. 12. Beach Hut PhotoFrame, £8.95, Dotcomgiftshop. 13. Oval Lantern, Homesense. 14. Dash & Albert Nautical Cushion, £75, Amara.

Nautical Indoor/Outdoor Cushions, £75, Dash and Albert.

Holiday Guide To Crete

Eleni Psyllaki is an interior designer, architect and author of renowned blog My Paradissi. Here she shares with us her love for her city, Heraklion and shows us her favourite spots on the magical island of Crete.

Old port and view to the city 

Old port and view to the city 


Heraklion is the capital city of Crete, located on the northern coast of the island. With its history dating back to the 9th Century, there are numerous ancient and historical monuments to be found scattered around the city. The Venetian fortress of Koules, built in the 16th Century by the Venetian conquerors, protects the old port, while the four lions fountain in Morozini square is one of the most famous landmarks of the city.

lions fountain in morozini square

lions fountain in morozini square

The citizens of Heraklion love a long coffee under the sun (which is shining in the sky almost 350 days a year) so you will find numerous cafés while wandering around the city centre. Xalavro Open Bar is located in an old abandoned stone building that has no roof. Perfect for absorbing those extra sun rays or having a cool drink under a starry sky.

If you’d like a sweet cupcake to go with your coffee then cutie Oops Cupcakes cafe is a must.

Oops cupcakes 

Oops cupcakes 

The old market of Heraklion is the right place to find traditional products and souvenirs to take home. There you will also find 50-50 Bar&Grill, a vibrant restaurant for dinner and a dance, that really knows how to keep the night owls of the city in a party mood. You should definitely visit the Touli’s bakery, a century old store, with the most delicious traditional bread and pastries.

50-50 bar and grill

50-50 bar and grill

Toulis bakery

Toulis bakery

Doolapa (means closet in greek,) is an exquisite second-hand store with dozens of stylish outfits to pick from.




Most people know Malia as a wild clubbing resort, where nightlife rules and alcohol runs free to the sound of party music. Not far from the truth, but definitely not the whole story. The large white sandy beaches of Malia and nearby Stalida village can provide hours of silence and relaxation under the thick straw umbrellas. The ruins of the ancient summer palace of King Minos adjacent to the beach is a must visit for history lovers.

Malia beach

Malia beach

Spinalonga island

Spinalonga is a small uninhabited island with a great history on the north east coast of Crete. You can visit the island by boat and wander around the old village. This part of Crete is surrounded by wonderful beaches with crystal clear waters. While there, don’t miss a visit to Plaka and its astounding rocky beach as well as the luxurious high class resort of Elounda.






Matala is a coastal village with the most impressive scenery of artificial caves extending up its steep cliffs made by man back in the neolithic age. These caves were inhibited by hippies in the 70s and transformed this little quiet coastal village into the ultimate Greek bohemian resort. There are lots of parties and festivals still going on during the summer season that revive that easy-going happy vibe. The most famous one, Matala Beach Festival, takes place each June.




On the western side of Matala lies the beach of Komos. A kilometre long beach of soft sand and turquoise water with salt cedar trees to protect it from the harsh sun. Like (literally) any place in Greece, the beach of Komos is considered a place with great archaeological interest, as there remnants of the Minoan era have been found there, including large storage pots dating back to 1800 BC. Its sandy shore is sheltering the endangered species of Kareta-Kareta turtles, quite a thrilling and touching fact to know, so pay extra attention while staying there.

Komos beach

Komos beach

Words & Photography by Eleni Psyllaki, taken from June issue 2014 of Heart Home magazine.

The Green Open House

Last week Heart Home attended The Green Open House, which was created by design experts The Joy of Plants to showcase the three houseplant trends for 2015. And what a joy it was! Each room of the house was styled to inspire and demonstrate how houseplants can help transform a home and how different plants can match with interior design.

Unexpected Wild is a trend that calls for natural, weathered, and unrefined materials. 'Simple' and 'natural' are words that set the tone and the plants are likely to be a spontaneous collection; old ones, new ones and some taken from cuttings. Pots reinforce the trend and are either terracotta or transparent glass and there is a real homemade, no nonsense feel.

The Happy Life trend is all about taking a lighter approach to life and creating a playful mood. This point of view results in a room that is cheery and colourful, where everyone is welcome and where the sun always shines. 

Eco Luxe (our favourite), was the third trend and was much more luxurious. Elegant natural materials create an oasis of tranquility. Rough stone, polished wood, and metallics combined with abundant green plants result in a natural contemporary look.

Instagram images in no particular order.


Recipe of the Week: Rhubarb Ice Cream

We've had the warmest weather of the year last week and so we can't help ourselves getting ready for summer. Thinking about warmer weather, basking in the sunshine and enjoying some yummy gelato! This week we had to share with you a creamy rhubarb ice cream recipe.

Rhubarb Ice Cream


450g rhubarb, chopped

250g sugar

200ml whole milk

3 egg yolks

400ml double cream

Red food colouring (optional)



Mix the rhubarb with the sugar and a tiny splash of water in a pan on a medium heat until the mixture is pulpy, about 10 – 15 minutes. If the fruit isn’t as pink as you’d like, add a drop of food colouring. Pour the stewed rhubarb into a measuring jug – it should give you about 400ml. Make it up to 600ml with the milk. Mix in a food processor or with hand blender until smooth.

Put 3 yolks into a bowl, or straight into a cold saucepan, and stir in the rhubarb mixture slowly. Place the pan over a low heat and stir until the custard has thickened. The custard is ready when you notice a change in consistency on the back of your spoon. Leave to cool completely, then whisk in the cream.

Churn in a machine, or stir-freeze: put the tub in your freezer, then every 30 minutes mash the frozen edges or fork or hand blender, until smooth and firm.

Recipe and photography by  Giedre Augustinaviciute

A Modernist Development in the Heart of Clerkenwell

Newly completed, 63 Compton Street by Doone Silver Architects (created for Nord Development), is a striking Modernist development building which accommodates 4 luxury apartments in Clerkenwell. It replaces a 2-storey electrical substation, adjoins a listed former public house, and responds sensitively to the constraints of a conservation area providing light and airy apartments in the heart of the city.

The rear of the building is set back from the site boundary by two metres to create space for a ground floor terrace and large south-facing balconies to the upper floor apartments of which there are one per floor each with its own private lift access. From the street, the building ‘reads’ as a 3-storey structure; the fourth storey is set back from the street, concealed behind a brick parapet and creating a generous terrace.

Each apartment comprises a dual aspect open plan living/dining/kitchen space, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The second floor apartment includes a large sliding door panel in the living room to create a flexible third bedroom/study.

The building is constructed of insitu concrete. Internally this is left exposed, its robust character contrasting with the more muted palette of solid oak floors, Calacatta Oro marble and warm grey painted plasterwork and joinery.

The facade of blue/red/silver glazed Janinhoff brick responds to the adjacent red brick Victorian buildings as well as the blue engineering brick and dark blue/grey painted buildings prevalent in Clerkenwell. The sharp edged quality of the selected brick and the use of dark grey recessed mortar joints, creates a rich and varied texture.

Doone Silver Architects is an emerging London-based architectural practice. Established in 2010, the practice is led by Directors Richard Doone (previously Managing Director at Conran & Partners), John Silver (ex Director at Foster and Partners and BFLS) and Ross Kerr, and has extensive experience in commercial and residential sectors worldwide. The practice creates attractive, efficient and modern buildings that ‘work’ well. The practice’s success lies in a collective ability to generate a powerful ‘device’ which captures the imagination, a strong idea that becomes the ‘driver’ of each project. There is no overt house style, but a clearly discernible DNA links all projects. The practice designs buildings that ‘perform’ at the highest level - the three most recent projects have all achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ ratings.

Brand New Wallpaper From Sian Elin

Here at Heart Home we are big fans of Sian Elin so you can imagine our excitement when we saw her new wallpaper collection. Launching two new wallpaper designs in striking monochrome, it's a slight;y different take on her usual colourful prints, but nonetheless just as fabulous.

The Etoile wallpaper, with all the delicacy of a starry night, achieves an understated, easy-living style.

The Riad wallpaper is a bold design on a larger scale. It delivers effortless drama to any living space.

Sian Elin

New collection available to buy now from Sian Elin webshop.

A Very British Summer With Ian Mankin

Now that the sun is out it's time to make a splash with bold stripes and signature ticking by British fabric manufacturer Ian Mankin. Fresh blue and pretty peony hues will add a coastal dash to summer breakfasts, lunch on the patio and alfesco dining. So very British!

Tablecloth in Norfolk Stripe Indigo, Charcoal, seat cover in Devon Stripe Charcoal

Tablecloth in Norfolk Stripe Indigo, Charcoal, seat cover in Devon Stripe Charcoal

A smart black and white striped border adds a sophisticated edge to this tablecloth and echoes the black pedestal table and window frame.

Tablecloth in Acton Peony, chair cover in Oxford Stripe Peony, napkin in Acton Navy

Tablecloth in Acton Peony, chair cover in Oxford Stripe Peony, napkin in Acton Navy

Red and blue make a bold statement especially against a white background. A blue vase filled with flowers from the garden makes the perfect finishing touch.

Table with Avon Check Indigo and Oxford Stripe Navy tablecloths

Table with Avon Check Indigo and Oxford Stripe Navy tablecloths

Layer checks, over gingham, over stripes for a very individual table. Perfect for a special occasion. Whilst the chairs are made more comfortable with pretty cushions tied with self fabric tabs.

Tablecloth in Acton Peony, napkin in Acton Navy

Tablecloth in Acton Peony, napkin in Acton Navy

Long may the sunshine last.

Home Tour: Emily Henson

Emily Henson is a seamstress turned stylist.  After setting up her life and family in sunny LA, she made the bold decision to move back to England and start renting in London.  She talks us through the inspiration behind her life and work;  and some great tips for sprucing up a rented home.

Emily Henson

Emily Henson lives in her rented Victorian townhouse in Stoke Newington with film director husband Erick, 14 year old daughter Ella, 10 year old son Johnny and their lovable French Bull dog, Gracie.

Having moved from the States they have only been settled in their new home for nine months or so, although from the ambiance and collection of pieces, you’d think they’d been here for years. 

Emily Henson

Switching from owning to renting (across the pond I might add), isn’t the easiest of challenges. However Emily somehow makes it look all very easy and has decorated her new home on a shoe string budget.

“I’m incredibly thrifty by nature” she confesses, “ in LA I would go to the local flea markets and load up the car. Things are a lot more expensive over here, but I haven’t let that beat me! Everything you can see has been bought at a charity shop, made by hand or given to us by friends” she smiles proudly. “The only pieces we had shipped over are ones with real sentimental value, like the Chinese cabinet and red armchair.”

Emily Henson

Emily, now a freelance interior designer/stylist, has had a very interesting and creative life to date.  She is English, but moved to America when she was 17; went to High School and University State side, where she met her husband and had Ella almost immediately after graduating.


Despite admitting it was challenging at times, Emily evidently threw herself into working motherhood with amazing results.  She learnt to sew when pregnant and set her up own children’s clothing line ‘Spike and Ella’.

Emily Henson

Following this, she made the move into styling and worked at LA’s Anthropologie. It was this experience, combined with her “sewing bug” that saw her signature, textile-led style evolve.

“It’s important to follow your instinct and take inspiration from your experiences” she says wisely.  “My time at Anthropologie taught me a lot about fabrics. I also prefer to make things, as I think it makes a house more unique.”

“Even though I would love to go out and buy some new bits for the house, we do really enjoy being creative and resourceful when it comes to decorating and renovating; the curtains in our bedroom were made from an African fabric I picked up in Dalston, and Johnny’s bed was made out of an old metal frame and left over cabinets!”

Emily Henson

When describing her style, Emily says “I love vintage” which has a clear dominance in her home.

“But especially when combined with more edgy, modern pieces, which is where I think my style is heading” she observes.  

Emily Henson

Her positivity is infectious, if there is such a thing as a ‘yes person’; Emily is it.  The words ‘all that now exists was once imagined’ are romantically hung over her bed in pretty (hand crafted) wire; it sits perfectly in her whimsical room of white walls, ethnic fabric and vintage bric-a-brac.  Emily talks passionately about how much she loves this phrase and what it means to her, “it is also something I try and install in my children” she says warmly.

Emily Henson

This sunshine attitude and positive ideology clearly works for Emily, however there is still a strong sense of realism about her; the kids also have signs up in their bedrooms saying ‘Keep me Tidy! And “No Food in Here!”

Well…. she is still a Mum after all.

Emily Henson

See Emily’s blog:  Life Unstyled . Emily's new book Modern Bohemian is out now.

Article written by Liggy Griffiths taken from Summer Issue 2013 of Heart Home magazine.  Photography by James Balston.

Recipe of the Week - Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake

We can't wait for summer here at Heart Home, so this week's recipe is in preparation for that first batch of home-grown strawberries which is always a reason for celebration. Whip up our cheesecake recipe for a special occasion and just bask in the compliments!

Ingredients for the base:

220g digestive biscuits

100g unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the cheesecake:

200g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

30ml water

180g caster sugar

600g full-fat cream cheese

2 large eggs

Ingredients for the topping:

100g mascarpone cheese

20g icing sugar

100ml double cream

100-200g strawberries whole or cut in half to decorate

Use a 20cm spring-form cake tin.


Blitz the biscuits into crumbs in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin.

Pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl, add melted butter and stir together, then tip into the tin and press into the base with the back of a spoon or using hands. Place tin in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow the base to set.

Meanwhile, place strawberries in a saucepan with 80g of the sugar and 30ml of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the strawberries are soft and the liquid has reduced by half. Take off the hob and set aside until completely cold.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3.

Whisk together the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Tip in strawberries and stir into the cream cheese mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin – it should be about two-thirds full. Place in a roasting tin (first wrap the cake tin in foil) and fill this with water up to about 5mm from the top of the cake tin. This creates a water bath in which to bake cheesecake, preventing it from drying out and cracking in the oven.

Bake approximately 30 minutes or until firm on top with a very slight wobble in the centre. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature still in the tin, then place in the fridge to chill and set for 1-2 hours.

Whisk the mascarpone and icing sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form, and then fold it into the mascarpone.

Remove the chilled cheesecake from the fridge and pour the mascarpone cream on top, spreading it evenly. Place back in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight, to set.

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with fresh strawberries. 

This recipe originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Recipe and photography by  Giedre Augustinaviciute.

Tamasyn Gambell + Forest London Collaboration 2015

After a successful partnership in 2012, the latest collaboration between London based textile designer & screen printer, Tamasyn Gambell, and Scandinavian design destination, Forest London, launches on the 23rd April.

Tamasyn Gambell + Forest London Collaboration 2015

Three exclusive prints, each available in two colour-ways, will enliven one-off pieces of mid century furniture. All the fabrics are hand-printed by Tamasyn on cotton canvas and their playful overhaul of classic modernist aesthetics compliments the fresh take on vintage design characteristic of Forest.

Tamasyn Gambell + Forest London Collaboration 2015

A range of accessories including lampshades, cushions, and hand-printed cork coasters offer multiple opportunities to incorporate the collection into one’s home, whilst one-off wall hangings provide individual and dramatic backdrops.

Tamasyn Gambell + Forest London Collaboration 2015

In line with the craft based ethos of Scandinavian design, the collection is created by local craftspeople in and around London: the cushions are produced by a welfare project in Whitechapel, the lampshades are made by a small factory in Essex, and the upholsterer is based in East London.

Tamasyn Gambell + Forest London Collaboration 2015

Add some bold flashes of timeless and contemporary style to your home this Spring.

Available in shop and online at Forest London ( 115 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5BY. Prices start at £35 for lampshades, £70 for cushions, £9 for coasters.

Available from the 23rd April for two months

The New Wallpaper Collection From Annabel Perrin

Since launching her homeware brand two years ago Annabel Perrin always looked forward to introducing wallpapers to the product range. We couldn't wait to see what she came up with either! So, we're happy to announce that her first ever wallpaper collection launches in May and see’s two of her popular designs Hemlock and Glasshouse reworked especially for walls!

Hemlock Midnight

Hemlock Midnight

Annabel says ‘I believe neutral rooms can be transformed by using standout, statement accessories.’ 



Wallpapers are priced at £105 for a 10m roll.



You might also like our previous post - Introducing Annabel Perrin.

Easter Styling Ideas

Spring is the perfect time of the year to inject some colour and fun into your home. You don’t have to go crazy painting walls and wallpapering the downstairs loo; instead introduce it in small bright bursts for an instant change.

Easter styling ideas

Annie Sloans chalk paints are fantastic to paint over any surface. It means you don’t have to spend hours sanding and priming. Look on her website for ‘how to’ instructions and videos. It’s a great product for up-cycling.

Easter styling ideas
Easter styling ideas

Why not get crafty and make your own basket for your bike. Ours was made by sewing four pieces of fabric together, roughly napkin size, then turning them inside out and attaching ribbon on the back to tie to the bike. You could also try making it with oilcloth for all weather conditions, plus you don’t need to worry about fraying edges.

Easter styling ideas

Cushions are a really easy and cheap way to add pops of colour to your home. You can really mix and match or just invest in one beautiful cushion that takes pride of place on your favourite chair or bed.

Easter Styling Ideas

Wallpaper does not have to go on walls in the traditional sense. These clouds would look great in a nursery or kid’s playroom. Wallpaper in between shelves; wallpaper a piece of furniture then varnish over the top; cover ugly books on a shelf with wallpaper; cover a wall with a collage of wallpaper samples… Look out for wallpapers designed AND produced in the UK; we particularly love the papers here by Miss Print.

Easter Styling Ideas

Tablecloths are another instant and fairly cheap way to add colour and print. Zara Home and Anthropologie are fantastic shops for bright and interesting tablecloths. If you can wash a fabric then you can hem it and turn it into a tablecloth. There are some amazing fabrics out there that may be too much for curtains but could  make a fantastic tablecloth.

Easter Styling Ideas

Washi or wasabi tapes are every stylist or designers favorite product at the moment. You can use it on walls to create images, names and numbers. Type it into Pinterest and see the huge variety of possibilities.

Easter Styling Ideas

Adding and mixing fun coloured and patterned china to your existing white china instantly adds colour to your home. One incredibly bowl on the table; or some beautiful patterned plates for breakfast or desserts. You can mix new and vintage and just buy one every so often. 

Easter Styling Ideas

Just have some fun with colour. The rules are, there are no rules!

Styling & words by Elkie Brown, taken from Spring Issue 2013 of Heart Home magazine.  Photography by Jon Day.

List of stockists can be found here.

An Elegant Edwardian Country Cottage

Sarah Cook is the epitome of the modern working girl; she moves house, renovates, sets up her own online business, manages it from home and raises her young son at the same time.  For most of us, the mere thought of all that is enough to break out in a cold sweat. But for Sarah, it’s a pleasure.

The family have lived in six different properties in the last 15 years.  Yet, despite her itchy feet, for Sarah, it’s actually more about what’s in the property that counts. She adores furniture and always wanted to start her own business. Things finally fell into place last September when she and her husband set up her online shop: La Residence Interiors.  

“All the furnishings I wanted for this place were often way out of our budget, so I thought let’s source it from the factories ourselves.  And then it clicked. Let’s bring a load over and we can sell it! ” She recounts happily.

This home-grown business idea has meant that the majority of Sarah’s products reflect her own French style. However she also draws inspiration from other places such as Norway, which coincides with her love of minimalism.

“I don’t like clutter, and never have! And I know I can be a little bit too mad on that!” She giggles pointing to a full toy box. “But I know when you have children, you have to have it!” she says smiling. But despite the odd bit of toddler clutter, her Edwardian house is minimal, accessorised beautifully and covered head to toe in Farrow and Ball’s muted Elephant’s Breath emulsion paint.

 “I love it!” She says proudly. “Some people say to me- oh you need a bit of colour in here!  But in a house like this that’s all light and airy, it’s nice to keep it neutral. It’s timeless and you don’t need to keep re-doing it.”

Unsurprising, it is exactly this school of thought that forms the basis of La Residence Interiors and despite being the queen of house moves; Sarah’s furniture is always selected for its longevity.  Each piece stands the test of time and can clearly cope with a move (or six…).

Endearingly Sarah has as much passion for her customers as she does her products. So much so, she has to enforce an email embargo in the evenings to switch off.  But, as with any great love affair, the temptation often becomes too great.

“Of course it’s so easy to break, as we get quite a lot of enquiries in the evening, and because it’s still new, we’ll get excited and think oooh, someone’s just placed an order for some dining chairs!” “And then you go to bed thinking about dining chairs.”   She says, almost as if it happened last night.

It takes a certain type of person who realises their dream, completes it so successfully and loves doing it at the same time. Sarah has achieved all of the above with great aplomb.  When you buy from La Residence, you are not only just buying a piece of furniture, but also a little piece of Sarah’s passion; and you know she would be just as delighted with your purchase as you are. In fact, she will even go to bed thinking about it. 

La Residence Interiors.

Click to enlarge.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Photographs: Robertas Riabovas. Words: Liggy Griffiths.


Easter Picks From The Heart Home Shop

Why not treat yourself to a few gifts this Easter? Whether for yourself or a loved one it's the perfect excuse! Stuck with ideas? Well then we are here to help and have put together some lovely products from the Heart Home shop that we think are perfect and that you'll immediately fall in love with... Whether it's cute prints, pretty towels, chopping boards or sweet mugs, we've got you covered.

With Summer time officially started we wanted to put together something with a spring like feel choosing pastel tones and we absolutely love this seaside cottages mug from Snowden Flood. And to keep things fresh in the kitchen this Woven Block Spot Tea Towel in mint green is just adorable. Of course the kitchen is never complete without chopping boards as one can never have enough!

Happy shopping guys...