A Sun-Filled and Colourful NYC Penthouse

Cecilia Dupire is an interior architect and designer, originally from Sweden.  The co-designer of the interactive furniture brand, Zig by Cezign, and Principal of Cezign, she is currently at work on many residential and commercial projects around the world.

Presently living and working from New York City and Southampton, New York, Cecilia comes from a very international background, having attended schools in Stockholm, Vienna and London.  She has worked with the design companies Mackenzie and Rupert Gardner, as well as with her mentor and inspiration, Philip Michael Wolfson, for many years a Senior Designer for Zaha Hadid.  After refurbishing a medieval house on the French Riviera by hand, Cecilia came to New York, doing projects for the W Hotels, Equinox, and many private clients.

Her work is cutting-edge in its attention and focused on the future of how to adapt environments for multiple uses. Heart Home asked a few questions about this NYC penthouse on East 68th Street, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

3. Tell us a little bit about the property. 

The apartment was originally two different apartments filled with small dark rooms.  Cecilia combined the apartments, opened them up into a loft-like space, expanded the views (which are the most arresting part of this project), and created a wonderful, comfortable yet chic apartment for her family and easy to enterain in.  On the top floor near the roof garden, Cecilia has her office space.  

4. Tell us a little bit about your clients. 

The project was for her own family, two teenage children, and her husband, who is an Economist, who presently works at Bloomberg.  They were moving from France and needed an apartment near the children’s school and her husband’s office.  It took Cecilia about seven months to create this open, airy, minimalistic but still warm space.  

5. What was the client brief? 

Room for all, room for entertaining, and enough space and light to make it seem that the home is not really in the city.  Up on the roof garden, it is quiet and the view is amazing, but it is so serene, it is almost like you are not really in the city, but looking at a beautiful picture of it.  

6. How big a job was it? 

Very big, it was a total gut renovation, practically down from the studs.

7. Were there any particular problems to be overcome? 

Cecilia had to remove a lot of the interior walls to open the space, and put in a lot of huge windows to flood the entire apartment with light.  A few of the spaces, like the tiny bathroom (that the kids and guests use) were a bit challenging, but Cecilia, who is a huge fan of multi-use and movable pieces, managed to make it work.  There was also the problem of keeping the long hallway bright, but her built-in interior lighting and opening up the living and bedroom spaces fixed that.  

8. With this project, what are you most proud of? 

Cecilia is especially proud of all the built-in storage throughout the house (New Yorker’s can never have enough), the open kitchen that allows her to cook while entertaiing (something she does quite often) and that she has created such a comfortable home for her family that is also quite stylish but never fussy.  It has also allowed her to incorporate her favourite artists, textiles created by her mother, and other personal things that mean so much to her and to her family. 

9. What are you working on now? 

Cecilia is working on a huge project in Paris, adapting two large buildings into a multi-use commercial and residential space. a residential project in Southampton, a hotel in Miami is about to open that will be featuring some pieces of Zig, the furniture she co-designed with Costas Picadas http://www.cezign.com/zig.html , she just finished a commercial space in Manhattan.  There are always many, many projects going on for Cecilia. 


Photographs: Costas Picadas

Website Of The Week: Hero

Hero is a fashion and lifestyle store that is all about timeless style and easy elegance that elevates the everyday. It’s a happy place where the little details mean everything and where most often you’ll find that less is most definitely more. It's the perfect destination to find that special gift.

Hero is devoted to curating the perfect combination of classic wardrobe staples alongside those pieces you can’t resist but will love forever. Nothing fancy, not complicated just a little bit of everyday luxury.

Here we've pulled together some of our favourite products from this gorgeous website. Happy Shopping :)

Silk for the Ultimate Nights Sleep with Added Benefits

Silk is not only the ultimate in luxury; did you know that it is naturally hypoallergenic, helps regulate body temperature and is renowned for its health giving benefits for the skin and hair? Yes you heard that right. Due to its high protein content, silk unlike cotton, does not absorb moisture from the skin and hair, which helps to keep hair glossy and skin soft, and even helps to prevent facial lines. If that doesn’t make you want to rush out and buy some silk bedding right now, we don’t know what will!

But that’s not all.

gingerlily duvet (1).jpg

Silk filled duvets adjust to the body and to the ambient temperature of the room. So, by trapping air next to your skin, they keep you warm in winter while drawing heat away from the body in summer to keep you cool. Just imagine a light and thin duvet, which drapes softly over the body without weighing you down. And they are resistant to dust mites.

And where to buy? Gingerlily are the leading specialists in silk bedding. Filled with the finest ‘A’ grade mulberry silk filling their pure silk duvet provides a luxurious and comfortable sleeping experience.

So first on our shopping list is a pillowcase to keep those lines at bay. And we may even go the whole hog and buy some silk PJ’s too.

Because we’re worth it!

Summer Vegetable Risotto

Well, spring is just around the corner. And we don't know about you, but we're looking forward to lighter and less stodgy dishes that are full of taste and texture. What's more this tempting risotto is suitable for vegetarians too.

Serves 4
Cooking time: Approx. 25 minutes

handful pine nuts
handful blanched almonds
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tbs olive oil
300g Risotto rice
1 vegetable stock cube plus 1litre boiling water
150ml Eisberg Riesling
1 courgette, thinly sliced
100g fresh peas
100g asparagus, cut into bitesize pieces
freshly ground black pepper
few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
knob butter
parmesan cheese, to serve
½ lemon, zest only

Lightly toast the nuts in a small dry frying pan for a few minutes until golden then set aside.

In a large saucepan, gently fry the onion in the oil for 5 minutes until soft but not browned, then add the garlic and fry for another minute.

Tip in the rice and stir well to coat all the grains in oil then add two ladles of hot stock, stirring gently until most of the stock is absorbed.

Add the alcohol-free Riesling and cook gently until most of that is absorbed. Keep adding stock, a ladleful at a time until most of the stock has been used up.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over the courgette slices and place on the griddle. Cook on both sides until they have nice char lines and are turning golden. Remove to a plate.

Blanch the peas and asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes then add to the risotto. Continue adding the rest of the stock then season with pepper and check that the rice is cooked – it should still be slightly firm in the middle.

Stir in the chopped parsley, butter, courgettes, Parmesan and lemon.

Serve into bowls and scatter with the nuts.

Recipe courtesy of Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine

AUSDRIE – first brand of handmade table linen launches

Following a global trend for fine-crafted goods, AUSDRIE : Handmade has brought to light their first line of handmade table linen.

The brand features only premium fabrics of 100% flax/cotton for long-lasting quality and superb presence. The large tablecloths weight in average a stunning 1.4KG making them a bold companion of any table setting.

And you might wonder, what difference does handmade embroidery make?

Well, it turns out that a lot.  Machine-made embroidery for example is done on a single layer using only one type of thread. The end result is flat-looking designs that look more like the printing on a t-shirt. On the contrary, handmade embroidery is done by multi-layering hundreds of stitches using different types of threads. Such meticulous work yields vivid and rich designs that embellish the body of the fabric in perfect unison.

Their line also features table runners and square/rounded tablecloths embroidered with different techniques to appeal to all tastes.


The products are currently only available in the U.K. and the U.S.A. but the good news is that they ship for free in both countries!

To view a full line of their products please visit their store at: www.ausdrie.uk

Hidden Gems: The People Shop

ive miles from Birmingham city centre, in the bustling suburb of Kings Heath, husband and wife team Allison and Christian Sadler run The People Shop, a place they describe as “about much, much more than shopping. It's a happy friendly place, where we always have time for a good chat with our customers, we want them to have a lovely experience all served up with tea, cake and a smile!”

The couple have been designing clothing and homewares for over 20 years, originally selling at various markets in Birmingham and London and to indie stores up and down the country. They decided to set up their own lifestyle shop and design studio in one location back in 2000 and The People Shop was born. 

Stocking an eclectic collection of handmade clothing, homewares and gifts, The People Shop is far from your run-of-the-mill boutique. The majority of products for sale are made by Allison and Christian’s own fair hands – the latter even offering his own range of 1950's vintage style wedding dresses. Supporting the work of other like-minded local designers is also important to the pair, who also source stock from small independent designers and makers that they love. 

“We design and make most of the products we sell in store in our cute little studio at the back,” explains Allison. “We are happy to work closely with our customers to create products they fall in love with as much as we enjoy creating them and we only make a limited amount of each item, so the shop changes regularly and always looks exciting and fresh and new.”

The couple feel very much a part of the friendly bohemian vibe that resonates throughout the area, with Allison commenting: “we have become a creative hub for locals and The People Shop is an established part of the vibrant community and independent scene here. There are lots of lovely cafes, shops and cool bars here too, so it’s the perfect place to have our family home and to run our business.”

For Allison and Christian, who met at art college in the 80s at the tender age of 16, being creative is a way of life and they encourage their customers to get creative too, running a regular alternative creative workshop, the Sewcial club. “We have the Sewcial space set up in the shop so customers can see us working on new designs or stitching up a batch of new cushions,” explains Allison. “There's usually also a pile of wool and some knitting needles ... just in case our customers fancy getting creative too!”

“We have created a welcoming, inspiring, cosy place for our customers to feel relaxed and at home.”

Pop in to The People Shop, at 50 Poplar Road if you’re passing Kings Heath or shop online at www.thepeopleshop.co.uk.  

Article written by Kelly Lavender taken from May Issue 2014 of Heart Home magazine.  

A Bright and Modern London Apartment

Do you ever wonder about the story behind some of the gorgeous homes featured on a designers website? We know we do. We put some questions to design company PH London about one of their recent renovations.

Tell us a bit about your company

We offer a range of design and build services for both residential and commercial clients. We can take your project from initial conception, through the planning approval process and build, to delivery of the final product: your home or workspace, beautifully renovated and ready to move into.

Tell us a bit about the property

It’s an apartment In St Johns Wood, just off the high street, which had been in the client’s family for fifteen years without ever having any work done to it. It was very dark, run down and outdated.

Tell us a little bit about your clients

Our clients range from families who wish to refresh their property and maybe redesign/extend it to work better for their growing household, to investors looking for our expertise and guidance on how to develop a property to its best potential.

What was the client brief for this project?

The client lives abroad and wanted a complete refurbishment of her property to maximize its rental value. We held meetings with local estate agents to identify potential tenants and to set a budget. Once that was agreed, we devised a fully detailed design scheme and began work on the project.

How big a job was it?

A good-sized, purpose-built two bedroom apartment, that required everything from modifications to the interior architecture, to finishing touches such as cushion covers and flowers for the photo and video shoot.

Were there any particular problems to overcome?

Everything ran very smoothly and on time, with the only potential issue being that the client lives abroad. Thanks to our experience working with international clients on previous projects in India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, we worked around the distance and time difference with flexible and creative use of communication tools and technology.

PH London photographed by James Balston [9].jpg

With this project, what are you most proud of?

Our client’s budget was limited, but we were briefed to create interiors that gave a sense of luxury. By very carefully choosing our materials and finishes, and by only spending more on key pieces, I believe we were successful in creating exactly the high-spec look our client wanted. 

What was the client’s reaction to the finished project?

She was delighted at the transformation of her dark, dilapidated flat into such an inviting, bright and modern space. But even more welcome were the estate agents’ re-evaluations, showing that the increase in value to her property was far greater than the money she’d invested in renovating it.

What are you working on now?

We are currently developing two residential landscape design projects in Waterloo, central London; creating complete interior design schemes for a duplex apartment in Paddington, and preparing the planning application for a residential extension in East Dulwich.

To view a video tour click here.

Photographs: James Balston

Sophie Ellis-Bextor Unveiled As Face Of 'Copper Blush'

Singer and song-writer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has been announced as the face of 'Copper Blush' - the 2015 Colour of the Year as predicted by the team at leading paint brand, Dulux.

The model and mother of three dazzles in the release of a stylised film and stunning series of photography that shows her waking in the morning in a romantic boudoir discovering the Colour of the Year surrounding her and breathing warmth into the room.

Sophie, who has become known for her stylish and exciting use of colour, beautifully embodies the warm glow of a new dawn with the 'Copper Blush' shade. 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, comments: "Style is incredibly important to my everyday life and although people regularly comment on my vintage fashion tastes, it was really great to be part of such a lovely contemporary shoot with Dulux. Copper really is everywhere at the moment and totally on trend so it's no surprise that 'Copper Blush' is this year's Colour of the Year. The shade is full of warmth and it was a real pleasure to wake up in such a lovely bedroom."

Sophie Ellis-Bexter announced as the face of 'Copper Blush' for
Sophie Ellis-Bexter announced as face of 'Copper Blush' for Dulu
Sophie Ellis-Bexter announced as face of 'Copper Blush' for Dulu
Sophie Ellis-Bexter announced as face of 'Copper Blush' for Dulu

Re-decorate Your Home With Wooden Floorboards

With a hint of spring nearly on its way we are starting to re-think the way we decorate. Many of us look into ways of brightening up our homes and bring in as much light as possible. It’s a way for us Brits to fight off grey days and make us yearn for longer days.

If we are thinking of a total makeover then one of the best ways to make a drastic change is simply by changing our flooring.  Many now are turning towards light coloured floor boards which is a great trend. No one does it better than the Scandinavians but we too are now following suit. White washed floorboards can look fantastic in creating an open space feel. They are the perfect neutral backdrop in creating any mood you want. Also light coloured engineered oak flooring can make a home so warm and cosy and give an atmospheric feel.  

You can find a great selection of Engineered Oak Flooring here.

White Wooden flooring 1
White wooden flooring 2
Wooden flooring
White wooden flooring 3

Reduced Sugar Marmalade Sponge Puddings

If like us, you can't resist a pudding but all of those calories make you feel guilty, this recipe is just for you. The marmalade we've used has 50% less sugar than its classic counterpart but 50% more fruit and it's no less yummy.

Time: 40 mins

Makes 4

Ingredients for the sponges:

100g butter

50g light soft brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

75g self raising flour

50g wholemeal self raising flour

1 satsuma, segmented

100g Duerr’s Half Sugar Marmalade

Ingredients for the topping:

100g Duerr’s Half Sugar Marmalade

50ml orange juice


1) Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan/Gas 5.

2) Grease 4 small glass or ceramic pudding basins (about 11cm diameter) with butter.

3) Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flours and satsuma into a food processor and blend for a minute until well mixed. Add the marmalade and mix again very briefly, just until the marmalade is blended through.

4) Divide the mixture between the pudding basins and place on a baking tray. Cook for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

5) Set aside for a few minutes while you make the glaze. Heat the marmalade and orange juice in a pan or in the microwave and stir until dissolved.

6) Carefully turn the puddings out onto serving plates and spoon over the sauce, serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Recipe courtesy of Duerr's

Duerr’s Half Sugar Fine Cut Seville Orange Spread is available at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, RRP £1.39


Selina Lake Launches New Greeting Cards Range

We are absolutely in love with these Beautiful images styled by interior stylist and author Selina Lake and even more excited that they are now available as greeting cards. Abacus Cards, a Suffolk based greeting card publisher, has printed a gorgeous range of 14, square format cards that feature Selina’s classic trade mark styling and sense of colour. 

Selina is well known for her pretty use of colour, mixing old & new and forecasting the next big style trends for our homes. Her bestselling books focus on different decorating styles from Romantic Homespun to Modern Pastels.

This exquisite range of cards, which are exclusive to Abacus Cards and retail at £1.75 are now available in shops.

Selina Lake Greeting Cards
Selina Lake Greeting Cards
Selina Lake Greeting Cards
Selina Lake Greeting Cards

Enduring Trends - Spring Pastels

If there is one thing you can rely on, it’s that the shops will be full of pastel items for the home come spring. It must be the thought of all of that blossom blooming against a blue sky that makes us yearn to fill our little abodes with all things pink and blue.

And if you are reluctant to try this enduring trend because it’s just too girly for you, this doesn’t have to be the case at all. In fact it can look very grown up and sophisticated if you follow just one or two little rules.

Keep walls neutral. White or grey walls work really well with pastels, but avoid painting an entire room in a pastel shade if you are going to use coloured furniture and accessories as it will end up looking like a nursery. 

Keep wood tones light to emulate that very popular Scandinavian vibe. One antique piece in a room is okay but more dark wood than that and it will ruin the effect of airy lightness.

Avoid floral patterns if you don’t want to go down the vintage/retro route. Geometric patterns are fine and a few items in black and white (rugs and cushions) will help to balance the pastels and create that much needed sophistication.

All of the above products (and more) are featured and available to buy on our Pretty Pastel Home Collection on eBay.

You can also view our buying guide here.


A Historic Home in the English Countryside

Canadian expat and blogger Elisa Rathje takes us round her stunning 17th century home, and lets us into a few secrets about her handmade style and homespun living!

There aren’t that many people that you can safely say make and restore most of the furniture and furnishings for their own homes, but that is precisely what Canadian blogger Elisa Rathje does! The handmade chic of this inspiring writer is very much in keeping with the style of the historical property that Elisa shares with her husband and two young girls in West Sussex.

The 400 year old building was originally a Wheelwright and has undergone a few transformations in that time - and for theRathje family it was love at first sight! Elisa explains, “Originally we looked at another property; it would have been so easy to live in – it was very straightforward, nothing weird or unexpected, but in the end we couldn’t not go with this property (Knave’s Acre) – it was so unusual, and there’s so many stories”.

The property was originally one building, but is now a semi-detached space, and was first named Knave’s Acre as, “literally you had to be a knave to farm here. You couldn’t get your horse in – there’s a cliff rising up in the middle of the garden!”

The layout of the property is very unique due to the nature of the origins of the building. Unusually, there are four levels in total! But Elisa has a very strong feeling of historical perspective, and she is sympathetic to the period style of Knave’s Acre and the subsequent changes that the building has been through.

This is something which she tries to convey in the way she decorates and furnishes her home. The house is rented, but Elisa has still managed to make the home feel uniquely hers, and the neutral white walls and the worn beams were already to Elisa’s taste, she explains, “..It already “fitted” when we moved in. We didn’t own hardly any furniture…so there’s this opportunity to get some great antiques and pieces that we are interested in and fix them up!”

Elisa loves to learn traditional skills.  The list is almost endless – pottery,quilting, spinning,sewing,shirring,dressmaking,knitting,woodturning and preserving: “I’ve always learned what I need to learn to make an idea happen. I’ve never focused on one particular medium…and I love a lot of variety and change”.

Obviously Elisa uses these skills to furnish her home, creating a wonderful backdrop to a creative and domestic life filled with the aroma of home-baking; using organic ingredients of course.  Not only that, everything is shared with her readers on her blog Apple Turnover. Her ironing board is wood; there is an old fashioned iron on it.  Her sewing machine is vintage.  There doesn’t appear to be anything plastic in the house, although Elisa did say the children had some Lego!

Apple Turnover – Handmade Stories. Flowers by Blooming Green

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

Photographs: Paul Craig. Words: Michaela Mildenhall

The New Heart Home Online Shop

Everything in our new online shop has been hand-picked by us to reflect the Heart Home style, We have been writing, reporting and living with design for so long now it just seemed the obvious next step to curate our own collection. We can honestly say, all of our chosen products are things that we would love to have in our own homes or would choose to buy for a friend. Lucky friends!

And with Mother's Day (Sunday 15th March - don't forget!) just around the corner there's no better time to do a little browsing.

If you don't find anything you like here there are more fabulous products on our new shop page.

Attention Retailers: 

For any sellers who are using Shopify for their own websites, being featured in our shop is effortless: every part of the process, from uploading images to creating customer orders, is completely automatic and integrated with your website. We love to support smaller sellers, and we know that growing businesses do not have much spare time, so it was particularly important to us to make it easy to work with us. If you want to learn more about this, please get in touch via info@hearthomemag.co.uk

City Guide: Munich - Where Tradition & Design Meet

Design blogger extraordinaire, Igor Josifovic shares with us his favourite spots from his beloved Munich.

The Bavarian capital Munich profits from an excellent location – it is a stone’s throw away from crystal clear lakes, the snow-capped Alps and even Italy is just a short drive away. The bustling city of 1.4 million inhabitants is often referred to as the northernmost city of Italy – and this is mostly due to the city’s unique lifestyle. Nowhere else in Germany can you observe the special mix of tradition and modern lifestyle apparent in Munich. Fashionistas rub shoulders with young locals dressed in traditional costumes (these are considered fashion items here, too), the same people will flock to the traditional beer gardens and eat local food and the next day you will see them at a design pop-up store opening, or a town art exhibit munching on petit fours and sipping champagne. Munich is the city where tradition and design mingle better than anywhere else!

Old Town

Old Town

Where to stay?

Currently, two of my favourite local hotels are the following: For the best stay right in the heart of the old town, opt for the sleek Cortiina Hotel (Ledererstr. 8). The hotel offers sophisticated design in combination with impeccable service combined with a feng shui ambiance, and is also in close proximity to the city’s most important cultural venues. No less design-savvy is the hotel Stadt Rosenheim just east of the city centre. The hotel building stems from the late 19th century and features the ‘Wilhelmilian style’. It is family run and was completely refurbished in 2010 with an interior design concept that combines traditional and modern elements – well, it is Munich as I told you!

Cortina Hotel Maisonette © Kull & Weinzierl GmbH

Cortina Hotel Maisonette © Kull & Weinzierl GmbH

Where to eat?

Inevitably, you will get hungry when roaming the streets so you might want one or two culinary tips for your city breakout. For a quick lunch snack or fresh fruits I recommend you head to the famous market Viktualienmarkt in the city centre. It is one of the oldest markets in all of Germany and boasts fresh produce from the region as well as all four exotic corners of the world. Moreover, you will find fresh blooms galore and lots of handicraft as a lovely souvenir. For a seated dinner, go to the popular restaurant Theresa in the vivid student quarter Maxvorstadt. This restaurant not only features an exquisite cuisine with a huge selection of fresh meat to choose from, but it also entices your design-savvy eye with a fabulous mix of industrial and vintage and offers a designer bowling alley in its basement. A great option for vegetarian lovers is the downtown restaurant Prinz Myshkin with its Mediterranean atmosphere and refined menu. Oh, and for an absolutely original Bavarian atmosphere don’t forget to eat at least once in a beer garden – I love the atmosphere at Seehaus in the city’s large English Garden park (and don’t miss the city surfers on the Eisbach, a Munich phenomenon!).

Theresa Restaurant

Theresa Restaurant

How about a drink?

Munich boasts numberless bars and cafés. For a chic aperitif head to the renown Schumann’s Bar, for a coffee break while shopping opt for the vibrant Loretta Bar in the Glockenbach quarter, great for after work drinks and people watching is the small but uber-famed Bar Centrale and if you’re craving coffee and cake, I recommend the adorable bar/café Hoover & Floyd with its unique interior concept which is just like granny’s home.



Time for design shopping!

I assume you are just like me and love to discover a city’s interior design stores and boutiques. So here are my tips for your Munich adventure: Beautiful and hand selected items for your home can be found at the boutique Ladoug, where almost every item is handcrafted and sourced from around the globe by the owner herself. Fabulous for both, interior pieces and fashion, is the pretty new Weissglut concept store in Schwabing quarter. You will find lots of Scandinavian style items and design classics there. More fashion and home items can be found in the two hip Kauf Dich Glücklich boutiques (literally translated: shop yourself happy) featuring Scandinavian fashion labels and selected home goodies. For one-of-a-kind vintage items head to Delikatessen. Your bags will be loaded!



Now if you need more reasons to come to Munich let me tell you that this is a pretty green city with parks, lakes and an alpine river, it is ideal for art lovers, too (my favourite museum is the Brandhorst museum (for contemporary art) and it has charm in every season – from summery walks in the parks to magical strolls on the numerous Christmas markets in wintertime. So, will I see you here any time soon?

Hofgarten Park

Hofgarten Park

Photography & Words by Igor Josifovic / Happy Interior Blog taken from the Autumn issue 2013 of Heart Home magazine.

Website Of The Week: Raj Tent Club

Raj Tent Club throws a great garden party and have been supplying parties with lovely Moroccan, Indian and luxury Indian tents for years.  They have now opened a new online store to bring  the magical delights of colour, rich materials, traditional tents and exotic home furnishings to your own garden with the new Raj Tent Club online shop.  The new store offers a colourful array of summer glassware, garden furniture, traditional patterned wool throws, collectable cushions and mystical lanterns to light up a garden beautifully.  Raj Tent club travels the world in search of unique high-end items to furnish a garden haven.

A set of beautiful hand carved Elephants from India the perfect finish for an enchanted garden setting.  Everyone in the family can get together with Raj Tent club’s garden accessories.  A doggie and children’s delightful traditional Indian tent house awaits to create the perfect garden setting…

Brabantia Launches Exclusive Capsule Collection With Orla Kiely

Interior design brand Brabantia, famous for bringing style and function to kitchen and homeware, has collaborated with the ‘Queen of prints’ - Irish designer Orla Kiely.

Known for her retro-inspired lifestyle collection - which includes everything from ready-to-wear clothes to furniture - Kiely has teamed up with Brabantia to design a print for its Retro Bin.

Her world-famous stem design has now taken root on Brabantia’s equally iconic Retro Bin. The sprig and leaf motif is available in cream on charcoal with an orange lid, and charcoal on cream with a yellow lid. 


Orla said: “Brabantia are a company that I have admired for many years. Their products are of a high quality and very functional. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with them. We have added some fun to an object that we all use every day. I would be very happy to have one of the bins in my kitchen at home.”

Mechteld Petersen, Value Director: “Orla Kiely’s prints are influenced by the 1960s and ’70s, just like our Retro Bin. Being both contemporary and retro, we feel this bin and Orla’s design to be a perfect match.”

The Retro Bin is more than just a pretty thing – it’s smart inside and out too! Open the lid with a light pedal tap and watch it close smooth and silently. It’s quiet, easy and extra hygienic to use, as you don’t need to touch the lid to open the bin.  Brabantia Retro Bins come with a 10-year guarantee.

The Charcoal Linear and Cream Linear Stem designs are available in 12, 20 and 30 litre Retro Bins, from April 2015 from John Lewis.

Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup

It's Shrove Tuesday tomorrow and if you've been inspired by our post last week, it's time to whip up the perfect pancake for an extra indulgent breakfast or, add a dollop of cream and turn it into a special dessert for the whole family. 

200g Self-Raising Flour, 
1tsp Baking Powder, 
1 egg, 
300ml Milk, 
25g  Butter, melted, 
150g pack Blueberries, 
Sunflower oil or a little butter for cooking, 
Tesco Finest Maple syrup


1.Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

2.Beat the egg with the milk, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter. Beat in the melted butter, and gently stir in half the blueberries.

3.Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5cm across.

4. Make three or four pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden.

5. Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. 

Serve with maple syrup and the rest of the blueberries.

Recipe courtesy of Tesco Living.

How Do You Like Your Pancakes?

Are you a traditionalist when it comes to pancakes? Or do you like to pile on the toppings and go mad?


Candy Rose Collection Whisk, £3.99. Tala Measuring Spoons, £2.89. Candy Rose Spatula, £3.99.

Berry Medley

Banana Surprise

T & G Baroque Chunky Acacia Board, £12.99.

All products and images courtesy of Dunelm.

Brighten Up Your Bathroom in Three Simple Steps

When you look at your bathroom, what do you see? A relaxing retreat where you can escape the stresses of the world, or a tired room that’s been seriously overlooked on the interior design front?

For many of us, the answer is the latter. The bathroom is often the last room you focus on when decorating your house. Usually bedrooms and family rooms take priority and sometimes a tight budget and lack of time can mean that you just never get round to starting the job. As long as the bathroom remains clean and functional, it’s not the most important thing for you to worry about.

So, what can you do to make sure you keep your bathroom fresh and on trend when other factors might get in the way of you renovating it completely?

Invest in a stylish mirror

An ultra-modern LED illuminated mirror above the sink can really bring your bathroom into the 21st century. Invest in a bathroom mirror with lights that will not only brighten up the room, but will also make your morning routine much easier.

Pick a colour scheme

Having a mishmash of colours and styles in a bathroom – especially one that’s small – can lead to it looking disorganised and dated. Instead, choose a colour scheme for your bathroom and stick to it.

You might have a neutral colour like grey or white on your walls, but add a welcome pop of colour with bright coordinated towels, bathmats and accessories and you can quickly freshen up a dull bathroom.

Organise your space with clever storage

The bathroom is a room that can easily look cluttered. Between shampoo bottles, towels, toilet rolls and other accessories, precious surface space can quickly run out. By installing a bathroom cabinet to store all your necessities, you can transform the room into a much more stress-free, de-cluttered place, freeing space on your surfaces to display more luxurious items like candles and perfume bottles.

No matter the size or shape of your space, a mirrored bathroom cabinet from Illuminated Mirrors can easily be fixed to the wall. There’s something for everyone in the range too. From audio-Bluetooth cabinets for music lovers to oak cabinets for those who want a more traditional look. Or, if you’re worried about fitting one into a narrow bathroom, choosing a corner unit is a great space-saving alternative.

Illuminated Mirrors’ stunning range of bathroom mirrors and cabinets all include a variety of useful built-in features like infrared sensor switches, demister pads and energy saving LED bulbs. This means that they blend seamlessly with your lifestyle and really help make your bathroom the stress-free space you deserve.