6 Unexpected Ways to Add Colour to Your Interiors

Most of us love to use colour in our homes, but achieving a well-balanced palette is a challenge. If you’re interested in experimenting with colour but aren’t sure how to get started, we’re here with 6 top tips on how to add colour in some fun and inventive ways.

1. Make Your Doorways Pop

 When it comes to decorating a living space, most of us neglect to decorate the door – but why? After all, a door is a large vertical space that can add a brilliant pop of colour to a room. So the next time you’re decorating, be brave and paint your door. To take this one step further, using a complementing colour on skirting boards can look gorgeous.

 2. Paint Bland Furniture

 By putting paint to brush and updating bland pieces of furniture, you can add pockets of colour, which have the potential to look even chicer than colour added to walls. From tables and dining chairs to bedside cabinets and bookcases, it’s possible to introduce a whole new colour palette to your interiors simply by painting old pieces of furniture. To find out how to transform your old furniture, check out the Guardian’s how to upcycle furniture guide.

 3. Brighten Your Windows with Colourful Blinds

For decades, blinds have been seen as functional and practical, but not particularly stylish. Now however, it’s possible to buy blinds in an extraordinary range of colours, styles and patterns, making it easy to bring a pop of colour to your windows. The guys at So Easy Blinds advise that, “Window blinds come in every shade imaginable, and are an easy way to add colour to your room with no mess or fuss. Think beyond the usual roller blinds, and opt for a wooden venetian blind in a bright colour.”

4. Try Alternative Lighting

 Colour and lighting – it’s impossible to have one without the other. Combine both effectively in your home, and you can create no-end of mood-enhancing, cosy hues. But how, might you ask, can lighting add colour? It’s easy really: simply swap those neutral lampshades for a coloured alternative cast a lovely, tinted glow throughout the room.

 5. Colour the Ceiling

 Rather than whitewash your ceiling, why not paint it in an unexpected and altogether interesting shade? We’re thinking olive green, midnight blue or mustard yellow, but the possibilities are simply endless. Be brave, and make sure the colour complements the rest of the room.

 6. Install Bright Appliances

 one are the days of gadgets and appliances being limited to metal, white or grey; now it’s possible to buy all manner of household electronics that will look genuinely stylish in your home. For the kitchen, we love the range of retro coloured kettles from Delonghi, whilst a coloured DAB radio from Roberts will inject colourful fun into your bedroom or living space.  

Image Credits: 1. Old Brand New 2. English Blinds  3. Bright Bazaar 4. Marie Claire Maison

At Home With Hello Mrs Eve

Kea from Hello Mrs Eve is a German interiors blogger and founder member of new online interiors community at{mine}, which helps design lovers to discover real interiors from across the globe. Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Kea, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Wiesbaden and Berlin. In addition to my job my second passion is interior design. For this past year I’ve been sharing this love for furniture and decoration on my blog hello-mrs-eve. I have also just set up an on-and-offline community for female Berlin bloggers. The first meetings with the girls have been so inspiring – I love seeing them supporting and encouraging each other.

2. Where do you live?

My homebase is Wiesbaden, a city in the south-west of Germany, but since January I have also had an apartment in Berlin, so commute every three weeks back and forth.

3. Who do you live with?

In Wiesbaden I live with my husband and our two cheeky cats, whose playfulness thwart all my ideas for houseplants or still-lifes of porcelain vases! During my time in Berlin  I have my little own place, my “girls-room”, as I call it.  Writing it down, it reminds me of Carrie’s single apartment in Sex and the City, that she keeps while living together with Big.

4.  Tell us a little bit about your home.

I immediately fell in love with our flat in Wiesbaden when I saw the pictures on the internet. It’s an Altbau maisonette with five small rooms. Our bedroom is so tiny, there is just enough room for the bed and a little wardrobe – but the small rooms with pitched roofs make it cosy in no time. There are many details, like old wooden doors and windows. The brick wall in the kitchen was a lucky chance – after water damage in the adjoining house the plaster had to be removed to dry the wall. Fortunately, I was able to persuade the owner to keep it that way.

5. What made you choose to live here in this property?

In Wiesbaden we live in a small district within the old city walls of an old castle that sits on a hill above our house. We are surrounded by half-timbered houses and woken by the bells of a church built in the 15th century right next to our house. It is an idyllic place to live and I love the woods around us. As much as I enjoy living there, I also need the contrast and big city environment of Berlin. The lively atmosphere, plenty little shops, cafés and galleries, creative people everywhere – I am inspired wherever I look. I’m so lucky to call two places like this my home.

6. What improvements have you made? 

Since it is an apartment for rent, our possibilities for changes are limited. But if I could: I would replace the laminate with floorboard, there is nothing better than a creaky wooden floor under naked feet. I would also get rid of the carpet in the staircase and add a bath tub – the only thing, I’m really missing on cold winter days.

7.  What’s your favourite room?

My dining room. First, I was unsure if the wallpaper would be too much for the small room, but I love the result. It's a great place to sit with friends and have dinner not being disturbed by television or the waiting dirty dishes. When I sit at the table, I automatically relax and and enjoy the moment.

8. How has your home interior been inspired by your fellow at{mine} community members?

What I like about at{mine} is the great variety of styles. Because the members come from all over the world, I get a variety of ideas how to decorate, paint walls or use home textiles to create a certain atmosphere. There is no “right way to do it”  – English country style, Scandinavian purity, easy bohemian homes, everything is possible. I  benefit from the diversity – it makes me search for my very own style and not a fixed given answer; how to make a house a home.

9. Describe your perfect day spent at home.

The first thing I see in the morning is the smile of my husband. Since we spend only half our time together, we value our togetherness as much more precious. In summer, we have breakfast outside in the little courtyard. Afterwards I decorate the dining room with fresh flowers from the market and try to keep my cats from eating them! Throughout the day I work at my fifties-style desk or take pictures for my next blog post.

At tea time I relax on my beloved Knoll Daybed, going through interior magazines, surrounded by many cushions and my soft blanket. In the evening friends come over for dinner and we laugh and talk late into the night.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Kea’s home over on at{mine}. Don’t forget, Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

Greek Chic at Sainsbury's

Maybe you've just returned from an idyllic island holiday with sun, sand and white washed villages? Or maybe you are just fed up after a rain washed weekend? Whatever the reason it's very easy to recreate a little Mediterranean magic at home. With a little help from Sainsbury's.

Their Pad Print tableware evokes the ultimate Greek holiday style. The collection features electric blues and cool turquoises with bursts of hot coral, evocative of Santorini’s scenic sun and sea. Full of pattern and colour, this eclectic tabletop range is the perfect backdrop for serving Kalamata olives,  warm pittas and fresh houmous followed by a delicious grilled meat feast.

Vibrant blues and turquoises flow into bright aquas and emerald greens to create a sense of serenity for this ocean-inspired trend.  Tropical palm prints on bedlinen and eclectic mismatched patterns on ceramics in nostalgic beachy hues bring the feel of a Greek island holiday to the home.” Rona Olds, Head of Home Buying.

Bright white walls, traditional blue shutters, blue and white stripes and some 'fishy' fabrics complete the 'holiday all year round' look.

A Rented New York Apartment With a Sense of Heritage

Sheena Murphy lives in the ex-industrial part of Brooklyn, known as DUMBO.  Her rented apartment exudes class, elegance and style, but keeps a sense of heritage. Here she tells Heart Home how she achieved it.

Sheena’s apartment is located in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn, which she explains is “on the East River, nestled between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges” .  “It used to be a manufacturing neighbourhood, with lots of warehouses which have now been converted into residences.  The area is now home to lots of artists, designers and technology folk” she says.

 “It is approximately 650 square feet with one bedroom and a den (which essentially is a very small second bedroom with no windows!)” She says modestly.  “It was previously one of the warehouses in the area, which was renovated in 2010, so the bones were great and all modern conveniences had been installed by the time we moved in.”

Sheena has been renting the property for three years with her husband Paul and their Cavalier King Charles, William. It is effortlessly stylish and has all the charm and character of someone living there for twenty years. You would never guess it was rented, which is exactly what Sheena set out to achieve.

“For us, it was about creating a comfortable, interesting home, which didn’t feel like a rented home, and one which satisfied the opposing styles of my husband and I!” She jests. “We also wanted to ensure that whatever we did, the view was still the star of the show. Not being from New York, the view is a very novel part of living where we do.”

Sheena goes onto tells me that she actually grew up in Hertfordshire; she left when she was 25 and spent the rest of her twenties globetrotting through Bangalore, London and Seattle before moving to New York. It was here she enrolled at Parsons The New School for Design to undertake a graduate degree in interior design. She now runs her own boutique interior design studio, Sheep + Stone, which launched in May 2015.

Looking at her apartment, there is no denying she has a great talent. Be it her training, her natural flare, or a combination of both- she has created a striking and incredibly handsome (rented!) home.

She tells us how the apartment was “a white box with original exposed beams; it already had a designed and installed kitchen and bathroom, so what I did was strictly decorative in scope.” Arguably however, she did a lot more than that! Her skills went well beyond soft furnishings and delved deeper into the realms of light, space and form.

“The biggest challenge was the shape of the living/dining area; it is a relatively long and narrow space with high ceilings. It was important to design the layout so we didn't feel like we were living in a corridor! One of the most impactful things I did was hang curtains either side of the window. This not only added a layer of softness, but also created the illusion of a wider wall” says Sheena.

Sheena’s furniture and colour palette nestles beautifully into the industrial bone structure; it complements the rawness, but also makes it feel homely.  Softer textiles are contrasted with utilitarian light fittings and angular furniture.  The bold walls (with paint by Benjamin Moore) add drama and depth, but also inject warmth.

“Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials!” Says Sheena, freely giving up advice: “people are often nervous to use different metals and woods side-by-side, but doing this can provide interesting dimension and richness in a space.”

Another top tip from Sheena: “Shop high and low; invest money in the larger, most-used pieces in your home, such as your sofa or bed, and pair these with flea market finds and more affordable items to create a collected, less contrived feel. This strategy also helps to manage the budget!”

Sheena not only understands interior design, but the purpose of it. Her studio was launched out of her desire to “create interiors that truly enhance the way people live, through thoughtful responsible design; space impacts our mood behaviours and experiences in so many more ways than those we are conscious of, so it’s important to get it right!”

To see more of Sheena's work visit sheepandstone.com

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

Photographs by Seth Caplan. Words by Liggy Griffiths.

Win An Exclusive Mattress From eve Sleep

Heart Home  are excited to have joined forces with  eve Sleep  and are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a fantastic, one of a kind mattress.

eve is a fresh and exciting new mattress designed and engineered in the UK using layers of premium memory foam, for total body support and topped with a layer of natural latex, which cools and gives a bit of bounce for when things start to heat up. The eve mattress is made in Britain and delivered to anywhere in the country within 5 days of order.

Not only does it provide a great night’s sleep but it looks amazing too.  

eve’s founders have used their knowledge, experience, and passion to launch an innovative new concept that rethinks and simplifies every aspect of buying a mattress, placing the consumer at the heart of the process and combining revolutionary technology with maximum comfort.

Don’t miss out on a chance to win this amazing prize. Wave goodbye to uncomfortable mattresses and enjoy the luxury of a good night’s sleep. To enter this competition all you have to do is click on the link below and fill in a few details – it’s that simple! Good luck!

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 eve, 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 06:00 3rd September. By entering this competition you consent to share your email, name and postcode with Heart Home magazine or eve, 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 winners will be chosen from the list, at random, on 4th September and the winners 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 winners will be asked to confirm their postal address before the prize is awarded. Details of the winners 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.

Florrie + Bill Exclusively For Kitty McCall

Vintage furniture restoration brand Florrie + Bill has collaborated with textiles designer Kitty McCall, to unveil a capsule collection of three fully restored Retro Benchairs.

The stylish and comfortable carver arm chairs in Ola Berry, Bauhaus and Matisse Blue are characterised by a striking, retro-inspired design and colour palette, beautifully reupholstered by Florrie + Bill in Long Eaton, Derbyshire. 

The timeless yet modern touches to this latest collection make for the perfect dining and desk chairs for the home or office, whilst they’ll also sit perfectly amongst café and restaurant fit outs.

Founder of Florrie + Bill, Amy Cawson, says: “The prints are a perfect fit for the retro shape of the Benchairs. I have been a fan of Kitty McCall’s work for so long. The designs are so vibrant and the colour mix is strong and on trend”. 

The Florrie + Bill x Kitty McCall collection is exclusively available for purchase from the Kitty McCall website: www.kittymccall.com

Recipe of the Week - Homemade Pink Lemonade

Nothing beats the taste of home-made lemonade. This recipe includes fresh raspberries which add extra flavour, and the pretty pink colouring. Pour a glass or two and retreat to the garden hammock.

Ingredients:

8 lemons, plus extra slices to serve

200g caster sugar, plus extra to taste

140g raspberries, plus extra to serve

Ice and mint to serve and garnish 

Method:

1.     Pare the zest from the lemons with a peeler, removing as little white pith as possible – cut away any pith you can from the strips.

2.     Juice the lemons and mix the juice, zest, sugar and raspberries with 1.2 litres of boiling water.

3.     Let it cool, then sieve, pressing through juice with the back of a spoon.

4.     Add sugar to taste and chill in jugs.

5.     To serve, add a few lemon slices, raspberries, mint and lots of ice.

This recipe is courtesy of Rangemaster

In The Diary: Such & Such Pop-Up Shop at West Elm

Purveyors of considered homewares and accessories Such & Such are excited to announce their next pop-up shop at West Elm Tottenham Court Road from Monday 3rd - Friday 7th August from 10am-7pm with late night shopping on Thursday!

Following the popularity of their recent pop-up shop in South Kensington, Such & Such have teamed up with West Elm to bring their usually available exclusively online products to central London. 

Here are some of the products to be featured at the West Elm pop-up...

My Warehouse Home

Warehouse Home have launched their debut design collection and as the name might suggest, its perfect for all those living in lofts and warehouse apartments, as well as anyone simply looking to inject elements of industrial, vintage and reclaimed style into their homes.

Warehouse Home capsule collection  (1).jpg

The capsule collection was created in partnership with 9 individually selected British brands including Factory Twenty One, ByALEX, Anthony Hughes and The Electrical Shop, to name but a few. It also reflects several current trends including plywood pieces, typographical designs and screen prints.

A Desk, £675, ByALEX

A Desk, £675, ByALEX

Vibrant summer colours make the collection perfect for contemporary homes and warehouse conversions alike and are the ideal seasonal updates for anyone looking to invest in their home this summer. A word of warning; this collection will only be around for six months!

Industrial Clothes Rail, £695, Inspirit Deco. Stool in oak, £150, ByALEX.

Industrial Clothes Rail, £695, Inspirit Deco. Stool in oak, £150, ByALEX.

Plywood planter, £29.99, Factory Twenty One.

Plywood planter, £29.99, Factory Twenty One.

Cushions, £40, Made by Mrs M.

Cushions, £40, Made by Mrs M.

Warehouse Home launched in November 2014 and is a bi-annual print and digital publication providing interior design inspiration for warehouse conversions and loft style apartments.

Photography by Sun Lee | Photography by Zoe Brewer



Book Extract: Kitchenalia By Vinny Lee

Kitchenalia kitchens are more than just rooms in which to prepare and cook food; they are the heart of a home and a place where character and style is important.

The simple but striking black-and-white chequerboard floor, laid on the diagonal, picks up on geometric designs popular in the 1950’s. This type of vinyl or lino tiled floor is hard-wearing and practical.

The simple but striking black-and-white chequerboard floor, laid on the diagonal, picks up on geometric designs popular in the 1950’s. This type of vinyl or lino tiled floor is hard-wearing and practical.

The Retro Kitchen

A Vintage or retro-style kitchen has the appearance of coming from another time or era. Although some items might actually be old, others may be new but made in the style of an earlier design. The period of focus for the Kitchenalia retro kitchen is the 19.50s, although a little of the decade before and the decade after might just sneak in.

Colour is an important part of this style of kitchen. Paint has been in short supply during World War II and the period immediately after, so household colour had been dictated by manufactures, left-over stock rather than fashionable trends. But by the end of the era bright new colours, such as pink, chartreuse and turquoise joined red, yellow and black as favourites, and graphic design and cartoon-style drawings were widely used in wallpapers and fabrics. New materials such as plastic also had an impact on the style and availability of homeware.

Sky-blue walls and sunny yellow furniture capture the enthusiasm for colour popular in the post-war period. After years of decorating with a restricted palette the opportunity to brighten up was eagerly embraced.

Sky-blue walls and sunny yellow furniture capture the enthusiasm for colour popular in the post-war period. After years of decorating with a restricted palette the opportunity to brighten up was eagerly embraced.

A vintage unit, such as the double-height one shown here, can be stripped, refurbished and painted to match other furniture, such as the melamine-topped table, giving a cohesive and coordinated look.

A vintage unit, such as the double-height one shown here, can be stripped, refurbished and painted to match other furniture, such as the melamine-topped table, giving a cohesive and coordinated look.

Randomly positioned shades of floor tiles pick up on the colours of the units and furniture and break up the plainness of other white surfaces.

Randomly positioned shades of floor tiles pick up on the colours of the units and furniture and break up the plainness of other white surfaces.

The original ribbed glass door panels and worn paintwork testify to this storage unit’s date and authenticity, while the top is used to display a collection of humorous and vintage ceramics.

The original ribbed glass door panels and worn paintwork testify to this storage unit’s date and authenticity, while the top is used to display a collection of humorous and vintage ceramics.

In the post-war spirit of ‘Make do and mend’ an old tool cabinet has been recycled as a store cupboard and a vintage caged industrial light hangs from the ceiling nearby.

In the post-war spirit of ‘Make do and mend’ an old tool cabinet has been recycled as a store cupboard and a vintage caged industrial light hangs from the ceiling nearby.

Recipe of the Week - Rhubarb and Custard Bakewell Tart

Time and time again we come back to the tried and tested favourites. Only this classic Bakewell Tart has a secret ingredient - rhubarb and custard jam! Which means a whole new taste to add to our teatime treats.

Ingredients:

3 tbs Duerr’s Rhubarb and Custard Homebaking Jam

150g unsalted butter

150 g caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1 egg yolk

150g ground almonds

1 lemon, zested

1 tbs flaked almonds

Method:

1)  Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan, 180˚C conventional, gas mark 4.

2)  Make the pastry, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

3)  Roll the pastry out to 3mm thickness and line a 3.5 cm deep, fluted tin.

4)  Bake blind for 15 minutes, brush with egg white, cook for a further 2 minutes and set aside to cool.

5)  Cream the butter and sugar, gradually add the eggs and yolk then stir in the ground almonds and lemon zest.

6)  Spread the jam over the cooled pastry base, then spoon the almond mixture on top, smoothing it and leveling the top. Scatter with the flaked almonds and cover loosely with foil.

7)  Bake for 25 minutes at 170˚C. Remove foil and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes.

Recipe is courtesy of Duerr's homebaking jam, which is the first jam created specifically for homebaking in the UK.  Available at Aldi.

At Home With Cate St Hill

Cate St Hill is architecture journalist, design and interiors blogger and founder member of new online interiors community at{mine}, which helps design lovers to discover real interiors from across the globe. Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an architectural journalist by day (at Blueprint magazine) and a design and interiors blogger by night. I’ve also just finished writing my first book on temporary architecture for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

2. Where do you live?

I live on the cusp of Bloomsbury and King’s Cross, not far from the Brunswick Centre, with my French boyfriend. We live in a two bedroom flat in a four-storey, red-brick block from the 1930s. I love the area, it’s super well-connected and an easy 20 minute walk away from Covent Garden or Angel; King’s Cross has really changed over the past few years and we’re spoilt for choice with coffee shops and restaurants. My favourite street in London, Lamb’s Conduit Street, is also not far – I love to pick up books at Persephone bookshop or browse the small independent boutiques.

3. Who do you live with?

I’ve been living with my boyfriend for a year and half, I bought the flat when I was a student at UCL and lived here with two friends during my studies and for a couple of years afterwards to save money. My bedroom was the living room, so it’s lovely now to have a proper living room and spare bedroom!

4. Tell us a little bit about your home.

Our flat is no 13, some people would think that’s unlucky, but I don’t (yet!). We’re on the third floor and even though it’s right in the centre of town, it’s a lovely quiet flat, and being south-facing it’s very light. We have two generously sized bedrooms, one of which doubles as our home office and a room we let out on airbnb. The living room is the hub of the home and has a small balcony where I try to exercise my green fingers, we’ve got herbs, clematis, lavender and sunflowers at the moment.

We’ve gone for quite a neutral colour palette – everything is painted white or a very light grey, we wanted to keep it light and calm, with a bit of a Scandi vibe, and let some of the accessories do the talking.  

5. What made you choose to live here in this property?

At the time I was a student at nearby UCL so it seemed like the perfect location, I wanted to be within walking distance of the university and King’s Cross back then, in 2006, was pretty run-down, and relatively cheap! When I bought the flat, it was looking a bit sad, with terrible wallpaper and an ancient kitchen and bathroom, but I could see the potential of the large rooms (much larger than you’d get in a modern property, with their dwindling space standards…) with their big sash windows and wanted a little project to do up and make it my own.

6. What improvements have you made? 

When I first moved in with friends as a student we completely gutted it and redecorated, installed a new kitchen from Ikea (that’s lasted remarkably well), a new bathroom, laid down wood flooring, but we kept it quite basic for a student flat (lots of good old Ikea!). When my boyfriend moved in a year and half ago, we had another renovating session, re-plastered some of the dodgy walls, which had hideous bumpy 70’s wallpaper, gave everything a new lick of paint and invested in some nicer, more classic, longer lasting, mid-century furniture, such as Ercol chairs, a Saarinen-style round tulip table, String shelving and an Eames chair. 

7.  What’s your favourite room?

My favourite room is probably the living room, just because for so many years I didn’t have one! It was my favourite room to decorate and source items for. It’s painted in Little Greene’s French Grey and features a grey Ikea sofa, pattered grey rug from Urban Outfitters (bit of a grey theme going on there, my boyfriend’s surname does mean ‘the grey’ in French… just a coincidence I’m sure!) and has lots of shelving for my art and architecture books. It’s also where I like to display all my knick-knacks, sourced from vintage markets or from travels abroad – I love mixing old with new, for example placing an old piece of furniture against a crisp white wall or a modern shelving system, such as the String, with vintage cups lined on it.

Most of all, I love flinging the French doors open in the summer, seeing the balcony in bloom and letting the sunshine flood in. I don’t think I’d be able to live somewhere now without a small outdoor space, it really lifts the feel of the space.  

8. How has your home interior been inspired by your fellow at{mine} community members?

Yes definitely, I’m inspired by some of my favourite bloggers who use the site: Apartment Apothecary, Igor Josif, Lapin Blu, Curate & Display to name a few. They’ve inspired me to think carefully about styling surfaces, not to keep everything the same all the time and to make little, incremental changes every now and then to keep a home fresh and clean.

9. Describe your perfect day spent at home.

My perfect day would start with a lazy breakfast in bed with the newspapers and fresh croissants bought (by the boyfriend!) from a small French patisserie round the corner from the flat called Patisserie Deux Amies on Judd Street. I love cooking and entertaining friends, so we’d have a big picnic style lunch (cous cous salads, roasted vegetables, charcuterie etc) with the doors to the living room open. I’d then nip out to Columbia Road Flower Market to pick up flowers for the house and a couple of plants for the balcony and spend the afternoon reading one of my favourite Persephone books sitting in the sun.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Cate’s home over on at{mine}. Don’t forget, Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

Trend Alert - Ethnic Chic

Inject your home with some colour and pattern this season. Ethnic inspired homewares have never been more popular or accessible. You don't have to travel the globe to add African or Indian traditional crafts to your decor, just sit back and shop online.

Ethnic doesn't necessarily mean traditional either. Handmade in Swaziland from reclaimed waste fabric, these African inspired contemporary designs are from Safari Fushion. The pots are large enough to display as stand-alone pieces but look even better in groups.

Mismatched tableware is the way to go. Avoid the florals and opt instead for bold motifs and colours. Brightly patterned Bohemia bowls by Berry Red

Handcrafted baskets are ideal for keeping veggies to hand in the the kitchen, to store craft projects or small children's toys, or for a natural storage alternative all around the house. These jute baskets are from The Dharma Door .

Cushions inspired by vibrant tribal patterns and colors are probably the easiest way to work this trend. Pile them up and create a comfy, boho vibe on the sofa.

Top: Tribal Embroidery Cotton Cushion Cover, from V Living on DaWanda Middle: Faux suede cushion by Sabrina Shah Hakim available from Designer/Makers. Bottom: Hunza cushion from Sofa.com

Beautiful kantha embroidery gives these cotton saris from Barefoot Gypsy a second life. Each sari is handpicked for it's pattern and colour from a local bazaar before being hand-stitched. They are reversible too, even the blankets, so flip them over for a whole new look! They are so versatile you can use them as a bed covering, folded at the base of a bed or draped over a piece of furniture or table to inject a touch of traditional India to your eclectic home.

Seller Of The Week: Lu West

This week we are a little obsessed with print designer Lu West. We are so excited to be selling her products in our shop.

Lu West (formerly Mengsel) is a collection of prints, homeware and baby from London based South African print designer Luzelle van der Westhuizen.

Her work is inspired by geometric and hand-drawn patterns, as well as African and Scandinavian design. Using traditional silkscreen printing methods, the result is colourful, bold and sometimes whimsical.

Bright yellow Pop Art inspired Bananas, graphic green Crocodiles and Moka Express prints for coffee lovers will transform the walls of your home from drab to fab!

Here are a few of our favourite prints that are now available in the Heart Home shop!

Monochrome Home

Extract from Monochrome Home by Hilary Robertson.

This 1950s farmhouse may be a temporary abode for Annaleena (Leino Karlsson), her husband and their five children, but the interiors stylist and blogger would not consider even the briefest period of compromise or entertain another palette. A superficial makeover was required to smarten up the rental property. 

The whiteout is complete: it engulfs every wall, door, floor and even the staircase, which demonstrates how simple architecture can be greatly improved by a paint job.

The upper floor of Annaleena’s home combines her work station, office and storage for her metalwork designs with an open-plan sitting area next to a balcony with views over the fields.

Two simple white leather Ikea sofas make a surprisingly practical and stylish wipe-clean seating arrangement in the living room. The round black coffee table heaped with a collection of black objects anchors the room.

According to Annaleena, glossy painted white floors require no more maintenance than any other kind of finish. The wraparound white makes the ideal blank canvas for her brand of monochrome minimalism, which she achieves by mixing simple Ikea staples with her own designs.

Annaleena’s budget-friendly scheme involved laying plywood over the floors and applying lashings of white paint, disguising grotty tiles in the kitchen with panels of ‘gold’ sheet metal and updating the fitted cabinets with pale dove grey paint.

The grey master bedroom is pared down to the basics and is a lesson in how affordable minimalism can be. Crisp white bedlinen, an oversized paper globe shade and a white chest of drawers are combined with Annaleena’s own black hanging rail design for her tightly edited wardrobe of monochrome clothes. Instead of art, she hangs two round gold mirrored hooks for necklaces and scarves.

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Monochrome Home by Hilary Robertson, photography by Pia Ulin, published by Ryland Peters & Small (RRP £25).

Time For Tea: Our Favourite Cafes In London

London is fit to burst with cafes, coffee shops and bakeries. Yet it can still be a challenge to find a spot where you’re guaranteed great service, a perfect cuppa and a satisfying slice of cake.

Thankfully, I seem to have unintentionally tried and tested hundreds of the capital’s teatime establishments…

The Haberdashery

The Haberdashery

If you’re after laid back vintage charm The Haberdashery in Crouch End is a must visit.

In the villagey area of North London, which has avoided the spread of coffee chains and sprouted uncountable numbers of independent cafes, The Haberdashery has plenty of competition. But, with its bunting draped exterior and towering plates of cake in the window, it still manages to draw in the crowds. In fact, some days you’re lucky to find a table. Not that its popularity should put you off.

A selection of cakes at The Haberdashery

A selection of cakes at The Haberdashery

This nostalgic café exudes eclectic style, with pretty painted chairs, mismatched vintage crockery, kitted tea cosies and cute knick knacks. Once you’ve found a seat, you’re in for a treat, whether that’s a pot of W. Martyn of Muswell Hill tea, a jam jar of raspberry and rose soda or a steaming bowl of unbelievably rich hot chocolate “festooned with marshmallows”.

Muffins come baked in little terracotta pots, while a heaving cake display offers an array of surprising flavours, like Orange Blossom and Cardamom, Rose and Elderflower and Nectarine and Rosemary. Though they do also do an impressive and simple Victoria Sponge for cake purists.

Brunch at The Haberdashery

Brunch at The Haberdashery

If you’re after more than a slice of sponge, The Haberdashery does a mean brunch – think Eggs Benedict or Banana and Cinnamon French Toast – plus generous salads, chunky sandwiches and hearty soups.

While it’s a favourite of the Crouch End mums by day, The Haberdashery also plays host to local musicians, vintage markets and a supper club once the sun goes down.

Down in South London, and on the other end of the scale from The Haberdashery’s homely and cluttered interior, sits Peggy Porschen’s Parlour, a palace of pristine presentation and precise cake making.

Cakes at Peggy Porschen’s Parlour

Cakes at Peggy Porschen’s Parlour

The Belgravia tea shop is a love letter to the art of cake, and a mecca for those with a seriously sweet tooth.

Once upon a time, Peggy’s bakes were bespoke and order-only – reserved for celebrations, wedding days and the rich and famous (Kate Moss and Elton John are among past customers) – but since the opening of the Parlour in 2010 the cake creations are now available for anyone to taste.

Inside the Parlour, pretty pastel shades are the order of the day, with a select number of tables, dainty designs and refined prints. But style aside, the glass cabinet - full of cookies, confections and perfect rows of identical cupcakes topped with thick swirls of sweet icing - is really the café’s focal point.

Pretty interiors at Peggy Porschen’s Parlour

Pretty interiors at Peggy Porschen’s Parlour

Choose from classic yet indulgent flavours like Salted Caramel, Banoffee, Black Forest and Dark Chocolate Truffle. I can personally vouch for the Strawberry and Champagne Cake being beyond heavenly.

It’s not just about cake, Peggy Porschen also serve up their own blends of tea, such as Caramel, Floral Rose and Orange Flower, designed to balance the sweetness in their range of bakes. Perfection. 

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott taken from the October 2014 issue of Heart Home Magazine.

Lamb Kebabs with New Potato and Green Bean Salad

This recipe makes a lovely change from the usual barbecued meats. It doesn't require much preparation and yet it feels special enough to impress guests when entertaining.

Serves 4

Method: Grill or BBQ and stove

Approx 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes marinating

Ingredients:

500g lean diced lamb (eg lamb leg)

1-2 medium sized courgettes, sliced thickly

4tbs Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Honey™ Barbecue Glaze, plus extra to serve

1 lemon, juice only

800g new potatoes

250g green beans (fine/French or stringless beans)

1tbs extra virgin olive oil

large handful mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano and mint, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Place the lamb in a bowl, add the Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Honey™ Barbecue Glaze and the juice of half the lemon. Stir well then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while the meat is marinating to avoid them burning

Boil or steam the potatoes until just tender. Halve the fine beans or finely slice the stringless beans depending on which you’re using, then add to the potatoes for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, remove the lamb from the fridge and thread onto 8 skewers, adding pieces of courgette in between the chunks of meat. Baste with the marinade again. Grill or barbecue for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until cooked to your liking, then set aside and keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and beans and return to the pan. Drizzle over the olive oil, add the chopped herbs, black pepper and a good pinch of sea salt then transfer to a large serving dish.  Serve with the kebabs on top of the potatoes with a serving bowl of extra Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Honey™ Barbecue Glaze on the side.

Recipe is courtesy of Jack Daniels

A Stylish Apartment In Milan

Heart Home takes a tour around Paola Secchiaroli's stunning Milan Apartment. Based in the buzzing area of Navigli, this old Italian apartment has been totally restyled. We chat to Paola about how it all came about.

 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Paola, a communication and events consultant.

2.  Where do you live?

I live in Milan, in the Navigli area, a very lively district full of small, typical artisan shops, cozy cafes and restaurants, art galleries. The last Sunday of the month there's a very popular traditional antiques market where we bought a lot of stuff for our house.

3.  Who do you live with?

I live with my husband Roberto and my 5 years old boy Leonardo.

4. Tell us a little bit about your home.

It’s a semidetached house built around 1950,  which we bought in 2006. It’ surrounded by trees, gardens and parks. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we actually live in the city!

5.  What made you choose to live here in this property?

The house was in bad condition, but we could instantly appreciate the light and the large space... It was not easy to see the potential at the beginning, but we are now so very happy with the result!

6. What improvements have you made?

We actually refurbushed it completely, it really needed to be modernized! We also wanted to re-organise the space: an open space living room, two bathrooms, two bedrooms and a study/ guest room.

7.  How big a job was it?

It was very big job and we were not ready at all! I’m all about styling and decorating, but dealing with builders and technical issues is certainly not my strength  - fortunately there was my husband for that ;).

8. Were there any particular problems to overcome?

Luckily there wasn’t any.

9.  What are you most proud of in your home?

Probably the living room: it’s very spacious, bright and well organised. It certainly is the room where we spend most of the time together.  

10.  Where do you find inspiration?

I would say almost everywhere: pictures that I see on internet, TV or magazines, or something I see in a restaurant or a hotel during our travels, while I walk in the city,…

Easy Ideas for Adding Colour to the Garden

We can't all be green-fingered. And we can't all have spectacular blooms brightening up our outside space. But that doesn't mean the garden shouldn't be full of cheer!  It's very easy (well, a little effort is required of course) to keep the garden looking bright, fresh and on-trend by adding colour to the outdoor furniture and accessories.

Table: Cuprinol Garden Shades in Green Orchid. Bench: Cuprinol Garden Shades in Winters Night (both £24.99 2.5L) Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L) in Boston Teak.

Table: Cuprinol Garden Shades in Green Orchid. Bench: Cuprinol Garden Shades in Winters Night (both £24.99 2.5L) Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L) in Boston Teak.

We all know that we should regularly paint and protect our garden table and chairs, but why not make a statement with these gorgeous soft shades to make a real focal point of your eating area. Coordinating cushions will finish the look and add an extra layer of comfort for those long lazy weekend breakfasts. 

Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L)  in Silver Birch. Benches: Cuprinol Garden Shades (RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Black Ash. Table: Cuprinol Garden Furniture Stain(RRP £12.69 for 750ML) in Mahogany.

Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L)  in Silver Birch. Benches: Cuprinol Garden Shades (RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Black Ash. Table: Cuprinol Garden Furniture Stain(RRP £12.69 for 750ML) in Mahogany.

Even accessories such as lanterns, plant pots, watering cans and herb markers can be given the paint treatment with specialist paint. This is especially effective as brighter, zingy colour accents when furniture and decks are painted a more neutral shade. We love this silver birch decking stain and it provides just the right muted background for some bright orange and green pops.

Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L)  in Silver Birch. Benches: Cuprinol Garden Shades (RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Black Ash. Table: Cuprinol Garden Furniture Stain(RRP £12.69 for 750ML) in Mahogany.

Decking: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain (RRP £24.09 for 2.5L)  in Silver Birch. Benches: Cuprinol Garden Shades (RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Black Ash. Table: Cuprinol Garden Furniture Stain(RRP £12.69 for 750ML) in Mahogany.

Decking and seat: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain(RRP £24.09 for 2.5L) in Silver Birch. Fence: Cuprinol Garden Shades(RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Beach Blue and Coral Splash.

Decking and seat: Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain(RRP £24.09 for 2.5L) in Silver Birch. Fence: Cuprinol Garden Shades(RRP £24.99 for 2.5L) in Beach Blue and Coral Splash.

Fences too, will benefit from a little attention with the brush. Let your imagination run free with some ice-cream shades and create a fun, stylish corner for a little rest and relaxation. The special pigments in the paint will give a rich colour while still allowing the natural texture of the wood grain to show though.

Now sit back and relax!

All paints from Cuprinol. All products from Homebase.

Seller Of The Week: The People Shop

We are always looking for inspiring brands to add in our shop so we are super excited to be adding a new seller that reflects the Heart Home aesthetic. Lets give a big warm welcome to The People Shop.

Allison and Christian Sadler are the friendly duo behind this cheerful lifestyle brand, selling clothing, gifts, home wares and accessories that simply just make you happy! We recently featured them in Heart Home magazine and on the blog so you can read a little bit more about them here!

In our online store you will find a carefully curated collection of our favourite things from The People Shop, we hope you will love them as much as we do.

Do take a look in our shop here and see many other lovely products  that we are currently selling. In the mean time here our some of our favourite products from The People Shop that you can buy now :).