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 :).

Alberto Pinto Designed Luxury Residence Collection Goes to Auction

Alberto Pinto designed luxury Knightsbridge Residence Collection goes to auction July 14th to 15th 2015, and here is a sneak peek of what’s in store.

Pro Auction will be offering furniture and fixtures from the collection of a private residence in Knightsbridge, an exclusive residential and retail district in central London and home to many flagship stores and international fashion houses. The property was designed and furnished by noted international interior designer Alberto Pinto. For more than 40 years, Alberto Pinto Design has been a renowned name in shaping lifestyles and turning dreams into reality for their discerning international clientele.

Comprising more than 1200 lots, the sale of the Knightsbridge collection will feature a superb array of Continental furniture and decorations while showcasing exclusive furnishings, decorative and household items, lighting, textile products, silver and more – all from a myriad of French and Italian globally-renowned brands. Further, the collection, spectacular in its richness and diversity, is a tribute to Pinto’s signature style, fusing the elegance and sophistication of an 18th-century-styled private residence with the contemporary luxuries expected from some of the world’s leading suppliers.

The Pro Auction Limited Knightsbridge auction will take place at The Brompton Room, Millennium Knightsbridge, 17 Sloane Street in Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 9NU, commencing at 10 am on July 14th and 15th. Online bidding will also be available via a live webcast. Virtual tours, images and catalogues are available by calling +44 (0)1761 414000 or via download from www.proauction.com.

This post  is in collaboration with Pro Auction Ltd

Recipe of the Week - Jammy Biscuits

Biscuits really are so easy to make we often wonder why we don't get out the pinny more often! And these ones are no exception. Made with Duerrs jam which has been specifically created for home baking, we can pretend we're making them for the children, but we're not fooling anyone.

Ingredients:

100g butter

75g caster sugar

1 egg

200g plain flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cornflour

Duerr’s Rhubarb and Custard Homebaking Jam to fill the biscuits

Icing sugar, to dust

Method:

1)   Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan/ 180˚C conventional.

2)   Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, add the vanilla then gradually add the egg.

3)   Sift in the flours and stir well to make a dough, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

4)   Roll out dough to 3mm thick. Use a plain cutter to cut out discs. Remove centre from half of the biscuits with a cutter shape of your choice.

5)   Carefully transfer to baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper or parchment and bake for 15 minutes.

6)   Cool, then spread the plain biscuits with jam, top with a shaped biscuit and dust with icing sugar.

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

6 Inspiring Balcony Garden Ideas

A report from the Royal Horticulture Society reveals that more than 85% of us Brits reside in towns and cities – and many of us live in properties without traditional gardens. We all know that access to a garden in urban areas is important, as they have a real impact on our wellbeing, so if your garden space is limited, fear not – there’s plenty of scope to create one on a balcony (or even a window ledge).

Here are six ideas to get you excited about setting up a garden on your balcony. 

Pots and Accessories - Homebase

Pots and Accessories - Homebase

1. Three is the Magic Number

If you’re working with a small space, stick to a palette of no more than three colours (and use green as a base colour). It’s easy for a balcony garden to look over-crowded, so limiting yourself to just three complementary colours will help to make your balcony more restful retreat than urban jungle. Check out this guide from Floristry Expert for more information.

2. Artificial Turf

Artificial turf can be a great option for the balcony gardener – it requires minimal upkeep and gives instant impact. Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, artificial turf is usually the only viable option for the more industrial-type city balconies. Just look at this cool post from Fennel and Fern if you don’t believe us!

Accessories - Sainsbury's Home

Accessories - Sainsbury's Home

3. Implement Top Dressing

When you’re working with such a small space, it’s important to keep everything neat and tidy – even more so than with a traditional garden. Top dressing on your containers, whether it’s with pebbles, slate, or wood chips, is an easy way to tidy them up. It also helps prevent weeds from growing and stops soil prematurely drying out.

4. Minimalist Potato Patch

Growing your own potatoes, carrots, turnips and other root veg doesn’t require a huge field. It’s totally possible to cultivate your own potato patch on your balcony with the help of a potato bag – we particularly like the Botanico Spud Bag, which has a pull-down section for easy access to the vegetables. They require just compost, seeds, water and sunlight – the bags can help you grow a selection of veg for stews, pies and Sunday roasts from your balcony or terrace.

Pots - House of Bath

Pots - House of Bath

5. Plant Vertically and Horizontally

One of the most important lessons for the balcony gardener is to think beyond the floor space when planning out your garden. Plant up walls, alongside balcony rails and hang containers from overhead surfaces; the balcony gardener needs to be creative with space!

London-based garden specialists Capital Gardens explain the benefits: “Vertical gardening can help small areas like balconies really come to life. Almost all surfaces can be used to grow attractive and sweet-smelling plants; just be sure to water them often, as vertical gardens – especially if they’re on a sunny balcony – tend to dry out quickly.”

Accessories - Tesco Direct

Accessories - Tesco Direct

6. Think Practical

Before ordering large trees and ornate flower pots for your balcony, it is important to check the load-bearing capacity of the balcony. Hire a structural engineer to advise you about how much weight your balcony can withstand so your garden doesn’t crash down upon the balcony below.

If you have any more balcony garden advice to share, please let us know in the comments below!

A Character Cottage with History

A well-travelled couple bring character and style to their West Oxford property.

Originally from Ireland Sarah Lidwell-Durnin and her American husband John moved to Oxford three years ago after living in both Marrakesh and Paris.

The couple spent many years before marrying travelling around the world, and this is reflected throughout their home “we are already planning our next escape!” Sarah laughs. Sarah, owner of online store Natural History (now sadly closed) and her husband John, owner of ’The Clinic’ design consultancy live with their children Beatrice and Donna.

Drawn to the stunning location of West Oxford and the great history of the area, the couple’s Victorian house was originally built by Christ Church college workers. Only a few of the original families are now left in the town and so it is very rare for original houses to be on the market.

Lucky for Sarah and John, the 3-bedroom period cottage was previously owned by “a couple with great taste, so there was not much work to be done” states Sarah. “When we moved in I was heavily pregnant, and one evening when John had gone out I found myself ripping out the bathroom floor under which I discovered wooden floorboards! John then later arrived to shout ‘what have you done!’. “Luckily we had a skip in the garden from carrying out a conversion in the attic for guests,” laughs Sarah.

“I painted everything myself in the house, I do get carried away with white paint as when we lived in Marrakesh our house was fresh and clean and I love the calmness that the colour brings,” explains Sarah. Stunning focal accessories such as the ‘Jielda’  lamps were brought from Paris and the rugs were bought in Marrakesh.

Flexible in her style Sarah is inspired by The Natural History museum back in her home town Dublin. She has fond childhood memories and the museum has coloured her design ideas. Sarah often takes a trip back to recharge her batteries.

Sarah now runs a Creative Consultancy at Sarah Lidwell-Durnin.

This feature originally appeared in issue 2 of Heart Home magazine in December 2011.

Photographs: Oliver Gordon.

Be Brave! It’s Time to Embrace Colour in Your Bathroom

Step inside your bathroom – what do you see? White, cream, and a bit of beige? Yup, we thought so. Of all the rooms in the home, the bathroom is the one that’s likely to be suffering a bit of neutral overload. We blame memories of our parents’ avocado suites of course. So, it really is time to stop being scared of colour in the bathroom. Here are our essential tips on adding vibrant, gorgeous colour without making your space look dated.

Towels and accessories - House of Fraser

Towels and accessories - House of Fraser

Accent with Textiles

Before you reach for the roller and paint tray, it’s important to understand just how easy it is to add colour to your bathroom without resorting to a complete makeover. Like any room in the home, textiles and soft furnishings can be used to great effect when punctuating a room with colour. From curtains, to bath mats, to towels, there are lots of accessories that can add a punch of colour.

Embrace the Paintbrush

If you plan to paint, brace yourself for a real transformation, whether you go bold and coat the whole space or add a striking feature wall.

Pastels look pretty of course, but we think that jewel tones can’t be matched for a super-luxe feel. Aubergine, teal, and emerald green look amazing paired with gold or bronze metallics. Keep the bathroom suite crisp white and prepare to be dazzled.

Accessories - Homesense

Accessories - Homesense

Make Your Basin Pop

Think about it – on a normal day, how long do you spend above the basin? From shaving beards and scrubbing cheeks, to chopping nails and flossing gums, the sink doesn’t half see some usage. So it’s important to make it a happy and colourful place to be. 

There are a couple of options here, beyond changing the wall colour:

·         You could add some gorgeous tiles to the splashback – take a look at these beauties .

·         You could choose a sink surround in a stand-out colour.

·         Opt for a beautiful mirror in a metallic colour.

Towels and accessories - Debenhams

Towels and accessories - Debenhams

Liven Up Your Tired Floor

When it comes to decorating, the floor is often a neglected facet – but why? After all, we look at it just as often as vertical surfaces. We say, don’t abandon your floor; instead, spruce it up by laying a colourful rug or two. The result? Your floor will feel warmer, more welcoming and look good to boot.

Wallpaper Direct

Wallpaper Direct

Hang Wallpaper or Wall Art

Like carpet, the use of wallpaper is often frowned upon in bathrooms, but we have no idea why. Contemporary wallpaper pastes are more than capable of withstanding the steam and moisture of a bathroom; some are even waterproof. The beauty of wallpaper is that it’s available in a range of colours and patterns, helping you to make a real statement in your bathroom.

As the guys at JL Bathrooms explain, “there’s no need to be afraid of colour in your bathroom – this is probably the best room in the house to show some quirky personality, so get inventive with cheeky wallpaper in bold colours and prints. Though if you’re opting for bold walls, keep a crisp, white bathroom suite to set it off.”

Inject Fun with a Kooky Shower Curtain

Provided you haven’t ditched the drape in favour of a glass screen, your next step should be to add a bright, no holds barred shower curtain to your bathroom. These days it’s possible to pick up a curtain in about any colour, style you desire – so why waste time on a crummy white or plain one?

Get yourself over to Café Press, and you can choose a funky curtain that will inject a bit of joy into your daily routine.  From floral prints to famous skylines, the choice of shower curtains is quite extraordinary. 

At Home With Agata Witkowicz

Agata Witkowicz is a Polish interior design 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 run the webshop Kapibara, selling interesting, clever and beauty home accessories in Scandinavian style. I’ve also started my own production, its a Kinkallo brand – just the beginning of a great adventure! I love design and beauty, clean lines and proportions - just like Pythagoras concept of harmony. I used to live in Cracow, the former Polish capital, but two years ago we moved to Polish seaside.

2. Where do you live?

I live in Gdynia, a city and seaport on the Baltic Sea in Northern Poland. It's a young city (est. 1920), a Polish symbol of modernity. We live in the old part of the city, in a Modernist tenement house built in 1936.

3. Who do you live with?

I live with my husband and our 3 boys: 12 year old Stas, 10 year old Julian and 6 year old Feliks.

4. Tell us a little bit about your home.

We live in spacious 2 bedroom apartment. It has a beautiful oak floor and a lot of light. When we moved in we knocked down a wall between  the kitchen and living room to get a nice open area – I really love that room now. In the kitchen we put in black and white tiles, which look nice in contrast to the wooden floor.

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

I love the Modernism era and buildings from that time, all the details, high ceilings, and nice floors, so this was perfect. We also wanted to live close to the beach and city centre, so our home is ideally located.

6. What improvements have you made? 

We are still planning some improvements, but have already changed the floor plan by making one big kitchen  / living room area. The bathroom is still waiting for improvement- we would like to change out the old tiles to white metro tiles.

7.  What’s your favourite room?

The open plan kitchen / living room is my favourite space in the house. We spend here a lot a time during a day, preparing meals together, watching TV. I like the light, airy space we've made in that kitchen, and the contrast between the black kitchen island against the white wall.

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

I like all the home greenery and flowers pots I see on at{mine} and enjoy watching new trends emerge, such as small macramas. I also enjoy spotting kids rooms as I’m still improving the boys room so am looking for inspiration.

9. Describe your perfect day spent at home.

My perfect day at home starts with cup of coffee, then I get kids ready for school, tidy up after them and then I'm ready to start working. I love my job, having opportunity to work at home, the same time waiting for boys, preparing dinner … Just an ordinary day.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Agata’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.

ferm LIVING Christmas 2015 collection

We know it is probably too early to be talking about Christmas, so do ignore us if you want to. But we couldn't resist sharing with you the latest ferm LIVING Christmas collection as it is a dream!

The collection has many timeless items, which will help bring a warm and cosy Christmas spirit in to your home during the holiday season, but with a minimalistic and contemporary look, making certain items stylish enough to even fit into your home all year long.

There's a main focus on solid brass in different shapes and functions, and as always with a strict graphical inspiration as a red thread throughout the designs.

The 2015 Christmas collection is true to the ferm LIVING graphic and contemporary signature, filled with new items made to become instant classics for you and your family.

001_12907.jpg


Raspberry Yoghurt Lollipops

A guilt free way to cool down this summer. These pretty lollipops are full of fruit, yoghurt and just a small dollop of honey, so you can enjoy a sweet treat without counting the calories.

Ingredients:

2 small ripe bananas

2 cups frozen raspberries

2 cups Greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt)

2 tbsp. honey

Method:

Slice bananas and put it into a food processor or blender with 1 cup of frozen raspberries, yoghurt and honey. Add more honey if needed. Whiz it up, until mixture is smooth. Fold in the second cup of frozen raspberries.

Transfer lollipop mixture with raspberries into lollipop molds.

Freeze for at least 3 hours, or until solid.

Take the frozen yoghurt lollipops out of the freezer and dip the lollipop mold into hot water for a few seconds to loosen the lollipops.

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

Recipe and photographs by: Giedre Augustinaviciute.

Statement Lighting By Lee Broom

This past April, Lee Broom unveiled his latest and largest collection in Milan.

Alongside furniture pieces and accessories, this collection - The Department Store - introduces us to a range of new lighting pieces from one of Britains most accomplished designers.

Ring Light

Ring Light

Ring Light

Ring light takes a perfectly polished brass sphere and pierces it with a dimmable circular fluorescent tube to create a stunning pendant light. Simplistic in its design and flawless in its presentation the ring light would be an instant focal point in any interiors.

Crescent Light

Crescent Light

Crescent Light

rescent light takes a classic spherical light form and adds a simple twist. The illuminated sphere is sliced in half to reveal a crescent-shaped brushed brass fascia and when illuminated highlights the simplistic yet elegant silhouette. Available in both pendant and table lamp. 

Fulcrum Pendant

Fulcrum Pendant

Fulcrum Pendant

The fulcrum pendant takes a classic Lee Broom design and re-imagines it as a beautiful pendant light. These lights come in both a chrome and brass finish and look striking as a feature pendant or in the five-piece Fulcrum Chandelier on a ceiling plate.

Fulcrum Pendant

Fulcrum Pendant

Love Scandi?

If so, you're going to love these new wall murals from Murals Wallpaper in collaboration with Danish design company PK Copenhagen.

Poul Henningsen Lamp Wall Mural

Poul Henningsen Lamp Wall Mural

Each one features a silhouette of timeless furniture pieces set against block colour backdrop's. Focusing on the likes of Danish design masters such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Charles Eames and Poul Henningsen and printed on high quality wallcoverings.

Hans Wegner Shell Chair

Hans Wegner Shell Chair

Hans Wegner Chair

Hans Wegner Chair

Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp

Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp

Michael Palmer, Marketing Manager at Murals Wallpaper, commented on the upcoming launch: “Murals Wallpaper is thrilled to have come to an exclusive arrangement with PK Copenhagen to sell their Scandi furniture-inspired designs as wall murals. Scandi is stunning the interior design world at the minute and we are proud to contribute to the trend with this exciting new range.

The new collection is available on the Murals Wallpaper website and your favourite design can be made to your exact specifications to create a beautifully bespoke piece that will fit your chosen wall perfectly. Prices start at £23.50 sq/m with worldwide shipping available (UPS).

Simple Window Dressing

Sometimes less is more and the same applies to our window dressing. Many of us instead of opting for Curtains or voiles, decide that keeping it simple is best. 

No fuss, no clutter, just simple and pretty blinds can make a room feel clean and fresh. Roman blinds are one of our favourite options especially for small spaces. They can look great and are perfect for most tricky solutions, especially for roof windows! They can be so versatile and change look completely depending on what fabric you opt for. We absolutely love the choices from VELUX, there you can really explore the infinite potential of beautiful fabrics and be inspired by the soft styling effects that make their collection refined and original. What’s even more impressive is that 

They also have a fantastic collection from Amsterdam-based designers, Scholten & Baijings. Scholten & Baijings have gained international acclaim for their exquisite sense of colour, graphic aesthetics and richly-crafted details. Inspired by the way light changes from dusk till dawn, Scholten & Baijings have created 6 stunning designs for the VELUX Roman blind Colour Collection. The designs span from early morning sunrise over bright midday-light to intense nightglow.

An absolute bonus is that Roman blinds are really easy to change therefore making them even easier to love!

This post was written in partnership with VELUX, a company that sells window innovations. VELUX sells across the United Kingdom and is a great source of inspiration.

City Guide: Toronto

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods.  If you ask anyone where he or she lives, they will give you a name. It might be Little Italy or Riverdale, Forest Hill or Cabbagetown. Each has it’s own characteristics and own history. Some are defined by their physical boundaries while others by the culture that inhabits them. These small neighbourhoods give Toronto a distinctly small town feel within a larger urban city. Chances are, you will know your green grocer, the person who works at the post office and have a friendly relationship with the barista who makes you coffee every morning. If you visit Toronto make sure to take the time to visit some of these neighbourhoods and immerse yourself in the fabric of the city.

Hoi Bo

Hoi Bo

HOI BO

Hoi Bo is located in the Distillery District, a collection of Victorian-era, industrial buildings that were originally part of the Gooderham & Worts distillery. In 2003, the area was transformed into a place where art and culture mingle among good restaurants and independent boutiques.  Hoi Bo, is the vision of artist Sarra Tang. Along with a small team, they hand make finely crafted bags out of materials like waxed cotton and leather in a palette of white, grey, black, navy and khaki. There is also a curated selection of jewelry and clothing available.

Ho Bo

Ho Bo

TABULE RESTAURANT

This Middle Eastern restaurant can be found in Leslieville, a hip, young community in the lower Eastern part of the city. Designed by the of-the-moment firm Commute Home, the space is as pleasing to be in as the food is good to eat. Turquoise tiles in traditional geometric patterns mingle with space-age light fixtures and rich wood detailing. The menu features traditional Middle Eastern cuisine like fried eggplant, labni – a homemade Lebanese yogurt cheese mixed with garlic and topped with za’atar and falafel. There is a spacious patio out back and on Monday and Tuesday’s there are no corkage fees for their BYOB program.

Tabule Restaurant 

Tabule Restaurant 

CORIANDER GIRL

If you’re looking for the perfect bouquet or just want to be inspired, stop by the charming, whimsical flower studio, Coriander Girl, owned by Alison Westlake in Parkdale. With its whitewashed brick walls, vintage furniture and numerous vases and pots for sale you won’t be disappointed. There is often a roving menagerie of animals floating around as well from the resident rabbit Harry to a King Charles spaniel to lovely feathered friends.

Coriander Girl

Coriander Girl

TYPE BOOKS

Type Books likes to call itself “your friendly neighborhood bookstore.” With two locations in Toronto (Queen Street in the West and Spadina Road in Midtown) it adapts itself depending on the neighbourhood it is in hosting readings for local authors and supporting homegrown artists with its innovative window displays. This one, in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood is definitely worth a visit. Pick up a book or magazine, head next door to Chippy’s and grab some fish and chips. Then head across the street to Trinity Bellwood’s park and wile away the rest of the afternoon under a tree.

Type Books

Type Books

Emma Reddington is the designer and editor behind The Marion House Book. She is also the Home Editor of Chatelaine, Canada’s most widely read magazine.When she’s not busy doing all of the above you can find her over on Pinterest keeping her close to 4 million followers inspired.Emma has a degree in Interior Design and has worked in the field as both a residential and commercial designer. She occasionally moonlights as a prop stylist.

Written by Emma Reddington, photography by Kristin Sjaarda  taken from the September 2014 issue of Heart Home magazine.

Parsnip Cake with Horlicks Icing and Toasted Hazelnuts

This is an extract from Vanilla Black by Andrew Dargue.

Parsnips may seem an odd ingredient for a cake but, if you think about it, they are actually quite sweet; we don't bat an eyelid at carrots in cake. We pair parsnips here with malty Horlicks and toasted hazelnuts. You could add a more formal touch by serving the un-iced cake as a pudding, with a little vanilla ice cream and a few orange segments.

 VANILLA BLACK by Andrew Dargue. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2015.

Serves 6 - 8

For the cake:

150g sunflower oil, plus more for the tin

75g ground almonds

3 eggs, lightly beaten

150g muscovado sugar

45g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

pinch of sea salt

150g (1 medium) parsnip, peeled and grated

For the icing:

125g unsalted butter, softened

125g icing sugar, sifted

50g Horlicks malted milk drink

To decorate:

50g hazelnuts, skinned

icing sugar, to dust (optional)

Preheat the oven to 155C/fan 135F/gas mark 3. Oil a 26 x 12cm loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Spread the ground almonds and hazelnuts (for decoration later) on separate baking trays, then toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, turning them with a spatula every 5 minutes so they cook evenly. The hazelnuts may take a little longer. Set aside to cool.

For the cake, whisk the eggs, oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or use a food mixer fitted with the beater attachment), then add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, ginger and salt. Lastly fold in the parsnip and mix thoroughly.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack.

While the cake cools, make the icing by beating the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy (or use a food mixer fitted with the beater attachment). Make a paste with the Horlicks and 2 tbsp of boiling water, then beat this into the buttercream.

Once the cake is cool, spread the icing generously over the top, then chop the toasted hazelnuts in half and scatter over. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar, if you like.

Vanilla Black by Andrew Dargue is published in hardback (£25) by Saltyard Books. Also available as an eBook.

Introducing Wall Paint By Annie Sloan

Following on from the phenomenally popular Chalk Paint™, 1st July sees the exciting launch of Wall Paint by Annie Sloan.

Duck Egg Blue

Duck Egg Blue

Wall Paint is a tough, water-based household paint that takes whatever life throws its way.  Washable and scrubbable, everyday spills and marks are cleaned off with ease, making this an exceptionally practical, high performance paint for walls and ceilings.  Wall Paint is perfect for high traffic areas such as halls and kitchens, it is easy to use and features a luxurious soft-matt finish with a very light sheen.  Wall Paint is the perfect complement to Chalk Paint™, which is traditionally used on furniture and various surfaces throughout the house and garden.  Annie Sloan has chosen 10 of the most popular decorative and historic colours from the Chalk Paint™ palette for the Wall Paint range – Original, Old White, Paris Grey, French Linen, Graphite, Aubusson Blue, Duck Egg Blue, Old Ochre, Versailles and Country Grey.  

Graphite

Graphite

Annie Sloan says:  “I have developed Wall Paint with my approach to painting firmly in mind - which is to be expressive and free.  Paint should be simple to use and a pleasure to work with for everyone no matter what their ability.  Yet this it is a very practical range – with Wall Paint it is easier than you would think to achieve a high quality, professional grade finish with colour consistency, whether you choose to use a brush or roller.  

Paris Grey

Paris Grey

As with all Annie Sloan products, Wall Paint offers a no-fuss approach, with no preparation required.  It is rich in high quality pigments providing extensive coverage – as well as depth of colour – so is suitable for producing good results when painting straight over other colours.  

Aubusson Blue

Aubusson Blue

Wall Paint is available exclusively from Annie Sloan stockists - who are located throughout the UK - and on-line, priced at £39.95 for a 2.5 litre pot and £6.45 for a 125ml sample pot. For further information & stockist details visit www.anniesloan.com or telephone: 01865 803 168.

Great Ideas for Small Gardens

There’s nothing nicer at this time of the year than sitting in the garden. Whether it’s just for a quick cup of coffee in the morning, a pre-dinner drink, or a long lazy Sunday afternoon doze it’s great to feel the sun on the skin and to feel closer to nature. So hopefully your own little space outside is somewhere you feel happy and contented and proud to show off to your friends. If not, read on, because we have some simple and do-able ideas to make small gardens feel great.

Mobiliario de Jardines y Exteriores via Homify

Mobiliario de Jardines y Exteriores via Homify

1.       Paint the walls white. If you have a very small garden or patio this can make a huge difference to the feel of the space. White will intensify any available light and bounce it around creating an almost Mediterranean feel.

Cue & Co via Homify

Cue & Co via Homify

2.       Use mirrors. It might sound daft to use a mirror outside but it has the effect of giving the illusion of more space. The wide mirror in the image above literally doubles the size of the garden and blurs the boundaries.

Giardini Giordani via Homify

Giardini Giordani via Homify

3.       Get rid of the lawn. Let’s face it, lawns take a lot of maintenance to keep looking nice and during the wetter months they are completely useless. Replace the lawn with paving and larger flowerbeds and you will have a nice place to sit all year round with the added bonus it will be a magnet for birds and wildlife.

Simbiosi Estudi De Paisatgisme via Homify

Simbiosi Estudi De Paisatgisme via Homify

4.       Create a pleasant seating area. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and you can often use things you already have without buying new expensive garden furniture. Bench seats can be made more comfortable with squashy cushions and an old palette looks great as a coffee table.

Bladihaus via Homify

Bladihaus via Homify

5.       Plant vertically. In some gardens the wall space takes up more surface area than the floor and it makes sense to use this with some hanging pots and climbers trained up a frame. It also looks very pretty!

Phillys Interior Design via Homify

Phillys Interior Design via Homify

6.       Plant a tree. Just because you are short on space it doesn’t mean you can’t have big ideas. There are many trees that can be planted in pots and sheltered spots also mean you can grow species that might not otherwise survive.

This post was written in partnership with Homify, an independent platform for architecture, interior design, interior decorating and construction. Homify connects the end user and professionals across the United Kingdom and is a great source of inspiration.

At Home With Benedicte Clouet

Benedicte Clouet is a French stylist 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} launch community and receive early access to the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Benedicte, a French Stylist, and mother of 4.

2. Where do you live?

I’ve lived in London for 10 years now.

3. Who do you live with?    

With my husband and kids.

4. Tell us a little bit about your home.

Our flat is a light and simple place, surrounded by trees in a Victorian brick mansion block. It is a 5 bedroom flat on one floor, with beautiful high ceilings. The décor is minimalistic/Scandinavian style. I love wood, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

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

The light, the space, the silence and circulation in the flat.

6. What improvements have you made? 

We’ve added lots of bespoke wood furniture and curtains to dress the windows.

7. Where do you find inspiration?

In art and nature.

8. Describe your perfect day spent at home.

On Saturday mornings we all get up leisurely and enjoy a French family breakfast with croissants and pain au chocolat, and spend the rest of the day listening to music, reading books, and enjoying family moments.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Benedicte’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} launch community and receive early access to the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

Photography © Sophie Denux, from Toc Toc Toc. 

A Family Retreat by the Sea

Isn't it everyone's dream to have a bolthole away from the stresses and strains of everyday life? Even better if that retreat is in picturesque Devon with estuary views. This lucky family have just that, and interior design company Studio Ashby helped them create a family holiday home that they just can't get enough of. Here, Sophie Ashby tells us more about the project.

1. Tell us a little bit about your company.

Led by its creative director, Sophie Ashby, Studio Ashby creates spaces with a unique identity. Ashby’s aim is to bring authenticity to each project, not only in the selection of furniture, lighting and art but in its use of a natural palette of materials and textures. Humour and a love of objects with an explicit narrative result in a carefully balanced body of work that creates cohesive spaces with a sense of honesty. 

2. Where is this particular project situated?

This project is in the town of Salcombe, South Hams, Devon, South West England. 

3.  Tell us a little bit about the property.

The property is a grade II star listed Georgian building occupying a spectacular coastal position near Salcombe Harbour. With the help of architectural firm Atkinson Architects, the house has over the last few years undergone a full restoration, involving intricate conservation procedures in collaboration with English Heritage and South Hams DC.

4. Tell us a little bit about your clients.

They are a young British family with young boys. 

5. What was the client brief?

The brief was to create something comfortable and cosy whilst being sophisticated and grown up. We weren’t interested in creating anything resembling ‘seaside chic’ or obviously beach, despite the location; instead the aim was to create a colourful and relaxing space, perfect for entertaining  - a retreat from London weekday life. 

6. How big a job was it?

It was a big job and took about 5 months from start to finish; there are 4 bedrooms in total.

7. Were there any particular problems to be overcome?

No not really! It was a joy to spend some time in Devon whilst on installation and for project meetings as I actually spent my teens growing up in a village nearby - I am a Devon girl at heart. 

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

I am most proud of the Master Bedroom; the view is spectacular and all of the colours and fabrics chosen in the room make it feel as though the view merges into the room - there is no boundary and it feels very tranquil and calm. The daybed in the bay window is an incredible place to curl up and read a book and one of those places where she just want to sit glued to the window, gazing at the sea. 

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

They were delighted and can’t find enough time to spend there. 

10. What are you working on now?

We are working on a large modern house in Cambridge, a penthouse apartment in South Bank Tower, a burger restaurant and a family home in Chelsea to name a few! 

Shop Of The Week: HomeBarn

Looking for some shopping inspiration? Why not make a weekend of it and head down to vintage interiors store HomeBarn in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Back in 2010, sisters-in-law Sally and Sarah Wilkie, with backgrounds in fashion design and interiors buying respectively, were exploring career options that would fulfil their creative passions while giving them the flexibility to care for their young families.

Sally had recently returned from a seven-year stint as a Fashion Director for Abercrombie & Fitch in the US and was inspired by the amazing offering of vintage and flea market style stores across the pond. The pair lamented the lack of such stores in the UK and sensed a gap in the market.

“We both felt there was a lack of vintage outlets locally selling much more than the traditional antiques (grandfather clocks and mahogany linen presses etc.). We wanted to create something different and make the shop a destination for people to make a special trip to the countryside to seek us out,” Sarah explains.

Having known each other for 13 years, the sisters-in-law had no doubts about going into business together, especially given that their husbands (brothers Mark and James) also work together, running London design agency, The Narrative. “We were both passionate about interiors and vintage and shared a similar taste in all things for the home, so the match of Sally and I was perfect,” Sarah explains.

The result was the stunning interiors store, HomeBarn, which stocks a vast range of vintage furniture and decorative accessories; everything from industrial furniture to original apothecary bottles, individual vintage printing blocks to enormous scullery cabinets salvaged from grand Victorian homes. They also work closely with UK craftsmen to make bespoke dining tables and cabinets to order from reclaimed timber.

HomeBarn also specialises in original paintwork and unique historical pieces which have not been over-restored. “We love learning the story and history behind each piece of furniture,” they explain. “For example, we have a coffee table made from a door of a 17th Century nunnery which is mounted on legs made from the fire dogs from the same property.”

Sally and Sarah are also fascinated by entomology and botany, reflected in the wide range of nature-inspired artwork for sale, much of which consists of unique botanical pieces produced in conjunction with British artists.

Passionate about visual merchandising and styling, they also invest significant time and energy into the design and layout of the store.  “We enjoy making the shop and website look exciting, ever-changing and aspirational so that people can envisage a quirky piece such as an old shop counter in their own home,” they explain.

The duo want the experience at HomeBarn to be different from that of the traditional antique shop, so they chose to organise the layout of the barn by living areas, such as kitchen, dining, living, etc. “You can buy all manner of vintage gardening accessories from 100-year-old hand thrown terracotta pots to vintage French vine secateurs from our potting shed area,” they explain.

HomeBarn is located in the picturesque Buckinghamshire village of Little Marlow, surrounded by the Chiltern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Most of their customers find the store online and tie in a trip to HomeBarn with a relaxed weekend of nearby countryside walks, wonderful restaurants and cosy gastro pubs.

While the pair do turn to books and magazines for inspiration, they admit they are often inspired to commission new pieces based on what they need in their own homes. They also work closely with their trusted network of cabinetmakers and antique traders, who will often seek Sally and Sarah’s opinions on new pieces and vice versa. “They are all very creative and we definitely inspire one another,” they admit.

Sally & Sarah at HomeBarn

Sally & Sarah at HomeBarn

HomeBarn also creates bespoke commissions for a wide range of trade customers, including interior architects and designers, sourcing everything from quirky decorative accessories and statement pieces for projects ranging from domestic interior schemes to bars, restaurants and even cinemas.  

Words by Victoria Dockrell & Photography by Michael Norman taken from December 2014 issue of Heart Home magazine.

My Cool Dutch Houseboat

Extract from My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion.

The family's houseboat is moored 20 minutes' away from Amsterdam on the delightful Nieuwe Wetering, a narrow canal dating back to the fifteenth century and connecting the rivers Amstel and Vecht. Wendy and Jochem were in their twenties when they left the bright lights of the city behind them and decided to settle here on a rather cramped traditional houseboat. When the children were born, the couple soon realised that they needed a bigger home and the moved up to a two-level vessel. Twelve years later, however, they had even bolder plans: to sell up and self-build a veritable ark for their growing family. They found the mooring with an attached strip of land that would accommodate a studio for Wendy, who was already a successful artist and now an amateur architect too.

Style Notes

On canvas, Wendy is known for her colourful, figurative compositions, but her interior design style is all about contrasting black and white surfaces and clean lines. The visual tension is diffused by the views of the natural contours and colours that flood in from outside through the vast floor-to-ceiling windows and two large skylights. In summer, the sliding glass doors open, and any boundary between the interior and exterior is blurred by the wooden floorboards, which extend out onto the spacious terrace.

In the kitchen, Wendy's obsession with eking out every extra centimetre possible from the design pays off. There's a flexible island around which the family cooks, eats and entertains. One of her paintings also serves up a welcome helping of colour.

A white palette dominates down below, where natural light is more difficult to source. The bedrooms peel off from a central bathroom, walled with rough wooden planks in the same brilliant white. Tongue-and -groove built-in cabinets with discreet finger pulls instead of obtrusive cupboard handles complement the unfussy design. It's a pleasing attention to detail and adds an informal touch to the basement level. This can be seen in the bedrooms, too, where mini plywood boxes shore up timber lengths to make desks, and cheerfully coloured plastic chairs exude an easy confidence. There are no timber floorboards down here. Instead, a polished concrete finish catches the light from the thin above-the-waterline windows to keep the scheme bright. It is also a practical choice for three adventurous children with muddy river banks in such close proximity.

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, £14.99, published by Pavilion.