The New Collaboration Between Next Home and ercol Furniture

Launching this Autumn, Next and ercol have collaborated to create an exclusive new furniture collection. There will be 15 pieces in all, for the living room, dining room and bedroom and each one will celebrate skilled craftsmanship, attention to detail and the beauty of solid oak. Collectively, the high quality design combined with functionality has resulted in a timeless and sophisticated collection.

Chesham Media Unit- £599, Chesham Small Sideboard- £750, Chesham Open Shelving Unit- £599, Hartwell Side Table- £225, Burcott Sofa- from £1250.

Chesham Media Unit- £599, Chesham Small Sideboard- £750, Chesham Open Shelving Unit- £599, Hartwell Side Table- £225, Burcott Sofa- from £1250.

Chesham Extending Dining Table £799, Chesham Set of Two Dining Dhairs £375.

Chesham Extending Dining Table £799, Chesham Set of Two Dining Dhairs £375.

Hartwell Bed £799, Hartwell Wardrobe £1099, Hartwell Side Table £225, Hartwell Chest £750.

Hartwell Bed £799, Hartwell Wardrobe £1099, Hartwell Side Table £225, Hartwell Chest £750.

Hartwell Chest, £750.

Hartwell Chest, £750.

Available exclusively online from August 2016 from Next.

Combating the Heat so You Can Sleep in Summer

We tend to switch up our bedroom textiles with the changing seasons, not merely because we want to stay in trend and seasonally on point, but also because our bodies and our ability to sleep is often greatly impacted by temperature. Therefore, as temperatures drop in autumn and winter, we “winter proof” our bedrooms by adding a thicker duvet and piling on the blankets and pillows; anything to keep ourselves warm, cosy, and comfortable enough to get the sleep that we need. Of course, in spring, when temperatures begin to rise, we ditch the heavy duvet and extra blankets for something thinner, lighter, and more breathable. What can you do to combat the extreme heat of some of those hot summer nights that leave you lying awake wishing for sleep? Piling on is easy, but taking off is not as simple. So here are some tips and tricks to make your bed more “summer proof.”

Our Three Bedroom Textile Tricks to Keep you Cool

On those hot summer nights, trying to keep cool as a cucumber is no easy task. Of course, there are a lot of great tricks that you can implement, like putting your sheets in the freezer, taking a cold water bottle to bed, or getting creative with fans. However, there are a few ways that your bed itself – or how you choose to adorn it – can play into keeping you cool.

  1. Use Cotton Linens
  2. Stay away from silk and polyester sheets, and go for cotton. Not only do good cotton sheets feel more lightweight, but they promote better ventilation, will feel more breathable, and absorb moisture – like sweat – all aspects which will keep your body cooler.

  • Invest in a Heat-dissipating Mattress
  • Although you aren’t likely go out and buy a new mattress just because it’s summer, you should keep the season in mind when you do need to replace your mattress (which should be every 10 years). When you invest in a mattress that is incredibly comfortable and designed for good airflow, like this one is, you are investing in something that will help you achieve a great night’s sleep all year round. As with any type of purchase like this, be sure to read reviews before buying to hear about other peoples’ experiences first. This blog also goes into great detail with regards to the unboxing and initial thoughts of the mattress.

  • Try a Different Kind of Pillow
  • Give a buckwheat hull pillow a chance. Trust us, this is actually a lot cosier than it sounds. Aside from giving great support, buckwheat hull pillows promote good air circulation and absorb sweat and moisture, unlike a cotton or down-filled pillow. Both of these characteristics will keep you a great deal cooler on those hot and balmy evenings. There are many places where you can buy these online, or you can actually make it yourself if you are feeling up to the challenge.

    New Collection From Donna Wilson

    We're are extremely fond of Donna Wilson, so as usual we were ecstatic to see her new pieces from the latest collection. Her sense of humour, love of craft, pattern and colour is knitted into every one of her playful designs.

    Fond childhood memories in the countryside influence this latest collection. Delve into the forest for new faces hiding in the wild grass and tall trees, where birds soar high in the sky. Cuddle up with a dove cushion or one of her new luminous knitted cashmere creatures...

    Donna has always been mindful about the environment around us so created her first collection of eco friendly tableware made of bamboo fibre. These pretty painterly designs are also dishwasher safe.

    Recipe of the Week - Red, White and Blue Yogurt Parfait

    This recipe was made using the Dessert Bullet, which is a must have for anyone who has dairy allergies, is gluten intolerant or for those looking for a healthier dessert option.  It turns simple frozen fruits into delicious frosty-treats without the extra sugar, fat, or calories of traditional frozen desserts.  By using fresh fruits as your main ingredient, you have desserts that taste just like your favourite ice creams and are actually good for you.


    Ingredients:
    1 cup vanilla greek yogurt, frozen in ice cube trays (You can use cottage cheese, too!)
    ½ cup fresh berries
    1-2 Tbsp slivered almonds
    Drizzle of honey, optional


    Method:

    Allow the yogurt cubes to thaw for about 10-15 minutes before running them through the Dessert Bullet chute.
    Run the yogurt into a parfait glass. Layer the ice cream with berries and almonds.
    Drizzle the top with a little honey and enjoy!!

    This recipe is courtesy of High Street TV 

    Watercolour Wonders By Murals Wallpaper

    Make a masterpiece of your walls with this collection of watercolour wallpaper murals. From blue hues to rusty reds, these wallpapers deliver maximum style - with next to no effort. 

    The murals, which are designed and sold by Murals Wallpaper, utilise modern digital printing techniques and capure the watercolour effects through HD photography. The prints can then be hung just like normal wallpaper but still make a big impact.

    A Harmonious Home

    The wallpapers add depth and serenity to any room, with flowing brush strokes and delicate textures. Opt for an all over colour wash, or something grungier to contrast modern furniture and decor. Adding abstract yet restful pieces like these watercolour wallpapers makes for an impressively harmonious home.  

    Casa Mathilda Bed & Breakfast, Barcelona

    Casa Mathilda is located in the Eixample district of Barcelona on the main floor of a early 20th century building. It is one of the recent projects by Espacio en Blanco, an interior design studio led by Barbara Aurell.

    The B&B hotel has 14 rooms, all with natural light from the large windows, and some with direct access onto the terrace, which has to be the jewel of Casa Mathilda. A verdant oasis that allows escape from the bustle of the city. 4 of the bedrooms have a chill-out area suitable for families, and Assumpta Baldó, the owner, prepares delicious breakfasts, with homemade cakes, natural juices, seasonal fruits and different types of breads.

    With this project, the designer's recovered the original features where possible, from brass doorknobs to oak floors, which have been combined with existing hydraulic tiles. The existing towering stained glass doors are now sliding doors in the common areas, and some of the original ceilings mouldings have been converted into mirror frames and shelves, which, along with vintage style furniture creates an eclectic space with great personality.

    "If I had to define this hotel would as a space created by people for people," says Barbara Aurell. "I wanted to escape creating a cold and impersonal accommodation for our guests. Thanks to the distribution of spaces and to the philosophy of its owner, guests can feel at home, moving freely in the kitchen and common spaces and even organize their own dinners, "adds the interior designer.

    Espacio En Blanco

    CASA MATHILDA, Roger de Llúria, 125-127, principal-08037 Barcelona www.casamathilda.com

    The Window Film Company & Mini Moderns Debut New Designs

    Mini Moderns and The Window Film Company have united this year for the unveiling of an exciting new design collaboration.

    Following in the distinctive mid-century style that has won Mini Moderns numerous plaudits since it’s 2006 foundation, the collection of films released with The Window Film Company ties in with the brand’s 10th birthday, and are the perfect addition to any home that wants to add an element of graphic flair.

    Mini Moderns Solstice Film

    Mini Moderns Solstice Film

    With 18 designs now available to choose from, including popular patterns such as Metroland, Whitby, Paisley and Darjeeling, each film is available in either a white printed or Frostbrite style – providing an on-trend alternative to traditional window treatments.

    Mini Moderns Metroland Film

    Mini Moderns Metroland Film

    Every order is printed and cut to the customers exact specifications by The Window Film Company’s in-house team, with the full range available to view on The Window Film Company’s website www.windowfilm.co.uk.

    Mini Moderns Paisley Crescent Film

    Mini Moderns Paisley Crescent Film

    Micky Calcott, Director of The Window Film Company said: “The partnership with Mini Moderns has allowed us to offer an expansive range of exciting products to customers. Window film is an increasingly popular choice for designers and this is a great chance for us to demonstrate exactly what can be achieved”

    Mini Moderns Whitby Film

    Mini Moderns Whitby Film

    Mark Hampshire, who founded Mini Moderns with Keith Stephenson added:  "Working with the Window Film Company has given us a great opportunity to extend our product range, offering our customer a chance to co-ordinate their window treatment with our wallpaper and other home accessories. This collaboration also gives us a chance to revisit some of our favourite designs from the last 10 years, celebrating Pattern with a Story,  in a totally different medium". 

    Layered Minimalism in a Chicago Condo

    This is the eclectic home of Justin Colombik and his partner Jason Sebacher. Justin is an interior designer who designs high-profile restaurants and hotels throughout the United States (currently he's working between Chicago and San Francisco)—as well as abroad. Jason has two jobs: he is a playwright—having produced and published plays all across the country—and manages the Department for English as a Second Language at Truman College.

    Their home is a condo on the top floor of a vintage four-story walkup. It's in the historic Andersonville neighborhood, on Chicago’s north side, a hop, skip, and a jump away from the lake. Consisting of one bedroom, a library (second bedroom/office), a living room, dining room, 2 foyers (front and back) and a back porch, they have lived there since 2013 and it's their first home together.

    Loving the style of their home, we asked Justin a few questions:

    Q. What attracted you to your home in the first place?

    A. The layout, the “bones,” and the neighborhood.

    Q. What improvements/decorating have you done?

    There was really a top-to-bottom renovation; other than moving walls (which we thankfully didn’t have to do) and the charming, old-world details that you just don’t see in new buildings (like the fittings and moldings), almost everything has been gutted to the studs, updated and/or cleaned-up.

    First, we had all of those vintage details restored and touched-up. Those were an important centerpiece to the design, and we wanted to make sure they shined. In every room we repaired and painted the walls, added period moldings and refinished the floors.

    The kitchen and bathroom were gutted. In the kitchen, we got new appliances suitable for a small space, cabinets, lighting fixtures. The kitchen has a convection microwave, which doubles a second oven. We configured the layout to increase storage, appliance size, and countertops with changing the size of the space we had or moving plumbing. We replaced the granite countertops with quartz. In the bathroom we updated the shower fixtures, replaced the vanity/countertop refinished the cast-iron tub, and added a stackable washer and dryer.

    In the bedroom there were these bizarre three-foot-deep, full-length mirrored closets that we moved a long with the wall and install custom full height built-in modern wardrobes with lighting.

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

    A. I really love how my partner and I blend our personal styles together to create our own style. Jason would be happiest if books covered every available wall and surface, and I am more of a layered minimalist. Together we created a smart, comfortable, interesting space that we both love—lots of rich textures and great art.

    Q. Are there any more improvements you wish to make in the future?

    A. I’d love to have a stair go directly to the roof so we could access the rooftop and create a roof-top garden.

    Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?

    A. Jason and I started with what we both loved, and with how we want to live. His incredible book collection was a design challenge that we also used. While I usually get my inspiration from fashion, pop-culture and architecture, for this project, I was inspired by us.

    Q. How would you describe your style?

    A. To me the greatest beauty is simplicity. It’s a fine line to toe, and my style exists in the spaces of clean architectural lines, a connection to history, layers of textures, and meaningful stories.

    Q. Do you have any favourite shops/market?

    A. Many of the pieces in our home come from a design shop called Scout, which is a few blocks away. Amazing one of a kind finds!

    Q. Have you found any real bargains?

    A. When my grandparents moved from Illinois to become full-time Floridians, they gave me a lot of their furniture and art. Visiting the house was like walking through a Mad Men set; they have wonderful taste that has enhanced our homes design—as well as making it more connected to them.

    Q. Do you entertain often and how?

    A. Absolutely! We have a formal dining room that comfortably seats eight, and we like to fill it! Jason also has actors over for script readings.

    Q. What’s your favourite menu/music for entertaining?

    A. I love cooking, and work my way through interesting cookbooks I pick up—so it depends! That said, you can never go wrong with comfort food. Jason likes to put together the music for when we entertain; we both love the 80s, so there’s a lot of fun to be had.

    Q. Which is your favourite room and why?

    A. Personally, it’s the kitchen! I love to cook. With the great appliances, finishes, and layout, it’s such a pleasure.

    Photographs: Annkathrin Murray (annkathrin.murray@gmail.com)
    You can see more of Justin's work here and here.
     

    New Mod Collection By Art & Hue

    Art & Hue has created a new collection of stylish pop art prints inspired by the sharp bobs and modernist cuts of the 1960s hairdressing revolution.

    With the invention of the 60s bobs, geometric crops, and the five-point cut, women were liberated from the traditional time-consuming ritual of dressing hair - with a modernist haircut they could wash & go with their minimalist style falling perfectly into place.

    Mary Quant, Twiggy, Nancy Kwan, Peggy Moffitt, and Mia Farrow defined modernity in the 1960s with their sharp short cuts that indicated they were free to spend their time on their life and not their hair.

    Adopted by the Mod girls of Carnaby Street and the King's Road, the short cuts complemented their minimalist wardrobe and Mod boyfriends, as well as enabling hair to look good even after a windswept jaunt on a Vespa or Lambretta.

    There are no images more quintessentially 1960s than the photographs taken by Vic Singh of the sharp and minimalist hairstyles at the time. An official collaboration with Rex Shutterstock, Art & Hue has transformed the iconic photographs into stylish pop art prints, available in a choice of 17 colours and three sizes.

    The Mod Hair collection is printed on 310gsm fine art archival matte paper, made from 100% cotton, using pigment inks which last several lifetimes.

    See the full collection at http://artandhue.com/modhair/

    Shredded Duck Salad with Fresh Plums, Red Currant Jelly and Herb New Potatoes

    Summer isn't the time to spend hours in the kitchen. This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and then you can leave it in the oven while you do other things. Like relax in the garden. That makes it a perfect dish for entertaining friends at this time of year.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    1 whole Gressingham duck

    250g mixed leaves

    3 large plums, pitted and cut into quarters

    1 small jar redcurrant jelly

    1 bulb garlic cut in half

    1 small bunch of thyme

    Few sprigs of parsley finely chopped

    175ml red wine

    175ml water

    500g new potatoes

    50g butter

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 lemon cut in half

    Salt and pepper

    20 minutes preparation

    2 hours and 30 minutes cooking

    Method:

    Pre heat oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6

    Take the whole duck and remove any giblets. Pat the skin dry with absorbent paper and prick the skin with a cocktail stick in and around the area between the leg and breast. Now season the skin generously with salt and also in the cavity.

    Place into a deep roasting tray and add water, wine, thyme and garlic around the duck. Squeeze the lemons and add half of the juice and the husks to the tray. Set the remaining lemon juice aside. Place the roasting tray into the pre heated oven.

    After half an hour, reduce the temperature to 150°C and cook for a further 2 hours. When ready, remove from the oven and place the plums around the duck. Cover loosely with foil and rest in a warm place for half an hour.

    Meanwhile, gently warm the redcurrant jelly in a small pan on a low heat for 2-3 minutes and set aside in a warm place.

    Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water for 15 minutes and then drain them. Return the potatoes to the pan and add the butter and herbs. Mix together and put into a serving bowl.

    Wash and drain the salad leaves and place in a bowl, using the remaining lemon juice as a dressing. Add olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and place onto a large serving platter or plate.

    Take the duck and carefully place it onto a chopping board. Put the plums on top of the salad leaves and either carve or shred the duck meat away from the bone, placing it onto the salad leaves.

    Serve with the potatoes, the redcurrant jelly, and perhaps some bread.

    This recipe is courtesy of Gressingham who have lots of recipes along with “how-to” videos on their website www.gressinghamduck.co.uk

    Creating a Pillow Menu for your B&B

    When it comes to creating a warm, welcoming, and comfortable experience that your guests will never forget - as the saying goes - the devil really is in the detail. This means understanding the importance of finer details and evaluating what it is that your guests really want.

    ©Paul Craig for Heart Home mag

    ©Paul Craig for Heart Home mag

    One area that you should absolutely never compromise on is the quality of your textiles, namely the bed linen, bedding, towels, and, of course, pillows – after all, they are key to a perfect night’s sleep.

    Of course, not everyone’s idea of comfort is the same, especially when it comes to hotel pillows. Where one guest might prefer a firm pillow for comfort, others may opt for softer options. And then there is the material to consider. Some guests may prefer the feeling of synthetic fillings whereas others want to use natural materials.

    With such contrasting preferences you may wonder how to ensure each and every guest who passes through your establishment will have a good night’s sleep. The answer is a pillow menu!

    Creating a pillow menu is a sure fired way to set you apart from the crowd and give your B&B a luxurious, unforgettable twist. Hotel supplies are often categorised for convenience in the UK, making it a popular listing method guests are growing accustomed to.

    ©Paul Craig for Heart Home mag

    ©Paul Craig for Heart Home mag

    Here is our guide to creating a good pillow menu for your B&B…

    Descriptions

    First things first, it’s always a good idea to start off with a brief description of each pillow on your menu. The description only needs to be clear and should include all of the key information about each pillow, such as the filling type, the fabric of the cover, and the type of support the pillow provides.

    To make the menu attractive and user friendly, why not include images of each pillow to help your guests decide which kind they would like to try?

    Layout

    As well as the descriptions and information on the menu, the actual layout is just as important, and it’s essential to keep your pillow menu simple, straightforward and easy to read.

    Why not divide your menu into sections such as soft or firm, natural or fibre? This categorisation is ideal for helping guests quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

    Another approach is to use icons to indicate the features of each pillow – for example, you could have a hypoallergenic icon to indicate the pillow is suitable for visitors with allergies. Using icons can also help guests effortlessly see how soft or firm a pillow is. The differing levels of pillow comfort are widely considered by industry professionals.

    ©Chloe Beattie and Dale Broome for Heart Home mag

    ©Chloe Beattie and Dale Broome for Heart Home mag

    Variety

    To ensure that your pillow menu is useful, effective, and memorable, it’s important to offer guests a variety of options when they make their pillow choice.

    Remember it’s all about making sure that your guests have plenty of options at their disposal to find the perfect pillow. That means including everything from goose feather and down pillow types, to siliconized polyester and Tencel filled pillows. Make sure there is something for everyone!

    Oh, and you should always ensure your staff are familiar with each pillow on the menu and can comfortably handle any enquiry your guests might have.

    By following these handy tips, each and every one of your guests will hopefully enjoy a wonderful nights’ sleep, tailored to their needs.

     

     

    ​Outdoor Living By Selina Lake

    Taken from her book Outdoor Living, Selina Lake shares with us her styling tips on how to create the perfect afternoon tea party.

    MyStyle Tips

    A long table instantly creates a special mood and works well if guests are going to be serving themselves, as they can pass refreshments and platters from one end to the other. It’s easy to create an extra-long table by dragging a couple of classic wooden picnic benches together. These are available from most home and garden stores and are a great investment for the garden. Position the tables in the best spot for early evening sunshine to catch the last rays of the day.

    No pretty table outside is complete without flowers – the more, the better. Stems look great in a mix of jam jars and vases and I also like to scatter them on the table. Think about incorporating blooms in other ways, too – perhaps by decorating cakes with flower heads or hanging posies from tree branches using ribbon.

    One of my favourite pastimes is collecting vintage china. I simply can’t resist a floral plate from a second-hand shop, especially if it boasts a rosy pattern and a glimmer of gold. Mismatched plates add a certain charm to a pretty table and you could team them with non-matching cutlery/flatware for a total eclectic look. 

    Continue the mix-and-match theme with your glassware, too. When I see glasses I like, I tend to buy just two or three, instead of a set, and I now have quite a collection of assorted glasses. 

    Add a few pieces of gold china or candlesticks for a touch of luxury and to reflect the sunlight.

    Words by Selina Lake, photography by Debi Treloar

    Outdoor Living by Selina Lake, photography by Debi Treloar is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from rylandpeters.com

    A Photo-Ready Georgian House in London

    This four bedroom Georgian house, built in 1830 is on leafy Bromley Common and was one of the first houses built there as a hunting retreat for wealthy Londoners. Nowadays it is the home of Serge and Malin, and their children Maija 12, Elise 6, Emilio 4. Plus their 2 cats Pelle and Alfons. Malin is a photographer and location manager so it will come as no surprise that the house is available for shoots via 1st Option. And it is so full of photo-worthy opportunities that we couldn't wait to share it with you.

    They have lived there now for 10 years (they also have a house in Sweden and one in France) and were first attracted by the fact that is was big enough to shoot in (or course), the style of the property (simply stunning), and the wonderful garden.

    The house has been completely renovated in the time they have been there, and when we asked Malin if they had any professional help she laughed “Tradesmen only, my husband and I are a good team, I drag the things I find and love home, place it somewhere where it is in the way for everyone, and he has the feng shui and places it all eventually!” Malin must be very good at this, as she designed and sourced the materials for the greenhouse herself.

    She describes her style as definitely mixed. She's inspired by her travels, her work and life itself. When she's not living that life you will find her on Pinterest. And her favourite shops are Graham and Green, made.com, tk max, antiques shops in Hastings and Whitstable and she also loves the Brocantes in France, loppis in Sweden and boot sales in the UK. “it's about picking up things that can't be replicated”.

    After all this shopping we were intrigued how the family relaxed. “Champagne in the garden with my husband!” she said. And “Yes it's a good house for entertaining! We have the kids parties in the summerhouse and mulled wine in the greenhouse in the winter.”

    So here's hoping she doesn't mind if we pop round.

    Sneak Peek: Sainsbury's Autumn/Winter Lifestyle Range

    We love it this time of year where we get to see all the Autumn/Winter collections from our favourite brands. Available in store from September, Sainsbury’s design themes see a woodland palette with pops of mustard and grey inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement bringing autumn warmth into the home, alongside an elegant, timeless collection in a soft wintry palette capturing the essence of French living.

    Bring autumnal warmth into the home with mustards and grey tones for a cosy, artisanal style. Harvest Home is inspired by the British countryside in autumn and features original woodland patterns from the Sainsbury's design studio across textiles, hand carved wood accessories and sponge printed tableware.

    Refreshing Summer Mocktails

    Summer is well and truly here, and that means plenty of time spent enjoying the great outdoors. From family days at the beach to al fresco dining from the comfort of your back garden, there's always going to be an occasion for a cooling jug of something refreshing.

    Today we're sharing with you a selection of new summer drink recipes. Ricola, sugar free sweets, have teamed up with top bloggers to create a selection of amazing non-alcoholic summer drinks.

    Cranberry, Raspberry and Orange Cooler (from Helen Best-Shaw at Fuss Free Flavours)

    Ingredients:

    1 packet Ricola Tasty Cranberry Sweets - use fewer for a more delicate drink
    1 mug boiling water
    150g punnet raspberries
    1 orange - sliced
    handful fresh mint
    Fresh cranberries - optional
    1 litre sparkling water
    Ice

    Method:

    1. Place the Ricola into a mug, and pour boiling water over. Set to one side and allow to dissolve.
    2. Once dissolved add the raspberries (reserve a few for garnish) and blitz in a blender. Strain into a jug through a sieve.
    3. Add the remainder of the raspberries, sliced orange, mint and fresh cranberries if using, stir, and put in the fridge for a few hours to infuse.
    4. When ready to serve top up the cranberry mixture with chilled sparkling water and plenty of ice.

    Strawberry and Elderflower Mojito (from Celery and Cupcakes)

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of whole strawberries
    1 box Ricola Delicious Elderflower herbal sweets
    1 cup boiling water
    10 fresh mint leaves
    1-2 tbsps honey
    Zest and juice of 2 lime
    1 bottle of sparkling water or lemonade (leave out honey if using lemonade)
    Ice cubes

    Method:

    1. Pour the Ricola Delicious Elderflower herbal sweets into a cup and fill to the top with boiling water. Allow to stand and cool down for around 20 minutes.
    2. In a blender, combine the strawberries, cooled elderflower water, mint, honey, lime juice and zest.
    3. Fill 4 glasses with ice and add the strawberry mixture. Top the glasses with lemonade or sparkling water.

     

    Watermelon & Fresh Mountain Mint Mocktail (from Honest Mum)

    Ingredients:

    1 lb seedless watermelon chunks
    353ml or 1 1/2 cups still or sparkling water
    2 tbsp honey
    2 Ricola Fresh Mountain Mint sweets
    A few fresh mint leaves

    Method:

    1. In a blender, puree the watermelon and water; strain if desired.
    2. Dissolve the Ricola sweet into the liquid
    3. Stir in the mint leaves and serve over ice with a straw (omit ice for your kids’ drinks).

    The secret of Ricola's unique taste is due to the famous mixture of 13 Swiss herbs. Ricola's herbs are grown in the beautiful and tranquil mountains of Switzerland. The herbs are all cultivated in carefully selected locations guaranteeing the best quality and purity of all the herbs.

    The New AW16 Interiors Collection From Very Home

    We've just had a sneak peek at the new Autumn/Winter Collection from Very Home and it's a cracker! We're loving what we are seeing and so it was only fair to share. Here are some of the gorgeous pieces available from end of July...

    Artisan

    Crafts continue to inspire home living; contrasts of natural wood tones, earth wear and leather combine to create an elegant but refined collection. Reds, browns and tans create a warming palette that is enhanced by soft winter furs.

    Off Beat

    Off Beat focuses on pop art inspirations which form a central theme for this fun and exciting trend. Injecting bright colours into the home, the contrasting geometric prints on accessories cement it as an engaging and vibrant look.

    Penthouse

    Penthouse takes inspiration from Baroque and gives a modern twist. The rich tones maintain easy living opulence whilst the touches of gold and black lift the collection and provide a hint of glamour. Crushed velvets and touches of metallic layered together create a visual feast running throughout the home.

    Modern Manor

    Modern Manor plays on the enchanting and romantic feel of dark florals and watercolour washes. Copper statement pieces add highlights in amongst the captivating purple accents and soft prints on cushions and accessories, lightening bold block colours of furniture, producing a sophisticated but dreamy final product.

    A 4 Storey Townhouse that is High on Impact

    This 4 storey 1970's townhouse in leafy Highgate, London, has recently been completely refurbished by LLI Design. The owners, a young professional couple, saw the huge potential in the house and wanted to embrace the 70's feel but not in a cliched way. The room sizes were good, being the full width of the property on each floor, and they benefited from natural light, but the circulation spaces were cramped and dark.

    The result is anything but cramped and dark however, and could teach us a few lessons on how to make the most of the space we have.

    The living/TV room is situated on the lower ground floor, where there is the least light, and where a rugged, semi-industrial feel has been created with brick effect wallpaper and metal furniture. The new open-tread staircase was designed to bring as much light to this area as possible and every inch of space has been utilised, including placing the TV under the stairs.

    A small work area has also been positioned in a corner of this room, making the most of the window, and with a large storage cupboard in which to hide paperwork and files.

    The ground floor consists of the sitting and dining areas and space has been maximised in both with the use of an L-shaped sofa in the living area and built-in banquet seating around the dining table. The visual impact of the new staircase was kept to a minimum by installing a glass balustrade with no handrail and strong pieces of artwork and graphic cushions help bring the separate zoned areas together to form a cohesive whole.

    Adding a round table, 2 dining chairs, a matt black accent pendant lamp over the table and artwork above helped to define the dining area. Although it has a small footprint it can comfortably sit 6 people.

    A small breakfast bar was added to the kitchen and dramatic dark bronze tiles created a backsplash between the top of the counter and the bottom of the units.

    The second floor was reconfigured from a series of separate rooms into a stylish master suite, with an open plan bathroom featuring a statement freestanding bath. This is a great space-saving plan as walls, doors and corridors all take up unnecessary square footage.

    The owners however, did want that WOW factor in the master suite, and this was achieved with textured porcelain wall tiles sitting easily next to the Cole & Son Fornasetti “Clouds” wallpaper, floor tiles in the bathroom that were in the format of a rug pattern and two striking bronze mirrors over the vanity unit. 

    The project was recently awarded - Best Interior Design Private Residence London, in the United Kingdom Property Awards 2015 / 16.

    Live To Paint Collection By Dana Finnigan

    Dana Finnigan is delighted to present her latest surface pattern collection: 'Live to Paint' inspired by Dutch Abstract Expressionism, in particular the work of Willem de Kooning and the changing seasons of the year in Low Countries.

    Dana Finnigan’s first introduction to the design world was during her time in Belgium as an exchange student. Following the exchange programme, Dana began working in a vintage clothing store in the heart of the fashion district where her passion for design began.

    The collection consists of six designs. These include . . . 

    Aquarel Zomer – Translates to Watercolour Summer which summons the heat and thunder storms that she experienced in her youth living in Belgium.

    Lente – is the Spring and the explosion of colour the season gifts unto the world.

    Olievlekken - The delicate Oil Slicks created by light reflections in puddles on pavements and canals. 

    Penseelstreken – Brushstrokes are fragments of colour popping out from between the turning of traditional Windmolen.

    Regen – Rain that comes in sideways during winter on the flat plains of land.

    Vlekken – Conjuring the feeling of Winter and smudges created from scraping ice off your car windshield or the snow that was once delight but now a struggle as you need to walk through the sludge to work; when all you want is to be inside and ‘gezellig'.

    The collection covers a range of products including wallpaper and fabrics and will launch in September for the London Design Festival.

    The Stafford Hotel: A Proper British Getaway in the Heart of London

    The Stafford London is a hidden delight. You can think you know central London as well as a cabbie, but chances are you've never even noticed it's there. The five star hotel is hidden in its own mews off St James Street and can be accessed by a narrow alleyway from Green Park.

    Inside its elegant red-brick exterior, The Stafford is calm and comfortable, with traditional interiors. We stayed in the Mews Suites, which overlook the hotel's cobbled courtyard and are the most contemporary of the 105 rooms. Think warm tones, thick carpets and plush furnishings.

    The only room which couldn't be described effortlessly elegant is The American Bar. It's an intimate bar adorned, from ceiling to floor, with baseball caps, nick-nacks and signed celebrity photographs. It's busy with a buzzing atmosphere most evenings and boasts an impressive cocktail menu. We recommend Stafford's Garden, a clever, fruity twist on a classic G&T.

    Staff are friendly and approachable, service is quick and everything is done with precision and care. The Stafford doesn't have the starry pull of hotels like Claridges or the Ritz, but it should be just as much of a must-visit when you’re looking for a place to lay your head in the capital.

    The Stafford Hotel, 16-18 St James's Place, London SW1A 1NJ

    Introducing Curious Egg

    We are so excited to share with you a new find of ours. Meet Curious Egg, an online boutique that sells uniques beautiful homeware pieces with an individual flair.

    Minoa Vase, £38

    Minoa Vase, £38

    Curious Egg was set up in 2015 by Lorraine Aaron and with the help of her husband Roddy. Lorraine is a professional artist who loves visiting new places and through their regular travels off the beaten track, they often explore hidden studios and local artisan makers and entrepreneurs. She's constantly on the hunt for fine crafted objects, interesting limited edition artworks and tactile, characterful homewares. And also enjoys uncovering and sharing the fascinating stories they tell.

    Covet Hanging Lamp, £145

    Covet Hanging Lamp, £145

    Curious Egg is Lorraine's little corner of the internet to share ideas and conversations about interiors and art as well as some of her most interesting product finds.  Her aim is to bring art and interiors together in a relaxed and imaginative way by offering a small, carefully curated and ever changing range of beautiful and interesting products that will help you to craft your home and celebrate your individuality. If you are looking for something particularly special or that is completely unique to you, I also offer a bespoke sourcing service. 

    Kahlo Flower Pots from £20

    Kahlo Flower Pots from £20