Dark Painted Kitchens

These chic and contemporary British Standard kitchens are housed within a converted school in Hackney. The designs work with the existing architectural features of the original building, retaining the Victorian authenticity and character, but with a uniquely modern feel.  The high ceilings, combined with the open plan and light atmosphere of each kitchen is contrasted by dark, hand painted cupboards, in a mixture of gloss and matt finishes.  Brass ironmongery and a combination of eclectic dining furniture complete the look.

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British Standard is an off-the-shelf cupboard range of simple, honest, affordable cupboards for kitchens, utility rooms and studies, in fact suited for placement anywhere in the home where storage is required. Customers are able to plan their own kitchen design and layout, order online directly from the British Standard website and paint the cabinets themselves, enabling to take full control of their projects. All cupboards are handcrafted in Plain English’s workshop in Suffolk. Individual cabinets come fully assembled in an elegant shaker style and undercoated in ‘Broken White’ eggshell allowing customers to customise and paint them in any colour they choose.

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Are Curtains Making a Comeback?

Curtain treatments did seem to go out of favour for a few years. Modern homes preferred no-fuss blinds that were more in keeping with contemporary furniture and which were easier to install and keep clean. But we’re noticing a comeback in the soft furnishings department. And with good reason. Curtains really do add a touch of luxury to a room. They add an opulence that blinds just can’t replicate. They are great insulators, good for privacy, and a fab excuse for using some of the stunning fabrics on the market. What more reasons do you need?

All fabrics are from the new Orchard Collection from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Apples and Pears.

Apples and Pears.

Apples and Pears: available in six colourways, this versatile retro print depicts the eponymous fruit in a mid-century hand. Rose’s original drawing was a bold depiction of both whole and cross sections of apples and pears; this was then formatted by Vanessa to make it abstract enough to ‘go beyond the kitchen’.

Blinds: Apples and Pears. Curtains: Pretty Maids from the Swedish Collection.

Blinds: Apples and Pears. Curtains: Pretty Maids from the Swedish Collection.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Sepals and Petals: a disarmingly simple yet powerful multi-directional motif in six colourways, Sepals and Petals was taken from an original potato print of Flora’s. From a distance it looks like a vertical stripe but appears as a horizontal motif on closer inspection. Contemporary and versatile, it could be railroaded for upholstery.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Espalier Stripe.

Curtains: Espalier Stripe.

Espalier Stripe: a striking motif in three colourways, inspired by a length of African mud-resist, indigo-dyed fabric found by Vanessa on her travels in Africa.

Images courtesy of Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Sofa.com’s New SS19 Shape – The Rupert Sofa

Fling open the curtains and surround yourself with blooms, spring has arrived and it’s time to celebrate with sofa.com’s new SS19 shape–the Rupert sofa.

The solid beechwood frame is elegant in its stature ,with a subtly sloping back and slightly turned arms promising cosiness, comfort and style. Slightly deeper than the average sofa, you’ll find curling upon Rupert is total bliss.

Perfect for the family, Rupert features a fully removable slipcover. So whether your home is prone to little feet or muddy paws, you can easily take off the cover for it to be cleaned. Made from 100% linen, sofa.com's smart linens also hold their own against spillages, which make them the ideal fabric for busy homes.

This sofa is the ultimate new statement piece for your favourite room that will look beautiful for years to come. To style, add metallic elements and touches of sage to your scheme a swell as plenty of fresh flowers.

SS19 Sofa.com Rupert Two And A Half Seat Slip Cover Sofa In Mercury Smart Linen £1790 Bardot Side Table £190 Felix Small Footstool In Shell.jpg

Baked Sweet Potato Salad with Chilli, Coriander and Tamari

Filling comfort food is what we all want at this time of the year. This vegetarian recipe ticks all the boxes for us!

• Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus cooling

• Cooking time: 40 minutes

• Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling

Serves 10

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 10 small sweet potatoes (about 200g each)

  • 100g unsalted peanuts

  • 4 limes

  • 4 tbsp tamari

  • 4 red chillies, finely chopped

  • bunch coriander, leaves picked

  • bunch mint, leaves picked

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes, then prick them with a fork, rub them with a little salt and place on a tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft throughout.

2. Meanwhile, tip the peanuts onto a baking tray; roast for 5-7 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool, then smash up a little in a pestle and mortar.

3. Grate the zest of 2 limes into a bowl and squeeze in the juice of all 4 limes. Add the tamari and ½ the chilli; mix well. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through (you can keep them warm in a low oven until you are ready to eat), chop them into pieces and put on a platter. Pour over the lime and tamari dressing, turning the pieces in the dressing, then top with the herbs, peanuts and the remaining chilli.

Recipe and image courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

These Statement Wall Murals Are The Ultimate Conversation Starter

Walls provide the perfect opportunity for showing off the personality of a home and its owner. A statement mural on a wall can make for the ultimate conversation starter in a home, which is an ideal decor idea for people who love to host guests and want to fill their space with awe-inspiring design. The right mural can make any wall a work of art worth talking about!

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Wall designs that spark wonder and 'wow's

Each of these particular murals are suggested by MuralsWallpaper because of their intrguing visual effects and backstories, making them perfect conversation pieces. 'Flock', for example, features an illustration of a blue heron by J.J. Audubon from The Birds of America, the world's most expensive book.

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Opinion-dividing Brutalist architecture is depicted in the wall mural 'Welbeck' and, with an equally abstract look, 'Antelope' is a mesmerising shot of the the famous Antelope Canyon of Arizona.

The style-conscious can be captivated by the 'Ceramic' wallpaper's playful twist on the terrazzo trend, and the calming effect of close-up crystal mural 'Quartz' is sure to enchant everyone who lays eyes on it.

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Spark the intrigue of friends and family with a feature wall that reflects an eye for unique interior design. Place a statement mural such as these in a socialiable space of the house for an impact that will grab a guest's interest. 

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A home can make a lasting impression on all with a fascinating, wow-factor feature wall.

Taking Window Film to a Whole New Art Deco Level

We’re big fans of decorative window film. It’s not just pretty to look at, it also has a lot of practical uses too. It’s perfect for creating privacy without sacrificing light in a bathroom or when a window is overlooked. It can add pattern and colour to a decorative scheme. Or re-install the illusion of period detail in rooms that have been stripped of all character. Some window films even offer solar protection to furniture and art without the need of installing heavy curtains or blinds. So when we saw these new designs at Purlfrost we thought they were worth sharing.

Spinel Design

Spinel Design

These stunning Art Deco seamless stained glass window film patterns were created using photographs of real period stained glass which gives the print added vibrancy and detail. The pattern measures 60 cm wide and is repeated vertically and horizontally to match your window size. This design can be ordered printed on clear film for added colour vibrancy, or frosted film for added privacy (duller colours).

Lazuli Design

Lazuli Design

What’s more you don’t need any diy skills to apply the film to your own windows. They are very easy to apply in minutes with a bit of soapy water and the application tool provided with your order. I can actually vouch for this having added window film to my front door at home.

Ruby Design

Ruby Design

Prices start at £19.00 for a 50 cm x 50 cm film from Purlfrost where there are other designs too.

New SS19 Bedding Collection From Bluebellgray

Introducing the new SS19 bedding collection from one of our favorute brands, Bluebellgray.

This season Blubellgray explore the lush greenery and growing landscape around the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys in the Scottish Borders. Wild flower gardens and greenhouses brimming with fruits and vegetables are painted in an eclectic mix of stylized marks, chalky brushstrokes and signature watercolours. Deep blue inky tones reflect the ever changing sky, while block colours evoke aerial views of fields from above. Artichoke, chard, radish and pomegranates mixed with delicate sweetpeas come together creating a contemporary and spirited collection.

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Big Pomegranate - The super scale Big Pomegranate design features stylised, bold inky brushstrokes, in a vibrant teal shade. This contemporary design is complete with a soft pink tassel on each corner, adding a playful twist.

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Sweet Pea - Painted from home grown sweet peas from her garden, Fi creates a delicate and fresh floral design for Spring, painted in signature Bluebellgray style. Watercolour florals cascade across the bed in an uplifting colour palette of coral pink, chartreuse green and dusty blue.

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Wee Pomegranate - The small scale Wee Pomegranate design features stylised, bold inky brushstrokes and deep blue tones. The design is finished with a vibrant blue tassel on each corner adding a playful twist.

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Annie Sloane on Living Coral - Pantone's Colour of the Year 2019

Annie Sloane gives us her take on Pantone’s colour of the year 2019.

“Living coral is a vibrant, almost neon coral, rare throughout the history of colour, because a shade this strong would have been expensive to make. To me, it conjures up the flavours of India and Morocco, of spices and sunsets.”

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“Create you own coral by mixing two chalk paints together. Three parts of Tilton, a mustard yellow, with one part Emperor’s Silk, a pure bright red, reflects that energy you can see in Pantone’s colour.

Pack a punch by playing with blocks of colour, Josef Albers-style. A sunset-inspired palette of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antoinette, Barcelona Orange, Emperor’s Silk and an Antoinette and Barcelona Orange mix will create a lively look that’s perfect for summer schemes.”

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“Once the walls are saturated with juicy colour, move onto floors, radiators, side tables, trays - because of it’s unique formulation chalk paint can be applied to any surface without prepping, sanding or priming, while a coat of wax or lacquer will keep your furniture looking fresh into Autumn and beyond.”

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Border in Living Coral mix as above. Radiator in Antoinette. Daybed covered in Antoinette Linen Union and panels in chalk paint. Colours as listed above. Table top and floorboards in Scandinavian Pink. Table legs in Honfleur. All from Annie Sloan.

Grecotel in Rhodes Gets a Regal Rebrand

Grecotel’s All-In Resort on Rhodes Island gets a regal rebrand in 2019, welcoming guests to its remodelled property and introducing Grecotel LUX ME Rhodos. Featuring the Luxury Made Easy All-Inclusive concept that Grecotel offers, it’s the place to be this summer. Guests don’t have to worry about a thing – luxury simply becomes a part of your life. 

Location

Set 15 km from Rhodes Airport, near the best-preserved medieval town in Europe, this seaside paradise lies surrounded by palm trees and a delightful Blue Flag beach. The elegance of Grecotel Luxe All in Living is reborn in open-style public spaces, incredible water features and splendid light-filled buildings. 

Brand New Accommodation

Enter a water wonderland featuring marvellous pools and luxurious bungalow village accommodations. 276 guestrooms and 46 bungalows have been completely transformed. 

Choose from an exciting collection of open plan guestrooms, family rooms, stylish suites, along with unique bungalows. Accommodation can be by the pool with either an open plan configuration for couples or separate bedrooms for families. 

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Luxe All-in Living

All-inclusive living was born from the vision of a carefree waterfront lifestyle. The refreshing holiday concept ensures worry-free stays with personal, modern service, outstanding food, beverages, events, activities and entertainment. You don’t have to plan things too far ahead thanks to 24-hour reception, free Wi-Fi in public areas and supervised children’s entertainment at Grecoland. 

Luxe All-in Living is also available at Grecotel LUX ME White Palace, Luxury Resort in Rethymno, Crete, and at Grecotel LUX ME Daphnila Bay Dassia, Luxury Resort in Dassia, Corfu.

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Dining

Take a culinary trip around the world: six sublime new restaurants and bars overlooking the Aegean Sea offer a la carte Greek, Italian, Asian and Fusion cuisines. Savour exceptional culinary adventures based on pure, simple and incredibly fresh ingredients. 

A 24/7 lounge, a patisserie & chocolaterie, a crêperie & gelateria, premium brands, snacks and ice bars, wine tasting areas with over 150 labels to choose from, pool & beach service and Grecotel’s little luxuries await at no extra charge. Kids can stop by the Tasty Corner to chow down on a variety of healthy choices. ‘Petite Gastronomie’ offers farm to table fruit and veg and baby food. 

Elixir Beauty Spa

The Elixir Beauty Spa features an indoor pool displaying a pyramid-shaped glass roof, impressive water features and tropical gardens. Guests can work out in the fitness room with state-of-the-art cardio equipment or relax and rejuvenate in the sauna, steam room, private massage rooms and beauty salon.

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Kids & Family

The Kids Club has plenty to keep children occupied, with culinary lessons and creative activities happening throughout the week. While parents relax, kids can hit the playground, make a big splash on water slides or swim in a freshwater pool. From morning to night, teens and teenagers can join in on sports, games and competitions. And it’s all free!

Sports & Entertainment

Guests of any age can look forward to dancing, folklore shows and music in live acts and super DJ shows. Let yourself go with watersports, beach volley, mountain biking and memorable parties. Rhodes Town is only a short hop away and has many castles, windmills, squares and shops to explore.

Grecotel Guest Portal

Whether you are a return guest or have planned a stay, the new guest portal presents all the hotel services in a convenient place. A world full of useful information and choices can be now discovered…

Plan your entertainment. Make online reservations for a la carte restaurants. Book spa treatments and wellness activities. Explore benefits, offers, weather forecasts, tips and more before and during your stay.

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BOOK IT: LUX ME Rhodos opens early May. Book now from €225 for a Double Guestroom Garden View in LUX ME All-Inclusive. To learn more visit, rhodos.grecotel.com

Embrace The January Blues

As the decorations come down, revealing the bare bones of our homes once more, it sparks a desire to re-instate a sense of calm in our surroundings. We’re all for that! And instead of running from the January blues this New Year we’re happy to embrace it with dark enveloping blues that still feel cosy but also decadent, smart and sophisticated.

French Linen Upholstered Bed

French Linen Upholstered Bed

Paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a room. Whether it’s on one wall or on all four, this intense shade of blue will look fabulous when paired with crisp white. The white painted floor prevents the room from looking too dark, and the wood bed frame and gold bedside table add just the right amount of warmth. Blue Movie Dead Flat Matt Emulsion Paint, from Dowsing and Reynolds is a good match.

The Versailles Sacre Bleu Armchair

The Versailles Sacre Bleu Armchair

Add an Accent

If painting the walls is just too much of a change you can always add an accent colour in blue. This lovely sapphire blue velvet chair provides a punchy statement in a bedroom or a corner of the sitting room. The combination of blue and gold is not only regal, but it is highly en vogue; sapphire blue is a big upcoming trend, and when combined with gold it really 'sings'.

Girl With A Pearl Bubble Canvas

Girl With A Pearl Bubble Canvas

Accessorise

Sometimes just a touch is just enough and this prestigious wall art canvas adds a twist to a Vermeer Classic too. Ant Fox's subversive epigrams combine the humorous with the traditional, executed in a distinctive style drawn from the Dutch Golden Age of painting. And a vibrant dose of blue!

All items are from The French Bedroom Co who offer traditional French designs with a hint of contemporary styling, paired with quirky, eye-catching accessories.

Win Two Upstyle Interiors Books

Lets celebrate the new year by giving away two interior books to upstyle your home. for you decorating

Upstyle Your Furniture: Techniques and Creative Inspiration to Style Your Home

Owning one-of-a-kind, bespoke furniture is no longer a privilege of the wealthy or the realm of professional designers. Upstyle Your Furniture shows the rest of us how easy it is to create custom pieces of furniture with a bit of imagination and easy-to-find materials. Why spend a fortune on designer furniture when it's so easy to simply restyle old or inexpensive pieces? Inside, readers will find everything they need to create a look that complements their unique personality and style.

Paperback, 160 pages, Published March 1st 2015 by Barron's Educational Series

Paperback, 160 pages, Published March 1st 2015 by Barron's Educational Series

Upstyle Your Windows

For sewers who have mastered the basics, home décor items such as curtains and drapes are some of the easiest things to make, and they are also one of the quickest ways to give any room an instant facelift. Combining clear, accessible tutorials with practical advice on choosing, styling, and sewing fabrics, Upstyle your Windows is a must-have guide for all creative homemakers and design-savvy DIY-ers looking to customize their windows with their own distinctive style.

Paperback, 176 pages, Published February 24th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin.

Paperback, 176 pages, Published February 24th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin.

For a chance to win a copy of each of these amazing books make sure to click the link below and fill out the form - That's all you have to do! 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, 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 15th February. By entering this competition you consent to share your email, name and postcode with Heart Home magazine, 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 16th February 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.

A Covent Garden Pied à Terre Filled with Light and Clever Storage

This recently completed one bedroom pied à terre apartment in Covent Garden London, was sent to us by Elly MacDonald who runs a small interior design business servicing homes in London and Surrey. As always when we see a stunning project that we’d like to move into ourselves, we had a few questions….

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What type of house is it?

It’s a one bedroom flat in a modern apartment block, with a petite terrace overlooking a courtyard below.

Who lives here?

The client is very sociable, who uses it as a pied à terre when up in London, which impacted the design a little given that it’s not a full-time home. However she wanted to keep a keen eye on re-sale considerations so we made sure to still include plenty of storage etc. Insufficient storage is a perennial issue in apartments of this size, so we maximised use of space inside furniture, almost doubled the kitchen cabinetry storage space, and added built-in shelving and cubbies wherever possible, for instance either side of a mechanised TV stand hidden away inside a bench when not in use.

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How did the family/owners intend to use their home?

It’s really just used at weekends, for a night or two at a time, as it’s ideally located within striking distance of the West End and the Theatre District. We incorporated a sofa bed into the living room, and maximised the seating options in there so that the client is able to welcome family and friends over as guests. We tucked the TV away inside custom cabinetry, with an electric mechanism so that it can be hidden away when entertaining guests. The client does not do much cooking there, so we used a wipeable kitchen paint as the splashback instead of tiles to help the kitchen blend more seamlessly into the open plan living room.

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Where is it?

It’s just off the market square in Covent Garden, tucked behind a busy street away from the tourist hustle and bustle. Working on a property in such a central location came with a few logistical challenges, but the end result was very much worth it!

What was the client brief?

To brighten and lighten the space from its previous dark and dated form without it becoming a bland minimalist box; to maximise the natural light coming from windows on just one side of the property; to keep the overall scheme fairly neutral and ‘not trendy’ but to also bring in a few accents of colour; to bring in a sense of depth and history to a contemporary scheme, as the interior of the property was very new and lacked architectural detail.

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So we maximised the feeling of spaciousness by lightening up the walls and flooring but maintained interest and depth through using lots of natural finishes, from rattan and seagrass through to antiqued brass and mother of pearl, vintage textiles from Thailand and the occasional piece of antique-style furniture, and plenty of stunning accessories and artwork.

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Is there any interesting history or background to the project that will interest our readers?

We discovered just in the nick of time that the dining set the client had inherited from the previous owner was a set of authentic Charles Rennie Mackintosh DS3 chairs and DS2 table, which were discontinued in the 70s, making them really quite valuable – the client understandably hadn’t realised as it often takes a design background to spot these things, and we were very happy to give her the good news that they should not in fact just be thrown away!

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Were there any period details to be preserved or limitations on the design?

We had to work around a series of structural reinforced concrete columns and beams, which were mostly fine as we just incorporated them into the structure of the walls and ceilings and used the same emulsion paint on them to blend in. However there was one tricky column right in the centre of the main kitchen/living room wall, which we solved by wrapping a raised peninsula dining bar around its width.

What was the scope of the job? Renovation, building work, or just decorating?

Renovation of whole flat (living/kitchen, hallway, bedroom, terrace), decorating and accessorising. With client work I usually style up projects with accessories, artwork, textiles etc for my portfolio photoshoot, and then invite the client to come in and ‘shop’ for as many or as few of the items as they like – in this case the client loved almost everything so I ended up taking disappointingly little away again!

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Where do you go for inspiration when starting a new project?

I always ask my clients to give me three or four adjectives of how they would like the finished space to feel, and then use that as the basis of the project. I very commonly find that clients know exactly how they want their home to feel, but find it a challenge to translate that description into an actual design scheme, especially with the added considerations of getting things like the lighting, storage etc correct. In this case we had ‘light-filled’, ‘fresh’ and ‘welcoming’.

How do you present a new design concept to your clients? What tools do you use?

A mixture of floor plans and elevations, combined with design scheme boards and sample boards – I use a lot of stunning natural finishes in my work, and find they can only be truly appreciated by touching them and seeing in person the weave of the linen or the grain of the whitewashed wood or the patina of the antiqued copper.

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Did the client have much input into the finished design?

Yes a reasonable amount, I really love it when clients jump in with opinions or requests, or challenge me on aspects of the project. In this project the client had a few specific requests, such as the monochrome artwork over the master bed and the deep indigo Persian rug in the living room.

Did the client have existing items that needed to be incorporated into the new design?

No, everything was brand new. She was fed up of the dark heavy furniture and textiles and wanted a brand new fresh look. I do love working on projects where we have the challenge of incorporating existing items, but it’s also exciting to have a totally blank slate.

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Can you give some details of the products you used. Designer names, shops, websites?

I’d been desperate to include the stunning tan leather/metalwork bar stools from West Elm for a long time, and was so pleased when the client jumped at the chance to incorporate these.

Another favourite were the vintage Thai indigo and white Khmer silk textiles we had made into lumbar pillows – I have a huge weakness for hand-woven artisanal textiles, and own an arguably over-extensive collection from Asia that I’m slowly working my way through!

And lastly I love Nkuku as my ‘go to’ for fabulous brass picture frames and quirky accessories.

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What aspect of the renovation are you most happy with?

How well the open plan kitchen/living room turned out, incorporating the kitchen cabinetry as seamlessly as possible into the petite space. It was the first time I’ve used a dining bar peninsula, and after agonising over the design and dimensions for days I was very pleased to see it turn out perfectly! By running the Carrara marble-effect quartz worktop all the way around to the dining bar, we avoided any jarring transition between the kitchen and the lounging areas. I always try to tiptoe a little outside the box on every project I take on – design is a lot more rewarding and fun with a small amount of risk-taking!

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What aspect of the renovation are your clients most happy with?

She could not believe how light and bright it is now: ‘I can’t believe it’s the same flat!’ were her exact words! It’s my favourite part of the project seeing my clients’ eyes light up when seeing the big reveal for the first time.

Image credits - Moritz Schmittat and Elly MacDonald

Elly MacDonald Design 

Recipe of the Week: Caramelised Pepper Tarts With Chorizo

Impress your guests with these yummy nibbles…

Ingredients

2-3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 sweet red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
500g frozen Jus-Rol Puff Pastry, thawed
Plain flour, for rolling
100g Tomato Chutney
75g Manchego cheese, grated
12 thin chorizo slices, torn in half
2 tbsp pine nuts
90g Rocket
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

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Method

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion and peppers for 10-15 minutes until very soft and golden.

2. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 36cm x 30cm rectangle and cut into six 18cm x 10cm rectangles. Transfer to 2 large baking sheets. Stir the chutney into the caramelised pepper mixture and spread over 
the pastry. Top with the cheese, chorizo and pine nuts and bake 
for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

3. Toss the rocket with the balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil and scatter over the tarts to serve.

Cook’s tip
For a meat-free version, substitute the chorizo for semi-dried tomatoes. You can also make smaller tartlets for party nibbles – only cook for 10-15 minutes.

Recipe and image courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

The True Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

Advertisement Feature

Installing new flooring in a home is a major investment. Not only does it have to meet with a long list of practical considerations, ie. hard-wearing, easy to keep clean, warm underfoot etc, it also has to look pretty darned good. The flooring in a room sets the scene, and nothing beats the look of wood for creating a warm and inviting interior scheme. So should you choose real wood? Or would engineered wood suit your needs better? Here’s a few benefits that might help you make that all-important decision.

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What is Engineered Wood?

As opposed to solid wood, engineered wooden planks are made up of several layers of plywood that are glued together to form a stable and sturdy floor. The top and visible layer is in fact hardwood which makes it look and feel like solid wood. These floors are perfect when you want the rustic warmth of authentic wood floors without the hassles. The planks are resistant to fluctuations in temperature and humidity and don’t dent or bulge easily, so are highly durable floors and are compatible with under-floor heating too.

Is Engineered Wood Flooring Less Expensive?

The short answer is yes. It's a lot cheaper than hardwood floors without compromising on quality due to the multi-layer construction ensures that the planks are extremely solid, sturdy and durable. What’s more it will last for years without requiring a refinish.

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Is Engineered Wood Flooring as Hard-Wearing as Solid Wood?

Yes again. It’s made of the highest grade raw materials, meaning that these floors can easily absorb daily wear and tear. In fact, the best brands offer a lifetime warranty on their floors for residential use, so look out for this when you purchase.

Is Engineered Wood Easy to Install?

Installing is quick and easy. Engineered wood floors are either laid using the floating method, or are glued down. You can install these floors easily even if you have minimal knowledge of carpentry.

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How Does Engineered Wood Rate on the Good-Looks Scale?

With these floors, you can enjoy the traditional warmth and good looks of authentic wood flooring. The planks are available in a diverse range of wood species and shades to suit every décor. Furthermore, the surface is embellished with knots, grains and patterns that ensure stunning similarity to natural timber.

Certain ranges also feature exclusive surface finishes such as distressed, lacquered, burnt, aged, hand-brushed or oiled that makes these floors hardly distinguishable from solid hardwood flooring.

This post was written in collaboration with Lifestyle Flooring, the UK's favourite destination for high quality flooring with unbeatably low prices that will ensure you get the best value for your money.

Lorena Canals New Collections 2019

Lorena Canals will present at the next edition of Maison & Objet, Paris, 18-22 January, her three new collections of washable rugs and decorative accessories: Tribute to Cotton, English Gardens, and Lobster.

These three new collections have been inspired by the brand´s origins and the designer´s love for nature.  These passions have been transformed into cohesive and comprehensive collections, with a great focus on elaborate details.  

The collections will also be presented at NY Now, New York, 3-6 February, and at Intergift, Madrid, 6-10 February.

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Craftsmanship: The ethos of Lorena Canals was built around the attributes of cotton – it´s versatility, warmth and softness, amongst many others.  So, it was only natural for Lorena Canals to pay homage to this safe and eco-friendly natural material with the Tribute to Cotton.  This collection transports us to India´s endless cotton fields, thanks to its soft tones and variety of textures, and is one of Lorena Canals most comprehensive collections, with different models of rugs, cushions, baskets and garlands.  This collection is a tribute to a material which represents the values of Lorena Canals, such as craftsmanship and a commitment to safe guarding the environment. 

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Elegance: The English Gardens collection is inspired by the richness of colors and textures experienced in English botanical gardens, which captivated the designer as a child. Nature teaches us the importance of small details, and this point is highlighted by the elaborate finishes in this collection and the introduction of a new type of handmade knotted fringe.  This collection has the largest number of accessories, comprising of baskets, a puff and garlands in pink, mauve and white with renewed and elegant floral designs

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Joy: As a loyal lobster lover and all things maritime, Lorena Canals launches a fun, marine style collection: the Lobster collection.  Having grown up by the sea, Lorena Canals has turned her childhood memories into fun carpets and wall hangings, with matching baskets and door hangers, in intense red and natural tones with textures that seem sprinkled by the wind and sea water and softened by the white sand.

Lorena Canals’ award-winning designs have garnered international attention for being modern & stylish, yet practical & safe for children.  

Her fair-trade products are handmade by expert craftsman in India, who use raw materials of the best quality. Their rigorous artisanal process produces environmentally friendly, machine washable rugs and decorative accessories made from natural cotton.  All designs are hand stitched and dyed with natural, non-toxic dyes, to ensure durability after washing. 

Sweet Treats for Christmas

With only a few more days to go until Christmas, we thought we’d have a look back at some of our favourite sweet recipes that will not only go down a treat at this time of the year, but would also make fabulous gifts too.

Cinnamon Buns

From Cook Yourself Happy - The Danish Way - by Caroline Fleming.

Click here for the recipe.

Nan's Florentines

Courtesy of newspaper columnist and much–loved television baker Candice Brown who has published her book Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats.

Click here for the recipe.

Raspberry and Pine Nut Breakfast Muffins

Click here for the recipe.

Banana and Coconut Cupcakes

Click here for the recipe.

Caramel and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Truffles

Click here for the recipe.

Macarons

Click here for the recipe.

C.P. Hart x 2LG Studio Exclusive Collaboration

The London-based Interior Design company, 2LG Studio, were chosen to interpret C.P. Hart’s 2019 bathroom trends with an exclusive installation. The creative duo, Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, created a powerful and palpable room-set in red and pink that combines new finishes and bold products.

Working with the luxury bathroom retailer’s in-house team for several months, they produced a bespoke room-set for C.P. Hart’s flagship Waterloo showroom - revealed at C.P. Hart’s 2019 product launch in November.

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2LG Studio worked with the in-house team to pick cutting-edge products to produce the colourful bathroom design. The BetteLux Oval bath was custom made in pink for the first time to complete the dual-coloured scheme with the Rho basin from Kast in a matching hue. Fantini provides a dose of fun with its I Balocchi pop-art style brassware and freestanding shower in a custom all-red finish.

“Jordan and Russell have such a signature style and always embrace colour with a flair for mixing bright and muted tones, which makes this collaboration work so well. At C.P. Hart we have been championing the rising trend of colour in the bathroom for some time now, so it’s been great to work with designers who are not afraid of using a varied pallete and have ultimately created something bold for us.” Rachel Martin, Merchandising Director

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Bisazza’s Opus Romano Matt tiles in both pink and red pull this forward look together. “Red and pink is an iconic colour combo. It is a combo that has been in our minds for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity to experiment with it. Once we knew that Bisazza were on board too, we knew that their extensive range of colours in matt and gloss would give us the perfect opportunity to blend colours and create a jewellery box of a bathroom.” 2LG Studio.

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With the help of Beck interiors, the set was designed with cut out moon shapes to encourage the viewer to move around the room and see it from new and unusual angles.

Speaking of the inspiration for the project, the studio cited the American fashion title Paper Magazine as a source of inspiration. “It had the most incredible red and pink cover the month we sat down to create the concepts. We also have a passion for Italian design and for movies. We couldn't be more excited about it and it has been a big influence on the design of the installation.” 2LG Studio.

The collaboration is part of C.P. Hart’s dedicated activity to bring consumers the latest in product and interior design. The bathroom specialist has always been at the forefront of bathroom design, showcasing brands from around the world, regularly for the first time in the UK.

The room-set will be on display in the C.P. Hart Waterloo showroom throughout 2019. C.P. Hart will also be showcasing the latest collections in its gallery space, which includes new designs from Bisazza, Bette, Scavolini and more. C.P. Hart also issued its Trend Report for 2019, which is now available to press.

C.P. Hart are also proud to welcome Graham & Brown to the showroom as two wallpapers from its collaboration with 2LG has been used within the showroom space, Felt Tip Pink and Buckley Pink.

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Clarissa Hulse Introduces Her New Dill Collection

Just what we need for the New Year. A colourful reminder of summer and the countryside from one of our favourite designers, Clarissa Hulse.

Her new Dill collection features silhouettes of flowering dill in contrasting colours with firework shaped clusters evocative of British summertime. The colours graduate from deepest teal to pale aqua.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

When the bed linen is turned down, the reverse is patterned by what appears to be rows of flowers but is in fact looped shapes created by stamens. The coordinating oxford pillowcases are edged with a peacock blue flat piped trim and an embroidered velvet cushion and knit throw (featuring an undulating wave pattern) complete the look.

Dill Curtains, From £75, Cushion, £40.

Dill Curtains, From £75, Cushion, £40.

Meanwhile perfect spheres of the ornamental allium are printed onto the new peacock blue Dill curtains. The silhouettes show the clustered heads towards the end of their life cycle, as they turn from blossoming flowers to dried seed heads.

The curtains are available in 6 sizes, fully lined with matte silver eyelet headings.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Renovating Your House Without Breaking the Bank

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Renovations are an expensive business, especially when you factor in all the delays, last-minute changes of plan and unexpected costs. What you need is a clear, easy roadmap from start to finish, so a thorough budget is essential here. If you’re looking for help with budgeting, then head here.

Whatever your budget is, however reasonable it is, there’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to come in under it, so here are some great ideas to help you do that.

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Foregoing an architect

Some projects don’t actually need an architect, especially smaller ones that don’t involve too much internal remodelling. You can draw up the plans yourself if you really need to save money; just make sure they have all the necessary information and conform to your planning department’s format.

It’s also possible to use a draughtsperson, as long as they have the right indemnity insurance; some building contractors can also draw up the plans as part of the service.

Be flexible about suppliers

There are so many glossy brochures and websites out there that you can easily be seduced into buying all your fittings from the big boys. This isn’t necessarily the cheapest or the best move, so concentrate on your designs and not about who actually brings them to fruition.

Become PM

That’s project manager, you’ll be relieved to know! Being PM means you select the contractors and suppliers. You can also decide which tasks, like painting, you can do yourself if you want to; this definitely saves money, but you’ll be surprised by how much time it’ll take up.

Use several suppliers

Getting all your supplies from one source saves time, but it often pays off if you spend a bit of time shopping around for sales, deals or by going halves on some supplies with a friend who’s also renovating.

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Get at least three quotes

It’s surprising how much quotes can vary – sometimes by hundreds of pounds. The cheapest isn’t always the best, though, so take into account reviews and recommendations from family and friends.

Recycle as much as you can

If you’re pulling out old woodwork and fancy bricks or digging up flagstones, can you use them elsewhere in your home? Not only does this save money, but it’s a nice nostalgic touch, especially if your renovations are quite sweeping.

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Mix up cheap, mid-range and high-end

A classic example of this is when people buy mid-range cupboard bodies and finish them off with more expensive fronts and handles.

Get ready for bargain bolts from the blue

How many times have you driven or walked past a reclamation yard or a showroom that’s selling its ex-display stock and spied something amazing? You see the bathtub, or the Victorian fireplace and you stop by, only to remember that you’ll have nowhere to put them until you need them. Make sure you have space in your shed, or maybe even hire a storage unit in advance so you can grab those items before someone else does.

Muralswallpaper Celebrates Pantone's Colour of the Year 2019

Celebrating Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2019, MuralsWallpaper have created a very fitting mural design that embodies the inviting optimism and energy of 'Living Coral'.

Expect a refreshing sense of vibrancy and vitality to infuse interiors in 2019 with the new Colour of the Year. A stand-out wall drenched in Living Coral is an ideal way to incorporate the trend-worthy tone into the home, and this wallpaper puts it to work with a playful mix of coral design and the punchy Pantone colour.

Reconnect with a room through joyful colour

This lively shade has stayed hidden like coral beneath the reef for long enough, being used in decor only to add a small pop of colour to a minimal space. But now chimes the time for this energetic colour to take centre stage and be the cause of waves of joy in interiors.

Living Coral is an uplifting shade that celebrates connected life, and is influenced by the vital role of coral in the marine ecosystem. The new Colour of the Year takes a fond look at nature's beauty and highlights the importance of preserving it, so it's good to know that MuralsWallpaper paper is sustainably sourced and uses only eco-friendly, water-based inks.

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