• Love vintage finds from Loop the Loop

    by  • 23/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    Country Style Loop the Loop | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Working from their home in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, creative duo Laura and Adam of online vintage emporium Loop the Loop spend their days sourcing and selling unique pieces, as well as taking their English pointer Otti for long muddy walks! They stopped by for a quick chat…

    What makes your day lovely?
    Scouring stalls at antique and flea markets and the camaraderie between sellers and buyers. You get to meet some really interesting people and end up finding pieces that are brimming with character.

    What’s your business ethos?
    To source products which offer quality, style and are useful to have in the home. To quote William Morris: “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

    Describe your creative style.
    Rustic, vintage, timeless.

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    Meet our Artist in residence

    by  • 22/07/2014 • 0 Comments


    Country Homes and Interiors, Country Days blog, Sarah Hough

    Sarah Hough‘s studio is tucked away on a farm above the Piddle Valley in West Dorset. Here she creates unique works of art inspired by the local landscape. ‘My inspiration often comes from my morning walks, which are an essential part of my working day, and on which I stop to sketch in pen and ink, watercolour or pencil.’

    Sarah has a beautiful eye for the organic textures, patterns and colours found in the natural habitat and we’re delighted that she has agreed to be our Artist in residence.

    She will be sharing her beautiful seasonal pictures with us on a weekly basis – look out for her first one this Thursday.

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    Feel the love for this country bedroom

    by  • 22/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    Ready-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Country-Days-blog-country-bedroom

    With its fresh and breezy feel, we couldn’t resist this gorgeous country bedroom here at Country Days.

    The beautiful furniture with striped detailing is from the Jacob Collection (in Cap Ferret finish) by Grange. If you’re feeling handy, you could customise some vintage furniture using a similar muted palette. Don’t you think teaming the bed with a striped throw and bedlinen in similar tones is co-ordinating genius?

    Patterned furniture works best against a plain backdrop and the whitewashed walls and painted floorboards here conjure up clean, coastal style that’s perfect for the summer holidays. You can certainly count down to siesta or bedtime with the elegant oversized clock…

    For a similar coastal-feel bedroom take a peek at http://bit.ly/1qNs8Do

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    Welcome to the new look Country Days

    by  • 21/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    We’re very pleased to reveal the new-look Country Homes & Interiors blog. You’ll find all your favourite country style, food, craft and seasonal moments. Plus some lovely new extras too…

    • You can subscribe to our weekly letter Country Post and get ideas and inspiration for weekends in the country delivered to your inbox every Friday.

    • Meet our new Artist in Residence Sarah Hough and see her beautiful sketches from the countryside where she lives.

    • Open the door and meet the Country Homes & Interiors team and discover why we’re all country girls at heart!

    • Read about new and exciting country businesses and their inspirational owners.

    Bear with us as we hone and tweak the blog over the next few days. In the meantime, we hope you love it as much as we do! Please send us your thoughts…

     

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    Country craft; ribbon chair decoration

    by  • 20/07/2014 • 1 Comment

    Ribbon chair back decoration,Country Homes and Interiors blog,housetohome,craft,

    Try these colourful ribbon chair decoration idea for adding a jolly look to outdoor dining.

    Looking for easy and almost instant outdoor party decoration ideas? Then you’ll love this ribbon chair decoration idea which adds a quick pop of colour with a few loops and lengths. Simply cut a long length of ribbon and fold in half, loop over the chair back, pull the loose ends through the loop and tighten. Add lots of colourul lengths across the back of the chair to give real impact especially as they catch and wave in the breeze.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

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    Country look: coastal chic

    by  • 18/07/2014 • 1 Comment

    We adore this stunning new Coastal collection by Peony & Sage, launched earlier this month…

    Peony-&-Sage - fabrics-on-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Blog

    Beautiful coastal fabrics, from £43.95m, all Peony & Sage.

    The range ticks all the right boxes for any coastal lover with a Deckchair Stripe, Super Grande Breton stripe, Mini Starfish, Oars and Seagulls! Printed on oatmeal linen, the designs are all great for upholstery and ideal for making seat pads or cushions to update furniture.

    Designer Kimberley Bell drew inspiration from her love of the West Coast of Scotland. ‘I wanted to try out some new, more unusual earthy tones, typically found on the Scottish coastline’ says Kimberley. ‘Storm Blue is a fairly typical colour the sea and sky turns during the Spring and Winter months. Ochre was really depicted from rusty elements and dried seaweed found on the rocky shoreline.’

    I personally love the Seagulls print, which one is your favourite?

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    Country food: summer pasta

    by  • 17/07/2014 • 0 Comments

     

    Crayfish and chilli linguine

    Who feels like labouring over a hot oven in a heatwave? This easy crayfish and chilli linguine dish is packed with fresh summer flavours and is so quick and easy to do. Serve as a light lunch or supper dish, either on its own or with a tomato salad. Similar to lobster, crayfish is a freshwater shellfish that has a sweet nutty flavour – prep  in the same way you would large prawns or langoustines. Perfect for eating in the garden with a nice cold glass of white wine. Or two.

    Serves 4

    300g dried linguine
    50g stale pain de campagne or sourdough bread
    100ml extra virgin olive oil
    4 shallots, thinly sliced
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 medium red chilli, thinly sliced
    180g cooked crayfish tails
    100g fresh peas
    2 tbsps lemon juice
    50g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine for 5 to 6 minutes until just tender. Meanwhile, tear the bread into small pieces. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the bread pieces until golden. Remove from the frying pan and set aside.

    2 Heat another 1 tbsp oil and fry the shallots, garlic and chilli very gently until the shallots are soft. Stir in the crayfish tails and leave to heat through gently for a couple of minutes.

    3 Add the peas to the pasta and cook for 1 minute. Drain lightly and return to the cleaned out pan. Don’t drain the pasta too thoroughly: it needs some liquid retained.

    4 Add the contents of the frying pan, the fried bread, the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice to the pasta pan with the cheese and seasoning. Toss well then pile into serving bowls and serve immediately with extra Parmesan.

    Recipe: Joanna Farrow. Photograph: Myles New

     

     

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    Country style setter: Annie Sloan

    by  • 16/07/2014 • 6 Comments

    tara

    As well as paint, Annie has also created fabric and fragrance collections.

    We talk to the designers who are defining the latest looks for today’s country homes

    Annie Sloan has dedicated her life to inspiring others through her lively approach to painting. As well as developing her very own brand of decorative paint, Chalk paint®, she has written over twenty books covering a range of creative subjects from interior design ideas to specific painting techniques. In 2000 she set up shop in her hometown Oxford, where she works alongside husband David showcasing her paint range and running interior design courses.

    How did you get into decorative work?

    After art school I wondered what to do with my life. I absolutely loved painting and I decided this was a way to continue pursuing my passion. Paint is amazing stuff, it’s cheap and available to everybody. People find painting such a therapeutic process and it can be the most rewarding feeling when you’ve given a piece of furniture a new look.

    What inspires you?

    So much inspires me! Listening to music, art, fellow artists… life is inspiring! My parents had a farm in Kent and when I was a child I used to spend my days collecting flowers. I loved taking them home, looking them up and pressing them. I find the countryside so relaxing and take a lot of inspiration from it.

    What is your business ethos?

    Chalk paint® is only stocked in small independent businesses. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with my family and have a great team who share my passion for paint. I like to keep in touch with my grass roots, inspiring and informing people about paint and the history of colour.

    Describe your artistic style in three words.

    Intuitive, free and informed.

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    Win a day at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    by  • 15/07/2014 • 33 Comments

    Sign up for Country Homes & Interiors’ new weekly letter, Country Post, and we’ll deliver seasonal ideas and inspiration for weekends in the country to your inbox every Friday. Register now!

    To say thank you for signing up, we’re giving you the chance to win a day at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

    xx

    Spend time at this stunning country hotel in Oxfordshire

    Since opening in 1984, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has achieved the highest awards and accolades of any restaurant and country house hotel in Great Britain and is regarded as one of the very best in Europe. One of the few restaurants in the world to retain Two Michelin stars for 29 years, it remains a mecca for gourmets the world over.

    The menus have been described as ‘a twist of imaginative genius’ and constantly evolve through reflection, desire and curiosity as Raymond and his team search for the finest ingredients. The quality of the food stems from the freshness and purity of its ingredients. The two-acre kitchen garden produces 90 types of vegetable and over 70 varieties of herbs, which are used in Le Manoir’s kitchen.

    The gardens are as much a part of the excellence of Belmond Le Manoir as the food – in the words of Raymond, the garden is ‘an integral part of Le Manoir’s culinary and aesthetic experience.’

    The prize One lucky winner will spend a money-can’t-buy day in the gardens at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. On arrival, the winner will join Head Gardener Anne Marie Owens for a working day in the garden, including a full tour of the garden, harvesting ingredients for the kitchen and learning the tips from the team. At the end of the day,  you and a guest will sit down for a well-earned five course dinner in the restaurant, including selected wines. The prize is to be taken from Monday to Friday before the end of October 2014.

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    Country room: classic kitchen

    by  • 15/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    At the heart of any country kitchen is a range cooker.

    We love the way this stylish stainless-steel model from Sub-Zero & Wolf adds a modern edge to the rustic handmade oak cabinets from Hallwood Furniture.

    Pale worksurfaces in silestone and granite keep the look light and tone with the white brick-style splashback tiles. It’s a look that works particularly well in a beamed space.

    Wolf range is an ICBDF486G 1219mm dual fuel range with griddle/teppanyaki and 6 dual stacked sealed burners, 10 cooking modes and 2 x pyrolitic self cleaning ovens. £15,456 in VAT – Wolf Dual Fuel ranges start at £7,800 inc VAT for a 762mm version

    Wolf ICBDF486G 1219mm dual-fuel range cooker with griddle/teppanyaki and six dual stacked sealed burners, 10 cooking modes and two pyrolitic self cleaning ovens, costs £15,456. The Hallwood Furniture kitchen is made from English Oak – the cooker run is the Contemporary Oak kitchen, while the island unit is from the Restoration Oak range. English Oak kitchens start at £15,000.

     

     

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    Country moment: fresh raspberries

    by  • 14/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    As you probably remember, here at Country Days we’re mad about soft summer fruits. So Saturday we spent a lovely time picking the juiciest raspberries from our local East Sussex farm. It was ‘raspberry mayhem’ as my kids called it! Back at home – raspberry ice cream, raspberry jam, and even some left over for the freezer!

    Fresh from the bush!

    Fresh from the bush!

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    Country craft; handkerchief bunting

    by  • 13/07/2014 • 0 Comments

    Handkerchief bunting decoration Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Peg up handkerchiefs or fabric remnants to make pretty bunting decorations.

    We love this easy bunting decoration idea as seen in our latest issue- a great way of displaying favourite handkerchiefs, hand-me-down scarves or even squares of pretty fabric. Simply gather your squares (they can be any size and hem finished or raw edged) and give them an iron. Hang a length of string or ribbon where the bunting is to go then peg the squares along it’s length using dolly or pincer pegs. Use wooden styles for a rustic touch or colourful plastic for a jolly look.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

     

     

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