• Archive for February, 2012

    How to sew an appliqué apron

    by  • 29/02/2012 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    The latest Country Homes & Interiors sewing project was inspired by our love of the farmyard.

    The pretty striped fabric is Elm Spring by Voyage and the leaf motif Bantam Trail from Baker Lifestyle.

    The apron is simple to make from just two main pieces of fabric and we’ve used an easy cheat’s technique to create the patchwork-style cow motif. Why not have a go yourself and follow our instructions?

    For more sewing projects like this one, visit Housetohome.

    What looks like patchwork is in fact an easy appliqué technique using iron-on webbing – you don’t even have to worry about raw edges.

    Gather the main apron piece and insert into the tie.

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    All things bright and beautiful…

    by  • 28/02/2012 • Country style • 2 Comments

    I don’t know about you, but there is something so heartening about seeing a home filled with vibrant colours and bold patterns. All too often people feel restricted when it comes to decorating and as a consequence, choose something far removed from their personal taste simply because they think it is appropriate.  This beautiful living room features in Homespun Style by interiors stylist Selina Lake (£19.99, Ryland Peters & Small), and shows that you don’t have to choose a muted shade on the walls in order to complement a bold floral design on a sofa. On the contrary, the strong blue colour on the walls only enhances the sofa rather than overpowers it. Would you be tempted to go for something similar in your own home?

    The pretty yet bold floral design on this sofa looks simply perfect against the vivid blue walls. Perfect for a contemporary country living room.

    Homespun Style by Selina Lake (£19.99 hardback, Ryland, Peters & Small). Photographs by Debi Treloar.

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    Jubilee fever

    by  • 24/02/2012 • Country food • 3 Comments

    Things are certainly cranking up ahead of the The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June. I’m off to my first Jubilee party today courtesy of Sainsbury, then there are more events to follow next week. Cake baking (especially rosewater and lavender scented sponges and retro classics – the new Tea Room at Harrods features a Jam Tart with English Rose Marshmallows), traditional afternoon tea (there’s never been a better time to bring out the bone china), possets and trifles, and English themed cocktails (Earl Grey Fizz anyone?) are going to be trending bigtime this summer, along with the bunting. World famous for their window displays, here’s a snapshot of the Jubilee inspired decor at Fortnum & Mason which caught my eye earlier this week. Inspired by the Queen’s beasts, it’s certainly a stunning display both inside and out. I also love Fortnum’s limited edition range of Jubilee tea caddies, biscuit tins and bone china for a quintessentially English gift. And perfect if you’re interested in collecting Jubilee themed memorabilia to pass down through the generations.

    Fortnum & Mason does the Jubilee

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    Block print linen

    by  • 23/02/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    The trend for traditional hand-block printing on fabrics is bigger than ever. The pretty Kalamkari linen design from Villa Nova’s new Indienne collection perfectly demonstrates why this artisan skill is so popular.

    I love the charm of its bold print mixed with delicate embroidered detailing; ideal for curtains and cushions to add a handmade country touch to your home.

    Shown here with the hand-carved wooden block used to transfer the motif onto the fabric, you can really gain a sense of how much care and attention goes into this beautiful design.

    Kalamkari Agapanthus, ref V3013/01, £55 a metre, from the Indienne Collection by Villa Nova.

    Kalamkari Agapanthus, ref V3013/01, £55 a metre, from the Indienne Collection by Villa Nova.

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    Country Homes & Interiors visits Mediacom

    by  • 22/02/2012 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    We brought a little bit of the country to London-based media agency Mediacom a couple of days ago. The reason? To tell them all about our fantastic ABC circulation figures for Country Homes & Interiors. Our lovely Advertisement Manager Kate Bragazzi and Decorating Assistant Johanna Roberts hung bunting and styled a pretty country-style table filled with Country Homes & Interiors magazines, scented candles and cakes.

    Thanks to everyone at Mediacom for chatting to us and taking such interest in all our good news!

    Country Homes & Interiors visits Mediacom

    Country Homes & Interiors visits Mediacom

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    Magical Moroccan-style bedroom

    by  • 21/02/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours curled up on this bed with a good book or magazine. I love the mix of different colours and textures used in this stylish bedroom look by Oka. The subtle cream on white embroidered fabric used as drapes is the perfect contrast to the ethnic style throw on the bed. All that you would need is some refreshing fresh mint tea served in a Moroccan tea glass to feel right at home. Now back to reality…

    Single divan bed with drawers, £799. Upholstered headboard, £295. Off-white plain linen headboard slip cover, £95. Gunnebo bedside table, £265. Elephant lamp, £220. Cream card rectangular shade, £66. Roslin throw, £290. Urla rug, £725, all Oka. Similar drape fabric can also be found at Oka.

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    Thanks for buying Country Homes & Interiors

    by  • 20/02/2012 • Country moment, Country style • 5 Comments

    Just wanted to say thank you to all of you who buy Country Homes & Interiors. We have just published the latest ABC circulation figures for July to December 2011 and over 97,000 of you are buying us every month – that’s up nearly 8% year on year and our highest circulation in 8 years. It’s fantastic for us to know that you are loving what we do.

    We raised a glass to celebrate!

    Country Homes & Interiors March

    Our March issue is now on sale!

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    Country plantation style bedroom

    by  • 17/02/2012 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Plantation, Linen wallpaper, £69.50 a roll, Andrew Martin. Beach House 5ft bed, col Ivory, £1,375 without mattress, Frank Hudson

    Plantation, Linen wallpaper, £69.50 a roll, Andrew Martin. Beach House 5ft bed, col Ivory, £1,375 without mattress, Frank Hudson

    Sometimes a wallpaper can transport you to another time and place and set the scene for the whole room, whether it be cascading florals or a digital print of a favourite landscape. We’ve fallen in love with the Engineer wallpaper collection by Andrew Martin and in particular this Plantation design in Linen (see page 78-79 of our March issue, on sale now). It’s not hard to imagine you are in a shady retreat when the walls are papered in this subtle shutter design, which is both sophisticated and rustic, giving the room 5 Star appeal. What is nice is that the light linen tones feel airy. Lightly painted and slatted furniture are a new twist, rather than the darker tropical woods of traditional plantation style, while bed linen in lime tones add zesty freshness.

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    Something blue…

    by  • 16/02/2012 • Country style • 3 Comments

    What do you think about blue for a country kitchen? It might not be an obvious colour choice, but I think it looks beautifully fresh and contemporary, especially when teamed with white. This kitchen features in Flea Market Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell (CICO Books, £19.99), available at all good bookshops. Don’t just think of opting for one shade of blue- I love how the striped and polka dot mugs on the checked tablecloth range from navy to aqua blue. Another great feature in this room are the garden benches, which is an easy way of bringing elements from outdoors inside.

    Flea Market Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell (CICO Books, £19.99). Photographs by Simon Brown.

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    Discover online emporium Rigby & Mac

    by  • 15/02/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    For a quirky assortment of homewares, browse away online at Rigby & Mac. This fabulous new website combines the diverse styles of three award-winning lifestyle stores based in Dulwich, London – The Dulwich Trader, Tomlisons and Ed.

    On the website each store is represented by its door number, No.9 offers a modern country collection of goodies; No.89 has pieces with a feminine vintage feel and at No.41 you’ll find an eclectic mix of quirky buys.

    The concept of Rigby & Mac is to unite great retailers – giving shoppers the chance to indulge in their own taste but also be able to explore styles from similar much-loved boutiques. The website is a visual delight, here’s a pick of my favourite pieces…

    Silver plate preserve lids, £15.50 each; Glazed soup bowls with spoon, £5.50 each; Country bedside table, £125, all No.9 Floral print boxes, £38 set of 3; Houses appliqué cushion, £58.95; Distressed fuchsia wall cabinet, £98, all No.41 Assorted vintage prints, £13.95 set of 9; Large rose bowls, £29.99 each; Versailles gilt armchair, £495, all No.89. All available at Rigby & Mac.

    Silver plate preserve lids, £15.50 each; Glazed soup bowls with spoon, £5.50 each; Country bedside table, £125, all No.9 Floral print boxes, £38 set of 3; Houses appliqué cushion, £58.95; Distressed fuchsia wall cabinet, £98, all No.41 Assorted vintage prints, £13.95 set of 9; Large rose bowls, £29.99 each; Versailles gilt armchair, £495, all No.89. All available at Rigby & Mac.

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