Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Brit Decor: New Cool / Wool

Images (from top) 1/ Deas Og Mia 2/ My World Apart 3/ Scandinavian Deko 4/ Deas Og Mia

Here in my little corner of the world it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride in meteorological terms with an unseasonably mild start to Autumn. One minute I am following my human instinct to cosy-up, like I would in any normal October - preparing logs for the wood burner (and writing about it in my 'Basket Love' post), whilst the next minute I find myself placing the thick woollen sweaters back in the wardrobe for a currently unknown length of time...

However, in stylistic terms we can usher the new cool in interiors into our homes at any point in the year. Despite its sometimes Wintery connotations, wool now officially rocks, whatever the Season. I am currently obsessed with the new trend for super chunky knits (just check out the enormous crochet hook from the hip NY store Loopy Mango - all nine inches of it!). I love the architecture created by these, which can bring both structure and comfort to a home (see 'above') and there's now literally a colour to suit everyone. Tip: Try indulging in a rich colour palette of wools this Autumn by mimicking the colours of the rusting leaves outside.

In terms of colour timing, I tend to ebb towards lighter, brighter wools for Spring/Summer interiors and darker, richer tones for Winter, like this stunning Pewter Moss Stitch throw from House Envy (no.1 below). Or if you are missing the sight of the golden sun beaming down upon you, then consider a palette of yellow wools to add richness and energy, like the grey/yellow combo knitted cushion by Catherine Tough (no.2 below) or the insanely rich Mellow Yellow yarn (no.7) from the pinnacle of 'wool cool' - Wool and the Gang.

So my friends, do you want to join the cool gang...?

1/ Pewter Moss stitch throw £69.95 House Envy 2/ Knitted cushion grey check £62 Catherine Tough
3/ Knitted friend Bandit the Racoon £38 Not on The High Street 4/ Giant Crochet hook
$26 Loopy Mango 5/ Hand knit slipper sock £49 Toast 6/ Say my name beanie £62 Wool &The Gang
7/ Shiny Happy Cotton (Mellow Yellow) £9 Wool & The Gang

Friday, 17 October 2014

Brit Decor: Bakes/ Bacon & Maple Syrup cupcakes

All images / Mike Ahern

It's unusual for me to be torn between sweet and savoury as the former usually wins hands-down. However, last weekend I found myself craving both! A nice crispy bacon 'butty' is one of my all time favourite weekend snacks - the freshly cooked bacon always offers one of those comforting homely smells.

Another thing I love about bacon sandwiches is the speed at which one can be put together and then devoured (very handy for feeding unannounced guests at the cottage on weekends). So in the spirit of keeping things easy, speedy, and combing sweet and savoury, I decided to make some bacon and maple syrup cupcakes.

The fluffy sponges gently emit the mild spicy nutmeg and cinnamon flavours, which are offset perfectly by the sweetness of the caramelised maple syrup which coats the bite-sized bacon pieces and forms the central flavour of the maple frosting. Mixing bowls to the ready my friends!

Cupcake Ingredients:
150g unsalted butter (softened)
150g caster sugar
180g plain flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Caramelised bacon:
3 rashers bacon
Drizzle maple syrup

60g unsalted butter
4 tbsp maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
150g icing sugar

Here's how to make:
Preheat your oven to 180oc & line a 12 case cake tray.

Place the softened butter, sugar, baking powder, salt and flour into a bowl and one-by-one add each egg, mixing as you go along. Then add the vanilla extract,  cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together until you have a smooth and creamy batter.

Add the mixture to the cake cases and place in the oven for around 18 minutes.

Whilst the cakes are in the oven, take the rashers of bacon and drizzle with maple syrup until coated. Then grill the rashers on medium heat until golden brown. Leave to cool.

Once the cakes have been removed from the oven and cooled, prepare the frosting by mixing together all of the ingredients until these are smooth and creamy. Using a tea spoon, distribute the frosting onto each cake. Cut the bacon into small bite-sized pieces and place in each topping. Finally, drizzle some maple syrup over each cake and serve.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Brit Decor: Simple Folk

Images (from top) 1/ Etsy 2/ Design is Mine 3/ The Design Files

Folk-style isn't just about a particular look, it's also how traditional methods are applied during the design and make process, such as screen printing and tapestry, to arrive at a vibrant and well-crafted solution. So it's actually very refreshing so see a huge revival of Folk arts emerging in some of the latest AW2014 fashion and interiors collections. It's also a perfect Winter-look with playful scenes filled with woodland animals and playful patterns.

Today I've incorporated my signature simple-style into a folk-inspired narrative to create 'Simple Folk'. Here we immerse all the eclectic pattern into a calming pool of nordic calm, and a sea of pale neutrals. In a nutshell; it's the new modern cool.

To help kickstart the 'Simple Folk' look, 'below' I've made a section of my favourite picks from the cyber high-street to adorn our homes with. Happy shopping friends!

Simple Folk Shopping1/ Screen print by Laikonik £10.95 Etsy 2/ Scandinavian geometric
mountain coin purse £9.59 Etsy 3/ Folklore blue enamel tea pot £14.95 Bloomsbury
4/ Dreamscape notebook £9 Paperchase 5/ Ary trays folk stripe tray £25.50 Amara
6/ Doft Ware spirale cushion £79.20 Made in Design 7/ Pennsylvania bed spread £200
Vintage Folk


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