Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

Shower time

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus and Orbit shower heads | H is for Home

We’ve had our current electric shower unit for some time now – it must be nearly 15 years, come to think of it. We’re probably due an upgrade, but our list of items that need some money spending on them is pretty long at the moment – exterior walls need pointing, the roof needs repair, the boiler is playing up etc… and that’s not to mention the camper van fund which has stalled a bit this year. The actual shower unit still works, so we’re not at the urgent stage, but the water flow certainly isn’t anything to write home about.

Our old shower head | H is for Home Our old shower head | H is for Home

Perhaps we could improve that for the time being, we decided. And then the lovely people at Ecocamel came to the rescue, sending us two new shower heads to try out – the Jetstorm Plus and Orbit models.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home

They’re both ideal for electric showers and incorporate the Ecocamel ‘Aircore Technology’ which injects air directly into the water stream, so you get a powerful shower whilst actually using less hot water as an additional benefit. The Jetstorm Plus head has three adjustable spray settings allowing you to achieve the ideal shower flow for you – the Orbit has clusters of nodules for a powerful and even spray.

Ecocamel Orbit shower head turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Orbit shower head turned on | H is for Home

They both look good and have wipe clean rubber nodules to prevent the build up of lime scale if you live in a hard water area.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned off | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head, turned on | H is for Home

We’ve been trying them out this week and we’re delighted with the results.We’ve really noticed a difference when showering.

Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus shower head | H is for Home Ecocamel Orbit shower head | H is for Home

Perhaps your shower flow is poor, or your shower head is old and tatty, or you’re interested in the eco-friendly energy and water savings they offer. Whatever the reason, they’re very easy to replace – universal fittings mean that you simply screw off your old shower head and screw the new one on – two minutes, and you’re done!

[disclosure*]

Designer Desire: Owen Davey

Mosaic of Owen Davey illustrations | H is for Home

We often feature a Scandinavian designer whose heyday was the 50s to the 70s in our weekly Designer Desire series. Surprise, surprise – this week we’ve chosen a young, contemporary, award-winning, British illustrator, Owen Davey!

Owen trained at Falmouth University and is currently based in Leicester. He has a long list of prestigious and diverse clients including Facebook, Google, Sony, AirBnB, Transport for London, Lego, The Guardian, New York Times, National Geographic, the BBC, GQ, Stella Artois, EasyJet, Virgin, Jamie Oliver, Microsoft and Unilever.

Owen describes his style as, “Stylised. Friendly. Retro. Colourful. Narrative” and is inspired by, “Life, nature and aesthetics”.

He has designed the graphics for the TwoDots puzzle game and even finds the time to be in a band!

He has work available to buy in his shop. His illustrated children’s books can be found on Amazon.

Have a look at this amazing time-lapse video below of his work process creating his beautiful Dungeness crab.

You can see more of his work on his Instagram feed or you can follow him on Twitter.

Portrait of Owen Daveycredit

Price Points: Invisible furniture

Invisible furniture | H is for Home

Invisible furniture can be practical, attractive and humorous. Invisible could mean hidden in clear sight, transparent or even camouflaged. The three examples we’ve chosen cover all these bases.

The concealed bookshelves are really affordable and can free up precious wall and floor space. In addition, they’re a great way of showing off your most attractive book spines and covers. The transparent trunk is a useful piece of furniture; great for storage or an imaginative way of displaying something extra special. Have you spotted the HD television in photo #3? It’s masquerading as a framed artwork. It’s such a fantastic way of transforming what is usually a big, blank, black rectangular space. You can choose from a number of different frames and artworks to suit your décor… or even display your own photographs or family snaps!

  1. Umbra Conceal bookshelf: from £10.50, Red Candy
  2. Clear acrylic trunk / coffee table: £1,774.03, Etsy
  3. Samsung The Frame Art Mode ultra HD TV: from £1,999.00, John Lewis

Cakes & Bakes: Red Leicester cheese scones

Buttered, home-made red Leicester cheese scones | H is for Home #recipe #scones

We watched Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain’s new BBC cooking series this week. She made Eton mess cheesecake, smoked haddock welsh rarebit and red Leicester cheese scones. It all looked amazing but as we’re afternoon scone lovers, that was the one I wanted to recreate the most.

Flour and grated red Leicester mixture | H is for Home

Nadiya gave viewers a really useful scone-making hint that I’d never heard before. She advised when cutting out the rounds, don’t twist the cutter as this makes the scones lean when rising during baking. One to remember!

Cutting red Licester cheese scones from dough | H is for Home

The other revelation was using onion salt in the recipe. We have some pots of wonderful Cornish Sea Salt, one of which is onion flavoured. I find ‘regular’ onion salt tastes a bit strong, but this one is more subtle – so I added double the ¼tsp measure she sets out. It worked perfectly.

Brushing the tops of red Leicester scones with milk before they go into the oven | H is for Home

The entire process took half an hour from start to delicious end. Nadiya served up hers with her own home-made chive butter; however, plain old salted works a treat too. I reckon red Leicester cheese scones would be successful as part of an alternative ploughman’s lunch – served with cold meats, boiled eggs, salad and pickled onions & red cabbage. Great for picnics, drinks parties or afternoon teas too..

Cooked red Leicester cheese scones cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest.

Red Leicester cheese scones
Yields 9
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  2. 50g/1¾oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  3. ¼ tsp onion salt
  4. 55g/2oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  5. 25g/1oz red Leicester, grated
  6. 150ml/5fl oz whole milk, plus 1tbsp extra for glazingHome-made red Leicester cheese scones ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease or line a baking tray with baking paper
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flours, onion salt and butter into a bowl and rub together using your fingertips until you get a fine breadcrumb consistency
  4. Mix in the cheese
  5. Make a well in the centre and add the milk
  6. Bring the dough together with your hands, being careful not to knead or the dough will become tough
  7. Dust the work surface with flour and press the dough out to the thickness of about 2cm/1in
  8. Cut out the scones using a 5cm/2in circular cutter and place onto the prepared tray
  9. Bring the offcuts together gently, again being careful not to knead and cut out as many circles as possible until there's no dough remaining
  10. Brush the tops with milk and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden and well risen
  11. Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack
  12. Serve warm with butter
Print
Adapted from Nadiya's British Food Adventure
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

Not all furniture available on the market will match up to the expectations you have for your home’s interior. Therefore, it’s essential to ascertain if the pieces you intend to acquire have the desired quality and features required.  After all, in addition to providing function, furniture does an exceptional job of reflecting your personality. Here are 4 things to look for when purchasing new furniture.

Walnut extending dining table

  1. Quality of materials

The quality of materials used is an essential consideration – whether it be wood, metal, plastic – or a combination. Wood options can be made of solid timber, composites or veneers. Solid timber is generally the most expensive. Veneers are often a cheaper alternative as the core or carcass is made from less expensive woods. Composite refers to wood mixed with several other materials including plastics, resin and wood pulp. Composite furniture is often the material used for cheaper, mass-produced products and often don’t fare well in the durability or longevity departments. Good-quality wooden furniture looks great and ages well, it offers a range of colours, grains and texture – and can add real warmth to a space.

Metal furniture and fittings have been very much in vogue over recent years providing shimmer and sheen to interior décor – copper, brass and steel being the most widely used. As with wood there are noticeable variations in quality of metal products. This goes for main structural elements of a piece, but also the incorporated fixtures such as screws and brackets. Look for good weight and a nice surface patina.

Plastics are often much maligned but offer great flexibility in colour and form. Modern plastics can provide real quality of finish that should overcome any doubts – and good design will utilise the material to its greatest potential.

Sideboard drawers

  1. Quality of workmanship and finish

Before purchasing furniture, you should assess the workmanship and quality of finish. Pay attention to the drawers, cabinets and so on – a good indicator of quality. The drawer should pull out completely and smoothly, latch properly and shut evenly. Joints should be fitted, stable and secure – and preferably not just simply glued into place. Joints should be neat and flush – as should borders between different materials when used in combination. Also, check furniture edges and corners for a smooth, well finished appearance. When doors are opened, check they remain fixed in that position until you shut them again. In addition to checking the drawers and cabinets, you should also ensure that the handles and knobs feel secure and built to last – they shouldn’t feel loose or jiggle around – and you should feel confident that they’ll stay that way despite heavy use. If you’re purchasing a chair, sofa or bed in particular, you must ensure that the legs are secure and joined properly to the frame; legs roughly nailed on might not be the best sign! You should also make sure that the legs or feet are made of materials that won’t damage your floor surface.

Occasional table in front of a fire

  1.  Size and proportion

The furniture you buy will need to depend on the size of the room in which it is to be located. If you’re buying a sofa for a small box room, an oversized 4-seater example would look out of place and swamp the space. Conversely, an expansive, open-plan living space calls for large sofas, tables and chairs. Otherwise pieces get lost in the space and rooms feel sparse and ‘echoey’. Consider marking out the outline of various furniture options using chalk or masking tape – this really can help you visualise the finished room.

It’s not just the size of the rooms that you need to take into consideration. Always measure furniture before you buy to make sure that it can fit through the front door, around corners, up stairways and through internal doors. It can become a very expensive and time-consuming task having to remove doors and windows to get furniture indoors. Some have to resort to hoisting over-large pieces of furniture up through upstairs windows to get them where they were intended to go.

Corner of a cream leather sofa

  1. What’s already in your home?

Consider the furniture that you already own – will your new piece compliment or clash with it? Some very successful decorating schemes are quite eclectic when it comes to age and style, but this requires care and skill. You can’t just throw objects into a space and hope for the best! And then there’s the age and fabric of the building to consider. Will it suit a traditional, vintage industrial, country or contemporary style?

Read interior magazines or browse websites such as Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the results other people have achieved who live in buildings similar to yours – or have incorporated furniture pieces that you love too.

Hopefully these pointers will help with your choices. For a wide range of attractive, high-quality furniture, danetti.com is the perfect site to visit.

[disclosure*]