Designer Desire: Percy Kelly

Mosaic of Percy Kelly artworks | H is for Home

We were reminded of the work of Cumbrian artist, Percy Kelly when he was featured on BBC’s Countryfile last weekend.

His illustrated letters (and their enveloped) are especially exquisite – some of which we’ve included in our montage above. Apparently, he carried on decades-long correspondence with over a dozen different people; Joan David, Norman Nicholson and Mary Burkett. When the latter’s estate came up for sale in 2015, the auctioneers reported:

One of the main highlights of the sale was a unique collection of letters illustrated by the artist Percy Kelly (1918-1993) and sent to Mary, his friend and mentor, over a period of 25 years from 1968 until his death in 1993.  The correspondence sold for a total of £84,680 to a variety of mainly local bidders with the highest value letters one featuring an illustration of a painter and decorator’s workshop sold for £2,500 and another ‘Maryport from the Settlement’ sold for £2,200.

As Percy Kelly had predicted:

One day my letters will be seen as the most unique ever written.

A number of books and catalogues have been published about his paintings and letters available on Amazon and Abe Books.

From what we’ve read up about him, he lived a very colourful, artistically prolific and tragic life. There are articles in the Spectator, Independent and the Guardian that go into further details about his personal history, if you’re interested in finding out more.

Portrait of Percy Kellycredit

Additional image credits:

Art Rabbit | Castlegate House Gallery | Pinterest

Price Points: Double hammocks

Selection of double hammocks | H is for Home

These three stripy, double hammocks look almost identical, however, there’s around a £60 difference in price between the cheapest and most expensive.

We have two mature trees in our garden; an ornamental cherry and a silver birch. They’re about 10 foot apart – a nice distance to sling a hammock between. It’s a shady, private part of the garden – a perfect place to have a summer afternoon snooze!

  1. VonHaus double hammock: £9.99, DOMU
  2. Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag: £27.99, Amazon
  3. Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double: £69.59, Houzz

shop double hammocks

Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
£69.59
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
£27.99
VonHaus double hammock
VonHaus double hammock
£9.99
Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
£69.59
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
£27.99
VonHaus double hammock
VonHaus double hammock
£9.99
Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
Brazilian-style hammock, tropical, double
£69.59
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
Easy Eagle Hammocks anti-rollover canvas hammock + bag
£27.99
VonHaus double hammock
VonHaus double hammock
£9.99

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut buttermilk pound cake

Home-made coconut buttermilk pound cake | H is for Home

I bought a pot of buttermilk last week with the intention of making a loaf of Irish soda bread. After spending the last few days eating the sourdough burger buns I’d baked, we were all breaded out!

Coconut buttermilk pound cake batter | H is for Home

Rather than allow the buttermilk to reach it’s ‘best before’ date, I used it to make a coconut buttermilk pound cake.

Coconut buttermilk pound cake batter | H is for Home

I found the perfect recipe on the Martha Stewart website – I already had all the ingredients in the kitchen.

Home-made coconut buttermilk pound cake | H is for Home

Sometimes, on an online recipe, the comments made by people who have tried out the recipe are hugely useful. A couple of people stated that the size of the loaf tin recommended wasn’t big enough and they had left over batter. Because of this, I used my largest loaf tin – 19 x 15 x 10cm (8 x 6 x 4-inch). This was probably a bit to big – a smaller one would have sufficed.

Coconut buttermilk pound cake icing ingredients | H is for Home

Martha Stewart’s original recipe uses sweetened, shredded coconut however, dessicated coconut is easier to get hold of in the supermarket here in the UK. Dessicated is much finer than shredded, so I altered the recipe slightly.

Home-made coconut buttermilk pound cake with buttermilk icing and sprinkling of toasted dessicated coconut | H is for Home

It’s not often that there’s a ‘how to’ video of a recipe available – the one I embedded at the bottom of the post shows just how easy this recipe is.

Click here to save it to Pinterest for later – you won’t be disappointed!

Coconut buttermilk pound cake
Serves 8
For the cake
  1. 170g/6oz butter, softened
  2. 170g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1tsp vanilla extract
  5. 240g/8½oz plain flour
  6. 1½tsp baking powder
  7. 1tsp salt
  8. 240ml/8fl oz buttermilk
  9. 75g/2⅔oz dessicated coconut, toasted
For the topping
  1. 2tbsp buttermilk
  2. 125g icing sugar
  3. 1tbsp dessicated coconut, toastedHome-made coconut buttermilk pound cake ingredients
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For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 12 x 22cm (4½ x 8½-inch) loaf tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy
  4. In a small measuring jug, lightly whisk the eggs
  5. Add vanilla, then the beaten eggs, combining well
  6. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt
  7. Carefully add the flour to the mixture in 3 additions, alternating with two additions of buttermilk. Combine well
  8. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the 75g of toasted, dessicated coconut
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  10. Allow the cake to cool in its tin on a wire rack for about an hour
  11. Remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool completely
For the topping
  1. Whisk together the icing sugar and 2 tbsp buttermilk making sure there are no lumps
  2. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with tablespoon of dessicated coconut
Print
Adapted from Everyday Food
Adapted from Everyday Food
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
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We’ve got more Mills Moore!

Vintage Mills Moore cutlery set | H is for Home

One of our most frequent customer enquiries is, “Do you have any more of the Mills Moore cutlery?”

Set of vintage Mills Moore cutlery | H is for Home

People find it here on our blog, our Instagram posts and archived shop listings. Quite often, we have to say, “Sorry, no, not at the moment.” But not today!

Set of vintage Mills Moore cutlery | H is for Home

We’ve just listed a fabulous set of the 1960s stainless steel Mills Moore cutlery – 6 of everything – 42 pieces in all.

Set of vintage Mills Moore cutlery showing maker's mark | H is for Home

This range definitely appears to be the most sought after – and we also very much like the form of this particular design. We love the walnut handles too, with their warm colour and differences in tone. The quality is excellent and they feel really good in the hand.

Set of vintage Mills Moore cutlery | H is for Home

It’s been listed today, so if you’re one of those people who’s been keen to get hold of some, now’s your chance!

How to ensure your kitchen is eco-friendly

How to ensure your kitchen is eco-friendly | H is for Home

Eating less meat and using less plastic are a couple of the ways to ensure that you reduce your environmental impact in the kitchen, but there’s much more that you can do! The only people that can save the planet are us, so let’s take a look at how to be more environmentally friendly in the kitchen.

Re-used kitchen

Renovate

A new kitchen is always tempting, but before you head over to the showroom, slow down and take a look at what you’ve already got. If your kitchen is structurally sound, a lick of paint and some TLC may do it the world of good. If you’re sure that your kitchen is past its time, have a look at used kitchens. You can approach a recommended used kitchen re-seller such as Used Kitchen Exchange, who’ll assess kitchens for their quality to ensure you get an amazing kitchen for a fraction of the showroom price. You could even make your new kitchen purchase guilt-free by selling yours with Used Kitchen Exchange.

Row of utensils

Long-lasting utensils

You might believe that your utensils should be replaced regularly as they wear out, but this isn’t great for the environment or your pocket. Teflon in particular, is a popular style of utensil which doesn’t actually last that long. Swap your Teflon pan for one made of stainless steel or cast iron for longevity. If you regularly use low-quality plastic utensils, change them for something sturdier and more eco-friendly such as wood or bamboo. Lastly, kit yourself out with quality knives that are easy to sharpen by hand.

Saucepan over a flame on a stove

Cook efficiently

Gone are the days when you needed to pre-heat your oven for ten minutes before you put anything in – many modern ovens heat up almost immediately. When you’re using the oven, try to cook more than one thing at once to save energy, and use the microwave where possible. Use a properly-sized pan on each ring of the stove, as a six inch pan on an eight inch ring can waste up to 40% heat.

Stainless steel oven knobs and buttons

Check your appliances

If you need to replace an appliance with a new one, check the energy certificate first. Most appliances such as fridges, dishwashers, freezers and stoves have an Energy Star rating – you can use this to decide which appliance to buy. Sometimes, appliances can be even more efficient than doing the job yourself – for instance, you can buy a dishwasher which is more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand.

Brown paper bag full of fresh vegetables and groceries

Bulk up and buy local

Buying fruit and vegetables both locally and seasonally is a great way to be more environmentally friendly. Whilst fruit from overseas may taste good, it may have taken a lot of air miles to reach you. Your supermarket should do its best to stock local brands, but you can also buy directly from a farmers market. Even better, grow your own in your garden or greenhouse! When you go to cook, try and cook in bulk as much as possible, to reduce appliance use – you might even save some money along the way.

Box of baking soda Large bottle of white vinegar

Clean green

Branded kitchen cleaning products can contain a lot of different chemicals. You can swap your usual detergent for one that is plant based and look for non-toxic formulas. If you’re thrifty, you could have a go at making your own cleaning solutions, using vinegar and baking soda to create a multi-purpose cleaner.

Bread stall at a farmers' market

Reduce waste

Unsurprisingly, the kitchen is the main cause of waste in your home. However, there are lots of things that you can do to reduce the amount of waste that you produce. When you go to the shop or market, take your own bags, buy fresh produce and look at how things are packaged. The next step is to only cook what you’ll eat, and freeze anything you don’t. Lastly, save things like glass jars and bags and re-use them.

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Get their look: Zoned studio apartment

Zoned studio apartmentcredit

This zoned studio apartment is a really liveable space for a young single person or couple. It’s spacious and comfortable with each area delineated with the clever use of furniture and area rugs. The lofty ceiling is put to good use by the suspended pan rack, industrial-style pendant lights and mid-century inspired Flensted mobile.

All the furniture is thoughtfully chosen; an L-shaped sofa which pulls out to form an occasional bed when people are over to stay. The dining table & chairs are compact and beautifully designed and the free-standing kitchen island doubles as a breakfast bar and work surface. The vintage sideboard (or credenza as it would be called in New York where this apartment is located!) is such a flexible piece of furniture; bags of storage for all manner of things and the top is perfect for holding a music system or displaying treasured possessions.

  1. Flensted 124 Life & Thread mobile
  2. FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
  3. Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
  4. FUSION dining table & chairs
  5. Vintage sideboard / credenza
  6. Caucasian Kazak rug

Get their look: Zoned studio apartment | H is for Home

Get their look

Vintage sideboard / credenza
Vintage sideboard / credenza
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
Caucasian Kazak rug
Caucasian Kazak rug
124 Life & Thread mobile
124 Life & Thread mobile
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
FUSION dining table & chairs
FUSION dining table & chairs
Vintage sideboard / credenza
Vintage sideboard / credenza
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
Caucasian Kazak rug
Caucasian Kazak rug
124 Life & Thread mobile
124 Life & Thread mobile
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
FUSION dining table & chairs
FUSION dining table & chairs
Vintage sideboard / credenza
Vintage sideboard / credenza
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
FRIHETEN corner sofa bed
Caucasian Kazak rug
Caucasian Kazak rug
124 Life & Thread mobile
124 Life & Thread mobile
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
Dakota adjustable wood seat barstool
FUSION dining table & chairs
FUSION dining table & chairs

They’re cute, they’re classy, they’re cool – faux hibiscus trees

Artificial hibiscus tree

No matter what business you’re in, they all begin and end with the customer. To develop a successful business you need to create a great impression through your products, service – and if you have physical premises – quality, unique or memorable décor. There are a number of strategies used in decorating corporate areas; a space isn’t fully complete until accent items are added and focal points are created. Although introducing natural foliage into commercial interiors & exteriors is a perfectly reasonable choice, it isn’t always the most practical due to associated care and upkeep. Because of this, reproduction horticultural products have become a common solution within corporate landscaping.

When looking for faux trees and plants to revamp commercial space – indoor or outdoor – the first thing to consider is whether the landscaping element matches your requirements. Regardless of what you install in your spaces, it should create real positive impact on the viewer. The outdoor landscape of any commercial setting creates that all important first impression, luring the visitor into the premises. The indoor landscaping hopefully continues the good work, potentially helping convert visitors into customers. With their gorgeous flowering beauty, artificial hibiscus trees can deliver you the most modern, clean and sophisticated landscape. These faux botanical items can add real interest, maximising the decorative potential of the space.

Yellow artificial hibiscus flowers

A great option for corporate landscaping

Having a commercial space that’s adorned with lush green trees, plants and blooming flowers is quite challenging to get right in reality – especially considering the busy nature of corporate life. Taking care of live plants requires time or dedicated manpower for regular watering, fertilising, applying pesticides, pruning etc. Perhaps these tasks can be sub-contracted out, but you could find the additional cost to be very high. In such cases, artificial hibiscus trees can be a suitable choice for their versatility in a variety of commercial environments including:

  • Corporate headquarters
  • Municipal buildings
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities
  • Luxury hotels and restaurants
  • Bars and casinos
  • Shopping malls & multiplexes
  • Exhibition halls & art galleries

Adds a touch of tropical flavour

With a variety of blooms, colours and textures, hibiscus is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions and belongs to the mallow family. With their amazing beauty, these flowering plants can enhance any commercial landscape. Installing artificial hibiscus trees both indoors and outdoors creates attractive focal points and introduces a dynamic tropical ambiance regardless of location. Additionally, they continue to enhance an area with their bloom throughout the seasons.

Tangerine artificial hibiscus flowers

An array of varieties

The Commercial Silk collection of artificial hibiscus trees includes many varieties that can fill blank space in commercial interiors & exteriors. With their dramatic trumpet-shaped flowers, lush green foliage and stately, rustic trunk; they create a positive vibe in any commercial setting. They’re available in heights ranging from 5 to 12 feet, with realistic polyester flowers in hot pink, red and tangerine. In addition, you can choose varieties of artificial plants with lush, attractive foliage to enhance the look of a space.

Better than natural

Commercial Silk is the leading manufacturer of quality fake botanical items. They’re designed by their team of experts consisting of botanists, engineers, architects and landscape designers. Artificial hibiscus trees are so beautifully crafted that they look just like their live counterparts in all respects, and can be intersperced perfectly with other landscaping elements. As they’re exact replicas of natural hibiscus, you can hardly tell the difference. Thus, you get a realistic, near-natural tropical landscape that doesn’t require any ongoing care or maintenance.

Pink artificial hibiscus flowers

Completely safe and legal

The problem with some fake foliage is that it’s made from a cheap plastic material that can catch fire very easily. Artificial hibiscus trees from Commercial Silk are manufactured from ThermaLeaf grade plastic. The material is impregnated with special elements via injection moulding to make it fire retardant. Their products pass all fire-safety tests and also fulfil the legal requirements making your landscaping project safe and legal.

A maintenance-free solution

Fading, discolouration or loss of leaves is commonplace with live trees and plants. Commercial Silk imitation hibiscus trees are manufactured using high-quality material and colour pigments. This means that they’re unaffected by the harsh UV rays present in sunlight. No matter where you position them, they’ll retain their colour in all environmental conditions. Also, being artificial, faux hibiscus trees and plants don’t shed their leaves, creating litter beneath. This eliminates the job of clearing up the debris.

Artificial hibiscus shrub

An attractive setting with no seasonal die-back

Whilst natural hibiscus flowers are season specific, blooming from spring to autumn, their manufactured counterparts retain their blooming beauty year-round.

Budget-friendly surroundings

Due to their reasonable cost and durability, artificial hibiscus trees are a tempting option for corporate landscaping projects. These unique products are simple to install, and don’t need any special maintenance. Additionally, you can rotate and store them easily for future use. Thus, you can save a lot of time and money.

With their colourful flowers & foliage and natural wood stems, artificial hibiscus trees are perfect for so many landscaping projects.

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