Chair redo in blue

August 2nd, 2014

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4 teak chair carcasses

This set of chairs has been sitting in storage for some time awaiting a bit of TLC!

ripped seat cover on a teak chair

We’ve been taking advantage of the lovely weather to do a series of ‘doing up’ jobs in the garden.

underside of the seat cover on a teak chair

The wood needed bringing back to life and the seat covers desperately needed replacing.

original cream coloured seat cover on a teak chair

We decided to use some of this lovely vintage blue fabric dating from the 1960s – a perfect age match. It was part of our mammoth fabric haul  from a few years ago.

vintage blue upholstery fabric

Adelle set about the upholstery whilst Justin treated the wooden frames.

bottle of teak oil

We’re very happy with the results – the chairs are now ready for some mid century modern dining action!

vintage teak chair recovered in vintage blue upholstery fabric

The wood has come up beautifully – a rich, teak colour with fabulous grain. And we love the striking electric blue to contrast.

stack of vintage teak chairs recovered in vintage blue upholstery fabric

We’ve just put them in the antiques centre. They obviously take up quite a bit of space so we’ve priced them to sell. If you can pick up from West Yorkshire they’re available at £75  for the set of four!

Tartan blanket giveaway

August 1st, 2014

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pile of tartan blankets available from Buy-a-Kilt

We’ve teamed up with to offer not one, but two of our lucky readers the chance to win one of their lovely pure wool tartan blankets.

pile of tartan blankets available from Buy-a-Kilt is an online Scottish retailer of – yes, you got it – kilts! But along with kilts, they stock a huge array of Tartan fashion, gifts and homewares.

You can choose from any of their tartan blankets featured on this page. Entering is simple, all you need to do is comment below saying how you’d use your blanket if you won. You can improve your chances of winning by liking them & us on social media.

Good luck!

Tartan blanket giveaway

In Miniature

July 31st, 2014

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selection of vintage miniature items

We don’t know if it’s the hot weather shrinking everything, but we’ve certainly picked up lots of miniature items recently.

vintage miniature chest of drawers

It started with this wonderful little chest of drawers. It’s only 10 centimetres tall so should fit in any room! The drawers are ideal for jewellery or sewing accessories.

red vintage miniature safe

Then we came across this metal money box in the form of a safe. It’s appropriately called the “Midget” bank safe. We love the dial mechanism to open the door to retrieve the hard saved loot!

vintage miniature set of garden tools

This fabulous set of vintage garden tools has real age – possibly Edwardian. They’re either a child’s set of tools – or intended for genteel pottering in the conservatory or window box. They’re beautifully made with both wood & painted metal having a wonderful patina.

red vintage miniature tractor

And finally, some miniature heavy machinery! This gorgeous red tractor dates from the 1950s and was made by Dinky. These vintage die cast models are a very specialised area of collecting with prices to match. We don’t normally enter this world, but we found this lovely example at a local market, so the outlay was more reasonable. Four very different items with one thing in common – small is beautiful!

Mango & lime sorbet

July 31st, 2014

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Mango & lime sorbet | H is for Home

The hot, dry weather has continued for yet another week. We’re almost taking it for granted that we’ll wake up in the morning to another lovely day. Almost. Living in the Pennines, we know that a cold or rainy snap could ruin the party at any time!

With all this heat, we’ve not much been in the mood for eating cake or pie or bread; and having the oven on full blast makes the house even warmer! So, this week, Cakes & Bakes is taking a sabbatical and a mango & lime sorbet recipe has taken on locum duties. Sorbet is lovely and cold and more refreshing than ice cream. This mango & lime sorbet is more like a granita if, like us, you don’t have an ice cream maker. The recipe is improved by the addition of a shot of tequila. Improvement we say, because it gives it an easier to scoop consistency… and we’re sticking with that being the reason it’s better!

As we said, no ice cream maker is needed for this recipe; after the mix has been made, just remove the container from the freezer compartment every hour or so and give the ice crystals a good stir with a fork until it’s fully frozen.

This sorbet is great just as it comes, but you can also add a scoop to smoothies and cocktails. Or pour the mix into moulds and enjoy it as ice lollies.

Mango & lime sorbet

Prep Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 1 litre

Mango & lime sorbet



  1. Slice & cube the mango before puréeing it using a mini-food processor, hand blender or similar
  2. Pour the mango juice and mango purée into a large 1L measuring jug
  3. Using the finest size, grate the zest of the lime into the mango mix
  4. Slice the lime, juice it and add the liquid to the mango mix
  5. Add the tequila if using and stir the mixture until well combined
  6. Decant the mix into a 1L plastic ice cream tub or metal loaf tin
  7. Secure the lid on top or wrap tightly with cling film if using a tin and put it into the freezer
  8. After an hour, remove from the freezer, break up the ice crystals and return to the freezer
  9. Repeat this step until the sorbet is completely frozen
  10. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost for about 10 minutes before use to make it easier to scoop

Choosing the right doors to suit your space

July 30th, 2014

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row of different antique wooden doorsImage credit: anyjazz65

Doors have a huge functional and design impact on our homes. If you’re buying brand new doors, the chances are that you don’t need to worry too much about functionality. All new doors from reputable suppliers will comply with safety standards – though of course you do need to check where fire doors may be required to higher standards.

violet coloured internal doorImage credit: Martha Stewart

The main point to decide when choosing new doors is how well they complement the rest of the interior design of your home. Do they fit with the look you have or are trying to achieve?

ivy clad house with black front doorImage credit: JR P

Wooden doors continue to dominate the market – and it’s obvious why this is. Wood is a beautiful and natural material that has been used by mankind to furnish the home since Adam was a lad. Wood lends charm and warmth to a home in the way that no other material can and with today’s huge choice of natural wood finished available from suppliers like Todd Doors, Door Stop and Howdens for example – there’s something to suit every style of home. Even oak, the most traditional of all woods for doors, can be precision-engineered to give a clean, light and very contemporary feel to the most modern of internal environments.

internal white sliding barn doorImage credit:

No other material really captures the texture and natural beauty of real wood – which is why it’s always such a popular choice with interior design professionals. It’s also so versatile.

antique wooden barn doors

With doors, it’s generally true to say that you get what you pay for. So look for special offers from bespoke and high quality suppliers. It isn’t always easy for the non-expert to see why one door is cheaper than another; but you will once it’s in place, by which time it’s too late if you’ve bought cheaply. Along with the look and feel of the doors, tell-tale signs of quality are revealed when you look at how a door has been made (particularly its joints) and of what material. Also, check whether the supplier is able to offer the 10-year Manufacturer’s Defect Guarantee.

kid's bedroom doorImage credit: Kidsomania

Once you’ve chosen the style of door, you also need to choose handles that will complement the doors and your overall design. Take time in getting this right as the handles really change the look and feel of the door and your whole interior.

orange bicycle outside a building with black double doorsImage credit: Giuseppe Milo

From a practical point of view, if you have any doubts about being able to fit the door – then get professional help. If you live in a modern house, though, this isn’t too difficult a task for those with just a little DIY experience. First – accurately measure the frame. If the frame isn’t “true” then fitting the door will be more difficult. Buy a door that either fits the opening perfectly (being careful to measure the opening very accurately) or buy a door that is very slightly too large so it can be planed or cut down as required.

black internal double doorsImage credit: Stumblehome

Next – enjoy the look and feel of your new interior!