Forthcoming Attractions: Mid March 2018

Vintage Briglin Pottery jug | H is for Home Vintage Aquarius fish series plates | H is for Home Vintage Tor Viking skillet pan | H is for Home Vintage Mills Moore wooden napkin rings | H is for Home

Here’s a selection of upcoming additions to our web shop. They’re all kitchen/diner related – and of course, vintage. They range from the subtle & understated to the bold & bright.

We think that the jug is a particularly good example of Briglin Pottery. The wax resist glaze technique is a real favourite of ours. We love the subtle shades and texture contrasts. It’s joined in the muted colour department by the napkin rings. They’re made of various wood types – and were produced by the manufacturers Mills Moore, who are actually better known for making cutlery.

The skillet pan was produced by Norwegian company, Figgjo Flint – and combines a metal & teak handle with flower patterned, heat resistant ceramic. The set of plates is absolutely stunning. Each has a different psychedelic-style fish design in various colourways. They’re from the ‘Aquarius’ range produced by Washington Pottery – and similar in style to the more commonly found bull design ‘Beefeater’ steak plates. They’re in excellent condition and make for fabulous, eye-catching wall or shelf displays.

Designer Desire: Edward Bawden

Mosaic of Edward Bawden artworks | H is for Home
Edward Bawden (1903–1989) had a long and industrious career producing designs for lots of prestigious clients; companies such as London Transport, Fortnum & Mason, Penguin Books, Poole Potteries, Twinings, the Folio Society and Westminster Bank.

He designed of the Observer Newspaper’s ‘Puzzled Lion and Startled Unicorn’ which adorned their masthead for 50 years. He was an official war artist during the 2nd World War, recording scenes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

I love his lino-cuts of Brighton landmarks – a couple that I’ve included above – including the Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion.

There’s an exhibition of a number of his works taking place at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from 23 May to 9 September 2018 if you can get down there. Here’s a little preview…

A new book featuring Bawden’s book cover designs is due for publication next month (April 2018) entitled, Are you Sitting Comfortably? The Book Jackets of Edward Bawden. There’s another limited-edition book, Entertaining a la carte: Edward Bawden and Fortnum & Mason, that I’d love to add to our art & design book collection – available from a cool £90.00!

Portrait of Edward Bawdencredit

Additional image credits:

Invaluable | St Jude’s

Price Points: Make up mirrors

3 Make up mirrors | H is for Home

I’ve got to the age & stage in life where it’s become impossible to shape my own eyebrows because I can’t see up close without glasses… and I can’t pluck my eyebrows while wearing glasses. I’ve never been one for visiting a beauty salon, but every so often, when I think I’m beginning to look like one of the Gallagher brothers, I go and get my eyebrows threaded.

I can still just about put make up on, but using the mirror in the bathroom cabinet no longer cuts it – unless I’m happy to leave the house looking like Aunt Sally! An illuminated, magnifying mirror is the best solution. And Justin could use it for shaving, his eyesight is getting almost as bad as mine.

Of the following three make up mirrors, I’d choose the cheapest option. A mirror for almost £500? I’d have to gaze at myself for hours on end to get my money’s worth!

  1. BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror: £39.99
  2. simplehuman 5x magnifying sensor mirror: £169.99, simplehuman
  3. Sitia makeup mirror: £469.99, Wayfair

shop make up mirrors

BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
Sitia makeup mirror
Sitia makeup mirror
BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
Sitia makeup mirror
Sitia makeup mirror
BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
BEURER BS55 LED illuminated cosmetics mirror
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
20cm sensor mirror 5x magnification
Sitia makeup mirror
Sitia makeup mirror

Cakes & Bakes: Salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread

Home-made salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread with coffee | H is for Home #recipe #shortbread #cookies #baking

It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of cookies or a round of shortbread. I’ve hit two birds with one stone with this salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread recipe from Alison Roman.

Cubed salted butter, sugars and flour

They’ve become so popular that she now simply refers to them as “The Cookies” – all her Instagram fans know what she’s talking about!

Chopped dark chocolate

The recipe makes two ‘logs’. Cooking off one log at a time is enough for our 2-person household. The other log is now in the freezer, waiting for the first batch to be demolished.

Salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread dough

Refrigerator cookies are so convenient. A quick ten or so minutes in the making, about the same amount of time in the oven, cook off as many as you want and no waste.

Egg washing log of salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread dough

The recipe is very straightforward. However, there’s one step that needs to be followed to the letter. Chilling the logs in the fridge for 2 hours before cooking is the absolute minimum.

Rolling a log of salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread dough in Demerara sugar Slicing log of salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread dough into wheels

I whisked them out of the fridge a little too early as we wanted to catch some daylight for our photos. That’s why my cookies spread a little too much in the oven and the chocolate chunks didn’t hold their shape very well. The next batch will be super chilled!

Home-made salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread | H is for Home #recipe #shortbread #cookies #baking

They still tasted great – and that second log won’t be languishing in the freezer for long!

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later

Salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread
Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
  1. 255g/9oz salted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  2. 100g/3½oz granulated sugar
  3. 50g/1¾oz light brown sugar
  4. 1tsp vanilla extract
  5. 295g/10⅓oz plain flour
  6. 170g/6oz dark chocolate, chopped (you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
  7. 1 large egg
  8. A few tablespoons Demerara sugar, turbinado etc for rolling
  9. A few pinches of flaky sea salt for sprinklingHome-made salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread ingredients
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. Beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars and vanilla with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl as needed
  2. Add the flour and mix until just until combined
  3. Add the chocolate chunks, mix just until incorporated. The mixture will look crumbly
  4. Divide the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, cling film and use your hands to form the dough halves into log shapes about 5cm/2" in diameter
  5. Chill until totally firm - around 2 hours
  6. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350°F/Gas mark 4
  7. Line one or two large baking sheets with parchment paper
  8. Lightly beat the egg and open up your chilled cookies logs to brush it over the sides
  9. Sprinkle the coarse, brown sugar on the open paper or plastic wrap and roll the logs in it, coating them thoroughly
  10. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into 1cm/½" thick rounds. You'll hit some chocolate chunks, so saw gently, squeezing the cookie to keep it from breaking
  11. Arrange the slices on the lined baking sheets 2½cm/1" apart, then sprinkle each with a few flakes of salt
  12. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn golden brown
  13. Allow to cool slightly before transferring them to wire racks to cool
  1. The dough can made ahead and stored - tightly wrapped in cling film - for up to 1 week in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer. Baked cookies keep in an airtight container for 5 days
Adapted from Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes
H is for Home Harbinger

How to facilitate your ageing parent’s life

How to facilitate your ageing parent's life

Our parents are amongst the most important members of our family; they gave birth to us and raised us to become strong and independent people. Therefore, it’s essential to offer parents our full support. There are lots of practical ways in which we can make sure that they have a safe, comfortable life; especially if we can’t be around as much as we’d like.

One of the main things that relatives need to think about is loneliness. Our ageing parents and grandparents sometimes consider themselves a burden and begin to isolate themselves. It’s important to take steps to facilitate and encourage their interaction with other people.

Furthermore, ageing parents and relatives face other daily difficulties at home. Some of these problems may be related to the fact that they begin to lose their mobility, vision, mental abilities or a combination of these. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which we can make their life easier and show them that they can always count on our help.

Elderly woman using a mobile phone

Independent living products

Seniors often experience a sudden change in their physical abilities – their hearing, dexterity, eyesight etc. Therefore, some tasks that they once found easy and took for granted can become truly challenging for them. Regardless of that, there are certain technical aids that can help them to remain self-reliant and retain control of their daily care tasks. Examples include safety kettle tippers and ergonomic tin can and door openers. You could also swap microwaves, telephones and clocks for examples that have bigger displays.

Man sitting on his own looking out to sea

Prevent loneliness

Most elderly people prefer to remain in their own homes, maintaining their independence, even when they find it difficult caring for themselves. Unfortunately, even when family members try to remain involved, it can be difficult to look in on ageing parents as often as they’d like – especially if they don’t live nearby. This can sometimes lead to a lack of social interaction for the aged. They may become lonely and depressed due to the passing of a spouse, neighbour or friends. Fortunately, there are a growing number of opportunities for social engagement these days. The most obvious one is definitely care homes. However, in home care for seniors is a preferred alternative for elders who would rather remain in their own home. With this option, they can receive assistance according to their individual needs.

Man walking with mobility aid

Mobility aids

Currently, there’s a wide variety of mobility aids available to the elderly and infirm. Some of the most popular include power scooters and four-wheel frames. These accessories can help seniors remain independent, allowing them get around and keep mobile. In addition, it may be necessary to improve the layout of their home. Too much clutter or furniture can impair their movement. If they use a scooter or frame, ensure there are ramps installed so they don’t slip or trip. There should be ample floor space to get through doorways, to their bed, toilet and bath. Moving around the kitchen and lounge needs to be made as simple and smooth as possible. Removing some internal doors and having a more open-plan design should be considered.

Besides this, make their home safer and more accessible by improving the lighting – especially along corridors, in hallways and above external doors. Lay down non-slip mats in the bathroom and make sure stair and handrails are well-maintained and secure.

These are just a few ways of ensuring that your ageing parents enjoy a safe and comfortable life.


The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

Moving into your new home will be an incredibly exciting time, as it will mark a new era in your life. Yet, there’ll be things you’ll need to do to freshen up the space and put your own stamp on the property. For a smooth transition, have a look at these five things to do after moving into your new home.

Wet & dry vacuum cleaner

  1. Clean the carpets

Does your new property feature the previous owner’s carpets? While they might look in perfect condition, they could be housing dirt, stains and odours. Make the property feel brand-new by turning to professional carpet cleaners to eradicate stains and smells. For instance, Technicare can remove pet stains and unpleasant aromas from a carpet, so the house feels like your home.

Rafters in a loft space

  1. Review your crawlspaces

It’s hard to take a thorough look at a property during a viewing, which is why you should carefully review all the crawlspaces across the home as soon as you move in. This means getting into the attic or basement to check for potential problems such as mould, pest infestations or leaks. You can then make the essential repairs or install a vapour barrier within a space. By doing so, you can prevent bigger household problems occurring in the future.

Water stop cock

  1. Identify the mains water shut-off valve

If you weren’t informed during a viewing, you should identify the location of the main water shut-off valve, which you’ll need to know if there was ever a water leak the home. It could be located in an underground box with a removable lid within your garden, or it could be attached to your exterior wall. Only ever turn off the water in the event of an emergency.

Smoke alarm

  1. Check or replace smoke and CO detectors

Every home in the UK must have a working smoke detector which can save your life in the event of a fire. In addition to smoke detectors, a CO detector can also identify a carbon monoxide leak within the home. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, as it’s invisible and has no odour. If your home features smoke and CO detectors, it’s important to check they’re both in full working order to ensure the health and safety of your family. If they’re not functioning or appear faulty, you should immediately replace the alarms and regularly check they’re operative.

Wall-mounted burglar alarm

  1. Install wireless alarms onto your windows & doors

It’s important for both you and your family to feel immediately safe and secure in your new home. As well as checking the smoke and CO detectors, you should also install wireless alarms to your windows and doors. The small devices will be activated if a person attempts to open a door or window, meaning they can deter a burglar from trespassing in your home. It will provide you and your family some peace of mind that you’re all safe and secure in your new property.