Get their look: Design-led monochrome work room

Design-led monochrome work roomcredit

This design-led monochrome work room is in the home of Italian-born, Madrid-based architect, Teresa Sapey. Her apartment is situated opposite the entrance to Buen Retiro Park – one of the largest in the city – and occupying the top floor, views must be stunning. The trees change form and colour throughout the year – and light them hits in different ways – so the vista is an ever changing experience.

This space, as with the whole house, has design classic furniture such as the Panton chairs dotted throughout – along with some fabulous art; some of it the designer’s own, and many inherited family pieces. It’s actually filled with many objects numerically, but doesn’t look cluttered in any way. That requires real skill and an eye for detail… but Teresa doesn’t consider it an interior design project – more an ever-evolving life project!

You can see further photographs of the rest of her lovely home here.

  1. Glo-Ball floor lamp by Jasper Morrison for Flos
  2. Vondom Adan planter – white, small
  3. Clear acrylic book stand by Taschen
  4. Fornasetti Buongiorno/Buonanotte vase
  5. Vitra Panton chairs
  6. Superstudio Abs Ballon Abs armchair, black
  7. Superstudio Sillón Ballon Abs armchair, white
  8. Charles & Ray Eames La Chaise

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Get their look: Design-led monochrome work room | H is for Home

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Winter Wisdom – 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter Wisdom - 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter is a wonderful time of year for those of us not so keen on extreme heat and having bugs everywhere. In fact, many good things happen in winter. It’s the perfect season for hot food, woolly socks and crackling fires. The key to a good winter is to make sure your home is ready for it. For suggestions on how to get your house in good order for the cold months, read this list of 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter.

Bathroom shower

Household maintenance

Your house maintenance should be taken care of before winter gets its icy grip on your house, because when things suddenly or catastrophically go wrong it can take much longer to fix. It’s essential that your house is completely watertight – and pipes, drains and gutters are clear and free flowing. The endless torrential rain that often falls in winter and early spring can set back work on neglected pipes or other work that needs excavation…and bad weather can also prevent work being done on roofs or outdoor electrical appliances like water heaters. Imagine not having hot showers for a week in winter. No thank you!

Many companies clear blocked drains in Melbourne, for instance, and getting that done prior to winter’s arrival is a good idea, as some nights can get downright frosty. The last thing you need in the middle of a freezing night is a burst drainpipe.

Slippered feet up with a hot drink in front of an open fire

Light a fire

First and foremost, if your house has a real fire, then it’s time to break out the firewood! Make sure coal stores or log piles are well stocked during late summer and autumn. Organise deliveries early or get some wood chopped in readiness! Fires are a great, economical way to warm a house, and they can provide hours of entertainment. They give a room a real sense of drama and atmosphere. The additional burst of heat will also cut out any need for appliances such fan heaters.

Woollen blanket and patterned pottery mug

Scatter some blankets

Winter is a great time for snuggling up with some blankets. The best thing about blankets is that they not only keep you warm, but they can be dotted around your house and over the backs of sofas as decoration, then easily grabbed if you feel the chill. Distributing blankets around rooms in your home will mean you’re never far from a warm, cosy blanket in the dead of winter.

Bowl of meat stew

Roast away!

Arguably one of the best things about winter is the food that you begin to crave. When it’s 4ºC and raining outside, nothing satisfies hunger like a good roast dinner. Warming food like roasts, stews and hearty soups are perfect for not only warming you and dinner guests, but also make the whole house smell amazing.

Pair of thick, pale-coloured curtains

Heavy curtains

One thing that many people forget when winter-proofing their houses is how much heat is lost through the windows, even when the curtains or blinds are closed. If your house is freezing cold at night and you have large windows, consider buying thicker or lined curtains or blinds for them. This will keep more of the heat in and save you money through lowering electricity and gas bills.

Over the knee winter socks

Dress for the occasion

What will keep you warm in winter, no matter where you go? Woollens and waterproofs are the obvious choice for the cold season, but even within the protected environment of your own home there are things you can wear to keep the chill at bay. Thick socks on your feet will keep cold, tiled floors from freezing your toes off – and a quilted robe can mean the perfect combination of comfort and warmth.

Blue fleece electric blanketcredit

Warm the bed

Your bed will likely be too cold at night before you hop in, and even with pyjamas on this can cool you down before your body heat manages to warm up the bed and duvet. An electric blanket is the perfect addition to a winter bedding ensemble, and all you need to do is switch it on an hour or so before you hop into bed to ensure a nice, toasty night’s sleep.

Radiator thermostat

Radiate heat

Finally, there are ways of keeping heat in the less used rooms, like your bedroom.

While most of the evening might be spent in the common areas of your house, your bedroom will be where you retire to and unless you have put something in place to heat that room, it will likely be freezing cold. A radiator heater can be a great option for this, as it uses very little electricity and stays warm for long periods of time. Turn in on when you get home from work and your room will be toasty by the time you get to bed that night. Or perhaps fit timer switches that can activate heating systems precisely in specific areas.

With these tips in mind, the cold of winter doesn’t stand a chance at infiltrating your abode – so get out there and start winter-proofing your house today.

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Designer Desire: Raija Uosikkinen

Mosaic of Raija Uosikkinen designs | H is for Home

There’s such a goldmine of vintage Scandinavian designers from which to choose, we’ve decided upon yet another this week – Raija Uosikkinen (1923-2004).

She is probably most well-known for her fruity Pomona and folk art Emilia patterns for Arabia, where she worked from 1947 to 1986. She also designed annual Christmas commemorative collectors’ plates for the company between 1978 and 1983.

The Finnish designer’s work is most easy to find on Tradera (the Scandi version of eBay), Etsy and to a lesser extent on eBay.

Portrait of Raija Uosikkinen

Image credits:

Bukowskis | Dishware Heaven | Flickr | Retronomi

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Price Points: Multi-functional furniture

Doc sofa bunk bed unitStompa European single high sleeper bed with storage

Convertible sofa concept

If indoor space is at a premium, then multi-functional furniture can be a godsend. And if it looks as good as these pieces then so much the better. This is when great design really comes to the fore. We’ve chosen three pieces suitable for lounge, dining or bedroom spaces. Although concept piece #3 would have definite camper van potential too!

  1. Doc sofa bunk bed unit: (p.o.a.)
  2. Stompa European single high sleeper bed with storage: £1,079.99
  3. Convertible sofa (concept piece)

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Vanilla cream with red berries

Home-made vanilla cream with red berries | H is for Home

Have you been watching Wimbledon? Haven’t the Brits been doing well this year? Scrap that – I’ve just watched Murray get knocked out!

Making vanilla cream | H is for Home

Nothing says Wimbledon fortnight more than strawberries & cream. I’ve adapted a Nigel Slater recipe to create a little twist on the classic – vanilla cream with red berries.

Strawberries and grenadine | H is for Home

I planned on using our home and allotment-grown strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants but we didn’t have a large enough quantity that was ripe all at the same time. I made a quick trip to the supermarket for a punnet of strawberries to bulk up our rations.

Home-made vanilla cream with red berries | H is for Home

Slater used orange juice and passion fruits in the original recipe. However, I used a few glugs from a bottle of grenadine syrup I’ve had in the store cupboard for ages. What a fantastic, last-minute idea – it worked brilliantly, with the strawberries especially. From this day forward, I’ll always team my fresh strawberries with it!

Save this recipe on Pinterest for later…

Vanilla cream with red berries
Ingredients
  1. 250g/9oz crème fraîche
  2. 250g/9oz mascarpone
  3. 1 vanilla pod
  4. 800g/28oz mixture of red berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants)
  5. 50ml/1 ¾ fl oz grenadine syrup
  6. sprig of mint to garnishHome-made vanilla cream with red berries ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Place a sieve or small colander over a mixing bowl and line it with a piece of muslin (I used a jelly bag)
  2. Spoon the crème fraîche and fromage frais into a mixing bowl
  3. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways with a sharp knife, open it flat and scrape out the dark, sticky seeds. Fold the seeds through the crème fraîche/fromage frais mixture and spoon it into the muslin-lined sieve
  4. Cover the sieve/colander and its under-bowl with cling film (Saran wrap) and leave in the fridge overnight, during which time the vanilla cream will thicken to cheesecake-like texture
  5. Hull & slice the berries (not redcurrants if using), put them into a mixing bowl, pour over the grenadine syrup. Mix gently to cover all the fruit with the liquid, cover with cling film and refrigerate for about an hour
  6. Upturn the sieve/colander on to a plate and allow the muslin and cream to slide out
  7. Carefully peel away the muslin
  8. Spoon the marinated red berries and liquid around the vanilla cream
  9. Drizzle an extra capful or two of grenadine syrup over the top of the vanilla cream
  10. Serve!
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Your guide to creating your teen-aged son’s dream bedroom

Mondrian-style teenage boy's bedroomcredit

Every teenage boy goes through the same phase: occasionally surly, sulky and sarcastic. So, if you need to redecorate his room, what can you do? You might not get much of a response from him – or anything useful anyway. You could try to second-guess what he wants, or take his comments at face value. You could try to push him into helping you, but that isn’t likely to end well. Likewise, if you haven’t told him you’re redecorating, and you want to do it as a surprise, then you need to know what to do without his help. Either way, you can learn how to create the right look for a teenage boy’s bedroom by following these tips.

Teenage boy's blue camouflage decorated bedroomcredit

The colour scheme

For a maturing young adult, you need to think about moving away from any childish colours or shades. No more bright palettes or TV show-themed wallpaper. Instead, opt for sophisticated tones, like navy, greys and light browns. These muted colours won’t ever offend your son and will give an air of coolness and calm. You can try adding some brighter shades, picking them out in subtle decorations or in soft furnishings – but don’t overdo it.

Storage in a teenage boy's bedroomcredit

The furniture

Now is the time to say goodbye to cramped single beds or bunk beds. As a growing boy, he’ll both need and want a queen or king-sized bed. Choosing furniture in rich wood will ramp up the sophistication levels – as will opting for sets that match, or are at least made from the same material. Depending on your son’s style, you could add in statement pieces, like an antique chair or solid desk. Think about your son’s lifestyle: would he want something like a desk in his room? Or would he prefer a cabinet for his TV and video games console? Is he more likely to hang clothes up in a wardrobe, or fold them up into a chest? Think about how you can enhance his lifestyle, then put it into practice.

Teenager playing video games in his bedroom

The lighting

Keep up with the theme of smart, sleek and sophisticated by installing contemporary, modern lighting. If you can buy LED recessed lighting, you’ll be able to cover his ceiling in spotlights, instead of using feminine lampshades. Incorporating a feature like a dimmer switch is a good idea, especially if your son enjoys watching movies or playing video games – sometimes the glare from bright lights can be off-putting.

Teen-aged boy's bedroom with basketball memorabilia on the wallcredit

The accessories

Now for the finishing touches. Depending on the area you live in, and what the climate is like, you might want to add to any bedding with a decorated quilt or throw. If you choose to have bare floors or wood laminate, a rug might be a nice touch. Likewise, try adding a few framed photographs or pieces of artwork; are there any special posters you can get hold of? Sports memorabilia? Find a few things that will appeal to your son’s interests and get them framed. Little things like wire tidies for his computer and any consoles will neaten the look up. Plus, adding a slow-release air freshener or scent will keep the room smelling fresh for a while to come.

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