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L I V E

T H E

L I F E . . . L O V E

T H E

S T Y L E

& INTERIORS

DECEMBER 2018 £4.50 US$8.99/AUS$10.50/NZ$13 RECALL 06/12/2018

Relaxed Christmas COSY UP WITH WARM COLOURS & TEXTURES

BEAUTIFUL HOMES

COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS CHRISTMAS SHOW


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The home of

MODERN COUNTRY Interiors & inspiration

32 Country homes

140 TO FIND ALL STOCKISTS IN THIS ISSUE, TURN TO PAGE 160

ON THE COVER

32

ESSEX COUNTRY HOUSE Obstacles overcome, this moated period home is now the height of elegance

45

ESSEX FARMHOUSE This cosy, beamed farmhouse is the ideal setting for a traditional family Christmas

54

HAMPSHIRE FARMHOUSE From rundown farmhouse to opulent family home, this large property has enjoyed a welcome revamp

64

NORFOLK COTTAGE Roaring fires, flickering flames and plenty of rich colour give this cottage a festive glow

12

DECEMBER The things we can’t live without

17 25

HOME NOTES MAKE A HOUSE A HOME With Christmas stockings for all ages

81

LET’S TALK TIMEWORN METALS Go for modern rustic glam with oxidised patinas

82

SEASONAL LOOKS Bring a little Nordic cosiness into your decor this season

92

THE COUNTRY DECORATOR Make your mantelpiece the focal point of your living space this winter with a few simple, festive touches

97

WELCOMING DINING SPACES Gather friends and family around a cosy table setting

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MODERN COUNTRY CLASSIC Day-beds

110

ROOM ELEMENTS Dressers to impress

117 134

HOME TECH High-tech TVs

149

GET CREATIVE Make your own festive wreath O

COUNTRY KITCHEN FOCUS How to balance opulence and airiness, pattern and minimalism

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PLUS GET-THE-LOOK IDEAS FOR EVERY HOME

54 Country Homes & Interiors

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82 Gardens

154

21 120

GARDEN NOTES MIDWINTER SPARKLE Frost glitters and glistens across the all-seasons, landscaped lawns of this picturesque Suffolk garden, designed by Hugo Nicolle

Just for you

Seasonal food 19 140

FOOD NOTES SPICE UP CHRISTMAS Add extra flavour to Christmas lunch with an array of herbs and spices O

Lifestyle

120 TO FIND ALL STOCKISTS IN THIS ISSUE, TURN TO PAGE 160

23

OUR FAVOURITE SHOP Do all your Christmas shopping in one go at Forme

26

COUNTRY GIFT GUIDE Our round-up of present ideas for your nearest and dearest

76

MY KIND OF COUNTRY Alix Fauvel whips up delicious cakes from her Dorset home

129

MAKE LIFE LOVELY Happy thoughts and ideas for fashion, eco, wellbeing and more

133

OUT AND ABOUT Head to the Cotswolds for a relaxing break away

154

MY COUNTRY BUSINESS It’s the most magical time of the year for advent calendar designer Sally Swannell

ON THE COVER

170

6

Country Homes & Interiors

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MY FAVOURITE VIEW Chef Ed Baines loves to explore Nine Barrow Down

72

VISIT THE COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS CHRISTMAS SHOW Save on tickets to our boutique festive fair and have a merry day out

116

OWNABLE Discover a simple way to shop these pages

118

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SHOPPING DIRECTORY All the contact details and websites featured in this issue

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TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP, 020 3148 5000. Website: ti-media.com. ŠTI MEDIA LIMITED 2018. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, London E14 5HU, 020 3787 9001. Country Homes & Interiors, ISSN 0951-3019, is published monthly, 12 times a year. Manuscripts and illustrations are welcome but on the understanding that we cannot be liable for their safe custody or return. We are sorry that manuscripts and illustrations cannot be returned, nor letters answered or acknowledged unless sent with a stamped addressed envelope. Published monthly by TI Media Limited. Colour origination by Rhapsody. Printed in the UK by the Wyndeham Group. Country Homes & Interiors is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at more than the recommended selling price shown on the cover (selling price in Eire includes VAT) and that it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS MAGAZINE One-year full subscription rate (12 issues), including postage and packaging: UK ÂŁ58.40; Europe â&#x201A;Ź148.40; North America $188.70; USA Direct Entry $148.40; Rest of World ÂŁ175.60. For subscription enquiries from the UK, please call 0330 333 1113; from overseas, please call +44 (0)330 333 1113; or email help@magazinesdirect.com.


& INTERIORS 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP Telephone 020 3148 5000 Email countryhomes@ti-media.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Vanessa Richmond GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR Georgia Hibberdine EXECUTIVE EDITOR Andrea Childs HOMES CONTENT TEAM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Rhoda Parry 020 3148 7180 COMMERCIAL EDITORIAL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Jane Akers 020 3148 7313 HOUSES EDITOR Vivienne Ayers 020 3148 7194 SHOPPING EDITOR Holly Phillips 020 3148 7195 NEWS AND FEATURES EDITOR Thea Babington-Stitt 020 3148 7458 CONTENT EDITOR Tara King 020 3148 7196 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Sara Bird (Style) 020 3148 7181 EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sally Dominic 020 3148 7154 GROUP CHIEF SUB-EDITOR/PRODUCTION EDITOR Sarah Farley HEAD OF SUBS OPERATIONS Maxine Clarke HUB CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Amy Hodge DEPUTY CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Jennie Filer SUB-EDITOR Chloe Hay HEAD OF ART OPERATIONS Alison Walter DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Emma Jackson SENIOR DESIGNER Hannah Bennewitz EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Nicola Tillman DEPUTY EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Clare Willetts MARKETING Marketing Manager Yasmin Christofi 020 3148 7692 Acting Marketing Manager Elizabeth Pether 020 3148 6237 PUBLISHING Group Managing Director, Lifestyle Angela Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Farrell EA to Group Managing Director Donna McConnell 020 3148 5651 PRODUCTION Group Production Manager Steve Twort 020 3148 5439 Production Manager John Botten 020 3148 5443 Advertising Production Co-ordinator Barry Skinner 020 3148 2538 Digital Producer Andrew Howe 020 3148 3366 CIRCULATION Circulation Manager Alan Edwards 020 3787 9161 ADVERTISING Publisher & Head of Homes Network Joanne Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hara 020 3148 7642 Advertisement and London Sales Manager Ruth Roscorla 020 3148 7639 International/Luxury Account Manager Carole Bunce 020 3148 7620 Head of Agency Sales Lindsay Dean 020 3148 3668 Group Classified Manager Emma van der Veen 020 3148 2635 Classified Sales Executive Charlotte Beckett 020 3148 2511 Projects Director Kathryn Cane 020 3148 7610 Creative Media Manager Emilie Morrissey 020 3148 3647 Sales Manager (Inserts) Canopy Media Lindsay Martin 020 7611 8151 Assistant Syndication Manager Efi Mandrides 020 3148 5485

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Things I’ve seen, done and loved this month This issue is full of magic and sparkle! It’s packed with simple ideas to make your home look and feel special this Christmas. I’ll be copying Lynsey Cross’ stunningly decorated mantel (page 32) and giving my home a romantically rustic mood with fairy lights and candles, like Jessie Ward’s beautiful Hampshire farmhouse (page 54). If you feel like getting creative this year, find more mantel-dressing ideas on page 92, or ways to personalise a natural wreath (page 134). We have the ultimate edit of unusual presents to surprise and

(BACKGROUND) WINTER FOREST CHRISTMAS GIFT WRAP, £3.95 A SHEET, I AM NAT

delight your loved ones on page 26, but there will be gifts galore at this year’s Country Homes & Interiors Christmas show, taking place at Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, 22-25 November. It’s a great day out, from browsing the stands for artisan homeware and sampling foodie treats, to experiencing our roomsets based on the beautifully styled rooms in this issue (page 72). There are better-than-half-price subscriptions up for grabs, so get there early! You’ll also receive a gorgeous Advent calendar by illustrator Sally Swannell – see her working in her Wiltshire studio on page 154.

Vanessa x PS… The run-up to Christmas can be hectic, so take the pressure off by downloading the Ownable app. It’s the easiest and quickest way to buy things you see and love in this issue, so get a head start on your Christmas to-do list!


Scents of fresh fir trees and a rustic cart overspilling with festive offerings! Scottish wool throw, col Cranberry, £175; simple square reverse wool cushions, cols Cranberry, Sage and Sky, £85 each; simple square linen ticking cushion with red stripe, £65; reindeer hide, £160, all Inchyra Home. Shot on location at Inchyra. Shop now with Ownable

Things e can’t lie without

DECEMBER

12

Country Homes & Interiors


C O U N T R Y D AY S

1

2

3

4 Rosy cheeked wanders in luxurious layers. Wax riding coat, £210; Felted funnel neck jumper, £85; cashmere ladies socks, £36, all Celtic & Co. Shop now with Ownable

1 Night sky inspirations on sumptuous scatters. Constellation velvet cushion, 45x45cm, £30, Oliver Bonas. 2 Relishing a winning streak with nostalgic fireside games. Noughts and crosses set, H14xW14xD2cm, £35, John Lewis. 3 Capturing happy moments of merry mischief to treasure forever. Originals Polaroid SX-70 camera, 18x19x12cm, £390, Polaroid at Fortnum & Mason. 4 Refuelling with the perfect warm cuppa! Mug, H10.5 xW22cm, £4, Sainsbury’s Home. Shop now with Ownable

6

Driving home for Christmas with a gift haul to rival Santa’s sleigh! Printed Horse, London, Rose and Guards gift wrap, £15, all Cath Kidston. Shop now with Ownable

5

7 8 5 A luxe way to lounge! Faux-fur ombré brushed tips throw, 119x152cm, £99, West Elm. 6 Preparing the Christmas Day feast with the help of a plucky character! Festive bird pinny, 94x64cm, £21.95, Joules. 7 An advent calendar that can be filled with new surprises each year. Personalised wooden advent light box, H32xW32cm, £40, Notonthehighstreet.com. 8 A rustic-look sweet scent. Cowhide candle, H10xW10.5cm, £19, French Connection Home. Shop now with Ownable Country Homes & Interiors

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C O U N T R Y D AY S

9

10

11

Adding a touch of Christmas magic in the kitchen. Gold leaf garland, £40; recycled glass baubles, £5; star and twig glitter wreath, £22; paper chain, £12; other decorations from a selection, all National Trust Shop. Shop now with Ownable

12

9 An affectionate robin on relaxed knitwear. Women’s Christmas sweater, £295, Bamford. 10 The jolliest china to add cheerful spirit at teatime! Christmas slogan side plates, Dia19cm, £19.50 for set of four, Marks & Spencer. 11 Spritz and sparkle! Pomegranate Noir cologne, £96 for 100ml, Jo Malone. 12 Brightening up the mantelpiece with beautifully aged details... Brass house, H21xW18.5xD14cm, £78, Petersham Nurseries. Shop now with Ownable

14

16

15 13 Cuddles with a total hottie! Hot water bottle, L33xW20cm, £35, Boden. 14 Welcoming holiday visitors in fun fashion. Hygge Figgy mat, 60x85cm, £49.95, Julie Dodsworth collection at Turtlemat. 15 Curling up to hibernate in the comfiest, squishiest snuggler. Squishmeister love seat, col Grape clever velvet, H70xW120xD110cm, £1,425, Loaf. 16 Decorating the tree with a personalised cutie. Gold alphabet mug decoration, £16.95, Emma Bridgewater. Shop now with Ownable 14

Country Homes & Interiors

Greeting guests with an enchanting light show. Reindeer, £59.99; cone light, from £18.99; string lights, from £12.99; star light, £14.99; tree light, £16.99; house lights, £3.99 each, all Dobbies. Shop now with Ownable

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS STYLING (OPENER) SARA BIRD; (MOODBOARD) HOLLY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHS (OPENER) DAN DUCHARS; (MOODBOARD) DAN DUCHARS

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C O U N T R Y D AY S

Crackes of

THE MOMENT GET FESTIVITIES GOING WITH A BANG AND SHARED LAUGHTER A-PLENTY! THESE LUXURIOUS TABLETOP ESSENTIALS WILL ADD A STYLISH FINISHING TOUCH THROUGHOUT THE MERRY SEASON…

Crackers (from left): Scandi folk luxury cracker, £35 for six, Nancy & Betty Studio; Rosa gardener cracker, £29.95 for six, Annabel James; Woodland tree decorations small cracker, £23 for six, Little Lulubel at Notonthehighstreet.com; Luxury monochrome crackers, £40 for six assorted designs (two shown), Katie Leamon; Robin & Holly cracker, £55 for four, Thornback & Peel; Here’s to a wonderful Christmas traditional handmade cracker, £34.80 for six, The Handmade Cracker Company; 12 Days of Christmas cracker, £25 for 12, Laura Ashley. Ombre leaf bauble, col grey, £18.50 for six, Cox & Cox. Red and green baubles, from a selection at John Lewis. Use the Ownable app to buy now Country Homes & Interiors

15


Hoe notes P layful spirit

Along with holiday visitors, welcome an adorable four-legged friend into your home this festive season. The Bambi chair, £190, Elements Optimal at Someday Designs, is lovingly handcrafted in Denmark. Loved by children and adults alike, this iconic piece is sure to spread smiles around the room. Shop now with Ownable

Mug, £11; double oven glove, £18; tea towel, £8, all Sophie Allport. Shop now with Ownable

O U R FAV O U R I T E D E S I G N E R

Clouds and Currents

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

For creative husband and wife duo, Bridget and Pete, ‘it all started with some wire, pliers and a great idea’. After winning Notonthehighstreet. com’s Handmade Product of the Year in 2013, the couple opened their first studio in rural Essex, complete with a small team of creative makers and a passion to create uniquely personalised gifts of the highest quality. What inspires you? We create each of our products by hand, often taking inspiration from our natural surroundings, as seen in our new Woodland Christmas Bauble range. What are your Christmas gifting predictions? Each Christmas sees fresh ideas generating their own buzz. We created one of the UK’s first bespoke personalised baubles a few years back and these still sell extremely well, as do our personalised Advent calendars and cards. What makes your designs so special? A personalised gift, created by hand, is truly

We’re pining for… Woodland gift tags, £6, Clouds and Currents.

unique and can’t be matched by a mass-produced product. Whether it’s a little one’s first Christmas or a festive proposal, our bespoke creative process allows customers to create a gift that speaks their own story. What do you love most about what you do? Creating products that play a part in our customer’s special occasions. What’s next? We’ll let you in on a little secret – we’re about to expand into the corporate gifting world! Clouds and Currents, 01245 690909, cloudsand currents.com

You don’t need to ski to enjoy Sophie Allport’s fun new Alpine-inspired design. Featuring colourful snowboarders and skiers snaking their way through snow-capped ir trees, the Skiing range includes china mugs, kitchen fabrics, table linen, crackers, a stocking and present sack, hot water bottle, gift wrap and a selection of bags and accessories. Prices start at £3.50 for a set of gift tags, with the most expensive item being the weekend oilcloth bag at £54. That’s a mountain of gorgeously festive buys to choose from!

DINNER GUEST Introduce stylish storage into the dining area just in time to feed the masses! Specially crafted from solid oak, the Boston highboard, £1,959, from Peterborough-based Willis & Gambier is designed to last, bringing Scandi-inspired simplicity to any entertaining space. Shop now with Ownable Country Homes & Interiors

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Add glamour to your table with Maxwell & Williams’ latest collection of opulent cutlery, £130 for 16 pieces. With an elegant matte finish, the utensils won’t outshine your cooking, but will provide just the right amount of festive glitz instead. White rectangle platter, £9.95; ash round paddle board, £49.95, both Maxwell & Williams. Shop now with Ownable

The perfect bite-sized party food

O U R FAV O U R I T E W I N E M A K E R

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT PHOTOGRAPHS (WISTON ESTATE ROSÉ) ROB JEWELL; (WISTON ESTATE WINERY) BOTH MATTHEW THOMAS. BLINI RECIPE BY MADELEINE SHAW FOR CLARENCE COURT EGGS

WISTON ESTATE WINERY Straddling the chalky slopes of the South Downs, the 6,000-acre Wiston Estate Winery has been owned by the Gorings since 1743. It was used to farm sheep and wheat until Pip married into the family in 1972 and planted a 16acre vineyard in 2006. Daughterin-law Kirsty tells us more… Tell us about your wines… They’re a wonderfully pure and concentrated reflection of the chalk soils they’re grown on. From the moment the grapes are hand-picked, our juice is handled as gently as possible. We focus on sparkling wines as that’s what our climate and the soil lends itself to. Which product is best to toast with at Christmas? Our Rosé 2014, which is fantastically full-bodied with spicy hints of redcurrant, ginger and cardamom. It pairs beautifully with roasted meats and game. What’s the best thing about the business? It’s great fun when people, who are sure they don’t like sparkling wine, fall in love with ours! What do you love about

Christmas canapés

being based where you are? Originally from London, not a day goes by when I’m not thankful for being surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside. What’s next for the estate? We are planning a big development to the winery and its surroundings. Picnic hampers, pizza ovens, giant mazes and mountain bike routes, here we come! Three words to sum up the company? Passion, integrity, family. Wiston Estate Winery, wistonestate.com.

Impress guests with Madeleine Shaw and Clarence Court Eggs’ delicious blinis. To make 12, blend the yolk of a Burford Brown egg, 1tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 crushed garlic cloves and ½tbsp rice wine vinegar in a food processor. Slowly add 200ml sesame oil, 4tbsp miso paste and half a deseeded, chopped red chili. Combine 220g spelt lour with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and crack in a large Burford Brown egg and 1tbsp olive oil. Beat and slowly add 240ml milk. Whisk until smooth. Soft-boil 12 quail eggs, peel and halve. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add a little oil and 1tbsp of the blini mixture into the pan. Cook for 1min on each side until cooked through and golden. Repeat. Top with a dollop of the miso mayo, quail eggs and smoked salmon.

B R I N G US S O M E F I G GY P U D D I N G No time to make Christmas pudding? No problem. Small Devon bakery Figgy’s makes desserts using an old family recipe, steamed in traditional Mason Cash bowls, wrapped in cotton and matured. Ingredients are lovingly chosen from local suppliers such as Hanlons Port Stout. From £11.95 each. Country Homes & Interiors

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Garden notes T H E P E R F E CT W I N T E RF L OW E R I N G C L I M B E R Ring in 2019 by planting the winterflowering Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica. This stunning evergreen climber offers a generous display of nodding, bell-shaped, cream flowers with maroon freckles. Avoid planting in a windy position or waterlogged soil and don’t water too much in summer, which is its dormant season. This clematis doesn’t need pruning and will reach 3m when mature.

Time to make a berry-illed wreath

Q&A WITH A SHARING GARDENER

How do you celebrate Christmas?

The pick of the hollies

FEATURE TAMSIN WESTHORPE PHOTOGRAPHS (CLEMATIS) RICHARD BLOOM; (HOLLY) JULIETTE WADE, BOTH GAP PHOTOS; (HONEYSUCKLE) TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM; (TOBY BUCKLAND) HATTIE MILES

We asked TV gardener Toby Buckland how he celebrates the festive season with the help of his garden in Devon. What’s flowering in your garden at this time of year? Our garden is mild, so there’s often the odd rose to be picked, as well as hellebores. My favourite are the waxy blooms of winter-flowering honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima, pictured). Their scent fills the garden. Do you grow your own Christmas dinner? Homegrown kale is the one thing I always have on the menu. I tend to grow the cranberries for the sauce, too. Are any of your household decorations foraged from the garden? Yes! I always make a wreath using the usual holly and ivy but with silver eucalyptus and the fluffy seed heads of old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba) for sparkle. Indoors, the spent blooms of Alliums make big and brilliant natural baubles.

Have you been tempted to garden on Christmas day? Only once… Last time, I sneaked out to ‘tackle something essential’. I inadvertently walked into a low-hanging branch of our apple tree and ended up with a face that made the ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ look a picture. The ideal gardening gift? An early-bird or VIP ticket to my Garden Festival at Powderham Castle, Exeter, in May 2019! To find out more, visit tobygarden fest.co.uk.

Sprigs of holly with berries are in high demand this month, making now the ideal time to plant a holly bush to ensure there is plenty to harvest in the near future. Most hollies are dioecious, (female or male). For the female to produce berries, a male must be nearby. Some hollies are self-fertile, so if you only have room for one, choose the popular Ilex aquifolium ‘JC van Tol’, which is full of berries. Garden centres and nurseries label plants male or female, but don’t be fooled by names. For example, Ilex ‘Golden King’ is female. If space permits, buy one female and one male to ensure a lourish of berries.

Just what you ned nw...

Are you having a real, rooted Christmas tree this year? If so, after the festive season you might want to plant it in the garden for lifting again this time next year. A suitable tool for the job is the Sneeboer transplanting spade. Designed for planting or lifting woody plants and forged by hand in the finest stainless steel, the sturdy tool is built to last and will make a wonderful gift for the keen gardener in your life. From Harrod Horticultural, £96.95. Country Homes & Interiors

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OUT AND ABOUT Forme’s Italian heritage shines through, right down to the lemon-shaped gift options.

From luxury soaps to scented candles, pretty scarves and statement glassware, Forme has Christmas gifts for all.

O U R FAV O U R I T E S H O P F O R G I F T I D E A S

Fore

HEAD TO WINCHESTER FOR AN ELEGANT EMPORIUM OF COVETABLE HOMEWARE AND PERFECT PRESENTS Hidden away on a sleepy Winchester side street, Forme is the premier gift boutique for locals in the know. We sat down with Andrew Butling, a second-generation member of the family-led team, to find out more…

FEATURE PATRICK HAMILTON COURTNEY

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN FORME? My family moved here

from Italy in 1997. Unable to find the choice and quality of lighting and furnishings they were used to, they imported items from Italy for their new home. When they continued importing goods, Forme was born. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE FORME’S STYLE? There’s always a sense of

elegance and refinement but also fun. Life’s too short not to have fun. ARE THERE ANY UNIQUE TOUCHES TO YOUR SHOP? Forme is almost

unique in that we gift wrap every

item we sell. We have literally hundreds of different ribbons and decorations, which we have great fun using to make packages our customers love. They tell us all the time that ‘they look too good to open’. At Christmas they often come in, pick out gifts for the whole family and leave them with us to be wrapped while they go for coffee or pop back the next day. They return to find everything as pretty as a picture and ready to go under the tree – you don’t get that kind of service shopping online! WHO VISITS YOUR SHOP?

We are tucked away just off the high street so you have to know we are here. Consequently, most of our customers – many of whom feel like old friends – call us their secret

shop and have been coming to see us for almost 20 years. ANY FAVOURITE PRODUCTS?

My favourite pieces right now would have to be from our Baroque pearl jewellery collection. They’re all beautifully designed, exquisite quality and completely unique. WHAT ELSE DO YOU GUYS DO?

Forme the shop is really only the tip of the iceberg as we also have an interior design business. Over the years we have enjoyed working for both private and commercial clients on projects ranging from cottages in the surrounding countryside to entire boutique hotels as far afield as Jersey. Forme, 69 Parchment Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8AT, 01962 842320, formeonline.co.uk. Country Homes & Interiors

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C O U N T RY H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S

Make a house a home

A stocking... whatever your age! IN OUR ONGOING SERIES, WE SELECT SIMPLE COUNTRY-STYLE HERO PIECES THAT LOOK BEAUTIFUL… AND MAKE LIFE EVEN BETTER A popular Christmas Eve tradition, hanging stockings strikes a chord for young and old alike, whether hung near the tree or at the far end of a bed. Often the first thing opened and emptied on Christmas Day, stockings are the perfect place for small gifts, token treats and something to make you smile first thing in the morning. Besides, who can resist the seasonal satsuma or chocolate before breakfast? WHAT’S THE STORY? It's thought the custom of placing shoes or socks out to fill with coins originates from the era of Odin, and later St Nicholas, in Eastern and Scandinavian Europe. Children were first encouraged to put out their own socks, but soon special stockings were created. During the Victorian era many of the Christmas traditions we observe today were embraced and moved into the mainstream. It was then that stocking designs started to become more varied, personalised and popular heirloom treasures. Today, Christmas stockings are an essential place to dispense gifts as well as a decoration idea in many a country home.

FEATURE SARA BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

Christmas stocking, try Notonthehighstreet. com or The White Company for similar.

WHICH STYLE TO CHOOSE

Personalise stockings by adding names using embroidered lettering or stamp kits.

NEXT MONTH A LIGHT FOR BEDTIME READING

Traditionalists love to bring cheer with a bright red and white stocking. But for a smarter style, choose one made from luxurious velvet or go for the on-trend Scandi look with a a neat grey knit with faux-fur trim. STYLE IT UP Plain stockings or socks can easily be transformed with braids, faux fur or trim. Add extra sparkle with beading, sequins or even jewelled broaches. Or try adding a patch or appliqué pattern for an individual look. Country Homes & Interiors

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A modern country

LIVING & LOVING GIF T GUIDE SHOW YOUR FAVOURITE TWO- AND FOUR-LEGGED BELOVEDS JUST HOW EXTRA SPECIAL AND SPARKLY THEY ARE WITH A THOUGHTFUL PRESENT GIVEN WITH LOVE…

Heart print scented soy candle, £8, Lollyrocket Candle Co. Enjoy The Little Things foil print, £14 (unframed), Prints279 at Notonthehighstreet.com. Frame, similar from Ikea. Gold dipped tree bauble, £16.50 for six, Cox & Cox. Small hand thrown mug, col Pink, £23, Oggetto. Hedgehog festive pothanger, col Gold, £6, Ella James. Eudaimonia wrapping paper, from £1.80, Prism of Starlings. Star fairy lights, £12, The White Company. Shop now with Ownable 26

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PRESENT IDEAS

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2 WELLBEING

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9 Raise their spirits with a pampering session for body and soul with these calming, restorative and positive tokens of mindful loveliness…

1 Slumber party smiles. Cosy woven pyjamas, £60, Boden. 2 Inspire creativity. Charleston paint set, £29.95, Annie Sloan. 3 Encourage an indoor garden. Coffee gem terrarium, from £44.95, The Urban Botanist. 4 Recyclable and sustainable. Canteen water bottle, £12, One Green Bottle at Wearth London. 5 Counter stress with birdsong. Zwitscherbox, £49.99, Amazon. 6 Discover natural remedies. Complete Wellness book, £25, Neal’s Yard Remedies. 7 Relax and restore. Personalised natural candle, £34, Evermore at Notonthehighstreet.com. 8 Calm with quiet pattern. Seascape cushion cover, £95, Abigail Edwards. 9 Indulgent bauble. Groovy goat milk gift set, £15, Crabtree & Evelyn. 10 Keep tootsies warm. Sylvia footbed mule, £29.95, White Stuff. 11 Sweet dreams. Lavender Fields sleep well set, £12, Heathcote & Ivory. Shop now with Ownable

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PRESENT IDEAS

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P E T - TAST I C

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17 18 21

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Purrr-fect picks full of charm and fun for lovers of all creatures great and small… 12 Make them sparkle. Glitter party pet bow tie, from £12, Pup Tart Handmade at Notonthehighstreet.com. 13 For the wildlife lover. Hedgehog gift box, £25, Boxwild. 14 Pet owners’ choice. Personalised framed print, £25, Mode Prints. 15 Keep pooch warm this winter. Snowflake dog scarf, £17.50, Mutts & Hounds. 16 Because Santa rewards the well behaved! Personalised Christmas sack, £22, The Handmade Christmas Co. 17 Give a warm hug. Elephant hot water bottle, £25, ZSL in collaboration with Sophie Allport. 18 Festive attire for four legs. Meadow pullover, £99.50; Knitted reindeer toy, £22, both Mungo & Maud. 19 Lessons from our fluffy friends. Four-legged Therapy book, £12.99, Dept.Store for the Mind. 20 Gorgeous dinnerware for wet noses. Paw print bowl, £12-14, Oliver Bonas. 21 A woven throne for snoozing pups. Kway dog bed, from £200, Kalinko. Shop now with Ownable 28

Country Homes & Interiors


Three felt ladder mice, £30, Cox & Cox. Tawny Owl travel roll, col Navy, £60, The Lounging Hound. Classic medium dog bed, col Navy, £199; Love hearts dog treats, £9.50; Crochet bone dog toy, £18.95, all Mungo & Maud. Make your own doggy treats set, £6.95, Rex London. Cat biscuits with turkey and cranberry, £3; Mince pies for dogs, £2 for pack of two, both Tesco. Pigs in blankets matchbox set decorations, £15, White Stuff. (In dog bed) Springer Spaniel christmas cracker, £34.80 for six, The Handmade Cracker Company; Plush woodland fox, £75, Cox & Cox; Jolly Christmas dickie bow, from £5, Ditsy Pet. (Gift wrap, from top left) Festive bear Christmas wrapping paper, £5.50 for two sheets, Max Made Me Do It; Over the farm gate wrapping paper, from £2, Izzi Rainey; Cat Christmas wrapping paper gift set, £3, Laura Crow at Notonthehighstreet.com; Snowy owl eco recycled wrapping paper, £2.37, Blank Inside; Robin wrapping paper, £3.50 for two sheets, Chloe Gardner at Notonthehighstreet.com; Kissing penguin christmas wrapping paper, £5.50 for two sheets, Max Made Me Do It; Dog Christmas wrapping paper, £3, Ren and Thread at Notonthehighstreet.com. Shop now with Ownable

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Biscuits and cookies, bespoke from Biscuiteers and Honeywell Bakes. Winter wonderland vanilla biscuits, £32.50 for a tin of assorted shapes, Biscuiteers. Classic mince pies, £10 for 12; Chocolate caramel mice, £4.95 for three, both Bettys. Penguin pastry fork, £21 for four, Sara Miller. Mix and match straws, col Gold, £3.50 for 30; Pop bang spark sparkler, col silver, £5 for five, both Talking Tables. Christmas cookie cutters, from £1, Rex London. Shop now with Ownable 30

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PRESENT IDEAS

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23 22 FO ODIES

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FEATURE AND STYLING HOLLY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHS (OPENERS) DAN DUCHARS

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27 28 30

29 Tempt all the senses with these delicious delights for wine-and-dine connoisseurs! 22 Cheeky chappy! Squirrel & Spruce apron, £24, Thornback & Peel. 23 Patterns of sass. Ava & I party tumblers, £14 for two, Creative Tops. 24 A colourful turntable. Personalised hand painted wooden cheeseboard, £72, Cathy Hilton Artisan. 25 Gin and grin! Large gin board, £15.99, T&G. 26 Tactile stoneware for tea drinkers. Haiku stoneware cupping mugs, £20 for four, Curious Egg. 27 Ease the pressure of entertaining. Hampers, from £80, from a selection at Daylesford. 28 The ultimate coffee-brewing contraption. Brass coffee brewer stand set, £180, Room 356. 29 Cater for all! Gluten-, nut- and alcohol-free St James Christmas pudding, from £12.95, Fortnum & Mason. 30 Practical shapes for the space-savvy table feast. Christmas joy oblong plate, £39.95, Emma Bridgewater. Shop now with Ownable Country Homes & Interiors

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A touch of magic DESPITE A STRING OF MISHAPS, LYNSEY AND PAUL CROSS HAVE TURNED THEIR MOATED PERIOD HOUSE INTO A FAMILY HOME THAT'S THE HEIGHT OF ELEGANCE

Living room A roaring fire and flickering candles create a cosy scene. Sofa, cushions and curtains, all Alexander James Interior Design. Table, Julian Chichester. Wallpaper, Fox Linton. Wall lights, Chelsom. Table lamps, Heathfield & Co.

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E S S E X C O U N T RY H O U S E

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E S S E X C O U N T RY H O U S E

Exterior The country house is surrounded by a moat and was built in 1512.

Kitchen Duck-egg blue bar stools add a dash of subtle colour. Bar stools, Wychwood Design. Similar duck egg china, from West Elm. Similar wooden boards, Nkuku.

Dining room A chandelier over the dining table creates a sumptuous feel. Chandelier, Ochre. Table, Michael Northcroft. Chairs, Alexander James Interior Design.

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Living room The beautiful Christmas tree takes pride of place. Chair, curtains, blinds and pelmet fabric, all Alexander James Interior Design. Christmas tree, John Lewis.


E S S E X C O U N T RY H O U S E

'The houe is magical at Christmas when we have toasty

ires on the go,’ says Lynsey Cross. She moved here two years ago with her husband Paul and children Nathaniel, Lucas, Isabella and Leonardo. The couple weren’t particularly looking to move house – they were living in a nearby town with everything on their doorstep – but when they spotted the idyllic property with parts dating from the 16th century, they decided to view it and instantly fell in love with it. ‘We had a good feeling about it,’ says Lynsey. ‘The previous family lived here for 30 years and their children had grown up here. A lot of love had been poured into it and they wanted another family to cherish it.’ Although the house had been renovated, Lynsey and Paul were keen to put their stamp on it. ‘We wanted to keep the original features, such as the meat hooks that game was hung on, the wooden beams and the solid wood doors, but then to decorate it in a way that’s modern yet in keeping with the age of the house.’ The couple enlisted the help of Alexander James Interior Design, with a brief to create a country interior that was sympathetic to the period of the house and its original features but contemporary enough to cope with a young family. Lynsey liaised with interior designer Marina Demarchuk over the schemes, fabrics and furniture. ‘I emailed her photos of the house and she spent a lot of time understanding our style. She did an amazing job.’ The project took a year, with the house gutted to a shell. The building was rewired, new heating and looring were put in and new bathrooms were installed, as well as a new kitchen. ‘We lived in one half of the house with the other half screened off while the work was being done. We have a poolhouse in the grounds so we were able to live there some of the time, too.’ The project wasn’t without its mishaps, however. The previous owners had found a pair of child-size Victorian boots during their renovations and stored them in a glass case. ‘They warned us to keep them in the house,’ says Lynsey. ‘We put them in the snug but then decided to move them into the poolhouse – and everything started to go awry. A gas pipe was ruptured and the house nearly blew up; an electricity cable was severed; our kitchen units went missing in Italy. I’m not usually superstitious but we moved the boots back into the snug and everything stopped going wrong!’ The work began in October 2016 and Lynsey hoped to have the irst half of the house – the living room, snug and children’s bedrooms – inished by Christmas. ‘The living room was a shell when I went away on business but when I came back it was inished and decorated with a Christmas tree. I burst into tears as I was so overwhelmed! I’ve always loved Christmas and it just looked so festive.’ The house creates the ideal backdrop for seasonal festivities. ‘The grounds are lovely to walk around in wintertime, and we have lots of holly bushes outside,’ says Lynsey. ‘It’s perfect for having people over at Christmas.’ Alexander James Interior Design, 0118 932 0828, aji.co.uk.



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AT HOME WITH... Owners Lynsey Cross, who works in insurance, and her husband Paul, who works in banking. They live here with their children Nathaniel, 18, twins Lucas and Isabella, 8, and Leonardo, 6.

House A five-bed house built in 1512 with later additions. They moved here in August 2016.

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Kitchen Shaker-style cabinets give a classic country feel, while an industrial stool injects a modern touch. Similar cabinets, Harvey Jones. Pendant lights, Visual Comfort & Co.

Snug Here the neutral palette is accented with touches of soft duck-egg blue. Sofa, armchair and cushions, all Alexander James Interior Design. Fur throw, Helen Moore. Coffee table, Eichholtz. Blind fabric, Wemyss. Wallpaper, Panaz.

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E S S E X C O U N T RY H O U S E

What we love most about living here… ‘This is country living at its very best − we get to see the seasons change in the garden and surrounding landscape’

Dining area The rusticlooking exposed brick fireplace is complemented by soothing neutral colours. Table, Andrew Martin. Chairs and curtains, both Alexander James Interior Design. Pendant light, Visual Comfort & Co.

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O N O U R D O O R S T E P. . . Visit… ‘Thorndon and Weald Country Parks for lovely bracing outdoor walks with the dogs.’ Shop at… ‘Calcott Hall (01277 264164, calcotthall.com) near Brentwood has a lovely farm shop and café that I go to frequently − it grows its own produce and supports local producers.’

Guest bedroom For a sophisticated yet cosy scheme, layer plain white bedding with cushions and throws. Bed, Alter London. Bedlinen, The White Company. Throw, Romo. Pendant light, Dar Lighting. Cushions, Alexander James Interior Design. Bedside lamps, RV Astley. 40

Country Homes & Interiors

Go for a meal at… ‘The Blue Crown (01277 375485, thebluecrownbrentwood.co.uk) and The Black Horse (01277 374946, vintageinn.co.uk/ restaurants/east/ theblackhorsebrentwood) are traditional country pubs with roaring fires and you can go inside in your wellies.’


E S S E X C O U N T RY H O U S E Main bedroom Sumptuous fabrics contribute to the luxe feel. Faux leather headboard wall fabric, Kirkby Design. Bedlinen, John Lewis. Cushions, throw and chaise longue, all Alexander James Interior Design.

Garlands and a wreath decorate the porch.

Isabella’s bedroom Soft

What makes this house a home… ‘It’s such a well-loved house in the country and a hub for family and friends. We have people coming round all the time and it’s wonderful for us that they gravitate here’

pinks add a feminine touch. Bed and ottoman, Alter London. Bedlinen, The White Company. Throw and cushions, both Alexander James Interior Design.

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS POLLY ELTES

En suite A sleek freestanding bath keeps the look modern. Bath and bathroom cabinets, all Alexander James Interior Design.

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Lynsey’s sitting room Inspired by cracked ice on a winter’s morning, this striking style features a sculptural handcrafted nickel rod base. Carinne floor lamp, H155x W43xD26cm, £419, by RV Astley at Houseology. Shop now with Ownable

Treat your side table to a luxe update with textured, glassware featuring a gold foil-wrapped base... Large honeycomb vase, H21x W19cm, £28, Oliver Bonas. Shop now with Ownable

Elevate an interior with timeless black frame finishes on statement furniture

Transform your space into an elegant retreat with this decadent wallcovering – a perfect blend of subtle pattern and metallics... Maddox floral wallpaper, col silver, £40 a roll, Laura Ashley.

Plump up the comfort factor with a scattering of Narnia-hued softies! Hotel large velvet stripe feather filled cushion, col Duck Egg, 50x50cm, £36, Ponden Home. Shop now with Ownable

Lynsey’s style secret...

Wood meets metal, rugged meets sleek and form meets function in this industrial addition. Sullivan coffee table, H40x W120xD65cm, £329, Swoon. Shop now with Ownable

Create an enchanting winter wonderland with an ice-andeucalyptus palette cosied up with velvet, silk and faux fur… Modern Country Classic High-back button chair

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Country Homes & Interiors

any style of rural retreat. Updated with an extra comfy padded twist, modern designs are available in practically every material imaginable, packing a punch of faded grandeur with chic contemporary colourways.

Where to buy…

•Arlo & Jacob for high-back

traditional, modern, and Art Deco designs. •Atkin & Thyme for expertly crafted pieces in lush velvets. •Loaf for reading-ready recliners to lounge in.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Boasting elegant proportions with a tall back, attractive wooden legs (often on brass castors) and sumptuous fixed-cover upholstery with button back detailing, these versatile statement pieces make a dramatic addition in


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E S S E X FA R M H O U S E

Winter wonderland SAM MACLEAN HAS CREATED AN ELEGANT INTERIOR IN HER IDYLLIC WEATHERBOARD FARMHOUSE, AND IT'S THE PERFECT SETTING FOR A FAMILY CHRISTMAS

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Kitchen The Aga is the focal point of this space, where mellow wooden beams enhance the cosy feel. Cabinets, rug, clock, red lantern, all Ikea. Range cooker, Aga. Blinds, Little Orchard Evergreen, Blinds2Go. Walls painted in Brilliant White, Dulux. 46

Country Homes & Interiors


E S S E X FA R M H O U S E

Dining area A red dresser adds a punch of festive colour. Dresser, similar at Ikea. Table, chairs, all Angela Reed. Pendant lights, Jim Lawrence.

Christmas Day is Sam MacLean’s birthday so,

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AT HOME WITH.. Owners Sam and Rob MacLean, founders of High House Weddings (highhouseweddings.com), live here with their nine-month-old twins William and Albert, and two cats, Tiger and Lily. House Grade II-listed weatherboard farmhouse dating from the 15th century with Georgian additions. The family moved here in 2015.

not surprisingly, for her it’s the biggest day of the year. And the quaint weatherboard farmhouse, situated in six acres of landscaped gardens and rolling meadows that she lives in with husband Rob and their twins William and Albert, is the perfect location for festive celebrations. The house’s beautiful surroundings were also the catalyst for the family’s wedding venue business. Sam’s parents bought the characterful weatherboard farmhouse, along with a dilapidated barn and grounds, in 2004. When Sam and Rob were married in 2010, they had their reception in a marquee in the garden and it sparked the idea for using the barn and grounds as a wedding venue. However, it took another five years for the plans to come to fruition as they had to obtain planning permission to renovate the barn and get permission to have a marquee on site. Sam and Rob decided to move and live in the farmhouse in 2015 when the weddings began. ‘We were going to be leaving our London jobs and be involved in running the business so it made sense to move here,’ says Sam. The house hadn’t been touched since the Seventies. ‘The decor didn’t suit the house,’ says Sam, so she and Rob decided to renovate it and decorate it in a style that was more in keeping

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E S S E X FA R M H O U S E

with the age of the house. ‘We took everything back to basics,’ says Sam. The beams throughout the house were sandblasted to restore them to their original colour. The kitchen was then ripped out and, to create a more open-plan kitchen-diner feel, the wall was knocked through and the beams in it were exposed to make a feature of them. ‘The Aga was already in place in the kitchen, so we built grey country-style cabinets with wooden worktops around it.’ The couple discovered that the house was literally built on mud, so new flooring had to be put down in some of the rooms. The floorboards in the living room, for instance, were rotten and couldn’t be saved, but upstairs, when the carpets were pulled up, ancient wide wooden floorboards were revealed. ‘The floorboards in the guest room are part of the original 1450s house. They were black when we uncovered them so we had them restored and taken back to their original colour.’ The family bathroom was another major project as Sam and Rob wanted to make the room more spacious. Originally it was the main bedroom’s en suite with a separate loo next door, so the wall in between was removed to create one large space, and tongue-and-groove panelling and a roll-top bath were added to give it a classic period feel. When deciding how the interior should look, Sam was keen to respect the age of the house and so opted for calming colours. ‘The living room and hall are Georgian, so I used pale blue

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Gingerbread house, similar at notrunofthemill.com.


Snug The focal point is the large fireplace with a Regency, classic-style open woodburning stove. Walls painted in Vanilla White, Dulux.

What makes this house a home… ‘The fact that it has such a long history as a home. I love wondering who lived here and walked on the same floorboards more than 500 years ago’

Living room Festive cushions and a Christmas tree enhance the yuletide feel. Blue armchair, Next. Walls painted in Polished Pebble, Dulux.

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Guest bedroom Floral bedlinen creates a pretty country scheme. Bed, similar at Julian Bowen. Bedlinen, John Lewis. Suitcases, lamps, Oliver Bonas.

What we love most about living here… ‘It’s a great home for all seasons – cool in summer and really cosy in winter – and it’s set in a beautiful rural location so we can see the seasons happening around us’

Landing Bathroom A roll-top bath adds period elegance. Bath, Victorian Plumbing. Console table (above right), similar on eBay. Mirror, Wilkinsons.

White painted floorboards add to the light and airy feel. Walls painted in Parma Gray, Farrow & Ball. Chest of drawers, Maisons du Monde.


E S S E X FA R M H O U S E

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS POLLY ELTES

The lake in the grounds makes the perfect backdrop for wedding photos.

and grey paints that were appropriate to that era. Throughout the rest of the house I chose shades that wouldn’t detract from the period features, such as the roof beams and the fireplaces. The colour choice was vitally important as it helps make it feel calm and relaxed.’ Sam has incorporated many treasured finds into the scheme. ‘Your home is made up of the things you love, pieces that you’ve inherited so you have a family memory, have been given as gifts so they remind you of a person, or that you found on a weekend away or holiday and that bring back memories of that trip. It’s all part of what makes your house your home.’ The work on the house was completed just before Christmas 2015 so this time of year is full of many happy recollections. ‘This year will be extra special because it will be the boys’ first Christmas. I love the house at this time of year anyway. It’s so cosy in the winter − the open fire and Aga make it feel Christmassy. I enjoy putting up Christmas decorations and it’s an excuse to go to town with the house. I like to add in pops of red and the neutral backdrop works well with this. We really enjoy the festive season as it’s a quieter time of year for the business and a period when we get to be at home and enjoy it. ‘I’m really looking forward to bringing the boys up here as we have so much land and wildlife. We hope it will be a wonderful place for them to grow up.’

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O N O U R D O O R S T E P. . Visit… ‘Burnham-on-Crouch, our local town on the River Crouch, where we love to walk along the quayside, stopping for a drink at one of the lovely traditional pubs right on the water.’ Shop at… ‘The Limes Farm Shop (01621 785865) in Burnham-onCrouch. We’re lucky to have a brilliant family-run farm shop just minutes from our house that sells local as well as home-grown fruit, veg and plants.’

Go for a meal at… ‘The Bell (01621 828348, purleighbell.co.uk) in Purleigh is a really lovely, cosy country pub that serves great food. I love the dried hops that decorate the ancient wooden beams.’

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Sam’s kitchen

Guarantee style every minute of the day with this large-scale numerical wall statement. Gallery wall clock, col cream, dia38cm, £60, Laura Ashley. Shop now with Ownable

Introduce fresh accents of greenery with berry-beautiful abundance! Woodland bouquet, £30, approx H60cm, Bloom & Wild. Shop now with Ownable

Jolly up your kitchen in Scandi-folk style with charming robin-red accents and garlands of warm-glow twinkle lights.

Inspired by wintry Nordic seas, this subtle grey-blue will actually warm up a scheme when painted on cabinetry. Vintage paint, col Fjord, £18.95 for 1L, Grand Illusions. Shop now with Ownable

Sam’s style secret...

This rustic kitchen addition, featuring a reclaimed wooden top, comes hand-painted in a choice of shades. Dresser in Farrow & Ball’s Radicchio, £2,195, Eastburn Country Furniture. Shop now with Ownable

Give pre-loved furniture a welcome update by painting it in a warm and contemporary colour.

Scatter stars and spread seasonal cheer with this beautifully shaped and mouldable rustic offering… Abari wire star garland, L190cm, £29.95, Nkuku. Shop now with Ownable

Modern Country Classic Wine fridge

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warm and refrigerators too cold, but a wine fridge will keep your favourite tipples at a constant temperature. Choose between freestanding, built-in or an integrated bespoke design to suit your space and style.

Where to buy…

•Swisscave for sleek and

elegant, seamless fits. •Winestoragecompany. co.uk for varying sizes to suit all requirements. •Wine by Design for bespoke solutions.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

It’s the time of year when we like to stock up on everything – including a bottle supply to rival a sommelier! Fragile souls that they are, wines are sensitive to temperature, light and humidity. Storage wise, cupboards can be too


Festivities on the farm JESSIE AND HENRY WARD TRANSFORMED A LARGE RUNDOWN FARMHOUSE INTO A WARM AND INVITING FAMILY HOME

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H A M P S H I R E FA R M H O U S E

Barn Jessie and Henry have left the space in its natural state to maximise its historic beauty.


H A M P S H I R E FA R M H O U S E

Family room Jessie’s style is classical with an ethnic twist. Rajasthani pot and Berber rugs (on coffee table), Wattle & Daub. Cushions, similar from Etsy.

With a new baby, a huge Bernese mountain dog,

two cats and a growing number of horses and alpacas, barristers Jessie and Henry Ward were beginning to feel the squeeze in their previous home. What’s more, it was located by a busy road, which was becoming a concern. ‘After our first son, Xander, was born, the road started to worry me and we needed more outside space for the animals,’ says Jessie. ‘We looked at around 20 properties before we came across this seven-bedroom farmhouse.’ The listed property is set on an ancient sunken lane in rural Hampshire. The couple were drawn to it as space would definitely no longer be an issue – it came complete with a large detached barn, cricket pitch and 38 acres of land. It was also ripe for renovation. The Wards were about to make an offer when their buyers pulled out, and in order to stop their dream home slipping through their fingers, they bid above the asking price to ensure the vendors took it off the market. Their tactic worked and, by Christmas 2014, the property was theirs. Work began in 2016 and throughout the process, the family lived out of two downstairs rooms and moved from bedroom to bedroom. During the renovation, Jessie fell pregnant with their second son, Kit, so the pressure was on to get everything ready in time for his arrival. Jessie and Henry had to obtain the necessary listedbuildings consent and planning permission to reconfigure 56

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* AT HOME WITH... Owners Jessie and Henry Ward, who live here with their children, Xander, four, and Kit, one. The farm is also home to 12 alpacas, three horses, Arthur the dog, and cats Hopkins and Willoughby.

House Seven-bedroom 16th-century Grade-II listed farmhouse.


What makes this house a home… ‘The renovation means it’s completely bespoke to us and the way that we live, and we have been able to fill it with things we have collected over time’

Dining room Jessie is a natural stylist and loves putting the finishing touches to the table at Christmas time. Find similar milk bottles and straws on eBay. Find similar plates at John Lewis.


Playroom Jessie found the bobbins in a carpet factory in Normandy and the cushions from the souks in Marrakech. Sofa, reupholstered by Hampton Court Interiors.

Music room The space features Jessie’s favourite Christmas tree, with its music-themed decorations. Bechstein grand piano, Roberts Pianos.

What we love most about living here… ‘It is so cosy and feels as if people have been happy here for hundreds of years’

Library Jessie and Henry created a display from books collected over the years. Coffee table and lanterns sourced by Cassia Bardoe Design.


H A M P S H I R E FA R M H O U S E

Kitchen The couple reconfigured this into an openplan hub and added a stunning reclaimed floor to match the oldest part of the house. Light fittings, Original BTC. Kitchen, Thomas Ford & Sons. Bar stools, similar from Where Saints Go.

the downstairs, creating a large kitchen-diner, a boot room big enough to accommodate Arthur’s bed, and a large family room. They also added a porch in Bargate stone, complete with iron pyrites, to avoid the front door opening directly into the living room. They then totally replumbed and redecorated throughout, adding new fixtures and fittings. Work went fairly smoothly until a major setback towards the end of the project. ‘The windows were a mixture of Crittall windows that wouldn’t shut properly, or single-glazed timber windows that were rotting, so the house was freezing,’ says Jessie. ‘We decided to replace every window, but the only ones the conservation officer would approve were bespoke handmade timber with extremely narrow glazing bars. They were meant to be delivered two weeks before Christmas 2016, but they didn’t turn up until the following March, so everything had to be put on hold until they arrived.’ With their second baby due any day, the timing was far from ideal. ‘We finally finished on the day I went in to hospital to have Kit in April 2017,’ says Jessie. ‘But going back to a beautiful home with a new baby was magical.’ Outside, the couple have built a stable block for their alpacas and horses. ‘Going in there on a cold winter’s night to find 12 alpacas nestled in the straw with the horses next door, munching on their hay is pretty special,’ says Jessie. The animals entail a lot of work, but the

Oranges studded with cloves create a pretty table centrepiece and emit a delicious seasonal scent.

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H A M P S H I R E FA R M H O U S E

Exterior The renovation included the addition of a Bargate stone porch to the front of the property. Front door and windows, for a similar paint colour, try Ammonite by Farrow & Ball.

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ON OUR D O O R S T E P. . . Visit… ‘The Watercress Line (01962 733810, watercressline. co.uk) steam train at New Alresford. It’s a wonderful family day out.’

Shop at… ‘Cowdray Farm Shop (01730 812423, cowdrayfarmshop.co.uk) in Easebourne. It’s a shop and café selling wonderful local produce.’

Go for a meal at… ‘The Horse Guards Inn (01798 342332, thehorseguardsinn.co.uk), a pretty 350-year-old pub in Tillington. It’s in a magical setting and serves delicious food.’

FEATURE AMY MAYNARD PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD GADSBY

family love it. ‘We were given two alpacas as a wedding present,’ Jessie says. ‘They were so enchanting that we couldn’t help but get more. One, Miss Moneypenny, gave birth to her cria Wilbur soon after I had Kit and I ended up having to bottle feed him. I would be up at 2am feeding Kit and would then run down to the stables to feed Wilbur.’ The property also has an ancient barn that the family uses for parties. ‘All we have done is clean it,’ says Jessie. ‘I think to do anything else would ruin it – the reason it is so charming is because it is in its natural state.’ The farmhouse comes into its own at Christmas. Jessie bedecks each space with wintry greenery, baubles, candles and festive touches. Her favourite tree is in the music room, with little manuscript scrolls adorning the branches. ‘We love Christmas,’ she says. ‘My birthday is three days after Christmas and Xander’s is on December 24, so it’s a very special time of year. We have a family party for Xander on Christmas Eve and then it’s just the four of us for stockings in bed on Christmas morning. We feed the animals and then come back in for a hearty brunch, before opening presents under the tree. The animals need feeding again at 3pm but then we come in for a traditional lunch at 4pm – and then we can properly relax.’ Now the family are happily ensconced in their idyllic historic home, they intend to stay put. ‘I wouldn’t change a thing about this house,’ says Jessie. ‘I love it here.’


Bathroom A freestanding bath on a raised plinth gives this room a grand feel. Bath, similar from Soak. Washbasin, Fired Earth.

Main bedroom Jessie has created a sumptuous, grown-up space. Bed, similar from Feather & Black. Throw, similar from Sweetpea & Willow. Mirror sourced by Cassia Bardoe Design.


ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Jessie’s bedroom Give your boudoir an air of shabby chic and bygone glamour with rustic, artisan furniture.

Add a little vintage style with a beaded pendant, H63cm, £325, The Farthing. Shop now with Ownable

This gorgeous mirror is the fairest of them all! Canfield mirror, H175cm, £922, Sweetpea & Willow. Shop now with Ownable Paint a subtly rich backdrop for furniture. 1829 Beauvais Cream chalky emulsion, £35 for 2.5L, Craig & Rose. Shop now with Ownable

Create a cosy retreat with this reversible design. Cable knit and faux fur throw, £95, John Lewis. Shop now with Ownable

Jessie’s style secret... Create a relaxed yet sophisticated space with a palette of warm neutrals brought to life with honest materials and weathered inishes on furniture.

These deep drawers provide plenty of clothes storage. Reclaimed wood drawers, £599, Shabby Store. Shop now with Ownable

Modern Country Classic Wooden bedstead

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Country Homes & Interiors

sustainable wood, and re-worked to take pride of place in contemporary homes. To create a romantic feel with a Provençal finish, complement your wooden bedstead with a deep upholstered headboard.

Where to buy…

• Natural Bed Company

for British designs using sustainably-sourced timbers. • Feather & Black for beds that stand the test of time. • Barker and Stonehouse for distressed finishes.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Beautifully simple and built to last, these versatile and practical favourites never go out of style. Traditional designs are made from solid timbers such as oak, walnut, beech and pine. Modern designs are often made from


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A candlelit Christmas ROARING FIRES, RICHLY COLOURED BLANKETS AND FLICKERING FLAMES ENSURE A COSY CHRISTMAS AT CLAIRE AND ED CROFT’S NORFOLK COTTAGE

Snug Claire has created a cosy haven, where beautiful antiques and colourful accessories complement the original features. Armchairs, Pomax. Cushions, Bayfield Hall. Woven footstool (used as side table), Ikea.

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N O R F O L K C O T TAG E

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Living room This larger living space is located in the old barn. The coffee table was made by a local furniture maker. Green bobbled cushions, Bayfield Hall.

When you run your own business, preparing for your

family’s festive celebrations can be a whirl of frenzied activity in the final few days, especially when you add two December babies into the mix. ‘As well as all the Christmas trade shows and events we have to organise for our luxury bath and candle company Abahna, December is our children’s birthdays,’ says Claire Croft. ‘Even though there are two years between them, Iris and Olly were both born just days before Christmas, so this time of year is extra special. We love to decorate the house for the celebrations, even if work deadlines mean it has to be done super fast!’ Time may be limited, but style is one thing that won’t be compromised in the Croft household. Claire, in her seemingly effortless way, makes sure that all the presents are wrapped, the table is set, fires are laid, and dozens of candles are nestled among an abundance of decorations and foraged foliage. Along with all her festive flourishes, Claire’s year-round style makes this Norfolk home a unique but unpretentious haven. Off-whites and warm greys create a contemporary and unified backdrop for eclectic displays of antiques and artwork, collections and curios. ‘Claire is a bit of a magpie,’ says her husband Ed. ‘She’s always hunting round antiques markets, fairs and junk shops. She has a really good eye.’ Although now their permanent home, the cottage used to be an escape for the Crofts. ‘When Ed and I were living in London, we used to visit regularly as it was my parents’ holiday home,’ says Claire. ‘They bought it in the Seventies

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* AT HOME WITH Owners Claire and Ed Croft, founders of luxury bathing company Abahna (abahna.co.uk), and their children Iris, 16, and Olly, 14.

House A four-bed cottage and barn dating back to the 17th century, which the Crofts extended in 2000.


N O R F O L K C O T TAG E

What makes this house a home… Kitchen Ed and Claire rejigged the ground floor layout, creating a galleystyle kitchen. Kitchen units, Magnet. Lighting, Urban Cottage Industries. Walls, painted in Shaded White, Farrow & Ball.

‘We bought this house from my parents, so family and friends past and present have been coming here for more than 40 years’


Dining area Claire goes to town decorating the table with foraged foliage and candlesticks for the festive season. Table, Maison & Objet. Chairs, Hubsch.

What we love most about living here… Bathroom A luxe scheme combines classic and modern ingredients. Painted screens, De Gournay. Oval bath, Bathstore. Flooring, from a reclamation yard.

‘We love the rural setting and huge open skies, particularly at night when stargazing can be mind blowing’

Main bedroom A roaring fire, cosy blankets and piles of cushions create a cosy setting. Faux fur, Laura Ashley. Dusk linen cushions, Clarissa Hulse.


N O R F O L K C O T TAG E

Exterior

FEATURE NAOMI JONES PHOTOGRAPHS ROBERT SANDERSON

The Crofts’ Norfolk home dates back to the 17th century.

when my brother Tim and I were still living at home, so it has a lot of fond memories for the whole family.’ Claire and Ed bought the house from them five years ago. ‘We carried on using it as our bolthole for the first two or three years, but after cutting ties with London we moved here full time,’ says Ed. ‘The children go to a nearby school, our warehouse is here, and we’ve got an outbuilding in the garden that we converted into an office. Instead of looking out onto the rooftops and polluted skies of the city, our office view is now of rolling hills and ever-changing countryside.’ The couple were fortunate that Claire’s parents had done most of the major restoration work needed, but Claire, who trained as an architect, and Ed have definitely put their stamp on the place. ‘We felt the rooms were generally under used,’ says Claire. By knocking through to an adjoining barn, the couple created an impressive double-height living/dining area. They also moved the kitchen, putting it at the heart of the home. ‘Now we use the whole house and have a cosy snug tucked away at the far end of the cottage, which is where Ed and I relax in the evenings and where the four of us unwrap our presents on Christmas morning.’ ‘Our home works perfectly for us now,’ says Ed. ‘We definitely don’t regret leaving the city behind. We no longer suffer that Sunday night dread – we’re at home here, and we intend to stay as long as we possibly can.’

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ON OUR D O O R S T E P. . . Visit... ‘Blakeney, a coastal village within the Norfolk Coast AONB (tournorfolk.co.uk/blakeney.html). I spent many a happy day crabbing and sailing there as a child. There’s nothing like a wintry coastal walk to make you truly appreciate a cup of tea and a delicious scone at the Artemis café (artemiscoffeeshop. co.uk); it’s now a weekly ritual.’

Shop at... ‘If we have visitors we always pop into Back to the Garden (01263 715996, back-to-thegarden.co.uk). It’s a butcher, deli and farm shop in Holt.’ Go for a meal at... ‘The Dun Cow (01263 740467, salthouseduncow.com) in Salthouse, is a cosy pub serving good local ale and really good, locally-sourced food, all day long, seven days a week. It’s both family and dog friendly. ’

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ROOM IDEAS

Be inspired by

Claire’s dining room Transform your entertaining space into a winter wonderland with festoons of foraged and faux foliage and berries, finished off with a glamorous Midas touch. Natural gold cone and feather garland, 180x15cm, £42, The Contemporary Home. Shop now with Ownable

Introduce a dramatic focal point for festive feasting with this distinctive design – it’s the spotlight pick for any rustic setting. Carisbrooke Gothic 5-light ceiling light, col black, £222, Elstead Lighting at The Lighting Company. Shop now with Ownable

Transport diners with an ambient setting of lickering candlelight, staggered along the length of the dining table.

Touches of coloured Mongolian sheepskin give classic spaces a modern (and uber tactile) nudge!

With the grace of old French furniture, this reclaimed inspiration offers classic style with a fashionable modern twist. Hoxton rustic oak trestle dining table, H78xL180xW100cm, £1629, Modish Living. Shop now with Ownable

Share laughter and joy around the dinner table with a hat, joke, motto and luxury gift courtesy of this opulent snap! Luxury copper starry crackers, £45 for six, Cox & Cox. Shop now with Ownable

Modern Country Classic… Inspired by the thrones of Chinese emperors, this popular Danish icon was designed by Hans J Wegner in the late 1940s. Aptly named because of its distinctive Y-shaped back, it’s simple but beautifully

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Wishbone-style chair

tactile frame and handwoven cord seat lend it a sense of timelessness. Introduce your home to a beautiful, modern reproduction available in a variety of wood types and painted finishes.

Where to buy…

•Cult Furniture for replicas

in a range of striking colours. •Skandium for a Carl Hansen original. •Swivel UK for minimalist reproductions in a variety of light to dark woods.

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Claire’s style secret...

Lay down warm, earthy tones of natural pattern with this beautifully formed rural stone surface. Tumbled unfilled travertine tile, £36.30sq m, Topps Tiles. Shop now with Ownable


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BOOK NOW AND

Co fe m st e iv to es o ho ur w !❆

& INTERIORS SAVE £2*

Discover a world of festive country style, Christmas shopping and inspirational talks from experts in interior design – at Stonor Park, near Henley-on-Thames, 22-25 November 2018. With over 100 stands of homeware, gifts and lifestyle products from our favourite country makers and brands, in heated marquees, you can do your Christmas shopping in comfort, all in one place.

Eat, drink & have a chat! Head to our artisan food area, sit down and relax over a cup of coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, or even a glass of fizz.

See Country Homes & Interiors brought to life! Step inside our seasonal room set and see our December front cover recreated for the show. You’ll be able to walk through our festively decorated living area and dining room and pick up lots of styling ideas for your own home this holiday season. We’ve taken inspiration from wintry woodlands and country copses, then added painted and lighttoned furniture, beautifully patterned wallpaper, wicker and woven textures for a touch of Scandinavian elegance.


Meet some of our stand holders

GOLDEN HARE This creative pop-up will be showcasing a collection of beautifully handmade art, gifts and homeware by a curated portfolio of British artists and craftsmen.

FREDDIE'S FLOWERS These glorious seasonal blooms arrive through your letterbox, so you don't need to be home to receive gorgeous fresh flowers.

HILLY JO Stunning Turkish lifestyle products, including hammam towels handwoven by artisan producers in the small Turkish town of Buldan.

SALLY SWANNELL Along with some lovely new Christmas card designs and gift tags, Sally will also be launching four new Advent calendar cards at the show.

*Discount is valid until the Monday prior to the show, after that please buy tickets on the door

INDIGO ROSE Choose from gorgeous blankets, throws and cushions in the softest cotton fleece – perfect for creating a cosy winter retreat.

THE ARTY CRAFTY PLACE Print your own Christmas stationery with hand-carved blocks, inks, cards and labels – for festive wrapping that's totally unique.

MEG AND MARTH The new 2018 collection includes delightfully snug sweaters, tops and T-shirts, and cosy home accessories.

SO COSY Luxurious blankets made only from the finest alpaca, merino and sheep wools and beautifully coloured with natural dyes.

LAYERED LOUNGE A beautiful mix of stylish, quality and affordable accessories to ‘layer’ in your home for a warm, stylish scheme.


Meet the team and find out how to get the look COME TO THE COUNTRY HOMES & INTERIORS STAND AND CHAT TO OUR STYLE EXPERTS. WE’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! EASY ELEGANCE Discover the understated luxury of sofas and chairs from Collins & Hayes.

STYLISH SETTING The natural tones of Oak Furniture Land’s wooden and painted furniture help set the scene.

DON’T MISS! THE SHOWCASE STAND CREATED BY OUR LIFESTYLE PARTNER, COLLINS & HAYES. YOU’LL FIND BEAUTIFUL SOFAS AND ARMCHAIRS HANDCRAFTED IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.

COUNTRY DECOR We’ve selected beautiful wallpaper and soft furnishings from Sanderson to complete the look.

❆ SUBSCRIBE AT THE SHOW

COOKBOOK

WORTH

£25

Give family and friends the perfect present with a subscription to Country Homes & Interiors. Visitors to the show can purchase a subscription for the fantastic price of £27 for 12 issues, that’s an amazing saving of 54%. Plus, you’ll receive a lovely gift when you subscribe. Take home a copy of cookbook Mary Berry Family Sunday Lunches or a beautiful Advent calendar designed by Sally Swannell. The calendar is printed on FSC-accredited board, delicately glittered and finished in England, and comes with a white envelope. (New subscribers only. *The show offer is limited to one free gift. Gifts are subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.)

FREE ADVENT CALENDAR WORTH OVER

£10*


Come to our free talks and demonstrations FOR FESTIVE INSPIRATION AND STYLING TIPS FROM LEADING EXPERTS IN INTERIOR DESIGN

11AM A Sophie Conran Christmas, Sophie Conran Designer and cook Sophie will talk about growing up as part of the famous Conran family, her love of countryside style and her own Christmas traditions.

COSY WARMTH Log-burning stoves from Charnwood provide countrystyle comfort.

STONOR PARK 22-25 November Henley-on-Thames Early Bird ticket offer £10 (£12 on the door) *A combined show and house entrance is £16 in advance (£18 on the door) Book online at ichfevents.co.uk/ CHIChristmasStonor or call 01425 277988

2.30PM The secrets of Sanderson style, Sanderson Discover how the lifestyle images for Sanderson’s Elysian fabric and wallpaper collection were created, with exclusive behind-the-scenes insight from creative stylist Alice Margiotta and Charlotte Bolsover.

PURE MORRIS Find out how the travel diary kept by William Morris inspired a fabric collection.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS TODAY

HOW TO FIND US Stonor Park Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 6HF Stonor is located between the M4 and M40 on the B480 Henley-on-Thames to Watlington Road. 2.30PM Discover William Morris’s love of the North, Pure Morris Charming and enthralling, the 1871 diary entries from William Morris’s Icelandic expedition have captured the hearts of the Morris & Co Design studio, inspiring a breathtaking new Pure Morris range. Join archivist Keren Protheroe and designer Rebecca Craig to find out more.

2.30PM A Country Homes & Interiors Christmas, Selina Lake Join us on the Country Homes & Interiors stand where stylist Selina Lake, who designed our Christmas cover, will show how to recreate the look: ‘I loved designing this Scandi-inspired scheme with deep greens and pomegranate reds, and winter botanicals in the form of potted trees and fresh moss decorating the centre of the dining table.’

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR DAY Ř$UULYH ZLWK SOHQW\ of time to enjoy your day ŘParking is free at Stonor Park ŘPick up a show guide (available while stocks last) Ř%ring cash as some exhibitors won’t accept card payments ŘCash Back is sometimes available after 11am from the organiser’s office ŘDon’t forget to bring some extra shopping bags ŘCheck our timetable for details of talks


M Y K I N D O F C O U N T RY

‘AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, IT’S CHRISTMAS CAKE CENTR AL IN OUR HOUSE’ Cake maker A lix Fauel lix Fauvel has lived in the Dorset village of Cranborne since 2003 when her husband Gavin became estate manager of the Cranborne Estate. Home is a Victorian house which the couple share with their daughters Elise, 17, Margaux, 15, and Cecilia, 13. After baking for friends and family for years, Alix launched Alix Fauvel Cakesmith in 2014. The business has evolved as her reputation as a cake maker has grown, and she’s added Daylesford and Selfridges to her list of clients. We joined Alix as she prepared for Christmas, her busiest time...

A

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A BAKER? Absolutely not! I enjoyed cooking when I was growing up in Staffordshire, but I never had any formal training, apart from a summer chefing job in a Devon restaurant when I was 19. I always knew I wanted to work in the industry though and, after university, I became a food technologist for a number of companies. HOW DID YOUR OWN BUSINESS COME ABOUT? I always loved making cakes and over the years, word spread. Eventually, I got so busy, I decided I needed to either stop altogether or make a proper ist of it – I went for the latter and the business was born. I 76

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developed a website and, along with private commissions, began supplying cakes to shops. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? For the irst two years, I tried to carry on baking everything at home, but it was ridiculous! What had started as a kitchen table business was, quite literally, growing off it. Eventually, every surface was loaded with bowls of fruit soaking, cakes cooling and all my paraphernalia, while cake boxes and bags of ingredients were piled up in the utility room and in the hall. Something had to give… HOW DID YOU FIND A SOLUTION? It was right under my nose! I realised the little outbuilding at the end of our garden would make a great workspace. A local caterer was selling her business and I was able to buy the industrial oven, prep tables and mixers from her. Having a dedicated workspace made a big difference: everything felt more professional and I could separate work and family life, though even now, I often decorate the cakes in my own kitchen, especially on chilly nights! HOW DID YOU ESTABLISH YOUR DECORATIVE STYLE? I’ve always leaned towards a clean, simple inish. At irst, I

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Sugar and spice and all things nice combine to create an indulgent Christmas cake mixture.

Beautiful festive gingerbread biscuits are strung so they can be hung on a tree.

A wreath from Cox & Cox sets off the imposing front door.

Gingerbread stars are cut out for one of Alixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finely detailed creations.

Home for Alix and her family is an elegant country house on the edge of the village.

The welcoming family kitchen is a cosy place to decorate the iced cakes and biscuits.

Cranborne Stores provides every village essential.

Alix uses fine brushes and food colourings to decorate each cake.

Alix had the idea for her cake-inspired logo, then commissioned Sundown Studio to bring it to life.


The sitting room provides a quiet, welcoming retreat to take some time out.

Gingerbread trees, reindeer and a chalet create a too-good-toeat tableau!

I couldn’t lie without...

‘TEA, TEA AND MORE TEA! A LONG SOAK IN THE BATH IS A REAL TREAT AND I’M A HUGE RUGBY FAN – I LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN GOING TO SEE A GAME!’

All cakes are boxed and tied with ribbon, adding a special flourish to the presentation.

A delicious take on a traditional wreath – though it’s better for indoor display!

Alix, Gavin and springer spaniel Tean enjoy going on long country walks.

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M Y K I N D O F C O U N T RY

decorated my cakes with iced motifs and models, but one day someone asked me to do pheasants and I realised I couldn’t capture the birds’ intricate colouring unless I painted them – that’s when I began to work with ine brushes in a more delicate, detailed way. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? My mum’s family are all very artistic and I’m sure that’s where I get my creativity from, but I seem to ind ideas for decorative inishes everywhere: even if it’s just a country walk, something I see will spark my interest. I’m also a huge fan of Pinterest and Instagram. ARE YOU ALWAYS BUSY? The autumn and winter months are undoubtedly the most hectic as the Christmas cake orders roll in – last year, I produced 900 cakes over an eight-week period.

FEATURE SHARON PARSONS PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD GADSBY

YOUR WORKING DAY MUST BE SO LONG AT THE MOMENT… It certainly is. After I’ve seen the girls off to school, I get started at 8am, then keep going until they come home again. Once we’ve all had supper, I go back to work – often until the wee small hours. I now have two ladies to help me with the baking, but I still decorate all the cakes myself, so it’s very labour intensive. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY LIFE? Sometimes it is a challenge, but having my workspace so close really helps. As a family, we always try to eat together, especially on a Sunday. It also helps that everyone is supportive. Gavin appreciates any proit has to go back into the business which takes the pressure off, and my three girls are fantastic: they often form a production line, helping me to box up the cakes, write labels, tie ribbons and so on. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AS A CAKE MAKER? Oh, there have been a few! When a buyer from Selfridges came across my cakes in a Bath deli two years ago, she contacted me about supplying the store – I thought it was a joke! Last year, I supplied their top-of-the-range Christmas cake and it made The Independent’s top 10 recommendations – and was the only one not mass-produced. It felt surreal, and I

A L I X ’S C O U N T RY V I B E Do you have a festive family tradition? We always visit the Cranborne Estate’s Christmas tree farm to choose our tree. What’s your favourite yuletide meal? Instead of turkey we have beef Wellington on Christmas Day, but what I enjoy most are all the leftovers – the meats, cheeses and pickles. How do you relax over the holidays? We go for walks, snooze in front of the ire and enjoy nice food – though I don’t always fancy cake, funnily enough!

realised I’d come a long way from where it all started, making cakes for my girls at home. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS? You have to feel excited and satisied with what you do. It’s hard work, but it’s always worth it when I see someone’s face light up when they receive a specially designed cake – there’s something about having something personal made just for you that is very special. ANY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? I hope to become more of a year-round producer with cakes for seasonal celebrations, and create a mail-order business. I’ve also noticed that smaller baked treats are becoming popular – this year, I’ve made more iced ginger biscuits than ever before. WHEN DOES CHRISTMAS START FOR YOU? On Christmas Eve, it’s very jolly as customers come to pick up their cakes from the kitchen, then everyone gathers in the village to sing carols accompanied by roast chestnuts and mulled wine. It’s at that point our family Christmas can really begin! WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE? For such a small village, we’re very spoilt with two restaurants, two pubs, a microbrewery and a fantastic bakery. Plus there’s the lovely Cranborne Garden Centre and Cranborne Stores. We’re also surrounded by beautiful countryside. We feel very lucky. ☎ Alix Fauvel Cakesmith, 07795 482907, alixfauvel.co.uk Country Homes & Interiors

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Let’s talk...

TIMEWORN METALS THE LIGHTING Large burnished copper pendant, H33xDia50cm, £175, The Forest & Co. Shop with Ownable

THE OFFICE UPDATE Mansu iron and mango wood desk, H85xW110.5xD60cm, £595, Nkuku. Shop with Ownable

Perfectly polished, pristine homewares? – not for us. Modern rustic homes are being captivated by striking, patinated surfaces. We’re talking the beauty of imperfection: verdigris on copper or brass, aged metallics rippled with tarnished iridescents and antique-effect reactions. Lending age-worn appeal to any room, this story fuses heritage and industrial elements, celebrating textural contrast. Create beautiful dynamics with imperfect, oxidised picks full of worn familiarity and combine with tactile woods and cosy knits for a snug retreat rich in textural interest.

LOVE THIS LOOK? THEN TRY… Making a statement on walls with rusty inspirations on tiled-effect panels. @ Timeless pieces with an aged aesthetic – choose industrial metal frames with a distressed inish and contrasting wood tops. @ Festive decorations in antiqued, molten colour blends, for an authentic allure.

@

DID YOU KNOW…? THE CONTAINER

FEATURE HOLLY PHILLIPS

Gaia bottle vase, H41xDia26cm, £82.08, Woodpecker Interiors. Shop with Ownable

Concentrate, here’s the chemistry lesson: ‘oxidisation’ means to combine with oxygen and undergo a chemical reaction. For example, iron oxidises to form rust.

THE BURNER Cast-iron firepit, £279.99, Wayfair. Shop with Ownable

THE GLASSWARE Agra round zinc dining table, £525; glassware, from £4 each, all French Connection Home. Shop with Ownable

THE TIME KEEPER Rusty skeleton clock, D67cm, £127, The Farthing. Shop with Ownable

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CHRISTMAS LODGE Take inspiration from wintry woodlands and country copses this season. With a nod to a more reined Nordic style, this look blends neat furnishings with painted and light-toned woods, wicker and woven textures. Bronze and copper, paired with spruce and pine shades, add the inal touch for a country-style Christmas.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

FLAUNT SEASONAL FOLIAGE Make your dining table the centre of attention with smart chairs, painted finishes and a run of decorative foliage to draw the eye along the table. See page 90 for details.

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S E A S O N A L U P DAT E S

CREATE A FESTIVE FEATURE WALL This woodland wallpaper is beautiful at any time of year, but teamed with festive mantel decorations and a real tree, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a stunning Scandi-style backdrop to your Christmas celebrations. See page 90 for details.

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ADORN A DRESSER Dress cabinets and dressers with ornamental glassware featuring mountain views and foliage, alongside everyday pressed glass and candlesticks. See page 90 for details.

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PREPARE TO HANG A WREATH Choose a ready-made wreath rich with winter foliage. Or forage for pine cones, holly and greenery to make your own. Hang on your front door for a welcoming, festive touch. See page 90 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

STAGE A COSY OUTDOOR SPOT Style up a favourite bench as the perfect place to greet guests to your home. Add a snug stove or brazier and set out mulled drinks to keep the cold at bay. See page 90 for details.

FEATURE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PHOTOGRAPHS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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S E A S O N A L U P DAT E S

GIVE A BEDROOM A SNUG CABIN FEEL Use a wooden bed as a base for a lodge-style room, then add natural motifs to echo the country theme. An owl-print paper brings an appropriate night-time feel. See page 90 for details.

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STYLE UP A COSY NOOK Cosy up a window seat with twinkling lights, colourful cushions and snug throws with forest elements to emulate the views beyond. See page 90 for details.

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SEASONAL LOOKS

Al the details

PRODUCTS AND PRICES CHRISTMAS LODGE Walls in Stable Green emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5L, Paint & Paper Library. Wreath, £75, Winters Workshop. Ribbon, £21.45, Pompom Blossom. Lantern, £79.95; candlestick, £22.95, both Nkuku. Red candle, £13.50 for 20, Shearer Candles. Bark candle, £10; star, £8.50, both Nordic House. Paper jewel, £6.50, Nordic Edit. Wrapping paper, £2.50 a sheet, Cambridge Imprint. Raffia, £2.75, Le Petit Jardin. Wire lights, £14.99, Lights4fun.

FLAUNT SEASONAL FOLIAGE Walls in Stone emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5L, Paint &

CREATE A FESTIVE FEATURE WALL Walls in Juniper Pine, £69 a roll, Pages 84-85

Pages 86-87

Sanderson at Style Library. Blind in Dashi, £59m; and Fern, £59m, both Sarah Hardaker. George sofa, £1,890; Tolsey rug, £430, both Neptune. Coffee table, £129, Oak Furnitureland. Stool, £80, &Hobbs. Norway spruce tree and small potted trees, from a selection at Dobbies. Wreath, £75, Winters Workshop. Basket, £120; wood burner set, £90, both Garden Trading. Wrapping paper, £2.50 a sheet; ribbon, £4, both Cambridge Imprint. (On mantel) Lantern, £79.95, Nkuku; lights, £14.99, Lights4fun. (On tree) Candle lights, £29.99, Lights4Fun; paper decorations, £6.50 each, Nordic Edit; ply decorations, £5 each, My Visible Object; faux berries, from £1.95, Decoflora; honeycomb baubles, £8.50 each, Talking Tables; porcelain baubles, £9.50 each, Nordic House; green baubles, £14.99 for six, Hanaley Interiors. (On sofa) Isla Mallard cushion, £74, Neptune; cushion in Owlswick, £59m, Sanderson at Style library; red cushion, £31, Blanc Cerise. (On coffee

PREPARE TO HANG A WREATH

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table) Bark candles, £10, Nordic House; bark bowl, £49.99, T&G; candleholder, from a selection at Nordal. (On stool) Teapot, £55; tea light holder, £20 for four, both LSA International; mug and plate, both from a selection at Nordal.

ADORN A DRESSER Vintage grey cabinet, from £700, Design Vintage. (On top shelf) Paper decorations, £6.50 each, Nordic Edit; honeycomb bauble, £8.50, Talking Tables; Lotta decanter set, £115, LSA International; decanter, from a selection at Nordal; recycled glass bauble, £5, National Trust Shop; Deco pine cones, £11, Nordic House. (On bottom shelf) Wooden board; grey jug; wooden tray, all from a selection at Nordal; sloe gin, £25; London dry gin, £25, both Sipsmith; Love pink gin, £30, Edenmill; Fir balloon glasses, £20 for two, LSA International. Mistral oak tea light holder, £40; Mixologist ice bucket, £35, both LSA International. Basque napkin, £18 for two, Blanc Cerise.

The All New Island stove, £1,794, Charnwood. Canterbury wave back bench, £920, Neptune. Vintage wooden stool, from a selection at Closet & Botts. Swedish log torch, £49.99, Chiminea Shop. Log basket, £70, Garden Trading. Christmas tree and small potted tree, from a selection at Dobbies. Tolsey Oatmeal rug, from £430; Grace cushion, col Isla Kingfisher, £74, both Neptune. Cushion in Pine Cones, £49m, Sanderson at Style Library. Green velvet

cushion, £22, Barker and Stonehouse. Cold at Night blanket, col Berry Red, £245, Fforest. Sheepskin, £35, John Lewis. Large faux pine wreath, £56, Nordic House. Ribbon, £21.45, Pompom Blossom. Retro jar lanterns, £16 each, Nordic House. Lantern, £28, Feuerhand. Basket with black stripes, £32, Le Petit Jardin. Glasses and carrier, £30, Nordic House. Robert Welch stainless steel ladle, £16, John Lewis. Copper mulled wine pan, £94.99, Lakeland. Enamel deer mugs, £9.95 each, Nordic Edit. (On tree) Jewel paper tree decorations, £6.95 each, Nordic Edit. Curtain in Dahlia & Rosehip, col Teal/Russet, £119m, Sanderson at Style library.

GIVE A BEDROOM A SNUG CABIN FEEL Walls in Owlswick, £75 a roll,

ceramic cup, from a selection at Nordal. Wrapping paper, £2.50 a sheet, Cambridge Imprint.

Natural wreath, from £75, Winters Workshop. Model wears, Celtic & Co.

STAGE A COSY OUTDOOR SPOT

Pages 88-89

Paper Library. Cabinet, from £700, Design Vintage. Farmhouse table, £1,000, Homebarn. Longworth oak chairs, £180 each, Garden Trading. (On table) Candlesticks, £30, Neptune; candles, from £5, Shearer Candles; faux foliage, from a selection at Decoflora; runner, made in Dashi, £59m, Sarah Hardarker; napkins, from a selection at Blanc Cerise, Neptune and Rowen & Wren; Holly dinnerware, from £6, Royal Stafford; glasses, from a selection at Nordal; jug, £30, Packhouse; carafe, £5, Garden Trading; place holders, £6.25 for four, Talking Tables; tea light holder, £20 for 4, LSA International.

Sanderson at Style Library. Rustic oak bed, £399; Contemporary oak side table, £79, both Oak Furnitureland. Black pendant light, £106, Nordic House. Linen duvet cover, col Wine, £210; linen pillowcases, col Wine/Peacock Green, £41 each, all Blanc Cerise. Andas cushion, £35, Also Home. Cushion in Juniper Pine, col Forest, £59m, Sanderson at Style Library. Cold at Night cushion, £60, Fforest. Chunky knit throw, £90, National Trust Shop. Black wool throw, from a selection at Nordal. Black vase, £12, &Hobbs. Honeycomb bauble, £8.50, Talking Tables. White retro candle holder, £12.95 for two, Nordic House. Blue

CREATE A COSY NOOK Blind in Purity Voiles, £49m, Harlequin at Style Library. Leaf garland, £42; hanging lantern, £24, both Rowen & Wren. Hanging star, £8.50, Nordic House. Paper stars, made from craft paper, £8.95 a pack, Cambridge Imprint. Hanging snowflake, £5, National Trust Shop. Potted trees, from a selection at Dobbies. Wire lights, £14.99, Lights4fun. Cold at Night cushion, £60, Fforest. Cushion in Fern, £59m, Sarah Hardaker. Seat cushion in Pine Cones, £49m, Sanderson at Style Library. Throw, £35, National Trust Shop.

FEATURE/ART DIRECTION SARA BIRD STYLING SELINA LAKE PHOTOGRAPHS DAVID BRITTAIN, EMILY BRITTAIN DELGADO

Pages 82-83


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FESTIVE MANTELPIECES PUT THE FIREPLACE AT THE HEART OF YOUR SCHEME THIS CHRISTMAS WITH IDEAS TO MAKE IT SPARKLE

1 Give an ornate fireplace a showstopping festive G RA N D GA R L A N D

treatment that befits its grandness. Add to a collection of gilt-framed artwork with a glittering line-up of gold, silver and glass candlesticks in an array of shapes and sizes. Drape greenery along the length, decorated with cones, berries and hanging decorations. ‘A beautiful garland is a key festive ingredient,’ says Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. ‘Make one yourself by winding a variety of greenery around a length of wire.’

Candle holders, from £20 each; Ivy and Pussywillow garland, £65, all The White Company. Use the Ownable app to shop now


Similar clip-top bottle, £2.24; Kilner clip-top jar, £4.50, both John Lewis. Use the Ownable app to shop now

DESIGN SECRETS

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S H OWC A S E S T Y L E

Set up a festive still-life arrangement of bric-a-brac displayed in glass jars and bottles. Keep it simple with pine cones, leaves and berry sprigs, mixed with wooden cotton reels, dolly pegs, paint brushes and postcards. Use a mirror as a backdrop for your display, layering jars and bottles in a line-up with a string of fairy lights laced in between, so the sparkle catches in the mirror’s reflection.

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Similar feather wreath, £18.39, Zucker Feather Place at Etsy. Use the Ownable app to shop now

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Complement dusky-coloured walls with luxe metallic pieces. Dark greys, deep blues and vivid greens make a perfect foil for rich-toned metallics in soft gold, warm bronze and rich copper. Start your arrangement with a striking gilded feather wreath, hung low. For a whimsical touch, line the mantel with moss and twiggy branches, clustered with candlesticks, ornaments and twinkling lights.

4 Create a holiday focal point by filling an empty P E R F E C T LY PAC KAG E D

hearth with a stack of beautifully gift-wrapped packages in co-ordinating foils and ribbons, topped with baubles and handmade gift tags. Keep the mantel itself simple with a row of coloured glass candle holders and mini tea lights. Hang a few of your favourite cards from a length of satin ribbon and finish off with a garland of greenery above.

Similar winter birch twig tree, from £139, Balsam Hill. Use the Ownable app to shop now

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Similar overmantel mirror, £189, Ayers & Graces. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Similar wreath, £16, B&Q. Use the Ownable app to shop now

Similar star silhouette light, £55, Cox & Cox. Use the Ownable app to shop now

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5 Go full-on with an enchanting forest-themed W I N T E R WO N D E R L A N D

arrangement of paper Christmas trees and candles in an all-white living room. Cut out a stack of folding trees from white paper, lining them up in front of an overmantel mirror to boost the effect. Then dot LED tea lights among them for a magical atmosphere. Balance your arrangement by filling the hearth with candles in various shapes and sizes.

6 Take a less-is-more approach to your decor

by ditching the tinsel and baubles and opting for a more minimal, modern look. Set off weathered woods, rustic panelling and timeworn paintwork with simple white candles and fairy lights for a calm and inviting look. Instead of cluttering up the mantel, go for just a single accent piece – like this lit-up wired star – for an eye-catching effect.

7 Cheery red berries and greenery are firm festive B E R RY B R I G H T S

favourites, so put them at the heart of your scheme with a rustic country fireplace trimmed with foliage and fir. Create a wreath by decorating a shop-bought garland with foraged berries, rose hips, pine cones and greenery. Pair this with a thinner garland trailed along the mantel with fairy lights, and a cluster of berry-red pillar candles.

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NEXT MONTH FESTIVE PLACE SETTINGS

FEATURE LISA FAZZANI PHOTOGRAPHS TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

S TA R T U R N


DESIGN SECRETS

8 A bold arrangement of cheery F L O RA L F L OU R I S H

poinsettias, festive berries and foliage looks striking in a classic scheme. The clean lines of the fireplace, overmantel mirror and symmetrically positioned lanterns is softened by the vibrant colours, fullness of the florals and the slightly off-centred arrangement. Add extra colour around the room with scarlet blooms and red glass candle votives.

Metal and glass oversize lantern, ÂŁ65, Laura Ashley, is similar. Use the Ownable app to shop now


  

     

  

                

        

 

  


ROOM IDEAS

WHEN FRIENDS AND FAMILY DESCEND, THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A WARM, CONVIVIAL SPOT TO EAT, CHAT, SIT BACK AND SOAK UP THE ATMOSPHERE. HERE’S HOW TO MAKE MEAL-TIME GATHERINGS EXTRA SPECIAL

Rustic warmth Havana Lloyd Loom chairs, col Charcoal; Havana linen chair cushions, col Clara Warm White; Chichester open rack dresser, col Sage, all Neptune

Natural textures are at the heart of any successful country dining scheme. ‘I worked with a combination of textures, including panelled walls, a rustic timber ceiling, an oak dining table, painted wicker chairs and linen cushions to create this cosy, relaxed country-style dining room,’ says Emma Sims-Hilditch of interior design studio Sims Hilditch. ‘Natural materials were chosen to relect the home’s idyllic countryside setting. At Christmas, simple decorations such as ir sprigs and pine cones can be added to welcome the outdoors in.’

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Northern lights Nordic-inluenced designs hold sway today but the roots reach much further back. When William Morris headed to Iceland he was captivated by the cobalt-blue skies, distant snow-capped mountains and yellow horned poppies. ‘Morris was deeply affected by the colours of the Icelandic landscape and we intended our North and Kindred collections to bring his observations to life,’ says Rebecca Craig, design manager of Morris & Co. ‘The stormy greys and touches of yellow bring a fresh appeal to a country dining room.’

Curtain, Pure Bachelors Button; tablecloth, Pure Willow Bough; tablecloth border, Pure Blesi Weave, all Morris & Co. Walls painted in Quarter Empire Grey elite emulsion, Zoffany


ROOM IDEAS

Sit comfortably Bench seating may be practical but if you’re intending to linger a while, some padding is advisable, whether a loose cushion or a ixed design. ‘Of the two soft bench seats in our collection, this one has deeper upholstery, giving a rounded look and feel,’ says Vanessa Hurley-Perera, chief product oficer at Sofa.com. For extra lexibility, consider the Buttons bench, which has matching stools in two heights to suit both a dining table and a breakfast bar. ‘The benches and stools are wonderfully comfortable and look as fabulous in linen as in velvet.’

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Kingsley medium dining table; Leopold dining bench, col Midnight Blue brushed linen cotton; Sinclair dining chairs, col Stone brushed linen cotton, all Sofa.com

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ROOM IDEAS

La Goccia breakfast bowl; starter plate; Amber Dot Limoncello glass; water glass; porcelain plate; brass cutlery set; Albaca standing angel, all Petersham Nurseries

Eclectic mix Gather fresh boughs and baubles, then add the licker of candlelight for an intimate, festive setting based around a vintage pedestal table and carved chairs. ‘Furniture and family treasures collected over the years tell their story through the signs of their age,’ says Ronny de Koning, global buyer at Petersham Nurseries. ‘Mixing items adds a certain character and charm, demonstrating your style and personality. We’ve included evergreen foliage to dress the table and chair backs, together with natural materials and rich, warm colours such as red, gold and cream.’

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Sheer elegance ‘The centrepiece of the room is a polished wood heirloom dining table, which we’ve enhanced by opting for shapely chairs upholstered in two contrasting fabrics,’ says Katharine Pooley of Katharine Pooley Design Studio. ‘The front of the seats was covered in plain linen and the back in an abstract textured fabric. We used a palette of light blues and creams for a relaxed and elegant country look.’

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Adaptable design No matter if a few extra friends drop by, the table extends and everyone can simply shufle along the benches to make room. ‘Benches will always make a dining setting feel more relaxed,’ says John Sims-Hilditch, co-founder of Neptune, ‘and they’re ideal if you’d like to make a separate dining room feel less formal.’ The surface of this oak furniture is brushed for a tactile, textured look, then oiled for protection. Topped with slimline cushions, the benches offer a welcoming seat.

Arundel 6-10-seater dining table; Milo barrel stool, col Chloe Ash; Arundel oak benches; Arundel four-seater bench cushions in Rebecca Ash, all Neptune.


ROOM IDEAS

Colosseum LVT flooring in Painted Oak, Lifestyle Floors

Vintage effect Stone and wood are often favoured among the many options for a traditional country dining room loor. But a quicker route to achieving vintage effects and an aged patina is with luxury vinyl tiles (LVT). ‘Versatile and affordable vinyl comes in many colours, designs and thicknesses,’ says Inga Morris-Blincoe, general manager of Lifestyle Floors. ‘It’s highly durable, withstanding the demands of a busy space, plus it’s waterproof and very easy to clean, which is crucial in an area where spilling accidents are likely to occur.’

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ROOM IDEAS

Tjikko dining table; Washakie velvet chairs, col Truffle, both Oka

Grand design It’s usually the case that the dining table, due to its considerable size, is a dominant feature of the room. To capitalise on this, select one with a strong visual impact. ‘The decorative scrolled legs of this table not only provide a substantial support structure for the top, but add a touch of elegance and an air of formality,’ says Sue Jones, co-founder of Oka. This handmade table, named after the famous Old Tjikko Norwegian spruce tree that’s almost 10,000 years old, is made from recycled white pine inished with clear matt varnish.

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Top brass The ine, elegant lines of metal furniture, easily achieved thanks to the material’s inherent strength, elevate this dining room scheme to the height of glamour. This composite concrete table top contrasts with metal legs in a warm tone. ‘For a hint of retro, avoid a highly-relective metal inish and stick to more muted tones such as brass or nickel,’ says Ben Hanley, head of home styling at West Elm. ‘Metallic accents on furniture, accessories or light ittings will help to give your room a contemporary feel.’

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Tower concrete dining table; Lenox dining chairs with worn velvet seats, col Metal, all West Elm


ROOM IDEAS

Decorative backdrop

Aurelie wallpaper, Sandberg Wallpaper

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FEATURE CAROLINE RODRIGUES PHOTOGRAPHS POLLY ELTES

‘Dining rooms are a place to socialise with family and friends so they deserve a touch of your personality, be it with a blowsy loral or a traditional stripe,’ says Fredrik Nilsson, CEO of Sandberg Wallpaper. ‘Wallpapering with a dark large-scale loral from loor to ceiling can be daunting, but using the pattern above painted wooden panelling softens the impact. Plain wallpaper in a coordinating colour under a dado rail or wallpaper border would also produce a calming effect, allowing the use of a dramatic design even in a small room.’


P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E

FOREST GREENS BE INSPIRED BY TILES AND SKIRTING IN SHADES OF GREEN – PERFECT FOR ADDING GENTLE OPULENCE TO YOUR HOME

Metro Sage tile, £29.50sq m; Minton Hollins Dark Green Bevel tile, £1.49 each; Henley Cool tile, £44.94sq m; Matrix Rainforest Green tile, 79p each; Aaronson Gloss Green tile, £1.03 each; Minton Hollins Dark Green Atlas Skirting tile, £15.59 each; Catania Green tile, £2.24 each; Berkeley Essence Eden tile, £69.99sq m; Minton Hollins Country Rustic Apple Green tile, £1.39 each; Minton Hollins Honeysuckle Border tile, £746.71sq m; Minton Hollins Apple Green Bevel tile, £1.49 each, all Topps Tiles

To see all of the new ranges at Topps Tiles, visit toppstiles.co.uk

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Modern country classic THE DAYBED

WITH HOLIDAY VISITORS IMMINENT, LET A COMFY OCCASIONAL BED SAVE THE DAY! TAKE YOUR PICK FROM OUR VERSATILE ROUND-UP...

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Simply slide out the solid oak legs and unfold the squishy cushion for snuggle-down siestas and sleepovers in a jiffy... Kipster daybed, H65xW196x D90-140cm, from £1,195, Loaf. Shop now with Ownable

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M O D E R N C O U N T RY C L A S S I C S

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3 Rest easy

Smart slats

Crafted from the stuff that dreams are made of, this fibre-filled mattress rests snugly on a sturdy solid pine frame, with adjustable arms to magically transform from a two-seater sofa to a daybed, or a full length single bed. Twingle daybed, H39xW155-200xD79cm, from £499, Futon Company. Shop now with Ownable

Painted in a calming ivory, this comfortable sofa becomes a dreamy bed when made up with crisp linen at night – it’s the perfect addition for a spare room. Burford painted daybed, H100xW101xL204cm, £325, The Cotswold Company. Shop now with Ownable

5 Vibrant comfort Rediscover warm colours and creaturecomfort contentment with this brilliant, bright softie. Provence cotton daybed, H50xW190xD70cm, col Multi, £459, Maisons du Monde. Shop now with Ownable

4 Elegant practicality

Invite the girls around, scatter some cushions and curl up with bowls of popcorn for a cosy home-cinema afternoon by day, then pull out the trundle for sleepovers… Laurel Foundry Jeremie daybed with trundle, H92xL229xW109cm, £549.99, Wayfair. Shop now with Ownable

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Victorian style

This romantic heroine extends to make a double bed. Hastings daybed, H119xW200xD96185cm, from £1,200, Laura Ashley. Shop now with Ownable

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Upholstered chic

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Add a boudoir feel to your guest room with this buttoned blush design. Aurora upholstered daybed, col Grey, H97xD108x W217cm, £299.95, Cuckooland. Shop now with Ownable

Warm white

Pop this versatile metal beauty in your guest room or summer house for an indulgent hour of daydreaming and dozing... Evie daybed, H114xW100xL202cm, £425, Feather & Black. Shop now with Ownable

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Contemporary complement

Bring a fresh feeling to your room with this stylish modern country update, featuring a traditional design perked up with a lovely lacquer finish. Nassau daybed, H80x W97.5xD198cm, £498.99, Three Posts at Wayfair. Shop now with Ownable

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DRESSERS CLASSIC OR MODERN, ANY ONE OF THESE SHOWSTOPPERS WILL ADD STYLE TO YOUR HOME AND KEEP YOUR CROCKERY CONTAINED CREATE IMPACT WITH A CONTEMPORARY TAKE ON A CLASSIC DESIGN. A dresser for the kitchen

or dining room can be a wonderful statement piece, and adds style and practicality. Traditional country styles consist of drawers or cupboards at the bottom and display space at the top, and are ideal for adding authentic charm to a kitchen. ‘Dressers are having a resurgence and are a versatile piece for the kitchen,’ says Loaf founder Charlie Marshall. ‘They’re ideal for stacking and displaying crockery and linens, as well as storing baking ingredients and food that needs a cool, dry home.’ Weighty in design, they can be overbearing in smaller rooms, so look for modern updates with slender proportions and cleaner lines. GO BESPOKE AND HAVE A CABINET CUSTOM BUILT.

For old properties with nooks and crannies, a madeto-measure dresser or cabinet will fully maximise the storage potential of a room. It is also a great way of adding a sense of unique style to your home, in the same way as sourcing an antique cabinet would. Helen Parker, Creative Director at deVOL, explains: ‘If you are struggling to find a characterful, sturdy piece of the correct size, or if you have vintage pieces but want something very specific that’s suited exactly to your requirements, bespoke is a great idea.’ INTRODUCE GLAMOUR WITH OPULENT STYLING DETAILS AND UNUSUAL MATERIALS. Dressers,

sideboards and cabinets were traditionally made from country pine, lending rustic simplicity to cottage-style interiors. For rooms that are grander in style and proportion, source more eclectic pieces to add elegance. Ben Thomas White, Head of Product at Lombok, advises: ‘Country homes often have beautiful original detailing, such as high ceilings, ornate cornices or crown moulding. Draw attention to these features by selecting a tall dresser with elegant proportions and a distinctive finish such as lacquer.’ 110

Country Homes & Interiors


ROOM ELEMENTS

Bespoke dresser in natural oak (H251xW313xD43cm), from £15,000, Sims Hilditch. Shop now with Ownable

Canton dresser (H210xW100xD45cm), £1,236, Lombok. Shop now with Ownable

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Made to measure

Custom-built furniture in natural materials not only adds luxury, it also provides a practical solution when you need to find furniture to fit a space and harmonise with existing pieces. Look for details such as adjustable shelf heights and versatile storage and display space. Emma Sims-Hilditch, creative director of Sims Hilditch Interior Design, says: ‘The combination of this dresser, the large oak table and oak flooring creates a traditional, classic feel in this large family home.’

Create a statement

Add a sense of grandeur with unusual style and design features that echo period detailing. Dark woods are a refreshing alternative to pale grains, and can act as the perfect foil to old stone floors and plaster walls. Ben Thomas White at Lombok suggests: ‘Our Canton dresser will introduce an elegant and oriental feel to any country pile, with its natural ash that has been finished with a traditional black lacquer and accented with distressed edges and antique brass handles. The Canton’s glass doors give the dresser a feel of lightness and allows you to add texture and colour with tableware and glassware.’

DESIGN TIP BEFORE PURCHASING A DRESSER OR CABINET, CHECK CAREFULLY THAT IT WILL FIT INTO THE SPACE IT IS INTENDED FOR. FOR AN ALCOVE, MEASURE THE SPACE AT THE BOTTOM, MIDDLE AND TOP AND ACROSS THE SKIRTING BOARDS, TO ACCOUNT FOR ANY UNEVENNESS IN THE WALLS.

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your 3 Sort storage Concealed cupboards and drawers are ideal for storing items you don’t want on display, leaving glass-fronted sections or open shelving for the more attractive pieces. ‘There’s something really nostalgic about kitchen dressers and larder-style cupboards stashed full of homemade preserves,’ says Charlie Marshall of Loaf. ‘They’re handy for extra storage, too, and if you have ceramics and kitchen items you’d like to showcase, opt for a design that has a glass-fronted section.’

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Idler chair, col Natural, £330 for two, Loaf

Super Kernel cupboard (H200xW90xD40cm), £1,045, Loaf. Shop now with Ownable

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ROOM ELEMENTS

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A modern twist

‘Having a cabinet made to your specific measurements that still has a strong traditional feel is an excellent option,’ explains Helen Parker, Creative Director at deVOL. ‘The Curiosity Cupboard has been designed to evoke the look of a classic piece yet have the ease and beauty of something new and specially dimensioned for your space. And our hand-painted interior option is a fabulously easy way to add a modern twist with bright colour. You can create everything you want from a cupboard without hunting down a second-hand or antique piece.’

The Curiosity Cupboard (H210xW130x D48cm) £2,800, deVOL. Shop now with Ownable Bamboo cabinet (H153xW70xD33cm), £825, Rockett St George. Shop now with Ownable

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Add some individual charm

Bamboo is a great choice for a country home as its rich tones beautifully complement those of natural stone. It’s also ideal for adding a sense of the unexpected, as Jane Rockett of Rockett St George explains: ‘Eclectic and original pieces such as this are designed to do the talking, and add a dash of unique charm and personality. It’s also hugely practical – a freestanding piece like our bamboo display cabinet will protect the period or architectural features of your home, while also being lightweight and portable.’

3 OF THE BEST...

Decorative knobs PERSONALISE YOUR DRESSER WITH A PRETTY HANDLE Bring some boho to your doors with this rattan design, with lovely hand finished beading adding texture. Albi rattan door knob, £6, Curious Egg. Shop now with Ownable

Made from sustainable mango wood, this mother of pearl design combines delicacy and practicality. Matala pearl knobs, £6.95 each, Nkuku Shop now with Ownable

Add floral charm with handpainted stoneware pulls with a chic gilded accent. Anais knobs, £12 each, Anthropologie. Shop now with Ownable

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ROOM ELEMENTS

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Make it match

For small country homes, or ones with a simple, pared-down aesthetic, matching freestanding pieces to existing fitted kitchen cabinets avoids a room looking visually cluttered. ‘When choosing a dresser, it's important to consider the style of the other furniture,’ advises Adam Brown, director of The Painted Furniture Company. ‘You could choose a piece in a similar colour or with a similar handle style, to blend with your current scheme. The Millbrook design features an open bottom shelf that adds a feeling of space.’

DESIGN TIP CABINETS AND DRESSERS WITH ADJUSTABLE SHELVING ARE IDEAL AS

7 Add elegance

Dressers or display cabinets that are part of a coordinated range always work well in formal dining rooms. Cathryn Archer, head of the design service at Laura Ashley, says: ‘There are so many options for cabinet furniture ranges that include dressers. However, for adding elegance to a country-style property, we suggest one inspired by traditional period furniture, such as the Balmoral. The style is timeless and its rich chestnut finish complements a variety of schemes.’

Consider what you will place in your dresser, as this will affect the shape, size and number of open or closed shelves you need 114

Country Homes & Interiors

THEY WILL ALLOW STORAGE FOR TALLER PIECES SUCH AS JUGS, TUREENS AND GLASSWARE, ALONGSIDE STACKS OF FLATTER PIECES SUCH AS PLATES AND PLATTERS.

Balmoral Chestnut two-door, two-drawer display cabinet (H181xW100x D40cm) £1,250, Laura Ashley. Shop now with Ownable

FEATURE SARA EMSLIE

Millbrook open sideboard with dresser rack (H215xW137.5x D50cm), col Flint, £1,799, The Painted Furniture Company. Shop now with Ownable


Inspired by Country Homes & interiors? Buy with Ownable. 12:08

Lombok Pouco Stool

£100.00 Meaning ‘’little’’ in Portugese, the Pouco stools are handcrafted in our very own workshop in Portugal.

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CH&I November 2018 – Page 79

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XF70, from £649, Sony This 4K TV (H97xW57.1xD5.8cm) has an impressive array of features – especially given the price – including High Dynamic range for sharper whites and darker, more realistic black shades. It also features Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), which means it is ready to play 4K High Definition live TV broadcasts, and always makes the most of the latest screen technology. Shop now with Ownable

2Best for... FEATURE CHRIS HASLAM PHOTOGRAPH TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM *ACCORDING TO PERFECTHOMES.CO.UK SURVEY OF 2000 UK ADULTS IN APRIL 2018

MOVIE LOVERS

It’s taken years, but tech brands have finally realised the importance of putting a little ‘home’ in home entertainment! Gone are the ugly black boxes, replaced by designs that enhance, rather than clutter up, your home. Modern sets offer exceptional picture

quality, elegant design and access to online streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Look for one with built-in wi-fi to avoid extra cables. To choose the best size for you, go for a screen 1.5-times smaller than your viewing distance.

DID YOU KNOW? A RECENT SURVEY* REVEALED WE WATCH AROUND 27 HOURS OF TV EACH WEEK. PLUS, THE MAJORITY OF US (57 PER CENT) PREFER TO USE STREAMING CATCH-UP SERVICES RATHER THAN WATCH LIVE.

W8, £7,799, LG Despite costing the same as a small family car, LG's flagship TV (H82.3xW144.6x D3.85cm) offers the serious movie addict a chance to experience the future early! At just 3.8mm thick, the W8 – nicknamed the Wallpaper TV – sits completely flush against the wall. The Ultra HD 4K OLED screen has an intuitive remote, comprehensive voice control, and Freeview Play for simple TV catch up. Shop now with Ownable

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SMART HOME ADDICTS

Q9FN, £2,499, Samsung This stunning QLED TV features the finest 4K Ultra HD resolution, has high dynamic range and streams seamlessly. Plus, it works with SmartThings smart home gadgets, and uses dimming technology to adjust the colour and brightness as needed. This slim design (H789xW123.1x D28.4cm) hangs flush to the wall like a picture and can be used in Ambient Mode when switched off, plus it all connects via one near-invisible cable. Shop now with Ownable Country Homes & Interiors

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Midwinter sparkle EVEN ON A COLD AND FROSTY MORNING, JANE DICKENSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ALL-SEASONS GARDEN, DESIGNED BY HUGO NICOLLE, GLITTERS AND GLISTENS WITH FLASHES OF DELICATE COLOUR


SUFFOLK GARDEN

Early morning frost with clipped Buxus in the form of a ball and domes, as well as Rosa ‘Bonica’, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and a mixed hedge with holly, yew and privet.

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Newly planted Carpinus betulus provides autumn colour in the swimming pool garden.

The clean lines of low Buxus hedges work well with the Regency-style house.

When Jane and Richard Dickens irst saw Victoria House in

AT HOME WITH... Owners Jane and Richard Dickens and their Norfolk Terriers Coco and Busy.

House Regency style, it dates from 1815.

Features Around five acres in size with fairly free-draining, mildly alkaline soil. Traditional planting with hard landscaping, formally trained trees and shrubs adding a modern feel. Key areas are the terrace, scented garden and swimming pool garden.

2012 it ticked all their boxes. ‘It was a much-loved family home,’ says Jane. ‘The owners had lived there for nearly 50 years and had planted the garden with interesting trees and shrubs. As an interior designer, I could see that the house had huge potential and that the garden offered scope for new ideas.’ The Dickens spent 18 months concentrating on renovating the house and planning the garden, then began planting and paving in spring 2015. ‘Plants aren’t my speciality, so I was delighted to ind that Hugo Nicolle, a childhood friend, lived nearby – and is a garden designer! I hadn’t seen any of his gardens but I knew he had impeccable taste so I invited him to help me create the kind of garden that would work for our lifestyle.’ Jane gave Hugo just two instructions. ‘I wanted the house to be anchored to its surroundings, and I told him to avoid red and yellow lowers as I’m not mad about them!’ His solution was to encircle the house with a combination of York stone slabs and Belgian brick pavers; the variation in sizes and shades has a softening effect. The same hard landscaping is followed through the various garden rooms, creating an easy low. ‘We didn’t make radical changes to the layout of the garden,’ explains Jane. ‘The lawns, hedges and vistas already existed, so the challenge was to link up the areas and make them interesting, useful spaces by devising a series of rooms.’ The north-facing courtyard terrace has a formal feel, with parasol-pruned ornamental pears (Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’) underplanted with box (Buxus sempervirens). In the spring months, borders are illed with tulips including ‘Queen of the

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SUFFOLK GARDEN

The York stone and brick paved terrace offers a glimpse of Rosie’s Garden through an archway.

Parrotia persica with golden yellow late leaves.

A sundial covered in early morning frost.

What we love most about this garden… ‘The different rooms in the garden make it feel very intimate yet they all low into one another. One of my favourite areas is the swimming pool garden with its beautiful planting’

A sculpture called Sail behind a Carpinus betulus (hornbeam) hedge.

The Aqualens water feature was designed by Allison Armour.

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SUFFOLK GARDEN

Old stone statues representing winter on the left and summer on right frame a wooden bench.

Night’, while in summer the colour scheme is pinks and purples, featuring purple sage (Salvia oficinalis ‘Purpurea’), Astrantia major ‘Claret’ and Geranium ‘Suzanne’. An arch in the wall gives a view into Rosie’s Garden, a scented area named after Jane’s mother. Rosa ‘Mortimer Sackler’ and the honeysuckle ‘Graham Thomas’ ill the air with their perfume. An Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ ills a corner of the courtyard terrace and the fountain garden can be glimpsed through a screen of pleached crab apples. The circular shape of the Allison Armour glass ball water feature is echoed in the giant box balls surrounding it. The swimming pool garden has generous summer borders with lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’), agapanthus and Verbena bonariensis. Even in the depths of winter, the garden has colour and shape. Rosa ‘Bonica’ deies the frost, its pink lowers like icing-sugar cake decorations. In the walled garden, the leaves of Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) hang like golden discs in the thin November sun. The dogwood (Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’) is transformed into tangled macramé by the frost. Nerines along the wall at the front of the house are drooping in the cold, but the pale lime leaves of the glorious corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) catch the early morning light. In the swimming pool garden, the bold shapes of Irish yew, Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia wulfenii) and Hakonechloa macra grasses are outlined by frost against an old brick wall. ‘I love the garden through all the seasons,’ says Jane, ‘but in the depths of winter, sparkling frost gives it a special magic.’

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Modern Country Classic

Paving In the winter months a garden relies on hard landscaping to give it structure and interest. The paving and Belgian bricks in Jane’s garden provide a strong base that links the garden rooms, and the variety of sizes and shades please the eye. Here’s what to think about... Ř 6WDUW E\ JDWKHULQJ WRJHWKHU hard landscaping ideas from magazines, Pinterest and other gardens you like. Ř *HW ORWV RI VDPSOHV LQ RUGHU WR work out the effect you want. Ř ,QFOXGH PRUH WKDQ RQH VL]H DQG or shade of paving. Ř &KHFN WKDW WKH FRORXUV compliment local building materials, for instance use sandy FRORXUV ZLWK &RWVZROG VWRQH Ř 'R \RXU PHDVXULQJ FDUHIXOO\ Ŏ over-ordering quantities can be expensive, but under-ordering might be disastrous!


Irish yew, Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’, Mediterranean spurge, Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfennii, Verbena bonariensis and Hakonechloa macra grasses grow in front of an old brick wall in the swimming pool garden

What makes this garden so special... ‘Rosie’s Garden is named after my mother who was a keen gardener, and there are statues and a stone sculpture of a fox that all came from her family home in Ireland’


SUFFOLK GARDEN

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Jane’s favourite winter wonders 1 Taxus baccata is a conifer that’s perfect for hedging. 2 Rosa ‘Bonica’ looks like icing sugar cake decorations with frosted edges. 3 Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’, the corkscrew hazel, catches the light. 4 Sorbus vilmorinii has pink berries reaching for the sky. 5 Helleborus orientalis creates beautiful shapes when covered in frost. 6 The low leaves of foxglove Digitalis cover the bare earth. 7 A pleached Malus ‘Evereste’ or crab apple trained on lengths of bamboo.

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FEATURE WIDGET FINN PHOTOGRAPHS ZARA NAPIER

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8 The winter branches of Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’.




  











    

     



    

  

   

       



 



 




Make Life Loely

FASHION, WELLBEING, ECO, PETS AND OTHER NICE THINGS

Rocking moose, £159.95, Nordic House. Shop now with Ownable

Cuddly and cool Finding chic children’s toys with adult appeal can be tricky but this super-cute rocking moose from Scandi brand Nordic House is sure to be a Christmas crowd-pleaser. With a solid wood rocker base, sturdy faux-fur covered body and friendly face, he’s far too lovable to stay hidden away in the nursery.

MIND AND BODY Based at the Daylesford Farm and Spa in the Cotswolds, Bamford has just launched three new crystal wellness boxes that make gorgeous Christmas gifts − Strong, £85, Vibrant, £110, and Calm, £135. Each box contains crystals, a herbal infusion, an essential oil blend and beauty offering.

CHRISTMAS ROSES Give your winter wardrobe a festive flash of colour by bagging a floral tote, £42, in Cath Kidston’s new Jacquard Rose design. This oilcloth shoulder bag is the perfect size for Christmas shopping or the school run. Shop now with Ownable

DOGGY DECOR Ditch the dog-eared blanket and pamper your pooch with some smart new bedding this Christmas. Pippa & Co’s luxury handmade dog beds come in a range of plush fabrics designed to complement your decor rather than clash. Choose from Townhouse or Country, or opt for the bespoke service for a perfect match. Prices start at £110 for a travel bed.

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Original Art & Limited Edition Prints

RUNWAY GALLERY w w w . r u n w a y - g a l l e r y. c o m / c o u n t r y h o m e s a n d i n t e r i o r s in association with

Pictured: YumYum by Louise Dear, limited edition print, £1495


HAPPY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS

3 REASONS TO LOVE…

Apron, £12.50; whisk, £5; citrus reamer, £5; peeler, £4; two-piece spatula set, £6; oak chopping board, £25; Albany ramekin, £2.50; Albany measuring cups, £15 for four; Albany mixing bowls, from £12.50, all Marks & Spencer. Shop now with Ownable

THE NATIONAL TRUST AT CHRISTMAS

1 BEAUTIFUL SCENERY There’s nothing nicer than wrapping up warm and taking in the countryside. And to celebrate the nation’s love for festive strolls, the National Trust has pulled together 12 Walks of Christmas. 2 FESTIVE STATELY SETTINGS Enjoy mulled wine, mince pies and a spot of shopping in a historic National Trust property. Waddesdon Manor’s Christmas Fair, above (Buckinghamshire; Wednesday to Sunday, 10 November to 16 December), includes food, crafts and gifts, plus a magical light show, and is one of many taking place around the country. 3 CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Celebrate Christmases past at Berrington Hall’s Christmas with the Georgians event (Herefordshire; weekends from 17 November to 1 January). The hall and its grounds will be decked out in Georgian fashion with outdoor carriage rides and a fun children’s trail. For details visit national trust.org.uk.

Make a wish It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so on Stir Up Sunday (25 November) gather the family round as you make the Christmas pud and let everyone take a turn to stir, making a wish as they do. The tradition dates back to Victorian times when families would gather on the last Sunday before Advent and takes its name from a prayer beginning ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’.

Robin bird seed gift box, £16, Boxwild. Shop now with Ownable

Feed the birds Spare a thought for your local wildlife this winter. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice can make it difficult for garden birds such as the robin to find food and water, so lend a helping hand by leaving out a regular supply of both. Boxwild’s handblended Robin seed mix is specially formulated with the red breast in mind. This boxed gift set, £16, includes two seed blends and a handy scoop and makes a lovely Christmas gift for bird lovers.

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HAPPY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS

PRESSED FOR TIME?

Christmas invitations, from £16.90 for ten, Papier. Shop now with Ownable

Late for that festive party? Give crumpled clothes a quick refresh with the Steam&Go, £90, Philips. Ready for action in 45 seconds, it can steam vertically or horizontally and is easy to refill. The handy size is great for when you’re on the go and need a speedy change of outfit.

BUY BRITISH

Papier ‘Design, made personal’ is the ethos behind Papier, renowned for its tasteful personalised cards, invites and stationery, which are printed in the UK on inest quality paper. Papier works with leading artists and illustrators to create beautiful designs for every occasion, from Christmas cards to wedding invites.

3 OF THE BEST…

Slippers of the season

1

Wear anywhere

With a durable sneaker-like sole and cosy Merino wool interior, these updated Mahabis come in dark grey or light grey with a choice of ive sole colours. Classic 2, £69, Mahabis.

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2

Soft and soothing

This cosy design is lined with nourishing microcapsules that moisturise your feet. Moisturising slippers, £24.90, Soft & Yoga.

3

Mark your territory

Monograms are big this season, so get your slippers in on the act, too. Merino sheepskin striped slippers, £145, Rae Feather.

FEATURE LISA FAZZANI PHOTOGRAPHS NATIONAL TRUST, CHRIS LACEY, ELEANOR DOBSON, JOHN MILLAR

KEEP YOUR TOES TOASTY ON CHILLY WINTER NIGHTS WITH THESE COSY SLIPPERS


OUT AND ABOUT

Four-poster beds offer plenty of luxury, ensuring guests leave the ancient manor well-rested.

Made from Cotswold stone, the impressive building blends beautifully with its surroundings.

A RURAL RETREAT IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Ellenborough Park

FEATURE PATRICK HAMILTON COURTNEY

VISIT THIS COTSWOLDS COUNTRY HIDEAWAY FOR ALL THINGS FOOD AND RELAXATION Barely more than a hop, skip, and jump from Cheltenham Racecourse and situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, Ellenborough Park is a favourite with racing enthusiasts and ramblers alike. Set around a 600-year-old manor house made from Cotswolds stone, the hotel is nestled in one of Gloucestershire’s prettiest, most idyllic areas, making it the perfect choice for those seeking country walks and minibreaks with the dog in tow. But it’s not all muddy boots and horseboxes, Ellenborough also offers fine dining, slick service, and a state-of-the-art spa. ENJOY THE STYLE UPDATE Last year the hotel benefitted from a top-tobottom refurbishment that has contrasted its traditional country house bones with a more modern

aesthetic. You’ll still find wood panelling, old beams and imposing stone walls, but new architectural details, contemporary furniture and colourful upholstery have given the place a stylish facelift. Many of the 61 bedrooms and suites feature heavy curtains, sumptuous four-poster beds and marble-clad bathrooms complete with roll-top, freestanding tubs, ensuring a stay here always feels like a real treat. INDULGE IN A LITTLE LUXURY Guests can make use of Ellenborough’s hydrotherapy pool, sauna and mood showers by treating themselves to a spa day, even taking a dip in the open-air pool on warmer days and relaxing on one of the comfortable sun loungers. After tired muscles have been suitably soothed, there

are plenty of long walks and bird-watching opportunities nearby for those after a more active break. The hotel’s well-stocked boot room even loans out binoculars and jackets as well as Dubarry boots. EAT LIKE A KING In 1788 George III was entertained at the manor during a visit to Cheltenham’s famous spa waters. Follow in his footsteps with a meal in the hotel’s intimate, oak-panelled, fine-dining restaurant. With a roaring fireplace and twinkling candlelight, few spots are more romantic after sundown. HOW MUCH? From £209 a night with breakfast, based on two sharing. Ellenborough Park, Southam Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3NJ, 01242 545454, ellenboroughpark.com.



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Hung up on

FESTIVE WREATHS Bind fragrant thyme and eucalyptus with florist wire and hang with a satin ribbon for a simple display.

A beautiful wreath is one of the best ways to brighten your front door. The tradition is believed to date back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when handmade rings of fresh leaves, fruit and lowers symbolised eternal life. Wreaths are also associated with other cultural ceremonies, including harvest and memorials, but they’re now most often used to adorn our entranceways during the festive season. Whether you select fresh or faux foliage, part of the joy of wreathmaking lies in creating something that represents you and your family. Have fun with foraged berries, leaves and pinecones from the garden for a wreath brimming with Victorian charm, or create a truly unique design by giving country materials a modern makeover.

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MADE WITH FRESH FOLIAGE FROM THE GARDEN OR HAND-SELECTED FLORIST BLOOMS, A SEASONAL WREATH TO WELCOME GUESTS IS A WONDERFUL FAMILY TRADITION

Soak four lengths of willow strips until pliable. With the thicker ends together, bind with twine. Tie 30cm along the length, divide and bend into a heart shape. Willow, from a selection, World of Willow. Glass bird decoration, £13.99 for six, RSPB. Shop now with Ownable


G E T C R E AT I V E

1 FOREST FERNS

Create an informal arrangement using fine ferns, twisting them carefully around wooden embroidery hoops. Use small pieces of florist wire to attach each main stem to the frame, allowing the delicate fronds to splay out naturally in all directions. Suspend from fishing wire to create the illusion that the wreaths are floating freely, or opt for jute twine for a rustic look. Hang a range of different-sized hoops at varying heights for a lush woodland feel. Natural embroidery hoops, from £2.70 each, Hobbycraft. Shop now with Ownable

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TRUE OR FAUX? Dried and artificial materials will last for years to come. However, if you enjoy a yearly refresh, there’s nothing quite like fresh foliage. »

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SAFE STORAGE When packing away your wreath, ensure that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clean and dry. Reattach any lose elements and wrap in tissue paper. Place in a sturdy box and store safely.

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2 FROSTED BERRIES

Embellish a ready-made eucalyptus wreath with an abundance of juicy red berries, plump rosehips and traditional pinecones. Gently dust with snow spray for an enchanting frosty effect. 136

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FEATURE STEPHANIE DURRANT PHOTOGRAPHS TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

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G E T C R E AT I V E

3 RUSTIC TWIGS

Gather a selection of crooked twigs and leave them to dry, making sure there are no creepy-crawlies in them. Use florist wire to weave the twigs into a rough wreath shape and don’t be afraid to leave lengths protruding. Finish by intertwining branches of faux white buds resembling snowdrops and hang silver fruit decorations to create a rustic wintery feel.

4 SEASONAL SUCCULENTS Swap traditional foliage for a modern display of succulents. Cover an oasis ring with soaked moss before adding different varieties of succulents and alpine plants secured with pins. Wrap the whole thing with florist wire, filling any gaps with berries and pinecones for added festive flair. Mini succulents, from £1.99 each; alpine plants, from £2.49 each; oasis ring, £6.99; florist wire, £3.99, all Dobbies Garden Centres. Shop now with Ownable

5 PRETTY PERFUMES

Delight your guests’ senses by mixing fragrant blooms with slices of dried orange and spicy cinnamon sticks. Attach the greenery to an oasis ring with florist wire, then add clusters of cream roses, burgundy freesias and dried fruit in a symmetrical pattern. Finish with an oversized organza bow. Keep your wreath looking fresh by displaying in a cool place and occasionally spritzing with water. Dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks, from £3.50 for 20, Natural Crafts UK at Etsy. Shop now with Ownable Country Homes & Interiors

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Burgundy, River Rhône & Provence

The Douro, Porto & Salamanca

8 days from £1,199PP From the lush green vineyards of Burgundy to the sun-kissed hills of Provence and the wild ruggedness of the Ardèche gorges to the medieval allure of Avignon - on this enthralling cruise every day is full of fascination.

8 days from £1,299pp Explore what is possibly Europe’s most undiscovered river through the stunning Douro Valley. The once-wild Douro river has been tamed by a system of dams and locks, producing an enchanting topography reminiscent of Scotland’s lochs.

So much included @ Visit to Beaune, centre of the Burgundy wine region plus a wine tasting @ Cruise the Rhône valley @ Guided tour of Lyon, its gastronomic capital @ Visit to charming Vienne

So much included @ Tour of the Ardèche Gorges @ Guided tour of Arles, with its extraordinary Roman remains @ Visit to the Pont du Gard @ Tour of medieval Avignon and the stunning Pope’s Palace

@ Guided tour of Porto with visit to Port Wine cellars @ See the Douro Valley @ Enjoy a full day excursion to Salamanca with guided tour and Flamenco show @ Guided tour of Mateus Palace

@ Tour of the medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo @ Enjoy dinner at a typical Portuguese quinta @ Visit to Lamego and its Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies church

The Blue Danube - Vienna, Budapest & Salzburg

Rhine Cruise to Switzerland

8 days from £1,119pp Unwind on our magical river cruise and enjoy an escorted tour to imperial Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube. See Bratislava, Esztergom, Melk, Salzburg and unforgettable Vienna along the course of Eastern Europe’s mightiest river.

8 days from £1,299pp From the exceptional full-board cuisine to the luxurious cabins and suites you will very soon relax as we journey south from Cologne through the Rhine Valley to magnificent Switzerland.

So much included @ @ @ @ @

Guided tour of Vienna Classical quartet recital on board Visit to baroque Bratislava Cruise through the scenic Wachau Visit to Melk Abbey, central Europe’s most spectacular baroque monastery

So much included @ Visit to medieval Dürnstein @ Tour of Salzburg, and one of Austria’s most beautiful cities @ Explore the amazing basilica at Esztergom @ Tour of Budapest, Pearl of the Danube

@ Explore medieval Koblenz @ Visit to the pretty, romantic town of Rüdesheim - centre of the Rhineland wine trade @ Cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge @ Enjoy an evening in Speyer

@ Guided tour of Strasbourg @ Visit to the old walled town of Breisach @ Tour of the beautiful Black Forest and lakeside town of Titisee @ See the Jungfrau and the Eiger and the lakeside town of Lucerne

Additional entrance costs may apply. Prices are per person, based on two sharing and subject to finite availability. Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel. Offer operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel Ltd. ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430, a company wholly independent of Country Homes & Interiors, published by TI Media Ltd. Prices correct at time of print.

ABTA No. V4744


GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

Christmas

WITH ADDED SPICE Transform your Christmas roast with seasonal herbs and spices that put a tantalising twist on tradition

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Slow baked salt doughcrusted lamb Âť

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GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

SLOW BAKED SALT DOUGH-CRUSTED LAMB Served in style, this delicious main course is well worth the wait for fragrant, herby meat.

Serves 10 2kg boned and rolled

2 bunches rosemary 2tbsp oil 1 cup water

shoulder of lamb 10 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

For the gravy stock

10 sprigs unchopped

Lamb bones

rosemary 20 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and

6L cold water 10 sprigs of thyme

roughly chopped 10 sprigs whole thyme 6 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder 1tbsp oil Pepper

For the salt dough 1.5kg flour 1.5kg salt 2tbsp chopped rosemary

5 sprigs rosemary 1 head garlic 2tbsp vegetable bouillon 2 onions 2 carrots 2 leeks

For the gravy 2 bottles of full-bodied red wine 1 jar redcurrant jelly 1tbsp mint sauce 2tbsp mint sauce Parsley, to garnish

1 Marinade the shoulder of lamb overnight

in the herb, garlic, oil and bouillon mix. 2 Make the stock by boiling all of the ingredients together for about 6hr. Strain and reserve the liquid. 3 For the salt dough crust, mix all ingredients into a dough, kneading consistently until it’s smooth. The dough should be only slightly spongy to the touch so add a little extra water if required. Wrap in cling ilm until needed and keep at room temperature. 4 Preheat oven to 220°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 8. Place a baking tray upside down inside a large roasting tin (to ensure that when the salt dough lamb is baking, the juices run down into the roasting tin to keep the base of the lamb dry). Place a large sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the upturned tin, which will help with lifting out the lamb. 5 Put a little oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb all over. Remove and leave to cool. 6 Roll the dough to 1cm thickness, ensuring

it will encase the shoulder of lamb with some to spare. Place a large bunch of rosemary in the centre of the rolled dough and sit the lamb on top of it, topping the lamb with another large bunch of rosemary. Wrap the lamb in the salt dough, overlapping edges until well sealed. If the dough splits, patch it with offcuts. Place on the upturned tin. 7 Bake the salt dough lamb for 1hr at 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4, then turn the oven down to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3 for 2hr until the dough crust is hard. During baking, drain the juices from the baking tin every 30min – these will be too salty to add to the gravy stock, so don’t be tempted. 8 Make gravy by adding wine, redcurrant jelly and mint sauce to the stock (from Step 2). Bring slowly to the boil and then simmer for 2hr until reduced and coating the back of a spoon. Season lightly. 9 Remove the lamb from the oven and rest for 30min. Drain additional juices. Place lamb on a sturdy, lat serving dish, garnish with sprigs of parsley and bring to the table. 10 Strike open the crust with a rolling pin (watch out for the hot steam) before slicing the lamb. Remind guests not to eat the dough!

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GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

SWEET POTATO AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH WEDGES Enjoy these delicious melt-in-the-mouth roasties made with a gentle blend of seasonal spices. Serves 10 2tbsp coriander seeds 1tbsp fennel seeds 1tbsp ground cumin 3 butternut squash, sliced into wedges 3 sweet potatoes, sliced into wedges 5tbsp olive oil 1 bunch dill, stalks removed 1 Preheat the oven to 225°C/Fan

205°C/Gas 7 2 Toast coriander and fennel seeds in a dry pan until golden. Stir in the cumin and then cool. Grind the spice mix in a pestle and mortar. 3 Toss butternut and sweet potato wedges in the oil, then rub with the ground spice mix. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 30-40min until the outsides are slightly crusted and the inside tender. 4 Serve with an additional drizzle of olive oil and scatter with dill.

SPROUT GRATIN Create a spin on this traditional Christmas side vegetable with a dash of cream, sprinkle of cheese and a little chilli heat. Serves 10 4tbsp butter 1kg Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed Scant pinch chilli flakes 350g double cream 175g parmesan cheese 175g Gruyère cheese 175g brown breadcrumbs Freshly ground pepper 1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.

Grease a gratin dish with some of the butter. 2 Boil or steam the Brussels sprouts until just under tender, approx 8min. Drain and half (or quarter if large). Toss with the chill lakes. 3 Spread the sprouts into the gratin dish. Pour the double cream on top, cover with the parmesan and Gruyère cheese. Top with the breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining butter. 4 Bake for about 15min until golden.

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Brussels sprout gratin Âť

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GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD

ROASTED BEETROOT A colourful addition to the Christmas table, this roasted dish adds a zesty sweetness to the menu. Serves 10 10 small whole uncooked beetroot 4tbsp extra virgin oil 2tsp sumac 2 sprigs fresh thyme Grated zest of 1 lime Ground black pepper Sea salt Bunch of parsley, chopped

PEARL BARLEY, RAISIN AND ORANGE RISOTTO This side dish looks great and the pearl barley, with its fruity orange notes, is a flavour-packed alternative to have instead of a traditional bread-based stuffing. Serves 10 2 large onions, chopped

the 2 zested oranges

3 sticks celery, chopped

400g pearl barley

4 cloves garlic, crushed

500ml red wine

1 large leek, chopped

500ml fresh orange juice

3tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Zest of 2 large oranges

Bunch of parsley, chopped

100g raisins, soaked for

Bunch of dill, chopped

2hr in the juice of 1 Sweat down the onions, celery, garlic and

leeks in the olive oil until soft, then add the orange zest and soaked raisins and stir well. Add the pearl barley and stir until well mixed. 2 Pour in the wine and orange juice, bring to boil. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed but the barley has a bite. 3 Season, then stir through the chopped parsley. 4 To serve, pile high in a glass dish and garnish generously with the chopped dill.

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180°C/Gas 6. 2 Wearing thin rubber gloves, wash beetroot in cold water and dry with kitchen paper. Cut away leaves, leaving about 2.5cm of the stalks. 3 Put the beetroot into a large roasting tin and sprinkle with the olive oil, sumac, lime zest, pepper and sea salt. Roll everything about in the tin to ensure the beetroot are well seasoned. Add the thyme sprigs and roast in the oven for 50 min to 1hr. 4 Serve in a cake stand-style dish, with the chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.

FEATURE SARA BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS DAN DUCHARS RECIPES LAZY SUNDAY; FOOD STYLING LAZY SUNDAY; SARA BIRD ART DIRECTION SARA BIRD VENUE THE BYRE AT INCHYRA FLOWERS MYRTLE & BRACKEN

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Fan


CHOSEN BY US FOR YOU Forgo the traditional wreath and add a subtle nod to the festivities with a Farringdon star, £18

For an elegant yet homely scheme, stick to a palette of gold, silver and white

ENJOY 20% OFF AT

Garden Trading GET YOUR HOME DECKED OUT FOR CHRISTMAS WITH 20% OFF AT GARDEN TRADING FOR EVERY READER

D

uring this special time of year, we all want our homes to look extra cosy and inviting, ready to welcome visiting friends and family. That’s why we’re offering all Country Homes & Interiors readers an exclusive 20% off at Garden Trading, so whether you’re after a complete home decor makeover, or are just in the market for a few festive knick-knacks, now’s the time to start getting your home ready for a Christmas to remember. If you’re hosting lunch this year, browse Garden Trading’s new kitchen collection,

inspired by London’s finest food halls. Plus, be sure to check out the range of storage essentials perfect for getting your bootroom in order ready for the inevitable onslaught of wellies, muddy paws and wet coats that winter brings. And for those finishing touches, there’s plenty of stunning indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as seasonal decorations and gift ideas to choose from. r HOW TO CLAIM To receive 20% off your next order, head to gardentrading.co.uk and enter code CHI20 at the checkout.

TERMS & CONDITIONS Offer expires at midnight on 31 December 2018. Only one promotional code can be used per order. This offer can only be redeemed once per customer. The discount code is not applicable on delivery, sale or clearance items.

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C O U N T R Y H O M E S & I N T E R I O R S PA R T N E R S H I P

Fill your home with art DISCOVERING ORIGINAL FASHION-INSPIRED ARTWORKS AND LIMITED EDITION PRINTS IS NOW EASY, THANKS TO THE NEW RUNWAY GALLERY

T

he art world is continually evolving so it’s no surprise more of us are browsing and buying art online. With this in mind, we’ve just discovered Runway Gallery, a new online art platform showcasing pieces from14 internationally celebrated contemporary artists. Created by artist SYRETT, you’ll ind works by Louise Dear, Dara Vandoor, Astrid Vos, Bruce Atherton, SYRETT and more. Each of these artists fuses fashion with art – a characteristic of the new XIII Untitled art movement. SYRETT has also launched a monthly supper club to give potential buyers the chance to meet XIII Untitled artists. Each Soho Salon Supper Club will celebrate new work with an artist’s talk, a short, life-drawing session, plus a cocktail and three-course dinner at the new Scarlett Green restaurant in Soho, London. It’s a fun way to meet artists, ind out about their work and keep abreast of the art scene.

ARTIST PROFILE: LOUISE DEAR

‘I WANT MY ART TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD’ With commissions from celebrities such as Sir Elton John and Rick Stein, artist Louise Dear’s work hangs in homes, restaurants and galleries around the world. Tell us about your work…I began my career as a sculptor before moving on to painting and now create multi-layered works on aluminium panels. I start by sanding them, then I sprinkle on water and throw paint at it in

The Love Affair by Louise Dear (mixed media on aluminium)

vibrant, clashing colours. I love how the materials evolve on their own. I also use metallic paint, glitter and sequined shapes. For the next stage, I measure, rule and mask the panels, then rub in oil pigments and gilt creams, creating stripes to order and deine the chaos. I then overlay ine lines of 24-carat gold leaf – they’re so ine they’re barely noticeable until set alight by a shard of sunlight. Finally, I’ll project an image onto the panel and render it in enamels, applied with a brush.

What are you working on now? I’m working with Victoria Plum Bathrooms to create a bespoke Louise Dear Collection of baths, basins and shower screens. I also work with Daisy Green Collection and have just created a series of works for the Scarlett Green Soho restaurant, and more are planned.

How do people react to your art? Happily, people love them. My biggest collectors have up to 18 pieces in their homes.

You can view work by XIII Untitled at runway-gallery.com and book Soho Salon Supper Club tickets, £45 each, at designmynight.com.

Any advice for people who want to buy art for their homes? Buy from the heart. You’ll be looking at it every day so choose something you love.


C O U N T RY K I T C H E N F O C U S

BEAUTIFULLY BLENDED OPULENT YET AIRY, PATTERNED YET UNCLUTTERED, SALLY JONES’ KITCHEN CARRIES OFF A CLEVER BALANCING ACT TO GORGEOUS EFFECT

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PROJECT PROFILE Owners Sally Jones and Matthew Harrison, who live here with their teenage daughter Isabella, and their golden retriever, Rosie.

House A four-bed detached house, plus one-bedroom annexe used for airbnb, in Gloucestershire.

Project An old bungalow was knocked down and replaced

with a timber-framed property, mounted in Cotswold stone, including a newly-made kitchen.

Kitchen size 6.5x5m Designer Zoe Tee, at Parlour Farm

Cabinetry Bespoke Shakerstyle kitchen with outer units painted in Farrow & Ball’s Blackened and island painted in Farrow & Ball’s Plummet.

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Sally loves the clear sight lines through the kitchen to the garden room beyond.

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The elegant dresser is full of glassware. ‘As you open the understated doors, you are presented with a wonderful array of wine and champagne glasses, tumblers and highball glasses,’ says Sally.

CH&I

LOVES Neatly stationed wooden trays make great use of a narrow space. ‘We had them in our previous kitchen,’ says Sally. ‘With their leather handles, they slide out easily.’

Having built their home entirely from

scratch a couple of years ago, just outside the village of Poulton in Gloucestershire, Sally Jones and iancé Matthew Harrison had a beautiful blank canvas to work from for their kitchen project. Where once a dilapidated bungalow stood among brambles, an elegant four-bed home now took its place, with plenty of space for the couple and their teenage daughter Isabella. In the kitchen, they had created a wellproportioned cooking area, opening out to a comfortable garden room, which overlooks woodland and ields specked with woodpeckers and grazing deer. ‘Grazing our roses more often than not!’ laughs Sally. ‘But they’re lovely to watch.’ The couple, who both manage the family business, CIA Fire and Security, in nearby Cirencester, wanted to bring character and ornate touches to the crisp lines of their newly built home. In Parlour Farm, which not only makes bespoke kitchens but also sells antique and vintage furnishings from its showroom, they found a sympathetic designer to help realise their vision.

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Castile heavy tumbled limestone flooring, £54sq m, Beswick Stone.

But agreeing the detail wasn’t always easy. ‘Matthew and I have very different tastes,’ explains Sally. ‘I love light, pastel shades and a French-country style, while Matthew is one for richness. Finding a happy medium was a challenge – but a fun one.’ The pair found compromise by marrying soft grey Farrow & Ball shades on cabinetry, windows and doors, with the more opulent touches of darker wall paints, wallpaper and quirky furnishings. ‘By starting with light, safe colours that capture the natural light, we were able to indulge in bolder items, such as golden handles and Matthew’s goat-hide bench seating,’ says Sally. ‘Using lowers and mirrors helps to add calm.’ And calm is good for the busiest room in the house. ‘It’s where we’re to be found both irst thing in the morning, having taken the dog for a walk, and last thing at night,’ says Sally. ‘The joyous weekly juggling act of preparing for dog walks, work, school and sporting activities always plays out here. Yet the room remains spacious and welcoming. I think we have got the balance just right.’

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C O U N T RY K I T C H E N F O C U S

‘We chose traditional wooden cabinetry to add warmth,’ says Sally. ‘This was then spruced up with brass door knobs.’

Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors flood the open-plan space with light, and enable the family to enjoy the view.

Next to the Belfast sink is an inconspicuous dishwasher, comprising two ‘dish drawers’.

Goat-hide bench seating by Parlane in Cirencester, with the table set for breakfast with crockery from Biggie Best.

‘There are three separate cutlery drawers around the room – extravagant perhaps, but a perfectionist’s dream!’ Country Homes & Interiors

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design solutions TO INSPIRE YOU

2

LIMESTONE FLOORING

The right looring can give a timeworn charm in an instant. Sally and Matthew chose a limestone tile from Beswick Stone, with a tumbled edge reminiscent of old lagstones. ‘We fell in love with the beautiful stone loor the moment we saw it,’ says Sally.

OV E R M A N T E L

CABINETRY

In a traditional farmhouse kitchen, a chimney breast or stove provides a focal point for the room. With no such structural feature, the couple decided to ‘dress’ their range with an elegant over mantel, made bespoke by Parlour Farm.

3

Bespoke Shaker-style kitchen, £19,900, Parlour Farm, painted in Blackened estate eggshell; and Plummett estate eggshell, both £60 for 2.5L Farrow & Ball.

SURFACES

COFFEE MACHINE

‘The coffee machine is an absolute treat,’ says Sally, referring to the nifty gadget that sits above the built-in microwave and takes all the effort out of a morning caffeine boost. But this sleek-looking feature brings something more to the kitchen: welcoming aromas that help a busy room feel more relaxing. ‘It may be quite noisy to operate, but I just love listening to the beans being turned into a powder – and the smell is divine. It makes delicious hot chocolates, too.’

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Blanco Zeus Silestone polished worktops, £720sq m, Granite Planet. Genesi Bianco brick tile splashback, £39sq m, Beswick Stone. Walls painted in Inchyra Blue estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Skirting, windows and doors painted in Manor House Grey estate eggshell, £60 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. Castile heavy tumbled limestone flooring, £54sq m, Beswick Stone.

APPLIANCES

Range cooker, £2,359; Linea pyrolytic multifunction Maxi Plus oven, £832; Built-in fridge, £690; Classic coffee machine in stainless steel/dark glass, £1,508; Linea built-in microwave oven, £409, all Smeg. Canopy extractor hood in Metallic Silver, £190, Neff. Integrated double dishdrawer, £734, Fisher & Paykel.

SINKS & TAPS

3-in-1 hot water tap, £611; Single filter starter kit, £183, both Hafele. Icerock undermount, £202; Grohe K7 professional sink mixer, £672, both Sterling. Single Belfast sink, £250, Shaws.

ACCESSORIES

Eglo Gillingham crystal ceiling pendant, £92.40, Ocean Lighting. Rattan island seats, £99 each, Oka. Wooden bench table with goat-hide bench seating, £1,245 Parlane. Crockery, all Biggie Best.

FEATURE SOPHIE GALE PHOTOGRAPHS MAPLE.PHOTO

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The details


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‘CHRISTMAS IS ME RELIVING MY CHILDHOOD, AND MY ILLUSTRATIONS REFLECT THAT’ Card and Adent calendar designer, Saly Swanel y mother always made Christmas so magical,’ says illustrator Sally Swannell. ‘My childhood was full of fantastic family Christmases. My mum was always cooking or making something, and memories of it make me glow. I love to create Advent calendars – I always made them as a child, then I started making them for my son after he was born, and I even still make one for myself every year. For me, Christmas is all about reliving my childhood!’ Sally spent a lot of her youth drawing, painting and crafting, and at school she spent as much time as she could in the art room. Later, she left home for art college in Bournemouth where she studied Natural History Illustration. ‘It piqued my interest because of the flora and fauna element,’ she says. ‘It was a fantastic course.’ But once Sally left college, she found it difficult to find work as a full-time illustrator as, at the time, most companies were using freelance illustrators rather than hiring permanent members of staff. So for a while Sally’s ambitions to become a professional illustrator were put on hold, and instead,

‘M

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she made the decision to move to London where she worked as a media buyer and planner in radio and magazines. Then, after becoming pregnant with her son Toby, now 21, she left her job behind and returned to her native county of Wiltshire. ‘It was the natural thing for me to do as it was where my parents were,’ she says. While Toby was napping, Sally started to make portraits and small pieces of work, and once Toby started school, she decided to try and take on more illustration work. In 2002 she sent one of her designs to Phoenix Trading, which they liked, so Sally started doing more work for them, including lots of Christmas designs. From here, her popularity grew as she became known for her whimsical, often country-inspired designs, with a Christmas house design that she created in 2005 being her bestseller. Sally eventually decided to start her own business in 2010 as she wanted more creative freedom. ‘It was an exciting prospect,’ she says. ‘I could work in different directions.’ She took some samples of cards, tablemats and canvases to the Spring Fair at the

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Sally working on her latest designs in her home studio. Country Homes & Interiors

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What I loe most about the business... ‘I LOVE BEING ABLE TO CREATE IMAGES THAT MAY PUT A SMILE ON SOMEONE’S FACE, PARTICULARLY WHEN DESIGNING FOR CHRISTMAS, WHICH IS MY FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR’

NEC. ‘It all spiralled from there,’ she says. When she went to the Harrogate Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival the following July, things really took off. ‘I realised that was my show,’ she says. ‘It was amazing. I took 35 orders, and for me, at that time, that was fantastic. I came home reeling. I did the Harrogate show five years in a row after that.’ Sally then enlisted the help of Cathy Conway who supports small independent greeting card and gift companies, assisting in building their customer base. ‘Cathy had seen my cards in an outlet and loved them, so she tracked me down and was invaluable for increasing my trade accounts.’ Sally also continued to exhibit at shows such as the Spirit of Christmas Fair, the

Sally wrapping a present with her Christmas wrapping paper.

Mary Howard Christmas Fair, Country Homes & Interiors Christmas and Top Drawer. ‘At one point, I was selling into 150 outlets, mainly small independents. It was fantastic in terms of sales, but managing the production and print runs was a challenge,’ she says. ‘I also got involved with the RHS and designed Christmas cards for them two years running in 2014 and 2015.’ As a result of the business’s growth, Sally started to find she had less and less time at the drawing board and was struggling to keep releasing new designs at the beginning of the season each January. Thankfully, she was soon approached by Wrendale Designs, who took over managing the trade side, so Sally could focus on the creative. ‘My creativity keeps me enthusiastic,’ she says. ‘I did really love meeting customers at trade shows but the production, warehousing and stock control had become a full-time job. I do still handle the retail side of the business, but thanks to Wrendale Designs’ involvement, I can now produce a much higher quantity of designs.’ Working for herself had the added benefit that she was at home with Toby while he was growing up, too. ‘I was able to work at 3am if I wanted to. I also had the freedom to have animals at home,’ she says. ‘It’s a better quality of life – it’s stressful sometimes, but worth it. You grow as a person when you run your own business – you have to learn to turn your hand to anything and you have freedom in every area. You do have to be disciplined to be at your desk first thing in the morning, but, if you love what you do, it just happens.’ Sally gets a lot of her inspiration from the surrounding countryside, and brings her ideas to life in her home studio in a converted garage. ‘I can go in there, shut the door and start working,’ she says. ‘I love autumn and winter, but the Christmas period itself is definitely my favourite time of year – it is so important for me.’ Sally Swannell sallyswannell.co.uk.

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M Y C O U N T RY B U S I N E S S A collection including Sally’s designs.

Delivering a box of her artwork, ready to be sold.

Inside The Inner Yard, one of Sally’s stockists and a favourite local independent.

Sally uses Farrow & Ball tester pots to paint her designs.

Sally’s Christmas cards on her mantelpiece.

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@ ON OUR D O O R S T E P. . . Visit… ‘With its wetland and woodland, Jones’s Mill Nature Reserve (wiltshirewildlife.org) near Pewsey, is beautiful and always changing, and is bounded by the Kennet and Avon Canal. I also have many fond memories of taking my son down there when he was little.’ Shop at...‘The Inner Yard (01380 848692, theinneryard.co.uk), Lydeway, Devizes, has a great mix of interiors, antiques, gifts and ethically-minded products. It’s a lovely environment and brilliant for buying presents, and many of my finds for the house have come from there.’

Go for a meal at... ‘The Seven Stars Inn (01672 851325, thesevenstarsinn. co.uk), in Bottlesford, near Pewsey. It’s an old thatched country pub with great food and a cosy atmosphere; you always receive a lovely welcome and dogs are allowed, too.’

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Sally finds inspiration on her country walks with her dog, Tessa.


M Y C O U N T RY B U S I N E S S

Smal business advice

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CUSTOMER BASE Follow our guide to supporting existing clients while inding new ones

‘A customer base is the lifeblood of your business – without it, your business is just a hobby,’ says Cathy Conway, co-founder of Beautiful British Designs with Janet O’Brien. Together they help British designers to expand their customer base and independent retail outlets to find the best British designers. Here are some of Cathy’s tips for maintaining and increasing your customer base…

FEATURE VIVIENNE AYERS PHOTOGRAPHS ALUN CALLENDER

Know what you want from your business and adapt as it grows. ‘First of all, work out what you want to achieve. Is success being a big name or do you just want to be able to pay the mortgage? If you want to remain a one-man band, you may need to turn away business. If you want to grow bigger, you will need to produce more products and bring other people on board. You can only do so much yourself.’ Get to know your customers well. ‘If you’re researching your retail customers, go to small shows and meet them. Test out new products on them and gauge their reactions before you take products to the wholesale side.’ Stand out from your competitors. ‘It’s all about relationships. People tend

to buy from companies they’re more comfortable with, and companies tend to buy from sellers they know rather than those they don’t. So keep the channels of communication open to help you stand out, as there are so many incredibly talented makers. Shops are spoilt for choice as regards to suppliers, so be reliable and if you can’t supply something, be honest with them.’ Don’t take your stockists for granted. ‘Your stockists support you so give them as much support in return as you can. Use social media to give them a mention.’ Generate new leads. ‘As regards to wholesale, keep records of anyone who shows an interest in stocking your products. Become a collector of business cards and turn them into a database. Then keep in touch with contacts and follow up. You may meet people at trade shows, or you can do research online or pop into shops locally and get to know them. It won’t necessarily be instantaneous – you may chat to a shop owner for five years before they buy from you. It’s all about keeping in touch and keeping the channels open. Don’t just contact the shop once – you need to be visible to them – email them a newsletter, send

them a brochure or include them on social media. Break down contacting new businesses into bite-sized chunks – perhaps contacting five a day or five a week, whatever you can easily manage.’ Network as much as you can. ‘Networking happens everywhere. My business partner Janet and I attend networking groups for support and find local networking groups good, too. You never know who people might know. If people ask what you do, give them an elevator pitch – tell them what you do without boring them. If people want to know more, they’ll ask. Also, find out where the businesses that you want to network with are due to be – they may be at upcoming trade shows. You can network anywhere.’ Use social media wisely. ‘Social media is really important. But as a small business you can’t do everything, so pick the platform you or your customers use the most. It’s better to use one or two well rather than lots poorly. But above all, follow up, follow up, follow up. Shop owners are small business owners, too, so remember they’re just as busy as you are!’ Beautiful British Designs 01373 461219 beautifulbritishdesigns.com.

The one lesson I hae learnt...

‘TO BE VERSATILE WHILE STAYING TRUE TO MY INSTINCTS – BUSINESS AND THE MARKETPLACE ARE EVER EVOLVING, I DON’T THINK I WILL EVER STOP LEARNING HOW TO NAVIGATE THAT’ Country Homes & Interiors

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Shoping DIRECTORY YOU’LL FIND ALL THE COMPANIES IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE HERE

&HOBBS 01483 205341 andhobbs.com ABAHNA 01328 442004 abahna.co.uk ABIGAIL EDWARDS 07946 455277 abigailedwards.com AGA 0800 111 6477 agaliving.com ALEXANDER JAMES INTERIOR DESIGN 0118 932 0828 aji.co.uk ALSO HOME 01483 608611 alsohome.com ALTER LONDON 020 8961 1003 alterlondon.com AMAZON amazon.co.uk ANDREW MARTIN 020 7225 5100 andrewmartin.co.uk ANGELA REED 01799 520056 angelareed.co.uk ANNABEL JAMES 0345 548 0210 annabeljames.co.uk ANNIE SLOAN 01865 803168 anniesloan.com ANTHROPOLOGIE 0800 0026 8476 anthropologie.com ARLO & JACOB 0333 222 1643 arloandjacob.com ATKIN & THYME 0203 768 7775 atkinandthyme.co.uk AYERS & GRACES 01582 536760 ayersandgraces.com

A

B&Q 0333 014 3098 diy.com BALSAM HILL 01234 227155 balsamhill.co.uk BAMFORD 01608 731713 bamford.co.uk BARKER AND STONEHOUSE 0333 920 1119 barkerandstonehouse.co.uk BATHSTORE 0800 023 2323 bathstore.com BAYFIELD HALL 01263 715538 bayfieldhallantiques.com BED KINGDOM 01924 950108 bedkingdom.co.uk BESWICK STONE 01285 885795 beswickstone.co.uk BETTYS 0800 456 1919 bettys.co.uk BIGGIE BEST 01491 571488 biggiebest.com BISCUITEERS 0870 458 8358 biscuiteers.com BLANC CERISE 0033 970 808 255 blanc-cerise.com BLANK INSIDE 07730 617264 blankinsidedesign.co.uk BLINDS2GO 0800 862 0464 blinds-2go.co.uk BLOOM & WILD 020 7352 9499 bloomandwild.com BODEN 0330 333 0000 boden.co.uk BOXWILD 01252 820495 boxwild.com

coldatnight.co.uk FIGGY'S 01392 459488 figgys.co.uk FIRED EARTH 01295 814396 firedearth.com FISHER & PAYKEL 0800 088 6605 fisherpaykel.co.uk FORME 01962 842320 formeonline.co.uk FORTNUM & MASON 020 7734 8040 fortnumandmason.com FOX LINTON 020 7368 7700 foxlinton.com FRENCH CONNECTION HOME 0333 400 3285 frenchconnection.com FUTON COMPANY 0845 609 4455 futoncompany.co.uk

64

GARDEN TRADING 01993 845559 gardentrading.co.uk GRAND ILLUSIONS 01747 858300 grandillusions.co.uk GRANITE PLANET 01386 840868 graniteplanet.co.uk

G

B

CAMBRIDGE IMPRINT 07732 131135 cambridgeimprint.co.uk CASSIA BARDOE DESIGN 07775522377 cassiabardoedesign.com CATH KIDSTON cathkidston.com CATHY HILTON ARTISAN 07885 432258 cathyhiltonartisan.co.uk

C

160

Country Homes & Interiors

HAFELE 0800 171 2909 hafele.co.uk HAMPTON COURT INTERIORS 0208 941 4521 hamptoncourtinteriors.com HANALEY INTERIORS 01792 363564 hanaleyinteriors.co.uk HARLEQUIN 020 3457 5862 stylelibrary.com/harlequin HARVEY JONES 0800 389 6938 harveyjones.com HEATHCOTE & IVORY 020 7483 8383 heathcote-ivory.com HEATHFIELD & CO 01732 350450 heathfield.co.uk HELEN MOORE 01884 860900 helenmoore.com HOBBYCRAFT 0330 026 1400 hobbycraft.co.uk HOME BARN 01628 474011 homebarnshop.co.uk HONEYWELL BAKES 01858 571237 honeywellbakes.com HOUSEOLOGY 0330 363 0330 houseology.com HUBSCH 0045 8891 7900 hubsch-interior.com

H

CELTIC & CO 0844 557 8877 celticandco.com CHARNWOOD 01983 537777 charnwood.com CHELSOM 01253 831400 chelsom.co.uk CHIMINEA SHOP 01494 532165 chimineashop.co.uk CLARENCE COURT 01579 345718 clarencecourt.co.uk CLARISSA HULSE 020 7226 7055 clarissahulse.com CLOSET & BOTTS 01273 945398 closetandbotts.com CLOUDS & CURRENTS 01376 617180 cloudsandcurrents.com COX & COX 0330 333 2123 coxandcox.co.uk CRABTREE & EVELYN 0800 111 4406 crabtree-evelyn.co.uk CRAIG & ROSE 01383 740010 craigandrose.com CREATIVE TOPS 01536 207710 creative-tops.com CUCKOOLAND 01305 231231 cuckooland.com CULT FURNITURE 020 8185 6960 cultfurniture.com CURIOUS EGG 01738 621111 curiousegg.com DAR LIGHTING 01295 672200 darlighting.co.uk DAYLESFORD 01608 731700 daylesford.com

D

DE GOURNAY 020 7352 9988 degournay.com DECOFLORA 01900 872046 silkflowersdecoflora.co.uk DEPT.STORE FOR THE MIND deptstoreforthemind.com DESIGN VINTAGE 01243 573852 designvintage.co.uk DEVOL 020 38375 900 devolkitchens.co.uk DFS 0808 271 6297 dfs.co.uk DITSY PET 0115 958 1154 ditsypet.co.uk DOBBIES GARDEN CENTRES 0131 561 6406 dobbies.com DULUX 0333 222 7171 dulux.co.uk EASTBURN COUNTRY FURNITURE 01535 656297 eastburncountryfurniture.co.uk EBAY ebay.co.uk EDENMILL edenmill.com EICHHOLTZ eichholtz.com ELLA JAMES 01572 759190 ellajames.co.uk EMMA BRIDGEWATER 01782 407733 emmabridgewater.co.uk ETSY etsy.com

E

FARROW & BALL 01202 876141 farrow-ball.com FEATHER & BLACK 01243 380600 featherandblack.com FEUERHAND feuerhand.de FFOREST 01239 623633

F

I AM NAT 01904 671944 iamnat.co.uk IKEA 020 3645 0000 ikea.co.uk INCHYRA 01738 860066 inchyradesigns.co.uk INDIA JANE 0208 799 7152 indiajane.co.uk IZZI RAINEY izzirainey.com

I

JIM LAWRENCE 01473 826685 jim-lawrence.co.uk JO MALONE 0800 054 2939 jomalone.co.uk JOHN LEWIS 0345 604 9049 johnlewis.com JOULES 0345 250 7160 joules.com JULIAN BOWEN 01623 727374 julian-bowen.co.uk JULIAN CHICHESTER 020 7622 2928 julianchichester.com

J


KALINKO kalinko.com KATHARINE POOLEY 020 7584 3223 katharinepooley.com KATIE LEAMON 07539 050330 katieleamon.com KIRKBY DESIGN 01623 756699 kirkbydesign.com

K

LAKELAND 015394 88100 lakeland.co.uk LAURA ASHLEY 0333 200 8009 lauraashley.com LE PETIT JARDIN 01892 541152 le-petit-jardin.com LG 0844 847 5454 lg.com LIFESTYLE FLOORS 01675 433 519 lifestyle-ï¬&#x201A;oors.co.uk LIGHTS4FUN 01423 816040 lights4fun.co.uk LOAF 0845 468 0698 loaf.com LOLLYROCKET CANDLE CO 01536 523301 lollyrocket.com LOMBOK 020 7736 5171 lombok.co.uk LSA INTERNATIONAL 01932 789721 lsa-international.com

L

MAGNET 01325 744094 magnet.co.uk MAHABIS mahabis.com MAISON & OBJET maison-objet.com MAISONS DU MONDE 0808 234 2172 maisonsdumonde.com MARKS & SPENCER 0333 014 8000 marksandspencer.com MAX MADE ME DO IT maxmademedoit.com MAXWELL & WILLIAMS 020 8200 5100 maxwellandwilliams.co.uk MICHAEL NORTHCROFT 020 8558 6919 michaelnorthcroft.com MORRIS & CO 020 3457 5862 stylelibrary.com/morris&co MUNGO & MAUD 020 7022 1207 mungoandmaud.com MUTTS & HOUNDS 01249 782281 muttsandhounds.co.uk MY VISIBLE OBJECT 01865 600926 myvisibleobject.com MYRTLE & BRACKEN 07854 663 121 myrtleandbracken.com

M

NANCY & BETTY STUDIO 01227 714766 nancyandbetty.com NATIONAL TRUST 0344 800 1895 nationaltrust.org.uk NATIONAL TRUST SHOP 0300 123 2025 shop.nationaltrust.org.uk NATURAL BED COMPANY 0114 272 1984 naturalbedcompany.co.uk NEALS YARD REMEDIES 0845 262 3145 nealsyardremedies.com NEFF 0344 892 8989 neff.co.uk NEPTUNE 01793 427300 neptune.com NKUKU 0333 240 0155 nkuku.com NORDAL nordal.eu NORDIC EDIT 07734 878650 thenordicedit.com NORDIC HOUSE 0845 475 1610 nordichouse.co.uk NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM 020 3318 5115 NOTRUNOFTHEMILL.COM 01884 855419

N

OAK FURNITURELAND 0800 440 2254 oakfurnitureland.co.uk OCEAN LIGHTING 01642 044157 oceanlighting.co.uk OCHRE 020 7096 7372 ochre.net OGGETTO 01305 881010 oggetto.com OKA 0333 004 2042 oka.com

O

82 OLIVER BONAS 020 8974 0110 oliverbonas.com ORIGINAL BTC 01993 882251 originalbtc.com PACKHOUSE 01252 781010 packhouse.com PAINT & PAPER LIBRARY 0845 880 5844 paintandpaperlibrary.com PANAZ 01282 696969 panaz.com PAPIER 01799 252269 papier.com PARLANE 01451 812700 parlaneinternational.co.uk PARLOUR FARM 01285 885336 parlourfarm.com PETERSHAM NURSERIES 020 8940 5230 petershamnurseries.com PHILIPS 020 7949 0240 philips.co.uk PIPPA & CO pippaand company.co.uk POMAX international.pomax.com POMPOM BLOSSOM 07816 494111 pompomblossom.com PONDEN HOME 01925 856 833 pondenhome.co.uk PRISM OF STARLINGS prism-of-starlings.myshopify.com

P

RAE FEATHER 01280 848277 raefeather.com REX LONDON 020 8746 2473 rexlondon.com ROBERTS PIANOS 01865 240 634 robertspianos.com ROCKETT ST GEORGE 01444 253391 rockettstgeorge.co.uk ROMO 01623 756699 romo.com ROOM 356 07985 634529 room356.co.uk ROWEN & WREN 01276 451077 rowenandwren.co.uk ROYAL STAFFORD 01782 525419 royalstafford.co.uk RSPB 0345 034 7733 shopping. rspb.org.uk RV ASTLEY 01922 744000 rvastley.com

R

SAINSBURY'S HOME 0800 636262 sainsburyshome.co.uk SALLY SWANNELL 07966 553575 sallyswannell.co.uk SANDBERG WALLPAPER 0046 321 531 660 sandbergwallpaper.com SANDERSON 020 3457 5862 stylelibrary.com/sanderson SARA MILLER saramiller.london SARAH HARDAKER 07975 982885 sarahhardaker.co.uk SHABBY STORE 01509 323102 shabbystore.co.uk SHAWS OF DARWEN 01254 775111 shawsofdarwen.com SHEARER CANDLES 0141 445 1066 shearer-candles.com SIMS HILDITCH 01249 783087 simshilditch.com SIPSMITH 020 8741 2034 sipsmith.com SKANDIUM 020 7823 8874 skandium.com SMEG 0844 557 9907 smeguk.com SOAK 0333 004 6333 soak.com SOFA.COM 0345 400 2222 sofa.com SOFT & YOGA 0033 648 414 300 soft-et-yoga.com SOMEDAY DESIGNS 020 8305 7265 somedaydesigns.co.uk SOPHIE ALLPORT 01778 560256 sophieallport.com STERLING 01684 299555 sterlingdistribution.co.uk SWEETPEA & WILLOW 0345 257 2627 sweetpeaandwillow.com SWISSCAVE 0041 445 520 108 swisscave.co.uk SWIVEL UK 020 7100 7454 swiveluk.com SWOON 020 3319 6332 swooneditions.com

S

T&G WOODWARE 01275 841841 tg-woodware.com TALKING TABLES 020 7627 6767 talkingtables.co.uk

T

TESCO 0800 505 555 tesco.com THE CONTEMPORARY HOME 0845 130 8229 tch.net THE COTSWOLD COMPANY 0333 200 1725 cotswoldco.com THE FARTHING 0844 567 2400 thefarthing.co.uk THE FOREST & CO 01803 840748 theforestandco.com THE HANDMADE CHRISTMAS CO handmadechristmasco.com THE HANDMADE CRACKER COMPANY thehandmade crackercompany.co.uk THE LIGHTING COMPANY 01643 707505 lightingcompany.co.uk THE LOUNGING HOUND 07808 778 020 thelounginghound.com THE PAINTED FURNITURE COMPANY 01285 656 041 paintedfurnitureco.co.uk THE URBAN BOTANIST 0800 783 3375 theurbanbotanist.co.uk THE WHITE COMPANY 020 3758 9222 thewhitecompany.com THOMAS FORD & SONS 01483 211337 thomasfordandsons.com THORNBACK & PEEL 020 7831 2878 thornbackandpeel.co.uk TOPPS TILES 0800 783 6262 toppstiles.co.uk TROUVA 020 7193 6444 trouva.com TURTLE MAT 0345 600 3478 turtlemat.co.uk URBAN COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 020 7193 2119 urbancottageindustries.com

U

VICTORIAN PLUMBING 0345 862 2878 victorianplumbing.co.uk VISUAL COMFORT & CO visualcomfortlightinglights.com

V

WATTLE & DAUB wattleanddaubhome.co.uk WAYFAIR 0800 169 0423 wayfair.co.uk WEARTH LONDON wearthlondon.com WEMYSS 020 7376 4430 wemyssfabrics.com WEST ELM 0800 404 9780 westelm.co.uk WHERE SAINTS GO 0161 368 9638 wheresaintsgo.co.uk WHITE STUFF 020 3752 5360 whitestuff.com WHYCHWOOD DESIGN 01993 851575 whychwood-design.co.uk WILKINSONS 0845 608 0807 wilko.com WILLIS & GAMBIER 01733 318400 willisandgambier.co.uk WINE BY DESIGN 020 7127 4827 winebydesign.co.uk WINESTORAGECOMPANY. CO.UK 01276 905035 WINTERS WORKSHOP 07970 909093 wintersworkshop.co.uk WISTON ESTATE WINERY 01903 877845 wistonestate.com WOODPECKER INTERIORS 0121 288 1897 woodpeckerinteriors.co.uk WRENDALE DESIGNS 01652 680253 wrendaledesigns.co.uk

W

ZOFFANY 020 3457 5862 stylelibrary.com/zoffany ZSL shop.zsl.org

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165

Bathrooms

167

Beds & Bedding

165

Fashion

169

Flooring

164/5

Furniture

165

Garden Furniture

168

Home Improvements

164

Home Accessories

168

Kitchens

166/7

Sofas & Sofabeds

169

Lighting

168

Windows


M A R K E T P L AC E FURNITURE

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M A R K E T P L AC E SOFAS AND SOFA BEDS

               

                  

   

         

      

          

 

    

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M A R K E T P L AC E BEDS & BEDDING

                             

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M A R K E T P L AC E HOME IMPROVEMENTS

KITCHENS

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M A R K E T P L AC E STAIRLIFTS

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M Y F AV O U R I T E V I E W

‘Nine Barrow Down has a mystical, ancient quality’ Ed Baines, chef

can see the valley dropping down in front of you and the stunning undulating hills opposite, with the beautiful white Old Harry Rocks sticking up out of the sea just around the corner. It’s one of the few bays along the South Coast that ironically faces east, so you get amazing sunrises directly through the valley and, on a clear day in winter when the sun’s low in the sky, there’s something very mystical and ancient about it.

The coastal walks are obviously fantastic down there, but it’s also a lovely place to go fishing, too. There’s a little stone jetty in the bay where I used to catch what I called ‘raggleish’ as a kid – a sort of little wrasse. The other thing I love to do around Nine Barrow Down, is to go foraging in the wonderful woodlands.

The atmosphere changes throughout the seasons, but I love walking up there in winter most of all.

I think it’s important for our mental wellbeing to step out of the demanding, synthetic world occasionally and

It’s incredible when there’s a bit of a gale, an amazing storm at sea and the sea winds are blasting in, but at the same time you know that there’s a really good boozer just 20 minutes away. There aren’t any trees up there because the winds are so high, and all the shrubs look a bit like Dr Seuss trees where everything’s at a sort of 45° angle. When you’re up there marching in a storm, it feeds your soul. You feel the power of the ocean as its spray hits the rocks. That’s an experience you’ll only really have in the winter months.

just dial back into Mother Nature. I love going camping, sleeping outside, foraging for some lovely mushrooms, cooking them over an open ire with some olive oil and garlic, and sticking them in a baguette with a bit of salt and pepper… There’s just something very natural and correct about it, like that’s what we’re really supposed to do as humans. And somehow, food always seems to taste better when you eat it outdoors. The countryside provides this amazing balance and sense of peace, because we are all part of Mother Nature and how everything works. Ed Baines is in partnership with Grohe; the new Grohe Red is a kettle hot water tap, which Ed frequently uses in his cooking. grohe.co.uk

Swanage was somewhere we went on family holidays, and I’ve never stopped going. I try to get down there at least once a month, often with my kids in tow. 170

Everyone loves the escape from the rat race of London. It’s only two hours down the road, but you’ll meet people there who say, ‘Oh, I went to London once…’ It’s just a bit different, really.

Country Homes & Interiors

FEATURE THEA BABINGTON-STITT PHOTOGRAPH (MAIN) ALAMY

There’s nowhere better to be in the winter than up on Nine Barrow Down, an elongated hill just up from the Bay of Swanage in the Isle of Purbeck. From there you


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