Interior Style

Springtime Lime hues in interiors

May is my favourite month of the year – we have the whole Summer ahead, the days are continuing to get longer, my first swim is just around the corner….but loveliest thing is the lush green in all the new growth around the garden, it is so fresh and zingy. And just as it is appearing outside, we can bring it inside too. Rather than paint your walls a lime green colour, a more subtle way of tipping your cap to Spring is to introduce elements of a zingy green in your interior in fabrics, fresh blooms or in artworks. Some inspirational pics below……

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Above we have a shot of lime on the bed linen, a exuding freshness from the velvety rich dark background. I love this image so much. {photo: Debi Treloar}

This image below, from my own house, illustrates how it can just be coming from a few brushstrokes in a landscape.

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The use of lime green in cushions is the simplest way to brighten up a neutral interior – they become the stars of the room…{photograph by Debi Treloar}

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This stunning study of a wild geranium leaf by Grainne Cuffe is one of a set of three etchings. Each one has different tones of fresh greens – creating such an impact when hung together in a room. These and lots more are available through my Home Curation Service. {http://www.niamhmacgowan.com/interior/artSourcing.php}

Lush.

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another example of subtle green in a classic interior in this shot in the dining room in Biddesden in Wiltshire {photo: Farrow & Ball}….

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and finally one of my favourite ceramicists, Judith Rowe, who is now based in Hastings but used have her studio on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham at the same time that I was based in Richmond, I have collected her work ever since, she has a whole series of green & cream pottery featuring quirky elements of nature. {photo: Country Living}

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so bring in Spring however which way……….

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Delicious

Lime Curd

I was wondering what to do with all the limes I had used as display on my stand at the Ideal Home Show last week

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yes the obvious solution was to have a G&T party! but I felt I ought to be a bit more sensible and upon my sister Fiona’s suggestion I decided to make lime curd. It is dee-lish!

Here is the recipe…..

6 limes – juice & rind

1 lemon – juice only

12oz sugar

4 free range eggs

4oz butter – ideally unsalted

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Put on some good tunes.

Finely grate the limes and squeeze out the juice from all the limes and the lemon.

Melt the butter in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water on a low heat.

Add the sugar, juice & rind and beaten eggs and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Continue to stir and cook until the mixture thickens.

Sieve the mixture to remove the rind and pour into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Label and when cool, dollop onto a piece of toast and enjoy with a cup of tea (or a gin & tonic).

Best stored in fridge and it will keep for a couple of weeks.

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I couldn’t resist making little labels!

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Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Coastal Inspiration…..

Yesterday was such a WARM and fairly sunny day and thankfully it was a day I had already planned to take off.

So we seized the opportunity and packed up some chicken sandwiches, lemon drizzle cake and a flask of tea and headed to one of the beaches nearby.

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The name of the beach we went to this time is known as ‘Pennycomequick’.

It’s a bit of a mucky trek but great for collecting flotsam & jetsam – especially oyster shells.

When I am looking for inspiration in an Interior I would often turn to nature for colours and textures. See how this shot I took yesterday has such beautiful warm browns and greys – evoking a calmness.

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Those colours are echoed in this sitting room belonging to Arne Maynard

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and again here

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This shot below of The Jerusalem Tavern in the City of London illustrates how simplicity is achieved in the use of natural materials and the blue-greys and browns that we have just seen in the shot above…

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This final interior shot in a house by Victor Mutton is the epitome of style – achieved through faded comfy linens and cottons complementing the darker colours of the paintings and frames.

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Delicious

Auntie Lizzie’s banana bread

Now I thought I didn’t like banana bread  until I tasted this one! It’s a very handy snack to have in the press – great with a bit of butter on it and a cup of tea. I have even started buying bananas on the turn so that I will find myself having to make some more! – it’s easy and cheap as chips to make and keeps for ages or can be sliced and frozen. Yommers!.

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The recipe

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

6 oz caster sugar

8 oz plain flour

1 tsp bicarb of soda

pinch of salt

2 oz walnuts or almonds, chopped

Handful raisins or sultanas

A few chopped cherries

Mash bananas in a large bowl and gradually work in beaten eggs, sugar, sieved flour, salt and soda. Stir in the nuts, fruit and cherries.

Grease a 2lb (or 2 x 1lb) loaf tin. Place the mixture in the tin(s) and bake for approx. one hour 325oF/170oC.

Enjoy!

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DIY, Floral & Gardens, Interior Style

First Impressions

I have been planning for ages to paint my front door and rid it of the sticky green gloss that it has been since I moved in. It was dark, dank and didn’t make the most of the nice panelling and the style of the door (although in an ideal world it would be a stable door – and don’t think I haven’t considered cutting it in half). Knowing it was a bit of a job I procrastinated with the help of months and months of cold weather.

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However with a pending visit by a photographer this week, I decided it needed to be done pronto!

I have carefully chosen a colour that I know sits well with lush greens of my burgeoning shady woodland garden in the front (more about that in upcoming posts), while the fresh colour also tips its cap to the fact that we are by the sea. It is Celestial Blue by the Little Greene Paint Company  – a lovely heritage paint, very eco friendly and importantly for me, low in sheen.

And here is the result

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A lot more welcoming now don’t you think

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I was very thorough and I removed & replaced my beloved metal postbox….

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and painted my quirky kitchen window too

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bish bash bosh

I am just waiting for my scallop shaped door knocker to go up for that extra bit of seasidey-ness.

postscript

….Annd here it is!

doorKnocker

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Aaand we're back!

Spring is finally managing to poke its head through and after months of different projects – on which I hope to report over the next few weeks – the blog now begins in earnest.

Lifestyle

Aaand we’re back!

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