What interior design trends are predicted for 2018?

Do you like keeping your home up to date with the latest trends? We have a few tips to make sure your home is always in front of the Joneses!

The kitchen is considered the most popular room in your house, after all the best parties always end in here!  This year there are two distinct trends to keep and eye on; one builds upon last years “metallic” themes and the other adds a twist to 2016’s “grey and sleek” theme. If you are redesigning your kitchen this year then I would recommend taking a look at the “delicate pastel” trends that are starting to emerge on pinterest to get a feeling of how to use the new colours.  A good way of saving money but keeping your home bang on trend is to introduce accessories in the new colours, after all not everybody can afford a new kitchen every year!

Another general tip to keep in mind is that gold is in and other metallics are out. Last years silver should be changed to this years gold! And if you have any copper tones then they are starting to make their way towards the garden to embrace coppers natural and raw roots, so make sure you get ready to move them!

This year, your living room should be exactly that a “living” room! Warm colours are known to bring a cosy feel to your home so add a little heartbeat to your house and introduce golds, reds and browns. Add some large cushions in warmer colours, they’re great for entertaining and won’t break the bank.

The humble bathroom is high on the list this year! In fact searches for “bathroom spa” on pinterest have increased by 269%. Could this year be the time to create a well-designed bathroom that mimics a spa? If you want to give it a go try blending large marble features such as marble tile walls and marble basins, to create a stunning bathroom which oozes relief and relaxation.

For inspiration on your interior design make sure you keep up to date with our hints and tips featured on our Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest pages, simply search “Pretty Maison” to find us.

Are your pets safe in your home this Christmas?

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s a time for tinsel & trees, mince pies & puddings, it’s a truly special season and one to be enjoyed by all. To ensure your home has a magical Christmas follow our safety tips to ensure your furry friends have a great time too!

Chocolate, raisins, liquorice and nuts are a definite this time of year in my house but I always make sure they are stored safely, these are just a few foods that are potentially fatal to your pet. It’s always best to avoid feeding human food and feed them food that is formulated just for them, and remember to store their treats in a secure jar so they can’t overeat if they find them! If you do suspect your little Freddie may have been a naughty boy and found the chocolate coins that Santa left, call your vet immediately who will be able to advise the best course of action.

I expect your halls are decked with boughs of Holly, but did you know that Holly is poisonous for dogs and Mistletoe & Poinsettia’s are fatal for cats? I still decorate my home with festive flora but make sure it’s out of reach! There’s some great artificial alternatives on the market now, so if you’re worried and have curious pets (and children!) in your home it may be worth investing.

Another fabulous artificial purchase is the tree! Real Christmas trees are mildly toxic to some animals and oils can be an irritant to eyes and sensitive skin, pine needles may also get stuck in paws so it really is best to avoid. Artificial trees have come on leaps and bounds since I was a kid, you can actually avoid the sparse silver wired versions and opt for a Canadian Spruce! Lights, tinsel and baubles make great toys for puppies but these are obviously chewing hazards so make sure you don’t leave them alone when you are out partying or you may come home to a scene that represents World War II.

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We’re Jamming!

Our 100% Homemade Storage Jars are great for pickling and preserving, not only are they the perfect size they look stylish too! To get you started I have added my favourite Seedless Raspberry Jam recipe (courtesy of Good Food Magazine) below. Not only is this the perfect recipe for first time jammers it tastes super duper too!

Ingredients

  • 1kg raspberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1kg bag jam sugar (the one with pectin added)

Method

  1. Before you start, sterilise your jars and put a plate in the freezer to chill. Tip half the raspberries into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice. Mash the berries to a pulp over the heat with a potato masher, then leave to cook for 5 mins. Tip the cooked berries into a sieve over a bowl, then once all of the juice has drained off, firmly work the pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon until you are left with just the seeds.
  2. Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan and stir in the sugar. Heat gently, then add the remaining whole raspberries. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little jam onto the chilled plate. Now push your finger through itâ it should wrinkle and look like jam. If it doesn’t, boil for 2 mins, then test again.
  3. The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but I find that if you stir it well as it cools, a little of this disappears. Pour into your 100% Homemade Jars and seal. It will keep unopened for a year, although the lovely bright colour will darken a little. Once open, keep in the fridge.

 

 

Get Ready for Harvest!

Apple Picket - Wicker wooden fruit boxFresh Apples Buckets

Well summer is drawing to a close and with autumn just around the corner it will soon be time to pick and store your apples before the first frost. We have some fantastic products to help you with the Tom & Barbara way of life (that’s growing your own and being self sufficient to the younger generation!).

For those out of reach apples at the top of the tree we have a Wicker Apple Picker, simply raise your picker, wiggle and allow the apple to drop and be caught in the waiting basket.

To store your apples we recommend a flat wooden surface with a good deal of ventilation, sort and grade your apples first, any bruised or damaged apples keep to one side for baking. (For the best apple and blackberry pie ever click here http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/blackberry-apple-pie)

All others can be wrapped in paper (ideally waxed paper) and placed gently on a slatted tray (our vegetable store is perfect).  Make sure the apples have a little room around them just in case any of them decide to turn bad and they won’t take the neighbours with them!

Make sure your trays are stored in a cool place, ideally an old fashioned parlour would be best but most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have one these days so an outbuilding works just as well, so long as the humidity is low and the temperature stays around 45 degree centigrade.

Most apples will keep for a few months, to be honest it is a bit of an art, but have fun trying and enjoy eating your apples well into the winter!