• Archive for September, 2013

    Downton Abbey kitchens: Get the look in your own home

    by  • September 30, 2013 • Living, Relaxed Spaces • 1 Comment

    Is it wrong that for all the glamour and decadance of the’upstairs’ life at Downton Abbey, it’s the ‘downstairs’ kitchens that fire up my imagination the most? As beautiful as the upstairs rooms are, the kitchens and work area have a subtle, practical, unfussy style that quietly steals the limelight. I’m not so keen on the drudgery and monotony of a servant’s lifestyle mind you, but the practical efficiency of the wooden worktops, hardworking range oven and beautifully polished copper pans are all covetable elements of Downton Abbey style. Here’s how to get the look at home.

    John Lewis kitchen - The Relxed Home shows you how to get the Downton Abbey look in your kitchen

    A central wooden table is the workhorse of the Downton Abbey kitchen. If you’ve got space for one, a table or island unit will instantly give your kitchen a classic feel, especially if it has a sturdy top such as solid wood or marble. It allows you greater room to roam around the kitchen, giving you plenty of space to whip up pastries, cakes and jellies galore for ‘them upstairs’.


    There are so many ‘Downton Abbey’ elements at work here I hardly know where to start…the classic brick wall tiles, open shelves to stor kilner jars, and that wonderful copper lampshade. Having a central worksurface means that the wall units like these can be used for organisation and preparation. The cool marble tops are also perfect for rolling out dough and pastry for all you keen bakers out there.

    John Lewis kitchen - The Relxed Home shows you how to get the Downton Abbey look in your kitchen

    You can’t beat a copper saucepan for looks, practicality and classic charm. In the Downton kitchen you’ll find them lined up in gleaming rows on open shelves above the range cooker. As well as cooking like a dream, they also look fantastic aginst a dark, smoky colour palette like the one above.

    John Lewis kitchen - The Relxed Home shows you how to get the Downton Abbey look in your kitchen

    This spindle back chair and classic dining table could almost be straight out of the servants tea-room at Downton. The copper lampshade and iron kettle teamed with the soft grey colour palette combine to create a warm cosy feel. The perfect spot for a cup of tea and a quick gossip after all that hard work.

    Loved this? See how to get the look of the Great British Bake Off in your own kitchen.

    Images: John Lewis

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    Make an entrance: How to update your front door and hallway

    by  • September 27, 2013 • Organising, Relaxed Spaces • 0 Comments

    As the Americans say, if you’re selling your home it needs to have ‘kerb appeal’. This covers everything from the front lawn, to the paint colour of your windows, to the gleam of your front door. But whether you’re selling or not, spending a bit of time and effort on the entrance to your house can help make it feel warm, inviting and cosy and will put you and your guests in the right frame of mind the second they step through it. These lovely images from Turtlemat are a masterclass in making the right first impression.

    How to update the outside of your house | The Relaxed Home

    Greenery around the front door creates a lovely rustic feel, but keep it in check to ensure it doesn’t swamp the front of your house. Painting the front door a soft sage-green creates a relaxed, country-feel, as does the vintage style iron wall light.

    How to update the outside of your house | The Relaxed Home

    If your door leads straight into a room, such as a kitchen, rather than a hallway, make sure you have a sturdy doormat in place to stop any mud and dirt in its tracks and shake it out regularly to keep it looking spick and span. A dedicated area for stashing shoes and coats is useful if you have the space, even if it’s just a small coathook or storage box.

    How to update the outside of your house | The Relaxed Home

    Don’t neglect the inside either, keep out the winter chill with a thick curtain across the door and keep a selection of large wicker baskets nearby for stowing away any potentially messy items like firewood or muddy boots.

    Images: Turtlemat

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    Vintage-style white cookware for your kitchen

    by  • September 25, 2013 • One Perfect Thing • 1 Comment

    Gold star if you can guess where these professional pots and pans are from. Did you guess BHS? Neither did I, but they are from the gorgeous new Cook & Co collection that has just hit stores. Hence the pocket friendly price tag (from £18 for the frying pan). The whole collection is simple, minimal and has more than a touch of Scandi influence. All good things in my book.

    Image: BHS

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