Recipe | Chorizo, broad beans & peas

June 28, 2016

Recipe | Chorizo, broad beans & peas | These Four Walls blog

I love chorizo. In fact, it’s what put an end to a 13-year stint as a vegetarian when I was living in Spain as a student (many former veggies cave when faced with the smell of sizzling bacon; for me, it was a delicious-looking bowl of chorizo en sidra in a Barcelona tapas bar). So, when I saw that it’s the key ingredient in this month’s recipe from Kym Grimshaw of fabulous Bristol food blog On the Plate, my mouth started watering immediately.

This dish is a wonderfully light, summery take on chorizo, and its spicy paprika taste adds the perfect kick to seasonal peas and broad beans. It works brilliantly as an accompaniment to a barbecue or an alfresco lunch, or as part of a tapas spread; I’d also prepare it as a simple yet tasty dinner, served up with crusty bread and a glass or two of vino.

Over to Kym for the details…

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Home tour | The Scandi-inspired apartment of an interiors blogger

June 21, 2016

Home tour | The Scandi-inspired apartment of blogger Coco Lapine Design | These Four Walls blog

I’m very excited about today’s home tour because I’m sharing a peek inside the beautiful apartment of one of my favourite bloggers, Sarah Van Peteghem of Coco Lapine Design.

Sarah’s blog is full of striking monochrome interiors, calming greys and Scandinavian-influenced pieces, and her airy, light-filled Munich home is no different. It’s also packed with stunning original features (I have serious parquet-floor envy!), and showcases some of the fantastic prints which she designs and sells alongside blogging.

Over to Sarah herself for more…

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Some thoughts…

June 17, 2016

Some thoughts | These Four Walls blog

I don’t normally post anything about politics; despite the fact that I’m actively involved in a couple of campaigns in my spare time, it’s never felt appropriate for a blog that focuses on design, travel and lifestyle. I’m a little nervous about writing this, but after the brutal killing of British MP Jo Cox yesterday, I couldn’t face posting another house tour or collection launch today and pretending that nothing has happened.

Over recent weeks I’ve watched my country being torn apart by a vicious debate that has brought out the worst in so many. I’ve seen friends being pitted against friends, received hideous comments on social media when arguing the case for the UK to stay in the EU, and heard about loved ones being subjected to racist insults in the street for doing the same. And yesterday, when the news of Jo Cox’s murder was announced on the radio as I was driving up the motorway for a friend’s wedding weekend, it brought tears to my eyes. Although we don’t yet know the exact circumstances, it seems an innocent woman was gunned down simply for standing up for what she believed in – one of many people who have senselessly lost their lives to prejudice and hate over recent weeks.

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Summer office styling with Design Letters & Friends

June 15, 2016

Summer office styling with Design Letters & Friends | These Four Walls blog

I have a confession to make: I have a bit of an addiction to stationery. I was one of those kids who spent ages organising my pencil case, and who got strangely excited about buying new notebooks before going back to school. It’s an obsession that’s lasted into adulthood, and I’m still drawn to pretty paper and pens.

I’m particularly happy at the moment because I’ve just had fun rearranging my office space for summer with the help of some lovely goodies from Danish stationery and homeware brand Design Letters & Friends. The company was founded by former copywriter and journalist Mette Thomsen, who wanted to create a range to reflect her passion for words and letters, and many of its products use striking typography hand-drawn in 1937 by renowned architect and designer Arne Jacobsen.

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New additions to Stelton’s ‘Theo’ range

June 13, 2016

New additions to Stelton's 'Theo' range | These Four Walls blog

I have another fantastic new collection from Scandinavia to introduce today, this time from Danish brand Stelton, which has been producing stylish tea- and coffee-making kit since 1960.

Created by Canadian designer Francis Cayouette, the company’s cleaned-lined ‘Theo’ teapot, slow-brew coffee maker and mugs became instant hits when they first launched last year, and several new additions to the line have just been announced for autumn-winter 2016. They include a sugar bowl, a coffee grinder and a coffee press, and incorporate touches of brass which look fantastic against the range’s matt black stoneware and bamboo lids.

Here’s a quick peek…

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New collection from Melo

June 10, 2016

New collection from Melo | These Four Walls blog

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Berlin, which included good food, good wine and plenty of good design – more on that to follow soon, but in the meantime I want to share three beautiful new products from Swedish furniture studio Melo.

Founded by a group of Stockholm-based friends, including designer and interior photographer Sara Medina Lind and furniture maker Olle Holman, Melo focuses on ‘handcrafted minimalism’. You might remember that I featured its first collection at the start of the year, and the second is just as appealing.

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Profile | Skandinavisk

June 8, 2016

Profile | Skandinavisk | These Four Walls blog

I’m very excited about my latest profile post, as it features a brand which I’ve admired for a long time. Based in Copenhagen, Skandinavisk celebrates the Scandinavian way of life through a range of scented candles and room fragrances, all with simple yet wonderfully evocative names such as SKOG (‘forest’), HAV (‘sea’) and KOTO (Finnish for ‘cosy at home’). I own quite a few of them, and in fact my current favourite, RO (‘tranquility’), is flickering away by my side as I type.

You only have to read the strapline on Skandinavisk’s website to get a feel for its ethos: ‘A sense of Scandinavia. Of vast silent landscapes and raw seasons, of cosy shared moments and quiet sophistication’. And if that doesn’t stir your imagination, these two short films produced by the company certainly will. But what’s particularly intriguing is that Skandinavisk was founded not by native Scandinavians, but by two English guys, Shaun and Gerry, who moved to the region 15 years ago and, in their own words, “fell in love with two blonde Scandinavian girls and never left”.

I chatted to Shaun to find out more…

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Resident’s new Somerset shop

June 6, 2016

Resident's new Somerset shop | These Four Walls blog

I love exciting new openings, particularly when they’re close to home in southwest England. The latest one to catch my attention is the first permanent shop of lifestyle store Resident, which has just opened its doors in a Grade II-listed townhouse in Frome, Somerset.

Founded by James Borley and Greg Avis, Resident started life online before opening as a pop-up shop at South London creative hub Pop Brixton. Its new home sits on Frome’s Catherine Hill, which is packed with independent boutiques, and stocks a stylish collection of homewares and accessories. Highlights for me include beautiful hand-loomed throws by textile artist Maya Meuble, ceramics from designer-maker Louise Madzia and skincare products from Herbivore and L:A Bruket. In addition, there’s a range of industrial-style cage lamps from lighting brand The Electrical Shop, which was also set up by James and Greg.

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Packing a capsule wardrobe

June 3, 2016

Packing a capsule wardrobe | These Four Walls blog

On Monday Chris and I will be sneaking off for a quick city break in Berlin, and we can’t wait. It was originally supposed to be a surprise for his birthday, but I accidentally showed him the booking when checking in for our recent flights to Iceland. Oops… Oh well, at least he knows what climate to pack for now!

On that note, we’re trying to save a bit of airport hassle by taking cabin luggage only, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to share my secrets for packing lightly. Here’s my tried-and-tested capsule wardrobe, which I use whenever I travel. It easily gets me through a week away and provides all sorts of outfits, whatever the weather in my destination decides to throw at me.

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Affordable art (& discount!) from Evermade

June 1, 2016

Affordable art (& discount!) from Evermade | These Four Walls blog

Finding the perfect artwork for your home is always tricky, particularly if your budget isn’t huge. You might not be able to stretch to signed, limited-edition prints, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy to settle for cheap stock-photography posters.

Step forward Evermade, an online store which collaborates with up-and-coming artists to create an ever-expanding collection of eye-catching prints, as well as stationery, gifts and greetings cards. Prices start from just £35 for an unframed artwork, so you can start to build a wonderful collection without breaking the bank. And they’re kindly offering a 15% discount to readers of These Four Walls throughout June – just read on for details.

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