Connect with us

Current

How to add a touch of Continental charm to your home

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Mad for the Med! Add a touch of Continental charm to your home with natural materials and sunny colours

Bringing a fresh, Mediterranean feel into your home doesn’t mean a cliched scheme of shells, coastal paintings and seaside blues and whites.

Far from it. But, at the same time, summer is the ideal time to tap into European interiors with their natural materials, soft pastels and the sun-bleached hues of terracotta.

‘It’s not about slavishly recreating a Mediterranean home,’ says Italian-born interior designer Roby Baldan (robybaldan interiors.com). 

Southern comfort: A kitchen with Bert & May’s Sage Sprout handmade tiles on the floor

Southern comfort: A kitchen with Bert & May’s Sage Sprout handmade tiles on the floor

‘It’s more to do with channelling the joyful sense of warmth and the slower pace of life that you breathe in that part of the world.

‘Think about adding pieces that welcome you to recline and take the day a bit more slowly. A chaise longue or daybed upholstered in a relaxed fabric, for example, or a Berber rug, which injects tactility and ease.’

Here’s how to channel sunnier climes year-round.

Go modern

To keep the look up-to-date, avoid busy schemes, but instead contrast colour splashes with more subtle pieces. Think along the lines of a collection of ceramic plates on a white wall — check out the Matisse-inspired plates at LRNCE Studio (lrnce.com) — or a cane chair sitting on a striped rug.

‘Mediterranean schemes feel fresh and easy on the eye,’ says designer Belen White Campos (studiobeleta.com), known for her softly European schemes. ‘They are never heavy, but gently incorporate colours such as yellows, blues, greens and terracottas.’

Adapt the trend to suit the milder British climate, so instead of a traditional tiled floor, go for flat-weave geometric rugs. Try Anthropologie’s blue and white hand-tufted Burke rug, £299 (anthropologie.com), or Oliver Bonas’s Rendezvous reversible yellow geometric indoor/outdoor rug, £69.50 (oliverbonas.com).

Loosen up

The key to this relaxed, southern European look is the idea of craftsmanship.

‘Right now, there is a general return to craft and an appreciation of artisans and the process of making,’ says Roby. ‘At the heart of the Mediterranean look lies a respect for the handmade.’

So introducing woven baskets, rustic textiles, pottery, handmade rugs and imperfect painted ceramics is a good way to bring the Med into your home.

Roby suggests looking to Atelier Vime (ateliervime.com), which specialises in locally-made wicker with a modern aesthetic, or timeless rattan furniture pieces by Soane Britain (soane.co.uk).

Consider using natural materials too for hard finishes such as kitchen counters and shower enclosures, for a softer, more relaxed look.

‘Try a terrazzo kitchen worktop, or use a tadelakt (Moroccan plaster) finish in the bathroom,’ says Roby. ‘Decorative microcement works just as well in a bathroom, but has the same visual effect.’

Another option is to choose a traditional design in an unexpected finish, such as terracotta tiles in the hallway laid in a herringbone format, or bold geometrics used as a feature wall — look at the selection of European style handmade tiles at Bert & May (bertandmay.com).

Have fun with fruit

Fruit motifs are a playful way to work this trend — try The Sette’s Lemon tablecloth, inspired by Italian summers (thesette.com).

‘Dress your table in terracotta hues combined with the warm yellow tones of the sun,’ says founders Sophie Lamotte and Cloe Bueso. ‘Using bold fruit and vegetable prints in your tableware and home accessories also bring the decorative feel of the Italian market culture to your home.’

Bring nature’s offerings indoors with overscaled foliage and indoor trees planted in wicker baskets.

‘Think about using elements of the outdoor world to elevate your space,’ says sofa.com’s Patricia Gibbons. ‘Long grasses and weathered woods have wonderful colours and textures. Use glass bottles as vases and netting to hold your hanging plants.’

Advertisement

Source link

Current

Bluewater grows its entertainment offer (GB)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Landsec has announced the opening of a third ‘UK first’ attraction at Bluewater, Kent as the destination expands its partnership with Hangloose Adventures. Skydive, a free-fall experience not found anywhere else in Europe, and the UK’s only outdoor skydive machine has opened at the centre. It follows on from Europe’s biggest purpose-built giant swing, standing at 46-metre tall, which opened at Bluewater earlier this month.  

 

The announcement builds on a successful first year for Hangloose’s initial attraction Skywire, the longest zip wire in England, which has welcomed 30,000 guests since launching at Bluewater last June. Landsec will continue to work with Hangloose to expand its offering, with up to five more experiences set to open at the centre by 2024: a bungee tower, giant slide, clip and climb, waterdrop boulding wall, and Via Ferrata, a route-marked climb using metal rails and rungs embedded in Bluewater’s cliff walls.

 

Mark Warne, Brand Account Director F&B and Leisure at Landsec commented: “Delivering new experiences which are unique to Bluewater is central to our overall offer for guests. Hangloose’s innovative concept raises the bar when it comes to leisure attractions and draws guests from across the UK to Kent. By partnering with Hangloose to grow their business and create shared value, we’ll be able to give guests even more exciting experiences every time they visit.”

 

Brian Phelps, MD of Hangloose Adventure, said: “Since the beginning, we’ve worked closely with Landsec to grow our leisure concept and drive performance, putting us in a unique position where we’re able to expand our offer after only a year. We’ve enjoyed great success at Bluewater so far and are already thinking about how we can provide even bigger and better experiences in the future.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Author with immaculate house offers ten tips for a clean home

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Is this the secret to NEVER having to clean? Houseproud author claims she saves hours by sticking to a ten-step mantra – including banning chairs in bedrooms, wiping as you cook and only ironing shirts and dresses

  • UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she’s cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules – and making sure family members comply
  • She shared top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers
  • Among them are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom, not having a chair in the bedroom and cleaning  the kitchen while you cook

A houseproud author has revealed her ten essential tips for keeping a house spotless – saying simple ground rules for family members and cleaning as you go means never wasting time on dull chores. 

Writer Natali Juste Simmonds, who was born in the UK but now lives in the Netherlands, penned her top ways to keep on top of cleaning on Twitter, saying she has time to focus on her writing because she follows her own advice about dodging ‘thankless’ cleaning tasks. 

The author of a series of paranormal romance novels told her 20,000 followers on Twitter: ‘I know so many people who spend hours cleaning up after their family every day, but I refuse to. 

Scroll down for video 

UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she's cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules - and making sure family members comply

UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she’s cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules – and making sure family members comply

‘It’s boring and thankless. I prefer to write. Yet my house is spotless. Here are 10 ways to keep on top of s*** so you don’t have to clean for hours.’ 

Sharing her ‘tough love’ mantra, she said that the key to keeping a home clean is making sure every family member is engaged, saying learning how to tidy is a lifeskill that everyone needs – and no-one should get away with not doing it. 

Natali wrote: ‘Train everyone in the house to do the following (cats are the exception). After a while these habits will become routine, but you MUST stick to them and make sure no one is let off the hook.’ 

Among the tips are filling a bag with things that are in the wrong place at the end of every day and placing them back where they belong. 

Tidy home, tidy mind: The Netherlands-based writer shared her top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers on Twitter - saying that making sure everyone in the house pulls their weight is key (Pictured: An office area in Simmonds' home)

Tidy home, tidy mind: The Netherlands-based writer shared her top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers on Twitter – saying that making sure everyone in the house pulls their weight is key (Pictured: An office area in Simmonds’ home)

The writer also claims having a toilet brush doesn’t help keep a loo clean and dousing it with bleach instead is a more reliable way to ensure it’s sparkling. 

And getting used to wiping down mirrors after using a sink also helps, she claims, writing: ‘Keep a dry cloth next to the bathroom sink. Every time someone uses the taps or brushes their teeth, wipe down the counter and mirror. Takes literally 2 seconds. No cleaning toothpaste stains off counters.’

Teaching kids to pull their weight around the house is key to success, and equality reigns supreme in the Simmonds house. 

Among her top tips are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom - using just bleach instead; not having a chair in the bedroom - to prevent people leaving clothes on them - and cleaning the kitchen while you cook (Pictured: Simmonds' very tidy office)

Among her top tips are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom – using just bleach instead; not having a chair in the bedroom – to prevent people leaving clothes on them – and cleaning the kitchen while you cook (Pictured: Simmonds’ very tidy office)

‘If one kid lays the table, the other clears. If one hangs out the washing, the other collects. I don’t say “I need help with dinner” I say “who will chop the veg and who will wash up?” Its called a presumed close. I have no option, why should others in my house?’

The author, who has written books including the Indigo Chronicles trilogy and the Blood Web series, admits that having a cleaner is still useful…because they can help keep on top of areas where grime quickly builds, including fridges and ovens – but she suggests ditching a takeaway a week to cover the cost. 

Advertisement

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

DIA Group closes 25 Minipreco stores in Portugal

Voice Of EU

Published

on

DIA Group has closed 25 Minipreco stores in Portugal, resulting in the loss of approximately 159 jobs. The retailer said the closures are the result of ‘the effort to adapt, modernise and balance the operations of DIA Portugal, with the aim of better preparing the company for current and future challenges arising from the current economic situation in the country,’ according to media reports. In the last two years, the multinational company operating in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina, accumulated losses of over €620m.

 

In Portugal, net sales reached €283.1m in the first half, 4.5% below the €296.3m generated in the same period last year, due to the reduction of stores and mobility restrictions. DIA Group confirmed its intention to continue to invest in Portugal. The company hopes to adjust its operation to the current reality in order to ensure the future success of the company.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!