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French Connection for the Home

I love the home wares collection (and furniture!) from French Connection. When I was last in London, which was in November, I saw some of their collection for the home and really liked it. The quality looked just fine and I loved the muted, relaxed palette because you can mix these things into your interior world so easily without wondering if they’d match or not – can’t go wrong with raw materials like wood with grays and whites. So versatile. They just rolled out some new furniture that I love. Here are some favorites below, with links, and since it’s gray and rainy today, I find these images restful and just well, nice to look at.

French Connection

fcFrench Connectionuk5

French Connection

French Connection

French Connection

My favorite things: leather and jute gray rug, wooden table with wheels, safari babe chairtied bedding, driftwood mirrors, tree trunk wooden stool and the leaning shelves. I would love to buy some of these things, but they won’t ship outside of the UK. So I guess I just have to look like most of you who aren’t living there…

I’d add some music to this mix by Rose, Coeur De Pirate and Carla Bruni – they’ve been on constant rotation in my studio all week. I’d also light a few candles, add a string of twinkle lights over a door or mirror, and bring in some tea along with a really nice plate of yummy healthy things to eat. That’s what you have to do on gray, dreary days. Relax and go with it. Create your own sanctuary and make a little magic.

P.S. I’m so happy French Connection seems to be moving away from their branding as FCUK, I always thought that was so degrading to their image. Did you ever think that too?

(images: french connection)

Posted in furniture on April 27, 2013
decor8 great.ly shop

Kerrie Brown Lighting

I’m not finished yet talking about lights and these from Kerrie Brown Design Studio in Sydney are sooooo nice. My columnist, Jillian Leiboff, told me about Kerrie’s work this morning and I loved her lighting immediately. Here are a few photos for a little show and tell.

Kerrie Brown Design Studio

Kerrie Brown Design Studio

Kerrie Brown Design Studio

I had a good look around her website and really fell in love – very quirky and colorful… I can really see these shades being sold at Liberty in London, can’t you? In addition to lampshades, you can find pillows, wallpaper, blind, fabric, headboards, cabinets and more. I was fascinated to learn that Kerrie is actually an Academy Award nominated set decorator and interior designer – what a fantastic background! She’s worked on the sets of The Quiet American, Mission Impossible, The Chronicles of Narnia and Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.

Wouldn’t it be an amazing job to be a set designer for major motion pictures?

(images: jillian lieboff)

Posted in lighting on April 19, 2013

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Can we talk about this Enoki Cumulus pendant light for a moment because I’m really in love with it. You guys are going to love it too. It reminds me of a modern take on similar vintage pendants found in grandma’s homes everywhere across Germany. My husband’s grandmother had one, it was more oval shape, covered in fabric that was gathered at the top and bottom and looked a little like a floating shower cap. This is defintely a better take, and I find them quite stunning. In fact, I want one now!

li1Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Enoki Cumulus Light: Hot or Not?

Swoon! I love that they also come flat-packed so they’re super easy to ship. In fact, Enoki, you can ship one to my house right away! Please, don’t hold back.

What do you think about them in different fabrics? Or do you like the white? I like the white because it really looks casual and airy, but I bet covering it in a pretty print from Liberty would be gorgeous in a kid’s room, too and would love to see that.

What do you think of the Enoki Cumulus light? Hot or Not? I vote HOT.

(photos: enoki)

Posted in lighting on April 19, 2013

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues Recipe

Brown Sugar Meringues are so yummy, would you like to learn how? Hi, it’s Jillian here with April’s Delicious Bites recipe. I was visiting my brother in the country a few weeks ago and I started thinking about the change of season. I know for most of you, spring is just around the corner, whilst here in Sydney we’re about to head into autumn. For some reason the move into autumn is a little more obvious in the country than in the city. The tomatoes and figs are just coming to an end while the pumpkins are sprouting like mad.

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

When I’m in the country I love visiting the chickens. We have a bit of a chat and I give them a bowl of kitchen scraps before collecting the day’s eggs. With all those lovely fresh eggs at my disposal I decided to make meringues. Meringues were one of the first things I learned to bake and I remember packing a few of them into my school lunch box. I changed up my old recipe a little by adding some brown sugar to the mix. The brown sugar adds a slightly different taste to the finished product and the meringues are a little chewier than regular meringues.

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Meringues are pretty simple to make as long as you follow a few basic rules:

  • When you separate the eggs make sure there is no yolk in the mixture or else the egg whites won’t whip.
  • I don’t have a copper bowl so I use a glass or metal bowl which I wash and dry just before making the meringue mixture. Any lingering grease or water will stop the egg whites from whipping nicely.
  • Meringues need to be cooked at a fairly low temperature. I’ve given 120°C/250°F as a suggestion ‘cos my old gas oven can’t go any lower than that.
  • You can use the leftover yolks to make ice cream, custard or some homemade lemon curd to serve with the meringues.

Okay, here’s how to make ‘em. Ready?

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Brown Sugar Meringues

You will need:

2 egg whites (from 60 gm eggs)
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar minus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues
Prepare

Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F
Lightly grease an oven tray and dust with cornflour (corn starch) or line with baking paper.
In a small bowl combine both of your sugars.
In a medium size bowl using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the sugar dissolves and the meringue turns very glossy. Gently stir in the vanilla.
Using a large spoon, drop dollops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get 8 – 10 medium size meringues from this mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes for Pavlova like meringues or 1 1/4 hours for crisp meringues. You can leave the meringues to cool in the switched off oven.

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

Carefully remove the meringues from the baking tray and place on a wire rack. When completely cold, store the meringues in an airtight container until ready to serve. You can eat them as they are or serve them like mini Pavlovas topped with lemon curd, cream and berries, fresh from the garden.

Delicious Bites: Brown Sugar Meringues

If you’d like the recipe for the homemade lemon curd, let me know and I’ll post it in the comments section. 

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Delicious Bites recipe. I’ll be back again next month with another recipe for you. – Jillian

(photos:  jillian lieboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on April 19, 2013

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