A timeless combination that never fails to create fresh and elegant interiors, it remains one of the most popular combinations in interior design. Blue surrounds us; sky, water, flowers, and we feel comfortable with it.
Mixing blues and cream gives a clean, cool look, perfect for these warm sunny days. Keep it calm with chalky blues, and for something a little different bring in other pastel shades such as pink and green. Soft shades can be used in abundance without clashing and they will give the scheme depth and interest. In fact they can be treated a little like neutrals and work well layered up.
Choose a pretty floral fabric and accessorise using the accent colours in the print to pull the scheme together. Try mixing different textured fabrics such as linens and velvet. Modern furniture will keep this scheme up to date whilst painted wooden furniture will give this look a more traditional feel. If this is all too calm for you add accent colours in stronger tonal shades.
There are so many exciting ceramics around at the moment, go for a selection of shapes and sizes and dot them around the room to complete the look.
Have fun and enjoy the summer!
Tomato and Mozzarella Tart with Roast Pepper Pesto
This time of year I look forward to picnics, summer lunches and garden parties. I enjoy cooking for other people but I try and keep it simple, that way I can enjoy the day. This delicious tart is so easy to make and is always a hit. For a healthy lunch serve with a green salad. I happen to love potatoes, so I also make a potato salad. The herbs in my garden are still very tender at this time of year and add a variety of flavours to the salads; I like to add chives, basil and parsley.
375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
85g/3oz coarsely grated Parmesan
450g whole jar of roasted red peppers
4-5 medium ripe tomatoes
2 x 15g packs of mozzarella balls, drained
Olive oil for drizzling
Basil leaves for scattering
Ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to fan 200C/220C conventional/gas mark 7.
Line a baking sheet with the ready rolled pastry and prick lightly with a fork.
Scatter all the Parmesan over the pastry base. Drain the peppers and pat dry with paper towels (make sure you do this thoroughly, so as not to make the pastry soggy). Lay the peppers width ways across the pastry base. Bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and lay alternating in rows over the peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with basil leaves and a grind of black pepper then serve while the pastry is still warm.
Serve with salads and chilled white wine, delicious!
I love this time of year, not only is it my birthday, but the garden has really woken up and starting to burst into bloom. The colours are vibrant and the foliage is still very lime fresh. This little corner is particularly pretty this time of year. The Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths are first to show, followed by the Lungwort, Forget-me-nots and Bleeding Hearts.
The April Interiors Show is one of the most important spring trade shows in the UK for the soft furnishings industry and I’m hugely excited to be exhibiting alongside many leading brands and artisan crafters.
The show is hosted by the Curtain and Blind Makers Friendly Forum (CABMFF) and held at the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse.
If you’re a fabric and interiors professional, this is one for the diary. Click here to pre-register.
We look forward to showing you the full collection.
Open from 10am – 4.30pm with unlimited free parking. Cheltenham Racecourse, The Hall of Fame, Cheltenham GL50 4SH.
These tasty biscuits are a great alternative to chocolate at Easter and easy to make with the children.
200g/8oz softened butter
150g/6oz caster sugar
2 egg yolks
400g/14oz plain flour
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 Lemon zest (optional, but I like it)
2-4 tbsp milk (if required)
a little caster sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Lightly grease two baking trays lined with baking parchment.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the lemon zest (optional) and beat in the egg yolk.
- Sieve in the flour, spices and currants and add milk (if necessary) to give a fairly stiff dough.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface until 5mm/¼” thick.
- Cut into rounds using a circular cutter (or shapes if you prefer).
- Place on the prepared baking trays.
- Gather together the off cuts and re roll to make further biscuits.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10/12 minutes or until golden brown. My oven’s quite fierce, they all vary.
- Sprinkle with extra caster sugar when still hot, then transfer to a wire tray to cool.
- Or wait until cooled and decorate with icing.
If you don’t like currants, then just leave them out – you still get a delicious biscuit which could be decorated with icing instead.
I always think these make nice presents at Easter; you can package them up in cellophane, tie with a ribbon and decorate with Easter chicks or flowers.
Happy Easter! x
Mixing neutral greys with shades of yellow creates cheerful and sophisticated interiors, they complement each other perfectly. Grey on its own is very soothing and extremely versatile but for stunning results; mix it with shades of yellow.
Pattern helps to bring this combination alive. For retro and Scandi enthusiasts remember to keep the lines clean; simple patterns and geometrics work best. If you are aiming for more of a country chic look, then try adding some floral prints to the scheme.
Always try out different paint samples and fabric swatches before you make your final selection. The light will change throughout the day and this will affect how the colours appear in your room.
Accessorise with chunky knits and wicker; don’t be afraid to mix textures because this helps to add interest to the room. I’m a big admirer of the chunky knits and rugs that are around at the moment; they work with so many different styles and just add a little bit of cosiness.
Fabrics clockwise from top left: Rose Garden Dove, Kitchen Garden Caramel, Mollie Saffron, Mollie Dove, Busy Bee Natural White and Wisteria Warm Saffron.
March was an exciting month for the studio at Jacqueline Milton HQ. It was all hands on deck for the BITA Showcase – a trade show run by the British Interiors & Textiles Association for the textile industry.
Held at the prestigious Chelsea Harbour Hotel, just around the corner from the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, made this event the perfect location for buyers. I was privileged to be exhibiting along with some of the best interiors & textiles brands in the UK.
We had so many positive comments from our visitors – things that stand out were “country elegance”, “fresh”, “would fit in well with existing schemes” and more. It was lovely to meet buyers from across the industry and learn about their individual businesses.
I’m really looking forward to working with you.
Sunday 12th and Monday 13th march 2017
Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London
January to February means marmalade making time in the Milton household. It’s an event that takes up most of the day and the kitchen is completely taken over with recycled jam jars and other marmalade making paraphernalia. The house is filled with a wonderful, heady aroma of oranges and the result is a dozen jars of amber marmalade. Given that the weather is usually a little inclement during these months, it’s something we look forward to doing. The recipe is one I’ve used for years and never lets me down.
If you fancy having a go you will need a large wide-based pan (or a proper jam making/preserving pan), a wide-mouthed funnel (makes life easier but not essential), clear jam covers and wax discs, a muslin cloth (you can find these items in kitchen shops), a long handled wooden spoon and jam jars. I collect jars over the year for making jams and preserves. Continue Reading…
It’s a hugely exciting time for me in the studio at the moment. I am planning my debut fabric collection which will be launched next spring. The first samples are due to arrive any day now and the studio has had a bit of a makeover to accommodate the new arrivals!
I’ve decided to print my designs onto linens or linen blends and I’m happy that I’ve been able to source these in the UK.
Linen is a fabric made from the fibres of the flax plant. Before it can be produced, the fibres have to be removed from the stem of the plant. Producing linen cloth is a complicated and lengthy process and requires great skill at each stage of production.
I didn’t know until I started reading about it, that the earliest evidence of flax used in textiles dates back 30,000 years – hard to imagine!
The presence of “slubs” or small knots that appear randomly in its weave are all part of its charm, enhancing its natural appearance and texture. Linen comes in a range of shades and I plan to use a natural and an oyster shade in the collections. Best of all, it’s so soft………
Watch this space for progress!
The leaves are turning and I’m busy working on lots of new leafy projects. I hope to finish this this chestnut pattern today – here’s a little detail of my work, just to give you an idea of what goes on in the studio. I’m using gouache – the paint I used when I first worked in a design studio. I’ve started using it more and more lately – I’d forgotten how much I enjoy using it.
The full pattern is 32cm x 64cm and is in a half drop repeat. When I’ve finished the painting, it will be converted into a CAD file ready for re-colouring if necessary. Hours of fun!
This little design is one for the portfolio.