Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Kitchen Love

I admit it; I am a ‘wannabe’ domestic goddess!  I love nothing more than hosting guests in my home, pouring drinks, laying out nibbles, and making everywhere look pretty.  This is why the kitchen is such an important room in my home, like it is for many other like-minded, homely folk. 

The kitchen is definitely the hub of our home, the domestic centre, the place where we entertain guests, socialise, eat, drink and be merry.  It’s the room in my home that is always buzzing with life and energy.  Cooking, laughing, eating and drinking, it is by far the most used of my rooms.  Well I say ‘cooking’, I have only just learnt how to whip up a successful meal on my Aga.  It no longer fills me with total dread come dinnertime!  In fact I have become somewhat fond of the old thing, and they do make a stunning feature after all.   

Gorgeous Aga

The black Aga looks great against the light kitchen

Country Chic
Aga Love:  All images from the Butterfly Lane Pinterest Page 

As you know by now I am currently renovating my Georgian home in the English countryside and in my opinion I am on my most exciting part of the renovation so far, the overhaul of the kitchen!  We have dreams of creating a fabulous farmhouse, yet elegant style kitchen.    I particularly love the two-tone options at the moment, with cream cabinets and a light grey island.  Muted, calm and subtly elegant, perfection!  

I have recently been spotting many a kitchen without the standard tile splash back and instead have a beautiful flush piece of marble, I really love this idea, it looks so chic.  Here are some images that are fuelling my kitchen inspiration at the moment…

Stunning Neptune Kitchen

Beautiful Neptune Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Duck Egg Kitchen
Here at Butterfly Lane we are completely in love with this pantry, it is so chic and coordinated!  A larder or pantry is such a great idea to store and organise your kitchen essentials, and one like this is simply to die for…

Beautiful and Organised Pantry
Sparkling glassware is a pre-requisite in any room in my opinion, and no less in the kitchen.  These incredible glass pineapples (very on trend at the moment) are sure to give your kitchen the wow factor.

I love glass jars to fill with pasta, seeds and nuts, they make such a gorgeous feature for your worktop or dresser and Butterfly Lane has a large variety available on the up and coming online boutique.  We have just taken delivery of these amazing ‘Stackers’, you can fill them with anything you like, tea and coffee, chocolates, the options are endless!  They were definitely a ‘one for me, one for Butterfly Lane’ moment when the delivery arrived!

Little Stacker, £19.95 from Butterfly Lane

Large Stacker, £44.95 from Butterfly Lane

(Email us on with any enquiries).

I love dining rooms, however the formality can sometimes be off putting, as it’s usually a room that you use on special occasions a handful of times a year, to me this is such a waste of space.  Therefore, I like the idea of creating a kitchen come dining room in my home, however I still want it to have the elegant edge that a formal dining room exudes.  How do you do this, I hear you ask?  Well this can be done by filling the dining area of the kitchen with less ‘kitchen like’ accessories, and by dressing the table in a more formal manner.  Also lighting is very important, I like to incorporate lamps in to rooms to give a more subtle, relaxed lighting scheme, and a sparkling chandelier can look fabulous hanging over the table to give it that decadent, elegant feel.

Dining Chic

Bring Dining Room Charm in to your Kitchen

Pretty Blue Accents

 Wish me luck with my kitchen quest, and in the meantime, fill your kitchen with beauty! 

*All images found on the Butterfly Lane Pinterest page.  

Guest Blogger: Romantic Interior Styles

Hi, Joanna here! I’m a writer for Arcadian Lighting, and for today, a guest blogger for Butterfly Lane.  I’m just crazy over all things interior design and I have the opportunity to write about it daily in guest posts such as this one. My favorite rooms mix styles from traditional to modern, so I suppose you can say I’m a bit eclectic. I hope you enjoy the following post about romantic spaces as much as I did creating it!  Romantic decors don’t necessarily have to be girly and overtly feminine. There are many rooms with a flirty vibe that boast soft, sumptuous elements without the use of hot pink and lots of florals. Below are some of my favorite romantic spaces that are sophisticated and elegant.

Two contemporary floor lamps flank either side of the sofa.  Soft pinks lend themselves beautifully to a romantic interior. This room, in monochromatic pastel-hued pink, has a luminous glow about it. The mix between modern and traditional furnishings creates interest. 

Romantic Interior

An ornate desk with French chairs and silk window panels creates a romantic place to pen letters and journals.

Romantic Interior

Romance is in the air in this luxurious dressing room. The closet doors are extraordinary and the vanity table with Venetian mirror above acts as a focal point in the room.

Romantic Interior

A lavender bedroom gets its own romantic touches from a floral headboard, French settee, and slipper chairs.

Romantic Interior

Mint green and vibrant pink florals give this dining room a sense of beauty in full blossom. The Asian panels on the wall and at the window add interest and pattern to the space.

Romantic Interior

Layers of lavender and purple pattern and texture grace this lovely set dining room table—pure romance.

Romantic Interior

A pretty vintage adorned entry features a soft gray and white settee decorated with pillows in a mix of colors, patterns and sizes. A multi-colored rug provides plenty of knobby texture.

Romantic Interior

Romantic Interior

A Venetian mirror and mirrored vanity above creates a lovely focal point in this glamorous bathroom. A touch of color is brought into the space with a yellow and white tufted chaise. An ornate light fixture, such as a chandelier, would provide another romantic element to the space. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 What do you think of these romantic interior styles? Dress up your home with a stylish chandelier, wall sconce, or pendant light from our site and find more lighting inspirations in our blog!


Thank you Joanne for an inspiring blog!  Love, Butterfly Lane...X

Friday, 25 May 2012

Brand Profile: Cabbages and Roses (and a 10% discount treat!)

Butterfly Lane prides itself on showcasing English Country Living at its very best and we also know a brand that embodies that very philosophy too, Cabbages and Roses

 I have been a huge fan of this British brand for a couple of years now and have purchased many a coat and jacket…and thinking about it dresses, from them too!   They are my go to brand for relaxed, country living style and above all excellently crafted fashion in gorgeous fabrics!  The quirky cuts on their garments really stand them out from the crowd. 

Linen Majorie Coat, £299 
Metal Mix Parka, £219
Wide Stripe Swirly Panel Dress, £195
I love the fact that they began their life in a barn with a tiny collection of cushions, dresses and fabrics and now, albeit they still have a beautifully small collection, but they have introduced candles, a wider array of fashion and accessories and home ware beauties. 

Their home ware range is truly sweet and epitomises English county living with their hand printed linens.  A must for any country dwelling.   

As a special Friday treat for all you Butterfly Lane readers Cabbages and Roses are offering us a lovely 10% discount online or in their Chelsea boutique using the discount code BUTTERFLY10.  Happy shopping and be sure to let us know what you bought!  

*offer expires on Tuesday 5 June at midnight

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Chelsea Flower Show 2012

This week the fabulously floral Chelsea Flower Show is in town and it is a must for all you garden lovers.  Or if like me, you don’t particularly have a green thumb, you are sure to appreciate the stunning floral displays on offer.  You might just stumble across a new flower to include in your arrangements at home.   Nothing makes a home more welcoming and cheerful than a flower display in my opinion. 

I don’t think you need to be of a ‘certain age’ to enjoy the event, as The Telegraph harshly reported this week.  Here at Butterfly Lane we think that everyone can appreciate the beauty that is showcased at this unique show.  I visited the event a couple of years ago and loved the array of styles, stunning outdoor furniture and initiative lighting concepts on display.  It is inspiring to say the least.  I am off later in the week for my second Chelsea Flower Show adventure, as a guest of one of the Butterfly Lane suppliers. What a treat! 

Cleve West's Garden, Chelsea Flower Show 2012

I do not have the gardening gene (well, it hasn’t sprouted yet), but I completely love and appreciate a pretty, stunning and most of all, neat garden and it is something that I’m sure I’ll learn more about along the way.    

As summer days are here at last (for the moment anyway) I have abandoned the interior of my house renovation and am completely dedicated to create a floral haven!  However, a haven it is not!  The patio has been dug up and is currently being re-laid.  Concrete, brick dust and lots and lots of noise, is not what I envisaged for one of the hottest weekends of the year!  Where is my sanctuary of calm to accompany a chilled glass of Chardonnay?  Hopefully soon it'll be ready and will be transformed in to a CFS worthy garden...erm, here's wishing!

Here are, in my opinion are the fairest gardens of them all.  Courtesy of The Chelsea Flower Show and many talented and green-fingered folk. 

In ode to my favourite of favourite beverages, I just love the simplicity of the Laurent-Perrier garden.  Full of dusky pink flowers to complement the sponsor's champagne.  It is gold award winning too!

The Mediterranean hits Chelsea with the gold award winning L'Occitane Immortelle, Corsican rocky inspired garden.  Give me some olives, a bit of bread and leave me in this garden please, just divine!  

What’s been your favourite garden on show?  It would be lovely to hear from you.  

Monday, 21 May 2012

Let's Cook - Top 5 Cookery Books

So, I have a slight addiction.  One that even exceeds my Anya Hindmarch handbag collection.  Cookery books.  Yes, you heard it right, I cannot stop buying cookery books!  It stems from my mothers extensive collection of recipes that she has collected over the years and now I’m getting quite the collection myself.  Also, I have a partner in crime; the boyfriend is as bad as I am!  Admittedly we are both foodies, not in the snooty fine dining sense (even though we love to partake), but just in a food sense.  Good quality, tasty food!  Whether it is buffets, comfort food, a Sunday roast or a light salad, together we seem to have a book for every occasion.  

At the moment we are in the process of planning, in my opinion, the most exciting part of the house renovation – the kitchen.   So I am trying to find a home for our growing collection of cookery books, which are currently sprawled in boxes, here there and everywhere.  In unopened boxes at the house, at my parents home, and at the boyfriends pad in London.  

We are lucky enough to have a gorgeous Georgian marble fireplace in our kitchen, so I am thinking about converting the alcoves either side of the fireplace in to a dedicated cookery bookshop…we just require some shelves, a joiner and to retrieve all the books from their hiding places!

I long for the day for when I will have the time to cook from each and every recipe book, however until this day comes I will simply have to use my time at the weekends more wisely and begin to crack open the summer inspired books to create an al fresco feast or two. 

Here are Butterfly Lane’s top 5 cookery books from my collection…at the moment!

English Food by Jane Grigson

Invest in a classic

‘’A selection of traditional and modern recipes as well as informative, evocative discussion on the orgins of all kinds of British food.’’

This book can be classed as your cooking manual.  It covers all food and prefers quality to quantity, and the writing is just sublime.  Think soups, hot crossed buns, roast dinners, everything that is British and fabulous. 

Thai Food by David Thomas

The modern choice 

This book is the bible of all things Thai food.  With his extraordinary knowledge Thomas brilliantly captures the essentials of an entire cuisine.  Covering one of the most complex, wide ranging cuisines in the world.  Let your taste buds go in to over drive and invest in this book.


The Restaurant Cookery Book

Bocca di Lupo is London’s premier, award winning Italian restaurant in the heart of Soho and the accompanying book by head chef Jacob Kenedy allows you to bring the experience in to your own kitchen.  Kenedy travelled the length and bredth of Italy over the course of a year, gathering his favourite recipes, many of them obscure and slightly bizarre but all absolutely delicious.  The chef declares, ‘’be warned – this is a cookbook with teeth’’.  The recipes are accompanied by a stories from his travels, which not only makes this book is a must read, the restaurant is a must visit too, and his recipes…well, you must recreate! 

Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl

The obligatory celebrity cookbook

I fell in love with Sophie Dahl’s whimsically and poetic take on cooking during her BBC cookery series, and I equally love her book.  Full of enchanting stories and gorgeously indulgent recipes.  Divided in to the seasons, the book is clear and the recipes easy to recreate.  In fact a few of her recipes are in my ‘cook everyday’ repertoire, including her punchy tomato and red onion soup, a flavorsome shepherd’s pie and her orange victoria sponge recipe with homemade jam, which I use for every birthday cake I make.  Don’t be put off by the ‘model turned chef’ element of this book, the essence is amazing food by a genuine food lover. 

Complete Traditional Recipe Book by The National Trust

For the Aga Owners

Now that I rely on an Aga for all my culinary requirements, this book is great as every recipe is converted in an Aga format, which is very handy for an Aga novice like myself.  Jam packed with over 300 traditional British recipes:  Apple Crumbles, Bread and Butter Pudding, Lancashire Hot Pot, Bubble and Squeak,  oh my mouth is watering as I type!  Including sections on preserves, drinks and confectionary, along with a background knowledge on key dishes, this is a definite for your collection, even if you don’t have an Aga!

My Wish List: 

Modernist Cuisine:  The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold (and team)

Wow, this collection of six books is definitely on my wish list.   It is virtually an encyclopedia of cooking with 1500 recipes of scientific, laboratory inspired creations.  The main pull of this book to me is the incredible photography.  Everything is photographed with a cross-section perspective, with incredible results.  However, with the £400 price tag these books are very expensive, maybe one to save for!

Amazing images from the book

If you have any cookery books that you cannot live without please get in touch and let Butterfly Lane know, as I always need an excuse to add to my collection! 

Happy cooking everyone…X 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Reign Supreme: The Diamond Jubilee

Our gracious Queen is to celebrate 60 years on the throne on 5 June and the country is gearing up for one hell of a party.  From street parties to garden parties galore, village fetes and afternoon tea's, we are all feeling terribly British right now!  The main focus of the celebrations are in London town, and they are preparing to light up the city with spectacular events.  I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Thames Pageant, with over a thousands boats floating down the Thames, it’ll be one of the biggest flotillas ever assembled on the river, and it is sure to be an amazing sight! 

Sketch of how the Thames Boat Pageant will look

The shops are bursting with commemorative merchandise and I’m already getting in on the game.  I have just bought this fabulous tin of biscuits from the British favourite M&S, I’m so loving the keep-sake tin!  I must admit that I am a sucker for a collectable tin, I have a lot!  My excuse is that you never know when you’ll need one…to transport cakes and biscuits…to use as storage, the options are endless.  Another purchase has been bought today, my favourite  elderflower cordial has had a very patriotic makeover in ode of the Jubilee celebrations.  Love!

M&S Diamond Jubilee Biscuit Tin 

Belvoir Patriotic Elderflower

Here at Butterfly Lane we are loving what Harvey Nichols are doing for the Jubilee celebrations.  Their tongue in cheek designs are so much fun, I think a purchase might well be on the horizion!  This fabulously fun lunch box (£14.95) is in homage to a former royal footsmans revelation that Her Majesty keeps her corn flakes in Tupperware.  So why not keep your sandwiches or corn flakes in royal realms too!

Celebrate the Queens Jubilee with the most beloved of British drinks...tea!  These whimsical tea bags are so much fun and a steal at £4.95!

Also, these themed biscuits by Biscuiteers are just the ticket so go with your English cuppa!  Prices start at £9.00.

Pimms is by far the obligatory British drink for a hot summer’s day of celebration.  Here’s how to get the perfect mix…

  • Mix one part Pimms 
  • Three parts lemonade
  • Add sprigs of mint
  • Add slices of cucumber
  • Add orange segments 
  • Add fresh strawberries 
  • Serve over ice

Tally ho, get the Pimms ready, finger sandwiches prepared, hang the bunting and let’s have a jolly good time!