Thursday 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

What a year it has been for me here at Modern Country Style! 2015 has been a year of significant change, with so much going on behind the scenes with our house move but, come January, I'll be gearing up to reveal all! I can't wait....which is good because there's only ONE MORE DAY until the New Year!

Here's to a very happy, very Modern Country 2016!

Image via OwlCanada

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Tuesday 22 December 2015

A Very Red Christmas House Tour!

Although there may be some new ideas that I'm trying out, having recently moved house, like the wreaths-on-windows shebang we spoke about last time, it has to be said that there are some absolute non-negotiables for me. And one of those is my favourite Christmas colour scheme. 

I'm a die-hard fan of red, green and gold at Christmas. 
It's traditional, it's warm and it's timeless.

Here's a Christmas house that takes that very same scheme of red, green and gold theme throughout the whole home.

Oooh, and look! A gorgeously festive Christmas garden! I love it!

Images via: Casa Tres Chic

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Thursday 17 December 2015

New Decorating Ideas For Christmas: Hanging Wreaths At Windows

This year, Christmas is feeling a little bit different for me. You know that this year, we've moved to a gorgeous Georgian gem and that means newness! Getting out our Christmas decorations means deciding all over again where to hang each and every one. I've decided to embrace this as a Good Thing.... 

boxwood wreaths hung on cabinets:

Det blir en naturlig jul i år. Självklart ska det extra noga utvalda pyntet fram, men den här gången vill familjen ha det mer vilsamt. En jul med inslag av naturfärger är minst lika härlig som en röd!:

Now, usually I am an ardent stickler of traditions at Christmas but I've given myself free rein to try out...shock, ideas! 

Giftbox Topiaries (great inexpensive idea!) {is that Debbie Doosenburry's cool shop before she close it in Kansas??}:

Wish I had windows like that to look out through from my |

One of the ideas I love is the hanging of wreaths at windows. Our new home has, joy of joys, large sashes. Yes, they're draughty, yes, they're noisy but, oh boy, are they the apple of my style-eye!

Potted Christmas Trees Make Every Room Festive | The Stir:


And they're just perfect for a little spot of wreath-hanging.

window idea:

Christmas cottage~

I'm off this afternoon to choose the perfect wreaths so, in the spirit of trying to get myself to embrace the new at Christmas, here are my window-wreath-round-up (trying saying that three times fast!).

southern living southern living southern living:

And what about you? How are you at trying out new ideas at Christmas? Are you like me, who cringes at the thought of seasonal changes? Or are you the kind of style whizz who likes a new look each year?

All images from:

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Monday 14 December 2015

The English Country House Garden and Designing Gardens: Book Reviews

Hello, my scrumpets,

Today I have two last book suggestions for your Christmas wish-list before we crack on with some real Christmas action...

The first is The English Country House Garden by George Plumptre and photographs by Marcus Harpur (published by Frances Lincoln) which shares with us a whole gamut of gorgeous spaces, most of which (is that angels singing?!) are open to the public in one way or another, the National Trust, NGS or simply open their gates.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Chipping Campden has been created since 1920 and over three generations by Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers. It is open to the public, April to September

We're taken, chapter by breathtaking chapter, through some of the most beautiful, I think its not too blushingly unEnglish to say, world-class gardens: Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Hidcote (termed The Essentials) are all here, natch, but also, twenty other beauties, each every one of them jaw-droppingly stunning.

Yet The English Country House Garden isn't just pretty pictures; in his highly readable and educational text George Plumptre reveals the Unfolding History, the Country House Garden Ideals and Personal Creations in subsequent chapters, showing that England really does do gardening very well indeed....which leads me nicely onto my second choice...

Arabella Lennox-Boyd's Designing Gardens: this is one of those wonderful books that manages to inform and inspire at the same time. The first part of the book expounds garden design principles: structure, planting, planning and schemes, while the second part shares a huge range of gardens designed by Arabella.

That's the basic premise in a nutshell but I feel it stops seriously short of revealing what an incredible resource this is. Arabella Lennox Boyd has been extremely generous in sharing so much of her hard-earned knowledge.

I love it that she's very honest about the challenges she faces in each plot, and the solutions she finds, whether it can be measured in acres...

...or centimetres.

It's easy to taste the passion in each page of Designing Gardens, some of these gardens have been worked on for nearly thirty years - that's commitment for you!

{Tell Santa to click through on the links for each book!}

Now then....the festive season is calling....let's get Christmassy.....

Images by Marcus Harpur and Andrew Lawson

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Thursday 10 December 2015

Alan Titchmarsh How To Garden Series Book Review

If you're anything like me, I'm always on the lookout for brilliant new books to devour. I've recently discovered a whole series by Alan Titchmarsh called How To Garden. These were published a few years ago but have somehow escaped my beady eye. However, they've not dated in any way, showing that Alan's advice is well worth its salt.

Who can forget Alan Titchmarsh's My Secret Garden book, revealing his very own garden? It's become a particular favourite of mine. This man practices what he preaches.

Let me heartily recommend three of the How To Garden series in particular. Small Trees, Garden Design and Small Gardens, all published by Ebury.

Small Gardens and Small Trees go together like mulled wine and mince pies....Alan Titchmarsh describes a small garden as anything smaller than a tennis court, which I'd say covers probably 80% of English gardens! When you read his words, Alan has a gift of making you feel that what you've previously felt are problems with a garden are actually its best assets. Full of practical advice and knowledge for making the very most of your precious patch, these two books will make you fall in love with your garden all over again. 

Garden Design is my third recommendation from the series. It's absolutely chocablock full of completely attainable inspiration, leaving you feeling full of the joys of spring, even in the middle of winter! This book takes you through every aspect of designing your garden in Alan titchmarsh's warm, chatty style.

Each of these books is only about 140 pages - just right for a stocking filler, no? May I suggest you start dropping present request hints right about now?!

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