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Homes: All that's new in interiors for June

Get Snug

Ever craved a little bit of extra space in your home to call your own? The lockdown has certainly got many of us looking at our properties with fresh eyes and thinking of ways to create spaces that improve our working from home experience, give us a place to exercise in peace, or in which the kids can safely and comfortably play.

Enter Snuggeries, a new Cambridge-based business with a vision to transform your unused outdoor space into a luxury, bespoke ‘Snugg’ – a super-stylish, eco-friendly garden room, built exactly to your specifications.

Launching in the middle of a pandemic was a bold move, but owner Cliff Gibson recognised there was a greater need than ever to help people get the most value out of their homes.

“Some people have said we’re mad for launching now, but I’ve always loved a challenge! We pride ourselves on our focus on the customer consultation, challenging clients to carefully think through how they will use the space and what their needs may be – however quirky.”

Snuggeries is eco-conscious, too: the only garden room supplier to offer the AstecTherm eco-friendly infrared heating system in all their builds as standard, the company also uses only the highest quality insulation available, promising substantial savings on your energy bills as a result.

* Snuggeries is operating safely throughout the lockdown and offering customers virtual design consultations. Find out more at snuggeries.co.uk

* Pictures by Matthew Power

Live in Style

If spending so much time within four walls has given you the urge to revamp one or more of your rooms, Soham’s Barnsbury Furniture will be happy to help. Though the showroom is currently closed, in line with Government guidance, the team plan to reopen as soon it’s safe to do so.

“We offer a relaxed showroom environment with no hard sell,” says director Nick Wells. “We love what we do and want you to talk to us to help to make your home amazing.”

Providing what Nick describes as “a whole home experience”, Barnsbury supplies everything from soft furnishings, lighting and accessories to dining, bedroom and sitting room furniture. The displays evolve with the trends and there’s always something new and different to see, he adds: “Our mantra is dare to be different.”

Barnsbury Furntiure, Soham (34836766)
Barnsbury Furntiure, Soham (34836766)

Barnsbury has been in Nick’s family for more than 20 years and, usually open seven days a week, the company offers interest-free finance. As he says: “We believe that style doesn’t have to break the bank.”

* For updates, visit barnsburyfurniture.co.uk and follow barnsburyf1 on Facebook.

Time for Tea

From a train to a toast rack to a toilet, they make teapots in every shape conceivable: the sole remaining pottery in Britain to specialise in hand-crafted teapots, Carters of Suffolk is truly a national treasure. Its celebrity following alone is proof: Rick Wakeman bought himself a piano pot, while Harry Styles and Nick Grimshaw gifted Alexa Chung the toilet.

Carters, based at Stonham Barns, has been specialising in novelty teapots for more than four decades, using highly skilled slip-casting and hand-painting techniques which have barely changed since the 1700s. Each pot takes around a week to complete and only a few hundred will be made in most designs before a new design treatment is created, making them both rare and highly collectible.

“Our artisan craftspeople have in excess of 50 years’ combined experience, carrying out the slip moulding, painting and gilding which makes our products unique in the world,” says owner Mark Gillam. “The success of our products is driven by the passion of our staff, who make sure every piece crafted is up to our unwavering standards.”

Made with earthenware clay, Carters’ teapots are vegan friendly, unlike their porcelain and bone china counterparts. And they’re not just a pretty face: fully functional, they are guaranteed free from manufacturing defects for life.

The pots’ quality - the gold used in the decoration is real gold, while the silver is in fact platinum - has been endorsed by some of the world’s most esteemed retailers, with Carters of Suffolk supplying both Harrods and Liberty of London and Bloomingdales in the US. Full-sized tea pots have a certificate of authenticity and a unique serial number.

Offering a fully bespoke service, Carters can vary designs and colour palettes to suit a customer’s requirements. You can even choose to take a slip-cast ‘blank’ and have a go at painting your own.

* Carters of Suffolk is based at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspall, Suffolk IP14 6AT. In line with current Government guidance, much of the leisure and shopping park site is currently closed. For up-to-date details visit stonhambarns.co.uk. Carters’ web shop remains open: see cartersofsuffolk.com


Crafting can provide both calm and comfort in troubled times, says Knitting Needle Lane’s Camilla Carter

At times like this we all need something to get us through. If you’re not crafty, have never aspired to be or could think of nothing worse, then maybe now is the best time to turn the page. . . Or maybe you might consider trying something different to lighten your mood, give your brain a challenge and create some loveliness in the midst of this difficult time?

My calming and mindful go-to is knitting, as you might know. Since lockdown started, online sales have become like a 100 Christmases all rolled into one. Emails, phone calls; requests for safe-distance pick up and advice. You name it, all in the name of yarn!

You really do not need very much to get started - just a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook and a ball of yarn. There’s a world of free patterns online. If you’re an expert, you’ll already know about the online knit/crochet community called Ravelry: ravelry.com. And YouTube is a wealth of knowledge, ready to get you started or progress what you already know.

Knitting and/or crochet has been proven to calm and soothe. In these awful times, anxiety can be rife and something calming can help to quiet a troubled soul.

The crafty community are creating rainbows to hang in windows, to show support for our heroic frontline workers, and I have already made many gifts of brightly coloured sewed bunting to grace the walls of homes of the people that are the closest to us in our lives.

Don’t struggle alone: if you have a question, feel free to email me at camilla@knittingneedlelane.co.uk or give me a call on (01223) 561865 and I will do everything I can to help. Stay safe and keep crafting.

* See knittingneedlelane.co.uk for more.

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