Bay Window

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Real estate listings typically lead with stunning visual features like a bay window. Why then do designers sometimes struggle with how to dress this architectural feature? And more importantly, how to use the space found within the bay?

Interior designer Jane Lockhart turned this bay window into a destination in her client’s home. Full draperies provide physical and psychological warmth to the space so it can be used year round. Two comfortable arm chairs tuck neatly back and the large purple ottoman makes it a comfortable spot to sit and read or enjoy a cup of tea.

Do you have a trick for turning a bay window into usable floor space?

Last-minute Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipes from Gluten-free Holiday by Hannah Miles
Ryland Peters and Small

Gluten-free Holiday cover

This is a great cake to make if you discover at the last minute that you have someone with a wheat allergy visiting for Christmas. As the fruit is soaked in wine and brandy until plump there is no need to ‘feed’ the cake with alcohol, unless you wish to.

For the cake
14 oz. dried mixed fruit
⅔ cup glacé/candied cherries, halved
¾ cup ginger wine
1 tbsp brandy, plus extra for feeding (optional)
2 sticks butter, softened
1 generous cup soft dark brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 generous cup gluten-free self-raising/ self-rising flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 heaped cup ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice/apple pie spice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To decorate
8 oz. golden marzipan
3 tbsp smooth apricot jam/jelly
10 oz. ready-to-roll icing/fondant
icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
red gluten-free sugar candies
9″ round loose-bottomed springform cake tin/pan, greased and lined with baking parchment
holly cutter
ribbon

Gluten-free Holiday fruit cake

Gluten-free Holiday fruit cake – Photography by William Reavell

 

Instructions
Put the mixed fruit, cherries, ginger wine and brandy in a bowl, cover and soak overnight.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3. Whisk together the butter and sugar, until light and creamy. Whisk in the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder, almonds, cinnamon, mixed spice and vanilla, as well as the fruit and soaking liquid. Mix until incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin/pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the cake springs back to your touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and place on a wire rack to cool completely. If you want to ‘feed’ your cake, pierce small holes in the top and spoon over a few tablespoons of brandy.

When you are ready to serve, dust a surface with icing/confectioners’ sugar, and roll out the marzipan to a 5 mm/ 1/4 inch thickness. Using the washed and dried base of the cake tin as a template, cut out a 23-cm/ 9-inch circle of marzipan. Gently heat the apricot jam in a saucepan, and brush over the top of the cake using a pastry brush. Using a rolling pin, life the marzipan circle on to the cake and press down.

Roll out 250 g/ 8 oz. of the ready-to-roll icing/fondant and cut out a 23-cm/9-inch circle, using the same method as above. Brush the top of the marzipan with more apricot jam, and place the icing circle on top. Crimp the edges of the ready-to-roll icing and marzipan into pretty patterns. Roll out the remaining icing, and cut out holly leaves. Fix the holly leaves to the top of the cake using a little of the apricot jam and tie a ribbon around the edge of the cake. Add red candy ‘berries’.

The cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Alternatively, wrap the un-iced cake in baking parchment and clingfilm/plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Unwrap the cake and ‘feed’ it with several spoonfuls of brandy each week.

Serves 8–12

Which Do You Prefer? Frame Up

Frame Up

When it comes to grouping artwork do you prefer?

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Interior Design: Nathan Thomas – Photography by Axel Dupeux

 

Matching frames for a unified look?  Or…

Interior Design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group - Photography by Simon Burn

Interior Design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group – Photography by Simon Burn

 

Mix and matching frame styles and colours?

Try this at Home

Personality Walls

We love the personality big scale ideas inject into small spaces. Tiny nooks or gathering areas—even the smallest niche can have high impact with embellished walls and creative treatments. 

Time to give your walls personality? 

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Design credit: Kimberley Seldon Design Group

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Design Credit: leclairdecor.com

 

Bare Windows

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Who wouldn’t want to luxuriate in this gorgeous bathroom designed by Calgary interior designer, Nyla Free?

Wait a minute? There’s no window covering!

Can you go bare in the bathroom? How much privacy do you need? Let us know!

PS. Nyla, we think the green chair is a touch of genius.

Less is More? Which way do you Dabble?

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Sure. We can appreciate the purity of a room with no visual distractions. But we can also appreciate a room that’s actually decorated.

Who’s having more fun? The spare and disciplined? Or those who surrender to colour,  pattern and accessories?

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Which way do you Dabble?