Wedding gift inspiration and all for well under £30…

We all love a good wedding, don’t we? The bit that bothers us, other than deciding what to wear, is what the blinkin’ heck do you buy the happy couple that already have it all? The little tinkers have probably been living in sin together for some time and have all the crockery, pots, pans and household paraphernalia they need. So, why not get them something they don’t need but will almost certainly want to mark this momentous occasion. Here’s a few fun ideas…

Box of Memories

A truly unforgettable gift
A truly unforgettable gift

Already a beautiful gift as it is, but to make it even more special, get the ball rolling and fill it with some mementos of the couple’s story so far. Awwwww. Click here for more info…

 

His & Hers Tattoo Strongman Dolls

"Nice tatts!"... "Thanks, you too!"
“Nice tatts!”… “Thanks, you too!”

Whether they’re fans of tatts, dolls or just a bit of vintage style weirdness, these dolls are a cool alternative way to brighten up the newlyweds home. Click here for more info…

 

Rustic Glass Name Place Holders (set of 8)

Know your place!
Know your place!

A lovely gift that will be used for a lifetime of dinner parties and celebrations. Also make cute photo holders to dot around the house. Click here for more info…

 

Fairground ‘Love Heart’ Light

Fairground attraction
Fairground attraction

Love is in the air so why not stick it on the wall too. This fun retro fairground style piece will light up any home instantly. Click here for more info…

 

‘Message in a Bottle’

What will you write?
Sending out an M.O.L. (Message Of Love)

Just tell them you love them or pop in the details of that trip of a lifetime you’ve bought them. What an ingenious way to gift wrap a special message! Click here for more info… 

And if that lot doesn’t take your fancy there are plenty more inspirational ideas here…

 

5 key summer interior trends, nailed!

Metallic

Think outside the box
Ello ello ello. Nice copper.

Don’t just think industrial bar stools and washing up drainers. This season is heavy on metal but with a new, rather sophisticated spin. Gold, silver and bronze are all in, but why not think outside the box and hang this Large Round Copper Mirror for an edge of understated elegance.

 

Folk

So I'm back, to the velvet underground -  Back to the floor, that I love
So I’m back, to the velvet underground –
Back to the floor, that I love

Get dolled up like Stevie Nicks and decorate bohemian style for your kicks. Bright florals, cheerful patterns and geometric prints are winning looks this summer – rounding up all three is this beautiful digitally printed Gypsey Cowhide Rug (White) by Young and Battaglia

 

Monochrome

Textured tin tile trickery. Beautiful.
Textured tin tile trickery. Beautiful.

Even if you don’t have much experience when it comes to decorating your home this is a really easy style to master. For pared back elegance, adorn a wall with this gorgeous Brooklyn Tin Tiles Wallpaper – 07 by MERCI NLXL and make your friends green with envy. Which reminds us! Adding a hint of green to your black and white scheme, so cool right now.

 

Tropical

Who's a pretty birdy? That would be me.
Who’s a pretty birdy? That would be me.

Fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone! Indulge in vivid flowers, juicy fruits and exotic birds for a room that packs a punch. And if you don’t fancy going full on Club Tropicana just pop this Flamingo Cushion on your bed, chair or sofa for instant snazziness.

 

Natural

Stacks of marble. Yes please.
Stacks of marble. Yes please.

Try warm woods, smooth stones, organic fabrics and earthy tones for a calm and cosy haven. Pretty much any natural material goes, so put your own slant on it and roll with it. But if you want our advice, marble is massive at the moment and investing in these Marble & Brass set of 3 Nesting Tables would be a solid way to update your living room fast.

The best summer gin cocktails…

We’re all about the cocktails this week. Our recent post on ‘Pest-free’ cocktails which featured our Mason Jar Drinking Glass got us in the mood for summer thirst quenchers & so we’ve hunted the internet to find some of the ‘Gin’ cocktails out there that we think will get you and your guests in the mood for partying. You’re welcome…

Gin & Limoncello with Thyme…

limoncello-gin-cocktail
Think this is going to be my drink of the summer…

If you’re throwing a BBQ then this is ideal as you’ll be needing the hot griddle for grilling the thyme.

For this gorgeous looking glass of loveliness you’ll need the following:

  • 2 Sprigs of fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp of your favourite gin
  • 1 tbsp Limoncello

Firstly, prepare the thyme sprigs until fragrant and lightly charred by grilling them on the BBQ for about 15 seconds. In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, gently muddle the grilled thyme with the lime juice. Add the gin and limoncello and fill the shaker with ice (if not using a cocktail shaker, just add straight to a glass over ice and stir well), give it a good shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with fresh ice, garnish with some of the extra thyme, and serve.

Recipe by Robert Hellen  Photo: Lisa Romerein

Gin Gin Mule…

gin gin mule
Magnificent Mule in a mason jar…

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • a handful of mint including stalks
  • 1/4 cucumber roughly sliced
  • 300 ml feiry ginger beer
  • 150 ml of your favourite gin
  • 100 ml soda water

Firstly, we’re going to make a syrup. To do this you put the water in a pan and add the sugar, bring to the boil for a little while (Making sure you stir so it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn) until the sugar has melted. Set the sugary liquid aside to cool (Tip: it will cool quicker if you transfer it to a bowl)

Combine the lime juice, cucumber, mint and cooled syrup in the bottom of a jug. Add the ginger beer and gin, stir well, Pour into ice filled glasses and top off with a little additional ginger beer and a splash of soda water and garnish with mint and cucumber.

Original recipe by Joy Zhang on Artizone  – adapted by House Junkie for UK

Strawberry Gin Smash…

gin and strawberry smash
The look of summer right there…

 

 

  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 3 fresh strawberries, 2 hulled and sliced and 1 reserved for garnish
  • 3 ounces gin
  • Club soda
  • Fresh mint sprig, to garnis

In a tall glass, combine the sugar and a squeeze of juice from the lime wedge. Muddle with the back of a spoon to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced strawberries and lightly muddle. Fill the glass with ice and add the gin. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with the last strawberry and a sprig of mint.

Recipe & image from Liquor Sky

Perfect PEST-FREE cocktails for picnics, weddings and summer parties

If there’s one thing that really gets up our nose, or even worse, in our cocktails, it’s the little bugs and pesky winged fellows that the summer inevitably brings. Well here’s a cheap, cute and clever solution to say goodbye buzzy things, hello buzz!

Buzz off bugs! – The Mason Drinking Jar Glass

 

The Mason Jar Drinking Glass – Perfect for picnics and brilliant for BBQ’s these loveable little old-fashioned jars are made from embossed glass and finished with a metal lid which is topped off with a very sturdy straw that can be used time and time again.

TIP – For a cute, cheap and quirky way of dressing tables at vintage or festival weddings, why not ditch the traditional place cards and attach pretty name labels to the jars. Pop them next to other jars filled with origami kusudama flowers (click here to learn how to make them) and tea-lights as below. Much more fun!

Kusudama flowers, candles, jars
Nestle your labelled drinking jars in amongst other jars with kusudama flowers and candles – Gorgeous!

(photo courtesy of Elisabeth Kurtis Photography)

Each created for the occasion; here are three delicious quick and easy cocktail recipes (two naughty, one virgin) supplied by our friends, Tin and Glass Events

Super refreshing for all day summer parties and weddings…

…Nolet garden

– 35ml Ketel vodka

– 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 15ml elderflower cordial

– Soda water

Mix the vodka, lemon and elderflower then top up with as much (or little) soda water you like. Finish with a few ice cubes, a sprig of mint and a wedge of lemon. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

For boozy BBQ’s, bring out the…

…Bramble

– 35ml Bombay Sapphire

– 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 12.5ml Crème de mure

Shake the gin and lemon and strain over crushed ice. Drizzle over the crème de mure and garnish with blackberries and a lemon wedge. Deelish!

Perfect for parental picnics or parties with designated drivers…

…Perci’s peach

– 100ml peach juice

– 75ml ginger beer

– Squeeze of fresh lime

No instructions necessary with this one. Just garnish with a slice of peach, a wedge of lime and guzzle it guilt-free!

The Mason Jar Drinks Dispenser – It’s time to partay!

 

And if you plan on going till the early hours why not bring out the matching Mason Jar Party Drinks Dispenser to keep those jars replenished.

Right then, lets plan a soirée shall we…

Ooooh, exciting news….

exciting-news

 

We have an announcement…
Uniche has come a long way in three years. Our brand has grown and evolved into the business we’re so proud of today. And although Uniche has served us well, we felt like maybe the name was being left behind and was no longer a fit with our image. It’s with this in mind that we made the decision to have a name change. Being the interiors addicts that we are, we could think of no name that would suit us more than ‘House Junkie’! We’ve still got the same brilliant products and the same people running the show…We’d like to thank you for your continued support. Here’s to an exciting future! x

Be my Valentine…or not, whatever…

spoon-with-me-newsletter-im

The day of romance is upon us. Whether you have a hot date or even a date with friends, we’ve rounded up some cool alternative evenings for you…

wigwambam-1First up is WigWamBam: ‘Woodlandia’ is to be found on the rooftop of the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch. This woodland setting has a magical festival vibe with a huge BBQ and outdoor fires to warm your cockles. The menu boasts such things as ‘Slow gin pulled lamb shoulder burgers’ and ‘bourbon smoked BBQ beef brisket’. They also know how to whip up a winter warmer cocktail. I particularly like the sound of the ‘Hot buttered rum’ and ‘Egg Snog’! Browse the full website here

Broken_Hearts__Promises

Next up is Broken Hearts and promises‘. This is a pop up event held for one night only on Saturday 14th Feb.

If you like cocktails, laughter and disco (who doesn’t right?) this fun and flamboyant house party is a must. Set in a Bloomsbury town house with 5 themed rooms, including a Lulu Guinness kissing booth and Rose & Prosecco ‘Love’ Slush puppies…Want to find out more? Click here 

little-yellow-door

Whether you’ve been together forever, you’ve got a fresh, shiny new love or if youre single, snubbing valentines and fancy a night out with pals, this place could be worth a shot. With it’s chilled out, laid back atmosphere,  is the prefect venue for singles and couples alike. Think ‘cosy living room with friends’. If staying in is the new going out, then The Little Yellow Door have a concept for you. Styled around a Notting Hill living room, The Little Yellow Door has themed its innards on a suitably notable trope, the humble, yet quirky front room. With a key to let yourself in, and your very own mug to drink out of, this chilled out atmosphere reigns supreme as pretences are left by the door. Full details here.

Chocolate and Salted caramel cups…

SALTED-CARAMEL-POTS

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp dulce de leche or canned caramel (we used Carnation)
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus extra to serve
  • 85g each milk and dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 1-2 long, thin, plain grissini
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 100ml double cream, at room temperature
  • 50ml milk

Method

  1. Mix the caramel with the salt, divide between 2 small glasses and chill.
  2. Melt the chocolates together in a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Snap the grissini into short lengths, then dip each end into the chocolate to coat a little. Sit on a wire rack for the chocolate to drip and set a little, then dip the chocolate ends into the sugar to coat. Sit in an airtight container lined with baking parchment and chill to set until ready to serve.
  3. Stir the double cream and milk into the remaining melted chocolate until smooth, then scrape into a jug. Slowly pour on top of the caramel, around the edges first. Chill the pots for at least 2 hrs, or up to 24 hrs.
  4. To serve, scatter a little more sea salt on top of each pot, then add one or two chocolate dipped bread sticks.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2012

Chunky Beef Chilli

Bonfire night is nearly here. One of the only times when we’re permitted to turn back into children as we gawp up at the sky, staring wide eyed and open mouthed at the colourful explosions going on above our heads, icy fingers tucked deep into our pockets, noses buried into our scarves. No need to be cold though, we’ve got the best warming winter chunky beef chilli recipe for you here. Eat with crusty bread or dolloped on top of a baked potato. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 Butternut Squash
1 Aubergine
1 kg Stewing Beef
1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
2 Large Onions
2 Heaped Teaspoons Brown Sugar
100 ml Balsamic Vinegar
1 x400g Tin Cannellini Beans
2 x400g Tinned Tomatoes
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 fresh chilli
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
Olive Oil
Salt for taste

For Serving:

Crème fraîche
Grated Cheddar

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C

Peel the butternut squash, chop length ways, deseed and cut into rough 4 cm chunks. Cut the peppers and the fresh chilli in half and deseed. Add the butternut squash, peppers and fresh chilli onto a baking tray, coat in oil and half a tablespoon of smoked paprika and put in the over for 50 minutes or until golden and soft (peppers may be slightly charred, but this adds to the taste) when cooked, rip the peppers into large pieces, roughly chop the chilli into fine pieces, cover, put aside and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.

Place the beef, chopped onions, sugar, balsamic, tomato purée, chilli powder and smoked paprika into a casserole dish, drizzle in olive oil and fry on a medium heat until until meat is browned and the onions are soft and very slightly caramelised . Rinse the cannellini beans and add to the casserole dish along with the chopped tomatoes and about 100ml of water. Pop a layer of dampened grease proof paper directly on top, pushed onto the surface so touching the mixture, cover the very top of the casserole dish with tin foil and pop in the oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat is tender (It’s advisable to check every half an hour after it’s already been cooking for 3 hours)

Once cooked, remove the casserole dish from the oven, add the butternut squash, shredded peppers and chilli and stir in. Serve with a good splodge of crème fraîche, a handful of grated cheddar and either a baked potato or some fresh, crusty bread. Yum…