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At Home with The Hut’s Homeware Buyer

The Hut talks inspiration, trends and homeware must-haves for this season with buyer Jen Hill.

Regularly on the lookout for up-and-coming collections and brands, The Hut’s head homeware buyer Jen Hill spends a large part of her working hours travelling Europe in search of the most exciting new arrivals in the homeware world. “The homeware industry is as exciting as it has ever been”, according to Jen, “and we are more invested than ever in personalising and styling our homes”. From attending the world’s prestigious homeware fairs such as Paris’s Maison & Objet or London’s Top Drawer to meeting new brands in Copenhagen or the Cotswolds, Jen specialises in translating an ever-changing industry into a unified collection of homeware representing the best the industry has to offer in the homeware department at The Hut.

Regular time away from home helps inspire Jen to understand what the home should be and what we want in our personal space after a trip away or a long day at work. For Jen, the home is place to unwind, to let go, to feel completely at ease. It is somewhere that is in many ways personal, yet also somewhere to be enjoyed and shared with friends and family. We recently paid Jen a visit to catch up on this season’s biggest trends, her homeware essentials, tips on hosting the perfect dinner party & much more.

 

Question: What are the key trends you have seen coming through for the Spring/Summer season?
Answer:

Metallics have been big for a few seasons now, but the trend appears to be evolving this season. While shades of copper and rose gold have been the must-have metallics for the past couple of years, this season is seeing a move towards more industrial metallics in terms of both colour and finish.

We are finally also beginning to experiment more with texture this season, juxtaposing different materials to give more depth and character to our interiors. I like combining ceramics with wood, glassware and soft table linen at home to create a textured, laidback, rustic feel.

Cool whites and minimalist spaces have also become popular of late, but look set to be ousted in favour of warm shades of terracotta for this season. Perfect for giving a warm, rustic feel whether used as feature walls in bathrooms of for cladding fireplaces, I enjoy contrasting terracotta with florals and greenery around the home.

 

Question: With the evenings stretching out for longer, summer is typically a more social time of the year when we invite guests into the home. What are your essentials for hosting the perfect dinner party?
Answer:

With dinner parties, the devil is in the detail. Investing in luxury essentials will help elevate the dining experience and I always appreciate good quality glassware whether dining at a friend’s or out at a restaurant. Whenever I have guests round, I always enjoy the excuse to show off my LSA International glassware collection which never fails to draw compliments.

I would also recommend using homeware and tableware that invites a sharing environment that generally lends the table an open, warm ambience. A current favourite is Broste Copenhagen’s smoked effect carafe, which also doubles up as a striking contemporary centrepiece.

Question: As modern life quickens and contemporary kitchens become increasingly smaller, a current trend in the homeware world is clever gadgets and tools designed to maximise space and save time in the kitchen. What tools would you say have helped elevate your kitchen experience?
Answer:

The homeware industry has never been as exciting as it is today, and I am always in awe of the work designers are producing today that are helping transform home life. For me, Joseph Joseph is synonymous with innovation in kitchenware design and frequently solves common issues we all face but never really think about. The brand’s iconic INDEX chopping boards were a game-changer in saving space in the kitchen as well as catering to the different ingredients we all now use in the kitchen. I am also a huge fan of Joseph Joseph’s Chop2Pot chopping boards. We’re all in a rush when we’re cooking and when transferring ingredients from the chopping board to the pot, we nearly always end up with food spilled around the stove and on the floor; the Chop2Pot has changed that with a startlingly simple yet brilliant design.

Question: And more generally, what makes up your essential kitchenware arsenal?
Answer:

I think it’s fair to say that Le Creuset revolutionised my life in the kitchen. Its cast iron pots and pans are used so often that I rarely put them away, and they now make up part of my kitchen furniture. As we all know, they are incredibly versatile but also perfect for taking straight from the oven and transferring to the table for sharing with friends and family. Whether online or through family or friends, I am always discovering new recipes to try in my cast iron pot and so I find that it’s also a great way to discover new foods to try.

Question: What would be your top three recipes to try in your Le Creuset cast iron pot?
Answer:

I am currently enjoying the new Persian-inspired Le Creuset campaign and the brand’s new lamb tagine recipe is one I will be going back to again and again.

Otherwise I love a one-pot recipe such as an old fashioned chicken casserole. I always make far too much and enjoy it over a couple of days—and it’s always so much better the second time round!

For a summer alternative, a sausage cassoulet never fails to impress and is another one that is great for sharing.

Recipes

Discover Persian Cuisine with Le Creuset

To celebrate the launch of its new Colours of Spice range, Le Creuset has teamed up with Persian and Middle Eastern cookery expert, Sabrina Ghayour, to bring you the Persian recipes to spice up your culinary regime.

2017-03-07 10:49:47By atkinsons

Question: Finally, what would be your top tips for laying the perfect table?
Answer:
  1. Don’t make things too formal. Lay everything out ready for your guests to tuck in and share; I find this allows people to relax a little more, enjoy the food and feel more at home at the table.
  2. Mix up your tableware with contrasting bowls and platters. We’re often guilty of purchasing sets of plates, cups, platters and bowls and then refraining from using them once one has a chip or a crack, but contrasting bowls and platters always creates a more interesting table setting.
  3. Offer a choice of red or white wine glasses. At most dinner parties your wine glass would already be laid out for you on arrival and all wine would be served in the same glasses. Offering a choice between red or white wine glasses is one of those small details that helps give a personalised experience and make a big impression on your guests.



atkinsons

atkinsons

Writer and expert