Category: Colour Inspiration

Five ways to Update your Outdoor Area this Summer

I love entertaining outdoors, but during the winter months my back yard and entertainment area go to waste and become a bit of a sad space.  This week, I’ll give you a few ideas on how to get it back into tip top shape, ready to entertain the crowd this weekend.


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Lighting in the form of candles, a string of LED lights or a strategically placed pendant can create an immediate festive atmosphere in your outdoor area.  If you have an overhanging branch, it can be the perfect spot for hanging pots with tea lights or wrapping string lights around.


update outdoor area bright colours
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Nothing screams summer like an abundance of bright, happy colours.  Try an attention grabbing red for a punch of energy and mix with bright tranquil blues.


update outdoor area potted plants
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If your entertainment area is more of an indoor space, remember to add pots of colour and greenery to bring the outdoors inside.  Experiment with different textures and shapes or try bright colours as accent points in interesting prints.


update outdoor area painted furniture
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If your current outdoor setting is still in good nick simply give it a new coat of paint. Don’t be afraid to play with colour either; pastel blues and greens are a great way to give furniture a whole new look.


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All the decorative elements you add to a room create interest.  By by adding textures and layers you increase physical comfort and it becomes a multi-dimensional room that’s pleasing to the eye.  Pile on the cushions and light the fire, I’ll bring the marshmallows!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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STOP these SEVEN colour mistakes right now!

Picking wall colour can be an excruciating exercise for some and one of the most difficult elements in design to get right.  So many factors have to be considered, for example the quantities you’re using, what levels of lightness or darkness you have in a room and what colours are suitable to be used together.  Today, I’ll try to lighten the load with a few pointers:

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Light is one of the most important factors when considering a wall colour.  Don’t ever try to select a paint colour off a sample at the paint shop, especially under harsh lighting!  Order a large paint sample online (no smaller than A4) and put it against the wall in the room you’re planning to paint, for at least 24 hours.  At least then you’ll have a good idea on what the paint will look like in artificial light, daylight, as well as in the evening.  If still uncertain, you’ve got our number! 😉


colour mistakes, too many colours
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If your room is feeling cluttered and busy, it’s most likely that you’re using too many colours in the wrong quantities.  There aren’t any hard and fast rules for the amount of colours you can splash around in a room, but try this one before going haywire:  start with one or 2 primary colours and balance it with a few secondary colours.  Remember to use a few neutrals as well and as soon as you feel the room starting to feel a bit claustrophobic, it’s time to pair back. Getting to know the colour wheel will help greatly in these decisions, but a quick call to the professionals (mwah) will be even better 😉


We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get that perfect colour for a room and end up repainting the walls in the colour it’s always been, for simplicity’s sake.  Remember that after you’ve done your research about different colours, you have to trust yourself that you’ve made the right decision and can always start with one room to see how you’re feeling about the new look.  Our lives and fashion continually change, so our rooms need to change with it.  At the end of the day, it’s only paint!


colour mistakes, balance with neutrals
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It’s easy to go overboard once you fall in love with a colour.  You want to be able to see it everywhere, on your walls, in ornaments, rugs and cushions!  This can create too many focal points of screaming colours, so try to create pockets of resting places for your eyes.  Offset your colours with “blank spaces” i.e. applying lots of neutral elements to your room.


colour mistakes, purest hues
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So you decided your perfect colour is blue and you want to use it as an accent wall in it’s purest form.  When applying colour to a large area, be careful that it’s a colour that would draw you in, not let you jump back in fear and nausea.  For a more subtle look, try using tints (white added) or shades (black added) for a more dramatic or uplifting appearance.  Leave the stronger hues for your child’s next birthday party.


colour mistakes, playing too safe
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I fondly remember the mauve walls in our spare bedroom in my mother’s house, paired with maroon floral curtains which matched the duvet cover precisely.  Matching all your colours can have the opposite effect you’re aiming for – it could make you rooms feel unlived in and bland.  Try steering away from safe colours and install that kitchen with bright yellow doors if it makes you happy.  A punch of colour repeated throughout the house will create great appeal and uplift the dullness of everything matching perfectly.


colour mistakes, cohesion
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If that’s your thing and you can live with it, you could have a different colour palette in every room of your house!  Although that could create a rather hectic atmosphere, there are ways to make each room individually appealing by having them “talk” to each other without matching everything precisely.  You might need your colour wheel for this exercise, so keep it handy.  It’s best to have a few colours complementing each other from one room to the next, especially if you have a view of the adjoining room.  This way, the colours aren’t matching, but create a lovely flow from room to room.

For more expert colour advice, read our blog, How to decorate with Red, or Get the Knack for Decorating with Black.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera


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Minion Yellow – Now an official Pantone Colour!

I was a little bit surprised, but love this name for a colour! Pantone has developed and named a colour after a movie character! Say welcome to Minion Yellow, from the movie ” Despicable Me”.

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Let me first clarify: “What is this Pantone-thing we talk of some times?”

It is an International standardised system for matching colours, mostly used in specifying printing inks. This way you can specify a specific colour for a project and everyone world-wide will know what code to use to generate the exact same colour. Recently we wrote a blog about this year’s Pantone colour of the year: Masala. (A colour we don’t particularly like…)

However, I am sure there will now be many new children’s rooms with Minion Yellow as an accent colour. The wall in this room is just amazing:

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So if you want to make sure you have the same exciting yellow throughout your home, give Minion Yellow a go!

Happy painting & decorating,

eriana bredenhann


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Pantone Marsala: The misrepresentation of red wine

I love wine. In a glass. Not on my couch or on my floor.

Every year Pantone announces a new “colour of the year ” and this year it was Marsala. Suddenly, you will see the colour everywhere. I was super excited when someone told me the new Marsala colour represents red wine.  To be honest, to me it is just the plain old maroon. This is what it looks like:



It is supposed to be appealing to both men and women, flattering against most skin tones and both dramatic and sophisticated at the same time.

So I browsed around on the internet to find some images of homes where this colour has been used successfully. To be honest, I found that this colour could work well as a focal point. Unfortunately only as a focal point… So if you have contemporary taste and just “have to use” the latest Pantone colour, invest in a piece that you can replace again. I will not recommend spending your money on big ticketed items with a Marsala tone! Except if it is a box of red wine you need to store in your pantry.

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Most people think that decorating with black can be quite depressing, sombre, too formal or modern.  I believe that a little bit of black is necessary in every room;  it is stylish and dramatic, it provides a grounding effect and can be used in combination with any décor style!  If done correctly, it enhances colours and shapes around it and creates a soothing warmth in combination with the right lighting.  I’ve put together 5 tips for you to remember if you are adventurous at heart.


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Like any dark colour, black can overwhelm easily.  Make sure that your lighting is adequate, but is doesn’t necessarily have to be natural lighting.  Some of the most beautiful hotel rooms rely on light fixtures to create a warm glow.  If you decide to combine black with white, then black should dominate the palette for a more elegant look.



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Decor in the 70’s

Among some, the 70’s era is known as the decade that taste forgot.  Self expression and individualism were hallmarks of the time and sometimes presented itself in the most hideous ways!

1970 decor

I was born in the early 70’s, so I was too young to go to a disco, wear flared pants or make use of some terrific slang. Of course, catching up wasn’t hard to do, as it’s the best and most fun era to dress up in ever!


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RED: How to use the Colour of Passion and Energy in your Home

Representing passion, fertility, anger, blood and energy, no other colour evokes as many emotions as red.  Some people might be attracted to the energy of red, while others find red too alarming and intense.  The Chinese consider red the colour of happiness and good luck, while North Americans associate red more with danger and emergency.

If you are passionate about red, you might tend to overdo it in your home.  Red is such an energising colour, that the over use of it can easily become furious and intense.  The idea, when using red, is to entice, intrigue and invite, not to feel as if you’ve been clubbed over the head with it! There are many shades of red, from faded rose to deep burgundy.  With the right shade in the right place, red can be used almost anywhere.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how red has been used in an appropriate way.

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The position of a colour in a space has to be carefully considered, as it has a significant impact on the psychological effect of the colour.  To give you an example, a burgundy rug on the floor will feel regal, solid and inviting, but the same colour on the ceiling, will look heavy, disturbing and intrusive.

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Adding an area rug like a kilim or Oriental carpet, is a great way to bring in colour, regardless of décor.  It lifts a monochromatic living space and picks up colour throughout with a few well placed accessories.

Adding a conversation starter, like a red sofa to your living room, might be the key to a companionable vibe when having a get together with friends. As it is also an excellent choice for hiding red wine stains, I can’t think of a better option for a living area.

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To inject a burst of colour into your dining room, cherry red chairs might be the way to go. It is also the colour that stimulates appetite and blood flow (no appetite enhancer in my house needed, thank you very much). Just make sure that you don’t overdo it with an overabundance of other red accessories.  Sometimes less is more…

To make a sitting area come alive, adding a deep crimson table or chair might be just the thing to finish it off.   

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Red has a fantastic way to neutralise cooler colours like greens and blues, lending a real sense of warmth to the room.  It’s a great way to add life and energy to a lifeless and uninviting space.  To introduce red into a room, do it by adding throw cushions, flowers and vases as accents.  Red is extremely eye catching, so it anchors the observer’s attention to an area of the room or highlights a more stunning part of the room.  It is believed that red backgrounds increase the attractiveness and desirability of someone standing in front of it.   My friends are all extremely attractive, so I’ve left my walls white! 

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Before you try to go too bold, make sure your space can handle it.  High ceilings, lots of natural light in combination with a few muted colours could help tone it down. 

Don’t forget to send in a photo of your bold and beautiful red decor!

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Copper Inspiration for your home

Long before one found copper everywhere in every decor magazine, I was in love with copper. I can still remember the copper spade and bucket next to my grandparents’ fireplace. I loved how shiny it was, although grandma always complained that it was hard work to keep it looking that way!

copper mood board

My favourite combination: Copper, black and grey. Today copper is used in many different forms, and adds a very lively accent to a room. (more…)

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