Category: Decorating Tips

Your Possessions from Cluttered to Stylish

By now, it is a well publicised fact that I’m an avid Salvo’s shopper and running out of space to put everything.  My behaviour sometimes (not too frequently) worries me and I decided to Google the difference between a hoarder and a collector.  I am thrilled and a lot less concerned after I’ve found this:

“Generally speaking, collectors are proud of their items and display them, while most obsessive-compulsive hoarders keep their possessions because they can’t bear to throw them away, even though they may be ashamed. They may feel anxious whenever anyone asks them about getting rid of things and, unlike collectors, there’s often an element of disorganization to their stash.” *

So now the question remains:  How do we display our new found possessions so that others (our friends, generally) don’t think we’ve taken up hoarding as a hobby?

TEXTILES

fabric storage
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Textiles can be an appealing sight if displayed in a cabinet that acts as a frame.  Grouping them in colour blocks and stacking them, will let the collection come into its own right.

MIRRORS and FRAMES

vintage mirror and frame
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Mirrors can alter the size of a room, highlight specific features in a room and reflect beams of light into dark corners (mmm… no wonder I have so many).  Grouping mirrors and frames together on your wall can create great impact and become a powerful feature in a room. Don’t worry if the frames are all different, they will complement each other because they are all mirrors.

KITCHEN WARE

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Arrange your finds in a way to showcase each one to its best advantage.  Combine old and new and play with timber texture for warmth, stack bowls with different patterns and get your dainty teacups out of the drawers. Try to stick to one or two colours only for a more harmonious display.

BOOKS

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Nothing beats the display of books for a feeling of homeliness.  Keep them tidy in a shelf and mix it up with baskets and ornaments to create a more visually appealing display.

To find some visual inspiration for newly acquired cushions or artwork, read our blog Styling with Cushions or How high should I hang my Art.

I think I have an empty spot under the table in my entry way… Salvo’s here I come!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

*Information found on KnowledgeNuts

 

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Five Rules for an Inviting Seating Arrangement

So the bottle of red has been opened to breath, your house is smelling of incense and roses (or toilet spray), the kitchen counter’s been cleaned and your dirty pots and pans from the previous night’s dinner are hidden in the oven.  What else can we do to get our guest comfortable (but not so at home that they don’t know when to leave)…

1.  EASY ACCESS TO SEAT

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Your guests had taken the trouble to travel all the way to your door, in some circumstances negotiated an abundance of traffic to finally arrive at your doorstep.  Take care to clear their path to a comfortable seat so that they don’t need to circumnavigate around obstacles to find a place to rest.

2.  LOW LIGHTING

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I cannot stress this enough – low lighting makes everyone look beautiful!  Wrinkles disappear and complexions become flawless – intimate atmosphere only an added bonus.  Light a candle and invest in a beautiful table or a floor lamp for a truly memorable evening (memory depending on how much wine is involved).

3.  ARRANGE SEATING CLOSE ENOUGH

We might not be at the age where our friends are cupping their ears to hear parts of conversation, but more youthfully inclined reliving the glorious 80’s in the form of Bon Jovi for our “come for a quick wine” Friday evenings.  This is why it’s of the utmost importance that the seating arrangement is set up at a distance that everyone will be able to have a decent conversation – even through the last throes of “Pour your Sugar on Me”.

4.  ACCESSORIES TO TOUCH AND TALK ABOUT

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Make sure your conversation starter is in the line of ornaments you’ve picked up on your travels, vintage market finds, or a few interesting books.  Best to leave the Lego car your child built or the Ken & Barbie travel set in the kids’ rooms.

5.  REFRAIN FROM BLOCKING EYE CONTACT

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Although I’m a firm advocator of bringing the outdoors in, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to stare into a huge bunch of flowers while trying to have a conversation with the person sitting across from you.  Keep your centre pieces to a low level for open lines of communication, or move them to another part of the room for the time being.

Enjoy your Friday night!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

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Personalise your Home with Plants

Many people can feel a bit intimidated when using indoor plants in a display, but plants are a great way to brighten up a space and bring the outdoors into your home.  On top of that, they purify the air and liven up an unused corner in a room.  Here are a few striking ways to display plants effectively:

personality - plants
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This climber in the corner lets your eye travel to the ceiling and add height and substance to this room. Macrame plant hangers are now very popular and affordable and can help you achieve that height in a corner.

plant display office
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I could spend the whole day in the office staring at this display of greenery! Just make sure that, when you water them, they don’t drip on your computer…

plants retro living area
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Who said you can’t turn your whole lounge into a garden?  Masses of plants displayed in a group can add lushness to your interior.

succulents and geometric table
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If you are a plant killer (like mwah), rather play it safe with succulents.  Colourful pots and geometric designs add some extra punch to this area. Succulents are so easy to keep alive, so no more excuses!   Read one of our previous blog to get some Inspiration on succulents.

olive tree simplicity
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It only takes a single ornamental olive tree to get a feel of sophistication and elegance in this room.  Of course, the beautiful white sofa also helps… It is amazing how this one olive tree instantly gave this room a French country style!

Good luck with the green thumbs!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

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Catch the Eye with Art

I love walking into someone’s home (invited of course!) and getting a sense of the person who lives there straight away.  There are a lot of ways to add a personal touch to your home, but displaying art is probably the best way to impart your unique personality to your space.

personality books and art
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Art can create an instant focal point in a room and adding symmetry in the shape of book cases or furniture pieces can help draw the eye towards it.

black and white art print
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Personalising your space to make it unique to you, need not be expensive.  A simple black and white print will lift a room in no time and can be used in any colour scheme.

Art letter
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The great thing about art is that it can be done without breaking the budget.  A single letter placed correctly can be more effective than a whole gallery wall of prints.

Art statement colourful parrot
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Be bold with colour and get noticed.  Nothing lifts a black and white colour scheme than striking hues and bold prints.

wall of art
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Do you have too many art pieces to know what to do with?  Get them out from under your bed and let them work for you in a cohesive display.

If you want to get a few more tips on how to create a comfortable and welcoming home, read our blogs Secrets to Create a Cosy Home or How to personalise your home with plants.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

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Do you hate your small skirting?

Did you know you can make your skirting look bigger without removing them first? Many of us have those thin, cheap, small skirting in our home. Installed by someone who either wanted to cut costs, or has no idea that a skirting can give a room a real sense of elegance when chosen correctly! We get this question a lot from our clients. “Should I replace my old skirting?” Today we have good news. You can make your skirting look bigger without a handyman. Just one trip to the hardware store.

how to paint skirting
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We really love this tutorial above from The Smiths of The House of Smiths. You just buy some trim from your local hard ware store and nail or glue it to your wall. Then paint it the same colour as the existing skirting, as well as the piece of wall in between. It now looks exactly like a big brand new skirting! Don’t you think it is a great idea?

No more excuses, grab that nail gun and paint and upgrade your skirting! It is really a job that anyone can master!

skirting grey feature
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If you are brave, you can even install two skirting boards on top of each other and paint them different colours for some extra design feature. Enjoy, and send us photos of your masterpiece!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Easy geometric wall patterns anyone can paint

You don’t have to be creative to get the latest paint trends on your wall. Anyone can do this! It can take between 15 minutes or 4 hours. Depending on your commitment, who’s helping you and if you are allowed to drink a glass of wine while you paint.

how to paint geometric shapes on your wall diy
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It is really that easy! And if it is a mega failure, just paint over it again.

Here are some more inspirational images for you. Make your own patterns, or use them as guidelines. Such an easy and affordable way to give your room a BIG BANG!

nursery diamond geometric wall paint patterns pink
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diamond pattern geometric wall paint
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grey and pink geometric paint patterns on wall
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grey geometric patterns wall paint
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diamond pattern wall paint diy
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Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Best tips for cheap subway tile layouts

We recently helped a client to renovate her kitchen and bathroom and let me tell you, her budget was very tight!  We all know the ordinary, nothing special subway tile. One of the cheapest on the market! We decided to use the subway tile (only $12-00 per square), but be creative in the different ways we could apply them. We still wanted an elegant look, but on a budget. Today I share with you some inspirational images we gathered for the Kitchen & Bathroom. These tiles come in different sizes, which also make it possible to create a unique look.

KITCHENS:

black kitchen subway tile
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This is your traditional layout, but with a twist. Use black grout to give the subway tiles more “bang”! Especially if you use some other black features in your kitchen like cupboards, handles or black taps. Which is now very on trend of course. (I also like those cute little display cabinets on the top, in stead of using a bulkhead!)

subway tile horisontal
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I have not seen this layout often, but to me it suits perfectly with a kitchen that wants that bit of a vintage or retro quirkiness!

white subway tiles coffee shop
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Your tiler might charge you a bit more to tile this layout.. but this pattern is so fresh and very interesting. I think this is what I am going to use in my new kitchen!

modern kitchen subway tile layout
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Modern, symmetrical, clean lines. Same subway tile, but suddenly creates a total different style.

black subway tile
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Who said you can only use white subway tiles? They are now available in a range of colours. White and black are still my favourite choices though. Great for re-sale value, and it will be suitable to different people’s choice. I just love the dramatic edge these black subway tiles give to this kitchen!

zig zag white subway tile pattern
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Herringbone. The all time favourite! Even with simple, understated cupboard doors the herringbone pattern adds character and flair to the kitchen.

BATHROOMS:

pattern subway tile bathroom
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Play around with subway tile layouts. Look carefully how interesting this pattern is in the shower! A simple inexpensive tile quickly transformed this shower into an artwork!

white tiles subway bathroom modern
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I am totally in love with this pattern layout of thin subway tiles! Modern, sophisticated tiles at $12-00 per square! Not impressed by the size of the bath, but luckily that is not what we are focussing on now 🙂

cheap subway tiles bathroom layout
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My favourite layout again, but this time in the bathroom. It gives an interesting, but simple backdrop for the mirror, cute pendants and beautiful vanity.

I hope you feel inspired! You can save a lot of money when using these cute little inexpensive subway tiles, and just add other pretty finishes. Some of these tiles in the images might be expensive porcelain, but all of these layouts are possible with the normal subway tile. They are always on trend, and have been here for years.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

 

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How to prevent a family fight within 47 seconds

pillow_fight

What is the one thing our family disagree and fight about the most? Making your bed… I mean, how hard is it really to make up your own flipping bed? Apparently no one has that one extra minute in his or her day. It totally drives me nuts!

(Excuse me for a moment; I am just going to quickly time myself how long it actually takes…Like the Terminator says: I’ll be back) “And she stands up and walks away from her computer”

I am back. It took me 47 seconds. No, it does not look like a hotel, but it is neat. What did I do?

  • I removed everything from the bed
  • Quickly flattened the fitted sheet
  • Replaced the doona
  • Put the throw and cushions back (5 of them)

So what is the point if you are going to mess it all up again tonight? Let me tell you:

FEEL IN CONTROL

It is something small, but by making your bed you will really feel like you start the day by being in control and on top of things. If you don’t find those 47 seconds to make your bed, how are you going to find time to run your own business or finish your homework or dealing with all the other chores? Making your bed is the first thing in the morning that actually challenges you as a task that needs to be completed. Ever thought of that? Why do you want to start your day with a “fail”?

 

FIND ALL YOUR LOST ITEMS

How often do you loose your socks, misplace your phone, or the charger for your phone or your glasses? Many times they hide between your unmade bed’s sheets. It will literally save you time if your bed is made and you don’t have to search for stuff. I am sure my teenage daughter will agree on this point. Hair ties, books, phones, letters, jewellery. Always lost… The reason is because her doona and cushions also lie on the floor when the bed is not made. She has to pick up everything when she searches for her stuff. Why not just make your bed and you can use your bed to put down all your stuff during the day?

 

SAVE YOURSELF THE EMBARRASSMENT 

So your beds are not made and friends or family unexpected arrive for a visit. They wander past the kids’ rooms or your own room on their way to the guest bathroom. An unmade bed does not only look untidy, but also screams sloppy, non-caring, and probably dirty. Even if your bed was made, but there were other stuff on the floor and everywhere, people will just think: untidy. Not dirty.

 

KEEP YOUR SHEETS CLEAN

If you bed is not made, then the dirty paws of your dogs and cats will end up on your sheets during the day. That’s what you want to sleep on tonight?

 

MAKE BEDTIME INVITING

You have to admit it. We all want to climb into a clean, fresh and neat bed when we go to sleep. Just make your bed for 47 seconds every morning, and you can jump into a tranquil bed each night. It is not that you don’t have the 47 seconds in the morning to do it… You are just never “in the mood to do it”. Come on! Just do it… Those 47 seconds can change your life!

Until next time!

eriana bredenhann

 

why do you need to make up your bed
Image from the home-journal.com

 

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What you should know about Styling with Cushions

I am an absolute sucker for a beautiful cushion.  Going to a home ware store and leaving without something soft and decorative in tow, is like sheer torture and I would usually go back the next day to rectify my mistake. If this is the way you operate, it’s pretty easy to end up with a colourful mess on your couch or bed.  To avoid these haphazard compulsive purchases, I’ve put together a few pointers on how to coordinate your arrangement of cushions in a more structured way.

1.  IDENTIFY YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

floral cushions
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Choose your cushion colours by referencing something else in the room.  The room will have a more cohesive flair if repetition of colour is used, whether it is something large, like your rug, wall, or something small like a decorative item or lamp.  A simple palette of no more than three colours will be more effective than a whole rainbow.

2.  MIX UP THE SIZE AND SHAPE

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Your cushion collection need not be the same shape and size.  The most effective arrangements are those that combine different combinations with even a round one thrown in.  It’s easy to go overboard if you’re a cushion lover like me!  Remember to allow some space to sit comfortably on your sofa.  For an informal look, place a larger one in the back and layer smaller ones to the front.

3.  PLAY WITH PATTERNS

cushion colours and patterns
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Be adventurous and mix floral motives with bold graphic patterns, but make sure that you have another cushion that would match in either colour or pattern.  If using large, medium and small patterns together, make sure that they share a similar palette.  To separate and highlight different patterns, as well as creating a spot where your eye can rest, place a few solid or neutral cushions in your arrangement.

4.  EXPERIMENT WITH TEXTURE

TEXTURED cushions
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If using a simple palette like a monochromatic colour scheme, create some interest by throwing in textures such as waffle weave, faux fur and chunky knits.

Of course, if you’re short on cushions and love a vintage, retro, quirky look, view the Vanilla Slate Designs Sisterhood range at our online store.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

 

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Combining His and Her Furniture to create your Style

So the two of you are taking the next step and decided it’s high time to put up house together.  He likes his leather chairs in front of his big screen tv, and she likes her floral accent chairs with pastel cushions.  Sounds like a divorce in the making, but how can we get around spending a fortune on lawyers before moving in together had even begun?

antlers and flowers
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When we think of masculine décor, leather and animal hides, bulky furniture, dark colours, metal like copper and straight or angular lines come to mind.

floral and masculine
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Feminine décor usually refer to light colours, elegant, curvy shapes, a bit of bling like gold, and delicate patterns.

library wallpaper
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Combining the items so that both parties are happy, might take a bit of practise and a wrestle or two.  I would like to suggest the following for a long and happy cohabitation:

  1. Keep communication lines open and be willing to compromise on a few things.
  2. Go shopping together for new items, but narrow choices down to only a few things to keep confusion to a minimum.
  3. Don’t go too pastel or frilly.  Stick to neutral colours and natural elements that would work with anything.
  4. Present an idea as a whole and give each other a bit of time to get used to it before shooting it down.
  5. You will get away with quite a bit if you let him think it was his idea 😉
  6. Give him a man cave and the rest of the house will be yours to decorate as you please (kidding!)
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For those of you who still fondly remember the movie “When Harry met Sally”, I leave you with a video about a quarrel about a coffee table.  This will make you realise how frustrating setting up house together can be.

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Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

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