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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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

wall of art
Image Source

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!


Easy way to repaint your skirting without messing paint

Painting a existing skirting is a real pain in the butt… You now have your wall and carpet or timber floor in your way and you definitely do not want to repaint the whole wall too! So now what? Thanks to Erin from Domestic Adventure, you can follow this great tip: Use a large spackle knife!

how to paint skirting
Image source

Wedge the blade in between the wall and skirting board to do the top, and press in between the carpet and the skirting board to do the bottom.

how to paint skirting
Image source

Ta daaa!!! No more paint on the carpet or wall!

Don’t forget to also read our blog on how to make your existing small skirting bigger, without having to remove it.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

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
Image source

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
Image source

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


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
Image source

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
Image source
diamond pattern geometric wall paint
Image source
grey and pink geometric paint patterns on wall
Image source
grey geometric patterns wall paint
Image source
diamond pattern wall paint diy
Image source

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann


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.


black kitchen subway tile
Image source

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
Image source

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
Image source

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
Image source

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

black subway tile
Image source

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
Image source

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


pattern subway tile bathroom
Image source

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
Image source

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
Image source

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



How to prevent a family fight within 47 seconds


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:


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”?



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?



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.



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?



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


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.


floral cushions
Image Source

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.


cushion size and shape
Image Source

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.


cushion colours and patterns
Image Source

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.


TEXTURED cushions
Image Source

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!



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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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

library wallpaper
Image Source

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!)
pink and black
Image Source


deer head
Image Source

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.


Cheerio ’til next time!


Tenant Tips: Our 6 Best Ideas for Street Appeal

We all heard of “street appeal”. What if you live in a rental property where you prefer not to  spend money to change the look of your house or to add personality? When friends visit your home… What is the first thing you say? “Excuse my home, it is just a rental property.”

Even though you rent, you should still add personality to your front door. Every time you come home, you should “feel home” when you enter your rental property. But how?



What can you display at your front door so that visitors know YOU live here? Do you collect cats or artwork or love travelling or fancy bonsai trees? Use whatever tickles your fancy. Think what items people will recognise and say: “Yes, this must be their home!” Think of something personal, display it and make sure no one can steal it…

Image source



Many homes have porches at their front door. Instead of having 20 pairs of shoes and umbrellas lying there, add a pretty bench with colourful outdoor cushions that will create a certain style for your home and show off your personality.  This is very inviting and instantly gives a homely feeling.

porch with bench
Image source



You can take it with you to your next home, it is inexpensive and will put your visitors in an instant happy mood. If that doesn’t help, you will have to consider inviting other friends.

funny welcome mat
Image source



While you’re not spending a lot of money on your rental property for maintenance etc, you can use this time to gradually buy quality items that you can take with you every time you move. You can add a whole garden with different size and colour pots. This way you can give your entrance door a formal or informal look, a modern or vintage look, or even just add colour to a boring rental front door.

pop and scott pot plants
Image source



This is not a fixture, so you can place your beautiful and interesting temporary letterbox in your front garden, to jazz up your street appeal. You can even make your own one or buy a cheap one and decorate it! See the time in your rental home as “your time to be creative & adventurous!”

letter box blue farm milk
Image source



Many houses’ street numbers are not easily visible. Be brave and make your own one! You can really add personality by making them stand out and showing your personality. Be bold, make the number huge! An oversized number in a playful colour will surely make a statement. You can temporarily fix it to any external wall.

green street number DIY
Image source


To style your home, means adding your personality, and not creating perfection.

Do not clutter your Entrance Door or porch. This is where guests get their first impression of your style. You should decorate this area BEFORE you decorate your home inside!


Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

Get rid of your head board now!

Why? This could be the single item that stands in your way of getting the look in your bedroom you always wanted, but never seems to get right. Okay, I am not talking to those of you that already have the perfect bedroom ..

Whether it is something you bought impulsively on the internet or you shop around for the perfect one for three months, your head board is normally the main focal point of your bedroom. Don’t be skimpy and leave it for last. No use having an awesome linen set, but you bump your head against the wall each night. If the budget is tight, you can even make one! (Read our previous blog for some tips)


  1. FIRST choose the style you want, that match the rest of your furniture
  2. SECOND choose the height of the head board your room can afford
  3. THIRD choose the colour – because this is easy to change if needed (fabric or stain)

Today’s blog post is not a lesson about design styles, but to show you how a specific head board can actually influence the mood and style of a room. In the end all factors like linen, cushions, lamps etc will bring your room together, but a head board is BOLD, and can not be hidden or forgotten! So get rid of your existing one if it does not complement your style.



It can work in a Vintage, Eclectic, Shabby Chic or Retro Bedroom. It begs for natural elements and a relaxed atmosphere. Mix and match and forget about impressing guests with a stiff hotel look.

Image source



Do you always want to keep up with the latest “what’s hot and what’s not”, then you are probably already an Interiors addict and know that these fabric head boards are now the latest talking point. Are you quirky & colourful? Be careful that your art work don’t clash with your head board though…

Image source



Very popular in children’s bedrooms, but also in your main bedroom if you are a real “girly-girl”. Do you want the feminine look? The rattan also complements the beach/nautical look very well. It is important to stay away from a busy wallpaper when you have this head board.

Image source



A staggered head board always makes that extra bit of a statement. It can go any way: Art Deco, French or Modern. I love the styling in this room. Even though it is a busy wallpaper and a staggered head board, the colours blend seamlessly. Definitely asks for a few opulent accessories.

Image source



This is so popular lately! It complements many styles, like Vintage, Scandinavian or Contemporary. It literally gives you a natural and neutral blank canvas to dress your room in many different styles.

Image source



Do you love clean, modern lines? Do you want to give your room that “Hotel Feeling?” This oversized fabric head board is a good example of how your head board literally becomes art work. Your room needs to be big, and so does your bed. Aim for King Size! And don’t even consider this style if you are the clutter queen…

Image source



Just to prove that we do think of our male readers too! Nothing says “masculine” like a leather head board. This will work well with a Vintage or Industrial inspired room like in the picture. Add those neutral layers with cushions and linen, and your room is done! It will go well with your man cave next door.

Image source



Don’t think as this style to be too formal. Yes, it looks fabulous in a Hampton’s styled home, but it is just as comfortable in the Nautical or Modern style.

Image source



When the budget is low, but the romance is high (yes, we’ve all been there!), there’s not always enough money to style your room like you want to. So why not get crafty and make something funky that’s a talking point! Washi tape, permanent markers, polaroid photos or even magazine cut-outs can make a pretty good head board.

wording headboard tape
Image source

So go on now, have a critical look at your head board that you have now. Does it go with the rest of your furniture in your room? Maybe you have been combining lots of different cushions, colours and lamps but just don’t get the style of the bedroom right? Now go back to your head board and use it as a starting point. Or else, chuck it out, and get a new one!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann