How to make a ladder storage shelf in 9 simple steps

This narrow shelving unit is perfect for storing all of your craft supplies in a small space. It’s also great for the bathroom, playroom, kids room – anywhere where space is limited and storage is needed! Paint it to match your decor or decorate with decoupage to give it some extra personality. you can even adjust the dimensions to suit your available space. So go on, make your own ladder storage shelf this weekend!

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 3x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 1x 1.2m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 3x 1.8m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 1x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 2m white laminated shelf or laminated pine shelf 19mmx380mm
  • 62x 4mmx32mm wood screws
  • 2x 4mmx75mm wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Scraper
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 3mm wood drill bit
  • Paint suitable for wood. We used Prominent Paints Ultrasheen water-based emulsion in white for the frame and the outside of the shelves, and Fired Earth Chalk Paint in Seine Olive for the inside of the shelf boxes.

Cutting list for frame: Use the 19mm x 44mm pine

  • Back legs: 1400m x 2
  • Front legs: 1455mm x 2
  • Horizontal Strut at top: 420mm

Cutting list for the sides of the shelf boxes: Use the 19mm x 94mm pine

  • 2x 120mm
  • 2x 220mm
  • 2 x 320mm
  • 2x 400mm
  • 8x 420mm

Cutting list for the base of the shelf boxes: Use laminated shelf

  • 120mm x 380mm
  • 220mm x 380mm
  • 320mm x 380mm
  • 420mm x 380mm

Step 1:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Cut the top and bottom of the 2 front legs at angles as shown.

 

Step 2:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Use the diagram to drill pilot holes in the pre-cut sides of the shelf boxes. This will prevent the wood from splitting when you assemble it.

 

Step 3:

storage ladder shelf

Assemble the shelf boxes by screw-fixing first the sides, and then the back and front to the laminated shelves.

 

Step 4:

storage ladder shelf

Use matching wood filler and a scraper to fill the holes and cover the screws.

 

Step 5:

storage ladder shelf

Once the filler has dried, use sand paper to smooth it down.

 

Step 6:

storage ladder shelf

Drill pilot holes and then screw-fix the back legs of the frame to the boxes. The biggest box should be 100mm from the floor, with the subsequent boxes spaced at 260mm.

 

Step 7:

Once all the boxes are in place, position the front leg and screw fix that on the boxes. Always remember to drill a pilot hole first.

 

Step 8:

storage ladder shelf

Use a 75mm wood screw to fix the front and back legs together. Then add a horizontal strut at the top to further strengthen the shelf.

 

Step 9:

Paint the shelf, allowing sufficient drying time between coats.

If you used a white laminated shelf base inside the boxes, make sure that the paint you choose is suitable for laminate. Craft paint is great for this.

storage ladder shelf

Now you can use your shelf for whatever you need. It could even work as a plant stand!

Happy making!

 

How to make a trendy copper towel ladder

There seems to be a tremendous amount of holidays at the moment, which is the perfect time for a quick DIY project. Storage ladders are very popular and you can make this one in less than an hour with a few inexpensive goodies picked up from your local hardware store. And best of all, you can use it in pretty much any room in your home! In the bathroom for towels, in the living room for blankets (perfect for the cooler weather setting in!) in the bedroom as a clothes hanger or in the kids’ room to store their multitude of paraphernalia. Here’s how to make your own trendy copper towel ladder.

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 5x wooden broom handles
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Paint (we used WondaSeal Stain & Seal in white) and a soft cloth for application
  • 8x 22mm copper plumbing T-juntions
  • 4x 22mm copper plumbing end caps

Step 1

Cut each of the 5 broom handles to the following lengths: 1x 480mm; 2x 400mm

 

Step 2

If the broom handles are sealed, you will first need to remove the varnish with sandpaper. If they are unsealed, you can skip to step 3.

 

Step 3

Use the soft cloth to apply paint or wood stain to the wooden pieces. TIP: You can keep them upright when they’re wet by making them stand inside the pockets of a Styrofoam seedling tray!

 

Step 4

Use the plumber’s tape to bulk up the ends of the wooden pieces. You want them to fit very snug inside the copper fittings to prevent the ladder from being shaky once assembled. Make sure that the wood is pushed all the way into the fittings to secure them.

Step 5

Assemble the ladder by placing the 400mm pieces vertically into the copper t-junctions, with the 480mm pieces making up the rungs of the ladder. You are going to be left with one 480mm piece – if you prefer a taller ladder, you can just add another rung with 2 more T-juntions. Secure the end-caps on the top and bottom pieces.

Step 6

Using a carpet knife or craft knife, carefully trim any of the plumber’s tape that may be visible once all the pieces have been assembled.

Now add some towels, blankets or baskets to your beautiful ladder. For some added luxury, place your towel ladder in front of a heating panel to have snugly warm towels all through winter!

Happy making!

Office design trends guaranteed to increase employee happiness

Long gone are the days of working 9 – 5 in a dull, mass-produced cubical. Workspaces are now designed specifically to boost morale, creativity and above all, productivity. Companies are paying top dollar for studies to help them understand what exactly makes their employees happy because they know that a happy employee is an invaluable asset. One of the things that have been proven, is that workplace environment plays a massive role in how an employee perceives job satisfaction. Let’s look at the office design trends that will be shaping our workplaces and productivity over the next couple of years.

  1. Collaborative spaces

office design

Design Milk

With one of the biggest buzzword in office design this year being collaboration, communal office spaces have become very popular. These areas are focused on creating hubs for people to interact and combine skills while retaining all the comforts of home. Sometimes, these are people within the same company, but it could even be people from different industries sharing rental space. With companies like Uber and Airbnb placing the focus squarely on accessibility rather than ownership, these spaces are becoming increasing popular around the world.

 

  1. Modular

Abeo Design

Modular furniture is highly suited to flexible spaces that can adapt according to changing needs. Designed to take on different shapes, these items boost creativity and give the workspace a dynamic edge.

Allowing a space to adapt to a different activity by moving, stacking or evolving the furniture, is a fresh and playful way of using space while getting down to serious business.

Modular does not necessarily mean open plan, however; privacy can still be created successfully with modular office furniture.  In fact, open plan offices have been known to reduce productivity because of interruption and noise levels.

  1. Wireless

office design

Sudio

This is not a new trend, but one that has gained momentum in the past few years and as technology evolves looks set to grow only stronger. Built-in chargers, multimedia devices, modems and power adapters all allow us to connect wirelessly to a company’s server and each other.

It’s the end of unsightly wires and the start of uncluttered and highly efficient work spaces.

  1. Well-being

Workspace IQ

With the best interest of employees in mind, companies have shifted the focus to creating more holistic spaces to boost well-being and productivity.

Indoor plants, sit/stand desks, natural light, and fresh air circulation are all ways in which workspaces are becoming happier and healthier places.

It is not uncommon to see a yoga area or vegetable rooftop garden in an office space. Some companies even have nap station to encourage employees to take a break when they’re tired.

  1. Paperless

CIO

Companies are becoming not only more environmentally conscious but also more tech-savvy, with a massive trend being to go paperless. Filing rooms and archives are vanishing into the clouds – literally. Archiving is done via cloud storage and has saved not only a large number of trees, but also valuable floor space that can be used in a more productive way.

To assist with a paperless environment, tools like glass whiteboards are making interactive meetings more environmentally friendly. These boards allow users to clearly convey their ideas while saving paper.

Going paperless has many benefits aside from the environmental impact: saving paper and filing space can also seriously lower overhead costs for a company.

  1. Home away from home

Everlane

There is a distinct move away from dedicated office furniture and traditional finishes, towards a homelier approach to the office that is warm and inviting. Comfortable couches, coffee tables that you can put your feet on, and cozy scatter cushions all add to make an office feel more personable. These spaces are used for both formal and informal meetings, putting clients and employees at ease.

Art work is also becoming increasingly popular in the office environment, with some companies making art a part of their corporate investment portfolio and creating galleries at the office for their collections.

  1. Pops of colour

Chromologist

Out with the neutral palettes and in with bold pops of color. A study done by the University of Texas shows that using pale, dull colours in a work environment not only lowers productivity, it also increases the incidents of depression and general unhappiness.

Colour has the incredible ability to subliminally influence our moods. Companies with massive resources, like Google, have gone to great lengths to test the effects of specific colours on their employees.

But colour experts claim that colour has more or less the same effect for everyone: blue is calming, yellow is a mood-lifter, orange promotes creativity and green is balancing. All of these are great colours to introduce into different areas of the office to improve morale and productivity.

  1. Communal tables

See And Savour

With the big shift towards connectivity, the communal table has become increasingly popular not only in restaurants and hotels but also in the workplace.

Used for anything and everything, these tables serve as meeting spaces, brain-storming platforms, general workstations and are even used for communal eating. They create a sense of understanding and unity in the workspace and promote open communication.

  1. Going green

Green Turf

Sustainable design, waste reduction, and optimized energy usage are at the forefront of workspace trends. Being certified as a ‘green’ company boosts popularity with both new and existing customers while reducing energy bills. The EPA also offer various incentives for companies wanting to operate more sustainably.

One way of bringing green into the office is to add a living wall. It’s a great way to create a beautiful focal while improving air quality in the space. It also has been proven that having plants in the office, create a happier and healthier environment for employees (source).

 

 

5 storage tips that will make you want to sort out your home

I am truly passionate about storage and decluttering. I am not even sure where it comes from, whether it’s nature or nurture. As kids, we used to camp a lot, and I always loved packing my suitcase neatly to make sure everything fit. I even used to repack my friends’ suitcases before a school camping trip! It must be a genetic thing because no-one can pack a suitcase like my sister… but you don’t have to have serious OCD to have a neat home. There really are just a few practical guidelines you can follow to make sure that your home looks – and stays! – neat and tidy. Here are my 5 best storage tips to help you do just that!

1. A place for everything and everything in its place

storage tips

Hobby Lobby

I am a BIG proponent of this: you have to make sure that everything you own has a dedicated place. If you don’t have space for it, then either you have too much stuff, or you need to create additional storage. Especially in rooms that get messy easily, like kids bedrooms and playrooms, you need to make sure that there is a specific place for everything. Give each child a specific box, drawer or shelf to put their things on. That way when you ask them to pack things away, they can put THEIR stuff on THEIR shelf. Another great way to figure out WHO is not helping with the clean-up efforts!

2. Use storage baskets

storage tips

Honey We’re Home

Seriously, storage baskets are something you can never have enough of. Put them in your drawers, linen closets, pantry cupboard, plastic container cupboard; even inside the freezer. Storage baskets in different sizes can be utilized in literally any space that you need to sort out. They can be plastic, wicker, fabric, metal, cardboard or anything else! Pick up a stack from your nearest plastics or budget store and start sorting!

3. Utilize under-utilized spaces

storage tips

Apartment Therapy

Your home offers various storage options that you don’t even know about. Have you ever considered that you have rafters in your garage and a whole roof space above your ceilings? This space is perfect for storing bulky items like luggage and cooler boxes, and all kinds of other things that are not used on a regular basis. You don’t even have to do a full loft conversion: just put a couple of pieces of plywood over the beams to assist in carrying the load, and store things on top of the platform. If your roof is prone to get the odd rodent or bird, then make sure that you place sensitive items in plastics totes to protect them.

There is a large space under your bed as well that could be used to store a multitude of items. Don’t just stuff things in there, though. Either get purpose-built storage drawers or use large plastic totes or baskets to store things neatly under your bed. If you want to display them, then make sure they are pretty and go with your decor like in the image above. Otherwise, you can tuck them away out of sight behind the bed’s valance.

5. Work seasonally

storage tips

My Domaine

There is no need to keep out-of-season clothing hanging around in your closet, taking up unnecessary space. Now that you are storing your luggage in the roof of the garage, or have large baskets under your bed, pack your summer clothes in them during winter and swap them out with your winter clothes when things get warmer. High shelves in or above you closet are also great for storing out-of-season clothes. Make it a design feature by using pretty storage boxes and baskets.

You can also do the same thing with bulky winter blankets and feather duvets. Add a couple of sachets or dehumidifying granules to ensure they don’t get damp. Put fresh lavender into the container or suitcases before you close them, and that way you’ll have fresh smelling summer things in a few months’ time.

PRO TIP: vacuum pack clothes and blankets before you place them in the containers to be stored. Just pack everything in heavy-duty garbage bags and add the dehumidifying sachets and lavender. Then, stick the hose of your vacuum cleaner inside and tightly hold the bag around the hose to create an air seal. Switch on the vacuum cleaner and watch the package shrink. You’ll get all the air out by holding the hose firmly against the clothes and keeping it away from the plastic.

5. If you don’t have enough space, you probably have too much stuff.

storage tips

Country Living

Think about it. You didn’t always have too little space. At some point, your house or apartment was empty and you had more than enough closet space. So take a critical look at what you have and get rid of that which doesn’t serve you anymore. There is a multitude of people out there who would get far greater benefit out of that thing that’s been lying in the back of your closet for years!

Happy sorting!

 

4 great reasons to install aluminium security shutters this year

Shutters have been used in homes for centuries, and while the function has remained the same, the style and materials have been greatly improved over the years.  Modern aluminium security shutters have become synonymous with slick minimalist style and practicality, with their beautiful lines adding interest to a window or door opening. But there is so much more to them!

aluminium shutters

source

Local shutter company Finishing Touches is paving the way with their beautiful range of custom-made shutters. Let’s have a look at why aluminium security shutters are the best things you can install in your home this year.

  1. Practicality

Aluminium security shutters are custom-made to fit your space, giving you complete light, wind and privacy control. While they are a fantastic weather barrier, shutters can be opened up completely or tilted to allow varying degrees of light and air to enter a room. The seals between panels make them wind and water-proof as well, so your home will be sufficiently protected against the elements.  Shutters are also easy to clean and require minimal additional maintenance.

aluminium shutters

Décor Pad

Aluminium is rust proof, ensuring that these shutters will look great for years – even in harsher coastal conditions or humid rooms like bathrooms.

These security shutters can be installed on the inside of windows or doors, or they can be used to enclose open areas like patios.

  1. Style

While shutters were traditionally used in period homes, they are now very much a design feature in modern homes as well. The strong horizontal lines add beautiful detail to a room, and because it eliminates the need for curtains or other window treatments, aluminium shutters are ideally suited to a simple and unfussed décor scheme. Homes with a coastal theme also benefit greatly from the look of shutters because they mimic shiplap detailing.

aluminium shutters

source

The aluminium is powder-coated in a variety of versatile colours to suit your home: white, bronze, charcoal, light grey and dark grey.

  1. Security

aluminium shutters

Houzz

Especially in South Africa, we have to be realistic about the circumstances that surround us. Aluminium security shutters can give you the interior air-circulation and sunlight of an open door or window while giving you a great level of security. These specialised security shutters also have a double locking system to further increase your safety at home. You can choose to have an optional finishing architrave to further increase security, while finishing off your installation beautifully with no visible screws or openings.

  1. Environmental Impact

Aluminium frames are tough, extremely lightweight, resistant to corrosion and requires little to no maintenance during its long lifetime. They are also completely recyclable with the unique ability to not lose any of its inherent properties during the recycling process. Finishing Touches Aluminium Security Shutters are produced in South Africa, giving them another thumbs-up for low carbon footprint.

aluminium shutters

Finishing Touches

Aluminium security shutters are an investment that will increase your home’s value and security, while adding style at minimal cost to the environment. That is home improvement that checks a lot of boxes!

Happy Renovating!

This is a sponsored post. For more information on aluminium shutters, visit Finishing Touches here.

Why you need to declutter and sort out the mayhem

Every once in a while, I go on a complete throw-out and declutter rampage. My husband has by now learned that he should stay out of my way when these periods of craziness occur, but my boys are not so well-trained in Mommy Madness yet. During these times, nothing is sacred. And I have often regretted throwing out a pair of shoes that I have not worn for 5 years, only because I have found a suitable opportunity at last. But I always feel so much better after I have cleaned up and cleared out that the regrets are bearable.

We are going to be dedicating the whole March to decluttering, streamlining and sorting out. And of course, that all-time favourite of anyone who has a home and a slight tendency to hoard: STORAGE. I don’t know of anyone who thinks that they have enough storage. I certainly don’t, but that’s because I have too much stuff.

But I do find that whenever my mind becomes too full with all the balls life throws my way, a good clean-up of my physical environment, my home, really helps. And with the world on a crazy and unpredictable path at the moment, it is more essential than ever that we start with a good cleanup at home. So here are my top 4 tips for sorting things out. Try it – you will feel calmer, more focused, less stressed and certainly, lighter!

1. You have to be in the right mood

declutter

My Domaine

There is no point forcing yourself to declutter when you’re not in the mood. Sorting out and making decisions on what to let go and what to keep is heavy stuff! Make sure that you’re rested, healthy, and ready for action. And if you are feeling particularly nostalgic, better to move on and wait for another day.

2. Get the family involved in the cause

declutter

Finspi

Throwing out doesn’t only mean putting things in the garbage. It means giving away things that are still good but which you no longer use. Clothes, kitchen utensils, books, furniture – all of these things can be used by someone else. And ask your kids to take a long hard look at their toys – if they are not playing with it anymore, give it someone who will get enjoyment out of it!

3. Pack stuff away

Journal Du Design Interior

Clutter in your home has the amazing ability to prevent you from having a clear mind. And it also collects loads of dust. So unless you want to have a cloudy mind and a dusty home, just pack stuff away. And yes, you probably DO have enough storage space and I will help you to maximise what you’ve got during this month.

4. You don’t have to display everything you own

declutter

Aesence

Aside from the above-mentioned dust issue, it becomes really boring if you have the same stuff on display all year round. Pack away all the little bits and bobs and just choose 2 or 3 things to display at a time. When you are bored of that, pack it away and get something else out. To keep an eye on my quick styling make-overs this month, follow me on Instagram!

Now that we have set the tone for the month, let the decluttering begin! 

How to set up your own container garden in 7 easy steps

Container gardening has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason: it is cost-effective, water-wise, space efficient and super easy! Plants, and especially veggies, are happy to grow in pretty much anything, whether it’s a bucket or a bag. You really don’t need a lot of space for it either. As long as you have a sunny spot, you can grow something. Let’s take you through the steps to setting up your own container garden.

Step 1: Find a suitable container

Veggies are happy to grow in pretty much anything, from a bucket or old wheelbarrow to a compost bag. A container garden is the perfect solution for a small garden because you can move it easily and it hardly requires any maintenance apart from watering.

I had an old metal baby bath that seemed the perfect size for a herb garden by the kitchen door.

You will need to ensure that your container has sufficient drainage holes in the bottom. If it doesn’t, make sure that you drill a few into the base. If your container is going to stand on a patio, also then make sure that you place it on top of a tray or other suitable surface that can catch any overflow.

Read the instructions on the back of your seed packets to determine the amount of sun your plants are going to need and where you need to place your container. As a general rule, however, vegetables and herbs prefer full sun.

 Step 2: Ensure good drainage

container gardening

It is a common misconception that you should put gravel or small stones in the bottom of a container to assist with drainage. A few old kitchen sponges in the bottom will help water drain sufficiently as well as keep moisture in the soil for longer. This is also a great way to recycle!

Step 3: Add water funnels

container gardening

This is such a clever addition to your container garden that you will want to add it to every pot you have! Cut some PVC pipe to roughly 7cm longer than the depth of your container. Drill several holes into the pipe and cap the bottom before you push it into the prepared soil. While 1 pipe for an average pot will be sufficient, you should add more pipes for a larger pot.

Step 4 : Fill with potting soil

container gardening

Make sure that you get great quality, certified weed-free potting soil to fill your container with. Throw the potting soil on top of the sponges, and mix with compost to ensure good, healthy soil for your plants and seedlings.

 Step 5: Give things a bit of a boost

container gardening

Adding a nutrient mix like Wonder Shake ‘N Grow plant food will give your new seedlings or seeds a little bit of a boost to start with. Lightly sprinkle over the prepared soil and work it in just a bit. You can also add water retention crystals like Wonder Stockosorb to create a continuous water reservoir for your plants.

 Step 6: Plant!

container gardening

Whether you add seedlings, established plants or seeds, ensure that you allow for sufficient spacing between plants. You may need to thin the plants out in a few weeks if things are getting too crowded. Try companion planting with veggies and herbs: tomatoes work very well with basil!

Step 7: Water

container gardening

Because containers cannot hold as much water, you may need to water daily during the dry season and much less in the rainy season. Always ensure that the soil feels moist to the touch, but not wet. Fill up the funnels and water well all around the container without allowing water to stand on the surface of the soil.

Remember that most herbs and leafy veggies flourish when they are being regularly cut, so don’t be afraid to start harvesting immediately.

Happy container gardening!

This article was first published for Efekto.

Quick and easy DIY for an inexpensive kitchen makeover

My kitchen had been featured on this blog and a couple of other publications a few times now already, but only because it was the most inexpensive built-in kitchen ever! I bought the kitchen 2nd hand online and then painted it, put on new counter tops and added pretty handles and hey presto! – new kitchen! But now, nearly 5 years later, it had started to look a bit worse for wear and I decided that it was time for a kitchen makeover. I have always been a devout fan of gray in all its hues, but the pale French gray in the kitchen was really getting a bit dull and dated. So here is my easy and inexpensive update, featuring the heroes in the today’s story: deep charcoal and crisp white paint.

kitchen make-over

A quick note on gray: even though you may think it is, gray is not necessarily a neutral colour. Most grays lean toward blue, red, pink and even yellow! So, when you choose a gray, always test it on a small area in the room first, and then live with it for a while so that you can see if the colour changes in different light and at different times of the day. I chose a deep charcoal gray that is specifically neutral and not leaning toward any other colour. These will usually be marked with an “N” in the code. 

kitchen make-over

The doors were originally a very light beech laminate. We primed them with a laminate primer and painted them in a water-based emulsion the last time, so this time, no priming was necessary. I love water-based emulsions: it has all the washable and gloss properties of an enamel, without all the mess. These types of paints also usually have a slight sheen to them, making them really easy to clean as well.

kitchen make-over

A light sanding was all that was needed and then I started to paint the lovely deep charcoal on the lower cabinets, and a crisp white on the upper cabinets. The white required 2 coats with a light sanding in between, while the charcoal needed 3 coats with a bit of sanding between layers.

kitchen make-over

kitchen make-over

By sanding between coats, you get a really nice smooth finish that makes it look factory-finished.

kitchen make-over

Replacing kitchen cabinet hardware is another super easy way to quickly update the look of your kitchen. Handles come in standard sizes, but if you want something that is bigger or smaller than what you currently have, just make sure that you fill the old holes before you paint. These pretty little curved handles compliment the look of the kitchen beautifully. You can find similar ones from Knobs.co. 

kitchen make-over

The charcoal really brings out the warmth of the butcher block counter tops while making the dishwasher less prominent – I didn’t expect that to happen, it was an added bonus!

Another advantage of having done this kitchen facelift was that I was forced to sort out my cabinets. Once the doors were off for a couple of days, I couldn’t stand the crazy mess inside the cupboards any longer and I started to sort out and throw out. My corner cabinet was probably the biggest challenge. There are fantastic hardware options, like the Lazy Susan, that will efficiently utilize the space. Because I also house the hob’s gas bottle in there though, it wasn’t an option. By simply putting all of the appliances that I don’t regularly use in there, I have now been able to maximize the space while not being confronted with the impractical shelving inside on a daily basis. 

kitchen make-over

I completely love my new charcoal and white kitchen, and as I’ve said so many times on this blog, I am always amazed at how a kitchen can be transformed with a bit of paint and new hardware. 

kitchen make-over

Click on the links to learn more about my kitchen island DIY or the tiled splash back.

Happy Painting!

The paint for this post was sponsored by Prominent Paints.

15 attractive indoor plants to easily green up your home

With green being the most fashionable colour this year, the easiest way to bring some much-needed greenery into your home is with plants. Whether you choose to have cut leaves in vases or luscious plants in pots, here is our ultimate guide to choosing the right indoor plants.

1. Aloe

Cox & Cox

Aloe Vera has to be one of the easiest things to grow. Aloe is naturally suited to drier climates, so it doesn’t ask for much and is happy in a pot in a sunny corner. They can get pretty big, so make sure you have enough space before getting on of these prickly babies.

2. Palm

indoor plants

Fresh Design Pedia

There are many different varieties of palm, from little Love Palms to a tall Areca Palm or the (poisonous) Yucca above. Palms are also used to drier climates, so they prefer well-drained soil and sunshine.

3. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Oldecors

Its horrid name aside, this plant is incredibly resilient, terribly hard to kill and frankly a little bit scary. The tall cluster of leaves is easy to grow and needs little attention. It is equally happy in low and high light.

4. Delicious Monster

Feel Inspired

If nothing else, the name is awesome! A delicious monster is a magnificent plant with large leaves that loves shade and high humidity. There are also miniature versions on the market if you don’t have the space for a full-blown one. If you don’t have the space, choose to just put a single leaf in a pot. If you clean the water regularly, it will happily live there for a couple of months.

5. Money Tree 

Balcony Garden Web

Even if Feng Shui is not for you, we can all do with a bit more of the green stuff! Money trees love bright light and moderate watering, and can grow up to 3m tall.

6. Zebra Plant

Plant-O-Pedia

The beautiful dark and light green striped leaves give this plant its exotic name. The Zebra plant loves higher humidity levels and temperatures, so it’s a bit of a needy one. But the pretty leaves are well worth the effort!

7. Philodendron (Heart Leaf)

My City Plants

This pretty deep green plant has shiny, heart-shaped leaves giving it its name. It’s a climber that works well to create height in a room.

8. Arrowhead

Home Garden Green

This luscious plant is family of the philodendron and is very easy to keep. Ensure regular trimming to avoid overgrowth.

9. Cast Iron

Leady Interiors

Yep, this is the one! If you kill this plant, you shouldn’t be allowed to have any others. It thrives in low light and is quite happy to be neglected. If however you fuss with it too much by over-watering or regular repotting, you might annoy it to death.

10. Chinese Evergreen

Leady Interiors

Another really easy-to-grow plant, the Chinese Evergreen comes is quite a few varieties, sizes and colours. Generally they have oval leaves with prominently coloured veins, prefer moderate to higher amounts of light and need regular watering.

11. Croton

Bless My Weeds

Colourful and pretty, the Croton is a high-demand plant that likes lots of light, moist soil and high humidity. Keep your green finger on this one to keep it happy and be rewarded with a wonderful variety of tall leaves and bright colours. These are particularly suitable to greenhouses and sun rooms.

12. Corn Plant

Domino

A very easy to grow plant that is equally happy in bright and lower light levels. It does well during periods of neglect, although it will retaliate if its over-watered, gets too hot or is subjected to frost.

13. Spider Plant

Brit + Co

In Afrikaans, this is called a Hen en Kuiken, or Hen and Chicks. I think it’s because the main plant makes little versions of itself that hang around the base, until it propagates and becomes new plants. This is a very easy-growing plant that needs a lot of light, and works really well in an elevated pot or hanging basket.

14. Peace Lily

Good Housekeeping

Most lily varieties do really well indoors, although they will not flower unless they have a lot of natural light. So unless you are dead-set to have it produce flowers, it will be quite happy in low-light conditions. They are super easy to grow, need moderate water and thrives in higher humidity.

15. Ferns

Wiki How

Like palms, there is such a huge variety of ferns available that you really are spoilt for choice. The Maidenhair fern is one of my favourites – it’s pretty, delicate and really easy to care for. Ferns don’t want a lot of direct light, love humidity and have to be kept moist. They do really well in bathrooms!

Here are a few PRO tips:

  • Before purchasing a plant, decide where you would like to put it. The amount of light available in location will determine the type of plant you should get.
  • Indoor plants need food and nutrients in the same way as outdoor plants, so be sure to understand the needs of your specific plants by reading their care labels or doing some additional research. Wonder Supra Stix is a great way to add slow-releasing nitrogen to your houseplants’ soil – just stick it in the pot and forget about it for the next 60 days!
  • Always make sure that you understand how big a plant is going to become. You don’t want a giant delicious monster to take over your tiny living room!
  • High humidity plants do really well in bathrooms where there is plenty of moisture to go around.

Happy Indoor Planting!

This post is sponsored by the lovely people at Efekto. Contact them here if you have any questions about your indoor plants!

6 steps to make your own beautiful patchwork tiles

Patchwork tiles are very trendy this year, but retiling a bathroom can be an expensive and messy exercise. I really love patchwork tiles and decided to take the plunge and stamp my existing plain shower tiles to create a trendy black and white pattern.

patchwork tiles

This is what my shower looked like: plain, simple and quite uninspiring. The metal content in our water on the farm is very high, so things that come into regular contact with water don’t stay white for very long. I didn’t have very high hopes for the white tiles, and figured I didn’t have much to lose by trying!

YOU WILL NEED

  • 15cmx15xm Tile stamp (you can get yours from Homeology Shop)
  • Tile primer – I used A. Shak Tile Prime
  • Water-based paint, suitable for use in a bathroom – I used Plascon Polvin Matt Acrylic in black
  • Sponge rollers and pans – 1 for the primer and 1 for each paint colour

STEP 1

patchwork tiles

Use the sponge roller to apply primer to clean, dry tiles. For number of coats and curing time, follow the primer manufacturer’s instructions. We applied 3 layers of primer, allowing for each coat to dry before applying the next, and then let it cure for 24 hours.

STEP 2

patchwork tiles

Using undiluted paint, apply a thin layer of paint to the stamp.

STEP 3

patchwork tiles

Always test the print on a piece of paper first to see how much pressure you need to apply to get the desired look. Keep in mind that it is a hand-printing technique, so every print will look different.

TIP: You can use the test paper afterwards for gift wrap or make cards!

STEP 4

patchwork tiles

Once you are happy with the print, you can start to print on the tiles directly.  Use one hand to carefully position the stamp and the other to apply pressure once it’s in place.

STEP 5

patchwork tiles

Carefully apply pressure along all 4 corners, taking care not to move the stamp. If you accidentally smudge the print, you can quickly wipe it off with the clean cloth and allow the tile to dry before re-stamping.

STEP 6

patchwork tiles

When you’re happy with the result, slowly lift the stamp by tilting it onto one of its edges before taking it away from the wall. If the print is too light, you can easily re-stamp it, taking care to get the same position as the first print.

TIP: keep the edges of your stamp clean and free from excess paint to ensure a clean print.

patchwork tiles

Use a piece of clean paper to mask adjacent tiles when you’re printing half tiles.

patchwork tiles

patchwork tiles

weylandts botanical

Black and white is such a classic combination and it works in any room. I have teamed up my black and white bathroom with a deep green accent wall to create a Victorian look. My bathroom is my sanctuary and now I love it even more!

Happy stamping!

This post was originally created for Ideas Magazine. Click here to support their Thundafund campaign!

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