Bonjour, Ombré!

The ombré trend seems set to stay. And while I am sure you have by now seen the colourful grading technique on everything from walls to clothing, I have found some interesting options that are a bit more adventurous. Enjoy!

ombré [äm′brā′]

adjective – shaded or graduated in tone: said of a color

Origin of ombré: French past participle of ombrer, to shade ; from Classical Latin umbrare ; from umbra, shade

panelling and classic

heincker design via pinterest

The technique works incredibly well on wood paneling on the left where the vertical panels contrast with the horizontal grading. Perfect for a nautical setting. The very classic grouping and worn textures of the room on the right is enhanced with an almost shadow-like grading, emphasizing the gorgeous ceiling height.

stairs & chevron

designsponge & homedit

Deep teal provides a wonderfully modern touch on a traditional staircase while the chevron pattern is a fresh graphic interpretation.

striped & clothed

red book mag & mood interiors

Getting grading right can be quite a challenge, so why not opt for an easier version with bold coloured stripes and contrasting dividers between them? And dipping a tablecloth and allowing the dye to run creates a wonderfully informal effect. Get this look by dipping a damp cloth into the dye.

cubic & dipped

pinterest headquarters & designsponge

This is large-scale pixelated version done with paper is a very unique way create a graded focal. Use double-sided tape or spray adhesive to get the look! Dipping a chair and blending the colour adds a touch of modern to this traditional chair.

fromtheop & papered

lushome & mood interiors

For something completely different, why not throw things upside down and start with the colour at the top? Balance it with a piece of furniture in a similar – or contrastic – colour. Or for the easiest option, choose the stunning wallpaper on the right!

colour crazy


And for something COMPLETELY off the wall, try this crazy colour-coded pencil holder – I will spend the whole day sorting pencils. LOVE IT!

Happy ombré -ing!

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Choose the right wall color

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right wall color for your interior. The desired effect you want will be determined by the color you choose.

In the hardware store we are often overwhelmed with all the different options of paint color available so I have found a few very handy tips and some good advice before you take the big step.

Time of day

Color are effected by what’s around it and also the time of day. Paint a few A4 size blocks on the wall you want to change and live with it for a while to see which one works best for you.


Color match

We are always spreading the gospel of keeping a visual diary. When it comes to choosing paint color, it comes in especially handy. Keep paint swatches, fabric and photographs of colors you love and let your friendly paint consultant match it for you in store.


Different paint options

There are three types of paint to choose from. Matt, glossy or satin. Choose glossy for smaller details, matt to hide any flaws and satin to bounce light into the room.


Careful color

If you love a bright and intense color but fear that it would be too overwhelming painting the entire room in it, opt to use it on a focal wall. This way it still adds a pop of color without being overbearing.


Temperature check

If you have a dim lit room that feels chilly the moment you walk in the door, try painting it in a warm tone paint to give it a more cozy feel. The same goes for a warm room that needs cooling down.


Now be bold and go to the hardware store armed and ready with your new-found knowledge on choosing the right paint.

Happy styling,

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Paint techniques that will blow your mind

It is so refreshing to see that the trend setters have taken paint techniques to a whole new level. It’s still the quickest way to transform a room and a way for you to put your personal stamp on your interior.

I have found a few that I’m sure will inspire.

Rainbow walls

Fun and playful! Turn your walls into a kaleidoscope of color with this ombre effect or simple stripes.


Uneven strokes

Paint a section in a bold color with uneven brush strokes to create an artistic effect with just the right amount of pop!


Loft style 

If you are more drawn to a somber palette, opt for tones of grey and white in uneven strokes.


Go graphic

Break up a wall with bold geometric shapes in different tones of grey.


Pretty patterns

Introduce subtle pattern with color by stenciling a modern geometric pattern on your wall. It adds texture and a second layer that create visual interest.


We tend to be a bit conservative when it comes to color but once you have gone wild on a wall you will never look back. It’s a bit like a hair cut … remember you can always paint over it again like you can always let your hair grow.

Happy styling,

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Kids Bedrooms: Our top 5 tips

I wrote a post about nursery essentials  a while ago, and decided that it’s time to do the same for kids’ rooms.

As parents, we try to give our kids everything we can to ensure their best possible chance in life. Their small little lives can become cluttered so easily that their bedrooms should be a place of calm and quiet. This is of course a very personal opinion because my kids have the luxury of a play room that gets destroyed daily. But even if you don’t have a dedicated chaos zone, aim to create a serene bedroom.

Herewith then my top 5 bedroom essentials:


Unless you are prepared to redo your kid’s room every couple of years, it’s best to have a room with elements that can grow with them. Beds that they can still use when they 12, changing tables that turn into desks and bookshelves that can host all their years of paraphernalia are ideal.

all grown up



Furniture has to be either beautiful or functional as Morris said. And in our cluttered lives, all the better if they have more than 1 function. A desk that’s a bedside cabinet that’s a storage unit. Loving this this clever little unit!




I seem to harp on about this A LOT, but storage is one of the top priorities in my house. I cannot stand clutter so having things on wheels under beds and boxes on top of closets really get me excited!

pack it up

ikea & iheartorganizing


Just because it’s a serene space doesn’t mean it has to be clinical. Dark painted walls, bright wallpaper, colourful carpets – it all works as long as the space is not too full (refer to point 3 above!)

colour & Jeanette Lundi


I am not one that condones a themed bedroom, but this has to be THE COOLEST boys’ room ever. The whole Dr Livingstone-thing is beautiful and I am sure very inspirational to the kids who inhabit this space. What I really love about it, is the personal touches in the pencil drawings – just lovely. And you don’t have to be an artist to do this: using a projector and simply drawing along the lines of an image will do the trick.



I am in the process of changing the nursery to a little boy’s room – a project that I am in 2 minds about because it’s necessary on the one side but quite sad for me on the other.  I will do the big reveal next week so keep an eye out for it!

Happy Decorating!

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Basket case – clever ideas from storage to display

Baskets are very trendy at the moment and I have found some clever ways to incorporate them into your home. My favorite is the pretty wire baskets stocked by most home stores as they offer such a wide variety of DIY options.

Idea #1 – Wire basket storage

Turn the wire basket on its side and secure to the wall to create these stunning display units.


Idea #2 – Bathroom and kitchen storage

These pretty wire baskets are especially handy in the bathroom and kitchen.


Idea #3 – Laundry basket

Why not cover a basket with lovely lace to give it a more feminine feel as a laundry basket.


Idea #4 – Display

Put your collection of different baskets to good use by combining them in an open shelf bookcase to store unsightly items.


Idea #5 – Basket lamp shade

This trend is one of my current favorites: the basket lampshade. Use fisherman baskets with a rough weave and try to go as big as possible to really make an impression.


 Idea #6 – Wire basket table or plant stand

Using a wire basket with a table top creates a very eye catching and geometric side table. Combine two wire baskets to create height and use it for a plant stand.


 Idea #7 – Mantel piece decor

If you are more rustic inclined, try combining a basket tray with a wreath for a lovely accent above your fire place.


 Idea #8 – Basket planters

A wicker basket adds a nostalgic element used as a planter on this patio.


I hope you are inspired by all these lovely ideas and beautiful baskets.

Happy styling,

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The wonderful people at Tile Africa recently contacted us to do a little make-over project for them. They invited us to come to their showroom and pick out a few things on a small budget and then do something amazing and transformational with it. Now since we don’t shy away from a challenge, we immediately started planning!


The guest bathroom in our old farmhouse was really nothing to write about, its checker-board floor being its only redeeming feature. The basin was horribly small and impractical and the untiled shower – although roomy – sported a very silly shower head. These were definitely the first 3 things on our list: a shower head, a basin and some tiles. This bathroom is also adjacent to my husband’s office (which incidentally is also the guest room!) so we opted for a more masculine space rather than a frilly powder room look.


So there it is! All fresh and manly and cool.

continuing the line

The shower was tiled with a simple 15x15cm matt Johnson tile with a black metro tile dado. The black detail was continued around the perimeter of the room with a timber dado rail, painted black to match. Above we opted for a lovely deep blue (Plascon’s Oceanus) – this colour is popping up everywhere in my house now! – which rather than making the tiny room feel smaller, it actually seems to enlarge the space. Below the dado we kept the original off-white, but finished it off with a black skirting. The skirting and dado are such small details but they make all the difference and give the room a simple finishing touch.

plastic fantastic

I have to admit I am very proud of what we did with the basin. Margaux found a wonderful picture of a Victorian-inspired basin with an antique pipe-work detail around it. Since we love creating looks on a budget, I went to the hardware store and with the help a very clever sales assistant, we built the whole structure right there in the store using plastic piping and irrigation connections. I sprayed them all black and installed it below the sink – and I absolutely love it!


While looking for all the relevant pipes and things I also found these industrial tap fittings which I immediately fell in love with. Fitted to a simple plastic bracket, they make amazing hooks behind the door – an essential in a small bathroom.

dancing in the rain

The shower head was the splurge of the day but it really makes all the difference. The rose diffuses the water into soft rain and the shower head can be tilted to adjust its angle – a perfect shower experience.

double layer

I prefer to have a plain white shower curtain, especially since it’s such a small space, but hanging a fabric curtain in front of the shower curtain just softens all the hard lines in the room. I installed a shelving bracket on the wall and threaded the curtain over it. This geo-print was bought from PEP at a steal!

pretty in blue

To finish off the room Margaux sourced some Delft images on the net which we them put in 0ld picture frames that I painted white. The random collection of frames really pops against the blue wall with the delicate blue prints adding some pattern to the solid colour.


  1. Shower head and arm: R900
  2. Tiles, grout & bonding liquid: R900
  3. Basin: R700
  4. Paint: R140
  5. Dado & skirting and adhesive: R450
  6. Pipes for basin rail and spray paint: R196
  7. Taps and brackets for clothes hooks: R45
  8. Shower Curtain: R120
  9. Curtain and L bracket: R116
  10. Other materials & miscellaneous: R117

TOTAL: R3684*

Tile Africa’s very helpful staff assisted us to work out the quantities of all the materials we needed – thank you Carol at Paarden Eiland branch for all your help!

man cave toilet

This has to be one of the biggest transformations that we have done to date and we love it!


Happy Renovating!

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*Because we do most of the work ourselves, there are no labour costs in this budget. For this project however we did enlist help for the tiling and painting.

Tile Africa supplied materials to the value of R2500 for this project.

7 Tips to ease Your Spring Sorting Woes

Aside from being a traditional thing to do, come Spring I feel compelled to sort out and throw out. There is something about the efficiency of nature – new leaves, new blossoms, on time and fresh, that wants me to replicate that in my home.

Here are my top 6 tips for strategic Spring Sorting this year. For me, it’s not the cleaning so much as the sorting that needs attention!

1. Start with your wardrobe: if you haven’t worn it for a season, box it. And look at last year’s box: if it doesn’t appeal anymore, throw it out. There is someone you know that is sure to get benefit from it.

2. Vacuum it: out-of-season clothes can take up a lot of space, especially those bulky winter jackets. If you put it in a heavy duty black bag (with some lavender and rosemary of course!) and use a vacuum cleaner to suck out all the air and secure it with some duct tape, you end up with a much smaller, more manageable stack of stow-aways. Put them in tote bins or under your bed till the cooler weather is back.

3. Sort the linen: we all have linen that we don’t use anymore. If you can’t upcycle the fabric then toss it. There are people who can put it to much better use than your linen cupboard. Same goes for tablecloths – really, they go out of fashion as well!

4. Pretty Pantry: I am always astounded at the amount of things I don’t know I have in the pantry cupboard. Flours that have gone off, tins that are way past their best-before-date, hidden sweets have gone all sticky and gooey…

5. TOYS: I am convinced that my kids have more STUFF than my husband and I put together. Every birthday party provides a souvenir, every trip to Granny’s produces a new treasure. And so the mountain of stuff builds and builds until mommy has a freak-out and starts to toss. Throw out anything that’s broken or missing an arm or a leg, and donate the things that have been outgrown.

6. Book Shelves: I don’t quite understand how, but things tend to accumulate on bookshelves like no other place in our home. It will start out almost empty, with only a few carefully styled and curated items on it and a couple of months later anything from random photographs to drinking straws can be found on it. And all those books that you have already read, that have no significant literary value or that you didn’t care for to begin with will surely find a better home at the second-hand book store. The same goes for old magazines: unless you find regular inspiration in them, toss them.

7. THAT corner: we all have it – the drawer in the kitchen or the cupboard under the stairs where things get stored for years on end. Do you even know why you have all the stuff that’s in there anymore? If you haven’t used something in 3 years, chances are you won’t in the next 3.


Be bold, be brave and sort things out 1 area at a time. Before you know it, it’ll be over and your home will have more space and freshness than you know what to do with!

Happy Sorting!

 germarie 200px

Plascon’s TREND forecast 2015

Placon’s latest edition of Spaces magazine is out and oh my goodness, we are blown away by the paint techniques they explored. Especially this amazing watercolour feature wall above really inspires. Expect to see much more of that here in the future!


Their bold use of colour and brush strokes show an optimism for the future; a brave and bold statement about individualism and pride in your home. The 2015 Colour Forecast has 4 inspiring themes and in the words of Plascon’s Trend Editor Catherine Bowen, “this year’s forecast is something really special!”

Here’s a taste of what the magazine holds.


Inspired by sunrise and sunset, combining soft colour with strong industrial tones.

Urban Glow 3urban glow


Earth inspired with dark greens, weathered treatments, mottled pattern and watercolour effects.

plascon038-1-copynatural balance


Hot tropical hues and neutral shades heighten the senses and bring on the adrenaline.

plascon024vivid expression


Quiet luxury celebrating simple design and everyday materials combined with warm neutrals.

 plascon260-copytailor made

Get your issue of Plascon Spaces at your local retailer and be colour-inspired!

Happy colouring!

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#namethebook competition

Enter our #namethebook competition on Twitter and you could get your name into our new DIY book! The book will feature loads of DIY projects, interior design ideas and styling tips so we are looking for a very creative name to match. Tweet your suggestion with #namethebook and you could be a winner!

And if you don’t tweet, just leave your suggestion in the comment box below.


namethebook bath

7 Ways with Darling Dolly Pegs

Old fashioned wooden dolly pegs have always held a nostalgic fascination for me. Aside from the obvious practicality, there is also something very beautiful about their design. Margaux gave me set for my birthday and I’ve played around with them a bit to see how I can use them outside of their intended purpose. They are really easy to colour-dip as well: just stick in a pot of paint and let them drip for a while, then remove the excess with a brush and leave them on a glass to dry.

Dinner's ready

  1 & 2. Table Dressing

2 ways to use dolly pegs in a place setting: either as a napkin holder or as a name card holder on a glass.

for later

3. For the road

Have some left overs? Pin it up with a peg!

tied up and down

4 & 5. It’s a tie

Tie it up or tie it back: combining a dolly peg with a ribbon makes a great tie back. And to prevent your outdoor table cloth from flapping in the wind, tie it down with one.

winding you up

6. Nice and Tidy

Dolly pegs are the perfect way to contain a collection of ribbons. Just pop the one end through the slit and start winding it up. All sorted!

boxed in

7. Pretty Gifts

Who doesn’t love a beautifully wrapped gift? Tie it up with ribbons and use a pretty dolly peg to keep some flowers in place.

Happy playing dolly!

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