DIY: Alternative Storage

Having a guest room is a luxury, especially if you have a growing family with space requirements. So if usually your guests end up on a sofa bed somewhere then you probably don’t really have anywhere for them to put their things. This problem really bothered me since our guests sleep in my husband’s office and I would’ve loved to have a wardrobe in there but there simply isn’t any space. So when I happened onto a clever idea and suddenly a random chair came into my life, I got busy painting!


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The beauty of working with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® of course is that you can apply it to anything. Now I know that’s what they say on the packaging, but seriously, look at the chair above! It had at least 3 previous coats on it and was flaking badly but this little miracle in a tin stuck without any protest.

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Even a varnished chair didn’t stand a chance. And look at those sexy little feet – I just popped the legs into the tin as far as they would go, let the most of the excess run off and then put it on a flat surface to dry.

Hanging chairs against a wall is not really anything new, but maybe all the possibilities have not yet been explored:  besides being the obvious solution to occasional seating, using a chair without a back also allows you to utilize it as a side table or bookshelf. And the cross-bars are of course the perfect place to hang some clothing. An old curtain rail provides the ideal bar to hook the feet into.

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Here’s another great idea: I made a hat stand for my boys’ playroom out of white PVC conduit straights and bends, fitted together with cable ties. I first painted the conduit with 1 coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ® and then re-coated it once I’d put the whole together. I have to admit I didn’t fully expect the paint to stick – it’s PVC for crying out loud! – but it did. And it doesn’t scratch either: the last picture was taken 5 months after the first ones and it’s still perfect – even after daily abuse by 2 toddlers!

hat stand

Using PVC piping for a hat stand or coat rack is a very inexpensive way to add some additional hanging space to a small corner in a guest room. And as an added bonus, it looks very cool too!

Happy Painting!

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NOTE: This is not a sponsored post, although the lovely people at Annie Sloan SA was kind enough to send us some wonderful paint to play with. For your nearest stockist, go to Annie Sloan SA.

Everyday Upcycling

Every now and again I see a new possibility in something I’ve had tucked away in a cupboard or store room for years and it is always very rewarding when it turns into something else. We all have little drab things around the house that could be transformed into something spectacular, usually with very little effort. Here are 3 very quick little upcycling projects.

1. This very dull and boring – but quite essential – mouse pad became a very cool little statement piece with a bit of fabric from our good friends at ArtVraat.

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2. An old and very worn shutter was transformed into a recipe board with a lick of paint and some cute washing pegs.


3. A dusty pink ceramic lamp base blends beautifully with its new surroundings after a bit a paint and some new fabric on the old shade gave it a new lease on life.


What everyday items do you have at home that can do with a bit of magic? Don’t ever underestimate what a change of colour or intended purpose can do.

For more wonderful upcycling ideas, get your own copy of our e-book, The DIY & Styling Issue.

Happy playing!

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Dressing the Jungle Ship

The ship was moored but yet without sails, so we got to work and made her some!

Bamboo poles were rigged as a mast (cable ties and rope did the trick!) and an old basket serves as the crow’s nest. Because everyone knows you can’t have a pirate ship without one of those. We tied some cotton sash cord to the horizontal bamboo booms to stabilize it, and then tied the sails to them.

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Simple fabric rectangles with some ribbon ties look lovely and festive.

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Margaux painted an anchor on the bow with some enamel paint – because every ship has to have one of those too.

Dressing 1

The ultimate prop though has to be the rope detail – Margaux spotted this very thick worn rope around a tree on the farm and it really just completes the picture. VERY handy to have a professional stylist around!

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A simple steering wheel was made with 2 circles cut from solid timber, 6 short dowels and 6 small door knobs. Remember to add washers to the bolt when you install it so that the wheel will be able to turn freely. And another handy tip: to keep the little knobs upright while they dry, stick them into small pots filled with sand or soil.

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Now, don your hat and set sail, Mates: the world is your oyster!

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Happy pirating!

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This was not a sponsored post although the following tools were kindly provided by Bosch SA:

PLR Laser Distance Measuring Tool

POF 1200 AE Router

PSR 18 LI-2 Cordless Drill Driver Combi

91 Piece V-Line Accessory Set

You could win this same set of tools by entering our competition here! For more great DIY ideas, get your copy of our DIY & Styling e-book!

BOSCH Pirates Ahoy!

The wonderful people at BOSCH SA sent us a whole box full of tools to try out and I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty! The jungle gym in the back yard had been crying out for a make-over for a while so I worked up a few drawings, got the toddlers’ approval and got to work.

The jungle gym consisted of a basic elevated structure made from gum poles, with a ladder to the one side and a slide to the other. It also has a couple of well used tyre swings.  I converted the space underneath to a sand box 2 years ago – it’s perfect because it gives the kids shade in the summer and provides a nice soft (ish!) landing in case of a fall. The rest of the area around it is covered with soft bark chip for the same reason.

Jungle Gym 1

For an exterior structure, it is important to use tanalith-treated timber to prevent rot. Lucky for me, the local fruit packers throw out quite a lot of treated pine when their crates are being repaired so a quick visit to them gave me a whole car load of 150mm wide boards for free!

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I first had to extend the structure to create the bow: I simply planted another pole and used treated timber batons to make the triangular structure. Using one of the 22mm thick boards as a spacer, I put down the floor – that’s it: bow in place!

Jungle Gym 2

I then clad the sides, roughly spacing the boards so that they fill the area.

Jungle Gym 3

Next, I made the side panels. I drew out the length I needed on my deck and lay out the boards accordingly. I then lay some old tongue & groove planks over and screw fixed them in place to create a fairly sturdy panel – it’s much easier to router it and carry it this way. I trimmed the boards into a straight line using a jigsaw. Turning it around, I marked out where the portholes should go and used my router to cut out the circles. You can use a jigsaw for this as well, but a router makes perfect circles so it’s much easier. Use 3 or 4 depth settings to router out the circles otherwise it becomes quite challenging to maintain the circle when the central board suddenly falls away. I only figured this out after the second porthole and then had to use my jigsaw to trim the circles anyway! Then I sanded everything to make sure there aren’t any splinters for little hands to get caught on.

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The panels were screw-fixed through the 22mm pine to the gum poles. I fixed each panel individually just to make sure that it stays put!

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So there she stands! The boys absolutely loved it, but Margaux and I weren’t quite done. We’ll post the rest of the transformation this week – keep yer eyes peeled, Matey!

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Happy buildling!

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This was not a sponsored post although the following tools were kindly provided by Bosch SA:

PLR Laser Distance Measuring Tool

POF 1200 AE Router

PSR 18 LI-2 Cordless Drill Driver Combi

91 Piece V-Line Accessory Set

You could win this same set of tools by entering our competition here! For more great DIY ideas, get your copy of our DIY & Styling e-book!


Stamped Pot Rest with a DIY Tile Stamp!

We have stamped a lot of things by now – including a stunning tiled splash back. And while we were testing said splash back, a few tiles came into being in the process. So instead of throwing them away, we were trying to figure out what we can use them for.

I received the beautifully hand-painted pot rest featured above from my sister after a trip to Turkey. A pot rest or spoon rest is such a useful thing in the kitchen and if you have a pretty one, all the better! A small printed tile is perfect for this.

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   Just prime it with a universal tile primer, stamp with PVA or my all time favourite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and seal with a universal sealer. Done!

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Stack and tie them for a lovely little house warming or birthday gift.

Remember that you can buy your very own stamp from Homeology Shop – they come in 3 stunning designs!

Happy printing!


Sunshine to Cobalt in 30 minutes (more or less!)

We have been doing so many blue-inspired posts this month that I ended up getting completely inspired myself and decided to redo the living room. AGAIN. Now, I know what you may think: that I have serious commitment issues. But I don’t – I just have a very short attention span! So by reshuffling a few accessories and painting the yellow walls in a beautifully rich cobalt blue (Plascon Oceanos), I (yet again!) have a brand new living room!


You may remember that this is what I did to revamp the old fireplace in February for under R1000.

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So this is what I did in 30 mins. Okay, so it was more like an hour because I had to wait for the paint to dry between coats, but it was totally worth it! c 1

I added a quick coat of white to the frame on the mantle as well and then grouped it with some other white items that I had around the house.

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Now my onion print also takes pride of place in the room – see how I picked up the cobalt in the painting?

For more inspiring colour ideas, get your copy of’s DIY & Syle Issue here!

Happy Painting!


Veggie Printing Press

I have very fond memories of my fiber art class in high school and all the amazing textile-related techniques I was taught there. Amongst others, I learnt that a potato makes a very handy printing tool and can be carved into various shapes to create all manner of interesting patterns.

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Lately though I’ve been wondering if other vegetables could also be used as printing tools and when I walked through my veggie garden today and found a mammoth cauliflower, an idea started taking shape. So, I have taken it upon myself to do a bit of experimental vegetable printing, and oh my goodness was I surprised.

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CAULIFLOWER. Seriously, who knew? I certainly didn’t! I am already conjuring up images of walls being printed with this interesting floral pattern – watch this space and expect amazing things! I really feel that the sky is the limit when it comes to this one.

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Break off a large floret and cut through it so that you get a nice smooth face with a curly edge and stem (using a REALLY sharp knife greatly helps). Print them in a circle with the stems touching to create a floral pattern or any way you want really!

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GARLIC: It makes beautiful butterflies or hearts and pretty little flowers. You can also half the entire bulb and use that to print – perfect for gift wrap or a small canvass.

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ONION: It’s amazing that it makes a perfect set of concentric circles. So beautiful that I just had do a whole canvass with it. Isn’t is stunning!?

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By printing your own, you can create original art work, gift wrap and cards, fabric and linen.

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It’s so simple, even my kids got involved although Jean much preferred printing himself than the paper!

There are all manner of amazing patterns in nature: cucumber slices,  halved beetroot or citrus fruit, apples and pears with the seeds in the core. Go on, experiment a bit and then share with us what you’ve created!

Happy Printing!


10 Quick & Easy Living Room Updates

So you’re sitting in your living room, wondering what went wrong and not sure what to do about it? Here are 10 simple ways to update the space:


10 ways 1
Source: Decor Pad

Paint is the least amount of effort and money that packs the biggest punch. Be brave – if it doesn’t work out, you can always paint it again. It doesn’t HAVE to be a long-term commitment!


Source: HonestlyWTF
Source: HonestlyWTF

This could be an investment piece or a cheap and cheerful cotton one from your favourite retailer. This is one of those items though where size does matter: a carpet should sit comfortably under your coffee table and extend to go underneath your sofas, even if it’s just the front feet. If it becomes a bit pricey, then layer your rugs by placing a smaller rug over a bigger, plain edged or sisal rug.


10 ways 4
Source: Home Designer Ideas

While ambient lighting certainly adds to the warmth and comfort of a room, installing a statement piece will add a bit of oomph as well.


10 ways 3

Changing your scatters seasonally is a great way to give a room a quick facelift. You don’t even have to buy new ones – just wrap your existing pillow with a piece of fabric or a nice tablecloth.


10 ways 5

In summer it can be a beautiful colourful print, in winter a warm and cozy blanket. Throws are an excellent way to add another layer to your sofas.


10 ways 6

Replace the collection of photographs or memorabilia on the mantle with something else. Just look around your house: a random collection of white things, a simple vase with flowers or a grouping of candles will give a whole new look to an old chimney stack.


10 ways 7

Exchange the one that’s been hanging in the bedroom for the last few years with the one that’s been hanging in the living room. You visitors hardly go to your bedroom – they’ll think the one you put in the living room is new!


10 ways 8

Paint it, slap on a laminate, stain it or change it all together. It tends to be in the middle of the room so why not make it the center of attention?


10 ways 9
Source: BHG

A cluttered shelf is not an attractive thing but if you place a few carefully curated pieces on, it makes a beautiful feature.


10 ways 10
Source: Style, Inspiration& Design

My moving things out of sight and into cupboards it gives you a bit more room to display the items you really like. And remember: just because you own it, doesn’t mean you HAVE to display it. Pack some things away and change them out when you swap out cushions.

Happy Project Living Room!



Indoor Herb Garden

I have for a long time been singing the praises of growing your own herbs – they have so many uses not only food, but also as insect repellants, gift decorations, home remedies and loads of other things.  During the winter though, unless you prefer to use the dried herbs that no doubt hangs from your beautiful herb hanger, physically getting to your fresh herb garden might be a problem. And if you get there, the frost and hail may have destroyed everything you had anyway. So it’s time to bring the herbs in, just for the next few months.

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I found these very sweet little hanging tin planters at the Chinese Emporium. A couple of cute customized sticky labels later and they look stunning!

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Click here to download your set of sticky labels – FOR FREE! Print out on an A4 sticker, cut, stick and you’re good to go.

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Besides holding herbs, they also hide away the burglar bars a bit – BONUS! No more running around in the rain to get that wholesome goodness into the pot, I can just harvest from the scullery window.

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They really just need a bit of sun, and if you plant them in little removable pots you can easily place them in the sink to water and drain once a week.

Happy Herbing!


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