6 practical reasons why blinds are perfect for hard-working rooms

It’s really important to make an informed decision when choosing your window treatments. It’s not just the aesthetics that need to be taken into account, but also the practicality of your chosen treatment, ease of operation, cleaning and durability. This is especially necessary for the hard-working rooms in your home, where space and functionality are key. A simple way to declutter a busy room and add a clean, modern touch is to remove curtains and track and add blinds. And there are so many options to choose from! Here are our top 6 reasons why blinds are perfect for the hard-working rooms in your home.

homedit.com rolgordijnwinkel.nl webnode.com seventeenthandirving.blogspot.co.za

So how do you know which blind is right for your room? First, you need to ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. How much light do I need in this room and how much do I want to be able to control the incoming light? The answer should tell you whether you need a solid block-out blind, a diffuser blind that softens harsh sunlight or glare, or slats that allow you to regulate the light in the room.
  2. Do I want my window treatment to become a feature or to blend into the background? The answer should direct you to what finish you should pick for your window treatment. To make a bold statement, you can use a lovely fabric for a roman blind or if you prefer something more subtle, you should go for a neutral finish or solid colour blind.
  3. Will my blind be exposed to the elements like moisture and harsh sunlight? This will narrow down your options in choosing the blind or window treatment that can handle what you are about to throw at it.

homebunch.com

Let’s look at the various blind options for the hard-working rooms in your home.

#1 Beautiful Bathrooms

Because of moisture, the bathroom is one of those forgotten rooms when it comes to fabulous window treatments. Choosing the right product could make the world of difference. Shutters not only create privacy, but they’re also great at regulating light. They are easy to wipe down and sealed to handle the moisture. Shutters add sophisticated elegance to any room and work especially well in spaces with higher ceilings.

coastal-style

#2 Dirty laundry

The laundry is another one of those rooms that need extra hard-working window treatments. It has become very trendy to add a high rail above a window, in between two cupboards, that allows for delicate items to be aired. Here it is crucial to be able to regulate both light and air because this is where wet laundry ends up in winter. A basswood Venetian blind is simple and practical and gives you excellent control. If you want to add a natural element, the bamboo roll up blind on the left is just the look you need.

thisoldhouse.com bloglovin.com

#3 A classic all-rounder

If you want a modern classic look, roman blinds are the way to go. The fabric can be matched to your existing decor, and they are ideally suited to rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight.

To increase the durability of fabric blinds, you can give them a dirt-repelling coating like Scotchguard®. And while you may have less control over the amount of light that is allowed in through a roman blind, it does offer the option of completely shutting the light out if it has a block-out lining.

blindsgalore.com

#4 The pretty solution for any room

The latest trend this year in window treatments are honeycomb blinds thanks to their unique qualities, refreshing style, and versatility. Honeycomb blinds are extremely durable, energy efficient, provide superior insulation and can be made to fit inside or outside the window recess. These blinds are produced from polyester fibers which are easy to clean and will not degrade over time. Choose from five different operating systems and five fabric options, in over 200 colours at Finishing Touches. Truly spoilt for choice!

If that is not enough, it is also water and fade resistant which makes it perfect for any hard-working space. I’m sold!

vtwonen.nl madebymood.com

#5 Workhorse

There is nothing worse than glare on your computer screen at certain times of the day. It’s just added stress that can be completely avoided with a clever window treatment. A light-diffusing roller blind or honeycomb blind will do wonders for your eyes by softening the light entering a room without blocking it completely. Aluminium Venetian blinds are another trendy and practical solution in a home office, giving you control over the amount and direction of light entering the room.

blinds

stylecarrot.com

#6 Perfect fit

You can get your perfectly fitted made to measure blinds from Finishing Touches in any of the styles above. So simple and unobtrusive, blinds are not only hard workers in humid and busy spaces; they look great in any room!

Happy styling,

Feature Image: Domino

In full bloom this Mother’s Day

There is a very good reason why a bunch of fresh flowers is traditionally the gift of choice for mothers on Mother’s Day. It is because it is so sincere. Even more so if it was picked fresh from the garden by their loved ones. It’s simple and uncomplicated.

We have come across a few alternatives to the humble bunch of flowers to win over Moms hearts on this one special day dedicated to them. By putting a little thought into it, you can create something very personal that you won’t need to break the piggy bank open for.

Out of the box

Combining flowers with hexagon boxes are a great trendy gift idea and makes a lovely focal on a wall. Combine bright blooms from the garden with classic roses and air plants for a nice twist. This way the plants will remind Mom of this special day right throughout the year.

stylemepretty

Contain yourself

How many times have you received a few bunches of flowers and then ran out of vases? This is a common problem! Also because some flowers look better in a specific type of vase, like tulips for instance. They work best in a bell-shaped vase due to their ‘floppy’ nature. Why not be clever and make the vase a part of the gift?

You could also do the same if you give someone a cake. There are some exquisite cake stands on the market and it really is a well-considered gift. (Friends and family that read this post please take note!).

 

viewfrom5ft2

The Mother of all Blooms

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Ah, roses! Roses are still the ultimate floral gift for mom, whether it’s Mother’s Day roses, birthday roses, or just roses to say You Are Supermom (which moms don’t hear enough, let me tell you!!)  You can order amazing roses from Roses Only – their hand-picked blooms are from the mountains of exotic Ecuador – and they will deliver anywhere in the world. Make things extra special and dress them up for Mom with brown paper, string and a little bit of added foliage to make a gorgeous informal bouquet. But hurry up – the big day is only a few days away!

The Selv

Scent of a woman

Use eucalyptus branches to make a wreath, garland or a simple foliage bunch. It is not only super trendy, but it’s also refreshingly fragrant and will last longer that you ever anticipated!

For the wreath on the left, use a circular florist’s tray filled with oasis. For a simpler version, I would suggest you start by making a frame with a soft, bendy branch (willow or wattle will do!) that you can easily form into a circle. Tie it up with wire or twine and then start weaving your eucalyptus branches around it until you get the desired density. Finish it off with some roses on the side, secured with florist wire. This will dry well and still be beautiful!

instagram & apartmenttherapy & sfgirlbybay

From the herb garden

Chamomile flowers, lavender and rosemary are all lovely herbs that are readily available in most herb gardens. They make the most darling little bouquets and wreaths, or just bunch them together as an alternative to traditional flowers. The best part, is that Mom can use it in her cooking as well!

remainsimple & szinesotletek & clipzine

The gift of time

One thing all Mother’s want is to spend some quality time with their kids. Why not take her on a walk and pick some wild flowers along the way as a lovely memento of precious moments shared. Use the flowers as your centre piece on the breakfast table.

kateyoungdesign

Something different

Involve the entire family and make this sweet little triangle wreath. It’s such a refreshing new take on wreaths and has a bohemian feel to it that we love. It’s as simple as wiring three equal length stems together (bamboo sticks from your local nursery will also work well), and adding a few interesting leaves and branches to the right-hand corner. Secure the foliage with florist wire, add some string to the top of the wreath and hang it up for Mom to enjoy.

fallfordiy

Sense of occasion

Another great idea to involve the entire family, is to give each member a wreath to decorate and then hang it at different heights above the lunch table for the wow factor.

Add a few of Moms favorite color roses or berries from the garden for a pop of color if you don’t want to go all green.

brit.co & ruffledblog

The cherry blossom on top

A very clever little trick to impress Mom is to simply jazz up a shop bought cake with exquisite blooms from the garden and make it look like there was a food stylist involved in the process. It’s simply stunning and will tie in perfectly with your feminine, floral theme.

adventuresincooking

Happy upcoming Mother’s Day to all of you moms, aunts, grans and awesome women out there that get to experience the greatest gift of all in whatever way – MOTHERHOOD.

 

How to make your rental home feel like your own

A rental home is a cost-efficient solution that requires minimal commitment and zero upkeep. But it can be difficult to put your personal touch on a space that is essentially created to be generic. Luckily for us, a few companies have cottoned into this dilemma and have come up with some great solutions specifically tailored to the rental market. And we are of course also here to give you some clever and inexpensive tricks and tips to add personality to the interior of your rental home without worrying about not getting your security deposit back.

#1 Quick fixes

rental home

Architecture decor &  School House &  Style Files

If you want minimum effort with maximum visual effect, simply change cabinet handles to fit your personal style. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade that will make a huge difference.

Dated light fittings can be one the biggest of eyesores and also makes a big impact visually as they are the vertical focal points in a room. Replacing them is simple and you will be surprised at how big the change is.

Changing the standard light switches to dimmer switches allows you to regulate the mood of a room and it’s also a quick job with a screwdriver. While you are in the hardware store, have a look at the wide variety of light switch covers available and then choose a style that fits your desired look.

Have a good look around the house or apartment and see what you can unscrew and replace to personalize your space.

Just remember to keep all the fittings you remove somewhere safe so you can put them back before moving out.

#2 Windows and Curtains

rental home

Standard curtain rails can look very cheap and tacky, but as a tenant, you may not have the option to change them. Luckily, you can use a clip-on rod over your existing rails to personalize the look. These come in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your décor. They also have a selection of finials to finish off the ends.  Click here for a wide selection of clip-on rods from Finishing Touches.rental home

Another impermanent option for curtaining is the telescopic rod. It works especially well in kitchen and bathroom spaces that require privacy panels or any room that makes use of light-weight curtains. With no drilling required, the rod simply extends to size in the space that you need it. Available in black and white, these clever little telescopic rods can instantly soften your windows.

#3 Floors & Walls

rental home

Houzz  & Saatchi Art &  Daniella Witte

Some finishes like ugly flooring are very hard to work around as it takes up so much space in an interior. Soften the look with loose rugs that also add depth and anchor furniture groupings. If you are a bohemian at heart, you can even layer a few of them in interesting ways for an unexpected twist.

Another option is clip-in wooden tiles. They are readily available at hardware stores and look like a million bucks. They simply clip into each other so you might end up with gaps along the sides that you can mask with some clever furniture placements or plants. These wooden tiles look great on balconies especially because they mimic wooden decking.

once your floors are sorted, you most like still have boring, standard white walls with few or no hooks to hang things on. If your landlord had firm instructions not to make any holes in the walls, then we may have a few more options for you.

Have mirrors and framed artwork lean against a wall.

It’s a big trend at the moment and gives a casual feel to the interior while still breaking the expanse of white. You can even have a framed chalkboard stand up on a kitchen cabinet for a nice bistro feel.

There are some ways to hang things from hooks that won’t require permanent fixtures. Other homes may have picture rails that you can use to hang things from, and pelmet boards over curtains can also be used as a display area, provided the ceilings are high enough.

And then there is washi tape. The wondrous medium that won’t leave marks on the walls and allows you to stick prints to the walls or use just as is in interesting ways. My favorite examples are these tiny Swiss crosses to break a plain white wall. Let your imagination go wild!

#4 Styling tricks

rental home

Cosmopolitan & DIY Joy

For the most part, you will have to rely on styling your space pretty. Play with pops of colour in soft props like scatter cushions and throws, and remember to use different textures for visual interest.

Having fresh flowers is always a great way to make your space a happy place to live in. You can also introduce indoor plants for some trendy greenery and to soften hard lines.

Painting some of your furniture could inject a bit of energy or simply get all the elements in the room to tie up in a well-planned colour palette.

Stand back and have a good long look at your space. If the furniture is too big for the space, put some in storage. If the space is too big, look at arranging your pieces differently or buy some interesting extra ones from a thrift store.

Don’t feel like you have to make everything fit. Rather focus on creating good flow in the room.

#6 Multi-purpose and Multi-functional

rental home

Passionshake

Living in a temporary space will require you to be flexible. Invest in furniture pieces that are generic so that they could be used in different ways in your next home. Like a bookshelf that could work as extra kitchen shelving.

Having your furniture work hard is very important, so also look for multifunctional pieces like a coffee table with magazine storage or ottomans that could store extra bedding for guests. You could even put a storage box on wheels to slide in under the sofa or your bed.

One really cute idea is to play with ladders. Use them as towel storage or combine two with planks in between to create unusual shelving. Here’s how it’s done step by step in one of our previous DIY projects

Embrace the challenges that come with a rental space. It’s exactly these that force us to think up creative ways around tricky situations –  and it may just lead to a fantastic result!

This post is sponsored by Finishing Touches.

Caravan renovations that will make you want to buy one today!

I have very fond memories of December family holidays in our old Sprite caravan. My dad only sold it a few years ago, but for more than 10 years, it was turned into a storeroom rather than a holiday home. Lately, I have come across the most inspiring pictures of vintage caravans used in all sorts of ways – from mobile businesses to studios. And of course, also the traditional holiday-on-wheels, but with a stylish twist or two. It really inspired me to write this article and share with you the clever caravan renovations that people have done to turn their assets into lovable, liveable and workable spaces. WARNING: You may end up on Autotrader looking for a second-hand caravan after reading this!

Retro traveler

autotrader second hand caravan update

100 Layer Cakelet

This is the stuff hipster heaven are made of … this vintage caravan got a fresh lick of paint in very trendy turquoise and red, with just a dash of yellow. Complete with all the desirable vintage props like an LP player! This little caravan will transport you back in time.

What I really like about this renovation, is that a lot of thought was put into the exterior elements. An outdoor carpet and little turquoise bench with bold scatters complete the scene beautifully.

This could be a great photo booth idea for a wedding! Just a thought…

The Blues

autotrader second hand caravan update

autotrader second hand caravan update

Inside Out

This beautiful caravan renovation plays with the blues … gorgeous bedding and a soft palette with very trendy accents. The basket lampshade above the breakfast nook gives it a toned down contemporary feel. Perfect for hot summer holidays!

 Meet  the Nugget

autotrader second hand caravan update

autotrader second hand caravan update

autotrader second hand caravan update

Vintage Revivals

This is one of the sweetest caravan makeovers I have come across recently. It’s lovingly called ‘Nugget’ by its owners.

Fitted with a beautiful geometric wooden floor that nearly took my breath away when I first saw it – and why not? Just because it’s a caravan, doesn’t mean it has to have a dated vinyl floor like That 70’s Show.

Bright yellow wallpaper adorns the walls, accessorized with fun art prints and softened with some greenery.

Re-upholstered storage benches and a few scatters and throws help to create a warm and inviting interior like this one.

 Heart of the (mobile) home

autotrader second hand caravan update

Mountain Modern Life

The before shot in the left-hand bottom corner is one we have all seen before but just look at the transformation with a lick of charcoal paint on the cabinets, new kitchen tops and cladding on the walls. They also added modern spice storage as a nice touch.

The very simple mountain print on wood, makes a beautiful focal point above the little gas hob.

Black, white and grey

autotrader second hand caravan update

Caravanity & Modern Home Living 

This orange hanging lamp makes a gorgeous retro statement in this grey, black and white caravan interior. It just goes to show that you don’t need to paint everything white in a small space!

The bottom picture is of a caravan that was remodeled into office space. The cabinets were painted with chalk board paint to maximize efficiency.

I love the black and white framed photographs that tie up the monotone colour palette beautifully.

Finishing touches

autotrader second hand caravan update

Airstream Classifieds & Via House & Viahouse

The same rules for any small space apply in a caravan: lots of clever storage, one coherent colour palette, and play with texture and pattern accents.

Pretty linen on the bunk beds and birchwood wallpaper sections create interest to otherwise forgotten walls.

Quick Q&A with two happy ‘caravaners’

Before you run out the door in search of a vintage caravan, read this very informative Q&A with my friends Liezl & Martin Maree that simply love their caravan and family holidays.

 1. How long have you had your caravan? 

We’ve had a caravan for about 8 years, but our current one for about a year.

2. Is the yearly upkeep expensive and what does it entail?

Basically, no yearly maintenance – if you store it out of the rain and sun. Only other expense is licensing, which is about R250 annually.

3. Would you say it was a good investment? 

Yes, as it allows for inexpensive weekend getaways and probably the cheapest 3-week holiday you can find!

4. Why did you first decide to buy a caravan?

We wanted to create memories for our kids away from the city. Both of us have good memories camping with our own parents.

5. How often do you use it and do you only use it for holidays? 

About every second month for a weekend. We’ve also used it when attending seminar’s, instead of staying at a B&B or on-site lodging.

6. Have you done any renovations on the interior? 

In our first caravan, we removed a ‘built-in bar’ to make the double bed even larger – which allowed for a family bed when camping. Friends of ours painted and decorated their vintage caravan with curtains, scatter cushions and bunting!

7. If you could, what would you like to change to make it more practical or beautiful? 

Our current model is a very compact design that has a clever use of space. One thing we would like to change is replacing the pull-out awning with the newer model’s design as it allows a taller person to walk underneath.

8. Would you say caravan holidays are increasing in popularity? 

Yes!

9. What is the best caravan gadget you have seen? 

Definitely a level-bubble! Without it you might sleep ‘downhill’…

10. Any advice for people thinking of buying a second-hand caravan and renovating it? 

Look for wood-rot underneath, as well any leaks from the roof or sides. Check that the chassis is sound. Also, check tents for mold and see that zips slide – especially on older models.

Happy Camping!

DIY Corner Bookmarks with BOSTIK

These bookmarks are fun, easy and very handy. Involve the kids and let them do the decorating after you have done the cutting. Choose from one of the three designs we came up with: fox, ladybug and melon.

You will need:

Card in the colour of your choice

Scissors and craft knife

Pencil and ruler

Bostik Glue Stick

Bostik Glue Glitter

Bostik Colour ‘n Paint Twisters

Punch and black paper

BOOKMARKS1

Create a temple by drawing a square measuring 10 x 10 cm. Then draw two more, one on top and one to the left of the original square. They should form an L shape. Now half the bottom and top squares from the top right hand corner to the bottom left. Cut off the outer triangles from these two squares and the rest of the outline to form an arrow shape, like shown here in the picture.

BOOKMARKS2

Simply fold the two half-squares over and secure them together with your Bostik Glue Stick to make the cup of the bookmark that will slip over the corner of the pages of your book. For the fox design, you just need to cut the ears out before you glue the sides. Draw two small triangles on the middle square and cut them out using a craft knife. Fold them back to stick up like fox ears. Now glue your sides together to make up the bookmark.

BOOKMARKS3

Use a normal paper punch or a craft one like we did here to make up black confetti dots. These will be used as the eyes and dots decorating your bookmark animals.

BOOKMARKS4

Glue down one black dot in the middle of your fold over to make up the nose of the fox. Use a circular object like sellotape to draw two half-moons that makes up the structure of the nose. Now paste the two eyes and draw in little triangles on the inner part of the ears.

BOOKMARKS5

Finish of by using Bostik Glue Glitter on the nose section and red and yellow Bostik Colour ‘n Paint Twisters around the eyes. Wet your finger with some water and smudge the lines so they merge and take on a watercolour-look. Also do this on the tips of the ears.

BOOKMARKS6

The little ears makes it very easy to see where you left your bookmark. Use the template we used for the fox to also create the ladybug and melon bookmarks below.

BOOKMARKS7

For the ladybug we simply left our the ears and drew a black face and dots with our Bostik Colour ‘n Paint Twister and line down the middle to create the shape of this lady. Wet your finger and smudge the black to create a watercolor effect. We then defined the shapes by drawing in a rough motion the edges of the dots, face and line. The eyes were done with white dots we punched from an old magazine.

BOOKMARKS8

The melon is definitely the easiest one of them all. Draw the half-moon shapes by using a circular object and then roughly draw pips on the bottom triangle. Now color this triangle with red and the skin of the melon above in green and yellow. Wet your finger and smudge to create a trendy watercolor effect.

Happy Reading,

margaux

Please note that his post is sponsored by Bostik.

DIY Tween study corner with Bostik

Create a DIY tween study corner that is both hard-working and playful! We’ve even added personalized stationary, easy notebook covers and a few decor ideas to the mix. Studying has never been more fun!

Put your personal stamp on it

Give ordinary envelopes fun polka dot liners with stickers or by using the back of a pencil. We’ll show you just how easy it is and the lovely impression it makes. Add your initials to stationary with watercolour and glitter using Bostik Colour ‘n Paint Twisters and Rainbow Glitter Glue.

TWEENSTUDY1

Connect the dots

Create polka dot envelope liners by dipping the back of your pencil (the eraser side) into metallic craft paint and then evenly stamping out rows of dots. The shortcut option is to simply use metallic stickers as the dots in the same way!

TWEENSTUDY2

Magic at your finger tips

We love working with Bostik Colour ‘n Paint Twisters – they’re the ultimate three in one with the perfect combination of crayon, pastel and water colour in one twist! You simply draw a line with the crayon and then either wet your finger to smudge the crayon into a beautiful watercolour, or use a paint brush dipped in water for the same effect (just a bit less messy).

I drew a line on the outer rim of the paper to create a watercolour frame and then did a watercolour area in red and yellow to give it an orange twist in the middle. This will form the background for the initials to go on.

TWEENSTUDY3

Sealed and signed

You can either freehand your initials or use a stencil if you want to keep it neat. I simply used a normal black pen and fine stencil for the letters and then gave it a bit of glam by sealing it with a dash of Bostik Rainbow Glitter Glue.

TWEENSTUDY4

Take note

Personalize notebooks with these easy ideas! First, cover the notebook with scrapbooking paper that you can buy at any craft store. Next, cut a frame to go on the cover and then add a stack of PostIt notes using Bostik Glu Dots.

Finish off your framed notebook by adding two ribbons that tie up in a lovely bow. I added the ribbons to the inside front cover and inside back cover with these very handy Bostik Glu Dots. No home should be without these!

Download the FREE frame template here

TWEENSTUDY5

Ahoy sailor

Create this lovely nautical-themed notebook with 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper, a tag, string, ribbon, Bostik Glue Stick and Bostik Glu Dots.

Start by covering the notebook with scrapbooking paper. Then print the tag template and cut the shape from your second piece of scrap booking paper. String the natural rope trough the top hole. Finish it off by adding the ribbon with two glu dots to keep the tag safely in place.

Now you can use the tag as a bookmark in your notebook! Clever, isn’t it!

Download the FREE tag template here

TWEENSTUDY6

Roses are red, violets are blue …

I covered this sweet little notebook with scrapbooking paper in a rose design . To add to the femininity I then finished it off with and extra broad pink satin ribbon that was secured to the notebook with Bostik Glu Dots.

TWEENSTUDY7

Study corner

I have used this retro desk with lots of storage space (I picked it up from a thrift shop!) to create this tween study corner. Storage is key! Combined with a few playful elements, it creates a space that is both beautiful and practical.

This vintage soup bowl with flower detail is now used for paper clips and bits and bobs. It adds to the nostalgic tone of the space combined with a few modern twists.

The retro chair was instantly updated with this funky scatter cushion. Not only is the pattern on the scatter lovely, it will also ensure a soft seat for a bum!

TWEENSTUDY9

Out of the box

These floating shelves create interest on the wall with their beautiful backing of scrap bookingpaper while remaining a great storage option for smaller display items.

Just measure your paper to the back of the floating shelf and cut. Secure the paper to the shelf with Bostik Glu Dots. It couldn’t be easier!

I also used square frames to add ‘quiet’ pictures that tones in with the rest of the setting. Pictures should not distract the student in any way!

TWEENSTUDY8

I hope that you have found this article inspiring and that you are now armed with new-found knowledge to create a study corner for your tween using these decor ideas and lovely DIY’s.

Happy Styling,

margaux

Please note that his post is sponsored by Bostik.

BOSTIK FREE back-to-school printables

Get the school year off to a great start with the help of these Bostik FREE back-to-school printables! Inspired by watercolour that is still a big trend for 2016, we are sure that staying on top of birthdays, chores and important dates will be a pleasant experience!

#1 My year planner

This year planner will help you to remember important dates and appointments. Most important of all, heart shaped cookies mark out South African public holidays. We believe in balance so all work and no play simply won’t do!

Click here to get your free download

Bostik1

#2 First day of school

Download and print this first day of school chart as a keepsake. Add a picture of your child on his or her first day just to make it more personal. You can even add it to the inside front cover of your school books as an introduction of child to new teachers. We promise they will be super impressed!

Click here to get your free download

Bostik2

#3 Weekly reward chart

There is much debate about whether a having a reward-system at home is good or not. But if you do subscribe to rewarding good behaviour (and a little bit of bribery!), this is the download for you! It’s a great system for keeping on top of chores and to set long term and short term goals for child.

Click here to get your free download

Bostik3

#4 TEN File dividers or binder covers

Get your files organised with these pretty binders! Use them either as the front cover or inside the file as dividers to organize large amounts of information into sections that make sense to you. Great to use for household files and school files!

Click here to get your free download

Bostik4

#5 Birthday calendar

It’s very important to keep track of everyones birthdays, so this beautiful birthday calendar will come in very handy. Print the designs on good quality paper and use a clipboard so you can display it in a visible place, like the kitchen, your home office or at your child’s desk. This way you are sure not to miss a birthday ever again!

Click here to get your free download

Bostik5

We hope you have lots of fun with these handy downloads – let us know if you an idea for another one!

Happy downloading,

margaux

Please note that his post is sponsored by Bostik.

Watercolour Christmas – quick tricks and finishing touches

On the doorstep of Christmas I decided to share with you a few quick tricks and clever cheats that will trick your guests into believing you are the hostess with the mostess although you did it all in 5 minutes before they arrived.

Gorgeous garland two ways

These balls of fun are great to pick up a color scheme and draped over a chandelier they emphasize vertical lines. In doing so they extend the table and gives a much more well rounded and balanced picture.

GARLANDl1

String your garland on stair railings like we did to also extend the color palette from the table to the surrounding decor. It adds a element of festivity to the setting.

GARLAND2

Christmas tree

Having a reclaimed Christmas tree is simply lovely. You can ‘plant’ a branch like this ‘garingboom’ and give it a white wash effect with a light coat of paint. It won’t last forever but will be beautiful for a few years. This tree has such a lovely South African flavor!

tree1

Remember to consider all elements like the pot you ‘plant’ the branch in. Cover it with fabric and tie it loosely with string. It ties the look together beautifully without a nasty plastic pot sticking out.

tree2

Starry starry drink

This is one of my fail proof tricks for welcome drinks. Simply drop a piece of chocolate (I love using Lindt but the star shape fits the festive season better) in a glass of champagne and serve to arriving guests. The bubbles will stick to the chocolate and it gets everyone in the mood for a lovely time.

SML_star1

You don’t have to use sparking wine. I have also done this trick with normal Appletizer and it worked like a charm.

SML_star2

Wishes

Thank you so much for supporting our blog this year. We hope we have inspired you to try new things at home to truly make your home your own.

Have a fantastic festive season spent with loved ones and travel safe!

Margaux_XMAS

Happy Styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour Christmas Wreath DIY

I believe that Christmas isn’t complete without the wreath on the front door or in our case, above the fireplace. This Christmas wreath DIY is a super easy one that simply looks and smells lovely and uses my favourite foliage: penny gum. As a child, my best friend and I used to make floral wreaths with daisies. These fond memories have always stayed with me and get triggered as soon as I see a wreath.

You will need: 

 Penny gum (available at your local florist)

Prickly blooms or ‘fynbos’

Florist wire

Ribbon

Copper craft paint

Hat pin

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Easy as pie

Follow the same steps that I showed you in our mini wreaths tutorial. Make a circle with your florist wire and thread the penny gum and whatever else you are using through the loops. Secure them by doing another layer of wire to catch all the loose ends. End off with ribbon and dip the ends in copper craft paint. I even dipped some of the prickly flowers in the paint to add to the bling.

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Hanging around

We placed our wreath above the fireplace as this will be the first thing guests see when they enter through the front door. What a lovely way to say welcome!

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Door to door

After our shoot I simply had to hang the wreath on my front door! Yes, this is where all the good props ends up.

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I think I am going to make this my seasonal wreath. I’ll add different elements true to the specific season and have it proudly displayed all year round.

Why not make smaller wreaths for your table as well?

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You will need: 

Florist wire

Thin-stemmed penny gum branches (you can buy these at your local florist if you don’t have a friend with a tree)

Ribbon

Hat pin

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Merry go round

Bend the florist wire into a circular shape and secure the end by threading it round. Start the wreath by putting the stem of the penny gum branch into one of the loops created. Now simply twirl it around until it ends. I didn’t let mine go all the way and left a ‘naked’ wire section at the top for the ribbon. It kind of reminds me of a roman wreath!

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Needles and pins

I have a disturbingly large collection of hat pins at home. I simply cannot resist them and have found 101 uses for them. This time I’ve used a hat pin to secure the broad ribbon at the top of the wreath.

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Let it shine

I wanted to echo my copper-dipped cutlery so I added a touch of copper craft paint to a few of the penny-gum leaves just for fun.

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Hang on

These fragrant little wreaths are the perfect welcome at the back of each guest’s chair around the Christmas table. If you have a formal seating arrangement, you can go one step further and add the names of guests to them.

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You can also make mini versions of these wreaths and use them for Christmas tree decorations – the possibilities are endless!

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

Watercolour Christmas – nail polish mug DIY

I’ve seen a few examples of this nail polish mug DIY technique on the internet and was so intrigued that I’ve decided to try it for myself. The results were simply stunning! Who would have thought that nail polish can achieve this lovely watercolour look? And it’s pretty simple to do as well!

You will need:

Ceramic mugs and bowls

Selection of nail polish (not the quick drying type)

Water and container for dipping

Toothpicks

Paper towel

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Preparation station

Add water to a flat container. Use a disposable container as you won’t be able to use it again after this exercise. Add a few drops of nail polish to the water and break up the colour dots by dragging a toothpick through it to form a pattern.

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Dunk it

Now simply dip your ceramic bowl into the water and give it a twirl so that the nail polish sticks to the surface. It is amazing what happens to the nail polish when it hits the water. It creates a thin plastic-like film around the colour areas. I found it fascinating.

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Mugged

Repeat this process with any old ceramics you have in the house. It’s lots of fun and makes pretty and inexpensive stocking fillers.

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High and dry

Leave them to dry overnight on a piece of paper towel.

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Wrapped up

Wrap them in tissue paper and boxes combined with nice ribbon. It will be very cute if you add a tag that tells the recipient that this item was hand-made by you. People seem to appreciate that more!

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Please note: The crockery is not going to be food-safe, so don’t use this technique to decorate the inside of a plate or bowl that intend to eat out of. Make sure that you use CPG (ceramics / porcelain / glass) podge (the baking kind) over your designs to ensure their durability. And it’s best to wash by hand and avoid using them in the microwave.

Happy styling,

margaux

Nolene_Van_Staden

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