Pretty Playroom Makeover for Playful Young Minds

It’s finally here – the playroom we’ve been tweaking over this past month. Thanks to Builders Warehouse we made a couple of handy additions to the playroom all by ourselves! We absolutely love going to Builders Warehouse, the BIGGER, the BETTER! They have everything from paint and hardware, to home-ware, gardening goodies and even décor.


playroom overall view

We started off with the most prominent part of the playroom: the media console. The TV-stand took one full day to complete, and it was a bit of a challenge due to nearly-defeating flu-season. Unfortunately, no one I know proved immune this year (holding thumbs for next year). The full tutorial will follow next week, so keep an eye out for it!

The cute little denim storage baskets were the perfect thing to complete the TV stand. You can honestly never have too much storage in a playroom. Or any room for that matter!

With the TV-stand all set-up, our belt-shelf could finally take its place with pride. This is one of the most cost-effective storage solutions we’ve created to date. It’s perfect to store items out of reach from curious little fingertips. See the hanging shelf tutorial here.



Two of our favourite items on the hanging shelves are the Anthropologie-inspired Boho baskets. I love how the pompoms add a soft touch to the boys’ playroom, and it was so easy to make! If you feel like updating your own tired baskets, see the Boho Basket How-To here.

wallpapered wall with hanging shelving

We thought the wallpaper was a bit much when we saw it in Builders Warehouse, but as soon as we started with the installation, we realised that it was perfect! We know: lucky us, right? Doing your own wallpaper installation can be tricky, which is why you need a little guidance. It was my first installation, but fortunately, Germarie has quite a bit of wallpapering experience. Get expert tips and wallpaper installation advice here, – we even made a video!

We love the result! The wallpaper looks so impressive next to the kids’ teal lockers!




An absolute must-have in any home is a fluffy carpet! Red is the perfect colour with a vibrancy that will launch the kids into play heaven. Plush fibers are so inviting that everyone just ends up spending time on the ruby rug instead of the sofa. Which is a sofa bed, by the way. You can also never have too many beds for sleep-overs! I put a denim cover on the seat of this one to protect the fabric from little monsters 😉


Tassels and pompoms are what dreams are made of! Well, mine are. Home Fabrics was kind enough to give us this pretty pompom fabric (Bambino Chouchou in Sky) for an Ideas project we did recently (soon to be published in Ideas Junior!). Luckily, we had some left over for cushions for the playroom. I love the brightness these scatter cushions add to the room like little clouds of delight!

Germarie recently received a cute little cushion from Mary Interior Decorator and, by sheer serendipity, it matched our colour scheme! Lucky again! So, naturally, it had to form part of the playful space. We love it!


The playroom is nearly complete, with only an enormous world map and photo gallery still missing. We’ll be sure to post those as soon as they arrive! For now, the canvas (made from a shower curtain!) is hanging on the world map’s place. It’s enormous and has a colourful geometric print – perfect for this huge wall! To make your own oversized wall art, just follow the canvas DIY here.

Kids Study Corner

Speaking about art, kids should have an area where they can explore their creative side. Often a floor will suffice, but with eager little artists, organising is key. The study corner doubles as a young artist’s refuge. A small polka-dot mat makes the corner feel special and a touch unique. See the quick tutorial here.

industrial tap hold-backs


Oh, and of course these darling little curtains hold-backs are the easiest thing! Made by fixing an industrial tap to a u-bracket, they look great in this fun room!

That’s it! We are super happy with the playroom – but of course, more importantly, so are the kids. The ample storage makes it easier for them to keep their things off the floor and mom happy. Bonus!

Happy Playing!

All materials for this project were generously sponsored by Builders Warehouse.

A Quick Guide To DIY Wallpaper Installation

Wallpaper is not that big in South Africa, so when I first moved to England and saw it installed everywhere, I fell in love! Back home, however, supply and demand cause wallpaper to be super expensive, with most of the designs being imported. But on a recent trip to Builders Warehouse, I found a very cool geo pattern that I knew would transform our playroom! Installing wallpaper is actually very easy, you just have to have a bit of patience, and make sure that you measure carefully. Here’s our step-by-step guide to DIY wallpaper installation!

Click the video below to see how we did it in less than 1 minute! 😉


You will need:

  • Wallpaper (see below calculation for the quantity)
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Large brush
  • Cloth
  • Craft knife
  • You will also need:
  • Bucket and spoon
  • Large flat surface to prepare the paper

Wallpaper quantity calculation:

Take the width of the wall, and divide it by the width of the wallpaper. Round up to get the number of drops.

For the length of each drop, take the height of the wall and add the pattern repeat onto it. This will be the length of each drop.

Now, take the length of the roll of wallpaper and divide it by the length that you got in the previous calculation – round down the answer! This will give you the number of drops per roll.

Now go back to the number of drops that you need and divide that by the drops per roll to get the number of rolls.


My wall is 3650mm width x 2800mm height. My wallpaper is 540mm wide x 10m long, with a pattern repeat of 460mm.

2550 ÷ 540 = 4.7, so I will need 5 drops.

2800mm (height) + 460mm (pattern repeat) = 3260mm length per drop.

10m (roll length) ÷ 3260mm (length per drop) = 3.06, so I can get 3 drops out of each roll.  

5 drops needed ÷ 3 drops per roll = 1.66, so 2 rolls


Prepare the wall surface by removing any nails and brushing to remove dust.



cut wallpaper

Cut the wallpaper to size, according to your calculations above.



spirit level

Use a measuring tape and spirit level to create a line 500mm away from the wall or edge. Walls are not necessarily straight, so you always start with the second drop, never with the first!



wallpaper paste

Prepare the wallpaper paste according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then use the large brush to apply the paste to the back of the cut wallpaper drops, making sure that you get all the edges of the paper as well.

PRO TIP: fold the paper over on itself as you go. It won’t get stuck, promise! Fold the right edge all the way to the middle, and then fold the left edge all the way to the middle. Fold the sides toward the middle two more times, and then fold the 2 heaps with their backs against each other. This will make it really easy to just grab the top edge of the paper when you’re ready to install!

Let the paper soak for a while – this will help to prevent air bubbles from forming. Then paste 2 or 3 more drops before you start to install.



wallpaper installation

To install the paper, take the whole folded stack and climb onto your ladder (get someone to stabilise the ladder for you!). Once you’re in place, grab the top edge of the paper and let the rest drop. Then press the paper against the wall in line with the pencil line you drew in step 3. Give yourself some excess at the top; this will make lining up the next drop easier. Once this drop is in place, you can install the drop to the edge in the same manner.



lining up wallpaper pattern

Keep installing the subsequent drops, taking care to line up patterns and keeping everything straight.


wallpaper trim

Trip the top, bottom and sides with a craft knife. Be careful not to tear the paper – it is easier to do when the paper is not so wet!

wallpaper wipe down

Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.

Happy Wallpapering!


Crème Brulee with Creamy Coconut

I’ve had an obsession with crème brulee since the first mouthful. The creaminess, the sweetness and the crunch! But now, all the creaminess and sugary goodness leaves me feeling not all that great. So, to soothe my addiction craving I’m making a healthier alternative. But my, oh my! This coconut hybrid might be better than the original – dare I say it! I doubt life can get any better than this.

Coconut Cream - Homeology

Here is my Crème Brulee with a Tropical Touch:

  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 1 can Coconut cream (400ml)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla

The great thing about making your own cream custard base is that you can use it as you would a normal custard, or make a crème caramel or crème brulee.



For the top:

  • Strawberry
  • Passion fruit
  • 2 Ginger Cookies
  • 1 tbsp Castor sugar

Coconut Creme Brulee with Ginger Cookie Crumble and Passion Fruit - Homeology



To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Separate the eggs. (Keep the egg whites to make something meringue-y or a to make a fluffy Frittata)
  3. Beat the egg yolks and honey until creamy.
  4. Heat up the coconut cream, vanilla and salt on a low heat. Once it starts to simmer remove from heat.
  5. Slowly (teaspoon by teaspoon) blend ½ cup of the warm cream into the egg mixture.
  6. Slowly add the rest of the cream to the egg. Don’t blend it too vigorously because it will cause bubbles that you don’t want.
  7. Boil the kettle.
  8. Pour the custard into clean ramekins.
  9. Place the ramekins on a deep oven dish.
  10. Add enough hot water until it covers the ramekins up to half way.
  11. Put in the oven for 40 – 60 minutes. Or until the custard is just set – still wobbly. (Mine took 55min).
  12. Once they’re done, refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.


The Crunchy Top:

  1. Finely crumble ginger cookies and mix with castor sugar.
  2. Give the custards a light dusting.
  3. Use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar top or place the ramekins underneath a broiler for 5 minutes.

Coconut Cream Creme Brulee with Ginger Cookie Crumble - Homeology

Serve with fresh strawberry, passion fruit or as it is!


Happy Eating!


How to make a colour-dipped beaded chandelier

We have done many lights on the blog that by now, we don’t know where to put them anymore! This one that Margaux did for our book a few years ago has always been a favourite though. The Beaded Chandelier-trend, inspired by the Mud Chandelier, is still going strong and this beauty is suitable for both a formal and informal setting. Play around with the colours to suit your interior, and remember to enjoy the process! g x

This post was originally written by Margaux Tait and published in October 2015.

How to make a colour-dipped beaded chandelier

I simply love re-purposing items in a clever and unexpected way! This chandelier is a perfect example of how you can put an old, outdated lamp shade to good use. All it needed was a little magic with colour dipped fabric and marbles – yes, marbles!


It’s one of the featured projects from our book, so go on and get your copy packed with 75 DIY projects! There are some more awesome colour dipping projects in there!


Firstly I have used strips of inexpensive fabric lining and rolled marbles up in them secured by a knot. This knotting technique makes beautiful strings of fabric covered beads to decorate the structure of the chandelier.


With the structure done it was now onto giving it some colour. I did the colour dipping by diluting Chalk Paint with water. I used Henrietta mixed with Provence to create an ombre effect that has a contemporary feel.


To finish off the chandelier, I did colour dipping on strings of paper clips. I used Antoinette for the top pink part and Duck Egg Blue for the bottom. Then I created an elongated tail of paper clips at the bottom dipped in Paris Grey, finishing off the piece beautifully.


This is the perfect show stopper for my home and was lots of fun to do!


Happy styling,


Create the Cutest PolkaDot Doormat Ever

Doormats don’t have to be boring. I believe that a doormat is essentially the first glimpse a guest will have of your home. So, why not make it as inviting and fun as possible? We were so inspired by Anthropologie’s doormat that we decided to make it ourselves. This little polka dot doormat is the sweetest little thing – perfect to add a welcoming touch to your front door.

polkadot rug playroom

If you fall in love with your new mat as we did, you can use this darling little rug anywhere in your home!


Here’s how to make the Cutest Polka Dot Mat

Difficulty: easy

Time: 20 minutes


You need:

  • Sisal or coir mat
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Twine
  • Pencil, or a pointy object (a large drill bit can also work)
  • White paint
  • Small roller sponge
  • Tape measure



The Cutest Polka Dot Doormat

Lay the mat face down on the floor and measure the mat’s width (the shorter length). Divide this measurement by two to establish the radius of your circle. Find the middle of the circle by marking the radius from the width and the length of the mat.


Cut a piece of twine slightly longer than the radius. Make a loop on one end and tie the other end to the marker.


Press your pencil or pointy object on the middle of the mat and place the looped twine over the pencil. Move the marker around the centre point to form a circle. Once you feel confident that the circle won’t be cut-off at one end, draw the circle.

Pro Tip: Avoid a wonky mat by keeping the pointy object and marker upright while drawing the circle.


The Most Welcoming Polka Dot Doormat

Cut out the circle.

The Cutest Polka Dot Doormat DIY

Fold the mat in half to ensure that there are no odd edges. If there are, just snip them away with the scissors.


Create a Beautiful Polkadot Mat

Use the edge of a small roller for the polka dots. Dip the edge of the sponge into white paint (not too much paint) and do a few tester dots on paper to determine how saturated your sponge needs to be.

Lightly press the edge of the sponge to the carpet and quickly, but carefully lift the sponge. Work your way around the mat in a grid until the dots are complete. Let the paint dry.

polkadot rug with dog

That’s it; you are ready to show off your new Polka Dot Doormat! Now head to the kitchen and bake a lot of cookies because guests will be streaming in 😅


Happy DIYing!



Go Forage and make some Delicious Nasturtium Pesto

Every year when the rainy season arrives in the Cape, my garden is flooded with beautiful nasturtiums or kappertjies. I remember sucking on the flowers as a child to get the sweet nectar out, and I absolutely love capers. But I never knew that the leaves held so much goodness until my sister pointed out that they are edible! Nasturtium is a natural medicine used to treat UTI’s and lung afflictions like a cough and bronchitis. And as it turns out, the leaves also make a beautiful peppery pesto! I have always been reluctant to make pesto because I thought that you HAVE to put pine kernels in. As much as I enjoy pine kernels, I just can’t justify R1120/kg. But then I realised that any nuttiness could work, and I always have almond flour in the house. So here is my version of nasturtium pesto, and I can HIGHLY recommend it!

nasturtium pesto lemon capers

Here’s what you need to make Nasturtium Pesto

  • 2 cups of nasturtium leaves (just shove them loosely into a cup to get the quantity)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped-up stems
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley (about 10g)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of grapeseed oil*
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

* I have recently discovered grapeseed oil, and much prefer the milder taste of it to stronger olive oil.


To Make:

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and quickly blanch the leaves by cooking them for 10 seconds. Then remove them and place the leaves into a bowl filled with ice water. This softens the leaves. Once they’re cooled, you can drain the leaves.

Next, put the leaves, parsley, oil, and garlic into a blender and blend until smooth.

Use a fork to mix in the parmesan, stems, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Season to taste, and serve!

nasturtium pesto lemon capers cheese platter

Pesto is such a versatile condiment that can be used to flavour pasta dishes, as a rub on meat and as an accompaniment to cheese. I rubbed the leftover pesto on a chicken before grilling it in the oven and was amazing! Why not try our nasturtium pesto this weekend?!

This recipe was loosely based on Martha Stewart’s nasturtium pesto recipe. For the original, click here!

Go Bohemian with a DIY Fringed Basket

This month, we’re taking inspiration to the next level! We are remaking a few of our favourite things from our favourite stores, and Anthropologie is top of our list! This DIY fringed basket with a beautiful boho vibe couldn’t be easier, and it’s a fun project for kids – BONUS!

There are many stunning baskets from Anthropologie, so have a look at their basket collection if you need a little more inspiration.

Here’s how to create Beautifully fun Bohemian Baskets.

Anthropologie knock off Tassel Basket Tutorial

You’ll need:

  • Wicker Baskets
  • Paint (we used white, light blue and dark blue chalk paint)
  • enough fringing and/tassels* to play around with

* The amount of fringing/tassels you need depends on the size of your basket. Measure the circumference for an exact length.

Tools for the Job:

  • Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Paint Roller or Brush


DIY Tassel Baskets - Homeology

Paint the baskets white (but you can use any light colour you prefer). Leave to dry.


Bohemian Basket Tutorial with Chalk Paint

Use a roller or a paint brush to paint the lower third of the baskets in a darker colour; we used light blue and dark blue. Let it dry.

STEP 3 (Optional):

Fringe Basket DIY

Add a thin paint strip above the coloured section. You can use masking tape as a guide, but don’t rely on it too much as it doesn’t cling to the wicker all that well. And an uneven line adds to the character of the end product! Leave the baskets to dry once more.


Fun Tassel Basket Decor - Homeology

See which fringe or tassels will work best with your basket, and double check to see if you have enough. Heat up the glue gun and then add glue just below the top edge of the basket.

Pro Tip: Add glue in 200mm sections, to avoid the glue drying too quickly.


Anthropologie knock off - DIY Tassel Basket

Press the end of the tassel/fringing to the glued part and work your way around until the next section.



Repeat this process until the first fringe layer is complete.


Fringe Basket DIY - Homeology

Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the second tassel layer.

Green and Blue Fringed Baskets - Homeology

Bohemian Decor with Fringed Baskets - Homeology

Remember to work in sections!

DIY Blue and White Tassel Baskets - Homeology

DIY Bohemian Tassel Baskets - Homeology

Pro Tip: Leave an excess of 20mm fringing for a neatly glued end. Finish the tip of the fringing by folding it over and glueing it down.


This may be the most straightforward DIY you do all year, so make the most of it by making many of these pretty baskets as Anthropologie-inspired gifts (remember Christmas is not too far away!!)


Happy Making!



DIY Pretty Lace Cement Hanging Planters

We were doing some research on ways to display plants in your home, and when I saw some beautiful clay planters, I knew that I had to make something like it! I have also been a bit obsessed with lace lately, so naturally, I had to experiment. We never really know if the things we try here are going to work, and this project is one of those trail-and-error types of adventures. But I LOVE the result, and I am really excited to share it with you! Here’s how I made these gorgeous lace cement hanging planters.

echevaria and polkadot rug

Lace Cement Hanging Planters

lace planters materials

You will need:

  • ready-mix Cretestone or cement (the cement will give a harder finish, but I love the colour of the Cretestone!)
  • water according to the cement manufacturer’s instructions
  • plastic lace sheet (mine is a torn placemat, but I believe anything could work here – even really lace!)
  • plastic containers of various sizes
  • cooking oil
  • planting bags
  • paper cup to keep the inside hollow
  • Harlequin Cretesealer
  • Sisal Twine

* You can buy most of these supplies online at Builder’s Warehouse – except maybe for the paper cups and lace 😉


cement mixing

Place the cement mix in a bucket and add the right amount of water. Stir the cement with a spoon, or with a paint mixer attachment to your drill – my new favourite accessory!


planting bags in plastic containers

Put a planting bag inside a plastic container. Play around with different shapes and sizes! Then line the black planting bags with the lace.


hand holding sponge in bucket

Wipe a generous amount of oil on everything – this will make removing the plastic much easier.


tub with cretestone

Carefully pour the cement mix inside and push the paper cup down in the middle, putting a weight like a stone inside to keep it in place. Use clothes pegs to keep the lace in place.

Leave the mixture to dry for 24 hours and then carefully remove the plastic layers. For extra durability, place it in the oven overnight on 60ºC to dry and harden and finish with Harlequin Cretesealer.


seedling tray cut up

Fill small pots with fresh potting soil and plants. You can use small pots or cut seedling trays as a pot inside the planter. Then string up with some twine!

hanging lace planter

hanging planter with succulent

Happy Planting!

Jamie Oliver’s Grilled Wild Mushroom Risotto with Basil

I have always been fond of rice, but when we moved to Asia, it pushed me over the edge! The rice aisle in any supermarket in Hong Kong look like our flour isle: the variety of flavours, brands and sizes is completely overwhelming! Proper Asian cooking has taught me the value of rice, so when I saw this deliciously creamy primi course in Jamie Oliver’s book Jamie’s Italy, I had to try it! According to Italy Magazine, rice was grown in Italy as early as the 13th century. Risotto Milanese is one of the most famous Italian rice dishes that, according to legend, was the result of a painter’s assistant adding saffron to rice sauteed in butter and cooked in a bone broth already in 1574. While the dish then disappeared from popular cooking until three centuries later, it has taken its place in the legendary Italian cooking with the first risotto dish named in recipe books the 1800’s. Here is the famous British chef’s take on the classic.

Jamie Oliver’s Grilled Roasted Mushroom Risotto with Parsley

You will need – for the basic risotto

  • 2 cups of risotto rice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 or 5 sticks of celery
  • splash of oil and a knob of butter for frying
  • 1.1 litres of stock (chicken or veggie)
  • a large glass of dry white wine
  • 70g butter
  • 115g grated parmesan cheese

For the rest of the dish:

  • 200g wild mushroom, cleaned and torn
  • olive oil
  • Seas salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and halved
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • a small bunch of basil (the original recipe uses flat-leaf parsley, but I prefer basil)
  • 1 lemon
  • a generous helping of grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Heat the oil end butter in a large saucepan and slowly cook the onion, garlic and celery until soft.

Then add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir the rice so that it is coated with butter and oil. Add the wine, and keep stirring.

Now slowly add a spoonful of the stock while stirring. Once the first batch had been absorbed, add another. This is a slow process, but so rewarding! Once all the stock has been absorbed, the rice should be cooked. Taste the risotto and season to taste. It’s also important to test it to make sure that the rice is done (you can add more boiling water if it’s not yet cooked).

When the risotto is almost done, quickly fry the mushrooms in a hot pan with a splash of oil for about 2 minutes. Then place them in the preheated oven with the garlic, thyme and butter and roast them to develop the flavours.

Remove the risotto from the heat and gently stir in the butter and parmesan. According to Mr Oliver, it’s essential to let it rest with the lid on for a couple of minutes to give it that beautiful creamy texture. Once it’s ready, stir in the chopped parsley. Chop half of the mushrooms and roasted garlic, and stir into the risotto with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

To serve, place a generous helping of the risotto on a plate with some mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with parmesan.

mushroom risotto in metal plate

Bon Appetito!

Swish around with a Contemporary Fringe Chandelier

It’s funny how past trends pop up like unexpected guests, sometimes welcome and at other times not so welcome. Fringing is one such past treasure, and mind you, a very, very welcome one. At times we feel a bit surprised at how happy we are to see fringing again because, despite the free hippy vibe that borne the style, 60s fringing was a bit drab and depressing. But, no more! Interior fringing has had a makeover and became the It Girl of many contemporary homes (Yay!).

So, dive deep into fringing and come out a swishing Rock Star with our Swishing Fringe Chandelier!

fringe chandelier materials

You will need:

  • Large Lampshade Frame
  • Small Wire Basket
  • 1.5m Twine
  • 3m of 150mm Fringing *
  • Light Cable
  • Light Bulb

*The circumferences of the lampshade frame together with the top and bottom of the wire bin will determine how much fringing you’ll need. Opt for too much fringing than too little.

Tools for the job:

  • Glue Gun & Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Level
  • Metal saw (preferably electric, like this one!)


Remove one end of the lampshade with a saw equipped with a metal blade. Then remove the top and bottom of the wire bin.

These spheres will form the frame for your cascading fringe chandelier.

Flatten sharp edges with pliers or use a metal file to smooth smaller sharp bits.


Measure and knot three sections of 100mm twine from the largest hoop (the lampshade frame) to the middle hoop (the largest part of the wire bin). Repeat the process for the middle hoop towards the smallest hoop.

Pro Tip: Attach the largest hoop to the electrical cord and then knot the other hoops. This will make it easier to ensure the second and third hoops are level.

Once you’re happy with the frame, warm up the glue gun for the next step.


Add the fringing by starting on the lowest hoop. The glue cools downs quickly, so it’s best to work in sections. Apply the glue to a third of the hoop then attach the fringing before moving on to the next segment. Take care not to touch the hot glue when pressing the fringing the frame.

Repeat the process for the middle and top hoop.

Neatly finish the ends by applying hot glue and folding the fringe over on itself.



Once the electrical cord is installed, attach the chandelier and bulb. Switch on the light, bump the chandelier and watch the swishing in action! Now you know how it feels to be a designer – fun, isn’t it?

Happy Homemaking!

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