Deliciously Light and Fluffy Beetroot and Feta Galette

I love beetroot, and when it comes to creating a colourful, savoury dish, beetroot has to be one of the ideal ingredients! I wanted to create a beetroot tart, but when I saw some galettes during my Pinterest inspiration quest, I had to try it! A galette is basically a crusty French puff pastry with a savoury filling. It’s kind of like a pizza with a puffy base, and it’s totally delicious on its own as a light meal, or as a side dish. It’s such a simple thing to create, and you can fill it with any number of ingredients. Here’s my deliciously colourful beetroot and feta galette with herbs.

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

You will need:

  • a roll of ready-made puff pastry
  • flour to dust
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 large beetroots, cooked and sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 wheels of feta
  • a handful of walnuts, broken up
  • a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • a handful of fresh origanum, roughly chopped

Method:

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C.

STEP 2: Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly dusted work surface.

STEP 3: Place the rolled out pastry onto a prepared baking sheet. Fold the edges over to create a rim.

STEP 4: Using a knife, score the pastry just inside the rim without cutting all the way through. Then brush the rim with some beaten egg. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffy and golden.

STEP 5: While the pastry is baking, place the onion, garlic and butter in a frying pan and saute until it is cooked. Then add a dash of balsamic vinegar and the sugar.

STEP 6: Once the pastry is cooked, press the centre part down a bit and fill the crust with the cooked beetroot, sauteed onions, walnuts and broken up feta. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the feta is nice and soft.

STEP 7: Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve.

Happy cooking!

Sumptious Summer Veggie Souk Bowl for a Healthy Supper

I was recently treated to dinner at Souk in Long Street in Cape Town. It’s a decadently decorated gastropub that offers a simple tapas menu, but the food is interesting, fresh and totally delicious. They have a section for “Souk Bowls”, their own creation made up of a selection of fresh veggies and grilled seafood, beef or chicken, with a choice of couscous, quinoa, leaves or rice. It’s such a simple concept, but it looks beautiful and tastes divine, so I decided to put it to the test at home! It’s a great option for a light veggie meal, or you can add some meaty bits to it. I used what I had in the house, but the options are endless!

Summer Veggie Souk Bowl

You will need:

  • A selection of fresh fruit and veggies. I used red and yellow peppers, cucumber, corn, red onion and mango.
  • Grain of your choice – I chose quinoa which adds a beautiful nuttiness to the dish and packs a lot of protein!
  • Salad leaves
  • A sprinkle of fresh herbs
  • Soy sauce

Method:

Step 1: Cook your choice of grain as per the instructions on the packaging.

Step 2: Thinly slice the veggies, or cube them into bite-sized chunks. You can keep them raw, or quickly fry them in a bit of olive or coconut oil. I fried the corn but kept everything else as is.

PRO TIP: to take the bite out of the sliced onion, put it in a bowl and pour some boiling water on it. Then remove from the water after a couple of minutes and drain. Allow to cool before using. 

Step 3: Plate by placing the grain in the centre of a deep dish or bowl, and place all the veggies in little groups around it. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, and add a small bowl of soya sauce. You can add some toasted sesame seeds as well for a bit of crunch!

That’s it – it is so simple, but it is absolutely delicious!

Happy eating!

Makers Making a Difference: Lara Of Mightea Fine

Lara Alexander is the Tea Doctor – or she will be as soon as she finishes her PhD. I chat with this tea connoisseur behind Mightea Fine about her incurable passion for tea, the amazing medicinal qualities of Fynbos, and natural hair dyes.

Q: When did you start your company and why?

LARA:  I started Mightea Fine a few years ago. I am a food scientist, and I’m currently doing my PhD, working specifically on Honeybush tea and the chemistry of the tea. It occurred to me it’s a really good product, and I thought that marketing it as such would be a nice distraction from my studies. A friend of mine is great with graphic design, and she helped me to develop the brand. I already had a manufacturing connection in the industry from my studies, so creating the product was a natural extension of what I was already doing.

Q:  So, you’re basically a tea doctor?

LARA:  Essentially, yes! I’m graduating at the end of this year, so then I’ll officially be a tea doctor.

Q:   What exactly is Honeybush?

LARA:  Most people know Rooibos tea because Rooibos industry is big. Honeybush tea is also Fynbos and indigenous to South Africa, but it’s from a separate family of plant, and it has a completely different taste. It’s called Honeybush, but it doesn’t really taste like honey! It has a very sweet taste with more floral notes. It also has a whole lot of medicinal properties and was traditionally by the Khoisan and the Settlers centuries ago.

The South African Honeybush Tea Association (SAHTA) is doing a lot to boost the industry and in cultivating the Honeybush plant at the moment. They are in the process of getting a geographical indicator for Honeybush so that you can’t grow and sell it anywhere else in the world without accrediting it to South Africa.

Q: Where in South Africa does Honeybush grow?

LARA:   Honeybush grows all the way from Jeffrey’s Bay on the East Coast to Malmesbury in the Western Cape. So, the growth area is big, and each area has its own distinct flavours. There are 23 identified species of Honeybush, but only four main species being sold to the market as Honeybush tea. 2 or 3 of the species are being cultivated, and some are being harvested from the wild. I source my tea from specific growing regions and farms where they occur naturally.

Q:  Is there a big taste difference between the different species?

LARA:  It’s like wine cultivars where is each species has slightly different flavour.  It still has a predominantly sweet and fruity aroma, but then you get different nuances. For instance, Frutea is a species that come from Southern Cape coastal region and has a lot of apricot flavours. And then Fleurtea which comes from the Bredasdorp area has a mixture of Fynbos, Rose and Geranium notes that is much more prominent in the tea from that specific area. I don’t add anything to my teas, and they’re not flavoured; it’s just a natural flavour profile that comes through.

Q:   How did you come to be so passionate about tea?

LARA:   I took a gap year after my undergrad studies. After my return to South Africa, a friend of mine was doing her master’s degree at the Agricultural Research Council,  and she was working in a research group that specialises in South African teas. She helped me to get a temporary job there as a research assistant.  All the leading experts in Rooibos and Honeybush research were available to me and, being an avid tea drinker, their work caught my attention. They offered me a masters project with funding and when I finished that 2 years later, I decided to continue and do my PhD as well. I really do love tea! It’s so interesting how it affects the body. And the market is also ready for a product like this now because people are becoming more aware of the food they’re eating and how it’s impacting their health.

 

 

Q:   What is your favourite tea?

LARA: I like Rooibos. I work with Honeybush so much in my day to day that I think sometimes I’m overexposed to it. But a good South African Rooibos – there’s nothing like it!

Q:  Tell me more about the health benefits of Fynbos teas.

LARA:  Both Honeybush and Rooibos have anti-inflammatory properties, are great for diabetics, have slimming properties, it’s great for colic and tummy issues and helps with stress-relief and then, of course, it’s filled with antioxidants. So, it’s a really good product, and it’s nice to drink something that makes you healthier.

Q:   You also have some very interesting tea-inspired recipes on your blog. There’s one where you wash your hair with tea – does that really work?

LARA:  Oh yes, it actually does work! I came across it on another blog, but I was a little bit sceptical. But it works well as an anti-frizz treatment, and it makes your hair feel great afterwards. I used Honeybush tea, but I think Ceylon tea essentially does the same thing, just providing that extra nourishment for your hair. The only difference is Ceylon tea has a lot more tannins which are great for covering grey hair. Apparently, it’s a traditional cure in India for grey hair. Honeybush is unlikely to stain your hair though.

Q:  What is your favourite alternative use for tea?

LARA:  I love to use tea to make little bath bags*. I add tea to and Epsom salts – it has such a lovely smell! It’s very relaxing, and it’s also great for your skin because it also absorbs UV rays and it has all the antioxidant properties as well. You can also mix it with coconut oil or put it in your bath. That’s pretty much my favourite thing to do with tea.

*NOTE: if you’re in the Western Cape, better stick to a foot soak! 

Q:  Tell me more about your instant tea powder because it’s incredibly concentrated. So, how did that come about?

LARA:  You get a lot of instant Rooibos tea on the market. It’s a very convenient product for people who don’t want the hassle of using tea bags. The powdered tea concentrates that you can buy in the shops usually has maltodextrin added to it to stretch it a bit and to prevent clumping, but mine is completely additive and preservative-fee. It’s also great if you want to use it in baking and you don’t want to add liquid to your mixture. The extract can also be added directly to icecream, or it can even be used as a cosmetic ingredient.

Q:  You’ve mentioned baking. So, do you use tea in cooking and baking as well?

LARA:  I experiment! I use it in desserts mostly because I have a bit of a sweet tooth. But I have a friend who often uses it when she bakes rusks and cookies. I haven’t tried it yet with any savoury dishes, but I have some ideas about it… I’m thinking maybe the sweet flavours will go with something like pork. I’ll get around to it eventually!

Q:  Sounds like a blog post in the making! What else do you have planned for your brand?

LARA:  At the moment I’m still trying to finish my thesis, so until the end of the year I will still be going at the pace I’m going now. But I’d like to be an entrepreneur. I believe it is a really good product, I think people are not as well acquainted with Honeybush tea, but I like to get it out there and to get people interested in it.

Q:  Where can people find you?

LARA:  People are welcome to order online, and I will ship it directly to them. I also do small markets, and I am available at some shops as well: Anja’s Pantry – The Food Farmacy at Stellenbosch Square and if you happen to be George, you can find me at Aweh.

 

We’ve have been so inspired by Lara’s tea that Anélle is putting together a delicious Honeybush desert for us later this month. We’ll keep you posted! g

Background images courtesy of Shutterstock

 

 

Dress up an old frame by retrofitting a new one on top!

Let’s face it; framing is super expensive! And while a gorgeous frame definitely adds to the effect an artwork has, it can be a costly exercise. Here’s how I took a painting from beautiful to stunning in a few short steps!

This oil on board still life with flowers is by far my favourite of my mom’s work. Mom is an artist at heart and has produced countless paintings over the years. The style and colours of this painting remind me of renowned South African artist Irma Stern’s work – if you haven’t yet visited her home and museum in Rosebank, Cape Town, make a plan!

My dad made the frame, and while it has merit, it didn’t suit the décor of my home. A larger, more prominent frame was needed, so I got to work!

 

How to dress up an old frame

 

You will need:

  • Wooden skirting (I used a 94mm profiled skirting)
  • Mitre box and hand saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (I used matt black water-based enamel)
  • Brush or foam roller
  • Caulking gun with cornice adhesive

 

STEP 1: MEASURE

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to measure at least three times and then measure again. The success of this project depends on your accuracy! I wanted to leave a little bit of the existing frame exposed, so I measured what the interior length of the new frame should be.

 

STEP 2: CUT

Using the mitre box and hand saw, cut the corners of your skirting at 45° angles. Always check before cutting that your measurement for the INSIDE EDGE of the frame is still correct. Then quickly sand the cut edges to ensure that they are nice and even.

 

STEP 3: PAINT

Paint the 4 pieces of moulding in the colour of your choice.  Remember to paint the 4 sides as well! Allow to dry.

 

STEP 4: FIX

Use the cornice adhesive to fix the moulding to the existing frame. Weight it down if necessary to ensure that it dries in the right position.

 

STEP 5: FILL

If there are slight gaps at the corners, fill those in with your cornice adhesive, using a clean wet cloth to wipe away any excess. Allow to dry.

 

STEP 6: TOUCH UP

Use a thin brush to paint the adhesive to match the rest of the frame. Then hang up and admire your new artwork!

Happy DIY-ing!

One pan wonder – a quick frittata supper

You know those days when you a) can’t be bothered to cook and b) the kids are running around screaming and c) you just want to sit down and have a glass of wine? I regularly have those, and that’s when this little one pan wonder works beautifully! It’s quick sticks to whip up and works with whatever you have in the fridge (provided whatever you have includes eggs and cheese!). A frittata is an eggy Italian crustless quiche-y type of dish, that can be made with a variety of ingredients. My recipe is not traditional in any way, but it’s delicious none the less.

How to whip up a frittata in 20 minutes!

You will need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 200ml cream (optional, but it gives the dish a bit of extra deliciousness!)
  • 1 cup of grated cheese (I prefer cheddar)
  • Dash of olive oil for frying
  • Filling: this could be anything you have in the fridge, including leftovers, cut up into small pieces.

Ideas for a filling:

I like to have 1 or 2 veggies, 1 protein (meat or cheese) and a herb.

  1. Brocolli, feta, basil and small cubed potato (this is the one I made)
  2. Leftover cooked chicken, peas and thyme
  3. Ham with cherry tomato, mozzarella and origanum
  4. Butternut, feta and rocket

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add garlic, raw veggies and meat pieces. Fry until cooked.
  • Whip up the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Then add the cream. For a nice and fluffy frittata, make sure that you get a good frothy mixture going. Then pour the eggs over the cooked filling.
  • Turn the heat down and let it cook until the edges are set.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven to set, usually around 20 mins.

Serve with a side salad and crusty bread. And a large glass of wine!

FULL DISCLOSURE: My kids HATED this. They’ll happily eat it if I make it with butternut and feta, but for some reason, this one did not go down well – or at all. Oh well, one can only try. I thought it was delicious 😉

A creatively square interactive gallery wall for a fun playroom

I am in the process of updating the playroom, mainly because my music teacher mom-in-law gave me a piano for Christmas! I LOVED playing piano as a child and would spend many afternoons sitting there singing away instead of doing my homework. Since the piano was delivered, I have found myself playing – amateurishly –  mostly with absolute chaos around me, the soothing notes creating a bubble of calm around me. The boys love it too, and we’ve even started a little band with Jean and me on piano, Gian on the ukulele and Luc on drums (or anything else that makes as much noise as possible). I wanted the piano to find a home in the playroom, because I want the kids to feel like it’s theirs and that they are allowed to play on it. So far so good!

This was the playroom a few years ago before there were 3 and before they had loads of stuff!

How to create an interactive gallery wall

It is a rather large instrument, however, and getting it to work with my decor was problematic. So I decided to start from scratch and redo the whole room, bit by bit. We first moved everything around to clear a wall. That resulted in me throwing out heaps of stuff – one of my favourite things to do! Broken toys were tossed, and stuff that they’ve never played with were donated to a local charity. My kids also have tonnes of books which were sorted and shelved according to their ages – more on that later.

I had some letters on the wall spelling “Jean” and “Gian” but I’ve never gotten around to making Luc’s letters. I’ve also realized that they don’t even know that their names were on the wall since they are only starting to read now. How often do we design kids’ rooms that are more for the parents?? Anwyay, I tossed the letter idea and created a little gallery wall above the piano.

I like the idea of an art wall created only of squares. It creates a regular pattern that pleases my OCD without taking away creativity and spontaneity. The four empty canvasses are perfect for displaying the masterpieces that come home from school every week. And it’s awesome to see how proud the boys are when one of their works are up on the wall!

I clip the kids’ art directly onto the empty canvass using oversized pegs or large clips, so it’s really simple to take it down and put up a new one every week.

Now I have an interactive art wall, and the kids get to display their work. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Happy decorating!

How to put together an interior design concept

One of the most significant challenges when starting a new interior project is getting the concept right. But where do you even start?! Use this handy step-by-step guide to put together a concept that looks good and works for your budget – without breaking a sweat!

Lets first look at what a concept is and why you need one.

An interior concept is the thought process or plan behind a room. Designers don’t just walk into a room and start throwing things around without a plan. There’s always something behind the look, and that is where your concept comes in.

A concept can be

a) a theme – tropical, ocean, stripes and florals

b) a look – vintage, period, midcentury, French, English cottage, minimalist, Scandinavian

c) a mood – laid-back, romantic, formal, playful

It could even be a combination of things, like a laid-back tropical vibe with mid-century touches 😉

Your concept will become your guide; it will help to create a cohesive design that works. You can of course also have a concept for your entire home, although I’ve never been able to stick to 1 thing throughout.

4 STEPS TO CREATING AN INTERIOR DESIGN CONCEPT

#1// What do you want?

Easier asked than answered, the first thing you have to determine is what you need the space to be. If it is a living room for example, how many seats do you need? What are your storage requirements? Are there any specific tasks or activities in the room like reading or gaming or movie night? Do you need a small coffee table or a large one? Do you need side tables and lamps? Whether you need new things or are reusing existing ones, list everything so that you can get a clear overview of the items required in the room.

#2// Be Inspired

Pinterest is a fantastic tool for grouping images. Don’t think about it too much, just pin anything that you like and pretty soon you’ll start to see a theme forming. Here’s my Pinterest board for a playroom that I’m the process of doing. I want to bring a travel vibe into the room, so I did a search for “travel inspired kids rooms” and started to pin away! The images gave me a great idea to do an oversized map on the wall and to use our old international currency as wall art. Love the globe-ideas too.

 

#3// Put things where you can see them together on a mood board.

Now that you have a few ideas it’s time to build a mood board. A mood board is a great way to get a visual of what a room will look like.  It doesn’t necessarily contain the actual items that you’re going to use, but it represents the look and feel of what you’re going to create. If you have things that you want to include, like an heirloom rug or vintage sofa, take pictures of it and include it on your board. You can also find images of new items that you like. Here’s a mood board that I put together for the playroom. Some things are existing, and others are ideas for new things that I think could work. You can either do it old-school with actual images and card stock or a pin board, or you can create a virtual one with an app like Roomstyler or software like Photoshop.

The great thing about using a mood board is that you will be able to start getting an idea of what the room will look like. Even if it’s not the actual items, at least you’ll see colours, textures, and combinations. You’ll also quickly see what is NOT going to work, so don’t skip this step! The other advantage is that you can source an image as inspiration from anywhere, even if you can’t afford it, and then look for something similar that fits into your budget. Save the image on your phone or take a picture of your mood board so that you can carry a copy with you and use for reference.

#4// THEN, start putting together the actual items.

The mood board serves as a roadmap for the design while a layout gives you guidelines for sizes and shapes of items. Whenever you want to buy something, put it next to the mood board and see if it’s going to work with the concept that you’ve created.

But before you buy anything, you’ll need to create a layout! A layout is essential as it will show you what you will be able to achieve in the space, without having to move heavy and bulky furniture items around. I’ll cover layout in a follow-up post, so make sure that you subscribe so you don’t miss it.

My playroom makeover is a project that I’ve been working on for a while, so I am really excited to share the big reveal with you in the coming weeks. I hope that this post has given you some insight into how designers do it and that you will start to build your home’s concepts with creative confidence.

Happy conceptualising!

Sensational Seafood Tikka Masala for a quick summer supper

My wonderful husband is an awesome cook. So much so, that I have tried to convince him to take over kitchen duties on a regular basis. But while I am waiting for that to happen, I will happily eat whatever he dishes up on the weekend. He is a very adventurous cook as well, making things up as he goes along – mostly with fabulous results! Usually, tikka masala is made with chicken, but since our Veganuary has now turned into Vebruary as well, he decided to try making it with seafood. I am happy to report that it was a great success! Tikka Masala is not hot at all – it was mild enough for the kids to enjoy as well – so if chilli does not agree with your constitution, fear not! The ingredients and method are so straightforward that you can quickly throw this together for a weekday supper.

Seafood Tikka Masala

You will need:

  • 1 packet of tikka masala spice paste (this is the lazy version, but you can also make your own by using this recipe here)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (this is optional, but we love garlic!)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup cream
  • 500g frozen seafood mix
  • Jasmine rice, lemon and coriander for serving

Let me just stop for a second by saying something about rice. In Asia, the rice aisle in the supermarket is like the bread aisle in a local shop: the variety is amazing. We were spoilt for choice when we lived abroad so when we came back and found such a limited selection; it took us quite a while to find a brand that we enjoyed. Jasmine rice is a South East Asian rice variety, while Basmati is the traditional rice to be eaten with Indian curry. I much prefer Jasmine over Basmati, that’s why I’m using it here.

Method:

  • Put on the rice* – this is going to be quick!
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the spice mix for a couple of minutes.
  • Then add the garlic and onion and sweat it until it’s cooked but not going dark – about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and cream.
  • Reduce the heat and put the seafood mix into the sauce, cooking it according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Serve the curry on a bed of rice, sprinkled with fresh coriander and a slice of lemon on the side.

*For some added flavour, cook the rice in vegetable stock!

Happy Cooking!

HOME TOUR: A grand Victorian filled with art and character

I first saw artists Ronel and Gerhard Human’s inspiring home when I dropped my boys off for a playdate late last year. Both living and working space, it is filled with curated items, vintage furniture, heirlooms, and lots and lots of art. There is so much personality in this house that I asked Ronel if I could photograph it and do a home tour, to which she graciously agreed. Here’s the story of the family home that they share with their two young boys and two dachshunds.

house tour human

How long have you lived here?

We bought the house two years ago. The character and the high ceilings quickly sealed the deal for us. We moved to Paarl from Simon’s Town where we had a much smaller place, so the size and flow of the house were amazing. The quality of the construction of the house was another plus: the old houses were still built with such attention to detail. The window frames, doorjambs, ceiling details, everything is made from good, solid materials. Modern homes are built with speed in mind; these were still built without rushing to complete the job, with quality being a priority.

house tour human

The amazing thing about these old homes is that they have been constructed with the elements in mind. The layout allows for a cross-breeze to cool things down in summer, while the warm heat raises up to the ceiling. And in winter, the rooms can close to contain the heat, so the natural temperature control in the house is excellent.

house tour human

Have you done a lot of renovations since you bought the house?

Overall the house was in great condition, but the colours were not us – everything was cream, so we had to paint a lot. I believe that you truly own a place only once you’ve painted; that’s when it starts to feel like your own. Paint makes such a huge difference! At first, we tried to paint ourselves, but the walls are so high that we only painted one wall each and then decided to get help! We also took the carpets out and found fantastic wooden floors underneath.

house tour human

The renovation is a gradual process. We do what we can on a budget, and paint is the one thing that makes the most significant difference.

house tour human

What other changes are you planning?

There are things that I would have liked to have done quicker, like breaking down the wall in the kitchen. I want to add French doors between the living room and the kitchen and add some pendants above the kitchen table. I also want to install a gas stove at some point. But for now, we love the kitchen.  I especially love the charcoal walls in the kitchen (Spookwind from Midas). It creates such a beautiful background for the white and green tones. The previous owner’s wife wanted to rip out the cabinets and redo it, but thankfully they ended up not doing it. So these are still the original cabinets installed in the 60’s.

house tour human

house tour human

We like things that are handmade, that have been passed down, and that has a story. And vintage items, quality things that have been well made.

house tour human

What are your favourite items in your home?

There are a lot of special art pieces, things that Gerhard made for me. Many of our paintings were also given to us by artist friends, and these are not replaceable. Our carpets are also very special to us. I love a beautiful handmade rug on a wooden floor.

house tour human

house tour human

house tour human

What are must-haves in your home?

I can’t imagine my home without art or plants. Plants are so important; they give life to a space. Gerhard has green fingers; he cultivated the potted Yellow Wood in the kitchen from a small seedling.

house tour human

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in this house?

The biggest challenge in this house was the studio. It used to be a stoep that was closed in the 50’s or 60’s. They covered the floor with Novilon and painted the walls in blue! The light in there is incredible, so it was the perfect space for my work. There is also another room adjacent that we are using for our graphic design work. We painted the walls and lifted the vinyl to have a cement floor put in. Once we started the work, the renovators made such a mess that it took the fun out of the project. There were a lot of mistakes and things that had to be fixed afterwards. But now it’s a great space. We spend most of our time as a family in the kitchen or the living room, and the kids also spend time with me in my studio, drawing or colouring.

Credit Ronel Human

house tour human

What advice would you give to someone wanting to create a similar look?

Everyone has a unique taste in art and things that they like, and it’s important that your home shows that. We love to support local artisans instead of buying mass-produced. We love unique handmade items, something with a story and history and something that has meaning. I also prefer natural fibres and raw materials. In that way, it’s sustainable as well. Decorating your home is a personal thing because it’s your personal space.

house tour human

house tour human

Have a look at Ronel’s art here and follow her Instagram account here. You can also follow Gerhard’s work here.

How to totally transform a room with grey paint

Those who are regulars here will know that I have a firm belief that you can transform any room with some paint. It is the most cost-effective way to give a room a facelift: whether you paint a focal wall, all walls, paint above the dado or below, create an imaginary dado with paint or add a pattern or stencil, paint has the incredible ability to completely change the look and dynamic of a space.

When Prominent Paints asked me to take part in their 50 Shades Freed campaign this year, I immediately started looking for the perfect spot in need of a facelift. My friend Tarryn volunteered her guest room and her time, and the results are even more amazing than what I expected!

Here’s what I did for the 50 Shades promo last year!

Transform a room with Grey Paint

Time: 5 hours, excluding drying time

You will need:

  • A design. You can copy ours or create your own, but straight lines are by far the easiest thing to do.
  • Paint: we used white, Grey Steel1, Night Jewels 5, Night Jewels 4 and acid yellow (S1040-Y)
  • Masking tape
  • Foam rollers, a small brush for small areas and a tray.

grey paint

The room is tiny, with ample natural light and a sweet grey-and-white painted wooden floor. There already was pale grey paint on the walls, so we started by painting the white lines first. This was by far the most laborious part of the process, and it would, of course, have been much easier if the walls were white to start with! But they weren’t, so the outlines were taped, and it took 3 coats to create nice, solid white lines.

grey paint

After the white paint had dried, the pattern was taped over the new white lines and the rest of the colours filled in. The lines have to be completely straight before you start painting. After you’ve taped, stand back and make sure everything is correct before you start painting.

Here are a few tips to get your pattern just right:

  • Draw the design to scale on paper first before you start. It helps to colour the blocks the way you want them. When you are facing a large wall, it is sometimes difficult to figure out what is supposed to go where!
  • Some paint colours will require more coats than others. Especially intense colours, like the acid yellow we’ve used, are likely to need 2 or 3 coats to get nice, even coverage.
  • You can use painter’s tape or masking tape, but make sure that you remove the tape carefully once everything has dried so that you don’t damage the pattern.

The big reveal!

grey paint

The paint was great to work with: it has great coverage, is easy to use and doesn’t have that horrible toxic smell. We totally love the colours, and the results speak for themselves! The little splash of yellow adds just enough colour to brighten up the entire room.

grey paint

grey paint

Happy Painting!

All products for this project was kindly sponsored by Prominent Paints. 

 

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