It’s A Goal!

It was only a few years ago that I discovered that January is the international goal setting month of the year.  Or so it seemed then and still seems this year.  Almost all types of business blogs and others seem to focus on getting your goals for the years sorted, and then chunking it down to smaller bite size pieces.  I even got introduced to the South Africa’s Fairy Godmother”, Donna McCallum, last year when listening to our local talk radio show.  And this year was no exception for the re-appearance of the Fairy Godmother and her magic wand that she waves over you to motivate you into reaching your goals.

South Africa's own Fairy Godmother, Donna McCallum.

So, I am not exactly the Fairy Godmother, but I rather fancy the idea of waving my magic wand in your direction, to inspire you to re-visit your interior spaces, with a view to setting some goals that will usher in some fresh elements to office or home.


Marica and I so often have these awesomely interesting discussions around interiors and I have wished that it could be more public so that many others could draw the benefit of these as well.  One of the topics that we touched on in length last year was the fact that we get so accustomed to living with stuff, that we don’t even begin to notice that the curtains are fading, or that the clutter is growing on the desk, or that our décor is beginning to date, developing a rather stale appearance.

So, let’s join that “IT’S A GOAL” mob and set a few goals re: the interior design and décor of your space right now – it is January after all.

Goals should apparently be SMART: (My response to that is: of course they are smart – they originate from me and that makes them smart).

Seriously though, that acronym looks like this:






Here goes:

1.  The “research” phase: – get into the décor mags and those online décor blogs, just so that you can see what is out there in terms of trends, colour, style and what the retailers have to offer. Remember – the objective is to keep your décor fresh and vibrant.

Décor books, mags and blogs are an excellent source of style inspiration and to point you in the right décor direction. Image via The Paper Pony

2.  Grab hold of a pen and a notebook. Then take a slow stroll through your house or office. Do it room by room – slowly.

3.  Stop and take a long look around the room. Remember to view the room through new and creative “lens” and particularly with a view to bringing in “freshness”.

4.  Note all the things that have bugged you terribly in the past and which have become the things that are put off being done. That then becomes the “priority list” items on the “TO DO LIST“. Then note all the things that would be on your “wish list”.

Organize your inspirational décor images & create a concept board. Image via House Beautiful

5.  Don’t make it an unattainable and unrealistic wish list – rather focus on that which you know could be easy to do and that which would not break the bank to buy.

6.  After you have covered each room, chunk it down even further (this I have discovered is a well worn cliché in the “goal setting” scenario).

As an example:  After having been through my house, I instinctively know that my bedroom is the one room that needs the most refreshing work done in it.

7.  Next step after chunking down do a short list of “TO DO GOALS” – set out a list of no more than four actions that need to be achieved. E.g. – “paint 2 walls a contrasting colour. And – freshen scatters with new fabrics.”

8.  Thereafter; chunk those actions down into the real “stuff to get” list. E.g. – select paint colour, – chunk it down further, asking questions like, WHO (will paint) WHERE (to buy paint) and WHAT (colour paint). In terms of say scatters; WHAT (fabrics & patterns) WHERE (will I buy); etc. STICK WITH THE LISTS – IT HOLDS YOU ACCOUNTABLE AND RE-INFORCES THE ACTIONS.

The mighty "To Do List". This funky printable To-Do list can be downloaded for free from A Pair of Pears. (Image link 7)

9.  Now that you know exactly what it is you need to do and also to buy, SET YOURSELF A BUDGET. Put a figure next to each line item and try to stay within those confines. This alleviates emotional and impulse spending

10.  LASTLY – set yourself a realistic time frame in which to perform and complete this task. I would recommend no longer than three months. Just to circumvent boredom. Long term goals are different animals, but that does not exclude them.

These tips are not foolproof by any means, but I reckon that it is a step in the SMART direction.


Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


A reflection on 2011…

And we’re back! I hope everyone had a splendid festive season – I sure had a smashing time. To ease ourselves back into the blogging groove and to kick off the new year, we’d like to share with you some stats on our blog’s activity in 2011.

Did you know that we wrote 109 new blog posts this past year and uploaded a grand total of 707 images – not too shabby! Rose and I watched with absolute glee as our blog following and interaction steadily grew this past year. Our busiest blog day of 2011 was the 14th of December which was the day we posted our Christmas greeting (you must have liked seeing our faces, lol)! We are happy to see that most visitors came from South Africa (thanks for representing Mzansi, local is lekker), and interestingly enough the United States and United Kingdom were not far behind!

The stats indicate that the most popular posts that got the abounding views in 2011 are…

1.  Décor Diva: To Paint Or Not To Paint in which Rose discuss the current trend of painting vintage furniture pieces.

2.  Design Indaba 2011 Through Rose Coloured Glasses where Rose recaps her visit to the 2011 Design Indaba and lists the products and designs that impressed her most.

3.  Décor Dictionary: Recycling & Upcycling attempts to define the rather elusive terms, recycling and upcycling – specific to the design industry.

Industrial Cabinet via Weylandts

4.  In Tretchikoff: The People’s Painter we pay tribute to the “king of kitsch”. Rose and I really enjoyed the Vladimir Tretchikoff exhibition in Cape Town.

5.  In Spice Up Your Interior With Some Quirky Stools I selected a handful of awesome locally designed South African stools. These babies are stunning feature pieces.

Rose and I also sat down and discussed our personal favourite blog posts of 2011…

Get The Look - Nautical Bedroom - The Design Tabloid

Rose said:

“I guess that this “looking back” should actually have been a task undertaken at the close of 2011. But as with every year, buy the time we hit December, the days just melt one into another and before you know it the doors of the business have closed for that well deserved summer break.

Besides for which, it is just so much better to sit down and take your time browsing through the posts of the past year with a clear and fresh mind.  I have to say that I found it difficult to narrow my choices down to 3 – 5 posts, because there were quite a few that really caught my eye again. There were a few topics that did however jump out at me as having been noticeable for their own reasons.  Here goes:

Marica’s Get The Look articles are always such a pleasure. Two tickled my fancy – the Industrial Chic and the Nautical Bedroom. Somehow or other, that just manages to stir up that “lust-have” feelings within me.

Naturally, I thoroughly enjoyed the Décor Diva posts – I managed to sprout off my opinion on a few décor issues that niggled at me. Some topics I thought worthy of putting out there for comment and input. There were three in this category: 1. “Wallpaper – To be or Not To Be”;  2. “Damask is Dead”;  3. Décor Diva: To Paint Or Not To Paint

Two others that struck a cord with me – The Royal Wedding and all those totally gorgeous goodies that came onto the market as a result and the article on our own popular artist, Tretchikoff. Marica and I attended that exhibition. It was a real “call back the past” experience for me as I grew up with Tretchikoff being a household name, a bit of a mysterious figure, who managed to get the locals talking about his particular lifestyle.” 

On my part – like Rose, I also enjoyed the Get The Look posts as well as the Colour-Coded Inspiration posts – they are tremendous fun to put together. I also really like the Design Indaba 2011 report back – loved writing about local talent like Design Kist and Raw

I generally enjoy all our Décor Dictionary posts, it’s such fun to hunt down décor and design terms and definitions to share with you – always short and sweet!

However, my favourite post of 2011 would have to be our report on the beautiful Cuvée restaurant at Simonsig wine farm. I was almost giddy with excitement when I came across this breathtaking beauty design by Neil Stemmet of Koncept Design.

As we attempt to build on the strong foundation of last year, we intend bringing you more opinions, people, tips, dictionaryterms, places and interesting goodies.

We will look at trends, expo’s such as Design Indaba & Decorex C T; additional info on wall finishes and plenty, plenty more. Rose will also dish the dirt on her favourite interior hobby horse: hotel interiors (mainly local). Also keep your eyes peeled for a feature by one of our favourite contributors, James Russell on “toile” design (COMING SOON)!

Thanks for all your wonderful support during 2011 and STAY WITH US, we promise to deliver the goodies.

Is there anything design and décor related you would like to see us writing about – any local person, place, space, query – let us know – WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!