Decorating Dictionary - Define Neutral Colour | via designmonarchy.co.za

Decorating Dictionary: Neutral

What is the definition of Neutral?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term “neutral“, “neutral colour“, or “neutral palette” and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define Neutral for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Neutral:  In interiors, neutral colours serve as subtle background hues, which can easily be combined and layered with other bolder colours. While neutral tones are often mild and unoffensive, they are not necessarily devoid of colour. Most neutral colours have undertones of other colours in them. Traditional warm neutral shades include colours like taupe and beige while cooler neutrals have a slightly bluer undertone – these would be your greys and silvers. Neutrals can also vary from very light tones, such as white, to darker shades, such as charcoal.

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

7 Home Decorating Regrets

7 Home Decorating Items & Decisions We Regret

by Marica Fick & Rose McClement

Earlier this week I read an article on Apartment Therapy that set the hamster wheel in my head spinning. The title grabbed me immediately: “3 Common Home Items I Wish I Never Bought”. In the post freelance writer, Sarah Lyon, shared that her past home decorating efforts has been accompanied by a fair dose of regret.

Sarah goes on to explain that while some treasured purchases have found a permanent place in her home, others left her with a bad taste in the mouth after a few short months. Her regrets include: cheesy, cliched wall art, cheap wine glasses, and pieces that are “too nice”.

While we did not entirely agree with all of her laments, it did spark an interesting office conversation. So here is Design Monarchy‘s list of home decorating items and decisions we regret…

Beautiful Vinyl Floor
We would opt for a beautiful good-quality vinyl floor above carpet in a heartbeat. | source: Godfrey Hirst via Instagram

Wall-to-Wall Carpet:

The first item on our home decorating regret list is one both Rose and I can’t wait to say “goodbye and good riddance” to. Wall-to-wall carpets. Until recently, opting for carpets throughout the home has been such an ingrain and default choice in home decorating.

We found that carpets take such an effort to clean and maintain in the long run. It just does not have the physical and aesthetic longevity that some other floor finishes have. No matter how regularly you vacuum and deep-clean your carpet, it still becomes a dirt and odour trap – especially if you have pets or little kiddos.

The carpets in my home are a real eye-sore. It was gorgeous when first installed but now it looks grubby no matter what we do. We have had it cleaned SO many times with no real improvement. And these were good quality, high traffic carpets!

Now, don’t get us wrong – we are not saying that you should immediately rip up the carpets in your home and get rid of them. We understand that there are some situations and areas where it remains the preferred application. Especially a bedroom – most people still prefer the added warmth and soft feel underfoot that carpets provide.

When it comes to general areas and living rooms we often recommend a good quality vinyl to our clients as an alternative floor covering. It is much easier to clean and maintain and adds a lovely visual warmth to any space. You can always opt for a loose rug that can be washed or changed as desired.

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Kirsten Goss Abode Homeware

Currently Coveting: Kirsten Goss ABODE

by Marica Fick

I’ve gone and done it again… lost my heart.

I know, not too long ago I was pledging my undying love to something completely different. At that moment I was head-over heels and coveting the funky, contemporary, African-chic ZCafe Rope Chair designed by Egg Designs (and it is still gorgeous by the way).

What can I say, my heart is a bit fickle – but luckily – I have a BIG heart so there is room for far more beautiful things. I’m a sucker for a bit of local eye-candy.

What, you my ask, has got me drooling this time around? I’m currently coveting the beautifully chic ABODE collection by South African jewellery designer, Kirsten Goss. This elegant homeware addition to Kirsten’s established jewellery brand is both refreshing and unexpected.

Kirsten who opened her flagship jewellery store in London in 2005, has designed pieces for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s royal wedding and her jewellery designs have been worn by several A-list celebrities.

Kirsten’s “Lily Pad Ring” won the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) at the Design Indaba Expo 2012. The ring’s contemporary design, intriguing organic lines and playful edge exemplifies Kirsten’s award-winning style aesthetic.

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SuzelleDIY: How to Make Your Own Fridge Magnets

SuzelleDIY: How to Make Your Own Fridge Magnets

How To Make Your Own Fridge Magnets:

While we are on the subject on the subject of easy crafts to keep your hands and minds occupied during the lockdown period, check out this recent video by SuzelleDIY. The local DIY queen shared clever ways to decorate the “big old grey elephant in the… kitchen” – i.e. the fridge! In the brilliant video tutorial she demonstrates how one can create a lovely array of easy and inexpensive fridge magnets.

For the past few week Suzelle has been sharing quirky DIY ideas for each letter of the alphabet… or “Suzellphabet” as she calls it! Be sure to check out the DIY crafts for letters A to E on her Instagram or Facebook channels.

Her crafts ideas are super easy and accessible – using and upcycling things that one already has lying about in an odds-and-ends drawer somewhere. The only thing I might need to scratch for or purchase for this tutorial would be the actual magnets (maybe salvage off old fridge magnets or fridge calenders). In this video Suzelle shares the following fridge magnet ideas:

  1. How to make tiny faux succulent fridge magnets.
  2. How to create your own glass pebble magnets.
  3. How to make mini spice jar magnets for your fridge.
  4. How to craft lovely photobox magnets out of jar lids.
  5. And lastly, how to create a framed whiteboard shopping list for the fridge door.

If you want to attempt a few quarantine crafts to keep you busy during lockdown, we have put together six of our easiest Decorating Quick Tips from past posts for you to try at home: Quarantine Crafts: 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom.

Oh, and loving her rambling rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off“… LOL

Quarantine Crafts: 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom

Quarantine Crafts: 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom

by Marica Fick

So 2020 has been an unexpected, out-of-control, wild horse of a year thus far. Who would have ever predicted and prepared for a worldwide health crisis that would leave billions of people lockdown in their own homes for safety. Yet here we are. Hello Covid-19. While some countries are entering their 5th week of Coronavirus quarantine, others are only calling for lockdown restrictions now.

Either way, I can imagine that most of you are climbing the walls out of frustration and boredom. All the books have been read and the Nexflix queue is empty. I am just thankful that I can wear my pyjamas (yay elasticated waist!) most of the day because the cycle of binge-watching and snacking has resulted in a bit of jelly-belly.

I see that people cope with the quarantine boredom in various ways – cooking, spring cleaning, running laps in the backyard, and of course… DIY.

If you want to attempt a few quarantine crafts to keep you busy during lockdown, we have put together six of our easiest Decorating Quick Tips from past posts for you to try at home.

Here are our 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom:

1. Turn Vintage Tins Into Functional Decorative Accessories:

If your home is anything like mine, you probably have a collection of pretty vintage tins gathering dust on some forgotten shelf. Over the years my mom and gran accumulated a fair assortment of interesting tea, biscuit, and flour tins. It was quite fashionable a few decades ago to put these empty tins on display… on top of kitchen cabinets mostly. Did your home feature a similar vintage tin stockpile or is this a purely Afrikaans phenomenon?

The good news is, vintage tins are once again a desirable commodity. However, instead of just using them for display give them a practical function…

hintRepurpose pretty and vintage tea and flour tins by using them as gorgeous herb or flower planters. Smaller biscuit or sweet tins can also be converted into beautiful candle holders. One can also give pretty spice, vintage cigarette, or mint tins a second life by turning them into refrigerator magnets. Just slip a strong magnet inside the tin and voilà – stunning fridge storage.

The Cultivated Candle Co. posted a lovely DIY video illustrating how you can make your own set of vintage tin fridge magnets. Watch the video above to see just how easy it is! If you want to try your hand a creating a tea tin candle, you can follow this lovely tutorial shared by Sweet Cayenne. Alternatively, House & Home posted step-by-step instructions on how you can transform your tin collection into pretty herb planters.

[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 2 August 2012  |  Quick Tip #16: Practical Pretty Tins ]

2. Brighten Up Your Garden or Patio With Paint-dipped Pots:

Decorating Quick Tip Paint-Dipped Pots

Playing with a “paint-dipped” effect is a brilliant way of adding colour and interest to an item without going overboard. The idea is to replicate the look of something that has been partially dunked in paint. Whether you do this by actually dipping part of your chosen item in paint or using tape and a brush to create the effect the result is playful and trendy.

Stick a lovely succulent, fragrant herb, or happy flower in one of these paint-dipped pots, and they would make for excellent Mother’s Day gifts or a sweet way to say thank you to your child’s favourite teacher.

hint A fun and easy way to add some colour and quirk to your indoor or outdoor potted plants is to paint-dip the pots! All you need is some sturdy (yet cheap) unglazed terracotta or ceramic pots and the paint colour[s] of your choice. For added interest, you can even opt for an angled dipped-effect. These trendy dipped pots would make for a stunning kitchen sill herb garden or add some quirk to your garden patio.

Better Homes & Gardens shared a lovely step-by-step video on how to mimic the paint-dipped look on terracotta pots using a rubber band and acrylic paint. See the video: here.

[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 20 March 2014 | Quick Tip #31: Paint-Dipped Pots ]Read More »

Decorating Quick Tip | Teacup Turned Light

Quick Tip #58: Teacup Turned Light

Last year we concluded 2019’s Decor Quick Tips mini-series on a high note. We shared several clever tips which illustrated how unwanted picture frames could be upcycled into anything from a quirky terrarium to a lovely jewellery organizer. For those who can recall, the last tip in this series was the fun idea of transforming old picture frames into lovely chalkboards. We love sharing these fun and creative DIY ideas – they are so charmingly off-beat.

And, with that, we think it is high time for another decorating quick tip miniseries! We have sniffed around online and found a stack of crafty ideas about awesome things to do with old teacups. There is enough inspiration to keep us submerged in interesting tips for a good few months! So, without further delay, here is the latest DIY quirky tip in our new “cool stuff to do with old teacups” Decor Quick Tip miniseries…

Using your collections and curated items in a way other than straight-forward display is a great way to add unexpected interest to your space. Are you a lover or collector of beautiful vintage teacups and old china? Well, here is a bright idea on how to take your teacups off the shelf and turn them into a practical conversation-starting show-piece.

#58  Have any old or odd teacups gathering dust on the shelf? Why not transform those old teacups and saucers into whimsical pendant lights and table lamps. With the right tools this upcycling project is easier than you think! Select the teacup(s) you would like to use or, if you do not have any at hand, search second-hand shops to find a variety of vintage teacups and saucers. Choose a sleek and modern cup for a more contemporary look or opt for frilly floral teacups for the Alice-in-Wonderland Shabby Chic effect. The light can be fashioned with or without the saucer. Use a funky brightly-coloured flex and LED bulb for the contemporary pendant or brass fittings and Edison bulbs for the vintage option. Multiple teacup pendants can be grouped together to create an eye-catching feature. You can even turn it into a quirky desk lamp!

Teacup Light DIY Tutorials:

If you want to attempt making your own teacup pendant light this weekend, check out this helpful post by Flamingo Toes which features step-by-step instructions and pictures to make your job a tad easier: HERE

For anyone keen to try their hand at making their own teacup desk lamp, ThreadBanger shared this awesome DIY tutorial video as part of their Man vs Pin series that will help you through the process: HERE.

Images Sources: 12 3