Category Archives: Decor

10 Amazingly Simple Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen

by Marica Fick

If you have a small kitchen adequate storage space is luxury. It is therefore paramount to keep your kitchen counters and cabinets organised to maximise space and minimise clutter.

Luckily this does not have to be a complicated or expensive exercise. With a bit of ingenuity and the use of few unusual repurposed items you can turn your kitchen chaos into organised calm.

Here are ten clever “hacks” to help you organise your kitchen:

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Kitchen Tray Vignette

source: Damernas Värld

Hack 1: Keep the Clutter Contained with a Tray

Kitchen counter clutter happens. While it would be awesome to keep everything out of sight and tucked away in a drawer or cabinet, there are certain things that will probably reside on your counter permanently.

The ideal organisational solution for these counter-top items is to group them unto a beautiful tray. Trays have this magic ability to make a jumble look like a well thought through and unified decorative feature. You are creating little kitchen “vignettes” so to speak.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Stylish Dish Soap Dispensersource: Miss Mustard Seed

Hack 2: Beautify the Sink with Some Soap Dispensers

Keep the kitchen sink looking neat and clutter-free by storing the brightly coloured dish soap bottle and scrubbing tools under your sink.

If you however prefer to keep them close at hand you can do what Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, did in her lovely farmhouse kitchen. Purchase a couple of pretty soap dispensers with a pump nozzle that will compliment your kitchen decor. One dispenser can contain your dish soap the other your hand soap. The big plastic soap bottles are kept hidden under the sink allowing you to refill the dispensers as needed.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Coffee Cup Hookssource: I Heart Organizing

Hack 3: Create More Shelf Space – Hook It

Are your coffee cup shelves overflowing with mugs, one precariously stacked upon another? That is definitely not an ideal storage solution and stacking can often lead to cracking and chips.

What your cabinet needs is some inexpensive hooks. Simply screw in a couple of rows of hooks to the underside of your cabinet shelves (side note – aren’t these copper hooks used by I Heart Organizing so pretty?). Now you can hang your cups on the hooks for quick and easy usage. Furthermore, the hooks free up some space on the shelf below. The perfect space to store your smaller cups or saucers – and no more stacking!

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Extra Cabinet Shelvessource: The Container Store

Hack 4: Double Cabinet Space with Shelf Risers

Are you always in search of more kitchen shelf space? Sometimes shelves are built so far apart that one has to stack and pile your various crockery and dishes on top of each other in order to get the maximum storage out of your cabinets. This often leads to quite a mess if the specific item you are looking for is at the bottom of the pile. Sigh – imagine all that staking and re-stacking.

An easy way to add more space without going through the trouble of having more wooden shelves put in is to use metal shelf-risers or under-shelf baskets. Both these items allow you to add an additional “layer” for storage inside you cabinet without directly stacking the items on top of one another.

Hack 5: Organise Those Plastic Bags

Do you also have a drawer crammed with plastic shopping bags? Or one big plastic bag stuffed with all the others? What you need is a nifty plastic bag dispenser. You can make your own using baby wipes / wet wipes dispensers or empty coffee cans (imagine how many plastic bags you can fit into one of those big Ricoffy cans). If you are using a coffee can instead of a wipe dispenser, just make some cuts in coffee can’s plastic lid to pull the bags through.

There is even a special way to roll and insert the plastic bag into your container that it will give you a continuous feed of bags (see video above).

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Drawer Organizer

source: Apartment Therapy  |  photo: Rachel Jacks

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: DIY Drawer Organizer

source: Modish & Main

Hack 6: Box the Junk Drawer

We all have that one kitchen drawer. You know the one – filled to the brim with a tangle of odds and ends – anything from tape to batteries. Then there is the drawer containing all the awkwardly-shaped oversized utensils and gadgets – your braai tongs, whisks, etc. Those drawers are often such a jumble one has search and scratch for what you need.

While drawer organisers would be the perfect answer to keep the mess at bay, the divisions and size of your standard cutlery trays won’t be able to cope with all the items in your jumble drawer.

The best solutions would be to make your own drawer organiser. It does not have to be overly complicated – you can use different sized boxes or containers (I find empty chocolate boxes quite handy – those plastic Ferrero Rocher boxes especially). Or, if you are handy, you can try making your own wooden drawer organiser as shown in this DIY tutorial by Apartment Therapy: here.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: More Eggs In Fridge

source: Raising Up Rubies

Hack 7: Replace the Egg Tray with a Basket

Just like the above-mentioned kitchen drawer, the inside of your fridge can often be another organisational nightmare. Jars, produce, and leftovers stacked all higgledy-piggledy and that one suspect-looking container in the back with rarely used foodstuffs that may already have expired. Yuck! Creating order with some plastic baskets is a must.

If you are a Banter or the like and regularly use a whole lot of eggs, you probably find the egg rack in your fridge on the small side. Jaime from Raising Up Rubies found a fun solution to increase her egg storage. She replaced the standard 12-egg rack in her fridge with a quirky red wire basket. Not only does it look lovely, it also allows for a great deal more eggs.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Kitchen Door Organizersource: The Wandmaker’s Mother

Hack 8: Magazine Organiser Turned Cabinet Door Storage

Reclaim some much needed drawer and cabinet space by fixing a magazine organiser to the inside of a cabinet door. It is the perfect tool to house things like rolls of cling-film and tinfoil or your various chopping boards and smaller trays.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: CD Rack Tupperware Organizersource: Better Homes & Gardens

Hack 9: CD Rack Turned Tupperware Storage

The Tupperware cupboard is always a mess, right? So many lids and plastic containers jumbled together. And somehow one can never find the correct container lid when you need to! Well, this clever hack will allow you to store your Tupperware lids in such a way that you will never need to scratch again.

Do you have an old CD rack lying around? Repurpose it as a handy lid organising tool. Just insert it into your Tupperware drawer or cabinet and stack your lids by size and shape.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Pantry Baskets

source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Hack 10: Basket & Label Your Pantry

A disorganised pantry can be a kitchen nightmare. Maximise the space in your pantry with labelled baskets, plastic containers and big glass jars. Group similar items together in one basket or bin. Big glass coffee or pickle jars make for excellent storage containers for baking goods like flour, sugar or grains – you can even stow your various dry pasta in them.

Not only would you pantry shelves look much neater and pretty it will also be much easier to find something in a flash.

Pinterest Picks: Lovely Nooks & Niches

We had SO much fun browsing through our Pinterest boards and selecting our favourite bedroom images for our previous Pinterest Picks post, that we could not wait to get started on the next instalment of the blog series.

Just to remind you what this series is all about: we are in essence playing a little game of “I wish“, as in “I wish I had that interior” – be it lounge, bedroom, kitchen or anything in between. After spending some time perusing our various Pinterest boards, we each select our favourite interior image – the space we most desire to have as our own. We then explain exactly why we coveted that particular space and if there is anything we would like to change.

Naturally, we ended up choosing two “runner-up” interiors… because deciding on just one room is just too difficult!

This time around we decided to select our favourite images for our “Nooks & Niches” Pinterest board. This particular board is somewhat of a “catch-all”. It contains various transitional spaces that do not necessarily fall under any definite area or room. Pause spaces like reading nooks, hallways or foyers, staircase areas and other tucked-away nooks are often pinned on this board.

After much deliberation, here are each of our nominations for the loveliest, most desirable nook…

roses-pick

 

 

pinterest picks: lovely nooks source

Rose said:

“Allow me to take you behind the scenes before going onto to share my selections and reasons for them. By the behind the scenes I mean – my thinking.

So for me the concept of a ‘nook’ is similar to that of a ‘cosy corner’ or a special feature area that has been carved out in the home space, so as to either be functional and appealing, or welcoming.

While I was sitting trawling through the collection of images that we have pinned onto our ‘Nooks & Niches‘ board over the years, I was once again surprised to find that my taste has definitely evolved. There are so many images, each speaking to a different type of niche or nook. So I set the criteria as follows: Could this be an area that I would create in my home? Would I enjoy it? Would I be happy to inhabit it? Based on all the stuff I just said, here goes with my choices:”

Rose’s Pinterest Bedroom Pick:

“A daybed so perfectly situated between two windows, which means not only can I do what I absolutely love doing – reading (definitely mostly lying on a bed) but there is plenty of daylight streaming in.

Plus, I like that Mid-century Modern style of the bed, with the quaint wooden box next to it. That old natural feeling the box presents, gives me a feeling of timeless. And I find that box intriguing – like asking myself, what could I store in that box that would almost feel like I’m hiding something that has treasure value attached to it.

That tactile looking fur throw is so very inviting and this space feels like it is calling me to come and recline there, chill and just be – like the wooden word on the window sill say FLOW! It’s a big part of my values.  That circular cushions, it shape and it’s pattern so does it for me.

There ain’t  much I would change in this set up – except the black and white print would be one of my family. I would introduce different colours in the striped fabrics of the rectangular scatter cushions – like the colour I’m crushing on right now, that soft rose pink. It works so well with the existing colour scheme going on here.”

runners-up-1

1st Runner Up…

“This image of an entrance hall stopped my right in my tracks. In fact, it was a toss-up between this image and my current #1 – for first place.

I would happily replicate this scheme in my entrance hall. I find it striking and that is what I would like to create in my entrance hall. The colours black, white, gold and a hint of natural wooden elements – it works for me.

Naturally if there were no hexagonal brass/gold mirrors displayed in the way they are, the statement and feature element would be seriously compromised. It’s this hex mirror configuration where the striking feature element lies. Notice the gold touches on the Bombé chest of drawers.”

2nd Runner Up…

“Taking the vacant area under a staircase in order to create a feature nook / niche can be tricky. I have seen some images that reveal that sometimes folks get too practical with their shelving and drawers etc. Sometimes they get too O.T.T. as well.

The simplicity of this layout is what works for me. The all white surroundings in the staircase, introducing black into it in the framed images, lamp and rug keeps it clean and interesting. I won’t change a thing with this scheme and if I had a house that has this kinda space available, this is where I would head.”

maricas-pick

pinterest picks: lovely nookssource

Marica’s Pinterest Bedroom Pick:

Marica said:

“I was immediately drawn to this little staircase nook in the home of Swedish ceramicist, Frida Anthin Broberg. To me it is such a happy space. This little pause area under sweep of the stairs actually forms part of Frida’s kitchen. It serves as desk, sometimes kitchen island, and general gossip corner.

The curving white-painted staircase divides the kitchen and nook area from the equally pretty dining area at the back.

The aspect that appeals to me most must be light, bright space – a beautiful white backdrop with light grey painted wooden floors and pops of bold colour. It is every bit the quintessential Scandinavian home.

I love green-painted open shelves under the stairs which feature a collection of colourful crockery and stacks of books arranged by colour.

The furniture pieces are mostly flea market finds. The upholstered Mid-century chair with its happy floral folk art scatter cushion would have to be my favourite. That, and the rustic table with its distressed blue-grey legs. The Industrial style light fitting adds the finishing touch to this playful space.

Is there anything I would change or add? To me it is pretty perfect as is!”

1st Runner Up…

“I would love to have a pretty pastel seating nook like this in my kitchen or lounge. Perfectly situated next to a window so one can longingly gaze outside on rainy days while reading a book.

This nook has just the right amount of fluffy scatter cushions to keep your comfortable while you are enjoy your breakfast or having a read. All your favourite books are stored in the woven basket ensuring they are always close at hand. And that sleek wall light guarantees that you have loads of reading light on glum days.

I also love the way the birch branch is used as a decorative object – and of course the bit of greenery in the window. Yes, this is definitely a ‘Marica’ space!”

2nd Runner Up…

“My third choice is something a bit different – it is a lovely and unique entrance hall with a distinct vintage feel.

The focal point or statement piece in this space would have to be the vintage theatre seats. Karen of the Mrs Rollman Blog found these gorgeous 1920s wooden theatre seats (complete with ‘usher’ labels still attached) in an antique store.

While I normally love bright and happy colours, I find this warm neurally coloured space quite appealing. I love the incorporation of a bit of pale greenery on the shelf in between all the other bits and bobs. The addition of the script scatter cushions and the white tasselled throw creates a soft relaxed atmosphere. The single white framed sketch next to the vintage wire coat hooks is a lovely touch too.”


What do you think of our Pinterest nooks & niches picks? See anything you like too?

Stay tuned for the next addition in our Pinterest Picks series – maybe we will do our favourite living rooms or kitchens.

Pinterest Picks: Beautiful Bedrooms

Have you ever played the “I wish…” game? You know, the game where you page through a magazine or peruse a website and see something that makes you go: “sigh, if only…

I think there is nothing wrong with building a few castles in the sky, especially when it comes to interiors and one’s home. Let rather call it “aspirational thinking” – planning ahead for a time when you will have the means to make your daydreams a reality!

I regularly play that game. As an interior designer I often gaze longingly at the beautiful interiors and homes I have pinned to my Pinterest boards. I would fantasise about what I would do with the space if it were mine.

Not too long ago Rose and I were discussing a bedroom picture we had just pinned to our boards. Rose expressed that she would LOVE a room just like it. “Which bedroom would you like if could choose?” she asked me while scrolling through our Bedrooms board. I wasn’t sure; however I had earmarked a few hot favourites. We knew there and then that it would make for an excellent blog post.

Rose and I decided that we will each select one image from our Bedrooms Board of a sleeping space that we most desired as our own. We would then explain exactly why we coveted that particular space and whether there is something we would change.

We also chose two “runner-up” bedrooms because deciding on one room can be very hard!

maricas-pick

pinterest picks: beautiful bedrooms - the-handmade-homesource

Marica’s Pinterest Bedroom Pick:

I had some difficulty selecting my numero uno, most-desired bedroom from my top picks. However, after asking myself “which one do you see yourself LIVING in”, the answer was clear.

The picture above is a sneak peek from the bedroom makeover of bloggers, Jamin and Ashley, of The Handmade Home.

I think what appealed to me most was that the room looks relaxed, yet luxurious.  I am automatically drawn to jewel tones, which is why I adore the colour combination of this bedroom. I also enjoy the addition of the antique brass elements.

My favourite item in this room would have to be the gorgeous deep-buttoned velvet headboard. I had a “YES please” moment when I saw that beauty!

Another element I like is the upcycled chest of drawers with the purple agate handles. FYI – these are actually “faux” agate – they look like the real deal but are just clever replicas Ashley made using clay and craft paint (see DIY here).

If this was my room, I would probably add a slightly more Bohemian feel to it. I would swap out the scatter cushions and throw for something more tactile and Boho without losing the beautiful magenta purple colour that pairs so lovely with the jewel-toned emerald.

While the framed abstract art piece is not completely my taste, I would keep it because it ties all the colours together beautifully. I might just add another smaller framed print or painting in front of it to add some depth.

I would also LOVE to include a vintage velvet chair like this one into the room. Can you say reading chair?!

runners-up

1st Runner Up…

I was immediately drawn to the Mid-century Modern meet Scandinavian bedroom of Jaclyn Johnson, founder of Create & Cultivate. In true Scandi form, the room’s white backdrop makes the room feel open and less cluttered while pattern and interest is added in shades greys.

The show-shopper piece in this bedroom is the gorgeous (and pricey) Modern bed from Design Within Reach. While not my favourite colour, the punchy green of the headboard livens up the otherwise monochromatic colour scheme.

Oh, and don’t you just love that copper blanket ladder and pom-pom duvet cover?!

2nd Runner Up…

My third choice is a bit of a wildcard. What I like most about this space, other than the lovely sunny yellows, is not limited to the the decor and furnishings. The appeal lies in structure of the room itself – the white-painted floors and lofty attic ceiling with its beams.

The house belongs to Souraya Hassan of Binti Home. Souraya used various items, most with a slight Moroccan feel, from her online shop to decorate this guest bedroom. I love how she used the two small Moroccan tables as a staggered bedside pedestal.

Similar to my 1st runner up choice, I like how the happy yellow accent of the bedspread breaks the otherwise white on white space.

roses-pick

 

 

pinterest picks: beautiful bedroomssource

Rose’s Pinterest Bedroom Pick:

This particular exercise really stirred up a subconscious desire to redo my bedroom. And working through the stack of images that I have pinned on two bedroom boards, eventually brought me to a place where I realised exactly how I would decorate my bedroom.

Another awareness was how my taste / style has changed over the past few years. I’ve gravitated towards “less is more” not entirely Scandi, but leaning in that direction, with a tad more colour thrown in.

If you told me 6 years ago, that I would have a craving for a white bedroom, I would have laughed. I am so longing for the feeling of uncluttered space where there are fewer decor elements, but no lack of depth and texture. That is why this is bedroom is my first choice.

I am totally nuts about the industrial styled metal / glass pane room divider, the texture of the velvety throw on the bed, the colour and nature of the wooden items, the asymmetrical placement of the floor rugs and the patterns to be found in the rugs and wall art. I could take my books and move into this room.

I dream of living in a Manhattan style Industrial loft apartment such as this.

runners-up-1

1st Runner Up…

What appeals to me most about my second choice above is the metallic bed. I am so in love with copper and the rose gold colour that blends into it so perfectly. The other appeal is the street scene wallpaper at the back of the bed, as well as the overhead ceiling fixed industrial light.

Oh, and another appealing feature in this room that I forgot to mention is the ceiling. Those pressed ceiling panels just do it for me. Imagine waking up to see that delightful sight each morning.

2nd Runner Up…

And now… my third choice is something completely different. Just showing one image of this room might come across a bit on the odd side because actually one needs to hold this bedroom within the greater and deeper context of its setting, namely the Château de Gudanes.  This forgotten French Country Stately Home has slowly been brought back to life.

If I woke up in this room it would mean that one of my dreams had actually come true. I would have to pinch myself to check that it was all real. This is the real deal unrestored French Chateau boudoir. No paint effects, no wallpaper – all the genuine article. Love the deep royal blue french bed and everything about this room.

It needs a stand alone blog feature post of its own, one in which we can wax lyrical and drool over its unique beauty. So, watch this space with bated breath. Until then.

This was huge fun. Thanks Marica for coming up with this blog series.


What do you think of our Pinterest bedroom picks? See anything you like too?

Stay tuned for the next addition in our Pinterest Picks series – maybe we will do our favourite living rooms or kitchens.

Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

Plascon has once again unveiled their annual Colour Forecast as well as the official Plascon Colour of the Year 2017. As always, the Forecast has taken its inspiration from global colour trends and interpreted it into four themes or “colour stories” as Plascon has aptly named them. Each story takes the form of a colour palette and décor direction, encompassing not just what the theme looks like, but also the mood and energy evoked by each one. Below we share a quick overview of each scheme as taken from the forecast booklet

Colour Forecast 2017:

Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

colour story one: ANONYMOUS

Plascon Colour Forecast 2017Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

Seek simplicity with ANONYMOUS

light • simple • calm

This theme is a response to our busy live s. It’s about stripping back to basics and embracing the softer things in life.

This gender-neutral palette can work across all rooms and styles. Unsure of purple shades? Don’t be. Purple promotes creativity and innovation, making it an ideal colour for your social or work space.

colour story two: TERRAIN

Plascon Colour Forecast 2017Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

Be grounded by TERRAIN

rich • earthy • warm

Inspired by desert landscapes, this warm theme balances earthy, mineral and neutral colours in an easy-to-use palette.

The trick to using this colour story is to concentrate on greys and neutrals first to provide a subtle backdrop. Then use the other colours (such the punchy ‘Sunrise Glow’) sparingly to create an energetic accent.

colour story three: PRISM

Plascon Colour Forecast 2017Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

Explore possibilities with PRISM

youthful • bright • fun

Taking digital art as inspiration, this theme explores depth and layers in colour. It’s about having fun with colour and embracing bold design.

The secret to pulling off this bright palette is to only use a touch of the more vibrant tones. Contrast the deeper colours with the lighter ones for a fresh, contemporary feeling.

colour story four: PAUSE

plascon-colour-forecast-2017-1Plascon Colour Forecast 2017

Embrace neutrals with PAUSE

Minimalist • warm • lived-in

It may be minimal at heart but ‘PAUSE’ has maximum appeal. It’s perfect for everyone who loves a sophisticated neutral look.

To add a modern touch to your home, pair this colour story with a combination of metal fittings and bleached woods.

the 2017 colour of the year: IN THE MOOD

Plascon Colour of The Year 2017

Plascon also announced their chosen Colour of the Year for 2017. “IN THE MOOD” 06-E2-3 is a soft earthy neutral with a slight pink undertone. This is not surprising selection as pinky nude colours have been one of the most popular choices of fashion designers during the last year. Interesting to see how the interior trends evolves from the fashion industry.

Here is what Plascon had to say about their Colour of the Year 2017:

Taken from the TERRAIN colour story, this easy-to-use, earthy colour is anything but basic. It’s perfect background for any space and pairs beautifully with other colours.

The colour of the year is a neutral like no other. It’s beautifully complex in appearance and effortless calming in its nature.

What do you guys and gals think of Plascon’s 2017 Colour Forecast and the Colour of the Year?

The colour story that really appeals to me is “Pause” – it is so beautifully soft and feminine. Furthermore, I suspect that we here at Design Monarchy might be using colours from the “Prism” theme more than once as it contains punchy colours perfect for accent furniture pieces.

Check out the Plascon Trends website (here) for more Colour Forecast awesomeness and to take a peek through the online Forecast booklet…

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