Pinterest Lovelies

A  happy 2014 to all our friends and readers! I trust you all had very merry new year’s celebrations?

Okay – so I decided that it would be cool to share some our Pinterest pins with you while we take a bit of a break away from our desks this Festive Season.

And in the spirit of just being light-hearted and playful, I decided to share pins that are along the magical and fantasy lines – images that take me to a really happy space.

I have a board that I have called “Lovelies” and onto it I have pinned stuff that evoke the word “lovely” from me. I am a Libra so I like beautiful stuff, pretty stuff, pink stuff and some touching stuff as well.

I hope that in sharing these images with you, it will just bring us a bit closer to each other – with you getting to know me a tad better.

{click on image to enlarge and view source}

Buying Cheap vs Buying Value

The other day while walking my dog on the local cricket field I got chatting to one of the other “dog club” members. He was a man who had been round the block a few times with regards to running and owning businesses. The talk was around his proposed new business venture, which was importing inexpensive furniture from South East Asia.

His take was that he would import inexpensive furniture in volume and sells it off to wholesalers. The price bracket that he was speaking of made me realise that the furniture could not be the best and the possibility of a very short lifespan was strong. Which just means that the home owner would have to delve into his pocket again in about two year’s time to replace the headboard or bed.

I realise that we can still expect this economic downturn to run for a good while yet and as such we are all turning our pennies over twice before spending it. Naturally we are also out to look for bargains – the less strain on our already tight purse strings the better.

However, when it comes to interiors items such as furniture, art and rugs, I cannot buy into the concept of buying cheap just for the sake of buying something you need. Truth be known it is much better to delay gratification, save the money, spend a bit extra and buy a well constructed, good quality item of furniture. The reason is obvious – it will last you longer, in fact you could pass it onto your children. A sofa that has a well constructed frame and good fabric will definitely outlast any mass produced sofa. It will possibly require re-upholstery after a few years, but that would cost you a whole lot less than a replacement sofa.

Think about it – in generations past, most furniture was solid wooden items or sofas that had spring systems. Those pieces outlasted their owners, becoming the very pieces of furniture that are now sold not as “secondhand” but as trendy “vintage” and ‘retro’ items.

The same can be said for art and rugs. Not many of us can afford to fill our homes with original pieces, but please consider buying either one splendid rug or one stunning piece of original art, to create an attractive feature in your home. It will mean that you will have to save and hence wait, but that gives you time to source exactly what you desire and visualise for that spot.

Trendsetters have actually noted that during the economic downturn, if the public are going to spend their money on luxury items, they want to buy quality that will last.

Long may it last!!!

{Image Source – read this related article}

Ask Décor Diva: Where Can I Buy Retro Cushions?

One of our readers recently contacted The Design Tabloid to ask our resident Décor Diva some advice…

She asks:

“I have a dark brown suede L shape couch and want retro, bright scatter cushions but not sure where and how to get them…

Décor Diva says:

This is actually a tricky question, without a particularly straight forward answer.  The reason being that the term “retro style” could mean one thing to me and another to you, coming out of our individual perceptions of “retro”.

In décor & interior design “retro” basically speaks of a trend or style that is reminiscent of those styles of the 50’s and 60’s.  However, the definition of “retro” is in actuality anything that is older than 20 years.  To some retro means “vintage” or “mid-century modern” or the pop culture styles prominent in the 60’s and early 70’s.  In recent times even those fashion and décor items and styles appropriated in the 80’s is gaining momentum.

This all then begs the question: what is your perception of retro patterns and styles?

But in an attempt to assist you with your scatter cushion décor dilemma, I think it best that I just simply point you in the direction of some of the local suppliers of fabrics & cushions that we would regard as retro – in a more universal sense. You take your pick from these and hopefully it will help you to move forward. If you struggle to find ready-made scatter cushions in the shops, there is a good few fabric houses that sell awesome retro-inspired fabrics that can be made into scatters. In the event that you are not needle and tread capable, approach a local curtain manufacturer to make up the scatter cushions for you.

Here is the suggested suppliers of retro patterned fabrics:

Unfortunately most fabric houses do not sell directly to the public BUT luckily if you see a fabric you like you can contact us and we will order it for you!

  • Local Cape Town designer Skinny laMinx (not necessarily bright, but certainly retro)!
  • Hertex has a handful of quirky fabrics with retro comic strip motifs on it.
  • Then there is a fabulous range of fabrics and patterns to be found from Design Team, especially their Young at Heart and Baha ranges. Their website has a full and comprehensive range of fabrics to be viewed. If want you could spend some time looking through their range, you may strike it lucky.

Love, Rose  x x x

{Below find some awesome local retro-inspired scatter cushions. Please click on images to enlarge}

Coffee Tables: A Contemporary Take

Over the course of the past year, we have been lucky enough to be working on interior projects that have given us the opportunity of applying some trendy new industrial/rustic living décor and design elements. I have to admit that trying to source the industrial furniture elements has not always been that easy here in Cape Town. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that it is a great pity that the retail furniture outlets in town that cater for that type of style are so limited.

Thank heavens for Weylandts. Man oh man – they are a forward thinking décor company. We spent hours and hours during the course of these projects trawling their showrooms. During this time I was introduced to the concept of having multiple “side tables” (for want of a better description) of varying shapes and textured being put to use as “centre coffee tables”. Something like a round metal table mixed with a tribal wood stump table as well another smaller and taller side table. A cluster of tables so to speak.

The most appealing aspect of this styling method is the fact that it presents a less bulky and fixed look than the coffee table. And of course it is far more entertaining and playful for the eye of the beholder. Plus – the other added benefit is that these tables are more mobile – you can shift them around in that space to where they are most suited and functional.

I would encourage you to explore this concept of cluster tabling for your next coffee table purchase.  It will cost slightly more, but then it is not every day one steps out to purchase a coffee table. So make it good and make it work. Save a little longer and buy wisely. Far too often have I encountered oversized and bulky coffee tables that do nothing for the space and leave very little or no space for traffic flow around them. Far too often very little creative thought is given to this facet of home decorating – coffee tables frequently appear to be nothing more than an afterthought! And it need not be so. Using a collection of different tables gives you the opportunity to be expressive and creative. Just a by the way – although I have spoken of it in the context of the industrial and rustic styled house, this type of cluster tables is not limited to those styles and can be applied into any style.

I challenge you to get out there the next time you want to do coffee or side tabling and dare to be different. Explore the net and the retail showrooms. Research and spend some time thinking outta the box. It can really be very exciting.

Bedroom Makeover Without Breaking The Bank

Just recently I was asked for advice on how to give a bedroom a make-over without spending a fortune.

I thought to share these tips on the process with you.  Please notice that I did call it a process, because that is what design/décor is all about.  It can be a really fun and fulfilling process:

1GET THE PICTURE:  Let’s start by saying that you need to formulate a picture or image of what you want to achieve right from the start.  Spend a bit of time paging through décor mags, blogs and shops.  Let your imagination just run wild, because coming out of this first step, you will eventually get the colours, patterns and styles that settle well with you. If you are up for even more fun, then take all the images; put them together to make a mood board.  Even more fun is finding ribbons, buttons, bits and bobs that tell the story of your colours.  Mix them in with the images to give your mood board life.

2COLOUR:   Try to keep your basic colour palette of the room neutral – you will have plenty of time to throw in great big dollops of colour with the accessories. By the way- did you know that the trendsetters have indicated that WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK!!  “What!” you say – yes I have noticed it as well.  A big move to white walls and white furniture, but what makes it more appealing than before, is that into the white schemes, strong colour and texture is added.  The white is your blank canvas so to speak.

3ACCESSORIES:  Make sure that you have at least two items /accessories that are strong in texture and colour, such as scatters, wooden furniture –maybe a headboard, or wood framed easy chair, with a funky patterned scatter on it. Preferably a geometric pattern.

4BED: The Bed – needs layers of scatter cushions at the top and layers of bed throws at the foot. The mix of scatters should include different sizes; different fabrics /textures and different patterns.  It is the blend of colours that will tie them together. The Headboard – Check out the retails outlets that sell inexpensive buttoned headboards – they are still very much out there.

5GLAM:   A luxurious full length mirror or print with an ornate frame adds that decadent detail.  Definitely can have at least one seriously glam or decadent item, just for that hint of Hollywood.

6

MONEY:   Make sure that you have set yourself a budget and stick with it. This is one of the first things you should do as a budget will give you a guideline as to what you can and can’t afford. Remember to be realistic.

7GO SHOP:  Ok, now for the best part – you have the picture of what your room is going to look like, it is time to step out to source and select your wares, paint, wallpaper, fabrics etc. Take the time to shop around for the best buy – don’t settle for the first thing you see! More Fun!!

 ALWAYS HAVE FUN DOING YOUR DÉCOR.  CHEERS

A Little Girl’s Haven

A Little Girl’s Haven

Can I share a pet peeve with you? Super trendy, super stylish children’s rooms. Are you scratching your head? Please let me explain. Some parents get so caught up in creating a cutting-edge, trend-conscious interior that slots in with their tastes and sense of style that they forget the phrase “children’s bedroom” actually contains the word “child.” Rose and I have often discussed this issue – she hates it as much as I do. Super trendy, super stylish… super boring. If I see another colourless, bland, or black and white nursery or child’s bedroom on Pinterest I’m going to slap somebody.

Visual learning is a fundamental facet of a child’s development. To a kid, the world is a fascinating place – so many things to discover and explore. Therefore, it is vital to offer your kids as many opportunities as possible to learn from the environment around them. Why then create these serious, grown-up rooms that lack cheer, playfulness and the general fun that we generally identify with children?!

It is totally possible to create a beautiful room you AND your child will love. Today we are focusing on little girls’ bedrooms. Here are a few handy tips and a handful of gorgeous girls’ room interiors to inspire you…

1

Do colour:

Did you know that, other than instinctive emotions, colour is one of the first external factors a child will react to? Colour plays a considerable role in engaging a child, assisting to both inspire them and pique their curiosity. Then why on earth would we give a child a room devoid of colour? Now I’m not saying your child’s room should like a clown that ate a rainbow but pick an exciting colour scheme that your little girl will love. And by the way – who said girls’ bedrooms should be pink?! Introducing tasteful amounts of colour is not difficult even if you refrain from painting the walls. In fact, white or neutral walls add a sense of open and uncluttered freshness and makes it very easy to transition your little girl’s room into a more grown-up teen room – it’s the blank canvas concept. The colour can be all in the accessories – quirky cushions, cheery bedding, bright rugs, and painted furniture (why no try the ombre effect).

2Do pattern:

It is said that in kid-friendly spaces, there’s no such thing as pattern overload – and I fully agree. Combine stripes and polka dots, florals and prints. Somehow, pattern-on-pattern madness, that would have hurt your eyes in any other room of your house, does not look out of place in a child’s bedroom. My favourite pattern combo for little girls would have to be happy polka dots and pretty florals – cute and feminine! The use of pattern does not have to be restricted to your fabrics – consider an interesting wallpaper, either for a blank wall or a piece of furniture like the front of a chest of drawers or the inside of a bookcase.

3Do DIY:

There are SO many awesome and easy Do-It-Yourself projects on the web – anything from how to make your own bunting to a step-by-step tutorial on how to transform an old TV cabinet into a child’s play kitchen. If you have ten thumbs and DIY is not your bag, at least allow your child to partake in the creation of her room. Have a “decorate my room day” – crafting projects like making paper chains, fabric garlands, or just painting fun artworks is not only easy and entertaining but will add that personal touch to your child’s bedroom… not to mention a sense of accomplishment! Also, think about painting a wall in chalkboard paint – that way your little girl can continuously change an aspect of her room while having a ton of fun!

4Do theme:

Themes can be scary… one can so easily cross the tasteful line and stumble head-first into corny and kitsch. However, choosing a theme can also make the process of decorating your child’s bedroom easier. The most important thing to remember is: don’t overdo it! Sticking a pink princess on every surface is definitely overkill. One can create a perfect princess room without actually using any princess imagery – think child-sized French furniture pieces, a glitzy chandelier, a billowy canopy bed, and velvety pink fabrics. Sounds classy right? We have created such a little girl’s room for one of our clients in the past – princess room without the cheese. Another thing to consider is staying away from stereotypes. Ask your child what theme she wants for her bedroom – the answer might surprise you… I knew a little girl who wanted a racing car room – and her parents pulled it off perfectly without compromising on the room’ s femininity.

5Do play:

This must be the most important thing to remember when decorating your child’s bedroom… just play. Developing your child’s imagination is important, so use your own imagination when you set up her room. Create a space your kid actually wants to spend time in, a space where she can play and discover… not some starchy stiff room. Make your child’s room as interactive and tactile as possible. Create an area for her play-kitchen and her dollhouse (or whatever interests she might have), add a reading nook, build a tree house bed or tent fort – remember your child’s room should be her sanctuary, the place she feels most safe. Set out to design a room your child will have fun in… and please have fun while doing it!