Did you know that this coming Sunday, the 9th of October, is South Africa’s very first official “Garden Day“? No? Well, neither did I.
Luckily, our gal SuzelleDIY brought this fact to my attention while I perusing her latest DIY videos. In celebration of Garden Day, Suzelle show us how to make a fun garden swing out of old wooden pallets.
Now to be honest, I have had my fill of pallet-related DIYs and furniture designs. The whole pallet idea was fun and unusual when it first started trending a good few years ago. It also played right into the extremely popular Industrial design style which further boosted the pallet fad’s popularity. Like with most quirky fads, everyone jumped on the pallet DIY bandwagon. My Pinterest feed was filled with hundreds of pallet furniture and decor ideas. Some were brilliant and beautiful, but unfortunately most were tacky and unrefined. I soon grew tired of the fad.
That being said, I can still appreciate a clever pallet DIY idea – especially if its use is appropriate to the space and home style, and if it is refined and well thought through. Suzelle’s Pallet Swing ticks all those boxes which is why I am sharing it with you today! It is a fun and playful idea for the garden or backyard and the design is uncomplicated and tasteful. The addition of pretty bunting and colourful cushions makes for a happy and inviting scene!
Sigh, wish I had a tree branch big and strong enough to accommodate such a fun swing in my garden! I can already envisage myself spending hours on it reading and sipping refreshing cocktails.
Have a happy Garden Day this Sunday guys!
P.S. Marianne – I like your leggings!
Are you in the mood to do something a little unusual with your space… a bit daring even? Here is an atypical home trend you might want to try: painted ceilings. And no, I definitely DO NOT mean white – or off-white for that matter! I’m talking bold, bright, unapologetic colour!
Think about it. We decorate and colour-in our floors, walls and everything else, yet our ceilings remain a large unused stretch of open real-estate. Consider it as a fifth wall – another blank canvas to be painted.
Image Source: Justina Blakeney
Painting the Fifth Wall:
While a white-painted ceiling is the traditional and safe choice, it is also predictable and boring. It has been the norm for far too long! Giving your ceiling a fresh lick of paint is an unexpected and playful approach to add colour and interest to your interior without overwhelming the space.
It is said that a white ceiling appears higher and brighter, while a coloured ceiling appears lower. However, if the colour and application thereof is chosen with care it can actually make your ceiling look higher. It is therefore important to select the right colour and shade that will best suit en compliment your space.
Image Source: Magnus Anesund
Things to Keep in Mind When Painting Your Ceiling:
⊗ Height: If you are brave enough to opt for a very bright or dark painted ceiling, you have to ensure that you have the appropriate ceiling height. The last thing you want is to feel claustrophobic. The ceiling should preferably be 2.7m or higher if you want to prevent the room from feeling like it is closing in on you.
⊗ Colour Balance: If you choose to paint your ceiling in a coloured tone or darker shade, consider keeping your walls light or neutral to avoid colour overload. Light will cause the colour on your ceiling to reflect and bounce unto your walls. So, ideally one should pair a painted ceiling with white to create a beautiful contrast and a pleasing balance.
⊗ Light: Make sure your space has an abundance of natural light. Painting the ceiling of a dark room with little natural light will make it look like a cave.
Image Source: 47ParkAvenue
Different Painted Ceiling Configurations to Try:
⊗ The “Broad Brush”: Walls and ceilings are painted the exact same colour. This seamless effect, where walls flow directly into ceiling without interruption, creates a sense of completion and a feeling that you are enveloped by colour. This works best with lighter shades and gentle hues.
⊗ The “One-Shade Darker”: The ceiling is painted the same colour as the walls but one or two tones darker. This effect gives your room an almost ombré, paint chip / deck effect. Use light to light-medium tones.
⊗ The “Kickstand”: The ceiling and a single wall is painted the same colour. This effect elevates the walls and ceiling by drawing the eye up the painted wall towards the ceiling. Here you can attempt a brighter colour for a playful and unusual room feature.
⊗ The “Ceiling with a Skirt”: The ceiling and cornice is painted in the same colour. You can also extend the paint effect further downwards to create a broad skirt or band of colour all around the walls of your room. This effect adds a sense of snug intimacy and cosiness.
⊗ The “Contrast”: The ceiling is painted in a bright or vivid pop of colour paired with white walls and mouldings to create a bold contrast. Be warned – this option is not for the faint of heart.
10 Colourful Spaces That Will Make You Want To Paint Your Ceiling:
Image Source: Apartment Therapy
Image Source: BHG
Image Source: Lonny
Image Source: Design Sponge
Image Source: Coco Kelley
Image Source: Hus & Hem
Image Source: SG Style
A few months ago in our post, Trend Alert: Black Metal, you might recall that I mentioned “Factory Windows” in passing. The particular post was about the widespread popularity and diverse use of “Black Metal” in interiors, homeware and fixtures.
At the time I felt that the revival and reappropriation of Factory Windows is currently such an amazing phenomenon and beautiful interior trend that it deserved a Trend Alert post of its own…
What is a Factory Window?
Let’s first establish what I mean by “Factory Window”. A Factory Window is a big steel-framed, multi-pane window that was often used in factories, industrial buildings and warehouses in the early to mid 19th century (and before).
These windows were popular for two rather practical reasons:
Firstly, the steel grid or “muntins” provided a solid structure to create a much larger window than was the norm of the time. Its size provided an abundance of natural light for the factory workers labouring inside.
Furthermore, small pane windows are not only more affordable to produce but also cheaper to replace. If one pane of glass breaks you only have to replace that one pane and not the entire window.
A Factory Window Revival:
While the resurgence of factory windows is definitely not a new trend – it has been circulating for a few years now – it seems that its popularity has reached a peak.
I cannot read an interior blog or browse through my Pinterest feed without seeing a dozen images of factory windows being used in (un)usual ways. I mean, what is an Industrial styled loft without a stunning (and appropriate) factory window?!
I believe it is precisely due to the eclipsing popularity and longevity of the Industrial interior style that factory windows are currently such a runaway success.
Vintage vs Faux Factory Windows:
The “real deal” vintage steel factory windows would of course be first prize. Many salvage yards and second-hand dealers sell reclaimed building materials from refurbished or demolished buildings. Here in Cape Town for instance, one only has to drive down the Woodstock or Salt River main road to spot vintage windows and doors stacked up on various thrift shop sidewalks.
However, if you can’t manage to get your hands on reclaimed factory windows, there is no shame in “faking it”. Many homeowners and designers choose to have factory-like steel windows custom-made to fit their specific space and purpose. This can however be a costly exercise.
It is for that exact reason that many opt to recreate the factory window effect using wood. Once the window grid has been constructed from square pieces of timber and has been painted in the desired colour, no one will know the difference.
Factory Windows Used as Shower Doors & Screens:
We have spotted one more curious use for factory windows – this time in the bathroom. Instead of using the standard, manufacturer’s glass doors and screens one can use factory windows to enclose a shower. A similar effect can be created by using steel French windows and doors.
Bathrooms are excellent, yet often underutilised, spaces to create decorative features and focal points. Factory windows will add an interesting vintage industrial flavour to your bathroom.
Bright & Colourful Factory Windows:
While black is the colour one immediately associates with the Factory Window trend, it is not necessarily mutually exclusive. Yes, the contrast of inky black against stark white walls – particularly in a monochromatic Scandinavian type interior – is beautiful.
However, a white painted window frame can work just as well, especially if your space has a softer colour scheme or if you are trying to avoid a standout feature. Another popular choice is grey – be it a soft dove grey or a darker gunmetal grey or charcoal. Grey as a colour choice is very much in keeping with that of an Industrial Style colour palette without being as harsh as black.
If however you want to add a playful facet to your home, you can consider painting your factory windows in a bright colour. Sunny yellow and shades of blue are excellent options that will add a happy element to your space.
SuzelleDIY Versus Justina Blakeney: a DIY Face-off
While watching the Justina’s video I recalled that SuzelleDIY did a similar DIY last year. In fact, this particular DIY is Suzelle’s most watched video with over two million views. Both videos centre around cement cinder blocks and how you can use them to create quirky outdoor features that will spruce up your garden.
So let’s have a little DIY face-off shall we! Here are both Suzelle and Justina’s cinder block DIYs – you tell me which you prefer….
How to Make a Cinder Block Bench:
Suzelle used her cinder blocks to create an outdoor planter bench. She had the right idea by inviting Marianne to help the bench take shape as those big cement bricks can be quite heavy.
Suzelle taped off sections of each cement brick and applied colourful spray paint to the exposed sections.
Alternating the direction in which the blocks are stacked, Suzelle managed to create not only seating space with flower planters above but also handy little cubby holes to store gardening tools.
It is a good idea to use cement glue to fix the blocks together as Suzelle suggested. The last thing you want is your bench falling apart while someone is sitting on it. #safetyfirst
Lastly, Suzelle planted some happy flowers in the cinder block holes and added seat cushions and quirky scatters to her bench to jazz it up.
How to Make a 80s-Inspired Outdoor Planter:
In Justina’s DIY clip, which took inspiration from the style of the 80s, she creates a stacked cinder block planter.
Like Suzelle, Justina also opted to paint part of her cinder blocks in bright and bold colours. Both ladies chose a triangle shaped design which allows the rough cement texture and colourful paint to form a nice contrasting effect.
It looks like Justina did a proper job. She used three coats of outdoor paint on her bricks which is far brighter and more durable than Suzelle’s quick spray paint job.
Justina also took the time to create wire mesh “baskets” to insert into her cinder block that will ensure that the plants have sufficient support and drainage. However, the process of cutting the wire mesh to size sure seemed tedious and unnecessarily laborious. Can you imagine repeating that process half a dozen times?
What appeals to me about both Suzelle and Justina’s creations is that something as uninspiring as a heap of cinder blocks can be transformed, with minimal effort and money, into a quirky and happy garden feature.
Like Suzelle said: “D.I.Y? Because anybody can make outdoor furniture out with regular ugly (and disgusting) cinder blocks…”