Decor for Living Spaces

A warm welcome to your home
After curb appeal, the next best way to create a welcoming atmopshere in any home is at the entrance. Creating a warm welcome immediately sets the atmosphere for guests and visitors and makes them feel comfortable. We put together a few ideas on decorating an entrance, small or large, that won't cost a fortune and that anyone can do.
How to paint upholstered furniture
I know that there are many readers who will find this project interesting. Having previously posted on painting upholstered furniture, and receiving lots of enquiries on this topic, I thought it might be nice to share another painted upholstery project with you.
Home decor without the hassle
The Internet and online buying has brought about a change in the way we design our home interiors. While previously limited to hiring a professional interior designer, or spending countless hours searching for those perfect items, the Internet makes the process easier and far less hassle.
White with a splash of colour
If you are living in a rental home this article will definitely interest you since we look at decorating with white and adding a splash of colour with accessories, art and soft furnishings. Many people think cold and sterile when thinking of white interiors, but white can be warm and comfortable as well.
Decorate a home to suit your personality
If you feel that your house doesn't quite feel like home, or reflects a style that isn't comfortable that fits in with your lifestyle, perhaps you need to look at adding more personality to your living spaces. Use these tips to create a home that looks beautiful and that connects on an emotional level.
Ikea inspired designs for 2014 - It's all about colour!
The Ikea catalogue for 2014 might offer products that sadly aren't available to us here in South Africa, but that's no reason not to take ideas and inspiration. The new Ikea catalogue is filled with colour, with colour-splashed furniture being the dominating feature. Hone up your upholstery skills and grab your sewing machine... colourful slipcovers and cushions are going to be a feature this year!
Paint a ceiling with metallic paint
Add unexpected drama and elegance to a plain dining room with a metallic ceiling trimmed with pine or supawood moulding. The Plascon Metallic range of paints is an effective way to transform a ceiling into a statement. Gold metallic paint bounces light around the room and adds another dimension to a boring dining room.
Add the beauty of wood furniture to a home
At our DIY Divas workshops we often get asked why we use SupaWood for projects rather than wood. When you consider how our natural resources are strained to the limit, using alternative materials allows our forests to re-seed and recover. Take a look at the hardwoods available for furniture manufacture and you will discover the high price of these materials due to their rarity.
Decorating a home with patterns
Decorating with patterns can be confusing... do striped and floral fabrics go together, or can I add geometric designs with stripes? If you need help adding interest with patterns we offer a few valuable tips.
Decorate a double-volume space
When you live in a property that has a double-volume space it's difficult to know what to put on the walls. There are plenty of townhouses that are designed with a double-volume space, because it's easier for designers and builders to leave out interior walls and slap in a concrete slab for an elevated loft or bedroom. But how do you decorate this high-ceilinged area?
Faux log panel for real or faux fireplace
It might not be winter, but whether you have a real fireplace or a faux fireplace surround, adding a log panel to fill up the hearth adds an interesting feature to a room. Here are a selection of faux log fireplace panels that anyone could make up using found logs and branches and a chop or mitre saw.
How to apply vinyl wall decals
Applying wall vinyl designs to a wall is one way to add interest to a plain wall, or in this case, an empty corner in a room. In this little girl's bedroom, a custom design was printed onto vinyl and then stuck onto the wall. If you aren't good at drawing and painting, using wall vinyl allows you to add creative touches without worrying about how it will look.
Sustainable Christmas trees from the garden
The next time you prune your overgrown trees, think about putting a few select branches to the side to let them dry out. Cut tree branches can be used to make magical Christmas trees for a home, with just a few added fairy lights.
Plywood furniture is big business for kids
Browse the Internet looking for plywood furniture for childrens bedrooms and you will come across plenty of designers, many of whom started out as a home-based business and have gone on to become major furniture producing enterprises. Here in South Africa there is plenty of scope for anyone wanting to start out in exactly the same way.
Decor for the decorating-challenged
If decorating doesn't come naturally, and there are plenty of people who find it difficult to select colour and arrange furniture, setting up a beautiful living space can be a nightmare. In a living room you want to create a space that is comfortable and welcoming, so let's take a look at a few designer tricks to achieve this.
Reclaimed decor for a home
Using reclaimed materials doesn't mean going totally rustic in a home, there are many ways to incorporate reclaimed elements into a contemporary, modern or traditional home that add a unique touch. And when you consider that many of these options are inexpensive - and free if your source yourself - using reclaimed materials makes a lot of sense.
Set up your first apartment or flat
So you finally decided to spread your wings and leave the nest. It's a big step for anyone moving into their first apartment, so we decided to put together a guide of things you will need and how to go about decorating your first apartment - on a budget !
Decorate with wall maps wallpaper
We know that wallpaper has made a big comeback in recent years as a result of digital print technology, but one trend that is popping up all over the world is to decorate a space with wall maps.
How to make an upholstered sofa or couch
Anyone with a few basic DIY skills could make this sofa and it's simply a matter of working out the dimensions for your frame, having the board and foam cut, buying your fabric and fitting, and assembling.
Klaffi folding wall shelf
Imagine a shelf unit that can open or close according to the amount of storage you have. The klaffi up/down shelves can be used singly, or you can add more units to create a wall of storage.
Could you live in 16 square metres?
When an old building was converted into apartments, one apartment in particular was designed with a living space that fits neatly into 16 square metres. I've lived in a townhouse that was 66 square metres and that was a squeeze, but ingenious design has used this space to maximum potential.
Add some bling to your living spaces
Without accessories, a home is pretty much like you would be if you left without any jewellery. Adding bling with accessories is an affordable and fun way to dress up a home for everyday living. So the next time you go shopping for home decor, think about what your home needs for a bit of bling.
Panel screens with venetian blinds
If you need to section or close off an area for privacy, or to slip up and open plan space, a panel screen is an affordable option. Designing a panel screen that incorporates inexpensive plastic venetian blinds not only gives you the privacy you need, you can also adjust the blinds if you need to let in natural light.

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Small converted ceiling living space
Now an open-plan one-bedroom apartment, this building ceiling area was converted into a living space. Rustic beams combine with walnut laminated floors and cabinetry to provide a comfortable and stylish rental opportunity.
Trim plain rugs with a fabric border
A trend that is popping up is natural fibre rugs with an added fabric trim border. This is a great way to transform a plain - and affordable - rug into a feature and tie in your existing room decor at the same time.
Build a fireplace surround with mantel shelf
PG Bison SupaWood, PAR pine and extruded polystyrene moulding are all that you need to make an attractive fireplace surround and mantel shelf for a home. You will find all the tools and materials you need at your local Builders Warehouse.
Pressed ceilings - revived and modernised
Pressed ceilings can be installed in any home to create a dramatic effect and add architectural detailing. Many homes built during the 19th century were fitted with pressed ceilings and there has been increased interest in fitting pressed ceilings to restore these homes, or to add period detail to a modern home.
Small spaces high on style
With smaller townhouse units averaging at 76 metres square, you have to be inventive and creative to make use of a small space. Take a look at these previously cramped homes and see what can be done to increase your living space - no matter how small. These creative ideas show how any small apartment of home can be stylish and comfortable.
Add spring flowers to your home
For me personally spring is the most beautiful time of the year. I love walking around the garden and seeing the new buds burst into new life; watching spring bulbs burst open with colour and taking in fresh scents. An easy way to bring the beauty of spring into your home is with a colourful arrangement of spring flowers.

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Family room makeover
If your family room feels like it's still stuck in the 20th century or looking a bit worse for wear, here's how to give it an affordable makeover. In this feature we look at how easy it can be - and inexpensive - to give your family room a makeover.
Decorate with rugs
Just like art can enhance a wall and create a focal point, so rugs can add interest to a room. The right rug can do more than add interest, it can also add warmth, texture and colour, and simply by changing a rug you can change the whole look and feel of a room.
Wood cladding for interior walls
Here's how to add wood panelling to walls to add a rustic atmosphere to any room in a home, but in this case a bedroom. Using PAR pine planks that you can buy at your local Builders Warehouse, you can create a rustic feature wall with wood stain and a cartridge or two of No More Nails adhesive.
Rustic, modern or contemporary furniture using copper pipe
You don't need to spend a fortune to make these reclaimed timber tables for a home, just some reclaimed timber and copper pipes. You will find copper pipe and joints in the plumbing section at your local Builders Warehouse and then you just need to design your piece and assemble.
Corrugated sheet metal for indoors
Previously considered an inexpensive way to clad a roof, corrugated sheet metal is now popping up in designer homes - and not just as a roofing material. You will find corrugated sheet metal being used as a design element in living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and more...
How do you like your coffee... table?
The coffee table is a decorating staple. Not only does it look good and is practical, it also completes a room setting or arrangement. We've put together a selection of coffee tables so that you can see how good they look in various settings and styles.

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Stylish storage for living spaces
As far as affordable furniture goes, Ikea definitely offers the widest range of options for living room storage. Unfortunately we can't buy Ikea furniture here in SA, but that doesn't mean you can't grab your tools and make your own stylish storage furniture. Here are some tips to guide you...
Welcome guests into your home
With just a few clever decorating tricks you can create an entrance that welcomes guests and looks stunning. Let's start with a bare canvas by removing all the furniture and see where it takes us...
Paint a custom area rug
Painted rugs have become a trend as people realise how easy it is to do. If you use a quality paint and brush it into the pile of the carpet, a painted rug will last reasonably well depending on the amount of traffic, and you can clean by wiping with a lightly damp cloth.
Add colour and texture with an area rug
Make the move from bland and wake up a room with colour. Take a look at how one room is transformed - with a few basic accessories - into a comfortable and welcoming living space. White is the perfect blank canvas for any room, but if you are playing it safe and only adding muted-toned accessories because you are afraid to add colour, see how easy adding colour can be.
One room three ways
Make the move from bland and wake up a room with colour. Take a look at how one room is transformed - with a few basic accessories - into a comfortable and welcoming living space. White is the perfect blank canvas for any room, but if you are playing it safe and only adding muted-toned accessories because you are afraid to add colour, see how easy adding colour can be.
Choosing upholstery fabrics
When doing upholstery projects for DIY-Divas, I often receive enquiries as to what is the best fabric to use for particular projects. Upon choosing fabric for upholstery, you should be aware of its durability, cleanability, and resistance to fading. Here are a few tips to guide you in choosing the right upholstery fabric.

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One-of-a-kind coffee tables for reclaimed timber
These coffee tables can be considered as one-of-a-kind, as no two pieces of timber look exactly the same. All the coffee table designs below are made using salvaged or reclaimed timber.
Beautiful home accents from junk
Sometimes the most innocuous piece of junk can be transormed into a beautiful decor piece for a home. Anything from old shutters and doors, to parquet flooring blocks, gets used in practical ways to create unique home decor and accent pieces.
A home decorated in delicate whites
This divine Swedish apartment is decorated in pure whites throughout. The effect is a small space that feels spacious and has a fairytale atmosphere. Clever layering of textures and a few subtle splashes of colour here and there make the rooms feel anything but sterile.
20 Divine bare brick interiors
Some may find bare brick depressing, but there's a timeless quality to raw brick that endures through decorating styles; from rustic to contemporary, bare bricks walls add an element of texture and architectural detail to a plain room.
4 Easy ways to decorate with wallpaper
You will find a varied selection of wallpaper at your local Builders Warehouse and there are so many ways to use wallpaper in a home - other than on walls. Here are some interesting ways to add a new dimension to your home with a roll of wallpaper.
Before and after makeovers on a budget
Not all home makeovers are about having to spend a fortune on new furniture to achieve that perfect dream home look. Some home makeovers are more concerned with using what you already have and making a few changes here and there.

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Metallic zebra print rug
I have been longing for a zebra print rug for ages and finally bought myself a large piece of canvas dropcloth and some Rust-Oleum Universal metallic in pure gold so that I can make my own zebra print rug. Once you've got the design done, painting and finishing your own zebra print rug is quite easy.
How to stage a home to sell or live in
If you are looking to put your home up for sale, staging a home is one of the ways to not only improve the value of a house, but also to 'set the stage' and make your home look more interesting to buyers.
Top 5 painted stencil rug designs
A trend that is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, especially with today's flexible paints, is to paint a design onto a rug or mat. Thick cotton, sisal and coir mats are reasonably priced and these can so easily be transformed into coordinating flooring using your own colours and patterns.
Easy ways to make a home feel cosy
Looks like we're in for a cold winter, especially if Eskom plans to come through with the hinted-at power outages. Here are some tips on how to keep your home warm and cosy when it's cold outside.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Many homeowners tend to overlook how good mirrors look on a wall, especially when massed en-group. I admit that one large, framed mirror looks great but so does a whole group of mirrors. Here are some ideas for adding more mirrors to your home...
Warm up a home with red
While adding colour doesn't actually add heat, it does make you feel warmer inside. With a power crisis in SA looming on the horizon this winter it's definitely an option to consider before plugging in a heater and using up what little resources we have.

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Living spaces by candice olsen
If I had to come back as an interior designer, it would be as Candice Olsen. Not only does she make every single project look so easy - and achievable - but every room she touches has that undeniable 'candice glam' to it. We teamed up some Candice Olsen designs with Plascon Inspired Paint colours.
Add sizzle to your fireplace
As we move into the colder months many homeowners are taking a closer look at their fireplace and how it's not a feature but more of an eyesore. A centrally positioned fireplace is one of the easiest ways to add a focal point - if it's attractive to look at...
Living room remodel
Giving your living space a makeover it not just about slapping on a coat or two of paint. It's also about careful planning and putting together a budget that allows you to buy what you need, or put your DIY skills to good use and save a bit here and there to afford a few luxuries.
Decorate in modern rustic style
Rustic style is not all about roughly hewn timber fashioned into slabs of furniture - although this furniture can look stunning! Today's take on rustic style is more on looking at ways to incorporate reclaimed or rustic pieces into a modern or contemporary home; furniture that is comfortable and casual - or rustic - without looking like you dragged it in from the trash heap.
DIY home renovations
These types are projects are not done in a weekend but they are projects that can be done by a DIY enthusiast who is prepared to put in the time and effort. With the proper materials, the right tools and some DIY savvy any homeowner can save thousands of rands by tackling a home renovation project, but care must be taken to do a professional job.
The art of arranging furniture
You've bought or rented a new home and now you want to arrange the furniture. While it may come natural to some, not everyone has the talent for knowing what goes where. There are a few basic steps to arranging furniture, so grab a tape measure, notepad and pencil and let's take it step-by-step...

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Decorating a small space
Don't let a small space get your down when it comes to decorating. You can have just as much design fun - it's just about knowing when to stop. Learn to use colour to visually enlarge a small space and mix patterns and textures with panache to customise your small space.
Occasional chairs take the design spotlight
There was a time when a chair was just a chair. Now a chair is a trendy decor accessory that is available in hundreds of shapes, styles and fabrics. But popularity comes at a price, and it's plainly obvious when you take a look at what is being offered that the occasional chair has jumped into the limelight along with a hefty price tag.
Decorating a bedsit or shoebox-size flat
I often receive enquiries from readers - young and old - asking for advice on decorating a bedsitter or shoebox-size single room apartment. While decorating a small space such as a bedsitter might have its limitations, with clever planning and by making use of available resources, there is no reason why a small bedsitter, flat or apartment can look just as good as a large one !
Sofa or sectional lounge suite...?
A great sofa or sectional lounge suite should help set the tone for a room - but first it has to fit through the door. If your space has narrow doorways, tight stairs or other architectural obstacles, try a sectional sofa. With smaller, individual pieces, a sectional can provide ample seating without the hassle of accommodating a large single-piece sofa.
Modern macrame designs
Having previously posted on the possible revival of macrame, I have since come across some wonderfully modern ideas using basic macrame techniques. When you think that all you need is a couple of balls of string or twine to make these designs, macrame is a very affordable way to add unique decor items to a home.
Hand made rugs and poufs
If you thought hand made rugs were old fashioned and boring... think again. Gandia Blasco crafts a range of rugs that are casual, comfortable and contemporary. The hand made rugs and poufs are Inspired by traditional knit motifs in a neutral or bright colour palette. I am inspired to get out my giant knitting needles and give it a try...!

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Design or studio apartment or open plan living
Marie Burgos Design offers insight into how a studio apartment or open plan living space can be beautifully decorated and defined. This studio apartment defines luxurious yet is a practical and affordable design that any apartment dweller can achieve.
In search of the best flooring option
With so many options to choose from, installing flooring is a difficult decision to make, but one best left to the homeowner. The flooring you select for a home not only reflects your personal taste, it will also tie in with your style of decor and your way of life. In the process of trying to decide what flooring would be best for my lounge, I realised how many factors have to be taken into consideration.
Repurpose and upcycle a hot trend
Repurposing or upcycling old furniture and finds has become one of the hottest trends around the world. More and more DIY and craft enthusiasts are discovering the fun in transforming junk and throw-away furniture into practical pieces for a home.
Decorate for less with secondhand finds
Lauren McGrath and her mother, Suzanne co-authored Good Bones, Great Pieces, a decorating book chock-full of sound wisdom regarding how to get your money's worth. Here, they share 13 ways to decorate with a high-low mix of keep-forever antiques and secondhand buys.
Storage and shelving ideas
Storage and shelving is not just about hiding clutter out of sight, it's also about putting on display. Choosing the right storage or shelving for a home is not only about fulfilling your storage needs, but also enhancing your decorating scheme.
Fireplace makeover with Rust-Oleum
When buying a older home you may end up with a fireplace that doesn't fit in with your decor. Ripping out and replacing a fireplace surround can be time consuming and expensive, but there are other ways to fix up a tiled fireplace surround easily and affordably.

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Celebrate in coastal style
Heading down to the coast for the holidays? Don't forget to pack the tree and decorations. It's even worth spoiling the view when you set up the Christmas tree in coastal style, with starfish, seahorses and sailboats.
Visually enlarge a small apartment or flat
This small apartment defies being cramped by removing most the interior walls to create an open plan living arrangement that is spacious - without the loss of privacy. With the interior walls removed, this previously cramped apartment now allows free movement between the living and dining room and other areas in the space, allowing natural light to flow through the open areas.
Dress up a home for the festive season
There is something so magical about a home decorated for the festive season. Perhaps it's memories of a childhood of experiencing a white Christmas, or joy at the sights and sounds of decorations being hung around the home. Whatever feelings this season of the year evokes for you, here are some truly wonderful ideas for decorating a home for the festive season.
The art of natural living... or living naturally
Capture a world of simple pleasures with natural materials, hand-crafted ceramics, cotton fabrics, the nostalgic scent of old roses and the heavenly aroma of lavender. Whether you call it natural living or living naturally reminds of a past forgotten and a yesterday still longed for.
Get the look for less
Home-Dzine is all about affordable home decor and DIY... about giving your home a makeover for less. Here are a few tips on decorating a home on a budget and saving yourself some money in the process.
Whitewashed walls
Whitewashed walls can either look spectacular or hideous. The trick to whitewashed walls is deciding the best way to whitewash walls to match your personal decor style.

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Decorating solutions for small spaces
As development increases, there is a trend towards smaller apartments and townhouses.Trying to fit all your furniture into a small space can be a nightmare and normally results in downscaling to some degree. How do you fit everything into a small space. Read on...
Mid-century chair makeover
There is nothing more satisfying for me than coming across a cheap bargain at a secondhand store or online auction that I can transform into a beautiful piece of furniture.
New life for old furniture
Starting off in your own place for the first time can be difficult. Even if you haven't bought your own place, you still had to put down a hefty deposit with the first month's rent, which leaves very little left over for buying furniture. You can easily ask family for hand-me-downs and turn these into display pieces for your home.
Three uses for canvas dropcloths
Pop into your local Builders Warehouse and you will find a selection of canvas dropcloths in various sizes. Canvas is a durable fabric that is great for both indoor and outdoor projects and in this feature we'll show you how you can use canvas dropcloths for indoor and outdoor decor projects.
Not your average room dividers
As building developers look for ways to reduce the cost of labour and materials, apartments, townhouses and homes are moving towards an open plan design. But not everyone enjoys open plan design, and many end up looking for ways to close off, outline or demarcate spaces. Room dividers are one way of doing this...
Affordable and awesome room divider
How awesome and clever is this rope room divider. I think this is a fantastic way to section off areas within a home without blocking out light or completely closing off sections. Use a couple of rectangular frames and thick rope you can easily make up as many frames as you need for very little cost.

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5 affordable ways to refresh for spring
As the weather warms up and we open windows wide to let cool soft breezes into our homes, it's also perhaps time to take a look around and see what other areas need to be refreshed. Living in the same room year after year can become dull and ordinary, and yet it's so simple to spruce up rooms with a few small - and affordable - touches.
Where to find bargain buys on the Internet
I'm always posting about reclaimed this and repurposed that, but where do you find this stuff. I have mentioned Gumtree and Bid or Buy, but have you visited Moving On? This site has some of the most unbelievable junk for sale - items that no one in their right mind would want... or would they!
Transforming a living space
Jenna Halvorsen is a stay-at-home mom who transformed her living space to make it a more comfortable space, and to create a play space for her young son. See how she transforms a living room on a limited budget with a few carefully selected accessories.
Decorate with neutrals
Whether you are decorating for spring, or starting off in a new place, there's no denying that neutrals offer the perfect canvas for any style of decorating. Add a splash of bold colour for a modern look, keep it plain and simple for minimalist style, or work in earthy tones for a natural setting that works with contemporary, modern or minimalist.
Reclaimed timber furniture
As we look for natural alternatives in our manufactured world, there is definitely a place for furniture that uses reclaimed materials. Nightwood manufactures a range of furniture using reclaimed timber, which might not be to everyone's taste, but definitely has its place.
Affordable decor tricks for a room makeover
Need to give a room a makeover? The difference really is, as they say, in the details - in this case, a few accessories. So don't think that you have to spend a fortune to give any room in your home a makeover. There are so many ways that you can save here and there and have money left over if you want to splurge on something special.

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Dress up a bare wall with wall decals
Wall Decals and Wall Murals are one of this season´s biggest home decor trends and can be used to transform almost any room in your home. If you are looking to put a stylish and affordable finishing touch to any room in your home, then wall decals or wall murals are the perfect choice!
Just a little paint...
Whilst some of the room makeovers do involve a bit more that just paint, it's also pretty obvious the difference that a coat or two of paint can make. Take a look at some of the room makeovers to see what a difference paint and accessories can make to a boring room...
How to style a bookcase
A well-styled bookcase can transform a bare room, especially when filled with books, collectibles and decor accessories. There are a few design tricks that you can use when styling a bookcase and look top tips on how to style a bookcase.
Decorating ideas for an entrance
While not every home or apartment has the luxury of an entrance hall, you still want guests to feel welcome when entering your home. All it takes is a few personal touches here and there to spice up and make guests feel welcome.
Transform a rented house into a home
When you live in a rental home, chances are your rental agreement doesn't allow for any changes, not even a nail in the wall. Although you can overcome this with a little crackfiller when you leave, what else can you do to transform a rental property into a home?
Using the space under stairs
Living in a double-storey apartment with loft, townhouse or house means that you have a staircase for access to the upper level. In many apartments and homes, these staircases are located within the living or dining space. Here are some ideas for making good use of space beneath a staircase for storage or decorative display.

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Staircase ideas
When living in a double-storey townhouse or apartment, standard staircases fitted off-plan are usually as basic as they get. Timber beams and steps stained to match skirtings, windows and doors. But you don't have to live with standard fitted options when there are so many ways to dress up a staircase.
Warm up a home for winter
This week the temperature took a dive and, as the days grow shorter and colder, it's time to start thinking of ways to heat your home. With the cost of electricity constantly increasing, most homeowners are looking for alternative heating methods that are not only more environmentally friendly, but also more cost-effective.
A living space refreshed on a budget
Are you under the impression that white must be banished from a family home? Homeowner Amanda, who, along with her husband, Scott, is the proud parent of three young sons, proved that with thoughtful planning and wise purchasing, stylish rooms and family living can co-exist peacefully.
Decorating a rented home
Just because you have to live in a rental home does not mean that it has to look like a rental home!   We explore a couple of ideas on how to make your rental more homely without getting into trouble or blowing your budget.
A warm home for winter
Adding a few select accessories can change a cool summer room into a cosy and warm winter cave - perfect for hibernation during the colder months of the year.
Got the itch to move?
It's not uncommon for homeowners to get the itch to move when they've been in their house awhile. While just picking up and moving isn't an option for most of us, there's another approach that people are taking: Refreshing their house to create a high-impact, high-style look, but doing it in a way that's cost effective.

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Affordable interior design and decor
Interior designer, Sue Adams, shares some of her tips on creating a designer look for home interiors - without breaking the bank!
Live a style that is relaxed and comfortable
As the pace of life seems to speed up, many of us are looking for ways to take a step or two back in time to when life was less complicated and living was more relaxed.
Townhouse living - compact and secure
Townhouse developments continue to lead the way in the property market and many previous house property owners are downsizing to townhouse living, not only for increased security but also for the complete lifestyle that many developments offer to residents.
Designer knock-offs
I absolutely love the West Elm look. Based in the US and not available to South African surfers, their range of furniture is easy to knock-off if you are looking for DIY furniture ideas.
Designer looks without the price tag
Whether you've signed a lease agreement or purchased a house, moving into your first home is an exciting time. For many people, it's their first opportunity to express their personal style by decorating their own space.
Choose a natural clay brick floor
Since writing my first article, brick floors definitely seem to be a consideration for home floors, whether in a kitchen, bathrooms, or any room in a home. Clay brick is by far the most affordable flooring option and is available in a wide selection of colours, from light to dark.

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Is open plan living right for you?
So many of us aspire to the benefits that open plan layouts bring – light, flow, informality – but don’t understand the practicalities. Here's how to make it work.
Summer's fan fare
As the summer days - and nights heat up - how are you going to keep the South African heat at bay?
Decor tips for newly weds
In the midst of the joyful experience of merging your life with another, it is disconcertingly easy to fall into marital discord over issues of furniture and decor. Learn to navigate the potential conflicts of merging two households.
Get a home ready for sale
With the property market starting to pick up, many homeowners are now considering the move rather than improve option. But before calling in an estate agent, take the time to make a good impression and increase the selling potential of your property with a few quick and easy projects ...
Get inventive when decorating a rental
You've just moved into a new flat and you love it. But what can you do about all those bare walls? Whilst most rental agreements won't allow you to drill into the walls, there are ways to decorate your new place without picking up a hammer.
Tips on arranging furniture in a lounge
If you're not sure how to place furniture in a lounge or open plan living area, here are a selection of designer tips on how to arrange furniture...

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It's not always in black or white
Maximise your decorating with the use of white and black to create stunning and dramatic rooms. Black and white are perfect accent colours for any decorating style.
Where to mount the TV
If you've gone to the expense of buying a flat screen TV - why hide it! I don't see why a TV can't be the focal point, especially if you watch a lot of TV, and let's be honest - many do. So, here are some options for designing a room with the TV as a focal point - or not !
Decorate with animal prints
Definitely not something new, animal prints have been around for some time and continue to be used 'sparingly' in interior decorating. There are those that love to use animal prints in their home, and those that hate them. And before anyone hits me over the head with a club, we are talking 'faux' animal prints!
Carpeting a home
Along with paint, carpet can be one of the easiest ways to personalise an environment. Its colour can be a neutral foundation or a vibrant focal point. Carpets are quick and easy to install, allowing a homeowner considerable scope for fashionable creativity - whether they are used in a wall-to-wall design or in combination with other flooring surfaces.
Advice on staging a home
By introducing innovative ideas and support in presenting your property, and by looking carefully at current trends in the property market, home staging will help you to sell your home faster.
Colours that sell a home
When decorating a home for sale - or staging a home - one of the most important rules of thumb is to view your home from a buyer's point of view. Apart from furnishing, the wall colours you choose have a big impact on how a room feels.

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Are you ready for open plan living?
When you think modern living, the first thing that comes to mind is large open spaces.An open plan design offers efficient utilization of available space, with different areas blended together as a single space, and is the perfect solution for homes.
Design a dream home
With hopes of an improved economy in the second half of this year, many young couples are going to be looking for their dream home. Designing your dream home with only the developer's floor plan for reference can be overwhelming. Here's a guide to making even the most difficult design decisions with all the confidence of a pro.
Use mirrors in the home
Mirrors are one of the most elegant, practical and affordable decorating tools. They blend well in any interior, whether your decor style is traditional or contemporary. Mirrors can give the illusion of depth to a flat wall, light to a dull corner, and space to a small room.
Add colour to a rental home
Give your home a bold injection of optimism with furniture and accessories in vivid colours. Set strong colours against a raw or neutral-coloured wall. Or why not mix and match accessories in strong colours? The trick is to group objects and not scatter them around. This way, it will feel uplifting. Not overwhelming.
There's always hope!
I am sure that many of you have seen - or heard of - Colin and Justin's makeovers. With a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour, Colin and Justin transform homes or horror into divine dream homes.
Work magic with mirrors
Do your rooms feel small and dark? It's easy to cheat your space with mirrors. Simply hang them cleverly and your rooms will look bigger, brighter and a whole lot nicer.

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How to create more space in a small home
Trying to accommodate a growing family in a compact townhouse, flat or apartment can be a paramount challenge. Here are some tips to create space.
Accessorise with white
Using white in interior decorating seems to come and go, but it remains the freshest and cleanest look around. If you’re looking to add white to your home to give it a fresh new feel, consider the following ideas.
Bookcases for more than storage
We all need storage in a home and some need it more than others, especially if they enjoy reading or collecting. Bookcases can be used for more than storage. Today's modern bookcases are designed to be an integral part of any room, and can even become a feature of the room.
Glam up your living spaces
Luxurious fabrics, sparkly accessories and reflective surfaces can create a space that is nothing short of glamorous!
Downsize to a smaller home
It’s not always a situation that is easy to accept, but by making the most of the available space you can transform any house into a home. Make use of a virtual planner such as FloorPlanner.com to assist in arranging furniture in your new space.
Heat up and add atmosphere
Adding a fireplace to a room not only create an architectural feature, it also warms up a home. With eco-friendly and green options on everyone's mind, natural gas and electrical heating is definitely at the bottom of the list.

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Tips for installing a fireplace
There is nothing more cosy or romantic than snuggling up in front of an open fire on a cold winter’s day. It is no wonder then that fireplaces have become a key element in modern homes today – they can be used to generate heat, create an inviting ambience and set a romantic mood.
How to use mirrors to best effect
In a small space, everything counts! That’s the main idea behind this article, and how to make a small room look bigger - with some clever tricks.
How to spot a fake!
Certain repairs, such as re-caned seats or new upholstery, won't necessarily degrade an antique. But pieces lose value when the wood has been refinished, and artificial patinas are undesirable. True patinas, built up through years of use and polishing, exhibit a warm and variable surface.
Create a comfortable home
Certain repairs, such as re-caned seats or new upholstery, won't necessarily degrade an antique. But pieces lose value when the wood has been refinished, and artificial patinas are undesirable. True patinas, built up through years of use and polishing, exhibit a warm and variable surface.
Tips for arranging furniture
Where you place your furniture in a room sets the tone for how you’ll live in that room. Here are tips for arranging spaces for chatting, watching TV or relaxing.
Living with low ceilings
Got low ceilings? Chances are, you’ve got low spirits too. After all, there are few design problems as confounding as how to make a room feel bright, spacious and inviting when ceilings are low and oppressive. So what steps can you take to improve the look and feel of a room with ceilings so low you can touch them?

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A TV as part of your living space
Ever larger screens, a multitude of wires and cables we’d rather keep out of sight, more and more electronics – whether in the living room or home theatre, properly integrating a television and audio video equipment presents a definite challenge.
Adding colour to rooms
Even small doses of colour can make a huge difference to a room, if it's done with style and pizzazz!
Living large in small rooms
These days, higher property prices could mean that you may have to start your climb up the property ladder with a relatively small space to come home to. With some organization, however, you can survive (and even thrive) - no matter how small your new home.
A new look for summer
If you find that your living spaces are feeling a bit down in the dumps, perhaps it's time to freshen up with subtle colours. There is a growing trend for our living spaces to be simpler, pared down and offering relief from the pressures and anxieties of the outside world.
Energise your home
Inject personality, colour and style into your home with the wide range of textiles, wallcoverings and decorating options available to South African homeowners.
Nature-inspired home
If the words "nature-inspired decor" make you think of muted wall hues or overwrought floral fabrics, it's time to rethink your take on this hot design trend.

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Choosing the perfect sofa
Although comfort is one of the most important factors when buying a new sofa, there are many other things to consider. Read on for some practical tips on how to find the perfect sofa for you and your home!
Is it cheaper to reupholster than buy new?
To reupholster, or not to reupholster - that is often the question when thinking about redecorating, buying new furniture, or poking around antique stores. Is it worth it to put money and time into giving an old sofa or chair a fresh outlook? If all springs point to yes, where do you go from there?
Give your home a new look
Instead of getting out the dusters and cleaning equipment, why not use the time to give your home a makeover instead. Spring is just around the corner and you can combine decorating with spring cleaning - and get the two tasks done at the same time!
Bring summer into your home with fresh flowers
It may be winter, with the windy snapping at the trees and the cold chill through doors and windows, but that doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful display of fresh, colourful flowers in a home. In fact, there's even more reason to...
How to wall mount a flat screen TV
Mounting a flat screen TV onto the wall is one way to free up valuable floors space in a room. It's also a great way to hang the TV out of the way when you have young children - it provides a sense of safety, as heavy and expensive electronics are up and out of the way.
Decorate a home for the holidays
If shopping early makes the holidays less stressful, then planning early for decorating your home brightens the family's mood and makes this time of year more fun.

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How to decorate a rental home
It's nice to know that there are ways to decorate a rental home and, while this can be a challenge, the idea is to spend the least amount of money on items that get left behind when you move. Here are some ideas to put to good use when renting a home...
A small home that's big on style
Every centimetre of this home has been transformed into an elegant living area with enough storage - and even display space!
One sofa - three combinations
Three quick and easy ways to add colour to a room - the same room - using different colour combinations. Try this trick the next time you want to add a new look to your lounge or living space.
Refresh your home
Many homeowners foregoing the usual annual vacation will be looking for ways to have a holiday at home. They say that, "A change is as good as a holiday", so here are some affordable and quick makeovers you can do for that "holiday' feeling.
Staircase gets a makeover
As you can see from the before image (top right), the staircase was natural oak. Dated and dreadful. NOT the first impression I ever wanted to give my guests. Replacing it with European style iron railing was the cost of an new car. What was a girl to do?
Room to move
A home can never have enough storage – it always seems that the number of possessions we have in our homes is slightly more than there is room for in our cupboards.

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Make an entrance
Your front door is more than practical, it's also a first impression. Make sure that you front door gives the right impression!
Decorate with items you already have
Turn the style you have into the style you want. Check out our ideas on how to create a stunning room by making the most of the furniture and accessories you already own.
Smart ways to heat a home
I recently came across an environmentally friendly open fireplace. What makes this fireplace so user-friendly and easy to install is the fact that it does not even require any installation or utility connection for fuel supply, as it runs on Denatured Ethanol - a renewable energy that burns clean.
Choose the right carpet for the right room
Carpets add comfort and warmth to your home, providing a luxurious, yet durable foundation for your décor and lifestyle.
Beautiful investment
Many homeowners are looking at antiques as investment pieces that offer their home a one-of-a kind look. Some are stepping out of the box by using special pieces beyond their original intention. And more and more are incorporating antiques into their modern-style homes, creating a more eclectic look by mixing the old and new.
Storage ideas for living spaces
There are so many wonderful ways to add storage to a living room. The only problem that we are faced with here in SA, is to find a local supplier. Ah well, if all else fails you could always make some of these yourself.

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Home theatre tips for DIYers
If you'd rather watch movies at home than go to the theatre, you're not alone. If the idea of having your own home theatre is appealing, you don't have to pay pros to do the job for you. You can enjoy a home theatre experience without the expense of professional installation by doing it yourself.
Add privacy with doors
There's more to these doors than meets the eye. If you need to create extra privacy in your home, look at inspiring ways to incorporate doors - without hinges!
 

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