Inspired by Expo

So, every year I patiently wait for the Homemakers Expo. This is your typical end consumer fair and is somewhere in between fabulous! and good value for money. Got it?

Some great trends being presented by the some design houses and then some craftsman. There was definitely a very raw, natural feel coming from many of the displays.

Raw natural look decor

Left: InHouse Furniture Right: Interior Concepts InVogue

InHouse Decor and Interior Concepts show us how do incorporate the raw wood feel with wooden stumps into furniture of the home. A beautiful lamp base and a coffee table/ stool are shown here. The trick is that the wood needs to be treated in order not to deteriorate over time and also be sanded down very well. I suggest you leave this one up to the experts. These items are slowly becoming more well priced.

Light Box wall art left and funky shelving concept right

Light Box wall art left and funky shelving concept right

Tuis/Home shows us how lovely little trinkets can be displayed (right) and a new type of wall art is shown by means of light boxes where you can customize the graphics you use.

When I saw these re purposed wooden creatures, I knew I had to have them. Sadly I cannot remember who they are made by! Maybe comment and let me know?

Repurposed wooden look creatures

Repurposed wooden look creatures

 

Read more on the expo here.

Bringing the outdoors in

I am always inspired by the sheer size and the work that goes into the national gardens around the world, but let’s face it, space is becoming a rarity and we need to make the most of the space that we have got – and what better way to do that than with style! Let’s have a look at some new ways of bringing the outside – inside – with some hanging gardens in the home.

Mini cactus garden in glass

Mini cactus garden in glass from etsy.com

Here we look at some examples of space saving techniques using glass with these hanging and wall mounted “gardens”. The wonderful thing about glass (especially clear glass) is that it gives a subtle presence by giving focus to the inspiration within, but yet it is the silent hero of decor. The trick is to choose a succulent plant that will not grow too large, but it will need plenty of sunlight and little water. You will also need to feed the plant with a liquid food as it will not have much room for root expansion.

I came across some inspiring glass planters in the shape of fruit and there are plenty that are made of stained glass too. Planting in these vessels can be a bit tricky, so be careful not to cut yourself.

Glass planters wall mounted

Glass planters wall mounted

Then you can also look into these plants that can grow in water – I am not too clued up on this, but I know certain bamboo variants can grow in water, but you will of course need to feed them and replace with fresh water regularly. Rather consult your local gardening center for more information.

The trend at the current moment is what I call the “pot-less hanging plant”. A plant based textile is used to wrap the ball of roots and soil and then bound with string. The trick to keeping these plants alive is quite similar to most indoor plants – lots of natural light, do not over water (once a week submersion for 20 minutes in winter and twice a week in summer) and do not forget to feed with liquid plant food every two weeks.

Hanging moss planter

Hanging moss planter – image from IdeasRealised

Happy planting!

Feature walls

Visit any home and you will most definitely find a feature wall. Although many of you may think it’s a relatively new feature of the modern home, this ain’t so, but I think it is just that there are now so many options!

Almost anything can now be put onto the wall, from stone cladding, to wood panels, wall paper, foam wall tiles, and for those more artistic, the more traditional murals and mosaics.

Modern looks are done with foam tiles, wooden panels like the below, and wall art.

Inspiration from Meklo.co.za for bedroom feature walls

Inspiration from Meklo.co.za for bedroom feature walls

If you prefer a more classic look, perhaps stick to the stone, wood or mural look. This is something you want to be done by a professional for the most part, but things to consider when you are doing this yourself. The wall needs to be pitted when doing stone finish, and the size of the stone pieces need to be carefully considered, based on the size of the wall. The below wall I wanted at the end of the passage, and was done with old wine crates. The wood is great as it has maximum character and is a repurposing of old materials.

Wooden wall cladding with photographs on

Wooden wall cladding with photographs on

Foam panels are a great, lightweight product and they come in the most wonderful 3 dimensional patterns. We careful that you choose a large wall in a big room as art like this can make rooms appear small.

Any type of feature wall is great for entrances and for displaying art or photographs, turning it into your personal showpiece. See below the amazing wall that has been done with leather  – amazing Studioart!

Studioart black leather wall tiles

Studioart black leather wall tiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Images from Meklo and Studioart**

 

Repurposed Pallet Furniture

I recently helped in organizing a launch at the company I work for and part of the task was to organize the event furniture. Having some help from a colleague in my office, we had a look at the furniture available for rental. Boy, how things have changed in the past few years. I have heard about people making their own furniture out of crates, but it seems to be a DIY trend in the making….

Pallet Furniture

Furniture is being fashioned from recycled pallets and looks amazing

People are making everything from coffee tables, to chairs and even staircases. This is a great way of repurposing old materials, BUT, the truth is that you probably wouldn’t want to use old materials to make these kinds of structures. The wood has to still be solid and sound, so unless you wish to specifically get the look of a pallet (which you would need to buy new by the way and would be hard to find unless you have connections), you are better off just buying some raw pine wood from your local DIY shop. Either that, or you will find someone who has taken advantage of this trend and decided to retail this style of furniture.

My tips would be, make use of wood that is not too thin, is not too raw or rough, considering whether it is in contact with skin or not, and wood that is unmarked or unbranded.

We welcome this new trend to Decor Design Ideas because it’s refreshing!

Pallet or crate furniture

Pallet table and couch make for stylish decor

**Pallet furniture from Inspire Furniture**

 

 

 

Choosing a tap for your bathroom

I bet if you have never gone through the process of a renovation or building a home, you would think, “How complicated can it be to choose a tap?”. Well myself, working for a premium tap manufacturing wholesaler, knows that it isn’t always simple. Have a look at the interview featured on Signature Living (DSTV, Home Channel 176) for some practical tips of choosing bathroomware and some of the current inspirational bathroom products.

 

Faux fauna & flora

So, just because you are an animal lover doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the majestic beauty that the imagery of nature brings to a home. Having been a vegetarian myself, I was often challenged by that beautiful cow skin rug and the sheepskin throw, BUT I can happily say that I have not given in and you don’t have to either now that faux taxidermy and textiles are all the rage.

Faux Taxidermy

Faux Taxidermy *Credit Amazon & CraftyGentleman.net*

The different types of faux we can find I would categorize into:

  • fur – being the skin rugs and throws;
  • flowers – made from paper, beads or ceramics
  • fauna – taxidermy of animals using paper, moulds and beads

 Fur
Although generally synthetic, there are the most amazingly luxurious throws and blankets being produced at a price that you can now afford! And you do not have to feel bad. From faux wool to bear and fox fur, you can find almost anything… and they look and feel heavenly!

Flowers
There is nothing more beautiful than an orchid in bloom, but you would be surprised at the plastic, beaded, ceramic and paper flowers that are on the market these days. They often look better than the real thing and the bonus is that they don’t die.

Faux orchids, ceramic flowers & faux bear fur

Faux orchids, ceramic flowers & faux bear fur


Fauna

So, by fauna, I was alluding to the the idea of the poor woodland creatures that are hunted and then put up on a wall. Obviously taxidermy doesn’t stop there as it includes all sorts of other creatures. The new faux taxidermy comes in all sorts of materials from paper, to beading and textiles. What is awesome about the new trend of faux taxidermy is that it includes all sorts of imaginary animals too, like unicorns, giant squid tentacles and hell, even the rear end of a beaver! Loving the creativity shown here by The Crafty Gentleman.

You can now be kind to animals and decorate your home with faux fur, flowers and furry friends.

Inspired by the simple life

Fynbos Header

This past week took me on a journey to the Cape Winelands where I stayed in a stone cabin in Tulbagh for 4 days. While I went there in part to find myself, I also found that the simple, nature inspired means of building is in fact very beautiful, but also very, very clever.

Use what you have around you – this is how our ancestors have been doing it for thousands of years and perhaps we should take a page from that age old book and incorporate this into our own lives, especially if it looks this beautiful?

The cabin I stayed in was, as mentioned, made of stone. This type of stone is clearly indigenous to this area as the ground is saturated with it. It would in fact be very easy to gather up enough of the correct size to accommodate a small cabin like this of 30 square meters or so.

Raw wood trusses

Raw wood trusses inspired by the simple life

The next thing that caught my eye was the natural, raw wooden trusses used for the pitched, open ceiling. They are finished in a clear varnish, which I think shows off the rustic nature quite nicely. The poles appear to be made from the either pine or blue gum (the latter I think is more likely). The retreat is running an alien tree removal program, which making using these flora species all the better for building materials – bonus!

The last little feature, I thought quite the splash of luxury – excuse the pun. The little 2 x 1 m splash pool is built into the patio and works by a simple “fill when needed, empty when not needed principle”. At the time when I though about it, I thought, “Gosh, that doesn’t seem all that eco-friendly, now does it?” But when I thought about it some more, I realised that if you are using it a few times a year with your own source of water (either borehole or a spring), you can simply and inexpensively use a small pool like this to cool down instead of an air-conditioner, right? I think so…

*Images are of cabins at Blue Butterfly Retreat in Tulbagh*

Splash pool inspired by the simple life

Splash pool inspired by the simple life