The Rug Report

I love rugs! They are an absolute game changer in an interior and can totally transform a space. I love how they can define a room or area or add that bit of pattern and colour that takes a room from bland to wow!

There are some factors one should consider when choosing the right rug for your space…

There is a school of thought that dictates that the feet of your furniture should be ON the rug, and if you have a rug in your bedroom, the rug should be under your bed so that you step directly onto something soft from your bed. As a designer I do agree in this thinking as sometimes a rug can look a bit insignificant if used incorrectly or leave a room ‘floating’, BUT I do also think that rugs are such a good layering tool and introduce so much more to a space than the practicalities that if you love it, use it! Layering is totally on point, so if you have a favorite rug that is just a tad too small, put it on top of a larger contrasting one and you are good to go! Here are some images that will hopefully aid you in deciding the right size rug for your space….

All the furniture 'legs' are on!
All the furniture ‘feet’ are on!
See how the chairs are all properly on the rug...
In a dining room it is best for your chairs to still be on the rug when pulled out from the table….
Step out of bed onto a rug. A rug at the foot of the bed also looks good
Step out of bed onto a rug. A rug at the foot of the bed also looks good


Another consideration when choosing a rug is pattern. I just love a patterned rug and have seen the benefits time and time again! If your room is already quite busy with pattern then obviously tone it down a bit, but if you are needing something to ‘finish’ your space off, then a bit of pattern on the floor will do just that and more! Same can be said about texture and colour.

There is so much on the market in South Africa these days when it comes to rugs. Some rugs so beautiful they are like works of art for your floor. If you have the budget, then take a look at Paco Rugs. These are ultra luxurious rugs and their Rug Revolution range is really inspired with contemporary abstract art designs. I have to say a Paco Rug is on my personal “Interior Wishlist” for sure!

Love it, want it!
Love it, want it!

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Kilims, Dhurries and natural woven rugs are extremely on trend at the moment. I think there is an appreciation towards anything authentic and hand crafted these days, and so the weaving and looming process that goes into making these rugs as well as the materials used and how they feel underfoot, make them very desirable. I follow Coral and Hive on Instagram and have to say I love their rugs and am waiting for the perfect interior to use one in!

Natural beauties from Coral and Hive
Natural beauties from Coral and Hive

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Other rugs popular at the moment is the vintage distressed look. This type of design is really versatile as they look equally good in both classical interiors (bringing it a bit up to date) and a super contemporary space (offering some contrast.) Hertex Fabrics has a fab range of rugs in lots of different designs, sizes and colours and they are well priced too. (You can get yours from Styleast!)

Tradition remixed with the vintage distressed  look
Tradition remixed with the vintage distressed look

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I recently did a project that I needed a few rugs for. The one rug we got was from Spanish designer Lorena Canals range. These rugs are awesome for kids rooms and nurseries and are totally machine washable which is a big plus for all mommies out there. Superbalist as well as Clever Little Monkey are suppliers of these rugs. Superbalist have a great range of well priced rugs and they are constantly updating their range so take a look ….

Great washable rugs for kids rooms and nurseries in all shapes, patterns and colours
Great washable rugs for kids rooms and nurseries in all shapes, patterns and colours

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A well priced fun patterned rug from Superbalist - love the tassel fringe!
A well priced fun patterned rug from Superbalist – love the tassel fringe!

A great rug is timeless, an heirloom which can be passed down the generations. So the best advice I can give you is to invest in something you love, and don’t be shy in size or pattern!

The grass isn’t Greener…

Every year the Pantone Colour Institute announces it’s Colour of the Year and everyone in the design and fashion industry takes note. I’m going to put myself out there by saying this (don’t slate me!), but I don’t think this colour prediction actually influences the world of interiors too much ….well certainly not here in South Africa!(this is my own opinion!)

I look at back at past Colours of the Year and how little of an impact they actually made in interior decorating and design…2014 was Radiant Orchid, a shade of Lilac. I actually had to look this up as I had no recollection of the colour it was so insignificant! 2015 was Marsala, a wine Red. Last year was the dual combination of Rose Quartz (light Pink) and Serenity (a pale Blue)… Whilst these colours I feel did come through in fashion and other design disciplines perhaps; in interiors they did not really make a statement and certainly did not have any longevity. We were not painting walls deep red or upholstering chairs in pale pastel shades….

Will 2017 be any different?

This year the colour is Greenery, a acid/limey Green. Whilst I am not surprised that the colour is Green, I am surprised at the tone and saturation of it (hello bright!) I am totally crushing towards a darker more richer hunter-green this year and really do feel like that is a colour to watch as opposed to its more vibrant relative. I do understand the theory behind the colour choice tho, which is to reconnect with nature, along with its properties of been an optimistic, uplifting, positive colour amongst a world of change…. (American political uncertainty perhaps?!)

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How will this colour be translated into interiors this year? I definitely think the approach of ‘less is more” is the way to go. I have included some images below of contemporary interiors that have introduced this pop colour effectively and stylishly.

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The colour works well in this grey toned minimalistic interior
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Greenery in a small amount works well with warm wood
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This moody dark Green is my colour crush! i love how the Greenery pops off it
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White really makes the colour pop!

I am loving indoor plants and foliage at the moment and do think this is a great way to bring a bit of Greenery into your interior successfully as well encompassing the spirit behind the colour choice!

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What are your thoughts on the 2017 colour of the year? I’d love to hear your comments!

Reservation please!

I love food. I love reading about it, watching it, cooking and of course eating. In fact, eating out I would list as one of my favorite activities to do, especially when we are travelling or in a new city. This passion runs deep!
Eat out recently announced the 2016 Boschendal Style Award winner which honors the most stand out restaurant interior in South Africa. Naturally I was interested as that is a large part of the eating out experience, and I have always loved restaurant interior design- it is such a creative specialization where you can really delve into concepts and branding, push the boundaries and have a bit of fun.

I have to say, I am seriously impressed with the interiors of the finalists. It is so inspiring to see such beautiful interiors designed by South African designers, using iconic products and furniture from some of the best creative’s in our country such as Mervwn Gys (ceramics), Haldane Martin (furniture) and not to forget the amazing artists and art.
The 5 finalists were:
Marble (Johanessburg) – WINNER
Fire is the main element of the restaurant, not just in the cooking (there is live grill taking centre place) but also in design elements through-out the interior like the Mervyn Gys wood fired tiles, photographs by Kristjan Rossouw and wooden grains on the welcome desk and bar. This restaurant just oozes style, from the sophisticated yet understated colour palette to the finishes and materials used. Love the brass detailing behind the bar.

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Marble Resturant
Marble Resturant

Ash Restaurant (Cape Town)
With an interior painted in charcoal, of course I love it! Ash has a very minimalist interior with an open kitchen. There are some emerald green pops (a colour to watch next year!) and marble tops, so some sophisticated detailing to complete the look.

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Ash Restuarant
Ash Restuarant

EB social bar and kitchen (Johannesburg)
This interior was designed by Silvio Reich and Lesley Carstens, a husband and wife team whose philosophy to architecture and design I have long admired.
I just love the industrial loft-like interior that has been created in the airy space. Contrasting this and providing pattern and warmth to the interior is wall of Mediterranean-inspired tiles and warm timber furniture which gives a great bohemian feel to the space.

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Shortmarket Club (Cape Town)
This is a Luke Dale-Roberts (of The Test Kitchen fame) restaurant. It has a distinctive sexy New York flavour about it which I just love! The interior has the feeling of a club with leather and wood used extensively and it is dark. I love that too. And it has the most magnificent wall of butterflies which was created by Peter Eastman and conceptualized by Mark Rautenbach. The butterflies are all lasercut from photographs and plans of other Dale-Robert’s restaurants. Very Clever.

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Urbanologi (Johannesburg)
This is a fascinating interior where a giant lasercut yeti is suspended from the ceiling!
It is fun and playful but oh-so-cool. I love all the red accents and graffiti artworks but my favorite detail would have to be the flooring where the herringbone parquet runs into cement. Just love that.

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With interiors like these my list of restaurants to eat at just gets longer and longer……(hopefully not my waistband!)

Recreate this space – The Outdoor Room

Following my blog earlier this week on how to update your outdoor space this summer, here is an example of a great patio with a few of the features I was writing about that you can re-create yourself using local suppliers.

Can you spot the accent stools in different textures?!

List of items and suppliers below:

  1. limestone textured paint, colour ‘misverstand’ by Earthcote

http://www.paintsmiths.co.za/earthcote/products/diy-products/limestone

  1. karoo coffee table, Mr Price Home

https://www.mrphome.com/en_za/karoo-coffee-table-8103011264

  1. vase porcelain sandy tall 35cm, @home

http://www.home.co.za/pdp/vase-porcelain-sandy-tall-35cm/_/a-151301aaaj5

  1. ceramic vase stripy round 20x20cm, @ home

http://www.home.co.za/pdp/ceramic-vase-stripy-round-20x20cm/_/a-151301aaah9

  1. full cowskull with horns (80-89cm), Weylandts

https://www.weylandts.co.za/product/full-cowskull-with-horns-80-89cm-artwork1253/

  1. rustic square wall art, Weylandts

https://www.weylandts.co.za/product/rustic-square-wall-art-artwork1586/

  1. rustic round wall art, Weylandts

https://www.weylandts.co.za/product/rustic-square-wall-art-artwork1586/

  1. tribal scatters , Hertex Fabrics – contact Styleast for pricing
  1. hanging pod rope white, contact Styleast
  1. brighton rug colour earth,  Hertex Fabrics – contact Styleast for sizing and pricing
  1. minsk throws colour flax, contact Styleast for colours and pricing
  1. plantation table synthetic white, Styleast
  1. munggur bun side table,Weylandts

https://www.weylandts.co.za/product/munggur-bun-side-table-infurn0036/

5 ways to update your patio


Enough with the cloudy and rainy weather! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for summer to finally rear it’s head…. In the spirit of dreaming of summer, I wanted to share my ideas and finds for updating your outdoor room/area this season.

The principles for creating the perfect outdoor room-whether it be for lounging, entertaining or dining alfresco- has not changed in the last 2 years since I first wrote about outdoor spaces here. The key is to treat it like a room IN your house, thus merging the indoors and outdoors seamlessly.

1.Patterned Rugs

I can’t stress enough how by utilizing a rug, will change your patio or terrace and make it feel more like a room. I just love the new range of Island outdoor rugs from Hertex. The print is reminiscent of Mediterranean/Moroccan patterned tiles and the colours are fresh. A big plus about these rugs is that they are made from 100% polypropylene and can be hosed down; also the print and colour won’t fade from the sun, so they are super practical too. You can buy yours thru Styleast so contact us for sizes and pricing.

 

The Island Style Rugs
The Island Style Outdoor  Rugs
See how the rug defines the space even tho this is not technically a room
See how the rug defines the space even tho this is not technically a room
Again, the patterned rug helps define the space
Again, the patterned rug helps define the space

 

2.Introduce something concrete

Concrete is a material that have been obsessing about for a while. Whilst concrete is often relegated to industrial-style interiors only, I think the introduction of this texture really looks good in an outdoor space and compliments the rattan and timber of typical outdoor furniture.  It is also very hardy so is a perfect surface for standing up to beer bottles, wine spills and braai tongs.

 

A concrete coffee table
A concrete coffee table
Concrete side tables - LOVE!
Concrete side tables – LOVE!
@home are selling these dining tables at the moment with concrete tops
@home are selling these dining tables at the moment with concrete tops

3.Oversized outdoor cushions

I am not talking about scatters here, but much larger daybed-type cushions… Ideal for lounging on the deck or a summertime siesta.  This is a more casual alternative to traditional lounger, which I think suits the whole shift of current trends towards tribal inspired interiors.

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Just love this idea for lazing about
Just love this idea for lazing about

4.Accent Stools

One of my favorite things to do to change up a space is to add an accent stool. Not only are they multi-functional; but they really add interest to a space as a grouping, or even alone. I love that you can use them as a surface to rest your drink, sunnies or holiday novel, but also as a stool when entertaining en-masse.   An accent stool is a great way to introduce a pop colour or new texture to your space. There are so many options available from laqured bamboo, distressed metals to glazed ceramic and raw unfinished stumps of timber (love them dipped). Here is a selection of a few

Love the Mediterranean vibe of this one, again very reminiscent of hand painted tiles
Love the Mediterranean vibe of this one, again very reminiscent of hand painted tiles
A raw timber stump will look amazing
A raw timber stump will look amazing
It is also an opportunity to add some pattern
It is also an opportunity to add some pattern
note the accent stools!
note the accent stools!
Stumps dipped in a pop colour
Stumps dipped in a pop colour

5.Add a pendant light

If your outdoor area permits, hang a pendant light. It is another subtle change that will totally transform your space.   Whether in the centre of a seating area or over an outdoor table, a pendant light will highlight the space and give it an extra something special.    Lighting is so important in creating mood and atmosphere, so in order to achieve the perfect space for entertaining outdoors this summer, pay special attention to it. Also don’t forget lots of lanterns and candles. It’s all about the glow!

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The pendant lights define the dining table.. love how the texture compliments the space so beautifully
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The pendants define the different zones in this outdoor patio
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It’s all about atmosphere and glowy light at night

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And don’t forget to accessorize your pool too! I can’t resist the fun inflatables that are taking over my Instagram…. I’ll be taking the gold swan please!

Yes please!
Yes please!

 

The little black book: (suppliers contact details)

Styleast for outdoor rugs and accent stools: 0720332322 / bridget@styleast.co.za

@home Living Space for a large selection of pendant lights and concrete dining and coffee table: www.home.co.za

So Spoilt for giant iflatables: https://www.sospoilt.co.za/product-category/giant-inflatable-floats/

The Rule of 3

Today I am going to be sharing a major insider secret…
When it comes decorating, 3 is the magic number! This is something that you can use and apply to most aspects of decorating

To explain: items that are arranged in odd numbers, specifically three; are more appealing, memorable and create more of a statement than even numbered groupings.

So why the odd number? Three is the smallest number that can be used to form a pattern in our heads. Also an odd number just looks a bit more casual and natural than an even number which would be a bit too balanced and symmetrical.

Here are some ways to use this guideline….

1. Feature lighting

I am very passionate about feature or accent lighting. You can read more about it here.

3 pendants
3 pendants

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2. Texture
Layering textures create visual interest in an interior. See how this is applied in this all-white scheme

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3. Side tables
I love a cluster of side tables. One would look so lonely and lost! Not only is it functional, but looks great in a living room.

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4. Colour
You can even go as indepth as applying the rule of 3 to choosing colour for your interior. 60:30:10 is the ratio that is applied with 60% been the main room colour, 30% the secondary colour and 10% the accent colour. In this case, Charcoal, yellow and pop of pink!

grey and brights
5. Artwork
Again, the rule of 3 just looks best!
If you are wanting a more informal grouping with lots of frames, I would incourage an odd number. 13 anyone?

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6. Accessories

Vases, accessories, objet… Whatever bits of interest you have to personalise your space, just look best when arranged in a group of 3

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Remember this just a guideline and not something set in stone.. sometimes we like to break rules too!

Decorating is meant to be fun, so enjoy experimenting and playing around!

 

**All images courtesy of Pinterest**

Ombre Ombre Ombre!

I am pretty sure you have heard of this word before, perhaps in the Cosmo or Glamour magazine?

Ombre is a technique took the hair world by storm a couple of years ago, describing the process where hair is gradually lightened from root to tip. For those not familiar with the term, the word Ombre is derived from the French word Ombre’ which means ‘to shade.’ Basically the premise of the Ombre is to gradually lighten. Ombre has gained a lot more popularity since hitting the hair scene and has morphed across into fashion, beauty (Ombre nails anyone?) and of course interiors.

 

I love Ombre on anything with length or height so that you can really appreciate the graduating colour. I also love a feature wall.

So today I thought I would share some tips on how to create your own Ombre feature wall. (Did that just sound like Suzelle?)

 

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What You’ll Need

 

Paint

For best results it is recommended to use 3 shades to blend. I would also recommend that you stick to shades within the same colour (eg. Blues) or else colours that would blend nicely together. (eg. White, Grey, Blue) You cant Ombre colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel….

 

Supplies

  • Tape measure
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Wide paintbrush
  • Masking tape

 

Get Started: Paint and Blend

 

1.Paint a Base Coat

For best results, wipe down or dust the wall you are going to paint. Choose the lightest shade of paint and begin by painting the entire wall this color. Don’t skip this step: This will give your other colors a fresh base of paint to go over, making a smooth, even surface for blending. Let it dry.

 

2.Divide the Wall Into Sections

To achieve an ombre look, measure three equal sections on your wall and mark lightly in pencil. The top section will be the lightest color. The darkest color goes at the bottom, leaving the third color for the center.

 

3.Start With Medium in the Middle

Paint the middle section with the second-lightest color, leaving about half a ruler (150mm) of room between the edges of each section. In a timely manner, hold a dry brush at a 45 degree angle to blend.

 

4.Apply the Darkest Hue at the Bottom

Paint the darkest hue at the bottom of the wall, leaving a foot between color sections.

 

5.Mix a New Color

In a fresh paint liner, mix your lightest color and your middle shade at a ratio of half and half. Use this first new color blend to paint the gap between the lightest and middle color. Taking a dry brush and holding it at an angle, quickly blend up until you meet the next color section.

 

6.Mix the Second New Color

In a fresh paint liner, mix your darkest color and your middle shade at a ratio of half and half. Use this second new color blend to paint the 150mm gap between the darkest and middle color. Taking a dry brush and holding it at an angle, quickly blend up until you meet the next color section. Continue to brush the three sections together until you achieve the level ombre you desire.

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Recreate that space – edition 3

Today we bring you a contemporary and feminine study…

soft + subtle study

Here is the little black book….

 

  1. rug: http://www.hertex.co.za/rugs/ruffled%20rugs.html

 

  1. bunny ornaments: http://www.mrphome.com/en_za/jump/decor-accessories/pack-4-ceramic-bunnies/productdetail/2_7105015383/cat860052/search

 

  1. tray: http://www.mrphome.com/en_za/jump/vases/geometric-cut-out-tray/productdetail/2_7106028590/cat860061/search

 

  1. scatter: http://www.mrphome.com/en_za/jump/cushions%2c-covers-and-inners/2-pack-printed-winter-bouquet-45x45cm-scatter-cushion-cover/productdetail/2_6102032436/cat860087/search

 

  1. flower top ornament: http://www.mrphome.com/en_za/jump/gifts-for-mom/flower-topped-ceramic-box/productdetail/2_7105051902/cat1720043/search

 

  1. artwork: wall art – https://superbalist.com/apartment/decor/wall-art/blossom-bird/55157?ref=department_160%2fcategory_245%2fcategory_247

 

  1. lamp base: http://www.glolighting.co.za/eurolux-t424-polyresin-table-lamp-white.html

 

  1. custom made lamp shade: http://www.homefabrics.co.za/brands/home-fabrics/jungle-club/

 

  1. geometric throw: styleast

 

  1. desk: http://www.cottonwoodfurniture.co.za/product/ladys-desk-antique-white-far11019-aw/

 

  1. chair: https://www.weylandts.co.za/product/olaf-office-chair-ochacont0104/

Safety over Style

I live in a very contemporary home… Ultra mod, open plan, open staircase (!!!) lots of glass, charcoal accents and artfully arranged and curated objet’. I am not a fan of clutter, (I hate mess) everything in my home has a place. Must be the stylist in me.

So here comes my current dilemma. My beautiful baby, Madam M, is no longer a small baby but now an exploring adventurous 8 month old and our home an exciting place to discover. EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK (did I say open staircase!!!!!!)

 

I was not ready for this yet. My house is probably the most un-baby proof house in East London! Contemporary design was not made for babies…I will be the first to admit.

 

So…. about that staircase. It’s a beautiful masterpiece of steel and solid oak treads, stained to a greymist hue. It’s also completely open for the first 6 stairs – no balustrade, no handrail. Not at all appropriate for a little person on the move and pulling herself up onto everything (cat included!)   The edges of the actual treads-all angular in their contemporary design, also pose a problem as sharp edges themselves are a hazard.

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The staircase in all its sharp edged and floating tread glory

 

I wanted to wrap each tread with foam.… (and Madam M, a spacesuit of foam!)

 

Forget ‘Form over Function.’ ‘Safetly over Style’ has become my new motto.

 

My staircase now has a latticed fence that surrounds it. I did insist that it be painted charcoal tho! (Charcoal makes everything look better! Read all about my love affair with the colour here) The latticed fence keeps Madam M at a safe distance away from the death trap.   And from the top, we simply gated it.   Next up on the list is to attach plastic ‘chicken wire’ mesh to our double volume balustrade. I kid you not. ( At least its Charcoal. )

All these fences, gates and wire…shall we call it farm chic?!

 

Looking through the lattice fence......
Looking through the lattice fence……

The next item to address was my leaning mirrors. I love leaning mirrors… its just a bit more casual than a fixed mirror on the wall.

Babies love mirrors too.

One of Madam M’s favourite pastime babbling to herself in front of my artfully arranged cluster of mirrors (3 is better than 1 after all!). Somehow she can see herself thru the grungy patina of the distressed group that I have in our entrance hall.

Due to fear of her pulling the mirror ontop of herself, one mirror has been moved to a spare bedroom and the others fixed to the wall. (sigh)

 

Loving the mirrors!
Loving the mirrors!

My coffee tables (again a grouping) have been moved from the center of my lounge to make space for a playmat and fun ball enclosure! Brightly coloured baby toys are the ‘piece de resistance’ amongst my moody and sophisticated warm grey palette.  Blue, Purple and Yellow plastic contrast against stormy coloured leather.

I have long gone stopped worrying about what my lounge looks like and am more concerned that my baby is happily entertained and stimulated. I did buy a really nice basket to keep the toys in though. (see here)

 

Something else that I quickly had to move out the way to higher grounds were my beautifully arranged brass and Dutz glassware accessories on my coffee table. They were in the line of fire.

Vases, candles, anything glass or ceramic is really just a no no at this stage. My Meyer Von Wielligh custom made solid oak server is now bare. (I had a few pots underneath it) It makes a really great obstacle course for Madam M to crawl under.

 

And that was just my lounge/entrance hall. We haven’t even got to the kitchen! Custom designed by me with everything conveniently packed away in drawers… nice one for catching little fingers. Especially with the German engineered ‘Porche’ drawer runners (fail!)

 

So life sure has got more interesting. I sadly don’t have time to sit and write blog posts as in between designing new interiors, project managing a big corporate renovation (more about that next week) and building my beach house, I am now baby proofing my house and making sure my little M can explore to her hearts content and hopefully have wonderful memories of our first home. As that is what counts the most.

 

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Appreciation of the pendant lights (mesh still to be fitted)

 

 

 

 

 

Monday moodboard

I love Grey. All the shades, tones and hues of it. And lets not forget Mr Christian himself….Read more about my obsession with it here. (the colour that is!)

Here is a litte bit of dark grey inspiration to set the week off.

Dramatic and bold, its the perfect colour for creating a statement and setting a mood. My absolute favourite charcoal paint colour which I have used countless times is Plascon Bovine (E29-6).

Hope this inspires you to cross over to the ‘dark’ side too!Charcoal