The race to the end of the year is officially on. That also means that many of us are burning out and need as much rest as we can get to function optimally. It’s a known fact that we must take care of ourselves before we can take care of others successfully. Sleep is the number one gift you can give yourself. No series binge-watching or going out with friends and family beats the benefits of sleep. We learn more about plants to aid sleep.
Around 30 per cent of adults have reported that they sleep less than seven hours a day – which is the bare minimum for our health and wellness. Working adults need up to nine hours of sleep a day. Between 10 and 30 per cent of adults suffer from insomnia.
Sandy Roberts, from the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, shares her expertise on how to incorporate plants into your sleeping routine. Specific plants in your sleep routine (and even used as décor in your bedroom) can be very beneficial and aid your quality of sleep for the better.
What are your favourite sleep time plants and herbs?
Apart from Bergamot, Elderflower, melissa, rose and Chamomile, my favourite sleep plants above all are Rose-scented Geranium and the Margaret Roberts lavender. This is because both are easy to grow, and easily accessible to all South Africans. It is perfect for use in teas, food, and cosmetics. Versatile, delicious, and unforgettable!
How do they assist with good sleeping patterns?
The Rose-scented Geranium creates a chemical reaction in your brain to soothe anxiety and promote relaxation. It is also an anti-inflammatory that aids in pain relief which is often an underlying sleep depriver. Lavender assists in the production of melatonin and has anxiolytic properties – calming the brain and then the body. It acts as a natural relaxant, sedative, and pain reliever, which brings about sleep in a calming, gentle way. This is a perfect way to gently ease stress and improve moods. It is also used to calm babies who can’t settle or sleep.
How can we utilise or grow them?
Both the Rose-scented Geranium and the Margaret Roberts Lavender are easy to grow in pots or the garden needing full sunlight and a 3 times weekly watering. Both can be used as a cut flower in beautiful full flower arrangements to air and add fragrance to any room or used dried in an old-fashioned potpourri as an antibacterial room freshener. One never knows if these new fragrant oil room fresheners are pure essential oils. Rather go natural and make your own at home cost-effectively. I love to cook with them in tea biscuits, scones, and cakes and specially to make a soothing tea by adding 4 sprigs of lavender to 1 cup of boiling water, add a little honey to taste and a slice of lemon. Allow to cool for a minute and sip quietly. You will need 2 large leaves of scented Geranium to make a cup of Geranium tea. Fill up the cup with boiling water and add honey to taste with a slice of lemon. If you wish, you can occasionally add a little chamomile.
Any holistic advice for people struggling with sleep?
Leave out caffeine and sugar from your diet as well as carbs and dairy at night. Change your meal structure to a light meal in the evening and the main meal at lunch if you can. I would definitely up my Biochemic tissue salt intake with numbers 2,3,4,6,8,9,10,11 an hour before going to bed with a cup of scented Geranium (and Chamomile) tea and a lavender sleep neck pillow. I make beautiful lavender neck pillows for exactly this purpose! If you form a habit of going to bed at a certain time with no electronic devices or television on but a good book you will find yourself feeling better.
Discover the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre for yourself. Open Days to the public are only on Wednesdays and the first Saturday of every month. Contact Sandy Roberts here.
Read the story of an orchid saved by a cup of tea here.
Start planting your own herbs today! Browse our garden suppliers right here.
Find more Garden and Plants (watookal) articles right here.
Shiplap is a fairly new concept that made interior headlines circa 2013. During a reality TV show that aired in the States, shiplap quickly became the new buzzword. Fixer Upper as the show was marketed soon became a source of inspiration for many homeowners who had access to the show and its power couple cast. Here Joanna Gaines and her husband who renovated homes all over America made the word shiplap as trendy as ever.
In South Africa, we refer to shiplap as a form of wall cladding. Shiplap wall cladding resembles wooden walls or surfaces and is made with any specifications in terms of size and style. It can be used for your home’s interiors and exteriors.
Shiplap offers a modern timber look and is a price-friendly pick-me-up for any space you are trying to renovate and up-style. It is an easy-to-install wall covering that can instantly change the entire look and feel of a room. From kitchens and bathrooms to guestrooms and studies, this style of wall cladding giving any room instant Instagram-ready status.
Don’t Jump Ship
Shiplap is very easy to install and you do not require a professional to do it for you. The joints mimic those of tongue and groove joints that make them easy to fit. You also get peel and stick options, making the application even easier. It is also lightweight and offers a wide variety of options from recreating wood to concrete, you can easily recreate any expensive wall coverings.
Shiplap is also low maintenance and makes cleaning a breeze. Its convenience is what makes this trend a favourite amongst many homeowners the world over. These shiplap wall coverings are also durable and can take a few good knocks from the household over time. They also essentially protect your walling. If your house ever goes on sale, it can also be easily removed by new owners who envision something else.
Ideas and Inspirations
Shiplap techniques have been used for thousands of years. It is its introduction to interiors that is a fairly new trend. According to The Finished Space “The earliest version of shiplap was found over 1,700 years ago on Viking ships! An ancient boat was found using overlapping planks around the outside of the boat to keep the water out. The technique used on this ship was called lapstrakes, but it was a precursor to what would become known as shiplap. The production of watertight, overlapping planks evolved to produce shiplap (i.e., boards that overlap at rabbeted edges to create a completely watertight fit)”.
Shiplap was successful in keeping the water out on ships and soon sheds and farmhouses were introduced to it. From there the trend moved to building’s exteriors and more recently it has made its way indoors.
Bathrooms, both large and small look attractive with shiplap wall coverings. Wooden styles of shiplap can easily give bathrooms a chic, cottage feel with a touch of country. In bathrooms, shiplap does wonders as an accent wall.
Create a beach-inspired bohemian look in your bedroom with shiplap cladding that ignites the inner shipmate in you. With a variety of colours available, choose soft aqua-inspired tones. From white and ivory to sky and moody blues, you can create a desert island-inspired oasis away from the hustle and bustle of everyday distractions.
Shiplap cladding in wooden or concrete type textures are a fresh look for modern kitchens. Cladding in your kitchen can be used as your oven backsplash, or under counters to create stylish surfaces. A shiplap accent wall also works great in a kitchen and is also a trendy substitute for subway tiles.
Find all our Décor Experts listed, using the search below.
Find more Décor Tips and Ideas below.
Builders Warehouse has been around long enough for homeowners to know that whatever they need, they will find it at Builders. Munier Solomon, Marketing Operations Manager at Builders chats to us about their latest campaigns with a bonus feature on how to approach your latest renovation the Builders way.
Tell us a little bit about the Builders Brand?
Massmart acquired five Builders Warehouse stores operating in Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2003. They bought and rebranded three De La Rey stores in the Western Cape in 2005 and now operate in South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique. Builders follows the big-box or warehouse retail format – offering homeowners, DIY enthusiasts and contractors a comprehensive range of competitively priced products under one roof. With a large garden centre display and builders’ supplies yard, the brand is unique in that it is the only home improvement warehouse in South Africa.
We adore your latest campaign #herestohome. How did the team come up with the concept?
Our Homes have essentially become our World. Today we are all looking at them differently and we wanted a campaign to help us bring that messaging to life. And many can agree that our homes have become our nests: a nest of refuge, safety, family, learning, work, pleasure and comfort.
How has the pandemic life changed the Builders brand for the better?
DIY became the most searched word on Google during the pandemic and Builders being pioneers for home improvement and DIY projects in South Africa, could assist people with the easy options that our stores provide and give them great ideas on the Builders Blog. Our customers are more and more becoming hobbyists and creators, resorting to the internet to inspire their creativity. And with all this help, they can easily and cost-effectively do it themselves. People are redefining their homebody experience and building their own home sanctuaries.
What new initiatives have you been working on? Can you share them with us?
We will be launching the Builders Super App soon.
How many Builders retail stores do you currently have nationwide? Are you planning to grow even further?
We opened our 110th store in Midrand in March 2021 and are looking to open a few new stores in the near future.
The success of a home improvement project is the result of expert planning. As much as home renovation comes with costs and lots of decisions to make, it is a phenomenal way to breathe new life into any home or living environment. It is an opportunity to put your mark on the property and add to its value.
Whether you are planning something big or small, to take control of your home renovation budget you need a plan. One factor, amongst others, is to plan how much product is needed to complete your project on time and cost effectively.
Three Factors to Consider when Assessing the Cost of Your Project
Understanding the design and planning requirements: whether you are updating the look and feel of your bedroom with a new headboard, adding a laminated glass partition to add an extra room or space or privacy in your home, or simply just painting your wall – you must be clear on the job and the requirements. For example, glass for interior use will be different from that used for exterior applications. It’s vital to understand the application and the correct product required for the project.
Calculate Material Costs: now put together a list of materials you’ll need to do the home improvement job. There are a variety of ways to calculate how much materials you’ll need. One method is to use online product calculators such as the recently launched Builders Products Calculators. The Builders product calculators cover paint, blinds and curtains, headboards and glass cutting, including mirrors and doors.
Write a schedule of works: it’s crucial to define your home renovation process before you start the work – a project plan of what needs to be done and by when. Be clear on the steps you will need to take to renovate the property. You might find that work in one room impacts on those in another, so have a clear vision and prepare a work schedule, listing the order of jobs.
Save Renovation Costs
One of the best ways to lower your renovation costs is to tackle home projects yourself. You could cut the first part of labour costs by painting all your walls yourself, ripping out old flooring, tearing down drywall or removing cabinetry before the work requiring a skilled person starts.
Time is essential when planning for renovation. Making a cohesive and functional design can be overwhelming. Taking more time, even when you have all your money ready, is crucial. You may regret the choices you make in a rush.
It is important that once you start on a project, you keep changes to a minimum to avoid extra costs. Put a budget in place against your project using the estimates from the online product calculators and keep a running tally so you can stay on track.
Explore more articles here.Read More
A coffee table has a personality of its own. Learning how to decorate your coffee table is a skill not many have. A few tips from the pros fused with your style and personality is the best approach when you want to decorate your coffee table. Your coffee table is often the centre piece, in which the rest of the room revolves around.
Our coffee tables are functional pieces in our homes and should demonstrate that ability at all times. Practicality matters, but so do the things that are dear to you. How do you create balance and curate the perfect coffee table?
The type of coffee table you choose will ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to how many objects you want to place on it. From short oval tables, to geometric metal and glass, your coffee table should bring your space together with finesse and style.
Interior designers sometimes pair side tables in a room where the coffee table is the focal point. These side tables take the strain with cups and plates and whatever else my be used around a coffee table.
Composition is key. Whether you stack up or keep it low key, how the coffee table is packed and stacked comes down to a fine balancing act. You can balance pieces by size, type and colour.
Decorating your coffee table takes good planning and an eye to balance your table artistically. A stack of books can be eye catching paired with decorative objects.
Decorating your coffee table comes down to the way you life in that area. Sometimes your coffee table need to be a practical place for the laptop or for kids to even do their homework on. This could be the case in small living rooms or family rooms.
Creating visual interest is also an important factor for styling your table. In fact, adding an element that is truly unique to your style is a good idea. A table styles with fresh flowers weekly is an excellent choice.
Curate It Right
A carefully curated selection of items is going to be the toughest job. Choosing between what you need and what decorative items you want can be challenging. this canals be a guide for you. choose a two or three items you need and two items with want to show off.
As mentioned above, it is important to strike a good balance. Creating the perfect coffee table display can be a creative outlet. Cosider a vignette. Work with items that compliments eachother and ties the table together.
Anyone can recreate a coffee table setup from a picture. But what is it that makes a coffee table stand out? Your personal touch, of course. You also do not always have to follow the rules.
Maximalist-inspired coffee table decor is great for when you want to put all your face finds on display.
Styling your coffee table should also be functional. Games are also a fun alternative for an interesting coffee table. Keep your chess board on the table as decoration and an invitation to play a quick game.
You might also choose a coffee table that has hidden storage to have quick access to your favourite hobbies. Coffee tables are often a place where kids do their homework. Store some stationary away to make your table as optimally functional as possible.Read More
Wallpaper has graced the walls of homes for hundreds of years. If you consider the fact that the Chinese began gluing rice paper onto their walls as early 200 BC, you could make the argument that wallpaper has been in style for thousands of years. Either way, the popularity of wallpaper on a global scale has been a constant for over, an astonishing, 500 years! In that time, patterns; textiles; installation and manufacturing of wallpaper has been closely linked to technological advances, decor trends and social change.
With the recent revival of wallpaper as the go-to option for bold, fashion forward homes and feature walls, we asked Clare Kearney, Owner of Wallpaper Inn a few questions to help guide you through the world of modern wallpaper.
What is a key step or tip that people tend to miss when hanging wallpaper?
Firstly, always make sure you have bought wallpaper from the same dye lot so that you don’t have a colour variation on the wall. If you have a dark wallpaper, it is always best to paint your wall in preparation with a matching colour. If the wallpaper shrinks slightly for any reason, you won’t see white gaps peeping through.
Start hanging your wallpaper in the middle of your feature wall and work around the room left and right from the centre panel. Make sure you start with a vertical line. I recommend using a plumb bop for best results as laser levels and levels can be slightly out.
I’ve seen lots of instructions to “book” your wallpaper, what is that and why do you need to do it?
Some wallpapers need time to soak up the glue and soften before hanging. Booking means that you first apply glue to your cut length of paper, fold the top half to the middle (glued sides together) then the bottom half is folded up to meet the top fold. You can then fold in half again. Now you can put that 1st length aside and start gluing the next. Once you have glued a few strips you can start hanging. It is easier to carry a ‘booked’ strip up a ladder. Now you can slowly unfold the top half and position it on your wall. Once that’s in place you can unfold the bottom half and smooth the paper onto the wall.
How has the installation of wallpaper changed in recent years?
Non-woven wallpapers are a fantastic product. You can apply the glue directly to the wall and then hang your cut lengths of wallpaper. You don’t have to apply glue to the paper! Other than that the usual rules for hanging paper remains the same.
Can wallpaper be hung on textured walls?
No it can’t. Your paper hanger will suggest skimming your wall before applying. If it’s just a few cracks and bumps, he can fill, sand, and if necessary, use a lining paper to make the wall really smooth before applying your beautiful paper.
What do you do if you move into a home with wallpaper and you’d like to change it? Can you wallpaper or paint over it or does it need to be removed first?
Removal is always preferred. You cannot stick wallpaper onto vinyl paper. When removing vinyl paper you need to pull the outer layer off and then wet the backing paper with a sponge. A simple paint scraper works to scrape the soggy paper from the wall.
Non-woven wallpapers will come off in sheets and are very easy to remove quickly, there is no need to soak non-woven papers.
What are some of the most popular designs or your recommendations for a first-time wallpaper purchase?
Our most popular designs at the moment are natural textures, bricks, bold prints and tropical designs, but you still need to choose something that you absolutely love. Wallpaper can last for years so you don’t want to change it constantly. If you are nervous about hanging it yourself, choose something that doesn’t have a pattern match.
In what unique ways can wallpaper be used?
Wallpaper is so versatile and is used in a bathroom, kitchen or even on your ceiling. Vinyl papers work best in an area where there is steam.
Wallpaper in a kitchen is easier than tiling and can be updated easily – Just make sure you use a tempered glass panel behind your hob or oven for heat. Vinyls can be cleaned with a damp sponge and mild detergent. Ceiling papers are beautiful and can finish off your ceiling to perfection.
If you have any questions, you can contact Wallpaper Inn on 087 359 1682 or visit one of their showrooms in Johannesburg, Cape Town or East London.
Find all our Décor Experts listed, using the search below.
Ah! Weddings! A beautiful day to celebrate love, cry over how beautiful everyone looks and potentially overindulge. For most couples, planning a wedding is both exciting and slightly terrifying. Smaller, intimate, DIY weddings have been gaining in popularity for several years. Now, lockdown restrictions and precautions have turned this simple wedding style into a necessity. With the traditional spring/summer wedding season on the way, here are a few real-life DIY wedding ideas and tips.
A DIY wedding may seem like a simpler option but without a hands-on wedding planner, all the logistics will fall to the bridal party. Using google sheets or a similar cloud-based system that you can share and easily update with all relevant parties will help you to stay on top of things.
If you are lucky enough to have an efficient family member or friend in your bridal party, it may be a good idea to play to their strengths and ask them to help you to stay on track. Delegate tasks as needed and make sure to have a tab with your different suppliers contact details to avoid a frantic search when you need it most.
Creating a realistic programme for the actual wedding day will help with staying on time. Your photographer and officiant will be able to guide you on how long they will need so you have an idea of timing. Realistically, you will run early or late at some point. Having a plan should be used as a basic guide to help the day flow from one activity to the next, so don’t stress if you aren’t sticking to it down to the minute, the wedding won’t happen unless the bride and groom are there and guests expect a bit of waiting around while you take photos.
Your venue is likely to take the chunk of your budget and will set the mood for your entire wedding (no pressure). The joy of a DIY wedding is that you can think outside of the box when it comes to your venue and take control of all the elements so that they are exactly what you want. The downside is that moving away from a conventional wedding or event venue means you will potentially have to bring everything in yourself.
Take time to weigh up your options with regards to what is included in the price of using an established venue vs bringing in independent contractors yourself. Your friend’s garden may be a beautiful, rustic venue but the realities of having enough bathrooms, bringing in chairs, tables, lighting and food might be more expensive in the end.
Décor is where the true DIYing happens! A quick look online will give you thousands of ideas to choose from. From origami swans and macrame to custom placemats and recycled glass vases, your only limit is time and your DIY ability. Again, if you aren’t personally great at DIYing, call in the troops and get some help! You can make an event of it by inviting your happy helpers to a DIY prep day.
When it comes to flowers, the most affordable option is to visit your local flower market. In Johannesburg, you can’t beat Multiflora when it comes to variety and affordability. Make a note of seasonal flowers and arrangement styles you like for reference and shop around for the best deals.
For a rustic look and feel, go for flowers and plants such as the silver dollar, eucalyptus (pennygum) and angel’s breath. Succulents, proteas and pincushions are perfect for a South African fynbos style. Handmade paper flowers are also a unique option if you want to forgo fresh flowers altogether.
Recycled jars and bottles will help add dimension and are perfect for holding your flowers. You can use old mayo jars, cold drink bottles and wine bottles for different heights or buy them in bulk from stores like Westpack or Consol. These can be decorated with twine, lace, ribbon or painted to bring in your theme colour more strongly. If you go for spray painting, avoid running paint by spraying from a distance and using multiple layers instead of one thick coat. Painting the inside of bigger jars will help give a uniform colour on the outside.
Create an element of fun with custom placemats that can double up as place markers, underplates and entertainment all in one! Canva is a great help when it comes to quick, free and professional looking design that you can use to give your wedding its unique style. For entertainment during speeches, you can make your speech bingo (don’t forget a little prize for the winner) and add people’s names to the mat so that they know where to sit, that’s if you opt for formal seating. You can then export your designs as a pdf and get them printed at your local printing shop on A3 cardboard.
Lighting is key to creating ambience, especially in the evening. Tea-light candles provide a simple solution that can be included in a few lanterns, floating on water or in simple glass holders on tables or spread around the venue. LED and battery-powered fairy lights or string lights are also a favourite when it comes to adding some romantic, soft light to your reception.
Feeding your guests is another big-ticket item for your budget and is definitely down to personal preference and what your venue has on offer. The DIY wedding element comes in choosing to do things a little differently such as getting your friends and family to make their signature desserts or opting for jars of sweets instead of the commonly found options of malva pudding or ice cream and chocolate sauce. You can also choose to forgo a traditional wedding cake for a savoury option such as wheels of cheese that can double up as a starter served with crackers and preserves while you take photos.
Other ideas include having a picnic-style wedding where couples or families are each given their own picnic basket of snacks to enjoy while relaxing on blankets or simple seating. You can even try out a morning wedding with a champagne breakfast or continental spread of pastries, cheeses, and cold meats.
What you wear on the day might not strictly be DIY but there are ways to express your personality by choosing some unique details. If you have the chance and are so inclined, consider upcycling your mother’s wedding dress or go on the hunt for a vintage dress that you can update and alter to fit you perfectly. You can even consider hiring dresses, suits and smaller items such as a veil from your local bridal shop.
DIYing detailed items such as boutonnieres, cufflinks and flower crowns will make your look all the more special.
Just make sure to wear in your shoes far in advance, take a comfy pair of shoes to change into or get gel inserts to avoid aching feet.
When it comes to invitations and save-the-dates, the internet is your friend. Whether it’s designing a hardcopy invite or a wedding website, there are lots of options for your DIY wedding. Sites such as The Knot are a wedding planning dream with free. Simple to use templates, countdowns and functionality that will help you keep track of RSVPs, dietary requests and bulk communications to all your guests. In the digital world we find ourselves in, most guests should find it easy to use – they will just need to click a link and fill in their relevant info from a dropdown menu.
Done right, a DIY wedding should save you a few bucks to keep or splurge on what matters to you most. Whether it’s an extra special honeymoon, a party-starting DJ, live band, open bar, a dream dress or a professional photographer, make the splurge decision early.
In the end, no matter which direction you choose to go with for your wedding day, allow it to be a reflection of who you. No one will know if you are running behind schedule or if your bouquet isn’t exactly what you wanted. In the end, people will remember the love shared and the special moments.
Photos by Geraldine Maritz Photography
You have a flair for putting things together. Friends and family see you make a space come alive with a few tweaks here and there. You possess that certain “Je ne sais quoi” that other people wish they had. Your creativity and problem solving, along with logical thinking and functional interpretations are what drive you. If this sounds like you, then you may be or are considering a full-time career in the world of design. We look at interior design as a creative career choice, and how you can kick-start the career of your dreams.
Decorating and Design
The two go hand in hand. But the decorator’s job is futile without the designer. One can imagine that a designer can be a decorator but a decorator cannot be a designer without the right training and skillset. Both careers are equally rewarding and will bring you years of joy because of the creativity you are allowed to express in this field. An interior designer works with clients to create aesthetically pleasing rooms and spaces. Clients range from homeowners to large companies, and the spaces designed are equally varied, ranging from simple indoor and outdoor home environments to hotel lobbies and lavish mansions. Every interior designer works to create spaces that are attractive, functional, and safe while meeting the specific needs of the client and architect.
Design and Architecture
Interior designers are also known for designing furniture, and other interior elements that go untouched by the architect. Interior designers and architects work closely together as they need to understand each other’s goals and make the best of them for the client. Some interior designers are also architects and it makes total sense. Although architects have a more technical approach, their job still lies in designing, reviewing and overseeing the construction of buildings. Both architects and interior designers need to have good analytical and problem-solving skills. Together they make a killer team.
Carina Botha from Boaz Architects adds, “Architects are adept at structural problem-solving and creative design for both exterior and interior building design. As an architect, I see myself as the artist that provides an intricate and detailed canvas to the client. Interior designers focus on the interior and its functionality for human occupancy. The interior designer can then style the home for the specific look required by the homeowner. As an architect my mind is filled with numbers, lines and angles to create possibilities that we can only dream of. The interior designer can use my canvas to add fabrics, paintings, furniture etc. to incorporate and enhance the beauty and functionality of the spaces created”.
South Africa has produced some top-class designers. Our style and problem-solving skills in the design arena are as unique as our cultural landscape. We look at a few.
Mbele was always consumed by the need to develop a career in design. He initially wanted to study furniture design, but there was no such course offered at the University. Interior design was the next best thing. “I checked the dictionary to look up what it was before I left for the entrance test,” Mbele jokes. He is known for The Mvelo Desk which was nominated as one of the Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa in 2018. The piece of furniture represents two cultures that have been weaved together by solid oak. It’s creative genius.
Jan Henderson sums Kelly’s career up beautifully. “Kelly Hoppen was born in South Africa and grew up in England. She began her stellar career as a teenager with a commission to design a family friends’ kitchen and the projects have kept coming since then. Her style is sublime; a fusion of clean lines and neutral tones that portray a timelessness that translates from residential to commercial through to hospitality projects and beyond. But perhaps the most fascinating thing about Kelly is her ability to participate within the entire spectrum of design, to make it her own and to then forge ahead creating an empire as multifaceted as it is today”.
Christa Botha and Carla Erasmus
Continuously designing and producing new, original products to grow their larger collection, the Bofred studio (Christa and Carla’s business) is an ever-evolving space of contemporary design and curated art. Guided by their fine art background, Christa and Carla’s design philosophy is reflected in the linear shapes, colours and rich textures of natural hand-crafted materials they use to design – and locally produce – bespoke collections of furniture, lighting, and art.
Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. The work involved usually includes studying colour theory and textiles, computer-aided design (CAD) training, drawing, space planning, furniture design, some architecture, and more. Upon graduating, designers often apprentice with a registered and established interior designer before moving on to establish their own careers.
According to Study Portals, interior design helps the growing functionality and quality of interior spaces by combining creativity with visual sensitivity as well as technical elements. Interior design is related to similar disciplines such as graphic design, industrial design and landscape architecture and many designers have become multi-disciplinary in a few of these disciplines.
If you want to start early – even better so. If you are still in school or have a child in school looking to explore this career path there are a few things to consider. Visual Art as a subject in school is a great foundation builder for anyone seeking a professional career in the visual arts and other creative careers like architecture, interior design, industrial design, film making, content creating, advertising etc.
The list is endless, but take this advice from award-winning visual arts educator, Frik van Vuuren. “Taking art in school is so much more than what it used to be. Once considered the easy subject, that is simply not the case anymore. The standards are high, the children are good and you really need to be talented to do well in your visual arts class. The subject helps you to take an idea from your creative mind and turn it into a tangible object. This is the beginning for many designers”.
There are numerous avenues to try to get into interior design. Our top Universities offer Degrees in interior design and affiliated courses, usually at the faculty of Architecture and Design. We share a few degrees and courses that can help you on your way. Please check with your student advisor for the best, suitable advice for a study program that will help you achieve your career goals.
Interior design graduates are also encouraged to do internships, which includes accompanying the designer to meetings, understanding the client’s needs, and making a note of any special requests. Interns may also create preliminary plans for a room’s redesign, assist in developing budgets, and prepare invoices. Other responsibilities include communicating with contractors, looking for the best deals on supplies, and performing administrative duties. All these aspects teach the designer the foundations of eventually venturing off in their careers.
- University of Witwatersrand
Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)
- University of Pretoria
Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma: Interior Design
- Tshwane University of Technology
National Diploma: Interior Design
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Architectural Technology and Interior Design
- Michaelis – University Of Cape Town
Bachelor of Fine Art
- Central University of Technology
National Diploma: Fine Art
- The Design School Southern Africa
- The Interior Design Institute
- Greenside Design Centre
Open plan living has been the go-to layout for decades. With over forty years since kitchens were opened up to the rest of the home, open plan layouts now need to adapt to suit the 21st century, particularly when it comes to working from home. Whether it’s a private space to work or a sneaky spot to hide clutter for a spotless home, here are ten ways to take your home from open plan to “broken plan”.
Make a Group
If you don’t do this already, grouping furniture together is the easiest way to define the zones in your home without building. Intentionally placing your furniture in groups will trick your eye and brain into thinking of the groups as a single space. Grouping is step one to changing your home.
Use contrasting colours and textures to separate spaces. This goes for the floor and the walls.
Wallpaper and a new coat of paint will create the visual effect of different rooms. Contrasting light and dark is the best way to create a clear line of separation.
Changing out your floors to suit the spaces will also make the spaces more functional. Choose hard-wearing, waterproof flooring in your kitchen and define your living space with warmer, comfier options.
Adding a large rug to living or dining spaces will help add a defined border to your spaces. The trick is to select a rug that is big enough to completely fill the space you need.
Focal lighting will do double duty when it comes to dividing your space. Pendant lights or chandeliers can be used to functionally add light where you need it while acting as a mark for the spaces. Hang your light fixtures in the centre of the space to help define the visual border.
Solid pieces of furniture such as console tables can create visual dividers between rooms. Placing a console table that is of equal height to your couch will help close off the space without taking up too much room. Console tables can be used for storage, décor or paired with barstools to create a cocktail bar.
Bookshelves and Storage
Similar to console tables, bookshelves and storage units create functional divisions between spaces. Open bookshelves will allow light to pass through between spaces while allowing access to items from both sides.
Custom-built floor-to-ceiling storage units are ideal for dividing up large rooms. The added storage will ensure you have space to keep your home neat and organised.
A curtain hung from your ceiling can be used to divide your space when you need it. Choosing a sheer material will ensure light moves between the spaces when the curtain “wall” is closed. A similar, more permanent effect can be achieved by investing in hanging artwork.
Glass partition walls are ideal for spaces where you want a solid division that still lets light in and maintains the sense of space. Glass partitions with muntins will add a modern, industrial, look while glazing will add a level of privacy and art.
Horizontal or vertical slatted wood panels are an alternative for spaces where you want a more private division.
A double-sided fireplace will help keep your large room warm in winter while keeping line of sight between your newly created rooms. Adding a wood storage section will help expand the division and can be used as open storage for other items.
Want to convert from separate rooms to broken plan? Use your existing walls and doorways to your advantage. Expand doorways and use walls to create private nooks while opening up as much as necessary.
Bring stacking doors and shutters indoors to give you the option of opening up or closing off when you need it.
Want to take the leap to broken plan? Find a vetted expert who can help make it happen right here on HOMEMAKERS.
Decorative concrete treatments for your home is now more popular than ever. With its cool and contemporary look, it is a great option for homes in South Africa to add a touch of class. Coming to the fore as a top design trend this year, concrete is a versatile and sophisticated product to use for your home’s exterior and interior. The joy of concrete’s versatility lies in the fact that it is no longer only welcome in industrial spaces. It creates a beautiful texture and acts as a neutral grounding for any style.
Royal Coat Africa
We recently checked in with Royal Coat Africa who shares the inside scoop on the latest concrete trends for your home. Royal Coat was established in 1987 and is an industry leader in a wide range of specialised, cementitious and protective coatings in the commercial and residential sectors. “Our infrastructure, management and approach allow us to tackle projects of any size – delivering the results time after time! Our status as preferred applicators among a range of major suppliers ensures that clients receive only the best quality products.
Timeless and Stylish
Concrete is timeless. Concrete treatments go well with many interior styles and tend to last for a very long time. Interior concrete trends for 2021 create interesting and unique surface finishes that are as unique as you. Concrete works particularly well when used in flooring or walls due to its sturdy and long-lasting nature. Thanks to its heat and scratch-resistant characteristics, it poses as the best option for kitchen islands and countertops.
Experts confirm that concrete is one of the most cost-effective ways to decorate the interior and exterior of a home or office. It allows you to be innovative in your design approach and perhaps create something no one else has in their residence or commercial.
Royal Coat Africa shares “Cement floors have a naturally hard-wearing nature making them a popular choice for heavy foot and vehicle traffic. The application of cement floor finishes is a popular choice and annual demand for this type of finish is growing rapidly. We apply a range of cementitious wall coatings as well which are popular contemporary choices in terms of wall finishes”.
Create the perfect contemporary space with concrete.Read More
Far from the hustle and bustle of fast-paced home-improvement stores are a few local companies that team up with artisans and creatives to create bespoke tiles for clients who are looking for something special. I dive deep into the world of carefully curated tile selections that offer customers unique collections sourced from exotic destinations and our own backyard. I got in touch with a few of the top bespoke tile suppliers in South Africa and asked them everything you need to know about the creative world of decorative tiles.
Since 2017, Opia has been the exclusive supplier of handmade, concrete and zellige tiles in South Africa. Their products are designed by internationally renowned creators and handmade by artisans in Morocco. They define their selection through three main values: timeless design, sustainability and fair-trade. “For each interior, we bring an ancestral tradition where durability, timelessness and elegance are both proven and shared across cultures. “We believe that luxury can only be achieved when people, materials and processes are respected and celebrated,” says Ghizlaine Menebhi co-founder of Opia Design.
Hadeda is another well-known and much-loved brand and supplier of bespoke tiles in South Africa. Hadeda started 30 years ago and three decades in the business has taught them to keep up with trends and more importantly, find new items that are different and not available locally. “It has been our philosophy since day one to concentrate on goods that are hand-made and strive not to import items that can be made in South Africa”, says Des Armstrong, founder of Hadeda.
Established in 2009 by Petro van Zyl, De Kleipot creates a wide variety of high quality, hand-crafted, hand-painted tiles. Their tile collections feature diverse colour palettes, styles, shapes and sizes, with ranges to suit different décor moods and trends, from vintage to modern.
In the foothills of the Wolkberg mountain range in Limpopo, two like-minded Industrial Design students conceptualised a company that creates unique concrete products. Realising their whimsical idea was on the brink of reality, the team approached Ramielle de Jager to join the Wolkberg team in their endeavour. Her passion for innovation and business know-how added a new dynamic to the team. Ramielle has more than 10 years of new product development and product management experience with some of South Africa’s leading brands.
Mexico, Morocco or Art Nouveau
Trends come and go but if you are willing to invest in beautiful tiles, the best option is to go with timeless designs that will bring joy for many years. As interiors become more comfortable with less clutter, people are choosing timeless designs and colours that will suit their home for a lifetime. I asked about tile trends first.
Opia: “Probably covid related, but we saw a lot of customers going for the zelliges – traditional Moroccan tiles. Because the whole effect resides in its colour reflections, nuances and movements, it makes a statement that won’t go out of fashion. More generally, we saw an uptake on the zelliges all over the world for its aesthetics, sustainability and easy maintenance.
Hadeda: “Colour! During times of uncertainty and anxiety, people turn to colour in both their environment and their homes. Colour has become very important, particularly to spend a lot of time at home during the pandemic; alterations to homes have become a big trend”.
De Kleipot: “We have seen that the dark bottle green and mint tiles are very trendy at the moment. Our Nouveau range tiles come in various colours, and we have launched pre-packed splashbacks. The dark green picks up colours like maroon and yellow to create a bold focus. Another trend is an understated blue “washed” look tile in various patterns. These fashions are a much softer look that adds to an interior theme.
Wolkberg: We have found that in 2021 designers and homeowners are being bolder in their choices. There is more incorporation of semi-precious metal accents like brass and copper on floors and walls as well as on furniture. The homeowner is embracing the use of feature tiles on backsplashes for kitchens and bathrooms. We also noticed that simple shapes and tessellations in single colours over large spans are doing well in hospitality and this is sure to spill over into residential”.
The Creative Process
The creative process behind tile design concepts is like any other in the creative field. Working closely with interior designers is important to identify a client’s needs. Take me through the development of a new idea or design. What is the creative process?
Opia Designs: “We work closely with interior designers and other professionals in the industry; with their help, we identify their needs and possible market gaps. On the other hand, we are continuously working with tile suppliers to identify suitable products in line with our values of fair-trade, sustainability and being design-oriented. Once a new product is identified, we discuss it again with our closest clients before distributing it in the country”.
Wolkberg: “As designers, we take new product development seriously. The process is quite solid however still very creative and fun. There are stage gates and it starts with; ideation, preliminary investigation and concept validation and idea reiteration. We then only decide if we will start a project. It then moves on to costing, prototyping, manufacturing, market trials, the launch and then a market follow-up.
Playing the Muse
Continuously finding inspiration in home interiors can be exhausting – never mind coming up with the next big design. How do you stay creatively inspired?
De Kleipot: “To continuously try and test new patterns and designs. We keep our eyes open for any inspiring compositions and make them into designs. Looking for inspiration is a very convenient excuse to travel. We love drawing inspiration from historic sites with timeless designs and ideas. Putting a modern spin on ageless composition is a nice challenge and not as easy as you would think. The result is that we release new designs very often. Experimenting with a new design is a very time-consuming process and we are very finicky when it comes to colour, design and layout. We will go through the process multiple times to ensure a perfect design”.
Opia: “Research, research, research. We keep ourselves informed of what is happening in South Africa and globally. Not only in the tile space but also interior design in general as it helps us foresee which tiles would complement future project requirements”.
The Buyer Experience
Starting the bespoke tile journey will take some know-how on what and who is trending. Any advice for people wanting to find the perfect bespoke tiles for their home – What is the buyer experience like?
Wolkberg: “We love assisting people to make their choices and we can assist in finding the right match for any client. I would suggest checking out our IG and other designers IG and other platforms to identify what catches your eye. Come to us with those inspirational images and we can help further hone those down to choices. The experience is always one to remember as we are great collaborators”.
Hadeda: “Daily, we give customers advice, and assist them to choose from our vast range of tiles. We also have pre-packed boxes of tiles – which we call Chosen For You, taking the guesswork out of trying to choose from our 150 designs”.
When it comes to custom-made tiles, can customers DIY or is it best to get a professional to lay the tiles for you?
Hadeda: “We prefer that these handmade tiles be laid by a professional tiler and have a list of preferred tilers who we recommend to clients. However, like with any tile, anyone with tiling experience should be able to lay our tiles”.
Wolkberg: “If you want a seamless installation and you are not already a handy person, we would suggest getting a professional tiler. This will ensure an installation is worth the money spent on the tiles.
Go Say Hello
Opia: If you are based in Johannesburg, all their products are on show at the beautiful Studio 19 showroom.
Hadeda: The showroom is located at 40 Bompas Road, Dunkeld, Johannesburg. Look out for the Mexican Blue Wall.
De Kleipot: Situated on a farm; Aan de Doorns, just outside Worcester on the Viliersdorp road, visitors can stop by on appointment only. They also meet a lot of their customers at the Potters Market, which takes place twice a year in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
Wolkberg: They welcome visitors to their Ruimsig Factory and find that when other creatives visit them there, they are always inspired and come up with the best ideas.
by Marion Nowak