The South African winter may not be the coldest when compared to the rest of the world but most of us can agree that the icy winds, crisp, dry air and rain in some parts of the country are cold enough to warrant a few changes to cosy up your home.
We asked interior designer, writer and editor of SA Decor and Design, Marcia Margolius, award-winning lifestyle blogger, Karen Kelly (Lovilee Blog), Interior Designer and winner of the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo Designer Spaces Challenge 2020 winner, Lindiwe Ludonga (Blooming Oaks Inc.) and Deputy Editor of Visi magazine, Annemarie Meintjes to share how they are getting their homes ready for winter. (more…)Read More
Nothing beats a fireplace in the winter. Its iconic look and feel will never tire any homeowner. Today fireplaces are more versatile than ever before offering people a wide variety of choices in look, form and function. In this article, we discover new trends with fireplaces as well as what needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the right one for your home and budget.
We are seeing stunning fireplaces built into walls that speak to the space around it. Designs are created to fuse with the architectural aspects of the house making it blend cleverly. Linear fireplaces are edgy with clean lines. Some are opulently surrounded by solid marble walls. We love the contemporary look, as these styles bring the hearth flush with the exteriors giving it a super slick look.
Big fireplace walls are also becoming more popular in spacious homes. This style can take a floor to ceiling approach, where the fireplace takes up the entire expanse of the wall. They are built into the wall and make a pretty bold statement.
Another stylish fireplace look is going for a corner installation. The great thing about a corner piece is that it can easily separate two rooms or be incorporated into the wall. Corner fireplaces work best with open floor plans.
These types of fireplaces work well in large areas that need a large fireplace to get heated up. Although gas instalments work best for linear and corner pieces, fireplace walls, on the other hand, will welcome traditional wood-burning fires.
Choose Your Fire
If a fireplace is on your revamp additions list, you will have to make decisions about the heating functionality of your fireplace. There are a few popular ways to heat your fireplace. Traditional heating is an obvious one. Using wood to burn a traditional fireplace can be hard work as you need to feed the flame continuously and you need to know what you are doing so as to not smoke up your home.
Gas fireplaces are very common and convenient. They provide radiant heat and come in many shapes and sizes giving you many options. Electric fireplaces usually come assembled. They’re typically on the smaller side, making them an excellent choice for smaller rooms.
If you are going with a traditional wood-burning fireplace, you will also need to decide what construction to go with. Brick fireplace designs are probably the most common choice for wood-burning installations because brick does not show smoke stains. Stone fireplaces come in limestone, marble, slate or ceramic tile.
Decorate The Space
Decorating the room where your fireplace is will need to take careful consideration. Compliment the space by incorporating faux furs, chunky knits and textured materials to bring the room together. Bookshelves and bookcases always work well in a room with a fireplace. Don’t limit your bookshelf to books. Add your favourite magazine issues from the past and it will be something cool to talk about when you have guests around too. If your fireplace has a mantlepiece you will have to decide how you style that too. Try interesting vases, large mirrors, artworks and large plant foliage to decorate your mantelpiece. Photos of your favourite people to cosy up the space are always a great addition.
Ready for a fireplace? Contact a supplier on HOMEMAKERS now.
Autumn can be a tough time for many people. It is the reluctant change to cooler weather with a distant memory of hot summer days by the pool. Besides that, there is also a very real situation, we as South Africans find ourselves in. With the scary COVID-19 virus hitting South Africa pretty hard, we do not have a choice but to stay at home.
That being said, autumn brings a lot of jobs to start doing around the house. We have compiled a list of preventative maintenance jobs to try this season. Now is the time to get started on and oversee projects which have long needed your attention.
Inspect The Roof
This is a good time to inspect your roof and see if there is any debris accumulating from the leaves that are falling from the trees. Inspect your roof, or get a pro to do it for you! Have general look over on your roof and check for wear and tear. Check pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps you could be in trouble. Gutters are also important to check this time of year. Clogged gutters can cause all kinds of problems, especially when water can pool in and around it.
Check for pests and insects too. You do not want anyone else other than your family settling in for winter.
Give all your garden tools and machinery a good clean down. The usual maintenance jobs slow down in your garden and things like mowing the lawn become much less. Trim dead branches and get raking. Rake or blow the dead leaves off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Fallen leaves are an excellent source of nutrients.
Doors and Windows
The cold creeps in everywhere. A window or door that cannot seal properly when closed is going to result in cold air infiltration and unnecessary drafts. Check for glazing putty around window glass that may be cracked or is already crumbling. Repair this as soon as you can.
Check the condition of exterior caulk around all doors by looking for cracks that could ultimately lead to the cold creeping in, as well as critters. Mice are tiny and can easily sneak into your house given the opportunity.
Need help with your autumn preventative maintenance? Find an expert in HOMEMAKERS to help you get the job done. You can also visit our Facebook page to get inspiration for daily activities at home.Read More
It’s that time of year where you need to start thinking about how you will be heating your home this winter. With so many options available, we want to give you the lowdown on what we think is best for our South African winters.
Whether you choose a traditional fireplace or underfloor heating, choosing the right option for your home and budget is important. Below we look at a few popular ways that South Africans are using to heat their homes.
Fireplaces are probably the most classic way to heat your home. They come in all shapes and sizes making it convenient to choose the right style for your home. From woodburning fireplaces and enclosed fireplaces to electric fireplaces and ventless built-in fireplaces, it is important to decide what suits your lifestyle and family environment best.
Radiators might seem old-fashioned but they are a surefire way to heat your home effectively. They are used more predominantly in central heating systems found mostly in large homes with big families. Radiators also heat your home’s water so you do not have to rely on a geyser to do so. Traditional radiator needs to be heated to a fairly high temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees Celsius to warm a room effectively. This consumes a lot of energy and is not the most sustainable way to heat your home.
Underfloor heating is known to distribute heat more evenly than any other heating system. It has a lower temperature than radiators making it more efficient and eco-friendly. This can also save you costs in the long run. Also known as radiant heating, you get two types of underfloor heating. Both electric and water-based systems supply heat from the floor up. Underfloor heating is basically maintenance-free making it a popular choice for homeowners.
Solar Water Heating
We know that sustainability is huge at the moment and that incorporating eco-friendly elements into your home, significantly increases the value of your home too. Solar water heating is becoming very popular as it omits the use of your home geyser to heat your water. A solar water heater uses the sun to heat water. The water then flows through water pipes that supply hot water to your home.
Find a heating specialist to get your home warm and cosy just before the cold winter strikes right here on HOMEMAKERSRead More
There is truth in the saying that “prevention is better than cure”. Preventative home maintenance can save you thousands of Rands.Read More
Becoming a homeowner is always exciting. Making sure that your home remains in good condition can take time. Use this simple maintenance guide to keep up with regular maintenance and avoid the most common maintenance issues.
Although we’ve tried to keep this guide as simple as possible, it is always best to seek professional help if you are unsure. Find a range of home lifestyle professionals here.
Assess possible insect issues. Clear cobwebs and prepare your insect repellent measures.
Check, clean and repair patios and decks. Ensure that it is sealed properly, check for loose boards, insect infestations, cracks and that the railing is secured.
Check for cracks, blisters, bubbles and peeling paint, especially on exterior walls. Look out for water stains, moisture and damp in walls and ceiling.
Remove sediment and prolong your geyser or water heaters life by flushing it.
Service fireplaces/built-in braais and clean chimneys.
Check paving for cracks.
Check windows and door seals, replace broken or cracked panes of glass and apply new putty where necessary.
Check batteries and test smoke/ carbon dioxide detectors.
Prevent grime and build up in less frequently used spaces such as guest bathrooms by running water and flushing toilets.
Check that power outlets, switches and light bulbs work.
Check window and door handles and locks are in working order.
Clean build-up residue in shower heads.
Clear gutters of leaves and debris to ensure proper water flow. Make sure gutters are properly secured and connected allowing water to flow away from the house.
Check for roof leaks and damaged roof tiles.
Check and fill wall, ceiling and foundation cracks.
Clear dead plants and shrubs, check that plants are not growing into cracks and trim trees where necessary.
Check the grout in bathrooms and kitchens.
Check for small leaks in plumbing and taps
Check, clean and if necessary change air conditioning filters.
Clean sink disposal using vinegar ice cubes (this cleans the disposal and sharpens the blades).
Clean stove extractor fan filter with degreaser and hot water.
TWICE A YEAR
Test geyser or other water heater pressure relief valve.
Do a deep clean: Thoroughly clean appliances, windows and surfaces.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Dirty coils cause fridges to run less efficiently and use more electricity.Read More
Fireplaces are a sophisticated and cost-saving way to warm your home during the winter. Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitors, Signi Fires, takes the simple fireplace to new heights with evolved, bespoke designs. Their range of bioethanol, wood and gas options are beautifully designed to make the fireplace a functional feature piece of any home. (more…)Read More