From night-time nappy changes to starting school, children’s needs change almost as quickly as they do. Having a children’s room that meets their and your needs as they grow can seem like a never-ending project. We chatted to award-winning blogger and mom, Karen Kelly (The Lovilee Blog) to get her tips and insider info for beautifully designed, functional children’s room decor. (more…)Read More
A few minor changes here and there can make a stark difference in the overall look and feel of your home. Here’s a look at a few simple tips to update your home and give it fresh, new energy.
Swap Light Fittings and Artworks Around
Having a look at your light fittings and where you can change things around is a good start to a mini, no-spend makeover around the house. You may have a beautiful chandelier in your dining room which can be moved into your bedroom. Again, your lampshades are also a quick fix when changing things up. Many home decorating stores sell lampshades that can easily replace your outdated ones. Make sure you buy the correct size so that it fits your lamp perfectly.
Artworks can also be swapped around easily. A large painting above your bed may be better suited above your fireplace now. Bathroom art is very popular too and maybe all your bathroom needs is that lithograph you stored away years ago.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
Be creative when it comes to painting. Painting a fresh coat over bricks is very popular at the moment. We love the look in white and other muted pastels. This is a great idea if you want to lighten up or modernise a space.
Not up for a big paint job? Focus on one wall in a room and give it a fresh coat of paint. Accent walls are still a thing and remain popular because of their flexibility. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colours and textures when it comes to an accent wall. Remember, the point of an accent or focus wall is to compliment the space around it. It should ideally pick up the colours used in the rest of a room’s furniture or accessories.
Rearranging your shelves is always a good idea. We often forget about our shelves and the great books hiding in them. Gather your pretty things and favourite books and make your shelf as interesting as you are. Get creative with the way you stack your books and objects. Create a few interesting shelves with beautiful pottery or sculptures. You can even use your shelf to display small framed artworks.
Need to update your home? Find an expert on HOMEMAKERS.
We are lucky to have mild winters in comparison to colder parts of the world. However, the chillier snaps may have you piling blankets on to try to keep warm. Underfloor heating has been around for a few decades but rising electricity prices have kept many away from investing in it as a home or viable business heating system.
In this article, we discover the best underfloor heating options for you. Underfloor heating is low maintenance suitable for any type of floor.
Wet and Dry
Hydronic underfloor heating (wet) uses water to heat the floors. With water heating, a series of pipes beneath the floorboards or tiles are connected to your water heater (geyser) which then circulates warm water throughout the structure. Developments in hydronic underfloor heating systems offer an alternative to electrical systems. The hot water alternative will keep your entire home warm at a reduced long-term cost.
Electric underfloor heating (dry) uses a large system of wires placed under the floor in the room you wish to heat. Some people opt for heating mats that can be laid to cover a large portion of the room, whereas others go with a system of individual wires that can reach all parts of a room. The heating mats tend to be a bit more affordable as they can be mass-produced in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Long-term Savings or Not?
The initial cost of installing hydronic underfloor heating is higher than its electrical counterpart. However, in the long run, it is cheaper and more efficient to run than other heat sources. Hydronic heating systems also have an extremely long lifespan and require little maintenance once installed correctly. The system should last a minimum of 50 years.
Electrical underfloor heating, on the other hand, is generally more costly to run than hydronic underfloor heating. It may be wise to restrict it to smaller living areas.
As a radiant heating source, underfloor heating is able to evenly heat entire rooms from the ground up. That means there are no cold spots and the room can easily be kept at a constant, comfortable temperature. Different heat sources are available to suit your needs and preferences. Heat pumps, boiler pellets and solar heating are the most popular. Installing a buffer tank to store heated water for when it is needed can prolong your heat pump’s lifespan.
Electric underfloor heating is a lot easier to install compared to the pipes required for hydronic systems. It is not expensive to install and can most probably be done by you.
To make it a cost-effective investment, hydronic heating is best suited to spaces that are bigger than 100m². Therefore, it is best to have water underfloor heating installed across your entire home or as an integrated part of your home’s water heating system. Single rooms such as bathrooms are best suited for electric underfloor heating as it will most likely only be used during the winter months.
Ready for underfloor heating? Find a specialist here on HOMEMAKERS.Read More
International research has shown, pre-COVID-19, that consumers are spending more money on their home than fashion. Our prediction is that this trend will increase, in months and years to come.
Social distancing and lockdown have afforded us the time to rethink and reimagine our homes. We have counted our blessings and noticed the shortcomings. We’ve also realised that our relationship with our homes has changed forever.
Homes are no longer a place where you go when you have nothing to do, it has now become a dynamic social space where stuff happens. While we wait for equilibrium to return, we will work, live and entertain from our homes. And all of this will happen on a budget.
Accept What you Can’t and Do What you Can
Not all projects are equal, some take budget and planning while others imagination and elbow grease. So draw up your to-do lists and set some long, medium and short term goals.
Tips to Get you Started:
Declutter and Clean
Use the three boxes system; box 1= keep, box 2= donate, box 3 = throw it away.
Electronically scan personal records and kids artwork. Save it on a hard drive and in your cloud storing app and then throw it in the recycling bin.
Be ruthless. Here is a tip that really works; make sure you drive away the donate and throw away boxes the same day you declutter. The longer it sits in your garage the higher the risk that you will contract de-clutter remorse and those items will slowly find their way back into your house.
Make it Smell Great
Once you’ve eliminated bad odours introduce new smells. Give your home a great scent. There are various ways of doing this, from fragrances furniture oils to electrical or reed diffusers or scented candles. Never underestimate the sense of smell in creating your sanctuary.
Once decluttered, relook each room’s layout. Make sure it is easy to navigate, move furniture so you don’t have to crisscross to get to the other side of the room, create pathways ensure the positive flow of energy.
It’s well worth it to research décor design principles of the Danish ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gah), the Chinese ‘Feng Shui’, or the Swedish ‘Lagom’ (Lar-gohm).
These principles deal with cosiness, harmony, and balance in the home and offer great guides to style your home in a way that will put you in a good mood.
As part of the declutter process, make sure that you use rooms for its original purpose. Bedrooms for sleeping, a dining room for eating and living rooms for relaxing or watching TV. Not only are these good habits but by setting these boundaries you immediately fool your brain into what it is supposed to do when in that room.
When redesigning your home, remember the golden 80/20 rule: 80 per cent classic and 20 per cent trend. It makes it easier to introduce seasonal changes and also more affordable, as you only have to change 20% of your décor to stay trendy.
Paint is still the most cost-effective and fastest way to transform any space. We all know that different colours are linked to different emotions, so keep this in mind when choosing colours especially for bedrooms and living rooms.
Most importantly go with a colour that makes you happy!
Another new trend is the use of 3D wall covering. With immediate dazzling effects, you can transform a boring wall into a multi-dimensional focal point.
Wallpaper has made a huge comeback and can instantly transform a room from the mundane to exquisite. Today it is easier to apply and remove and it is not as permanent as it used to be in the past.
With digital advances you can personalise your wallpaper, creating your own masterpieces, unique to you.
And don’t forget about the fifth wall -the ceiling. Applying paint or wallpaper on a ceiling will turn any ordinary room into something extraordinary.
Tip: Looking for some free images you can use in your home as either paintings or wallpaper? Visit Unsplash for fantastic free images.
Maybe you enjoy the old masters and classics. Then join Rijksmuseum’s Rijksstudio, where they allow you to download these famous works of art in large format. Print these on canvas or as wallpaper.
Your Happy Place
One of the biggest elements to remember when reimagining your home is you! Always keep in mind that you are creating a place for YOU and your family! And don’t forget to have some serious FUN while you make your home dreams come true.
Get inspired with HOMEMAKERS.
This article has been interpreted into South African Sign Language below:
by Marion Nowak
If you are going to invest in furniture, it is probably a good idea to think about it carefully. There are a few items that you will purchase in your life that will last you many, many years. We look at a few signature furniture pieces that if taken care of, could last you an entire lifetime.
The great thing about these classic pieces is that they will usually fit with every revamp your home goes through. These pieces of furniture are timeless and putting some dough down for them is probably a good idea.
The Compact Leather Couch
A sturdy and comfortable leather couch is always a good investment. A couch is an important part of your home and a place where you spend a lot of time. Choose a well-crafted couch that will age well with your home. Your couch will move from place to place in your home and will be loved by many over the years. You can expect a good leather couch to last between 15 and 20 years.
Well-Built Dining Table
Your dining table will be so much more than a place to eat. It will become a place where you read your morning news and enjoy your first cuppa. Your kids will do their homework on it eventually and occasionally you will host dinner parties on it too. The great thing is that when you upgrade to a bigger table or dining room set, your old table will easily become a study or work table. Make sure the table you choose is well made and sturdy. A good table can easily last you 25 years.
A Headboard for Life
A headboard is another piece of furniture that is made to last a very long time. We love extended headboards, as they can pull any room together. You can also have it reupholstered at some stage and keep its original shape for a quick revamp. Padded headboards are the best choice, especially if you love spending time in bed reading and working. Choose a headboard that is one or two sizes bigger than your bed so that you give it space to grow with your larger beds in the future. The extended look is also stylish and gives your room a real hotel suite finish.
A great set of chairs is a quirky addition to your home that will add your special aesthetic throughout it. Go for a set of chairs that speak to who you are. They may be loud and textured or slick and contemporary – whichever you choose, make sure they are a statement piece that will go along with you for many years.
A Persian Carpet
These beauts are one-of-kind and always a good investment. What may sit under your dining room table today, may be in your bedroom in five years or in your kitchen in 15 years. They are versatile and have the ability to flow with any redecorating projects you may have over the years.
Choose your furniture wisely and they will last you a lifetime.Read More
A few years ago the world-renowned trend guru Li Edelkoord identified the cocooning trend. She said that as a collective, humans are turning inwards, using our home to rejuvenate and energize, to be better people. It was identified as a macro trend, here to stay and not likely to change any time soon.
This was pre-Covid-19. Roll on 2020 and what was a theory becomes our reality. Even more so than how any trend guru could have imagined. We all know that things will never be the same again. This international crisis forced us to, very quickly, do things differently. It highlighted our flaws and also showed us how wonderfully adaptive we are.
One of the big changes will definitely be how we look at physical offices and how we work. We have now seen that so many of us can work very effectively from home. In fact, with the right discipline, we are even more productive than in a formal office setting.
How will this affect our homes?
The temporary offices we created will become permanent. There will be an evolution of the home, where the homes of the future will be sold on the strength of the wifi or fibre in the area and functionality of its home offices.
We will see more functional furniture, transforming small living spaces from day time office to nighttime living room. Furniture and appliances will not only have to be beautiful and functional but of high quality. We will buy with our heads from a very tight purse.
Homeowners will become far more critical of home services and suppliers as more hours are spent at home. Suppliers will be judged severely on the quality of their work and the level of their service.
How will this change who we are?
We will live more holistic lives when the lines between work and home blur. This is something that will be easier for younger people and those of us who were born pre 80’s will have to do a bit more adapting.
We are going to see a new definition of being professional. People will be more forgiving when you are on a Zoom call and your toddlers run past the camera in the background. We will have to work harder on our relationships, building bonds with colleagues, friends and family.
But if there is one thing this crisis did point out, it is the value of family and social interaction and how home will always be at the centre of our lives.Read More
First and foremost, thank you for being part of the HOMEMAKERS community. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you and we want you to know that we value you and your health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our community.
Our First Time
The HOMEMAKERS magazine has been connecting you to home experts since 1982. Now, for the first time in almost four decades, to keep you and our team safe, we are having to do things a little differently for a while. And even though a walk to your home’s postbox may be a welcome relief you won’t find us there.
Instead, we’ve made ourselves at home online and have done a little redecorating to the HOMEMAKERS magazine you have come to know and love. Along with connecting you to home experts, the April edition of HOMEMAKERS will feature informative articles and expert advice.
In this month’s issue, we discover trendy, contemporary lighting and how to incorporate it into your space and budget. You can even read a quick lighting tutorial on our brand new website if that’s your thing too! Find out more about contemporary lighting in our Pretoria edition.
Then, it’s time to get cosy. We have made it easy for you to find the right type of heating for your home. From what looks great aesthetically, to what is eco-friendly, we share a few top methods for heating your home in this Johannesburg issue.
Let’s face it. Autumn is a hard time. It’s the reluctant change to the cold and a reminder of those great holiday moments you had in summer. The change of season brings a whole lot of work to the garden and home. Find ways to keep your home in tip-top shape this season in our Bloemfontein issue.
In our Durban issue we discover five reasons why outdoor blinds are a good idea all year round, while our Cape Town issue looks at cool, contemporary flooring. Finally, we share our suggestions on what types of renovations can increase the value of your home in this month’s Vaal issue.
Bored at home? Visit our Facebook page for fun activities to keep you busy during this time.Read More
We are keeping this one to the point. There are a few important things to do in certain situations during the lockdown. Here we share some important information and lockdown tips to help you through the extended lockdown in South Africa.
List any Essential Services on HOMEMAKERSonline.co.za
If you know of any lockdown services, for example, special food deliveries or an essential service provider in your community let us know. This can include plumbers, electricians, road-side assistance, grocery deliveries etc. Let them list their services on the HOMEMAKERSonline.co.za website for free. Let’s help those in need!
Contact or WhatsApp: 087 897 2402
We will connect these service providers to our extensive online community.
We connect SA in a time of need!
Who Doesn’t Love a Powerful Story of Hope?
Tell us your story of hope by sharing it on our Facebook page.
You can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Know the Protocol
Make sure your close friends and family know the protocol to follow should any of you fall ill. According to the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, if you develop emergency warning signs for CORONA VIRUS n(COVID-19) here is the 24-HOUR HOTLINE NUMBER:
0800 029 999
Emergency warning signs include*:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion (as opposed to your old confusion?} or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Power Tool Maintenance (Brought to you by Vermont Sales)
Lockdown is an excellent time to service all your power tools. The best friend for your power tools both electric and cordless is a compressor or electric workshop blower, to get rid of all the dust in the motors, plus lubricate if required. All air tools also need good lubricating.
Electric Cables (Brought to you by Vermont Sales)
Laying out all your cables can also make working a lot easier and safer.
A good, neat way to keep all your electric cables and charger cables neat and tidy is to cut your old pool hoses into small 5 centimetre pieces and fold all your cables and push them into the hose. It also allows you to hang them up neatly. Small PVC pipes or garden hose will work perfectly for your smaller charger cables.
Who does not like freebies? We all love free stuff. Lately, many companies have given free services and products and we think it is about time they did.
Boredom will strike at some stage during the lockdown and choosing a free online service might be exactly what you need. Below we share our top free services you should take advantage of right now!
Department of Basic Education
Free online resources for parents, caregivers and students to support learning at home. Parents in South Africa are very worried about keeping their kids busy after the initial Easter holiday. This is a great resource offered by our government.
Audible by Amazon
All audiobooks are free while schools are on break – all around the world. This is great for kids who love to live themselves into a story and for parents who need a little break. Get cosy with a cup of tea and settle in. Broaden your literary knowledge by “reading” the classics. Audible has released a 27 classic audiobooks (and a range of children’s books) for free streaming during lockdown.
LinkedIn is opening up 16 of its learning courses for free. Why not get your professional skills updated and do one of these great courses before you head back to the office? Being productive at home and staying focussed on work and your professional skills is a great way to kill time.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe enables distance learning globally for schools impacted by COVID-19. Many students use Adobe software to get through their curriculum. If your school has been impacted, Adobe offers great distance learning programs to keep you going.
Musicals and Plays
Who doesn’t love a good show? Filmed In Stage is streaming free musicals and plays. The company is an online streaming platform showcasing some of the best musicals and plays in theatre history.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is doing us a solid. Every day they are streaming live game drives – one in the morning and one in the evening. All you need to do is kick back on go on a drive! Watch in on YouTube here.
Read our latest magazine online here.