Monthly Archives: December 2011

Toddlers to Pre-teens Bedrooms

Sport Theme

Butterfly theme

Decorating kiddies and pre-teens bedroom is a lot easier than that of new kids but its not fuelled by that great anticipation and the nesting phase has long left you. This is because you already know who you will be decorating for and their likes and dislikes, favourite colours, cartoons, movies and stars.

Boys bedding

Bat man

This will give you an idea of how to decorate their rooms. For bedding most retailers have a variety of character sets, mats, pillows and other accessories. You could also get the letters and flowers or stencils from your local scrapbooking or craft stores.

Racing cars

toddler bedroom decorating ideas

Pink love

Decorating Kids Bedrooms

Froggy theme

Finding out that you are pregnant and the whole pregnancy period is very exciting. I remember how excited I was and the planning that followed. I had a specific look for the baby room and knew exactly where to get everything but the bedding; I had a tailor make them for me.

Below are a few looks you may like. Baby boutiques here in south Africa a very expensive and for particular themes you will have to go the tailor route as they may not carry them. Look around in major retailers as well as hardware stores, you still have time If its still early in your Pregnancy to shop around for the individual items and please do not despair as this is the most enjoyable time.

I enjoyed this putting together of the room and the joy of seeing it all come together as I brought each new item home.

The above theme is my favorite and the one I chose for my daughter, I even had frog sidelambs(from Builders warehouse). and covering slips for the chest of drawers( whichI got from PEPs- they have a few varied themes). I opted out of the wall paper(most baby botiques carry) and dought a border from Game stores.

The following website will help with where to find stuff and inspiration;

if you need extra help you can leave a comment with your email address and I will get back to you.

Making your own headboard – Part 2

White tufted headboard with rectangular button pattern

Making your own head board or updating your old upholstered one can be moderately difficult to do but very rewarding. I will show you almost step by step directions you will need to pull it off. The steps are the same for all the headboard style just the size of the boards used will be different.

You will need:

Boards cut to size

Material cut at to size (leave at least 7cm extra on the sides)

Staple gun and staples

Betting cut to size

Foam cut to size

Nails (will depend on the option you choose)

Buttons (optional according to your choice of headboard)

Any home improvement store or building supplies store will be able to help you cut all the boards according to your needs, free of charge. The same applies to the fabric/haberdashery store.

Before you start you’ll need to know a few things about your bed:

1.            Width of your bed: The headboard should be slightly wider than your mattress. Don’t forget – the padding and foam will add slightly to the width also (usually less than 2.5cm).


2.            Height of your headboard: This is up to you; first you’ll want to figure out the purpose of your headboard. Are you creating it only for décor purposes, or is it also for functional purposes such as for resting against it to read a book or watch TV? If it’s for function, be sure you make it tall enough so you can comfortably lean against it without your head hitting the wall!

You can choose to do a few small blocks  or one large one, below is the options of the small blocks

Red squares headboard

This is the patch work look


This is the layering that you should follow

how to layer the items


  1. 1.       Have enough fabric to generously cover the front of your headboard and the back side about 25 cm extra. Wrap the fabric over the top edge of headboard and secure with a staple in the centre, about 7cmfrom the edge.

2. On the opposite edge, pull fabric taut and staple to secure. Repeat on remaining two sides, then staple all around the edges, pulling cloth tight.


3. Fold the fabric at one corner into a neat finish by tucking the excess underneath and smoothing the top down. Secure with three or four staples, keeping the folds flat and even. Repeat for each corner.

4. If you would like to add buttons you should have extra 60cm of fabric from the edge as the button pattern requires more fabric, there are special button that can be bought from your local haberdashery- they should also be able to show you how to cover them with your fabric of choice.

5. Saw your buttons on to the fabric and betting before you staple it on to the board. Take a tailor’s chalk and draw on the diamond pattern on the fabric and saw the buttons on at the crossing point.


When done you can hang on your wall

How to choose a Colour Scheme

Colour planning allows you to combines different colours in a way that will create an ambiance in a room or setting. There’s a few things to look at before choosing a colour scheme for a room and these were discussed in the preceding article (How to choose colour), I undertake that that you have chosen a your base colour and now we will help you decide how to select colours that are needed to create the mood you’re trying to achieve in the room or setting. I put a colour wheel below, at the bottom there ire greyed out colour wheels to show the possible colour scheme choices

First divide the rooms according to the activities that are associated with them, active spaces and passive spaces, for instance kitchens will fall into the active category, while bathrooms would fall into the passive group. Because warm colours like orange and red represent energy, they are best suited for active rooms like the kitchen but beware as orange in the eating areas tends to increase ones appetite.

Alternatively, cool colours like blues and greens have a soothing and calming effect, making them ideal for passive rooms like the bedroom and bathroom. Please note that injecting too much of a bright colour in any room will leave you feeling exhausted overtime as it creates excitement and increases energy you may also not be able to relax or calm down in these rooms.

Something you should know is that in most kitchens, the bulk of the wall space is taken up with cabinets. Leaving minimal space for paint and therefore I suggest that for the kitchen you choose your base colour as the colour of the cabinets and the wall colour to serve as part of your colour schemes choices. Kitchens are considered the heart of the home and therefore associated with warmth, happiness and cooking.

Remember, there are just some colour schemes that work better than others, if you are looking to achieve a feeling of peace and tranquillity, you may considers a monochromatic or analogous colour arrangement and more nature inspired colours.

Select the other colours in the scheme according to one of the four colour relationships listed below. These colours can be used to paint doors, trim cupboards and to highlight architectural details, scatter cushions, the one chair that breaks the monochromatic colour scheme

monochromatic colours

Colour Schemes

These colour schemes will give a   harmonious, elegant, and understated feel to any room. Simply choose your   dominant colour or hue and then select other colours from the same colour   family or stripe chip.

related colours

Colour Schemes

Selecting shades from groups of colours   which lie beside one another on the colour wheel give a more calming effect   than the complementary colour scheme and a richer feel than a monochromatic   colour scheme. Select colours from colour families that lie directly beside   one another on the colour wheel.

Complementary colours

Colour Schemes

Many classic or visually striking settings   can be created through the use of complementary colour schemes. By selecting   colours that lie directly across from one another on the colour wheel, the   best of each colour is brought to life.

Split Colours

Split   Complementary Colour Schemes

Also known as near complements, these   colour schemes are for those who demand a more adventurous colour palette.   Select a dominant colour and then select colours from families to the left   and right of the complementary colour. They are great for layering within a   faux finish, or simply to add more colour to a room

This is where the beauty of a complementary colour scheme really shines. Because the colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel, these colour combinations always balance a warm tone with a cool tone.

Selecting paint for your walls

Paint colour options

I have always known that choosing the colour of walls in any room of the house is difficult and that once you have applied the paint the task of repainting again because you don’t really like what you’ve already used is painful. So I will give you guidance as to how to choose colours and how to use it to create the illusion of more or less space.

You would generally give a room an effect of less space if it is too big and sparsely furnished and more space if it’s small and densely furnished.

First things first; before you choose a colour for your walls you should consider the following, your personality and lifestyle, the structure of the room( architecture), how much natural light is comes into the room, what you will be using the room for  and what mood/ambiance you are trying to achieve.

The colour spectrum


The size of the room, structure and personality will determine you base colour schemes.

This will now get very technical but it is necessary. Colour has a reflectivity index that is the amount of light that it reflects or absorbs calculated on a percentile scale, 0% for absolute black and 100% for absolute white. The table below shows you the values, the higher the number the more light it will reflect. Some yellows may reflect up 80% – 90% but yellow is not particularly liked colour by most people. Note,the higher the value the more light it will reflect and the opposite applies for the low values.

Refractive   Indices of Various Pigments
Colour Pigment Refractive   Index
Blue Azurite 1.73-1.84
Indigo 1.49-1.52
Smalt 1.49-1.52
Ultramarine (lazurite) 1.50
Vivianite 1.58-1.70
Green Chrysocolla 1.58-1.60
Dioptase 1.64-1.71
Green earth (glauconite) 1.62
Malachite 1.65-1.90
Verdigris (basic copper acetate) 1.53-1.56
Volkonskoite 2.50
Yellow Gamboge (organic resin) 1.58-1.59
Indian yellow 1.67
Jarosite 1.71-1.82
Massicot 2.50-2.61
Ochre, yellow (goethite) 2.00-2.40
Orpiment 2.40-3.02
Cinnabar 2.81-3.15
Hematite 2.78-3.01
Realgar 2.46-2.61
Red lead 2.42
Vermilion 2.82-3.15
Brown Goethite (brown ochre) 2.08-2.40
Siderite 1.57-1.78
Sienna, burnt 1.85
Sienna, raw (goethite) 1.87-2.17
Umber, burnt 2.20-2.30
Umber, raw 1.87-2.17
White Anhydrite 1.57-1.61
Chalk (whiting) 1.51-1.65
Gypsum 1.52-1.53
Titanium dioxide (rutile) 2.27
White lead (basic lead carbonate) 1.94-2.09
Zinc oxide 2.00-2.02
Black Carbon black (opaque)

When light is reflected from a the paint on wall it create “volume” and when it is absorbed it shrinks volume, this is why we all look slimmer in black and bigger in white.

Paying attention to a colour’s LRV can prevent poor wall colour selections by helping you determine and evaluate certain characteristics of a color before you even buy it. The LRV can be found on the back of most color chips and in the index of all major brands or on the back of the paint container.

An easy way to get the paint colour that will reflect or absorb light is to buy a base colour and add shades (add a black colour) to make it darker or tints (add a white colour) to make it lighter. Most paint retailers have this service, but please remember that the “real” colour of paint can only be really visible after it has dried up. It is best then that you do this only a sample of the paint like 500ml tinted and then painted on the wall and wait till it dries up.

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