Category Archives: Interior decorating on a budget

Tips on decorating and the best places to shop and strech your budget. There are also easy DIY tips. Live like a star without breaking the bank

Screens to divide and decorate your rooms

Screens are really versatile and can be used to divide a room or to hide what you would not have guests see.  You can also show case your trips and art works or in.  They are really easy to make and relatively in expensive. If you take one of the pictures with to your local supplier they may be able to help with all your requirements.


A screen can be any size, although for this project we’ve used three 16mm thick MDF panels cut to 1800 x 450mm. Have them cut professionally by the supplier to make the job even easier. I usually buy mine from Builders warehouse and they cut it for me at no extra cost, you have to have your measurements ready though. The back of each panel is painted and the fronts  can be covered with padding  (cut 2m x 1.5m into three pieces) and 2m of 1.5m wide fabric, you can also use your family pictures to give this a more personal and sentimental feel. Use upholstery fabric, heavy cotton drill or denim, you can also use mirrors to create an impression of more space and increase the rooms lighting. Uses more interesting hinges and match the upholstery nails to make them a feature, you can also use interesting handles to improve the look.


Shoji screen


1 Prepare the panels

Paint the back of each panel with sealer/primer, followed by two coats of acrylic paint of your choice, you can also use wood strainers.

2 Attach the padding

Cut strips of padding slightly larger than the panels. Lay it on the unpainted face of each panel and fix with a staple gun. Trim away any excess.

3 Attach the fabric

Fold the edge of the fabric under by 8-10mm, lay it over the padding and staple to the narrow edge of the panel. Tension the fabric across the panel and staple the fabric to the other three edges. Fold the edges under.


Screen used for decorative purposes


4 Tidy the edges

Fix a strip of upholstery tape to the narrow edges of the panel to cover the fabric edges and staples. Use decorative upholstery nails at 50mm intervals.

5 Join the panels

Lay two panels face down and align the bottom edges. Attach a pair of hinges 400mm from the top and bottom of the panels. Turn the joined panels painted side up, butt the remaining panel against them and attach the remaining hinges


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.

Decorating with picture frames

cluster twirl photos

You can give any room a facelift or a shot personality with just a few changes. Nothing draws attention like a wall of well-framed and well-arranged family photos; this is also your way of showing off your interests or your last holiday. Start by choosing your best photos and finding the perfect spot to display them; avoid walls that get direct sunlight, which will cause images to fade. If that’s not possible, replace the glass in your frames with a sheet of protective UV-filtered acrylic, available at frame shops. Be sure you also have the right tools on hand — a level, measuring tape, hammer, sharp pencil, and a set of picture-hanging hooks, which are designed to do less damage to your walls than regular nails.

Bedroom-Design-Guide may be use anywhere

Some pictures can be converted to black and white which make them look more professional and also adds more character, this can be done using the options available on your PC/camera.  If your PC/camera does not have the options you can also take your negatives or you digitals to your nearest photo shop to do this its relatively cheap.

You can arrange them in any way you choose; there is no formula to this and in a few minutes you will have your new focal area be it in the bathroom, bedroom or dining room or any room you choose. This is an inexpensive way of achieving a classic expensive look for any room in the house.

Please avoid overdoing it as this may shock the eyes and not appeal or create the attention and classic look you are aiming for.

empty frames

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