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  spring inspired decor

Spring Inspired Home Decor by Lubna Ali Khan
1. Flowers
Adding flowers in your home during spring time is a great way of bringing the outdoors in. Flowers can make your home smell amazing and lift up your mood. A great way to incorporate flowers in your home is to get a bunch of glass milk bottles and decorate them. You can use a black twine if you want to add a rustic look to it. You can also use ribbons and bows if you want a pastel theme. Just wrap them around the bottle anyway you fancy. Lastly fill them up with water and your favorite flowers. If you have trouble taking care of flowers then you can put some fake..
Read more here>

  DIY room decor

DIY Room Decor Ideas by Lubna Ali Khan
DIY Photo Collage
This photo collage is perfect for your room if you have a basic plain wall and you've been wanting to do something with it. This collage is really easy to make.
You'll need:
- Photos
- Masking tape
- Double sided tape... Read more here>

  DIY: Wall art  
ref: Simply Handmade - Youtube
  DIY: How to age wood in minutes  
ref: MOD - Youtube
  DIY: Storage box  
ref: Homes Magazine - Youtube
  DIY: How to install a kitchen countertop  
ref: buildipedia.com
  DIY: How to refinish a wood deck  
ref: buildipedia.com
  DIY: How to transfer a photo to wood  
ref: SLR Coaching.com - Youtube
  Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms
Serves 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- About 1kg beef chuck, cut into chunks
- Salt... Read more here>

  Spinach & chickpea curry

Spinach & chickpea curry
Serves 4
A low fat, low calorie Indian vegan one-pot that's full of delicious sunshine flavours and hot spiceNutritional information per serving: Carbs 28g | Fat 4g | Protein 9g
- 2 tbsp mild curry paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 400g can cherry tomatoes... Read more here>

  Crunchy stuffed chicken breasts in lemon butter

Crunchy stuffed chicken breasts in lemon butter
Serves 4
- 4 skinless free-range chicken breasts
- 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
- 100g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
- 100g fresh brown or white breadcrumbs... Read more here>

  Mushroom Chickpea Stew

Mushroom Chickpea Stew
Serves 4-6
- 8 carrots
– 3 boxes of mushrooms (about 30 mushrooms/850g)
– 3 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
– 2 400g tins of chickpeas... Read more here>

  Spinach Tomato & Garlic Penne Pasta

Spinach Tomato & Garlic Penne Pasta
Serves 4-6
Nutritional information based on per serving: Carbs 56g | Fat 11g | Protein 14g
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 57 grams cream cheese
- 25 grams parmesan cheese (grated)... Read more here>

  Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
Serves 4-6
- 6 cups salad (a combination of arugula/lettuce and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do).
- 1 red apple
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (such as Diamond of California)... Read more here>

  Pickled Fish Tacos

Pickled Fish Tacos
Serves 4
- 4 small tortillas
- 500 g pickled fish
- guacamole
- red chilli, finely chopped
- coriander leaves
... Read more here>

  Pineapple Pork Chops

Pineapple Pork Chops
Serves 4
Serving size: 1 pork chop + 1 pineapple slice
Nutritional information per serving: Carbs 24g | Fat 3g | Protein 28g

Pork Chops:
- 4 pork chops
- 4 slices fresh pineapple, cut 2cm thick
... Read more here>

  Chalkboard Serving Tray

Chalkboard Serving Tray
What to do:
Step 1: Sand the pine with 240-grit sandpaper until nice and smooth. Wipe away all traces of dust.
Step 2: Apply wide masking tape around the edge of the board. The wide tape protects the edge of the board from overspray.
Step 3: Spray on 3 to 4 coats of chalkboard spray, applying light coats and working from side to side. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next coat
... Read more here>

  Recycled Plastic Bottle Light Shades

Recycled Plastic Bottle Light Shades
What to do:
Step 1: Use a sharp craft knife to cut off the bottom section of the plastic bottle.
Note: You can only use CFL light globes in the fitting, as anything else heats up and will melt the plastic shade.
Step 2: Screw the top half of the bottle to the light fitting
Step 3: Optional - you may spray paint the outside of the plastic in any colour of your choice... Read more here>

  Pebble mat

Pebble Mat
What to do:
Step 1: Recycle and old doormat, or cut a sheet of rubber to size (Many larger fabric stores offer various rubber products for various upholstery projects).
Step 2: Before sticking down the pebbles, arrange them on the rubber mat until all the pebbles fit nicely.
Step 3: Use Pattex Universal Silicone to attach the individual pebbles to the rubber mat. Apply a thick bead of silicone to the back of each press and press firmly onto the mat... Read more here>

  beetroot bread Beetroot Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 and 1/2 cups beetroot puree
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups strong white flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp salt.
.. Read more here>
  chocolate pears Chocolate Dip Pears with Almond Crunch
Serves 6
- 6 red Bartlett pears, medium size
- 225g dark chocolate, melted
- 110 - 140g salted almonds, chopped
1. Place melted chocolate in one bowl and the chopped almonds in a second
... Read more here>
  beetroot soup Roasted Beet Soup
- 4 red beets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable Stock
- Fresh thyme
- Salt & pepper to taste
... Read more here>
  marbled planters DIY Planters with Nail Polish Marbling
What to do:
Step 1: Fill the a bucket about halfway with water and let it come to room temperature. It’s best to do this outside so you have good ventilation.
Step 2: Liberally pour in nail polish. Let it spread out over the water as much as possible. You can help it move with a tooth pick or even just shaking the bucket a bit. The more surface area of the water you cover the greater coverage on the pot
Step 3: Dip the pot in the water. It works best to dip the pot on its side and let... Read more here>
  spice storage Magnetic Spice Storage
What to do:
Step 1: Trace your container onto a sheet of magnetic paper. 
Steps 2 -3: Cut out the shapes and adhere them to the back of your spice container. 
Step 4: Cut a piece of label paper in a strip longer than your container. Also add hand drawn lines to your strips.
Step 5: Use the container to measure how wide your strip should be. Make a crease with your finger to mark the spot and then cut it out
... Read more here>
  hang vase Hanging Vase Display
What to do:
Step 1: You will need vases that have thin necks with wider openings at the top (so the rope doesn't slide off), and you don't want them to be too big overall so that they don't get super heavy once you fill them with water.

Step 2: Once you found the perfect vases, install a robe hook and tie a long piece of twine several times around the neck of each vase. Gather all the strands together and staggered their heights before tying the group of strands to the robe hook. Once the vases were... Read more here>
  Noodle Stir Fry with Chicken and Cashews Noodle Stir Fry with Chicken and Cashews
Serves 5
- 3 zucchinis, Spiralized
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tsp. olive oil
... Read more here>
  Mini Taco Cups Mini Taco Cups
- 8-10 Tortillas (depending on how full you want the cups)
- 0.6 kg Ground Turkey
- 1 kg mince
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder.
.. Read more here>
  Berry Coconut Almond Protein Bars Berry Coconut Almond Protein Bars
Makes 12 Bars
- 1 cup Almond Butter
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats
- 1 tsp. Glucomannan Fiber
... Read more here>
  Striped Wall Striped Wall
What to do:
Step 1: You can liven up your walls by keeping your original colour and just adding stripes to the wall. Choose two paint colours that compliments the current wall.
Step 2: On the main wall start by giving the wall a quick coat of primer.
Step 3: Draw your lines on the wall. Paint thin white lines on the pencil markings you made.
Step 4: Once the paint is dry, tape onto the white stripes using tape.
Step 5: Apply paint sealer around the edges of the tape, and wait 15 minutes for
... Read more here>
  Embellished Clothespins
What to do:

Step 1: Glue a strip of burlap to the clothespins.
Step 2: Cut and glue the fabric pieces into shapes and flowers.
Step 3: Glue the studs in the center of the shape and flowers.
Step 4: Glue each flower and shape in the center of the clothespin.
What you need:
 1. Fabric .
.. Read more here>
  Vintage Sheet Headboard Vintage Sheet Headboard
What to do:

This vintage headboard was made from 35cm square wall art pieces purchased from Cut It Out. You can either purchase it from Cut It Out or purchase any wooden square art pieces you desire.
Step 1: To make the headboard, lay out 15 of the squares in a 3×5 pattern, and use 63cm x  38cm strips of wood to attach them all together.
Step 2: Paint the headboard with one coat of primer and three coats of white enamel cabinet paint.
Step 3: Cut squares of white foam core to fit snugly inside of the openings in the... Read more here>
  Prawn and Noodle Salad Prawn and Noodle Salad
Serves 4
- 1tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 3tbsp rice vinegar
- 1tsp caster sugar
- ½ red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
... Read more here>
  Chocolate Nutella and Hazelnut Milkshake Chocolate Nutella and Hazelnut Milkshake
Serves 2
- 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, plus one to float on top
- 3tbsp Nutella spread
- 100ml cold milk
- Flake chocolate bar, crumbled
- hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped... Read more here>
  Orange-pink Lemonade Ice Lollies Orange-pink Lemonade Ice Lollies
What you need:
- Small Paper Dixie Cups or Ice Lolly Mold
- Wooden Craft Sticks
- Orange Flavored Drink (Orange Juice, Kool-Aid, Powerade, Hawaiian Punch, etc)
- Pink Lemonade
1. Pour a layer of your orange drink into the bottom of a Dixie cup or your ice... Read more here>
  Colour Block Wooden Plates Colour Block Wooden Plates
What to do:
Step 1:
Tape the plate at various angles to create triangles or block sections. Not all sections need to overlap. Smooth tape edges to ensure a clean line once you start painting.
Step 2: Using a sponge brush, fill in one section. If it over laps with another section, be sure to allow it to completely dry before brushing on the second hue. Brush colour onto the plate by sweeping brush away from the tape's edge, not towards. Continue painting each section a different colour, and set aside to dry... Read more here>
  Pocketed Beach Towel Pocketed Beach Towel
What to do:
1. Start by folding up the bottom of one end about 15cm (you can adjust this measurement depending on how deep or shallow you want your pockets) and pinning it in place on both sides.

2. Measure out the size of each individual pocket and mark them with pins. The easiest way to do this is to lay out all the things that you know you always bring with you and measure the pockets accordingly... Read more here>

  Striped Tablecloth Striped Tablecloth
What to do:
Step 1: Wash and tumble dry a natural-colored canvas tablecloth a few times to soften the fabric.
Step 2: Lay the cloth flat. Run 5 strips of grout tape down the middle of the fabric widthwise, 0.6cm apart.
Step 3: Paint red fabric paint onto a paper plate and dab a brush in it, off-loading any extra paint onto a paper towel. Working in short strokes, lightly brush the paint on the cloth between the taped areas to catch the grain of the canvas
... Read more here>
  Turkey Meat Pie

Turkey Meat Pie
Makes 2 pies - 10 servings each
Nutritional information based on 20 servings: Carbs 27.3g | Fat 7.9g | Protein 20.4g INGREDIENTS
- 1½ cup spelt flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour ... Read more here>

  Chicken Meatloaves Chicken Meatloaves
Serves 6-8
- 750g chicken breast
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup rolled oats
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
... Read more here>
  Cheesecake Orange and Cranberry Cheesecake
Serves 10
You will need: 23cm springform tin, oiled and the sides lined with baking parchment.INGREDIENTS
- 100g butter
- 225g chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed
... Read more here>
  Christmas Decorations Christmas Decorations
What to do:
1. Cut CDs into various small shapes and sizes. It's not the simplest material to cut through, but can be done with a decent pair of scissors.
2. Glue a small dot onto the ornament and press a piece of mosaic on top with the shiny side facing up. Be sure to wipe away any remaining glue from the glue gun. It is much easier to clean as you go then to wait until the end.
3. Continue gluing until the entire ornament is covered. Tip: You can also place ... Read more here>
  Christmas Tree Christmas Tree
What to do:
1. Lay out four of the five pieces of white foamcore vertically, two up and two down, to form a larger rectangle.
2. Place fifth piece of foamcore at the top of the newly-formed rectangle, horizontally. Make sure that top piece is centered.
3. Using duct tape, attach all the pieces together to form one giant piece. Add a few layers of duct tape on both sides, along the creases. ... Read more here>
  Santa Hat Chair Covers Turkey Meat Pie
What to do:
1. Measure your chair. You need to know how wide it is (at it's widest) and then how tall the back section is. Make sure that it reaches down to about 5cm above the seat section of the chair.
2. Cut the main rectangle shape of your covers to be about 48cm wide and 46cm tall and top edge to have a triangle shape (for the santa hat look), to make about 25cm tall from the top point, down to where the main rectangle shape begins ... Read more here>
  Grilled Mielie Salad

Grilled Mielie Salad
Serves 4
Nutritional information per serving: Carbs 66.5g | Fat 15.4g | Protein 16.8g

- 8 ears of fresh mielie, silk removed
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 cups haricots verts, ends removed and cut into 1" pieces ... Read more here>

  Caramelized Onions and Roasted Bell Peppers Meatza Caramelized Onions and Roasted Bell Peppers Meatza
Serves 6
Nutritional information: Carbs 19.2g | Fat 38.7g | Protein 42.8g
- 900g (2lb) grassfed ground beef
- 1 cup raw cauliflower, grated
- 1 cup almond flour
... Read more here>
  Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie
Serves 8 | preparation: 10 minutes | cooking time: 145 minutes
Nutritional information: Carbs 47g | Fat 18g | Protein 5g
- 225g chopped semisweet chocolate, melted
- 4 cups crisped rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
- 4 cups mint chocolate-chip ice cream, slightly softened
... Read more here>
  Garden markers Garden Markers
What to do:
1. Roll each clay ball into a coil about 5.5″long. Then flatten the coils to .25″ thick with your rolling pin.
2. Use the dull side of your knife to trim one end into a point (the dull side won’t leave behind serrated marks), and shape the edges of each marker with the flat side of your knife. Smooth out any imperfections with your finger, transfer the markers into your baking dish, and get your stamps out.
... Read more here>
  vertical garden Vertical Garden
What to do:
1. Sand down any rough spots on your pallet. If the back of your pallet doesn’t have much support, find some scrap wood, roughly 3 to 4 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick (or the thickness of the rest of your supports) and cut it down to the width of your pallet. Using two nails on each side, add supports so they are roughly even down the back of your pallet.
2. Double or triple up your landscaping fabric (can also be canvas or hessian, .... Read more here>
  Outdoor Lounge Outdoor Lounge
What to do:
Tip: Make sure the ground is level before setting everything in place.
1. Start with one side. Set 4 cinderblocks vertically, and 2 that go on top horizontally. Allow approximately 8 - 9 ft. of distance before setting the next side of cinderblocks.
2. Feed the wood through one side to the other. Make sure you have at least... Read more here>
  Ways to keep your home cool in summer Ways to keep your home cool in summer - Article written by Chantel Harris
Summer is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about solutions to keep your home cool and comfortable indoors during those blazing hot days. There are scores of options for keeping things cool. Some are quick and cheap fixes while others can be more involved and costly.
Electric options
Installing an air conditioner might seem like the most obvious choice but with South Africa’s soaring electricity costs, this won’t be the most wallet friendly solution for most. Fans don’t use as much electricity and keep air circulating... Read more here>
  flower trivet DIY- How to make a flower trivet. Step by step instructions below.
Felt trivet. No sewing or gluing required. Connect as many pieces as you like to make bigger projects, too placemats, a runner, or sew two pieces together for a pillow cover. Download the pattern here.
What to do:
1. Download the pattern.
2. Then print out as many sheets as you need and pin them to a piece of felt... Read more here>
  leather magazine holder DIY- How to make a leather magazine holder. Step by step instructions below.
What to do:
1. First you’ll want to cut (or have the lumber store cut) your dowel rods and your wood sides to the appropriate sizes.
2. Take your small bowl and trace half the bowl at the bottom of the wood side piece. Trace the entire bowl 4" above the top of your bottom half circle and draw a straight line from the sides of the circle to the top of the wood piece.... Read more here>
  metallic candle holder DIY- How to make metallic candle holders. Step by step instructions below.
What to do:
Step One: Mix plaster according to the directions on the package. Only prepare an amount of plaster that you can use within 10 minutes of mixing, or it will harden before you can use it all.
Step Two: Spray the inside of the cups with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure the widest diameter of the cup is larger than the diameter of the candle you plan to use.
Step Three: Fill the insides of each cup you are using with the plaster.... Read more here>
  floating shelves Updating Your Home With Floating Shelves - Article written by Chantel Harris
When it comes to easy ways of upgrading the look of your home, few improvements are as hassle free and effective as adding a floating shelf. Think about it - this simple solution increases your space for showing off gorgeous artworks or beautifully framed photographs whilst leaving your floor space unhindered. Let’s look at a few simple tricks and benefits when it comes to installing the perfect floating shelf to round off your interior:.... Read more here>
  antler display

DIY- How to make your own antler display. Step by step instructions below.
1. To make the floral antler decoration first paint your antler white.
2. Once the white paint is dry, dip the tips of the antler into bright gold paint.
3. When the gold paint is dry, take small vases and attach it to the antler using your pink cotton or string as shown in the image below..... Read more here>

  craft holders

DIY- How to make craft holders. Step by step instructions below.
1. Cut off the top part of the bottle.
2. Cut a length of your colourful printed fabric to fit around the bottle.
3. Use fabric glue to glue the fabric onto the bottle. Make sure to smooth out all air bubbles.
4. Once the bottle is covered trim the top to about 1/4 inch, turn in the fabric and glue.... Read more here>

  planter cover DIY- How to make your own planter covers. Step by step instructions below.
1. Lay your two fabrics on top of each other and cut out a rectangle of fabric that is 18" tall and 30" wide. Place the fabrics so that the right side of each fabric is facing each other. Pin the fabric in place across the top width of the fabric
2. Use a sewing machine to sew across the top width of your fabric with a 1/2" seam allowance.... Read more here>

DIY- How to make your own ottoman. Step by step instructions below.
1. Take off the bucket handle and measure the top of the bucket (38") — the bucket tapers at the bottom, so you need to measure the top and bottom — measure the bottom (33") and measure the height (17 1/2").You can also wrap the foam around the bucket and cut accordingly
2. Mark out the foam with your ruler. Draw out 38", mark the middle of it and split from the center 33". Measure 17 1/2" for the vertical foam with the height of the top layer of foam. Cut foam. Spray glue on the bucket and foam, and wait a few seconds for the glue to set.... Read more here>

  decor tips and tricks

Decor Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know - Article written by Chantel Harris
Not everyone can afford the services of an interior decorator, but that doesn’t mean your home can’t look like a million dollars. Professionals are happy to share their knowledge, meaning you can use their tips and tricks without feeling guilty about it. Here are the most important décor advice, as dispensed by those in the know.. Read more here>

  DIY Pallet Coffee Table DIY Pallet Coffee Table
For materials and directions for making a coffee table with a chevron pattern and shelf or it can be customized to how you would like, but one example for these particular materials and steps are for this style.. Read more here>
  DIY: How to make house decorations from Autumn leaves  
  DIY: Autumn Lantern  
  DIY 4 easy Autumn decorations  
  How to open a bottle of wine - without using a cork screw.   
  Natural house cleaner DIY

Functional Rowhouse Kitchen
Suzanne Dimma reveals the newly renovated kitchen of H&H art director Mandy Milks. With the help of designer Mazen El-Abdallah, see how Mandy and her husband planned a new galley layout for their 11-foot-wide space. Learn tips for combining open and closed storage, adding extra counter depth without splurging on custom cabinets, and incorporating timeless materials for a polished look without a hefty price tag. Read more here>

  Natural house cleaner DIY Sprawling Urban Penthouse
Learn how to hone tasteful, Turkish-inspired style in a modern penthouse condo. Designer Sasha Josipovicz shows off a 4,000-square-foot space with contemporary angular furniture, sculptural lighting and art, and pops of fun colours like green, yellow and orange. Tour the open-concept living and dining room, bright kitchen and family room, grand staircase with dark plum wallpaper and upstairs principal suite. Read more here>
  Natural house cleaner DIY Top Kitchen Trends
Lynda Reeves and Suzanne Dimma discuss their preferences and pet peeves in kitchen design. See why Lynda's kitchens always have a separate cooking station with stove, spices and utensils on-hand, and why Suzanne gravitates toward dark grout, gold hardware, open shelving and exposed hinges. Read more here>
  Natural house cleaner DIY Affordable Guest Room Makeover
Lynda Reeves shops for budget finds to update her guest bedroom. Follow her through accessible retailers HomeSense and Home Hardware as she scours for a small desk, colourful bedding, geometric throw pillows and lighting. See video here>
  Natural house cleaner DIY Multifunctional Basement
Designer Cameron MacNeil turns an open-concept laundry area and guest room into a tailored, practical space. Learn his tips for designing a wall of laundry appliances that isn't an eyesore, adding a large table for folding and crafts, and accessorizing an existing Murphy bed for guests. See video here>
  Natural way to get rid of bugs in your home Natural ways to deter critters
Ants: Ants are a common problem in households as they find their way in despite the best of efforts. However, ants communicate primarily through scent, so this can be used against them. Read more here>

Mosquitoes: Nothing kills a summer mood more than the whine of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. The most common time for mosquitoes to come into a house is around dusk, so make sure to keep as many windows and doors closed around that time. Read more here>

Flies: Flies are attracted to rotting meat and organic waste, so keep your garbage in a closed container and regularly wash it out with disinfectant. Read more here>

Cockroaches: These little pests are drawn into your house when there is food left out, so make sure to put all leftovers in airtight containers and pack them away into the fridge or cupboard. Wipe down your kitchen cupboards and counters regularly to get rid of crumbs and spills. Read more
  Natural house cleaner DIY If life hands you lemons, make household cleaner
You don’t need commercial detergents full of synthetic chemicals to clean your home. There are many ways to make your own cleaning products which are just as effective, much cheaper and better for your health and that of the planet. See video here>

Ref: Green Renaissance
  room makeover Great Room Makeover - Erin Feasby of Feasby & Bleeks shows off an open-concept main floor space she redesigned from its original builder-basic layout. Learn how she added character in the kitchen and living room with a new Moroccan-inspired backsplash, a kid-friendly dining banquette, custom built-ins and a functional layout. See video here>  
  decor ideas European-Inspired Home - Designer Colette van den Thillart of London's NH Design takes us through the main floor of her 1920s Toronto home. After spending the last 13 years in England, she wanted a house she could fill with collected antiques and newer, more contemporary art. Tour through her entryway with intricate ceiling mural. See the formal living room's eclectic mix of favourite things, dining room with bold, velvet-wrapped walls and long galley kitchen with a homework area for the kids. See video here>  
  the best lofts and condos The best lofts and condos - Yes, an industrial loft can be cosy. Sarah Callanan, Angus & Company's in-house designer, fell in love with her 900-square-foot unit's raw features — exposed brick, natural wood beams and an open-concept floor plan — which she embellished with pops of colour, family antiques and vintage lighting. See how she updated the small kitchen by painting the cupboards out white, traded a tub for a luxe shower, and maximized storage in the bedroom. See video here>  
  decorating flowers

How to decorate your outdoor table for a Summer lunch.
Table decor idea: A feast for all the senses.

Use flowers and leaves creatively to add the spontaneous spirit of an al fresco lunch. Don't reach automatically for a jug or vase - gather flower heads from the garden or from arrangements inside the house. When the flowers in a vase begin to fade, there are always a few blooms whose beauty remains intact. Pick off those flower heads that still have life in them and scatter them over a tablecloth or display singly in little glass vases where they can be admired at close quarters. This is a great way to make the most of your flowers, even if they only last like this for a short term. They can even be kept in the fridge for a few days beforehand, if required.

The heads of nerine lilies or single gladioli blooms, usually seen at the top of long stately stems and in the company of other flowers, are transformed when used in this simple, unassuming way. They add to that sense of 'contemplated haphazardness' which is so appealing but can be quite hard to achieve. Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, borage and pansies and freshly picked herbs such as chervil, coriander and basil can also be used to decorate and add taste to salads. And when serving cool drinks, such as fresh lemon presse, fill the glass with slices of lemon or lime and use sprigs of mint to flavour the water slightly and make it more refreshing.

Decor inspiration by Tricia Guild - Thinkcolour


Decorating for large open spaces.
Vital, uplifting colour againt a white backdrop
These are vital rather than vivid colour, with clarity and purity that instantly lifts the spirits. A deliberatly low-key backdrop of white whalls and polished resin floor lets the colours sing out in the open, uncluttered space, while other details such as cushions, lamps, tables and other furniture are also confined to white.

Traditional curtains can look out of place in the minimalist modern spaces, so here, banners of plain fabric have been suspended on metal rods to make simple blinds that can be opened or shut, depending on the quality of light and privacy required. They also take the colour in the room right up to the ceiling. The same window treatment has been used throughout the apartment, but in the lower room just one window panle is coloured; the rest remain pure white, which makes for a cooler feeling around the windows. White is also the predominent colour in the backdrop of walls and floor, with fresh linen cushions and a leather chair and stool.
View decordirect.blogspot.com here>

  black and white picture frames

Black and white pictures for your kitchen
You will need: image to copy, craft knife and ruler, cutting mat, clip picture frame.

Time needed: 10 minutes

Frame black and white images to bring simple style to your kitchen. Look for images of fruit or vegetables in cookery books that you could enlarge on a black and white photocopier, or you could even take a picture of yourself and use that. Simply crop to fit, frame and hang. Or, prop the frames up in a row along a shelf, as pictured here.

View decordirect.blogspot.com here>

  How to fix a running toilet How to fix a running toilet, find out how here>  
  room decor idea Room idea. A peaceful mood

Soft pale green is an ideal colour for a bedroom - cool and calming but by no means cold. Here, the walls are a slightly chalky green, and there are accents of ocean, lime and eau de nil. This room has quite a dark wooden floor, but placing the bed on its own natural-coloured rug helps to lighten up the room, as do the translucent curtains in broad stripes of subtly different patterns. Pure crisp white linen is so welcoming on a bed, and rather formal flower pattern om the throw - blue hydrangeas with handpainted leaves - is a reminder that, for all its fresh modern furnishings, this is an old country house.

View decordirect.blogspot.com here>
  kitchen decor idea

Kitchen ideas: Shaker goes modern
Blend pared-down shaker style with modern assets. It's easy to update the shaker look because its simplicity makes it a natural partner for clean, modern lines. Despite being obviously modern in style, this room still owes its roots to the shaker tradition, with framed doors and wood worktops. The hi-tech stainless steel cooker and hood make a dramatic focal point and contemporary metal handles replace the traditional round wooden knobs. The white floor tiles make the room feel clean and bright, while laying them 'brick style', in staggered rows, gives a less formal effect.

If you have room, even a small island is an invaluable addition to the kitchen. make sure the worktop on it is a minimum of 15cm wider than the base unit and you can use it as a breakfast bar as well as a handy preparation surface. Cupboards underneath, extra big pots and the hanging rack above maximize storage - an important factor in Shaker homes.
View decordirect.blogspot.com here>

  Kitchen decor ideas

Kitchen decor ideas: The natural touch
Mix cream with earthy greens, browns and yellows for a calm, relaxing kitchen.
Shaker kitchens work beautifully with natural colours: cream panelled units, wooden worktops and a terracotta floor. The walls, in shades of cream, increase the sense of space, and the tiled splashback brings in beautifully toning shades of moss, lichen, cream and butter. A central island houses a deep sink with a swan-knecked tap and plenty of worksurface. The worktop for the other half of the kitchen is granite-look laminate which provides an interesting contrast. A freestanding butcher's block against the far wall is wonderfully practical, with a hanging rail of utensils, a shelf for spices, rack for knives, plus preparation space, which you can wheel to where you want it. There has been no attempt to hide away the kitchen appliances - some white, some stainless steel - yet nothing looks out of place in this relaxed and welcoming kitchen.

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  decordecor Decorating ideas for your living room
A feeling of space and light

This wonderful, high-ceilinged apartment is in a converted schoolhouse - a clean, modern, urban space with great proportions. The size of the rooms perfectly complements the tall arched windows and there is a welcome feeling of space and light above the hubbub of the city.

It can be hard to know how to arrange your life in such a large open plan layout. Keep things simle - too many elements look cluttered and fussy while large clean shapes and clear colours build the structure you need. Here, even the textures have been confined to just two - hard and soft. All the soft furnishings are in linen a soft yet flat texture which does not detract from the essentially square and masculine lines of the furniture. The only other textures are the hard glass, metal and shiny white surfaces of the modern tables, lamps and sideboard.

The use of colour is what creates the mood, manipulating the space, creating different atmospheres in different areas for different uses, but drawing them subtly together. Instead of keeping the place all white - the classic response to a large openplan loft - a restricted palette of just a few strong tonal shades gives these two large ajoining
rooms a sparkling vitality often lacking in such spaces.

In the second room, the orange on the sofa is a subtle shade of cantaloupe - one tone down from the zingy citrus. This sits beautifully beside a fresh chartreuse of the armchair, pale ocean on the footstool, and clear crocus mauve at the windows. Just one mauve cushion on the sofa makes the crucial link with the crocus fabric at the windows.

The space flows down past the staircase into another sitting room on a lower level, with slightly smaller proportions. Here, slightly smaller proportions. here, slightly cooler colours take the mood down a note or two. But while the temperature may be cooler, the vital, vivacious mood down a note or two. The ocean colours links both spaces, but the cantaloupe orange of the sofa has been exchanged for lime, with accents of turquoise in small details such as the cushions on the sofa floor. Touches such as this help to give each room an identity of its own, even if some of the principal colours have been carried over both. View decordirect.blogspot.com here>
  interior decor A joyful mix of colour and pattern.

A dynamic mixture of colour and pattern - big graphic circles with clashing stripes and splashy
modern flower prints, creates a mood of joyful spontaneity that belies the care with which the
scheme was put together. The potentially wayward mixture works because of the subtle backdrop
of neutrals and whites - the clean oak boards, the neutral-striped rug, the background colour
of the curtains, the pair of white armchairs and other white furniture.

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  Interior decor ideas Kitchen Decor Ideas
Smart and Streamlined

Keeping colours very simple is an easy way to create a smart, coordinated look in the kitchen, but you do have to be careful that it doesn't end up looking bland. Here, the imaginatively staggered wall units become a focal point for the room. Low and wide units alternated with display spaces contrast with tall thin units flanking the cooker hob. It's a far less solid look than an unbroken line of wall cupboards. Everything in this room is in toning shades of grey-blue. The trick is to use different shades of the same colour to create a layered look which gives depth and interest. The doors are the deepest colour, a lighter shade is used on the far wall and a lighter shade again is used on the back wall. It is lifted and set off with beech-effect handles, worktop, plinths and panels. To keep it streamlined, use stainless steel panels as splashbacks behind the worktop and add in blue and chrome accessories.

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  Interior decor ideas Need some help with your kitchen layout planning?
Here's an simple and easy to understand guide for planning your kitchen.

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. A well-designed, stylish kitchen should make you feel happy and relaxed whether you are grabbing a cup of coffee or cooking a three-course dinner. So, lets plan your kitchen in the simplest way possible...

The first step to design the layout which suits you best - time spent at this stage is never wasted.
1) Draw measurements of your kitchen to scale onto graph paper. Mark on the positions of doors and windows. In many cases, it is possible to move even these to get a better layout, but it is a great deal easier and less expensive to work around what is there, if you can...

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  Interior decor ideas Colour it Bright Kitchens
Sea-green cupboard contrast with rich reds and sunny yellows.

Bare brick walls are the starting point for this kitchen, inspiring the brick red floor and deep orange-red pans. The wonderful blue-green colour complements the warmth of the reds perfectly, while hints of yellow in the chairs, flowers and details like the tea towel are the injection of suprising colour that brings the room alive and gives it maximum impact.

Wooden worktops are a natural choice with the rough brick walls and the bare floorboards in the eating area. Although stripped pine floors look great, they are not practical for the cooking area unless well sealed. Use Vinyl, linoleum or rubber flooring instead for the area most vulnerable to water and grease spills. Touches like the green plastic broom and cheerful striped tablecloth give this kitchen a retro hint. Everything else is kept simple with stainless steel and chrome. View decordirect.blogspot.com here>
  Interior decor ideas Glamorous colour, sensual texture

The key to this room is the daring combination of colour and texture. Velvet is a traditional
fabric, but here - thanks to the bright, vivacious colours and clean graphic shapes of the
furniture - it looks uncompromisingly modern.

view decordirect.blogspot.com here>
  A joyful mix of colour and pattern. A joyful mix of colour and pattern.

A dynamic mixture of colour and pattern - big graphic circles with clashing stripes
and splashy modern flower prints, creates a mood of joyful spontaneity that belies
the care with which the scheme was put together. The potentially wayward mixture
works because of the subtle backdrop of neutrals and whites - the clean oak boards,
the neutral-striped rug, the background colour of the curtains, the pair of white
armchairs and other white furniture.

view decordirect.blogspot.com here>
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