Our Garage Makeover: After | AD

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I am so happy to bring you these pictures of our garage after it received a massive overhaul thanks to Prominent Paints. It is proof that a little bit of paint chosen in the right colours and formula can really transform a room! I was honestly ashamed to publish pictures of our garage before the makeover as it just wasn’t the best representation of our taste, I’m sure we aren’t the only ones that felt like that about our garage.

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When I shared the before, I broke down what we had to do in order to transform the garage from a tired (and dirty) room to one that really reflected us and that would be a welcome sight to come home to. I am happy to report that not only have we completed all the tasks, I feel like we have achieved what we set out to do.

Below were all the tasks that we completed:

  • Seal garage door with foam strips.
  • Sort through the garage content and make a trip to the dump site.
  • Defog the garage.
  • Move ladder hooks to the left-hand side of the garage (so that we can comfortably get to the driver side of the car).
  • Create hanging space for garden tools.
  • Paint walls glossy white.
  • Paint back door in grey enamel.
  • Replace sponge on both passenger and driver side of the wall.
  • Clean oil stains on garage floor.
  • Paint garage floor (two coats).
  • Indicate on wall where car needs to stop.

First off we made a trip to the dump yard to get rid of all the stuff we no longer need, including some paints that were past their best. We also took full advantage of all the storage space in the garage roof and made use of alternative storage space for things that didn’t necessarily have to be in the garage.

All of this helped, but obviously the biggest difference was made when we started painting. We used a very glossy white paint on the walls called Select Sheen in a bright white from Prominent Paints. We were really impressed as the first coat nearly gave an opaque finish – unheard of for a white paint over a bright colour! The second coat has made the walls completely smooth to the touch which means it doesn’t trap as much dust as the previous matt paint and it is completely wipeable and washable.

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On the floors we used Stoep Enamel in Pale Grey, a lovely mid-tone grey. I personally don’t like working with oil-based paints, but this one was a breeze. It was thinner than I expected but because of this, it went on completely smooth with barely any brush strokes detectable. We were even able to use a roller, which I usually struggle with when using oil-based paints.

If you remember from the before post, our garage had quite a few oil spills which needed to be cleaned before we could paint it. Although there are a few different ways of cleaning up an oil spill, I just used some dishwashing liquid, a big floor brush and an old rag to soak up all the oil. I had to scrub each stain about 3 – 4 times in order to lift all the oil, but it starts feeling worth it once you can see the floor underneath it.

We gave the garage floors two coats and then decided to paint the back door and cabinets (both wood) in the same Stoep Enamel and again it applied beautifully, with a smooth and glossy finish.

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From the pictures you can see we moved all the hooks to the left of the garage and also hung the garden tools. Then we replaced the tired sponge with these black strips from the hardware store. They were only about R35 each, but can really be a saving grace in a narrow garage where the doors occasionally have to touch the walls. I used some washi tape to mark the place we need to stop the car in order to have enough room in front and behind the vehicle, which is great as it could be moved at any time should we get a new car. This would also be a great sollution for renters as it is easy to remove.

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We’ve used the garage for about a week now and I can honestly say we are so impressed by how big a difference the paint can make to such a tiny room. Now it not only looks and feels cleaner, it’s also brighter and definitely something worth coming home to at the end of the day. Just look at that before and after! If that doesn’t convince you to paint out your garage, nothing will.

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Our Garage Makeover: Before | AD

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When we first moved into our 1980’s house my husband and I went with “quick wins” like replacing the green carpets and painting the rooms and trim throughout. This immediately made the home feel more us, but I feel like we haven’t made as much progress since. This is probably because the projects that are left are more time consuming and definitely not easy on the budget.

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So while most of the rooms in our house are at least liveable (though surely not completely done), the one space that truly lagged behind was our garage. We’d barely touched it and it was a horrible reminder of the peachy shades the previous home owner had used throughout the house.

Despite my husband’s dream of transforming it into his engineering man cave (and pretty home for our cars), the garage became a dumping ground for EVERYTHING (like the wall mounted heaters that the previous owner placed throughout the house). It also houses his windsurfing gear, our old paints collection (which we’ll cull) and some yet to be completed home upgrades.

When Prominent Paints approached me to work on a project to show you just how paint can transform a room, I knew the garage would be the perfect example. Al it really needs is some organisation, a deep clean and a lick of paint in colours that matched our home’s aesthetics.

Partnering with a local company like Prominent Paints was an easy decision. They have a good track record with over 35 years in the industry and a wide range of quality paint products to suit all our needs. Although we have reasonable experience and knowledge when it comes to painting furniture and walls, we needed to consult experts on how to approach the garage floor.  The staff at Prominent Paint’s Cape Gate centre were friendly and could recommend a suitable product for use on our garage floor.

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Although epoxy is a popular option because of its durability, we were keen to explore other options that wouldn’t be as time consuming without sacrificing the paint’s longevity. Our consultant, Wade, recommended a Prominent Paints product called Stoep Enamel that also provides a durable glossy surface similar to epoxy paints without the fuss. It comes in a variety of neutral shades and we chose a mid-tone grey. Wade also explained how we should go about cleaning the floors and the application process for this paint (will be explained in the next post).

So with our products on order, we’ve made a list of what needs to happen to completely transform our space:

  • Seal garage door with foam strips.
  • Sort through the garage content and make a trip to the dump site.
  • Defog the garage (a spider-free space is non-negotiable).
  • Move ladder hooks to the left-hand side of the garage (so that we can comfortably get to the driver side of the car).
  • Create hanging space for garden tools.
  • Paint walls glossy white.
  • Paint back door in grey enamel.
  • Replace sponge on both passenger and driver side of the wall.
  • Clean oil stains on garage floor.
  • Paint garage floor (two coats).
  • Indicate on wall where car needs to stop.

We were lucky in that, although the previous home owner had some questionable taste in paint colours (maybe just not to our tastes), she had some great storage solutions installed. Some of the old kitchen cabinets were moved into the garage (we just relocated it), there were a few wall hooks installed and the sponge on the walls has really saved our car doors in this narrow garage. All of these will definitely stay in some way, shape or form.

If you have been thinking of painting your garage floor, we’ll run you through the steps and show the end results as soon as it is completed.

I’m really looking forward to the end results of our makeover, as the garage is to us what the foyer is to guests – the first room you encounter as you enter the house. As that, it really should set the (right) tone!

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Christmas Decor

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I must admit that it feels like Christmas crept up on us this year, and despite the fact that our tree has been up since the end of November (enthusiastic much!) I hadn’t really spread the cheer to anywhere else until recently.

This year I decided to try to use up a few of the half-finished rolls of gift wrap so our gifts are all slightly miss-matched metallics. When I saw this nude paper with gold spots from Mr Price I couldn’t resist. They really have some pretty gift wrapping options at the moment.

Besides having family members on our list, this year we also decided to do stocking filler type gifts for some of our closest friends. These biscotti biscuits are some of our personal favourites and destined for close friends. It is the thought that counts after all.

Sweet rose gold bells and a natural pine bouquet round out our minimalistic decor this time around.

Keep an eye on Instagram to see my Christmas table, which I can’t wait to decorate!

I hope you have a lovely Christmas and festive season with your loved ones.

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My favourite home decor trends

 

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Being a lover of all things classic, I typically find myself swooning at things like moulding, velvets and shaker styles when it comes to home interiors. Every now and again I do however find myself taking notice of newer trends, and following last year’s round up of my favourite trends I thought it would be a fun idea to see what tickles my fancy this time around.

Although I still love round mirrors, my love for indigo blues has waned and I now prefer a different shade of cerulean.

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My Top 5 Favourite Products for Reusable Containers

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The saying that “It’s what’s inside that counts” really rings true when it comes to grocery shopping, but today’s post might just shift your focus to pay a little more attention to the packaging. I’m sharing my top five products to buy in the grocery aisle, not just for their awesome content, but also for its awesome storage potential! The packaging of products we finish often end up on landfils, so upcycling this really is a great way to spare the environment. Plus scoring awesome containers – practically for free – is just the icing on the cake!

Flowers and copper candle on magazines.

 

Mrs Balls Chutney
Such a classic in any South African’s kitchen, we go through this chutney on a monthly basis! I use this mainly as a bud vase for long-stem flowers, but you could store home-made cordials, ice teas or homemade condiments in here. Fair warning though, the labels are tricky to remove!
Nailpolish storage

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I’ve been storing my nail polish and other manicure essentials in these handy lucite containers for years. They are the perfect size for a 2×5 nail polish arrangement and you can use them both with and without the lids. Just another reason to add this delicious treat to your Christmas wish list!
Airtight glass containers

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Now I don’t have nearly enough of these yet, but I am slowly but surely building up a collection. These airtight glass jars are the perfect size for finer grains and things like ground coffee. Investing in glass airtight containers could cost you a fortune, now it will only cost you a caffeine high! I think stick-on chalkboard labels would be a really chic solution for important info like expiration dates.
Bonne Maman preserve

Bonne Maman
Just as versatile as the ever-famous Dipytique candles, Bonne Maman jars are equally Instagrammable. There is just something about that faceted glass and delicate label! I like to use mine for storing canned preserves, but you could just as easily display make-up brushes, candles or posies in it.
Beauty essentials

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This an awesome affordable alternative to other choc-hazelnut spreads that I stock up on at Checkers (for only R23!) The best part is that I never get sad when I finish a pot – partially because I’ll have a back-up ready but also because I love the containers. They are very similar to empty candle jars and are the perfect size for cotton buds and wool pads. You could of course also melt down candles into the empty jars.

Which containers do you end up repurposing and what do you use them for? I’d love to know.

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My Top 10 Home Stores in Cape Town

20160520_162359_1471208149368So as you guys might know, Ryno and I have been in our first home for just over a year now. And I have to admit, I love decorating it but am nowhere near done! Whilst we don’t own everything that we want yet, we have a pretty good idea of where to find it when our ship comes in. So I thought I’d share my favourite home stores where we get everything from the perfect white sheets to inspiration (and leave dreaming about winning the lottery).  So without further adieu, here are the top ten spots you just have to pop in to when dreaming up your perfect home.

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8 Decorating Tips for Small Livingrooms

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To say I have experience in navigating tight quarters is an understatement! Our house is by no means large and at 6 x 4 m our living/ dining room is the average size of a single garage. I’ve been slowly decorating our space for the last year and thought that I could pass on my experience and maybe help someone else along the way. As a caveat, I want to add that I am not a trained decorator (only passionate) and that each room is unique, but I do think these 8 decorating tips for a small livingroom can be useful to you.

1. Consider the room’s function

Before my husband and I moved into our own spot, one of the things I was most looking forward to was hosting loads of dinner parties with friends. And as our weeknight routine mostly consists of Netflix and chill, a comfortable TV-couch situation also needed to happen.

Taking the time to think about how you want to use a room can really help you narrow down what pieces you need and what you can forgo. We decided  to eschew the typical L-shaped couch for a bigger diningroom table that can comfortably seat up to eight people. I think it is important to decorate according to how you plan on using your space 90% of the time and not for the once-a-year family reunions that require ten thousand seats!

2. Consider future uses

This ties in with the first step, but I think it is always worth just quickly envisioning whether a room’s function might change over the next few years. Are you perhaps already planning on expanding the spare bedroom into a dining room? Or would your home office one day have to make way for a nursery? This certainly shouldn’t detract from how you use your space right now, but in the planning (and buying phase) this could inform some decisions.

As smaller spaces are often transitional living spaces, you should also spare a thought as to whether you’ll still want something if your living space increased in size.

3. Start working on your layout

Once you know which pieces you need, it is a good idea to start playing with layout to find the perfect scale. I always like the idea of creating a scaled blueprint and cut outs of the furniture pieces you’d like to add. Remember to draw in your door openings and to indicate windows.

Start with your bigger pieces like dining tables and couches. Try to play around with different layouts, until you find something that works. Try not to arrange everything against one wall and be sure to leave enough space for foot traffic.

4.Furniture scale

Although the most obvious choice in a smaller apartment is to down scale, I have to say this is one rule that really was meant to be broken! Nothing makes a room feel more dated (and in most cases even smaller!) than a tonne of smaller pieces of furniture. I like to make use of a combination of larger/regular scale pieces and smaller ones.

In a living/dining room, I’d say you should use a standard sized couch and dining room table. These will anchor your room and are often also investment pieces, which will move with you to your next home.

I’ll then add smaller coffee tables, side tables and slim chairs to complement you room and to prevent it from feeling like the room shrunk around the furniture.

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5. Furniture weight

Don’t confuse a piece’s scale with its visual weight. A regular sofa floating upon dainty legs can take up less visual real estate than a chunky two-seater. Clear pieces (think glass and lucite) are your biggest friend, as are those with dainty frameworks because they won’t add bulk to your room. They’ll also allow more light into your room.

Lower profiles in pieces like couches and dining chairs will also aid your eyes to glide over them.

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6. Colour palette

Although I always appreciate a good neutral base, I feel that this can be even more important in a small living space as it is easier on the eye. This doesn’t mean your space has to be boring, accent colours can inject just the right amount of personality and fun. Just be sure not to introduce too many different hues. When in doubt, stick to varying shades of one hue.

Working with lighter colours can also help fake the feeling of airiness.

7. Create a layered look

Minimalism is a great way to make smaller spaces feel more open and spacious, but it certainly isn’t the only answer to make a room feel, well, roomier.  Creating a thoughtful, layered look in your home can take years as you collect and combine the things you love and those that have sentimental value but ultimately it is the best way to infuse a home with personality.

Layered doesn’t equate clutter, but rather suggests a thoughtful combination of various elements ranging from the expected to the unexpected.

8. Edit

Finally, it is important to remember that you’re never done decorating a room. Just as you’ll add things and make changes over the years, you should also constantly be editing. Ask yourself whether pieces are still working, whether they still add value to the room and remove those that don’t. Whilst some people find comfort in clutter, it never makes a smaller space feel bigger.

 

 

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Home Update

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Hello everyone, I feel like I haven’t given you a proper home update since I showed you my striped wall DIY way back. Since then things have been progressing a lot slower than I initially thought it would, so you really haven’t missed out on much.

One of the biggest reasons for things going slowly has been finances. Getting married and buying your first home all in the same year has really taken its toll financially. And although we were really lucky to get to move out with a lot of our childhood furniture and be able to loan some stuff from our family, I was growing increasingly tired of having everything looking missmatched and some of the things were just tired and well past their expiration date.

First up, my mum gave me her old tv cabinet which was stained in a dark wood. Since the floors and table already didn’t match, we decided to paint the classic cabinet. We used Annie Sloan in Paris Grey (a little disappointing texture wise, incredibly frustrating painting wise) and it ended up being almost an exact match for our walls which helps it blend away and feel less dominating despite the fact that it is currently the largest piece in the living area.

In our bedroom there are two main culprits, one being the missmatching nightstands and the other my yellowing dressing table (featuring remnants of my youth in the form of Barbie stickers, circa 1995). As I like things to be a little eclectic, I knew I wanted a modern white vanity and more classic oak nightstands. I’d been eyeing up the Ikea Malm dresser from Nevada but just before it came back in stock spotted this at my local Mr Price Home. I never imagined I’d buy furniture from them, but the quality is actually surprisingly good and it has held up nicely for the two months or so that I’ve had it.

And finally, this past weekend we finally comitted to dining room chairs! We were uhmming and ahhing for far too long. We really wanted upholstered chairs in a lighter fabric, but it was nearly impossible to find the right height for our formal dining table that fit our budget. Then there also was the fact that anything upholstered wouldn’t be too practical as we frequently host dinners which can get messy and our cats would love the additional scratching posts. I’ve always had ghost chairs in the back of my mind, but conving my husband was easier said than done. Eventually I had him sample the comfort and combined with a good price, we took the plunge. I couldn’t be happier as it really does make a massive difference in our living/dining room. The space feels tidier, lighter and more spacious. I could have saved myself a lot of website hunting/dreaming-of-things-which-were-out-of-our-price-range!

Next on the list are three bigger purchases, which might have to wait a while as we try to de-mould our bathroom (which is a process and a post for another time). We both have a fair collection of books, justifying my dream of a Beauty and the Beast-style library bookshelf. I am currently dreaming of this, but it is almost ten times what we can afford to spend. So I’ll keep on dreamin’! We also want to replace my yellowing nightstand and his coffee-stained nightstand with something classic that we’ll love for ages. Ideally it would come with a matching drawer and all be available for less than 10k. A girl can dream right!

 

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Home Fragrance

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My husband and I live in a small home with two indoor cats, and incase that doesn’t paint a clear enough picture I’ll also mention that we have two littertrays. Home fragrance is a big deal for us as the last thing we want is for people to walk in to our home and immediately smell the presence of our pets. So we have adopted a two-prong approach and make use of both a roomspray and reed diffusers. We try to steer clear of overly-sweet, cloying floral fragrances and instead we’ve chosen orange scented diffusers and a slightly sweet Sugared Almond room spray. That along with regularly cleaning and replacing their littertrays have for the most part kept our home smelling fresh. Do you have any tips on keeping your cat home a fresh home?

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The non-minimalist way to tidy up

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For months now I’ve been trying to organise my thoughts on minimalism in a blog post, because thanks to Mari Kondo ‘minimalism’ is trending and it got me thinking. I’ve never been a maximalist, but could also never commit to complete minimalism. I think I fit somewhere in the middle, like most people.

Although I don’t consider myself a hoader,  I do hold on to things I don’t always need of use. Mostly because it has sentimal value or cost a lot of money. Recently however I’ve found that less stuff definitely is better and I’m finding that having less things to sift through when I’m looking for something really makes life simpler. I’ve identified three places where I really tend to hold on to more than I need and decided to tackle those first. Getting rid of what I don’t need and organising what i decide to hold on to goes hand in hand for me. So here goes.

Wardrobe

I’m constantly clearing out my wardrobe, possibly because I never really get rid of everything in one go. If I think that I might wear something again, if it cost me a lot of money or if I attach some emotional value to something, the chances are good I am going to hold on to it (at least for a little while longer). I like going through my closet every three months and find what needs to be replaced (anyone else have problems with black jeans fading so quickly?) and getting rid of what I no longer wear. I usually make two piles, one for donation and one for holding onto. I do subscribe to the idea of putting these things away for a few months and only holding on to what you’ve worn in the within that set time. The other thing that really helps me is to have a good cause for donating my clothes. I find that social workers always have someone in mind who can benefit from your clothes, whether it is old work clothes or something suitable for a teenager. It is almost like your good deed for the day!

Beauty

I’ve never had much in the beauty department to begin with, but it is a good idea to go through your formulas every three months or so to make sure you don’t hold onto an old mascara formula that you accidentally grab before work (been there, done that!). I also only keep out what I use every day like my brushes, mascara, brow products, fragrances and a handy scissor. This makes it more likely that I’ll remember to spray before rushing out the door and also gives me less stuff to dust – a win-win really. The rest is neatly stored in my drawer thanks to my clear organiser from Plastic Warehouse (a total bargain.)

 minimalism_2969Emails

The final culprit is my inbox. Unfortunately due to the nature of my work and my blog, I have multiple inboxes which makes it all so much more difficult to streamline, but I’ve been really good lately. I used to hoard emails like nothing else, simply because I am lazy but recently I’ve realised that having a smaller inbox really makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for. I never refer back to old newsletters so I now fight the urge to hold on to what will only make my inbox fuller. I started out by clearing my inbox whilst watching Netflix. I also unsubscribed to a bunch of newsletters and now each time a mail comes in that makes me sigh, I hit the unsubscribe button (note this does NOT apply to bills).  After the inital clear out I started applying my golden rule to all incoming mails- to action an email the moment I open it. I also created sub-folders to store my bills, which all get emailed to me, so now I can be paperless.

I guess for me it all boils down to keeping things tightly edited. I definitely can’t afford to only hold on to what brings me joy, but I can get rid what serves no purpose other gathering dust and donate what can bring more joy to someone else. Now if only I can sort through my thousands of photos. Any and all tips welcome!

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