How To Pretty Up Your Kitchen on a Budget

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend at least an hour each day, if not more, in the kitchen. But so often a kitchen falls to the way side, especially if it isn’t the kitchen of your dream. So I thought I’d share how I made my less than ideal kitchen look prettier on a budget. These tips are great and should help you, whether you’re renting or simply looking to make an existing kitchen work.

  1. Keep the clutter at bay

This is my number one tip on making kitchens look better! Stash away as much as possible and keep those counter tops clear. You really only want to have things out that either doesn’t fit elsewhere (hello microwave) and basics like salt and pepper, that you reach for often, out on the counter. Limit your small appliances to the ones you use daily and put the rest away, but still within easy reach. If your kitchen is small, this is the single best tip to make it feel bigger and to free up more counter prep space.

2. Paint the backdoor

This is one of my personal pet peeves, but in South Africa so many homes have raw wood back doors that have simply been varnished. It does come down to personal preference, but if you find yourself unhappy with the overall look I’d recommend you try painting the orange-red tone door either white or a dark colour. It is amazing how much sleeker a room feels if you limit the wood tones in it. Sanding the door down to a beautiful raw wood tone (at least on the inside), could also be a beautiful way to add warmth to a plain white kitchen.

 

3. Limit the colours on display

This brings me to the colours you introduce into your kitchen. It is so easy to fall for all the pretty pastels, but if you’re dealing with a less than ideal kitchen restraining your colour palette is the best way to tone it down. I’m not saying all the miss-matched tupperware must go, but perhaps consider re-bottling some of your sink side essentials into clear glass bottles or removing the labels of products on display. Less visual clutter is always better!

4. Choose pretty basics

There are some things in your kitchen that you simply can’t hide. I advise you invest a little more in them, especially if it is something that you’ll be able to use for years to come. Think a beautiful gold dish drying tray, colour coordinated dishtowels and beautiful utilitarian items. Sometimes these might cost more or require more digging to find, but the joy they bring are so worth it. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourites  (and a few ‘when-I-win-the-lotto’ items), down below. I still think one of the saddest things about adult life is spending that much money on a rubbish bin, but at least I found some pretty ones!

5. Decorate the space

Something people often forget to do is to actually decorate the space as you would any other room in the house. Introducing your personality and style doesn’t have to mean you can only think about fridge magnets! Lay down a washable rug or beautiful bath mat to cover unsightly floors and introduce art work into the space. I like the look of beautiful trivets stacked against chopping boards and creating the transitional style I personally love through both classic and modern accessories. For you, this could mean something mid-century or glamorous depending on your personal style. I also don’t think you can overestimate the power of fresh flowers or a beautiful potted plant. Herbs are a popular choice for good reason.

1. Salt and Pepper Grinders | 2. Kettle | 3. Serviette holder | 4. Slotted spoon

5. Bin | 6. Broom | 7. Utensil holder | 8. Dishrack 

I hope you find these tips helpful in dealing with a basic kitchen and that this will help you enjoy the space that much more!

 

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Home Update: Living & Dining Room

Black and white bookcaseI feel like I’ve lost my blogging motivation a little and there probably isn’t a single reason, but I was struggling to figure out where I fit in. I’m doing it part-time, really only as a hobby, and I can’t compete with most blogs as they’ve become so editorial. I still enjoy those blogs, but that level of professionalism simply isn’t possible for me. I don’t make use of a professional photographer, don’t buy things only for the blog and producing a single post often has to spread out over three days.

But as I was sitting on my couch now, I realised I wanted to share our living room (great room?). It is our all-in-one living and dining room that doesn’t come to more than 30 square meters. It isn’t ‘done’ in the traditional sense of the word and I’m not being modest like most bloggers (we’re missing half our gallery wall) but our new flooring just pleases me so greatly that I can finally share the room with some pride. To say it has been a work in progress is probably an understatement. We moved in four years ago with only two small bookshelves and a borrowed couch. We’ve come a long way since then, so I’d love to share how we made this small living-cum-dining room work for us and our cats.

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Six of My Favourite Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it is so much easier said than done! There are so many amazing books to choose from that it can be hard to narrow down which ones are worth the shipping costs, so I thought I’d give you a peak into some of my favourite coffee table books. They cover a vast range of topics from wanderlust inducing books on the City of Love to Caroline Khoo’s beautiful confectioneries that are literally the way to my heart.

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Summer Wardrobe Inspiration

Like most Capetonians, I’m feeling ready for summer (although more rain is very welcome)! I wasn’t too keen about it until recently, when the weather gave us a little preview of balmy evenings and 30 degreee days. With the warmer weather I had to swap in my summer clothing, but it just hasn’t been as exciting to get dressed in the morning as it usually is. Most of my clothing is office ready and whilst they aren’t very formal, the fabrics just don’t scream summer.

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10 Metal Songs To Add To Your Halloween Playlist

Ten metal songs for your Halloween playlist

As contrary as it might sound from someone who just posted something Halloween related, I’ve never really celebrated the holiday. I like to attribute it to the fact that as an adult I have access to all the sweets I could ever want, but I guess the fact that I scare easily also contributes. Surprisingly some of my favourite songs cover subjects like a crazy scientist and a stalking monster, so it just seemed too holiday appropriate to resist compiling a whole playlist. Whether you’ve always appreciated a heavier sound or simply want to add some diversity to your party music, these songs are guaranteed to send chills down your spine. Atmospheric organs playing and howling wolves included, these songs are all must haves in any Halloween playlist!

You can listen to my Halloween playlist on Google Play Music here.

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Bathroom Makeover: Part 2

It is finally here! I am so happy to show you what our bathroom looks like nearly a year after it was done. If you remember from the before, the corner bath was taking up most of the room and it felt dark and dingy, whereas now I love how open and fresh it feels. It still isn’t large by any means, actually it is tiny, but it has everything I need and I couldn’t be happier with the end results.

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Easy Entertaining

One thing I’ve learned of myself as I’ve grown older is that I love entertaining our family and friends at our home. Over the last year I feel like I’ve really found my groove, in the sense that I have a good idea of what will work and what might be too ambitious to take on.

I never really thought about my own style of entertaining as relaxed, until I came across Kate Spade’s book which listed ridiculous suggestions like exchanging all the light-bulbs in your house to a more flattering wattage and writing “hello gorgeous”  in red lipstick on the mirror. Can you imagine trying to clean the mirror afterwards?

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Bathroom Makeover: Part One

I thought instead of sharing the horrifying before pictures, I’d start the post on a high with our inspiration. When we first moved in, our bathroom had few redeeming factors. Among these factors were the natural light from the window and an extractor fan. That was pretty much where it ended.

The cabinet featured a cherry laminate top and it was mouldy and the bath took up most of the room. I could barely reach the towel rail that stretched over the bath, toilet and behind the door. Entering the room was tricky to say the least. You kind of had to enter, walk into the only gap between the bath, toilet and cabinet to close the door whilst you’re turning. That small landing spot wasn’t even large enough for a full bath mat to lay flat. Safe to say a bathroom makeover was pretty high on our list!

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How To Make Mondays Bearable

I know I’m not alone in saying that Mondays are literally the WORST! By the end of most Mondays I am ready to crash on the couch and start the weekend all over again, but alas we need to carry on. So I’ve come up with a few simple things I do to make Mondays more bearable.

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Three Ways To Add Colour To Your Home

Colourful home by Alexander James

[Alexander James]

One of my biggest design problems, and one that some of you hopefully share lest we be the only dreary and drab ones, is with regards to the introduction of colour into our home. I blame it on one too many sensible purchases and the fact that I love grey it is one of the few colours my husband agrees on (why couldn’t it be blush pink!). Anyhow sometime last year I realised that our home basically reads like a paint strip going from white to black with all the shades of grey in between.

And whilst I love monochrome homes, it simply wasn’t something we were aiming for and a well curated black-and-white home requires more restraint than we had applied. So in my attempt to make our home feel more well rounded and slightly more colourful, I’ve found three ways to introduce colour into a space.

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