Eco-friendly greenery is the new black. Seriously, thanks to Pantone's colour of the year - Greenery, adding eco-friendly decor to the home has become sufficiently easier as it is deemed one of the hottest home decorating trends. The idea behind using anything that happens to be eco-friendly is to help promote green living. There seems to be more and more ways to add sustainable and earth-friendly decor to the home as more people are becoming conscious of its importance. I have jumped on the bandwagon myself and let me tell you, there’s no turning back with all the amazing benefits you’ll reap from it. Cost effective, beautiful to look at, helps save the environment (every bit counts!) and also helps teach children the importance of being more environmentally cautious, using eco-friendly decor is a great habit to cultivate in homes.
Use old lightbulbs by removing the burnt out filaments and using it as a tiny vase! It can be both hung or placed on a dented surface so it doesn't tip over. It's a great way to recycle and can be reused for different occasions and themes.
Having plants at home is the most obvious choice for an eco-friendly home decor addition, but how about taking it up a notch and planting your own little herb garden in recycled jars? It makes a great addition to any kitchen, for anyone who loves fresh herbs and it looks super chic too. If you have multi coloured jars or tins, you can opt to spray paint them to uniform their look with the rest of your home.
Bring on the wine! If you collect wine bottles and corks like I do, you could wash and clean them and then recycle them into gifts! Wine bottles look great when spray painted over and can be used as a vase or holder. Corks on the other hand can be turned into art pieces like the one I've shared above to leave quite the impression on anyone who comes to your home.
Wooden hanging decorations are here and I love just how easy they are to make. Costing almost nothing, except for paint, you can create your own decor piece with wood you find in your garden or even when you go for a walk in parks. Then all that’s left is your imagination and a little crafting and voila!
My bedroom is my sanctuary and I'm sure it is for so many of you too. The bed of course is the heart of any bedroom. It's a personal space where you rest your mind and body at night, a place you wake up to start the new day fresh, where you cuddle with a partner while reading a good book or watching a movie, and personally for me, a place I get my well deserved (if I do say so myself) alone time to bask in my thoughts, pen down ideas and get the creative juices flowing. The easiest way to give your bed a facelift is by changing the sheets but the most underrated part of the bed that definitely creates a huge impact is the headboard. Giving the bed a sense of style and personal touch, the headboard transforms the bed (and entire room!) to create an atmosphere that's completely yours.
While I was hunting high and low for one that fit the bill for my room (and I constantly change when I feel like I need a new 'vibe') here are a few that got me inspired:
How dreamy is this piece? It takes you away to a tropical place that begs for relaxation, serenity and beauty. Carved wood as a headboard is a gorgeous way to add character to the bed. It can be classic brown wood or even painted to match the colour and tones of your room. Either way, it definitely makes an impact. For a cheaper alternative that not only costs less but is also lighter in weight, opt for laser cut wood which can also create a similar look.
Unleash your inner bohemian chic by using driftwood and lace dreamcatchers as a headboard. It has a flowy, whimsical look that is also rustic. These are also easy to make on your own, and could be a fun project to test out your creativity and DIY skills. All you need is a sturdy piece of wood that can be nailed against the wall, hoops for the circle, add on lace for the centre and ribbons to hang from it. The best part? It can be done with different styles and colours.
Rustic headboards are my personal favourite, especially the kind that requires minimal effort and create a huge impact. Using wooden panels and painting them in ombre gradient tones is a brilliant idea for a headboard. Easy, minimal, affordable and look amazing. The best part of painting the panels in ombre only requires two colours of paint. Your main colour, which in this case is a beautiful shade of teal and white to mix it with as you go along.
There are no two ways about it: fairy lights make any place feel like magic. The warm coloured ones are my favourite, and when strung properly make a really nice headboard alternative. Not only does it serve the purpose of keeping your room cozy, it lights it up with a calming effect that helps you relax and unwind.
Gone are the days where chalkboards are only used in classrooms (though I do believe most schools have upgraded to whiteboards by now). Chalkboards have taken over the decor world. I love how it has such a rustic feel, and throws me back to some fond childhood memories of using it as a canvas while I scribble away with multi-colored chalks. When chalkboards made a come back, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and began to use them in a number of home decor ideas, parties and even organising methods. Most trends come and go, but my bet is that this one is here to stay!
Need a fresh look for an empty wall space? Try a canvas artwork. Not only will it add on to the rustic chic look, but you can customise it anytime you want! You can write quotes, or draw some art on it, too.
This super cute way to organise is my favourite of all. I use this for my pantry and also craft supplies as I move the materials to different boxes from time to time. Having a chalkboard label makes it convenient because I can just erase and rewrite whenever I like. I also use it to label wine glasses, mason jars or even mugs when I have a party and guests over by writing their names on it so no one gets confused and loses their drink. For labels, the scotch tape version with a chalkboard surface works great in terms of size and requires minimal effort.
I have lists for everything I do so having a chalkboard list in the kitchen works great for writing down the groceries I need to get. This also works for any other part of the home, making a list for your work space, daily chores, or even the ‘Specials of The Day’ in the kitchen! Another idea is covering your clipboard with chalkboard paint and using it for your lists. This way you can clip on your receipts, letters and bills too.
Revamp old items around the house by giving it a nice coating of chalkboard paint and then creating artwork over them. The matte black of the chalkboard paint is a great canvas for not only using chalk but also for acrylic paint and metallic markers too.
Here's a great way to make a plain feature wall functional and fun! Especially if you have kids, this wall could turn into a fun afternoon activity that will encourage creative stimulation as they can doodle on a huge canvas. It also works as a great background and backdrop for pictures. A friend of mine once used it as a backdrop for her wedding photobooth and it was completely adorable as they customised to their theme and it looked fantastic.
Having an outdoor kitchen in your backyard is definitely some sort of luxury in the home remodel world. I mean, it’s not exactly necessary but it’s so much fun to have; especially if you love spending time outdoors or inviting guests over for a cookout.
Outdoor kitchens range from crazy huge single units of barbecue grills to full-fledged kitchens - as complete as indoor kitchens which allows you to create entire meals outdoors. You can have one with a price range of the low thousands for a DIY version up to hundreds of thousands for something lavish, designed by architects and contractor-built ones.
How to Design Your Outdoor Kitchen
The thing I love about having a separate outdoor section of the house is that I get to reimagine how the space and landscape looks like away from everything indoors. When thinking about creating your own outdoor kitchen, it is important to balance what you want with the space you’ll be working with.
For instance, do you want a sink? If so, will that area allow you to hook up your outdoor kitchen space to the house utilities? Cookers can easily use gas tanks and grillers can be placed practically anywhere. You’re also going to need electricity outdoors if you’re thinking of placing a cooler, fridge, lighting and a fan.
But what’s great about creating a smaller outdoor kitchen space is that when you opt for high-end materials it’s not going to cost you a bomb as it is used in small quantities. I suggest you use this opportunity to make your countertop and base surfaces stand out with materials such as bluestone, round stone, flagstone, concrete or granite.
You can explore other small outdoor kitchen ideas like a countertop overhang for breakfast bar-style seating and a small sink, and under-counter space for trash cans. Sticking to the basics can sometimes be enough.
The most popular option homeowners opt for is portable outdoor kitchens because they're super easy to install, maintain and transport. Think about it: you get to enjoy the luxury of having an outdoor kitchen without the hassle of construction. Plus, if you’re thinking of relocating; your kitchen can go with you too!
Design your portable outdoor kitchen with movement in mind. Think about the size of your space and make sure you'll have enough room to move or store away your kitchen. Also consider that a portable kitchen will require minimum utilities like plumbing, electric and gas. Propane tanks and solar panels are good options for portability.
For any outdoor project, just make sure you obtain materials that are more suited to your climate. Like I said earlier stick to granite and other stone, concrete, glass and polymer products. Certain tiles are best for outdoor use as well. Just stay away from plywood and particleboards that may change or rot under humid and wet weather.
Want to grow your own food but don't have any land to do it on? Renting doesn’t have to mean forgoing garden-to-table produce or that delightful feeling of soil between your fingers. You might have thought having a little garden in your apartment was impossible. Think again!
I’m not talking about common houseplants either - try a veritable Eden of home-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Plus, you can bid adieu to intrusive weeds. Transform your balcony, window sill or just about any space into your very own urban garden.
Consider how much room and light you have to determine which kinds of containers can house your mini garden. This will also help you figure out what you’d like to plant.
Cheers to those of you with a little more outdoor room to get creative with. For the rest of us? Here are a few creative suggestions for saving space - and your wallet.
MASON JAR GARDEN
Looking for a no-muss, no fuss solution? A mason jar is your answer. These inexpensive rustic delights will add a bit of flair whether you’re planting indoors or outdoors. But since you can’t exactly poke a hole in a mason jar, you’ll need to make your own type of drainage system by placing tiny rocks at the bottom to provide a bit of separation between the water and the soil.
VEGETABLE GARDEN PALLET
Think upcycling! You can grow an amazing quantity of lettuce and other vegetables with shipping pallets. Nail ‘em up, wheel ‘em out; you can do whatever you want with pallets. The Garden Answer tells you exactly what you’ll need to start growing your vertical vegetable farm.'
If you are really tight on space, consider starting as basic and as small as growing some strawberries on your windowsill! You can hang window boxes on balcony railings too. The more affordable ready-made boxes are made of wood, composite materials or metal. Just give it a custom look by painting the boxes according to the exterior trim of your apartment to tie them into your home’s colour scheme. Wall sticker design by Nina Larkina
Another version of a raised garden is to grow vegetables in a container, or in wine crates! Fit the corners with protective seal, a liner and brackets. You can change your garden’s look by moving them around as and when you like, if you have enough room to play with. Or stack ‘em up! These are great if you’re looking to grow tomatoes or root vegetables.
Tomato Tip! Pick a sunny spot for tomatoes to thrive in. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want the determinate variety, more commonly known as bush tomatoes. This breed grow to a compact height of approximately 4 ft which is perfect for container gardening.
Have your thumbs gone green?You can start planning your urban garden now but just ask yourself when deciding what fruits or vegetables you want to nurture: Where do I want to start my garden? How much sun-light does that space get? Which produce will I use most in the kitchen? What season is it? Happy Gardening!
Every man needs a man cave where he can basically indulge in all his hobbies and do whatever he wants. Your man — like mine — deserves a quiet retreat where he can chill out with a drink and unwind. Researchers say that this actually benefits our marriages!
Besides, I don’t think I’d want my husband’s sports memorabilia and video games lying around the house (don’t tell him I said that!). Now, all you need to do is start creating the space in your home for him. If you don’t have a basement or garage shed, you can pick a room in the house to use. Be inventive, have fun, and don’t forget the comfy chairs.
A CAVE FOR EVERY MAN
What truly sets YOUR man cave apart from the rest are the personal touches. Your man would probably want to share the space with his friends when they come over to play fantasy football or jam. I found these little cool additions that could just be the finishing touches to his little space.
f there’s two things nerds love most on planet earth, it’s comics and sci-fi! Think display, display, display! Be your man’s favourite superhero by adding these display options to spruce up his man cave. Just make sure you find out if he’s a DC or Marvel fan. They get very touchy about this! (And ladies, as I had to learn the hard way, Star Wars and Star Trek are not the same thing!).
A comic book fan will be forever grateful for this sorting system. He can keep his first edition comic publications neatly and away from kids’ itching fingers - if they ever wandered into his man cave.
What’s a man to do after a hard day’s work inan office run by Sith Lords? Grab a drink ofcourse! This mini R-2-D-2 refrigerator keeps his beers and other beverages chilled and ready for consumption as soon as he comes home from the blazing hot Tattooine.
And to spruce things up even more, how about getting some comic-book inspired decals to use on the walls of his man cave?
The gaming geek is all about organisation, storage and cheat codes. Think of his man cave as a shrine for all the greatest games ever made in the history of video and computer games.
Gamers love it when they’re entering a secret passage or discover a secret room in a video game. His man cave is not much of a secret but you can signify it more with a bunch of game-inspired knick knacks like this rug from ThisIsWhyImBroke , these Mario and Legend of Selda themed drink coasters from Etsy, or This Xbox controller table which his guys would really love when they come over for game time.
No matter what music genre he likes, or which era of music he enjoys most, you can create a music haven in his man cave.
This sculpture displayed in the reception area at PPL in London’s Upper James Street represents music. You can recreate this piece in different shapes using various sized speakers.
Repurposing music instruments and old cassette tapes gives the room a nostalgic feel. Keep it classy with earthy tones or bring it up to funky times by playing with colours. These are fun additions to your man cave decor. Get this on Etsy or do-it-yourself.
Don’t see your man-type on the list? That’s okay! What makes a man cave is pretty simple: large television screen, plenty of comfortable seating, game tables and probably arcade games. Make sure there’s plenty of non-perishables and drinks to keep him full. And remember, whether your man’s a fixer upper, a sports fanatic or just the classic gentle-man; draw inspiration from what he’s most passionate.
Kids today are definitely more exposed and have a wide view of the world today than we did in our day - all thanks to technology. But, let’s keep the iEverything away every now and then, shall we?
These DIY ideas help your kids bust boredom in clever, colourful ways! So, get your chalks, sponges, tissue rolls and more ready.
Your kids are going to love veggies more than ever. Stamp plain tees, aprons and other clothing items with vegetables or fruits to create shapes. If it’s her first year in pre-school, stamp designs on white canvas school shoes. You can do it on bags too! Remember to dry your veggie or fruit before you go stamping away. If fruit is not dry, you’ll end up having pulp and water residue on your chosen canvas. And, use thick paint so that the colours pop.
FESTIVE SPIN ART
This was a major hit at my son’s/daughter’s classmate’s birthday party. It even caught me by surprise. Each parent was asked to bring a salad spinner. This idea was just genius! Take a look at the video below from Good Housekeeping.
MINI MAGIC GARDEN
You’ll be amazed at how your child’s imagination works when creating a little green world of their own. Also, gardening with your kids teaches patience. You’ll need a planter or a pot (whichever size you decide with your kid), dirt, flowers, moss, rocks, a little bird house and planting tools suited to your kid’s wee little stature. Make sure your kid is with you in making all decisions. This is a growth experience for everyone.
FUNNY FACE FLIP BOOK
I love doing this with my child. It’s now a way for our family to communicate with each other. Especially on days when we have a little tiff. Sometimes it’s hard for your child to communicate his feelings. I find this really helpful especially if you’re a working mum. Create the book together using white cardstock paper, metal book rings and a hole puncher. Just keep these supplies ready for your child to use: stickers, google eyes and marker pens.
You can find a lot of tutorials on this online. If you have time, you can create this I-Spy bag from scratch by sewing a bag of your own. If not, get a pencil case with a transparent front and fil lit up with polly pellets. Then, fill it in with random little objects like buttons, coins and beads - about 25 pieces or more. Zip it up and go crazy with a hot glue gun. You don’t want to create a mess or endanger the younger kids. Remember to take a picture of all the objects you put in along with a typed out list.
This is crazy easy to make asit requires only two ingredients: frosting and powdered sugar. And, because itis edible, toddlers can join in the fun too! Just include some cookie cutters for fun shapes and other play dough toys on hand. Just keep an eye on your toddler every now and then. This is practically made of sugar, so you don’t want your little one eating everything up.
MELTED CRAYON ART
I’ve been a fan of melted crayon art forever! All you need are crayons, paper and a warming tray. If you don’t have access to a warming tray, you can still do this on a cookie sheet. You can help your child create awe-some stained glass art for his room. Get full tutorial instructions here.
Two words: washi tape. And loads of it. I got this brilliant idea from Juliette’s Garden. Create a whole track for your kid (and his friends, if they do come over) to“drive” his cars. Create a car park so he knows where to put them after he’s done playing with them. At the end of play time, you’re going to be pleased to find these mini toys parked within the car track vicinity rather than stepping on them on the way to the laundry room.
OUTDOOR SOUND WALL
Your little Beethoven can begin his musical journey right at home. Create this natural playground for your little one. Allow him to use his imaginations with different sounds. Nail hooks onto board and hang a different item every week. You can use items from your kitchen like a potato masher for banging, woks, cheese graters and more. Test them out yourself. Find the full instructions here.
I don’t know about you but I find my kids especially restless when it’s a rainy day. All you’ll need is plastic cups, straws, washable paint, dish detergent, water and cardstock. Voila! Your indoor-approved bubble painting fun for the little rascals. Use this art trick to create message cards from your kids to mail to grandma and grandpa.