Oversized Wall Decor on a Mini Budget

Have you ever fell in love with a piece of fabric but didn’t think you’d have a use for it? That’s how I felt when I saw this particular shower curtain. It’s a shower curtain: I don’t need or like shower curtains I thought, but the geometric-mandala-y pattern had me obsessed, so I bought it anyway.

Luckily we love repurposing things here at Homeology, which means it didn’t take too long to figure out that the shower curtain was destined to become an oversized decorative canvas!

I adore the result and the fact that this quick wall art DIY is a divine decorating solution for a budget-bound home.

Here’s how to create Huge Wall Decor on a Tiny Budget!

Difficulty: easy

Time: 1 hour 

 

 You will need:

  • 3x 32x32mmx2.4m Pine PAR battens, cut into 2x 1.4m, 2x 1.1m (use the remaining pieces for the struts)
  • 1.5x2m Shower Curtain (Builders Warehouse has a great selection!)
  • 16x 4x50mm Wood Screws
  • Staple Gun & Staples
  • Wood Glue

Tools for the job:

  • Drill
  • Hand saw
  • Mitre box
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter’ Square
  • Scissors
  • Marker

 

STEP 1:

Statement Piece Wall Art on a Budget

Cut the battens or ask the supplier to cut them for you.

Measure and mark the remainder of the battens into 4x 400mm sections for the frame struts. Use a mitre box to cut the pieces at a 45 ° angle. Cut inward from your mark.

STEP 2:

Statement Piece Wall Art on a Budget

Create a corner for the frame by drilling wood screws into the 1.1m and 1.4m battens. Glue the area first for a secure hold. Use your carpenter’s square to ensure a perfect 90-degree angle.

Pro tip: Use two screws per corner for a secure frame. To avoid splitting the wood, offset them from the centre, one on each side.

Create an Oversized Wall Print on a Budget

Fortify the corner by screwing a strut in place.

STEP 4:

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the frame is complete.

STEP 5:

For the decorative cover spread the shower curtain face-down on the floor. Then place the frame on top of the shower curtain (near the bottom or top edge of the material to make keeping the design straight easier). Mark the middle of the canvas and frame at the top and bottom lengths to keep the design straight.

STEP 6:

How To make Your Own Divine Decor

Measure 100mm around the frame and cut away the excess material.

STEP 7:

DIY Wall Art on a Budget

Start in the middle of one length of the frame and fold the shower curtain so that the cut edges are concealed and protected from fraying. Use a staple gun to first staple the material to the middle of the back of the frame. Do the same for the other sides to avoid warping the pattern.

Now finish one side at a time by stapling the material from the middle outwards. Do not staple the corners yet.

STEP 8:

DIY Framed Shower Curtain Wall Art

Keep the material from tearing by folding a rectangular piece of paper or thin cardboard around the edge of the frame before covering with the material. Fold the shower curtain neatly around the corner, almost like wrapping a present. Then securely staple the edges.

STEP 9:

diy-framed-canvas-shower-curtain-bedroom

Hang up your canvas, sit back and enjoy your clever decorating 😉

 

Happy Homemaking!

 

oversized wall decor

 

Create a Cute Hanging Shelf with Belts

We’ve come to love two things: smart storage and our projects for Continental Window Fashions. So, it makes complete sense that this lovely little hanging shelf was destined for creation! Luckily curtain hardware can hold quite a bit of weight, which means that this hanging shelf is sturdy and the perfect storage solution for small spaces.

hanging shelf in home office with small wooden desk and pot plant

Here’s how to create cute storage with unwanted belts and a curtain rod.

diy hanging shelf materials, including jigsaw, belts, measuring tape, pencil, curtain brackets and plywood

You will need:

  • 6 belts
  • 2 pieces of 16mm pine plywood, cut to 200mm x 1m and 240mm x 1m
  • Paint in the colour of your choice
  • 1m curtain rod
  • 2 x curtain brackets
  • 2 x end caps

You will also need:

  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Jigsaw or figure saw

You can buy all your supplies online from Builders Warehouse!

hanging belt shelf graphic plan

 

STEP 1:

measuring tape and pencil on plywood for shelving tutorial

Using the template above, measure the slots for the belts to slide through. The top shelf requires a longer 100mm (4”) slot for two belts and the bottom shelf a 50mm (2”) slot for one belt.

 

STEP 2:

jigsaw cutting out sections where belts will slip through

Drill holes into the slots until you have a space big enough to insert the jigsaw blade or figure saw. Then carefully cut the slots.

 

STEP 3:

painting the edges of shelving unit

Use a small sponge roller to paint the edges of the shelves in the colour of your choice. Let dry.

 

STEP 4:

sanding the shelves of the hanging shelf

Lightly sand the shelves and wipe with a clean cloth to remove any dust.

 

STEP 5:

close up of black belt of home made hanging shelf

Install the curtain brackets on the wall and hang the rod and end caps. Thread the belts through the slots and hang over the rod.

close up of hanging shelf in home office with glass cactus and belt detail

Now the hard work is done! All you need to do is decorate your beautiful shelving with your favourite items. This compact hanging shelf is ideal for small spaces. Specifically, those where you need a smart storage solution like in a home office or the kids’ playroom. Maybe, a playroom is above all the best place for your new shelf to keep little hands out of mischief.😉👍

diy hanging shelf in home office with black belt and bronze detail

Happy DIY-ing!

 

Mexican Tomato Soup with Cheesy Quesadilla Dippers

Something about the cold weather makes me want to stuff my face with super spicy food. Luckily, Mexico was our food destination for the week. Which meant that spicy, hot goodness was on the menu every single day. I LOVED it!

This Mexican Tomato soup, like many of my favourite things, is all about the extras! The soup is hearty and mild without the quesadillas, so don’t be afraid to add more chilli. Let us know what you think in the comments box below!

You will need

For the Tomato Soup:

  • 1 small pumpkin cut in chunks
  • 8 chopped tomatoes *
  • 3 Habanero chillies chopped (or any chilli you prefer)
  • 1 large onion chopped **
  • ½ yellow pepper chopped ***
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. stock powder
  • 750ml water
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • Salt to taste

*      Dice an extra tomato for a soothing tomato salsa
**   Keep 2 tbsp. onion aside for the quesadilla filling (Let it sit in vinegar to reduce the sharpness)
*** Chop extra yellow pepper for the quesadilla filling

cheesy-spinanch-quesadilla

For the Cheesy Quesadillas:

  • 2 tortillas
  • 2 tbsp. diced yellow pepper
  • 2 tbsp. onion
  • 2 Jalapenos sliced
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or semi-hard cheese of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp. cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce

tomato-cucumber-and-onion-salsa-in-a-rustic-bowl

Optional Extras:

Hot food is not for the faint-hearted so take a delicious precaution in the form of cooling quesadilla-toppers.
Here are our favourite sense soothers:

  • Chopped tomato, cucumber and onion salsa
  • Yoghurt or sour cream
  • Guacamole or pureed avocado

Method

mexican-soup-with-quesadilla-dippers

For the Soup:

  1. Melt butter on high heat in a large pot or pressure cooker.
  2. Add onions, tomato, pumpkin and yellow pepper to the pot and fry for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, stock powder, black pepper and chillies and fry for 5 minutes more.
  4. Mix in the water, close the lid and let the mixture do its thing.
  5. 20 minutes in a pressure cooker, and 30 – 40 minutes on the stove or until the pumpkin falls apart. (Prepare the Quesadillas while you wait).
  6. Once the veggies are soft remove the pot from the heat and blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste.

For the Quesadillas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Spread Sriracha on one tortilla. Then add a layer of cottage cheese.
  3. Sprinkle a little bit of cheddar cheese (thin layers of cheese will keep the quesadilla from falling apart).
  4. Add a layer of sliced Jalapenos, yellow pepper and onion.
  5. Sprinkle more cheese on the tortilla base.
  6. Add the spinach leaves, finish with yet another sprinkling of cheese and place the other tortilla on top.
  7. Place the quesadilla on the top oven shelf. Once the top is crispy, after 5-10 minutes, place the quesadilla on the lowest oven shelf until it’s perfectly crisp and golden.
  8. Remove the quesadillas from the oven, let it cool for two minutes then cut the quesadilla into eight sections (like a pizza).

Now all that’s left to do is plate!

mexican-soup-with-quesadilla-dippers-tomato-salsa-and-sour-cream

Happy Eating!

 

tenille

 

Keep the Heat High and the Electricity Bill Low!

Did you know that you lose an awful lot of heat through your windows? Especially here in South Africa, where double glazing is not very common. Luckily, you don’t have to go through the trouble of replacing your window – you can keep the chill outside of your home this winter by covering the windows with energy-efficient window treatments!

Cosy Curtains

Curtains are a great way of keeping the heat inside while leaving your windows looking elegant and stylish.  Stick to thick, heavyweight, tightly-woven textiles to provide a dense barrier against the cold outdoor air.  Velvet, denim, suede and tapestry are great examples of thick, insulating fabrics.  Hanging curtains in layers is an energy-efficient way of keeping the heat in, while still leaving your windows looking stylish.

PRO TIP: Hanging your curtains wider than the window frame and having them cascade to the floor will seal up small spaces around the edges where heat could escape.

Keep Warm with Honeycomb Blinds

Honeycomb blinds, also known as Cellular Shades are the best and most energy-efficient window coverings you can buy. They use a series of cell pockets to trap air around your windows, keeping your rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  The cells use a unique design shape similar to a honeycomb. Also, the more layers of honeycomb material you have, the more insulation the shades will provide.

Keep Warm with Roman Blinds

Roman blinds can make for inexpensive insulating covering for windows. They are simply cloth window coverings consisting of several sandwiched layers of fabric. They cover your windows when extended and can be pulled up and out of the way using a system of string and loops.

Whatever your window treatment preference, Finishing Touches will help you save on energy consumption by supplying the best quality made-to-measure blinds and curtains.

Happy Snuggles!

Cheeky Thai-inspired Chicken Corn Soup

In an attempt to try and up our culinary craftiness while eating healthy, we’ve been keeping to themed menus for the past few weeks. Each week we select a different country to learn from – but due to popular demand (read – because the other half said so) Thailand is featuring for the second time in one month! But I’m out of some of the essential Thai ingredients so I decided to make a “Thai-inspired” dish instead, a fusion if you will.

Immune Booster Thai Chicken Corn Soup

This healthy and wholesome soup is a classic with a twist – chicken corn soup done the Thai green curry way.

healthy vegetable soup ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

For the Soup

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts – shredded*
  • Corn from 2 corn cobs/1.5 cups frozen corn or 1 can sweetcorn
  • Green curry paste **
  • 400ml Coconut Milk (or cream)
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Shallots or other onions
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

*Fry the chicken breasts until just cooked then shred by using two forks. Or, leave out the chicken altogether if you’re vegetarian.

**I made my own salsa-like green curry mixture, but you can use store bought paste – scroll to the bottom of the page for my home-made version.

shredded cooked chicken for healthy soup

Additional Extras

The great thing about this soup is that you can add pretty much any vegetable you like. This is what I used:

  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 small cabbage – shredded (Bok Choy is a lovely alternative)
  • 1-2 raw scrambled eggs

chopped mushroom for healthy soup

Garnish

  • Coriander leaves
  • Chopped spring onion
  • Chopped raw carrot

METHOD:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot then fry the shallots until translucent.
  2. Add the green curry mixture and sweat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant (the part where you feel the chilli and garlic tickle your nose) 😉.
  3. If you’re using carrots or starchy vegetables add them first (the other veggies will be added later).
  4. Mix in the rice vinegar, and let it reduce for a few minutes before adding the stock, water and soy sauce.
  5. Add the corn and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Swirl the soup mixture with a spoon then add the raw egg slowly. Watch it do its magic and move on to the next step.
  7. Now you can add the softer veggies, mushroom, asparagus, broccoli, and the chicken to the soup.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Place the cabbage on top of the soup, close the lid and let it sit for 3 minutes.
  10. Turn off the stove and mix in the coconut milk/cream.
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour the hearty mix into soup bowls, garnish with coriander leaves, carrots and spring onion. Drizzle with lemon juice and dig in!
  13. Sit back and enjoy the sizzle of a strengthening immune-system!

Optional: Thai Green Curry Salsa/Paste

The reason behind salsa is that I use a food blender and not a food processor, which is still do-able because the flavour is spot-on! But! A food processor is better, because it’ll create a paste that will add a lovely pastel green tint to the soup.

home made green curry salsa in black bowl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 chillies of your choice – the smaller they are, the hotter the curry (feel free to add more)
  • 1-2 inch ginger, peeled
  • 2 lemongrass sticks
  • 4 sprigs of spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Bunch of coriander/cilantro leaves

easy home made thai green curry paste ingredients

METHOD:

  1. Clean and peel the ingredients, chop off the woody bits of the lemongrass and spring onion.
  2. Add all ingredients (including fish paste) to a food processor and blend. Fine chopping will also do.
  3. Refrigerate until needed for the main recipe.

home made green curry salsa in black bowl

 

Happy Cooking!

tenille

Simple Scandinavian Ladder

I never throw away cut-offs and wood scraps! They have a special place in my small backyard, where they often prove to be little treasure troves of pain, especially when feet find them. But they are treasures nonetheless; throw-away scraps are perfect for odd jobs, and their size and shape largely dictate what you can do with them; which is how this ladder came into the world.

This ladder is not the most original DIY, but it is practical and pretty. Initially, I left it unpainted, but when I saw this West Elm version, I was convinced white paint had to be part of my ladder.

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY DECORATIVE LADDER

Difficulty: easy

Time: 1 hour without drying between paint coats

 

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 x 35mmx35mmx3.0m timber battens
  • 16 wood screws
  • Cold wood glue like Alcolin, or a strong wood bonding glue
  • white water-based paint
  • Painter’s tape or masking tape

TOOLS FOR THE JOB:

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • A piece of sandpaper (or electric sander)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

STEP 1:

rustic decorative adder

Measure and cut battens to 2x 1.5m pieces for the legs and 4x 0.5m pieces for the rungs.

Pro tipUse a carpenter’s square to ensure the pieces are cut perfectly square. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a wonky ladder.

STEP 2:

make a ladder

Sand down the pieces to the desired smoothness. I only sanded the edges, because I wanted a rougher texture.

STEP 3:

vintage ladder

Mark the positions of the rungs on the sides of the legs: I spaced mine 300mm apart. Remember that the rung will sit in the middle of the measurement. Drill two pilot holes for each rung, one a little higher than the other. This will prevent the wood from splitting and will ensure a stronger hold.

STEP 4:

wood ladder

Put a drop of cold glue on the edges of a rung, wait a few seconds, and press it against the inside of the leg where you drilled the pilot holes. Move the wood against each other until you feel the hold securing. Use your carpenter’s square to ensure a 90-degree angle.

STEP 5:

diy storage ladder

Fix the two screws in place for each rung and then allow the cold glue to dry.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each rung until your ladder is complete.

STEP 6:

timber ladder

(If you want a smoother finish, now would be the time to sand!) Use painters tape to demarcate the areas the be painted. I measured 20cm from the outside leg.

STEP 7:

make your own storage ladder

Paint the sectioned area of the ladder. Allow to dry between coats until you’re happy with the finish. Lightly sand in between coats if you want a smooth modern appearance.

Pro tip: Brush away from the painter’s tape, to avoid the paint bleeding. And don’t use too much paint.😉

STEP 8:

Remove masking tape. I love this part – it’s stressful and exciting!

Optional: Apply a clear sealant or treat the exposed wood. Wait to dry…and you’re done!

DIY storage ladder 2

Congratulations! You are now the owner of a self-made Nordic-style ladder ready to hang your towels or blankets! Well done!

Happy DIYing!

 

 

5 South African Online Furniture Stores for local Home Shopping

We live in an age where a great many weird and wonderful things are bought online every day. Why anyone would want to buy dehydrated water or cobra whiskey is beyond us, but we do understand the need to get your virtual hands on furniture that you can bring back to the real world. Luckily for interior lovers, buying all things home is getting easier and comes with an agreeable price tag (insert squeal of excitement).

You do not have to roam the urban plains of South Africa in search of that perfect couch ever again! Now you can find a unique piece perfect for your home today and sit on it tomorrow. Amazing! And (big plus!) you’ll be supporting South African entrepreneurs, helping the local economy and minimizing the environmental impact of shipping. If you need more reasons why buying local is lekker, find them here… Intrigued? Then read on!

HERE ARE 5 LOCAL ONLINE STORES TO HELP YOU DECORATE YOUR HOME FROM HOME!

 

#Basis Furniture

Batman & Robin Occasional from Basis Furniture

Once you enter the online store of Basis Furniture the theme rings clear; back to basics. The focus of Basis Furniture is refined furniture that forms the backbone of a home. Thanks to strong trading ties and ditching the classic retail space, brothers Ross and Kyle Wilson are able to import beautiful and often unique pieces to their online store without inflating the price tag. Fortunately for those in Cape Town, Basis Furniture showroom is based in Diep River and the public is welcome to pop in for a peep at their elegant assembly. Expect to find modern and sophisticated chairs, sofas, benches and coffee tables. For those of you a bit further away head to their online store for the full collection.

If you love interiors from East Asia and you’re looking for great Indonesian design there isn’t much in South Africa, but don’t despair! Kohe Design is a Bali furniture supplier that ships directly to wherever you are, which means you can have your own piece of Indonesia in precious SA too!

 

#2 Knus

Versameling van Laaie from Knus

Knus, the Godfather of locally handcrafted products, is an expansive online store showcasing the best of South African design. Careful thought and consideration go into every piece that Knus chooses to showcase. Here intimate detail and creative expression come together to form quality furniture demanding attention. We love the playful product names like Harmony Bench and Dikbuikige Kas, literally meaning “paunchy cupboard”.  If you’re starting from scratch, Knus has everything you need; from furniture to towels to wallpaper!

 

#3 Elsje Designs

Himmeli 2 by Elsje Designs

This boutique interior design studio, snuggled in the heart of the Cape Winelands, furnish their clients with delicate limited edition designs. Elsje Designs has its origin in the event industry, specifically the wedding industry, which is evident in the fairy-like quality of their designs. Their pieces are beautifully feminine and will be a lovely addition to any home. They still provide on-trend décor to events, so if you’re planning an event be sure to contact them for a quote. Elsje Designs is firmly rooted in graphic design and offer art prints, distinct home décor as well as corporate branding and stationary. Designs can be personalised to client-specific requirements. Here you’ll find the finishing touches that will add a touch of awesome your home.

 

#4 Popstrukt

Creme Bedsite Table by Popstrukt

Popstrukt came about when founders, Michelle and Adriaan Louw, were on the hunt for affordable furniture for their new home. They realised there was a big problem when it came to quality and accessibility of interior design. Lucky for us this realisation culminated in an inviting online platform that caters to all homeowners. The sleek and chic furniture come flatpacked, which means these pieces are easy to pack up and go wherever you are going. This is just one of the innovative ways Popstrukt is making “good design affordable”. Head over to their online store; they even have a bundle section where you can buy more for less!

 

#5 Fun my world

Mini Giraffe Lamp by Fun My World

Reviving the playful side of life! Fun My World, run by creator Nicole Lindsey, aims to deflate serious interiors by reintroducing fun to homes. The collection consists predominantly of quirky lighting and gift products. All products are made from solid wood and treated with raw linseed oil, and are fully sustainable. If you want a customized product or alternative design contact them directly, and the industrious forces behind Fun My World will have it done in no time. Like what you hear? Head over to their online store at Hello Pretty for more. If you’re a lover of weekend market finds, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Fun My World at craft markets in and around Cape Town.

 

We hope you love these useful local online products as much as we do. Remember that if you want a magnificently designed home there is always a way to make it happen, no matter the budget.

Happy shopping!