If there was one interior trend to look out for this 2018, it has to be ‘colonial cool’. Far and wide across the globe this trend is popping up throughout homes and some of the trendiest restaurants, cafes and hotels. Also dubbed ‘colonial chic’, this décor trend is the ultimate combination of turn-of-the-century glamour and eclectic character from many corners of the world.

So where did it all begin?

The roots of this highly popular style are almost as alluring as the trend itself. At the turn of the 17th century the British Empire began to colonize and encompass many regions across the globe including Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and North America. In doing so, they left behind a lasting impression on culture, design and way-of-life which has been carried for centuries by many of these nations.

During this time, travel was also becoming increasingly popular amongst wealthy Brits who frequented many of the exotic nations now contained within the British Empire. This is where rich, eclectic elements of design and décor found their way into many stately homes across Britain.

Today, the colonial chic trend has adopted much of the same principals of its defining era, however accessories and appliances have no doubt become a little more modernized and versatile.

Some of the defining features of the colonial cool trend include:

Eclectic accessories

Many globe-trotting Britons were proud to display their exotic wares throughout their homes as prized mementos of their exiting travels to foreign lands. Today, these classic accessories include the likes of fine China, carved wood statues, ashtrays and boxes. Engraved silver, leather trunks, globes, brass telescopes, brightly coloured animal and patterned prints are also classically Colonial.

Rattan and Teak

Nothing says colonial cool more than rattan furniture and heavy, classic pieces of teak furniture. These items of furniture became a staple during colonial times and the trend has completely stuck to this very day. Beautifully carved wooden consoles, rattan backed chairs, plush sofas in brightly coloured and patterned fabrics are all colonial-inspired pieces to feature in your home.

Colourful textiles

The chintz design became incredibly popular during the colonial era and today is a staple amongst textiles used to inspire a colonial look and feel in any room. The chintz design soon made way for more exotic styles, including the likes of animal prints, botanical prints and prints displaying a local way of life. Today, both botanical and animal prints have enjoyed a revival and are a true staple amongst colonial-inspired décor.

Luscious Greenery

No colonial-inspired room would be complete without an abundance of natural greenery to tie all the elements of exotic travels together. Today some of the most popular greenery used include giant palm leaves, banana palms, tall standing palms, wild flowers, cacti and hanging succulents. The dark green colouring of the greenery juxtaposed against classic, dark wood furniture makes for a colonial-inspired dream.

Get your hands on some of the incredible printed fabrics and wallpapers for your colonial cool look, now available at Darkie Design’s new store – bigger and better than ever before! We have a range of beautiful new stock just in, ideal for a fresh home makeover. Find us at: 391 Huilboerboon Street, Hoedspruit.

How to Hang Wallpaper

Regardless of whether you choose to make a statement with something loud and bold or opt for a neutral design, wallpaper is back, and it looks like it’s here to stay! Here’s what you need to know about choosing and hanging it the right way.

Choosing Your Wallpaper

Ultimately, choosing wallpaper for your home is a very personal thing. Forget about obsessing too much around current design trends and select something that really speaks to you – something that makes you feel happy and at home. For more tips on choosing the right wallpaper, take a look at our previous blog post here.

Things to Remember when Hanging Your Wallpaper

While hanging wallpaper is not as daunting as you think, it’s worth considering that it’s not a completely straightforward process. If not done correctly, the paper can start to lift, bubble and peel soon after it has been applied.

Here are some things to remember in order to avoid this and to be able to enjoy your chosen design for many years to come.

Clean the Wall First

The first step is to give the wall on which you intend to hang your wallpaper a thorough clean. This will make it easier for the wallpaper to adhere more strongly when applied. Use a soft sponge and some luke-warm, clean water – don’t forget the corners.

It is also essential that the wall surface is as close to perfectly smooth as possible. If it isn’t, it’s time to get sanding!

You will need

Wallpaper and Wallpaper adhesive, a wooden batten (to stop the paper from rolling up when you apply the adhesive), a plumb line and spirit level, smoothing brush, tape measure, pencil, paste brush or roller and a drop cloth.

Make Sure that You Choose the Right Adhesive

Wallpaper paste might seem like the obvious choice, however, there are instances when another adhesive may perform better, especially if the ‘wallpaper’ that you think you’re hanging is, in fact, vinyl. Check the label beforehand to avoid any costly mistakes.

Order Extra

You’ll probably think that you’re saving money by measuring the exact amount of wallpaper that you’ll need. However, whether you’re a professional or not, you can be pretty certain that mistakes will happen during the hanging process. Therefore, it pays to round up your measurements, or even to buy an extra roll or two, in order to account for this.

Once you have measured the width of all the walls that you want to cover, divide the total width by 53cm – this is the standard width of most wallpaper rolls, although you should check your chosen wallpaper width first! This will give you the number of drops you need. Then measure the height of your room and multiply this figure by the number of drops from the previous calculation, which will give you your total meterage. Remember to add 10% more for wastage and other mishaps…

Plan Ahead

Do you know exactly where your seams are going to be? If you don’t, your pattern is going to end up mismatched slap-bang in the middle of the wall. Plan strategically before you start the process to avoid disappointment and nasty surprises later on.

If your wallpaper has any sort of pattern work away from the window area into the darkest corners of the room. If it’s a heavy pattern choose a central point such as a fireplace, or a central point between two windows.

Know How to Troubleshoot

Prep your paper by cutting enough lengths to cover one wall, put them onto your pasting table and carefully apply your paste working from one end to the other. Fold each length loosely – but don’t crease them. Unfold your first length and press it gently against the top of the wall. As you hang the rest, be sure that the pattern matches up before you smooth them down.

Don’t freak out if you notice a few bubbles here and there. The chances are good that they’ll disappear once the adhesive dries and the wallpaper settles. If not, it’s quite easy to make them less noticeable by puncturing them with a pin, gently flattening them and pressing the air out.

If it all seems like too much trouble and effort to hang wallpaper yourself, hire an affordable interior design company like Darkie Designs to lend a hand. Contact us today to learn more.

The property market can be tough – it’s competitive, fickle and can leave homeowners feeling completely clueless as to why their home is just not selling.

If you’re looking to attract more people to your show days, up the overall appeal of your home and sell your home faster, have you considered home staging? The ultimate goal of home staging is to ‘dress your home up’ to sell, essentially enhancing the perceived value of your home and its appeal of marketability.

Research has proven that home staging helps sell homes almost 50% faster, and at a value of 8-10% more than homes which are not staged for sale.

Keen to learn a few tricks on how to dress up your home for sale? We outline 6 simple steps below…

  1. Declutter living spaces
    When someone views your home they are essentially viewing it as their own, envisioning their family and their valuables in the space you are showing. Decluttering your home is vital to presenting a space which allows them to do just that. Ensure you declutter the main living areas of your home, including main bedrooms, living rooms, the kitchen and entranceways.Try and remove personal items, such as family photographs, but remember to still keep things homely and inviting.
  2. Fix up the small things
    Along with a deep spring clean, it’s absolutely vital that small problems are fixed before allowing potential buyers to view your home. Things like chipped paint on cupboards and railings, wall scuffs, holes in the wall, replacing light bulbs, mending or replacing tiles can go a long way to increasing your home’s appeal.
  3. Give your kitchen a little TLC
    Your kitchen is one of the most important and valuable rooms in your home and can be an absolute deal breaker for a potential home buyer. Take some time to revamp your kitchen before putting it on the market. Where possible, replace cupboard doors, repaint, replace countertops and update the décor and kitchen fixtures. If this is not in your budget, declutter your kitchen, pack away bulky appliances and keep things clean, neat and fresh.
  4. Decorate your table tops
    If your home has a large dining room or outdoor entertainment area, it’s important to create the idea that these rooms are functional and can be used. On show days, take some time to make these spaces inviting by decorating table tops with flowers and perhaps a ‘mock’ brunch spread. Remember to keep it natural and avoid being too staged.
  5. It’s all about lighting
    Walking into a dark, dingy home is about as off-putting as cold coffee – make sure your home is bright, airy and allows for natural light to flow into each room. Brightening up your home with enough light is a fantastic way to boost its appeal. Also remember to ensure your windows are cleaned, light bulbs are replaced where necessary and make use of wall mirrors where possible to bounce light throughout the room.
  6. Tend to your garden
    Finally, your garden or pool area is probably one of the greatest selling points of your home. Nine times out of 10, this is the reason many potential buyers are interested in your property. This is why making an extra effort to spruce up your outdoor area is so important. Prune bushes, cut back overhanging trees, mow the grass, repair broken or torn awnings and repaint outdoor walls if needed.

These simple steps could go a long way to moving a home that just won’t budge. If you’re looking for expert design and décor advice, or simply need to stage your home to sell, our Darkie Designs consultants are here to help! Get in touch.