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Keep it simple or add drama to your living areas with wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint or wooden floors for warmth


Spring has sprung, summer is around the corner and lockdown level 1 has most everyone out and about looking for ways to spruce up their home spaces. And, if you do it right, it can be worth more than just adding a breath of fresh air to your living environment. Here are ways to freshen up the look of your walls and floors to make you fall in love with your home all over again and entice would-be buyers to sign on the dotted line.



Extensive trend research by AkzoNobel and other experts around the globe revealed Brave Ground as Dulux Colour Future’s Colour of the Year for 2021.After spending most of the year in constant upheaval due to the pandemic, it’s little wonder that Brave Ground (code CF21), aims to impart strength and serenity. The colour can be used with its complementary palettes and techniques to bring balance, stability and courage to our surroundings.

“This warm, natural colour of the year provides a strong foundation for embracing change,” says Dulux Colour Expert Palesa Ramaisa. “It stands on its own as a beautiful, powerful neutral hue and can be used in a way that allows other colours to shine.” Dulux has put together four colour palettes that each take the shade in a different direction – Expressive, Timeless, Earth and Trust, which features complementary earth tones from across the globe.


Tile stories

Tiles immediately give a room personality and have the added benefit of being easy to clean and maintain. There are plenty of options available that may be neutral but expand your horizons with textures that beg to be touched. Inspired by the decorative inlays carefully crafted by Italian artisans in the 13th and 14th century, the Intarsi range of ceramic tiles from Ceramica Sant’Agostino combine the contrasting looks of marble and wood. Also from Sant’Agostino, the long, slender porcelain Colorart tiles evoke worn, weathered timber planks. Both the Colorart and Intarsi tiles are distributed by Italtile, and can be used for walls and floors.

Simple and striking

Hardwood flooring is a timeless addition to any home. This summer retreat in St Francis Bay took its design inspiration from both Cape farm architecture and a fisherman’s cottage, and looks out onto the Kromme River estuary. The home’s natural palette provides the ideal opportunity for colourful furniture and special objects to make a statement, while the warm wood flooring by Oggie Hardwood Flooring connects the inside to the outside providing a sense of cohesion. Oggie provides a range of wide-plank oak floors and wall cladding, sourced from sustainable forests.

Cool contrasts

A designer client of Jenny Mills Architecture and Interiors was inspired to go dark with the interior of one of his properties after reading books by Anouska Hempel, a hotelier and interior designer known for her dramatic interiors. To achieve the look, walls were chipped back to expose raw brick, the ceiling painted black and parts with rust paint. In contrast, a wall was painted inspired by a Ndebele colour palette and accompanied by an eccentric take on an exposed electrical box. “Set in a conservative Constantia enclave, it’s an amusing and refreshing break to open the doors to the warm, dark interior,” says Mills, the founder of Jenny Mills Architecture and Interiors.

No wallflowers here

“Wallpaper allows the discerning homeowner to create drama without the use of expensive art or framed prints,” says Cara Saven of Cara Saven Wall Design. “It can be used to dominate a space, or add layers and depth, and it always adds value to a home.” The owner of this Franschhoek home wanted to add a touch of warmth using wallpaper, as well as a dramatic visual for guests when they enter the house; the oversized blue heron now lives in the lounge, with its surrounding landscape extending into the dining and drinks area. “It brought the whole open plan space together in the most sophisticated way,” says Saven.


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