Archive | February, 2013

Colour of the Month: Fuchsia Fizz

Ok.  Please understand that I am not one of those blond girls that loves pink on everything.  I have no Elle Woods-esque style ambitions.  But I love fuchsia.  Love.  One day, when I am running my design empire, the office will have a fuscia pink front door.
So juicy – how could you not feel creatively inspired walking into this every day?
I’m not sure if it’s because this particular Colour of the Month is so noticeable, but I have noticed it cropping up all over the place, without me even having to look for it.  It took a few days after the colour was announced just to realise that it was the colour of my cell phone cover!
I have enjoyed the neon trend, but feel that fuscia is almost like a “grown up neon” – as Plascon Colour Manager Anne Roselt states, “Fuscia is the ultimate hot pink.”  She goes on to say, “With a youthful, uplifting and carefree energy, it promises to pack an invigorating punch when used wisely and in the right space.”  I couldn’t agree more – it packs a punch, and just generally makes me feel really happy.
I love how it pairs with grey, another one of my favourites (when all else fails, make it grey!) – here is a cheat sheet on how to introduce it into your spaces:
What colours complement fuchsia?
    • GREEN is the complementary colour to pink, which is why emerald – Pantone’s colour of the year – goes wonderfully with fuchsia.
    • WHITE shows the colour off beautifully.
    • RED and ORANGE are quite trendy with fuchsia right now.
    • NAVY BLUE lightens up when combined with pink.
    • SILVER give pink a lustrous edge.
    • GREY is given a lift with the addition of fuchsia pink.
Spotted this adorable apron at a cake shop – makes me think of the Home Fabrics wallpaper we featured here.
As we have mentioned, we are involved in designing a stand for Decorex Durban, so pops of this bright pink will be seen all over Durban for the next month:
Grab a paint brush and some overalls, and throw a coat of theses Plascon paints on that hand-me-down item lying in your garage for some added exuberance in your day-to-day life:
Plascon’s favourite pinks:
  • Fuscia Fizz R2-A1-1, from the 2013 Colour Forecast
  • Valentino Rose R2-A1-2
  • Mystic Tulip R1-A1-1
  • Peony Blooms R1-A1-2
Failing that, gallop over to, where we found some of the most gorgeous home items in the juicy colour.  They’re a perfect solution if you’re not quite ready to commit to paint:
Flocked heart jewellery box by Portfolio favourites, Sobeit.
Great coffee AND hot pink?  Um, yes! Love this Kenwood coffee maker.


Design guru Porky Heffer has given even your pooch a reason to smile over Fuscia.
Super smart kitchen items by Joseph Joseph in super sexy pink.
Is this bench by Jasper and George not to die for?
Everyone should have a bit of pink happiness in their life – now that you know where to find it, you have no excuse!
- Lee
Images sourced from and – check out our Fuscia Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Our concept mood board: Decorex Durban 2013

Lee-Anne and I have been conceptualising our bedroom setting for the Volvo Designer Pod for Durban Decorex, which is being held from 21-24 March 2013 at the Durban Exhibition Centre.  Below is a snippet of our concept mood board we have put together.

This year, the Designer Pods are sponsored by Volvo.  From the outset, we chose to rather try and communicate the essence of the Volvo brand, as opposed to a more literal interpretation.
On researching the development of Volvo, we discovered that the name was decided upon because of its global accessibility.  Regardless of your whereabouts or background, you would be able to pronounce and spell the name in the same manner as someone on the opposite side of the world.  We appreciated this effort to unite people in their experience of the brand.  We tried to develop our concept to reflect this – at first glance the space may exude a more masculine aura, similar to Volvo’s range of products.  However, further exploration will reveal the incorporation of luxurious textiles and finishes that communicate a more feminine touch, thus balancing the design by juxtaposing stronger, more rugged elements with those that are more refined.  This will turn the stand into an environment in which both the manliest man and the most petite prima ballerina appear to be equally at home.

We were further inspired by the logo.  The ancient symbol for iron represents quality, safety and durability, as well as having come to symbolise a brand that strives for exciting and modern design.  We translated this message into metallic accents throughout the space, which creates an eye-catching effect even from a distance – similar to a beautiful car.  We have sourced striking pieces for the stand, and have applied interesting, newer techniques to more conventional materials and furnishings.  Bystanders are invited to experience the comfort of tradition, while being excited and propelled forward by the new approaches to those same traditions.

Stay tuned for the complimentary ticket give-away coming up.

Hope to see you all there!

Ché and Lee

Decor how-to: Wall Finishes

With trend forecasters proclaiming that “a can of paint is the new scatter cushion,” and wallpaper technology constantly improving and gaining traction, the years of white or beige rooms are quickly falling behind us (especially since those same trend forecasters have announced that pastel is the new neutral) – the problem, however, lies in the massive variety of finishes out there.
It helps to know a few basics, just so that you can at least make informed choices when facing the vast array of options, and have to take on the daunting task of narrowing it all down to just one.  Many people are also intimidated by concepts such as wallpaper, not knowing how much it has changed over the years.
While it doesn’t have to be plain and boring, it’s important to remember that the walls in your space constitute the largest expanse.  You can see it as a canvas for all of the brilliant and beautiful things that you are going to fill that space with, so it has an important role to play in the everlasting design goal to achieve harmony.
When facing a new or changing space, one of the first decisions to be made is the type of finish to be used.  Solid colours are an easier background to manage, leaving room for change as time passes.  A basic rule to remember is that it isn’t necessarily wise to use more than one dramatic print or pattern in a space (I know recent fashions would suggest otherwise, but we’re talking long term here.  Fashionable clashing prints would possibly be better in the form of small, soft furnishings, that can easily be changed with passing trends).
In choosing the type of wall finish, consider the uses of the space in question.  As durable as new wallpapers may be, if you like a daily hot and steamy bath, I personally wouldn’t install an off-the-shelf wallpaper in your bathroom.  A guest toilet or powder room, on the other hand, is a small space that has less traffic and limited usage – it offers a chance to go a little crazier than you would normally.  If you have birthed a boys soccer team and own a year old Labrador, or have a darling princess that considers herself to be Matisse with a box of crayons, your best bet would be to go for durable tiles, vinyl or washable paints – especially in high traffic areas like kitchens and family bathrooms.  (Should the above scenario be true in your case, make friends with Sugar Soap.  It’s magic stuff.)

As time passes and your adorable pumpkins grown into angsty teens with oversized metal band t-shirts and a tendency to blast the aforementioned metal band at unspeakable volumes, that thin or hollow wall separating your bedrooms may become a problem.  Have a look at your fabric, cork or wood paneling options to help restrain you from plucking the sound system cables from the walls like a loose thread on jersey.  Practical options will help you remember that you do, in fact, love your angsty teenager, and that this is all just a phase.


Wall treatments influence the mood and style of the room, so bear that in mind when choosing.  Having an some idea about colour psychology can also help in that regard, (Red can be seen as passionate or angry, so probably not the best colour for the aforementioned teenager.  Orange has been shown to make you hungry, so if you love to entertain but your flopped mac and cheese could rival that of Susan Delfino, splash a lot of orange around, and perhaps your guests will be too hungry to notice) and it’s also important to remember the brightness of the room.  Rooms that don’t get a lot of sun should possibly not be painted Hunter Green.  A “gender” can be assigned to a room via the wall treatment as well, for example, Scottish Twill vs pastel florals.

Alkyd paints, better known as oil-based paints, are enamels, ranging from gloss, satin, matte, and eggshell finishes.  Water-based paints are referred to as acrylics, emulsion paint, PVA or Latex.  These include standard ranges, but can also be mixed on request to your own specifications.  (Just make a note of your formula for next time.)
Other finishes include epoxy, for highly glazed, non-porous surfaces, including plastic, tiles or screeded concrete; primers for newly plastered walls; undercoats for over the primer or on previously painted walls; varnish in a variety of finishes (eg. clear, gloss, eggshell, satin or suede) for interior wood; and whitewash, (also referred to as distemper) which is only available in a matte finish and can be used both inside and outside, with added tints, tones or shades.
Wallpaper is amazing, and I have noticed that it seems to be quite a trademark in the interiors that Che’ creates. (It’s beautiful – come see her stand at Decorex Durban to see her impeccable taste and the AMAZING wallpaper we have chosen.  Drool.)  The possibilities are practically endless, but this is what you need to know when it comes time to choose:
“Lining paper: Inexpensive neutral coloured wallpaper used to cover uneven walls.  The decorative wallpaper is then applied over the lining paper.
Vinyl coated papers: A thin transparent glaze of PVC is applied to wallpaper, giving a more durable, washable surface than paper.  It can be cleaned with a sponge but cannot be scrubbed.  (Most off-the-shelf papers fall into this category)
Vinyl: Made from PVC, it is a flexible, practical material, which is water resistant and can be scrubbed with a soft bristle brush to remove most marks.  Most vinyl’s are already pasted with a fungicidal adhesive.
Embossed Vinyl: PVC moulded to give a raised pattern and backed by a tough paper substrate.
Foam polyethylene: Lightweight covering made from foam plastic with no backing paper.  You paste the wall instead of the covering.  It makes a good choice for bathrooms or kitchens where condensation is a problem.
Naturals: Grass cloth and silks, cork, wood veneers, hessian and all products made from natural materials applied to paper backings.  Hanging them usually requires some degree of expertise.
Flock: An elegant background for traditional decor and furnishings.  Finely chopped wool, rayon or nylon is applied to the design, which is coated with adhesive, resulting in a velvety effect.
Source - Spotted this adorable wallpaper at Home Fabrics in Durban last year.
Relief papers: Usually white, relief papers include Anaglypta, which was often used in Victorian interiors.  Bonding two sheets of paper together and then passing it through deeply embossed rollers make Anaglypta.
Foil: A thin, flexible metal sheet – often aluminium – is laminated to a substrate of paper or fabric creating an exotic wall covering with excellent reflective quality.
Mylar: A new type of foil made from tough polymeric polyester, which is a resin that becomes a flexible plastic sheet.  It looks like real foil, but won’t show creases after hanging.
Murals: Usually produced in sets of panels, they range from maps of the world to scenes of autumnal forests and tropical islands.”
Source - this beauty was up for display at Hertex Durban last year; it was to die for.
There you have it – it’s a lot of information, but now no one can go into their home makeover and plead ignorance when it comes to choosing the best wall covering for each situation.  Always remember that if you’re stuck or overwhelmed, Portfolio is always there!
- Lee
* Information sourced from experience and Design School South Africa.

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