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Introducing… me!

Hello All,

This is a very exciting time – I am thrilled to be joining Ché at Portfolio Design.
There are many upcoming trends and design ideas, as well as concepts that I hope I can fill you in on and give you some incite into what’s new in the design world.

A little bit about me.. I studied design for three years and am I now currently working full time as an interior designer. I have a passion for all aspects of design, whether its interior, fashion, art or beauty. I like to be involved from beginning to end when it comes to a project although I secretly have a love affair with fabrics.

I hope in time you will get to know me better through the posts I’ll be writing on the blog.

Just to end off I’ve quoted AlbertHadley –

Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.

I look forward to posting.


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.

Decore how-to: Principles and Elements Part II

Continuing on from Part One, we continue with our message (and the message of million’s of others) that good design is founded on principles and elements.  They “describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design.”  After covering Principles in Part One, we’re on to Elements.  But before turning to Elements, I found this quote by William Lidwell that I found quite interesting, stated in “Universal Principles of Design:”
“The best designers sometimes disregard the principles of design. When they do so, however, there is usually some compensating merit attained at the cost of the violation. Unless you are certain of doing as well, it is best to abide by the principles.”
The elements of design are:
  • Line
  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Form
  • Light
Line is defined as the starting points of shapes and form, seen as moving points in space – they create different effects as the eye moves from one point to the next.  They can be described as curved, straight, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, organic, masculine, bold – they can communicate concepts and atmospheres, like daintiness, boldness or grace.
Curved lines can be viewed as more playful and informal, although the controlled curves found in objects like furniture can be more formal than free flowing curved lines found in plants or the folds of curtains.  Diagonal lines can increase visual width, and are also less formal – however they are sometimes difficult to apply successfully.  They appear strong when in opposition to each other, but weak when portrayed individually.
Straight lines express force, with verticals appearing strong and dominant, drawing the eye upward and adding height.  It has a formal effect, and seems active, where horizontal lines seem restful.  Horizontal lines also give the effect of width.
While we have covered colour in more depth previously, we have to reiterate its importance as a design element.  Beside the obvious design influence that colour has, we must also realise the unconscious influences that it has.  It arguably has the most important role in obtaining elements and principles – for example, objects arranged with correct proportions can suddenly appear incorrect when the colours are changed, seeming unbalanced.  If a stronger colour is introduced, the object or area may seem heavier.  Should there be a lack of balance, there won’t be any sense of harmony in the design, which is the ultimate goal of any design.  While there are no firm rules, the effect of different colours should be considered due to their ability to create atmospheres and influence moods.  It’s wise to always bear the intensity of a hue in mind.
Texture is the surface quality that deals with the sense of touch – we appreciate it in a tactile/physical sense, as well as visually appreciating the effects that it may have. (For example, the highlights and shadows that are caused by a specific texture – the surface patterns my change with changing light.)  Certain textures also communicate certain messages, like that of something sheer and light giving the impression of something dainty.

Rough textures such as wood or wool appear to be warmer and more informal, and absorb light, whereas smooth, fine textures reflect light.  These textures more easily suggest formality and a cool environment.  Coarse textures tend to diminish colour, so are often most effectively used in conjunction with dark colours.  However, pile fabrics such as corduroy and velvet both reflect and absorb light.  Therefore combinations of textures can create a colour scheme even if the overall colour scheme is monochromatic.



Form can be two or three dimensional – two dimensional forms are defined by lines, whereas three dimensional forms are defined by volume.  Form should contribute to harmony in the space, with the basic building blocks being square, rectangular, triangles, and circles.Square forms are viewed as regular and stable, but can become monotonous when used alone.  Rectangles add visual length or width and triangles are visually interesting and draw attention to corners.  Circles and ovals can seem formal and self contained – they keep the eye within their borders, as well as creating intimate environments.



Hugely important, artificial and natural light contribute a great deal towards focal points and balance.  Design should be approached in such a way that natural light should be able to create balance unaided, and when it becomes dark and that light changes, artifical light must then restore that balance.  This allows an opportunity to switch between day time and night time focal points.  Light can completely change the atmosphere of a room.


As mentioned in Part One, the place to check out for design and decor information and courses is the Design School South Africa – for information about their open days, check here.

Always remember though, that knowing the rules well means you can break them well!  And if you’re confused or stuck, there’s always Portfolio.

– Lee

2013 in Colour

To start off the new year, we thought that it would be a good idea to get to know the years colours forecast a bit better.  As Nicola Hadfield mentioned in her trend talk, colours are becoming more muted this year.  Pantone launched the 2013 Colour of the Year, Emerald, with a bang, but there’s a whole range of other colours working with it.  We have sourced some stunning visuals as examples, which will hopefully inspire you all, and keep you bang on trend this year with the top ten colours presented in gorgeous collages:

Personally, I adore this years colours – I feel like there’s a return to more natural hues, and while I may be no expert, I believe they’ll continue to look great in any context long after next forecasts are announced.  I especially love Grayed Jade, Poppy Red (especially since I own a pair of those gorgeous Vivienne Westwood/Melissa Love Heart heels!) and Linen.

– Lee

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