Friday, 14 November 2014

Warm white: The secrets to successful all-white decorating

Warm white

Some say white isn't a colour; I disagree. I think it's one of the prettiest colours when you work with the characteristics of the colour to create something beautiful. All-white decorating can be tricky as it can look a little cold and sterile, but with a bit of careful planning, it can also be very soft, sensual, pure and feminine.

The trick is to incorporate plenty of texture and softness:

  • An exposed brick wall painted white, as pictured above, is divine and adds a wonderfully warm and tactile element to the room 
  • Create some visual interest in the room with some stand-out pieces, such as the chandelier pictured here or eye-catching artwork to avoid giving the space a flat appearance, which is often the case with monotone decorating 
  • The easiest way to add softness is by adding lots of luxurious soft furnishings, such as a faux fur throw, chunky knit blanket or textured rug
  • Pay attention to lighting to create a soft glow and ambiance; candles and various types of fairy lights are always my first choice, but a few well-placed lamps with fabric lampshades will also do the trick
  • Incorporate a muted neutral, such as beige or soft grey here and there just to subtly break up the white and add some definition

As you can see, all-white decor can be very romantic, luxurious, rustic and even warm, it just requires some attention to detail. I'd love to hear from you if you have some more ideas about how to create a cozy white living space!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Love Hate Halloween: How to enjoy Halloween when you're just not that into it

Halloween wall batsI've never liked Halloween, probably because l don't like scary things, I prefer cute fluffy things like bunnies! As a child in South Africa in the 90s, we never made a big deal of Halloween. I just vaguely remember carving out a pumpkin one year, which was so much fun. My first real Halloween experience was when I was nine years old, in the first year that we'd moved to England. We had only lived there since around July so everything was still very new to me and I was struggling with the language as I didn't know much English at the time. A girl at school asked me if I wanted to go trick-or-treating with her, but it was the first time I had ever heard of it and thought she said "trickle treating" and I was confused. I asked what it was and she couldn't believe that I didn't know. She explained but I still didn't quite understand and thought it sounded really weird so I declined her kind offer. That night, our doorbell rang a few times and we didn't open the door because we didn't have any sweets and we felt more foreign and out of place than ever. Halloween became a time of anxiety rather than fun and to this day we have never participated in it.

I used to think it was something evil, until I learned about the origins of Halloween. It's about remembering those that have passed, including martyrs and saints. The Christian tradition is to light candles for those who have passed away, which I think is a lovely tradition. I've also heard that the idea is to ward off evil spirits, not attract them, which is what I used to think Halloween would do! That's what the dressing up in costumes is all about - it's to mimic the spirits or to make peace with them.

There is so much literature, debate and controversy around Halloween and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions and I'm also just starting to read more about it, which is really just out of my own curiosity. Having read various viewpoints about it, I think that it's just a bit of fun. I do, however, think that there are people out there who take it too far and that is when it can become something dark and sinister. I don't like the excessively gruesome costumes that look like zombies or dead people, I just find it really gross and off-putting. Same with the creepy Halloween food ideas, like hot dogs made to look like bleeding severed fingers or cake made to look like it's ripped open and splattered with blood - these are very inventive ideas but it just grosses me out too much. I'm all for the fun and cute ideas though - I know, I'm such a baby! There are loads of cute ideas on Pinterest, including food ideas, projects to try with your kids and awesome home decoration ideas for Halloween. Some of my favourites include spider infested chocolate chip cookies, cute little hanging bats that can be hung from branches or put up against against walls, and mice silhouettes that can be stuck along the steps of a staircase.

There are many different ways to have fun on Halloween if you feel like doing something but not going all out; just do it your way by celebrating in ways you enjoy or by doing things that are meaningful to you. Here are some last minute ideas:

1. Light a candle for each of your loved ones who have passed away. You can simply spare a thought for each person or say a little prayer or wish for them, or you could write down or say out loud what you'd say to them if they were here today, such as what you miss about them or what they meant to you in your life. Or you could simply have a candlelit dinner in commemoration of all who have passed.

2. Invite a few close friends over for dinner; a good way to make the most of all those awesome Halloween food and decorating ideas! 

3. Make a little treat, such as a Halloween themed cake, for you and your partner or best friend and curl up together with a scary movie. Some scary movies I can recommend are:

- The Shining (classic horror)
- The Descent (very scary and a bit gruesome)
- Darkness Falls (probably the scariest movie I've seen)
- The Others (not as scary but still good)
- The Haunting (also not that scary but probably the most enjoyable and non-gruesome scary movie I've seen)

Now that's my kind of Halloween! What will you do to celebrate this year?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

So...this is my blog

Hello! This is me!
The thing is, I think too much. I've been told this by myself and others so I'm starting to think maybe I should have someplace to put all my thoughts. I'm creating this blog mainly because I love writing and want to share my thoughts in an interactive way. Actually that's a lie, I prefer to keep my thoughts to myself, but then, where's the fun in that? Sharing is so much more interesting. People interest me; their daily lives, what they do, think and feel and what they've been through. Everyone has a story to tell that is completely their own; that's what makes life amazing; no two stories are the same, we all go through different things and we all think differently and experience things differently. There is no one in the world like you so it would be pointless not to be yourself because it's the one thing that only you can be, no one else. Every life is beautiful. .

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is me, this is the stuff I think about...Love and life with all of its miracles and anxieties (I have lots of those); food fills my thoughts way too much (must really start exercising so I can eat more); I think about stuff that I want to paint and make and do; I think about pretty things, beautiful things, stories told and untold. So in conclusion, this blog is really a product of my thinking too much...I'm only just getting started but I'm guessing it's going to be a whole lot of random. It's all the small things.

While we're on the subject of thinking about small things, you might be wondering about my random blog, okay this is a little embarrassing, but it's because my hubby calls me "hasie", which is Afrikaans for bunny, and I'm always in my head, hence, Contemplating Bunnies. Yes, really. At first I considered giving my blog a serious name, but then I thought nah, where's the fun in that? So why don't you funny bunnies join me and tell me about your quirky selves too, so I'm not the only weirdo ranting about my randomness??