Archives for "Outdoor"

Posted by the trend stalker on 7th October 2015

Couple up

Ryan Beattie from La-Z-Boy offers his tips on how to achieve conflict-free and productive decorating as a couple.

11 June 2015, Johannesburg: “Decorating as a couple can be one of the biggest challenges facing a new couple – the combination of conflicting tastes and so many different style choices for your space are a recipe for disaster. Fortunately however, it only takes a bit of planning and a few key tips to ensure your decorating experience is fun, easy and successful,” says Ryan Beattie from La-Z-Boy.
Open for discussion

The most important part of decorating as a couple is planning and discussion, explains Ryan: “Planning and talking about the style and composition of your décor before you decorate will help avoid any conflict at a later phase during the decorating process. It will also ensure that decorating as a couple can be an easy and enjoyable process.” Things to consider include your budget, layout, essentials and nice-to-haves. It is also a good idea to divide the tasks up evenly so neither person feels like they’re doing more work than the other.

Mix and match

It’s very important to remember that as a couple you both bring your own unique styles to the space you will be sharing. Mixing and matching elements of both of your styles will help bring a personal touch to your décor, and will ensure that both partner’s personal styles are being represented. Mixing and matching sentimental pieces that reflect each partner’s personality is important, as it will make the space feel more homely and personal. “Remember, that when incorporating personal pieces into a space, it’s advisable to only use pieces that add to the style you’re trying to achieve, rather than cluttering the space up with random sentimental pieces,” advises Ryan. Both partners being present when shopping, and a clear style plan will also be very beneficial in helping to create a cohesive end result.
Neutral territory

There are a few aspects of design that should be kept gender neutral – not only will this help the space from becoming too masculine or too feminine, but it will also make the space a great canvas for adding personal touches. “Deciding which parts of your décor should be kept neutral is quite easy – it relates to anything that stands as a big feature in the space, such as a feature wall or big pieces of furniture for example,” suggests Ryan. When it comes to couches for example, choosing something that is both comfortable and stylish is ideal.

La-Z-Boy recliners and lounge suites are a prime example of how a single style can appeal equally to both sexes – the fact that this motion furniture is super comfortable will appeal to the men, while La-Z-Boy’s sleek, modern designs will appeal to the ladies. Something like a La-Z-Boy suite, which suits both partners and is neither too feminine nor masculine, is a perfect example of a gender-neutral choice.

“Wall colour is another important thing to keep neutral, and organically neutral tones such as whites, beiges, stones and greys are believed to be the most gender neutral,” explains Ryan. While it is a good idea to keep walls neutral, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as if both people can agree on a non-neutral colour that works can be an option too. “Neutral choices are also great for any design element that is causing conflict or where a mutual decision can’t be reached,” adds Ryan.

Clever compromises

While you might not particularly like your boyfriend’s old band posters, and he might not like your obsession with vintage ornaments, it’s important to remember that both parties can bring their own unique style and flare to any space. And while being able to incorporate a bit of everyone’s style is first choice, unfortunately it isn’t always an option, explains Ryan: “Making choices, and sometimes sacrifices, that make the space more enjoyable and more a reflection of you as a couple versus you as an individual, can sometimes be difficult, but in the greater scheme of things a small compromise now, will often lead to an amazing space later.” It’s important to remember that you’re creating a space that both of you need to be able to love and call home.


Released on behalf of La-Z-Boy ( by The Line (,

Posted by the trend stalker on 5th May 2015

Spoilt for choice

20 April 2015, Johannesburg: Equally good options in their own right, fabric and leather upholstery each come with their own set of pros and cons. Sue Scott, from leading furniture manufacturer, Grafton Everest, weighs up the case for and against these options so that you can avoid taking a shotgun approach when purchasing a furniture piece. “When there are two equally good options to choose from, it’s often difficult to make a call, but with some careful consideration you can make an informed decision, choosing an upholstery that suits your lifestyle and tastes, as well as your budget,” nods Sue.

 Knightsbridge 4Pce LS

Fine fabrics


Fabric upholstery comes in such a wide variety of options that it’s a bit tricky to offer general pros and cons. However, it’s this ample amount of choice that makes it so popular amongst consumers. “Picking out the perfect fabric can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time, so ask for samples of a few of your favourites to ponder over at home,” suggest Sue. She believes that despite the myriad options, there are a few basic principles that tend to ring true when choosing fabric upholstery:



  • Fabric is considerably more affordable than leather upholstery.
  • You can get a stain guard applied so that spills and dirt don’t absorb as quickly.
  • The wide variety of fabric designs means you can personalise your sofa to suit your individual style.



  • Fabric is highly inviting as a scratching post for cats, and it tends to absorb animal’s odours and attract fur.
  • Get ready to dab and scrub should you spill on your fabric upholstery as it stains easily.
  • Whilst cosy in winter, fabric upholstery isn’t always the best option for hot climates as it can feel a bit stifling.
  • Fabric tends to take strain in high traffic areas.
  • Certain fabrics can be highly flammable if not treated correctly.
  • One needs to take care not to let your fabric seating receive too much sunlight as this can cause the fabric to fade and even weaken over time.

Newton 3Pce LS
Lovely leather!


A timeless classic, leather is equally at home in a modern or more traditional interior. It tends to fall in the top price ranges, but for good reason, as it’s incredibly durable, easy to maintain, and improves with age, making it an ideal long-term investment. “At Grafton Everest we are dedicated to producing furniture pieces that utilise only the finest quality raw materials available at the various price ranges,” points out Sue in reference to their range of leather seating.



  • Compared with fabric upholstery, spills don’t absorb as quickly and can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth, making leather a lot easier to clean.
  • Over time, leather develops a patina and suppleness, developing a unique character all of its own, and making it perfectly imperfect.
  • Leather is a lot more pet-friendly, as cats generally avoid scratching it, and it absorbs less odours compared to other fabrics.
  • Leather is more fire-resistant than untreated fabric.



  • Leather is not completely maintenance-free; it still requires occasional treatment to keep it from cracking and fading.
  • Special cleaning products and methods are required for serious stains.
  • The surface tends to get cold in winter and hot in summer, but it adjusts quickly to your body temperature, providing a perfectly comfortable experience if you can bare the discomfort a few minutes.
  • Compared to other upholstery options, it tends to be the more expensive choice.
  • Full aniline leather tends to stain very easily and absorbs bodily oils due to its more porous nature.

Somerest 3Pce Suite
The best of both worlds


Much like genuine leather in terms of aesthetics, Leatherlite upholstery is a more affordable alternative. Explains Sue: “Comprising 60% leather by weight, Leatherlite fabric offers the best of both fabric and leather upholstery, and because it is so resilient, Grafton Everest offers a 5-year guarantee on this upholstery.” So whether you’re on a tight budget or simply want added durability, whilst still getting the leather look, this new generation upholstery may be the best choice for you.



  • Highly durable, so spills can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth, making it ideal for high traffic furniture items that are used by the whole family.
  • Leatherlite is suitable for people suffering with allergies as it’s hypoallergenic.
  • It is considerably more affordable than the genuine leather.
  • Retains the look of genuine leather upholstery due to its high leather content and drapability.
  • Grafton Everest offers a 5-year guarantee for added peace of mind.



  • Much like genuine leather, you can expect sticky thighs in summer and an initial chill in winter.
  • Unfortunately it’s not completely stain-proof. If spills are left to soak in, they can be difficult to remove.
  • If you’re after characterful markings and scars, then this upholstery may not be for you. However, if you like a more uniform look, Leatherlite is a perfect choice.


“Take this checklist with you when out purchasing sofa’s so that you are empowered by knowing what to consider, and ease your furniture buying woes,” nods Sue, who believes it’s worth taking the time to choose the right upholstery so that you sidestep any (expensive) regrets later.




Released on behalf of Grafton Everest ( by The Line Communications (,

Posted by the trend stalker on 9th May 2013

The race for space

Empires vs empire lines

Modern society is synonymous for modern cities. Over the last 300 years we have moved away from living flung out across beautiful landscapes and huddled together to form cities filled with beautiful skyscrapers.  Across the globe, with space at a premium, we have chosen to go up, up, up!

The Sphinx source

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Posted by the trend stalker on 25th April 2013

Endless Summer

Make the most of your great outdoors

South Africans love the outdoors. I ascribe this to 1) the fact that we have great outdoors and 2) the fact that we have great weather (mostly). I love watching our people squeeze the last drop of sunshine from summer. The braai master who braais in the rain even though there is a cozy oven available; the school girls with their stockings off soaking up any glimpse of sunshine on the coldest winter days; and the little boy swimming in the rain with blue lips and chattering teeth who proclaims: “I am NOT cold”.


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Posted by the trend stalker on 18th April 2013

All things bright and beautiful

Colourful design ideas

Over the past few years we have seen the dreamy white look transform the interiors and exteriors of homes (white, on white, on white), the colour palette of weddings (white bridesmaid dresses!) and even what is en vogue for babies (white clothes, cots and toys for boys and girls of all ages).

White home filled with white antiques:


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Posted by the trend stalker on 28th March 2013

Cosy up to Your Outdoors

The season I’ve been anticipating ever since summer began is finally here. It’s autumn, folks! Just the other day I grinned wistfully when  — during my walk in the evening –I saw a flurry of brown leaves chasing one another down the road. There’s something I find magical about autumn, it’s the season of change, which doesn’t get as much credit as its counterparts. Summer and winter get more cheers and groans respectively for their intensity and spring gets awe because of the rebirth and fresh starts it presents. Not many care about autumn. In fact most can take or leave autumn.

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Posted by the trend stalker on 28th February 2013

Sitting Around: The Beanbag Seats Edition

My name is Nomali and I recently turned 21 years old. (Hi Nomali) I’m a nostalgic daydreamer… There was nothing I wanted more than my very own bedroom with beanbag seats when I was younger. We didn’t have much space and when I daydreamed about one day having my own room all it had was a door, posters and beanbags – who needs a bed? I sure didn’t.

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Posted by the trend stalker on 7th February 2013

2013 Decor and Design Trends: Yellow

For best results play music while perusing this post.

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Posted by the trend stalker on 15th January 2013

Light delight

Conveniently, the word delight contains the word light – which is what I’ll be getting at for the purpose of this post.

Lighting can seriously alter the way in which a home is received, so methinks it’s best to get it right. The correct lighting can guide the eye to various focal points and features within a room or raise the flow of energy bar from zero to well, hero.

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Posted by the trend stalker on 10th January 2013

13 Decor Trends for 2013

This being only the second Thursday of the year I thought it would be fun and interesting to put together a list of some – 13 to be exact – trends expected to sweep the décor and home design world off its feet.

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