All posts filed under: Home & Garden

Hell hath no fury as an Aldi shopper scorned

Nothing creates quite the same feeding frenzy as an Aldi Special Buy. A decorator friend was after an exclusive stool. The product had been advertised for weeks, tantalisingly photographed in an array of stylish settings. It was not your average stool, but a curvaceous, natural wood, slightly African looking stool with a design nod to a bongo drum. My friend arrived at her local store early as all seasoned Aldi shoppers do. They know the drill. There are only so many said items in stock. There are none in reserve. No “rainchecks” or returning for another shipment. She wasn’t alone. Several other intrepid shoppers had braved the icy winter’s morning to claim their booty. Polite conversation masked the desire to cut to the chase and elbow everyone else out of the way to be first in line. One burly gentleman admitted his wife had raced off to work and left him with strict instructions to return with treasure. Or else. The doors opened. My friend entered the fray and was immediately trapped in trolley traffic …

Paradise found at Amber Valley

Where else in the world, I think as I observe seven warthog, blesbuck, impala and zebra grazing contentedly on the banks of someone’s lawn. I am in Amber Valley, one of a series of retirement complexes situated in lush former farmland overlooking the Umgeni Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. At least 700 homes make up the estate which features a heated swimming pool, an adjacent 25m pool, tennis courts, a bowling green, club house and frail care centre. The centre bears no resemblance to the standard grey laminate/hospital fare associated with retirement. Instead, it is graciously decorated with colonial comfort – florals, comfortable wide wicker chairs – the walls adorned with botanical prints and tasteful African scenes. As retirement estates goes, it is paradise found. The club house overlooks a dam fed by a freshwater stream – otters often cavort as if to give a show to the oldies looking on. Egyptian geese are raising goslings – a troublesome task when legavaan keep stealing their young. The old boys have been watching and there is now …

Multi-talented Victoria Smith’s SFGirlByBay

VICTORIA SMITH, a San Francisco design blogger & freelance writer describes herself on her Twitter page as a photographer, stylist, design junkie and flea market aficionado. Victoria is editor/writer of sfgirlbybay, one of the west coast’s leading interior design blogs. She features new product reviews, shopping tips, including art, photography and design resources, as well as home entertaining and lifestyle stories, with a loyal fan base and readers that include top magazine and newspaper editors, shoppers, and industry professionals. You can also visit her Etsy store.

Dynamic Decorator launches in Brisbane

Interior decorator, Nicci Freeman, has launched her Brannic Interiors website in Australia. With her years of experience working for a range of clients in South Africa, Nicci brings an exciting new element to Brisbane’s interior decorating scene. Her love of fabrics and textures, and above all, her ability to transform a home into a sumptuous haven is a hallmark of her creativity. Whatever your requirement – renovating, starting a room from scratch or simply needing decorating advice – remotely via email or through a personal consultation, visit www.brannicinteriors.com.au Ph: 0413 445 628 (Australia), +61 413 445 628 (International) Email: info@brannicinteriors.com.au Twitter: www.twitter.com/niccifreeman Facebook: Brannic Interiors