How to make your house into a home

Have you moved into a new house and feel like a stranger?

The best way to take control and make your house into a home is to add your personal touch.

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family enjoying quality time together on the couch

Your home is bursting with possibilities. From decorating the living room and bathroom, or even creating a workspace in your home, it’s time to get out your colour palettes and start your styling journey.

What’s trendy, and what’s so last decade? Seeff’s decor guide is perfect for homeowners like you who need the latest tips on enhancing the appearance and comfort of their home. 

Here’s what this guide covers:

  1. How to decorate your home on a budget 
  2. Essential tips for decorating your living room 
  3. Creating a bathroom you will enjoy spending time in
  4. How to create a home office you will love
  5. Ways to get the most out of small spaces in your home
  6. Stylish ways to improve your coffee table decor
  7. Creating a designer kitchen you will love
  8. Tips for choosing outdoor furniture
  9. Types of indoor plants to help spruce up your home

green and grey dining room

How to decorate your home on a budget

Decorating your home can be fun for the whole family. From bright paints in the living room to lovely throw cushions on your favourite couch, the world truly is your oyster when it comes to decorating your humble abode. 

However, it can cost you a fortune for those designer rugs and exclusive paintings. The good news is that you can still decorate your home on a budget and get the chic Avant-Garde style or minimalist look you desire. Here’s how you can decorate your home on a budget:

  1. Add a splash of colour to your walls

A coat of paint is a quick and budget-friendly way to give your home the instant lift you desire. Whether you are going for the latest colour trends, a feature wall, or even a two-toned approach, a splash of colour will surely do the trick of giving your home a new look. 

  1. Use what you have

The most cost-effective way to decorate your home is to use the items that you already own. Remember that vintage vase that your grandmother gave to you? It would make a fantastic centrepiece on your coffee table along with a fresh bunch of flowers. Moving around furniture when you are refreshing your dining room or bedroom is also an economical way to decorate your home.

  1. Swap your throw pillows

A simple inexpensive home decor idea is to swap your throw pillows. Perhaps you have yellow pillows in your bedroom and blue ones in your living room, swapping them will give each room a different and new look. They are an easy way to accessorise and brighten up a room. Add a throw blanket to complement your trend.

  1. Hang art on your walls

Hanging up pieces of art on your walls is another affordable way to decorate your home. Art can be anything from family photos to a DIY canvas. Make sure you decide where your masterpiece goes before you hammer any nails on your walls and destroy the paintwork. 

Decorating your home on a budget forces you to be creative and think outside the box. The most obvious advantage is that you now have a stylish home without even breaking the bank.

neutral coloured living room couch with white pillow and cream crochet blanket

Essential tips for decorating your living room

Whether it is to binge-watch the latest series on Netflix, spend precious time with your family, or entertain guests, your living room is where you generally spend most of your time. It, therefore, ought to be one of the best looking and functional rooms in your home. 

Irrespective of whether you are starting from scratch or urgently need a living room makeover, these essential decor tips will help you create the living room you have always dreamt about.

  1. Choose a colour scheme

When choosing a colour scheme for your living room, try to go for complementary colours that will match your theme. For instance, lighter monochromatic tones of brown and turquoise will help you create a sense of harmony. Having a colour palette in mind when decorating your living room is a great way to keep your look classy. 

  1. Pick the right furniture

The right furniture, both in size and style, can make or break the design of your living room. If you have a huge space to work with then you can go all out and include bigger pieces of furniture. If you are decorating a small space, then you’d want to choose furniture that will not be in the way every time you enter or leave the room. 

  1. Be flexible

The decor in your living room needs to work for you throughout the year. Choose colours and furniture that will be versatile for all seasons. It should make you feel cosy in the winter and cool in the summer. You can play around with complementary colours from throw pillows, throw blankets, flowers, centrepieces and the likes to enhance your living room ideas for winter or summer.

  1. Create a feature wall

Having a feature wall will highlight your living room's existing focal point. This is where your guests’ eyes will fall when they first walk into the room. For instance, the wall with a TV, painting, or an oversized mirror makes for a good feature wall.

Decorating your living room is an enjoyable task. Aim to make it the best room in your home and you will find pleasure spending time here. As a bonus, it will even be a room that your guests will not stop talking about.

outdoor stone bathtub overlooking the ocean

Beautiful bathroom ideas you can recreate

Bathrooms have a reputation for being one of the least attractive rooms in a house. Homeowners tend to neglect their bathrooms when it comes to decorating. If you are guilty of this, then let us tell you that your bathroom is packed with endless inspiration. 

You can have a beautiful bathroom too. These suggestions will help you revamp your bathroom into a space that you will never want to leave:

  1. Pick a colour

Bathrooms are generally white with a feature colour, however, recent trends have seen black bathrooms make an elegant statement. Light colours can make a small bathroom look bigger, while dark or vibrant colours are fun to play around with. If you want to enhance the existing colour of your bathroom a new coat of paint or redoing your tile grout will give it a fresh look.

  1. Choose the perfect bathtub or shower

Are you a bathtub or shower person? Bathtubs are everlasting. Whether you are having an at-home spa day or a much-needed destressing bubble bath, your bathtub is your best friend. If you do not need a bathtub you can go to town designing your new shower. 

Gone are the days where a square shower was the norm. Nowadays, homeowners embrace space and different tiling options when creating the perfect shower. Walk-in stone and spa showers are quite popular. And if you want to have a relaxing break then the seated shower will make your day. 

  1. Upgrade faucets

While there are an abundance of options available when it comes to choosing new faucets, pick a design that will complement other elements in your bathroom. If your basin faucets are squared, aim for your shower faucets to be squared too. When shopping around, be sure to take note of the spout height and reach, as well as the number of holes in the sink. 

Changing old cabinets, lighting fixtures, and mirrors in your bathroom will also add a touch of glam to your new favourite room. 

  1. Personalise your new favourite room

Since you will now be spending more time in your bathroom, why not add a personal touch to your decor? Stock up on your favourite scented candles, reed diffusers, body washes and scrubs, soaps, facemasks, and whatever else you need to make your bathtime extra special. 

Is your house starting to look more like a home now? Revamping your bathroom may just be what you have been longing for. You may never need to create another bathroom in your home again — use this as your chance to go all out and make it your retreat.

blond girl sitting at home office desk working

How to create a home office you will love

Working from home is a dream come true for some. You get to work from the comfort of your house while wearing whatever clothing you want. Let’s not forget about the tons of money you will save from not splurging on lunchtime treats or daily travel costs. 

Working from home also means that you are easily distracted. Sitting on the couch or your bed will not help you reach your maximum productivity potential. A home office is the best solution to keep you ahead of your game. Here’s how to create a home office you will love:

  1. Find the perfect spot

Whether you have a spare room to convert to an office or you plan to use the corner of your bedroom with a stable desk, choose a spot that you will be comfortable and creative in. Creating your own zone will encourage you to get work done. Pick a spot with enough lighting. You do not want to appear to be in darkness when you have video meetings. 

  1. Set up your equipment

Once you have found your spot for your office, the next step is to get your furniture and equipment in order. Get an office chair that supports your seating posture as well as your back and spine. Refrain from using a soft armchair as you can easily get too comfortable and distracted. 

Ensure that you have a close enough electricity supply for your laptop, printer, and any other electrical equipment you use. Check your current internet speeds. Will working from home require you to upgrade to a faster line?

Identify all the things you need to carry out your work before you start. Ask yourself: “Do I have everything I need?”. This will help you avoid any disruptions mid-way through a big project.

  1. Styling your new office

Designing your home office to suit your personality and work needs is important. For instance, do you like looking at pictures of your loved ones on your desk? Do you like having plants? If you did not have an office at your work premises, this is your chance to be creative. Do not go overboard though, a television set and Playstation will only be a disturbance. 

Once your home office is set up to your satisfaction you can become a busy little bee. Many people who do work from home find that they are much more productive as compared to being office based. Remember, it is important for you to keep a regular work routine, such as taking a lunch break, to avoid burnout.

small modern entertainment room

Ways to get the most out of small spaces in your home

Houses in South Africa are designed to be different. Some are huge mansions with enough space to fit three cars, while others just enough to cater to your basic property needs. Having a small space does not mean that you cannot have an elegant home straight out of a magazine. These are some of the ways to get the most out of small spaces in your home:

Create an illusion of space

Mirrors and reflective objects help to create an illusion of space in a room. When strategically placed, they make a boxed-in room feel bigger. Multiple mirrors will add a dramatic effect to the room by reflecting any light.

Pro tip: Light and neutral colours will make the room appear larger and more open.

Get the most out of your living room

Having enough space in your living room is vital since this is the place you spend the most time in. When working with small houses, interior design experts suggest vertical furniture, statement pieces, as well as round tables. 

Adding to this, mounting your TV on the wall, or above your fireplace, not only saves space in the room but also creates a modern, less cluttered look. Remember to stay away from bulky furniture that will take up the most space in your living room. 

Optimise your kitchen

Small space, small kitchen ideas. If you do not have a dining room, how about adding a kitchen snook. It is a great way to enjoy intimate mealtimes with the family. Another simple way to maximize space in your kitchen is by getting rid of the clutter. Keep your counters spacious by keeping away spoons, dish racks, pots, and pans in the cupboards.

Dual-use rooms

If you have a guest bedroom that accommodates your friends and family over the weekends, it can be put to better use during the weekdays instead of collecting dust. Depending on how much space you have in this bedroom, you can opt for a sofa bed on one wall and a desk for your home office on the other. You could also use it as a playroom for kids, a dressing room, or even a reading room. 

If you have a small home, be practical about the number of items you have. A minimalist approach will help you keep your home a delight to live in. Remove clutter regularly and avoid hoarding stuff you will never use. You could donate your unwanted goods to Seeff’s Home2Home initiative which redistributes them to local homes that have great use for your items.

man and wife browsing on laptop

Stylish ways to improve your coffee table decor

Coffee tables are just as important as couches, area rugs, and throw pillows in your living space. They are generally noticeable at the centre of the room and should portray a style that fits your taste. From clean and sleek themes to something out of a magazine, consider these stylish ways to improve your coffee table decor:

Find your focus

You can use your favourite standout piece as the focal point of your coffee table display. It may have an unusual shape or colour to spark conversation or it could be a bright piece such as flowers. Coffee table book decor is also gaining popularity as a focal point in many homes and hotel waiting areas. The eye is immediately drawn to the simplicity and colours of such focal points. However, you should try to avoid using large or overwhelming pieces for your coffee table decor.

Explore seasonal decor

Since your coffee table is the focal point in the living room, it is a great place to explore seasonal decorative elements. Experiment with a simple arrangement of flowers in spring, candles in winter, Christmas elements during the festive season, and so on. 

Keep a balance

While everyone has their perceptions of style, a good balance is an essential component of any coffee table display. This visual harmony can be easily achieved by practising the age-old rule of threes and symmetry. The aim is to divide your tabletop into three separate sections and then decide where things look best. This method works perfectly for rectangular-shaped tables. 

Use a simple tray

Whether you have a glass coffee table or a stylish one made from wood, a great way to improve your coffee table decor is to use a simple tray. The idea is to use your tray to make other items from your living room work together to complement your display. For instance, your coffee table tray can be the same colour as your throw pillows. This will indeed attract anyone’s attention the moment they enter your living room.

You can even create visual interest in a coffee table decor by mixing many elements. Explore complementary styles such as pairing curved items with straight, shiny with dull, textured with smooth, and hard with soft. Your living room will certainly be one of the favourite spots in your home thanks to your creative coffee table decor ideas.

coffee table decor in yellow and cream room

Creating a designer kitchen you will love

First impressions count. This holds for your kitchen too. Your kitchen is probably one of the most used spaces in your home. Whether you enjoy cooking, entertaining guests, or only use it for your daily cup of coffee, you will love having a modern kitchen design in your home. 

Having a designer kitchen even adds immense value to your home. Buyers know this and look out for a kitchen that's both beautiful and highly functional — even if they have no clue how to fry an egg. 

Upgrading your old kitchen to a high-end masterpiece is not impossible. These suggestions will have you feeling like you are in Jamie Oliver’s favourite place:

Adapt to luxury trends

Homeowners are rapidly ditching kitchen cupboards made from wood and other materials that were trending in the 80s and 90s. These days they are going for more exquisite materials such as marble countertops which have always spelt luxury. 

Although plastic appliances like kettles and utensils will still do the job, they do not have the luxurious charm as stainless steel or branded appliances. Manufacturers have also given pots and pans expensive facelifts for display on trendy open racks and shelves.

Organise your kitchen according to use

When it comes down to organising your kitchen, less is more. You do not need to have ten bowls if you only use two daily. Extra cutlery and utensils require extra space and weight support from your kitchen cupboards. Simple kitchen designs are great for making the most out of limited spaces. 

Storing daily used cutlery in the cupboards near your prep counter is a great idea. Having them at a hands reach will make cooking in your designer kitchen more fun. Also, consider having your dishware stored near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.

If you are adding a kitchen island, consider the uses you will have for it before you finalise your designs. Do you want to cook and eat on the kitchen island? Do you want a multi-aspect island that can house a sink or dishwasher for added functionality?

Install suitable lighting

Your kitchen requires the right balance of lighting to give it a classy look. Most kitchens have the proper lighting mix installed. They can include recessed downlighting such as spotlights, island-highlighting pendants for chandeliers, and even under-cabinet LED strips to highlight the edges of a sharp minimalist kitchen.

Remember that while ambient lighting is used to navigate throughout the kitchen, it can leave shadows under cabinets. Under Cabinet task lighting or LED strips can illuminate these work surfaces so you can safely prepare meals or read recipes.

Pro tip: You can revitalise your kitchen with plants. Whether it's cascading hanging plants or potted herbs, your kitchen will sport a fresh look.

When designing your luxury kitchen, remember to keep it simple. It will still have the high-end approach with a trendy minimalist kitchen design. The secret lies in the quality of the materials used and a well-balanced layout.

designer kitchen

Tips for choosing outdoor furniture

South Africa has a great dose of sunshine throughout the year. Most towns are favoured with fantastic weather even amid winter. This makes having a home with a patio a dream to decorate. From stylish patio sets to a special entertainment zone in your own backyard, choosing your favourite outdoor furniture for your home is definitely a fun task. 

Style according to your weather 

The area you live in will determine the type of outdoor table and chairs you can have. Does it rain often? Is your outdoor space always sunny? Do you experience hot and dry weather, or do you live near the coast? These are all important questions to answer before choosing the type of outdoor furniture for your home. 

It would be wise to buy weather-resistant furniture you will enjoy for many years. Metals can go unaffected by sunlight, while plastic and rubber are vulnerable to UV damage. Moisture can cause rotting. Strong winds can cause your garden table and chairs to move around, which can lead to damages to your furniture and home. 

Use your outdoor space wisely

When choosing outdoor furniture it is important to consider how much space you have and how it is shaped. This will help you determine the size and type of outdoor furniture you can buy. 

In a larger area, you can have a patio dining set, grille, couches, accent rug, garden art, lighting, and even plants. The possibilities are endless since you have more room to play with. Smaller outdoor space, such as a balcony or small patio can still be your happy place. A simple bistro set that includes two chairs and a table or a lounge chair with a small standing table will do the trick.

Don’t forget to cater for space around your furniture to ensure you can walk around comfortably.

Stick to your budget

In most cases, top quality furniture will offer you more value than cheap products that won't last. However, this does not mean that you should shop for the most expensive furniture. Having a realistic budget when choosing your outdoor furniture will prevent you from overspending. 

Aim to purchase patio sets on sale or those that are less expensive but can still withstand your area’s weather conditions. Second-hand furniture may also come at a bargain. You can even paint or refinish used furniture, and dress it up with new cushions and pillows.

Decorating the patio or balcony in your home is not a tough job. With the right furniture, you will have a great space where you can peacefully enjoy a good book or entertain your guests.

outdoor patio furniture

Types of indoor plants to help spruce up your home

If your home feels lifeless or needs a dash of colour, try adding a few indoor plants. They make your home look attractive and add a touch of nature to a boring space. A bunch of fresh flowers usually does the trick, but their lifespan is not as long as big or small house plants.

Whether you opt for adorable succulent plants, cactus gardens, or indoor trees, matching the right plant to each room in your home is vital. For instance, you do not want to have a huge plant obstructing your way in the bathroom. Find your perfect match here:


If you love cooking up a storm then you will probably want to have your favourite herbs in cute little indoor pot plants. If you want to spruce up your kitchen with small pots of basil and rosemary, know that they will thrive if you leave them near a sunny window. But if your kitchen is on the dark side, you should stick with parsley, mint, and chives.

Indoor plants not only reduce indoor air pollutants but also boost creativity which is perfect when you’re trying out a new dish. Other great plants to have in your kitchen are the Cast Iron Plant, Aluminum Plant, and Pothos.


You spend at least eight hours every night in your bedroom so your space must be as peaceful as possible. Some great plants to consider include the Snake Plant, English Ivy, and the classic Philodendron.

However, according to Feng Shui, the Peace Lily is the best plant to have in your bedroom as it brings in positive energy. It helps filter the indoor air, increases the levels of humidity, and helps you breathe better. 

If you have trouble sleeping at night then the Peace Lily is a must-have in your bedroom. It aids in good sleep as it absorbs airborne mould spores that are common allergens. 

The beauty of these plants is also known to bring calmness by alleviating feelings of stress in the mind and body.


The old-fashioned Spider Plant, Maidenhair Fern, Polka Dot Plant, and Aloe Vera Plant are quite attractive plants to have in your bathroom. 

The Aloe Vera thrives indoors and is good at absorbing moisture. They are one of the best healing plants to have access to in your bathroom. They can be used to treat minor burns as the compounds in the leaves have anti-inflammatory properties that speed the healing of skin tissues. 

The gel-like substance found in the plant also works wonders as a face mask that will leave your skin feeling smoother than before. 

Living room

Whether you choose to go with big or small indoor plants, they are sure to make your living room feel more cosy and welcoming. Plants like the Chinese Evergreen are perfect for your living room, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. They are low maintenance plants that will keep your home looking beautiful with their pretty silvery-green leaves, even if you forget to water them for a few days.

Indoor plants have many benefits to your health and well-being. As a bonus, they will also make any room in your home look more attractive.

white living room with pink couches

Resources to help you decorate your home:

There are tons of home decor experts willing to share their knowledge and help you personalize your home. If you do not already have your favourites, we suggest you try some of ours.

Surf the web:

Real homes: From decor tips to home renovations, Real Homes shows you how it all can easily be done.

The Spruce: Browse beautiful home design ideas, useful how-tos and easy-to-follow DIYs to help you make your home a charm.

Money Crashers: Learn how to decorate your home on a budget with Money Crashers.

Places to shop:

Takealot: Takealot is South Africa’s leading e-commerce retailer with a plethora of decor products for your home. 

Builders - For all your DIY, paint, and building materials needs, Builders is the number one stop for all your home project requirements.

Mr Price Home - Mr Price Home has the latest and trendy decor items for your home at affordable prices. They have a huge range of throw pillows, blankets, furniture, homeware, and more.

Decor experts to follow on social media:

Triquelmee: Thalia Riquelme shares easy DIY tips and tricks she uses in her own home.

Homebysadie: Watch how Sadie transforms her home. Her decor ideas are so easy you will want to try them all. 

Mydiyart: Learn how to make beautiful items with My DIY Art from inexpensive materials. You can decorate your home using your own lovely creations. 

lady in pale orange dress with hat on sitting on window seal

Looking for a home to add your special touch to?

Can you match colours without a palette, or consider yourself a decor expert, but have not found the right home to turn into your very own masterpiece? Let our property experts at Seeff help you find the home of your dreams.

Get in touch with Seeff today for all your property needs.

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