Function, Form & Frills: Quick and easy décor tips to spice up your home

The trick is to contrast colours and textures in a room. Play with matching your movable items, like curtains and scatter cushions. Imagine white cotton linen with a striking red velvet cushions and curtains with a touch of red on your bedroom. Fit for Royalty!

By: Busi Shange

Friends are always asking me for top tips to give their homes that extra spice and homely feel. And I’ve observed that a lot of people resort to just basic furniture fittings leaving their spaces dull, lacking personality, flair and that special touch.

With hectic work schedules and very little control of the other spaces we occupy, such as place of work, gym, hospitals and other spaces of leisure, it is critical for our peace of mind that we create home environments where we can relax and feel comfortable.

A home should be a haven, functionally and aesthetically. It might even improve the emotional and spiritual side of the occupants. Thank heavens. There’s nothing like tools down when you know that a bedroom that comes straight out of Pinterest pages awaits to engulf you in its fluffy glory.

In this age of information, inspiration is only a Google search away. Websites like Pinterest, Houzz and many other offer countless libraries of décor, DIY and trend tips. It’s just a matter of combining this information with action. And of course a smallanyana budget, some “always needed” retail therapy. And these tips off course, Cant do anything without these, very handy tips.


We are almost over the upcycling craze that had us for the past 5 years. Antiquing is one of my favourite hobbies. I have been told I’m a bit of a hoarder by some very jealous friends and family. I like to think of myself as a collector. But that’s a story for another day.

Do not be embarrassed to hunt for good-used treasures. There is no shame in shopping at pawn/charity shops or stores like Cash Converters for a bargain. I’ve found many a gem that somebody has discarded at a steal, some much less than a Friday night out at Mash.

Thing about bargains is you can always pawn back once you have outgrown the item. You also have the opportunity to refurbish with a coat of paint or new modern handles.

Cushions, cushions, cushions!

The men might not agree with me on this one, but you can never have enough cushions. Cushions for the couch, cushions for the bed cushion for the patio furniture. Cushions, cushions cushions.
Cushions add personal style, striking color, lush texture and an exuberant lushness to a room, if chosen well . Designers term it dressing.

There’s a massive difference between an under dressed bed/couch and a well dressed one. The trick is to contrast colours and textures in a room. A neutral pallet as your base allows you to play with the movable items, e.g curtains, throws and scatter cushions. Imagine white cotton linen with a striking red velvet cushions, throw and curtains with a touch of red on your bedroom. Fit for Royalty!

The drama in Curtains

Speaking of curtains, window finishes are an important part of interiors. Yes they prevent the neighbors from peeking through the room and ogling your hot body. They also can add to the ambience of drama of any room.

Try not to be too miserly on your window treatments. It’s an investment you will forever cherish. If you’re balling on a budget and can’t get them custom made with all the trimmings, your answer is volume. That’s my top tip. When 2 curtains comfortably fit your window, get 4 The fall and draping will create a much more dramatic and pleasant finish.

For extra spice, that cheese Aromat, invest in matching valance, and curtain ties. It will take your curtains and room to the next level. With all that said, don’t overlook the voile, or lace as we know it. Currently deep maroon and bottle green voiles with dodgy embroidery are a no no. Stay far, far away.

Subtle is the way to go. Soft greys, teals, pinks and subtle textures voiles are available at many shops. Also be adventurous and experiment with graphic voiles.

Just remember the curtain is the star and the voile is the supporting act. Go gentle with the voiles.

Mirrors and wall hangings

Mirrors create an illusion of space and dimension. Rooms look much more spacious and you can check yourself out before heading to work and remove the overnight pantyhose on your head just on time. Currently the trend is ornate French style mirrors, but you can play with your mirrors according to taste.  Just be mindful of strategic placement. A T.V and mirror should not share a wall. Can’t watch Isibaya, and myself. Confusion.

In most households, furniture fittings sit on the floor and the walls. This creates an imbalance that one can fix easily with artwork, clocks and other interesting wall hangings.
Into biking? Hang up a vintage bicycle, (THAT YOU UPCYCLED) for an interesting finish and balance in your lounge.


Rugs, throws and cushions are one and the same family. They take a space to the next level with color, style and texture and can be used functionally to demarcate spaces. Some living areas such as lounge can be warmed up with a shaggy rug. Dull coloured couches can be contrasted with a warm colored and textured rug, beneath the coffee table. You’ll thank me later.

The misconception is that rugs are for the lounge and maybe dining room. No , no. Fluff up the bedroom with a furry rug for extra sensuality. Your feet will thank you as you get off the bed every morning, and so will anyone who comes into your boudoir.


Lamps accentuate our experience through light and ambience. When not in use they serve as decorative sculptures.

High floor lamps, in living spaces frame and demarcate areas beautifully. They can be easily incorporated into the style and scheme of a room as they come in various colours, designs and material. Bedside lamps also draw couples to their side of the bed, so there can be peace at home. Ha ha, not really my point, but with aesthetic light you can set to the mood for after the book reading. Red light special things, If you know what I mean. Wink, wink.

Seriously though, opt for a hung pendant for a modern feel, and you can go wild with the choices and enjoy the same benefits.

General accessories

With general accessories on their own, you can turn any bland old interior into something worth coming home to. See a vase you like, get it. Bonus :You’ll even inspire BAE to get your flowers to put in the vase. Random storage baskets will accentuate your bathroom while sorting your towels and cosmetics. A fleshy leafy green pot plant will instantly give life and freshness to any room.

Sounds like heaven already! Go head and experiment!

Busi Shange is an expert Interior and Graphic Designer who operates from her outfit Busha Design. It focuses on Interior Design, Space Planning, Refurbishments and Graphic Design Projects.

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