DIY Decor: Crate Expectations

crate moodboard

The other day I walked into @Home and I saw that they had some great white wooden crates. I enquired about them and they were part of the display. Trust me to want the one thing that isn’t for sale in a store. Then I drove past Cocoa Oola on Kloof Street and they have the cutest  DIY crate planters lining the restaurant. With Spring flowers, window sill planters, spring cleaning and stackable storage units in mind, I feel the seasonal time for crates has arrived.

The good news is that crates aren’t that hard to get hold of. It just depends how picky you are and if you want an authentic good quality vintage one with stencilling or if you’re prepared to get a standard one and add some coats of cool colour to cutomise it to your likes. Pop down to a second hand or vintage market and you’re bound to find some lying around  for sale or I’ve even seen some at boutique and home stores as well as garden stores, but you’ll probably pay a bit more for these. Ana White has some great tips on on how to make crates up from wood pieces at this link.

The ideas that I loved and put on my moodboard included the teacup display shelf. You can make your own by screwing some hooks into the top of a box or crate and hang teacups off them as found here. I also love the planter idea and creating windowsill boxes out of smaller thinner crates. Shop their  personalised crate designs in the colourway of your choice here . The idea of stacking crates on top of each other to form shelf units works brilliantly in a small or large space. Add a different colour coat of paint to the inside of each unit and clamp them together like the Ikea shelves found here. Upcycle old wine crates and add wheels to make movable storage boxes, or mount them on walls to form shelves, as done here. Below are some cool charater crates available at Typo.

WThether it’s a weekend project painting crates outside in the sun or a trip to a vintage market, crates are the way to go for a quick home makeover.



Favourite Pickings: Studio Number 19

Whilst on my Spring inspired botanical and technical sketch search I came across these amazing designs from Studio Number 19. Joburg based Mia Widlake’s designs are made up of beautiful vintage illustrations on fabric, ceramics, prints and soon to come, her light collection. These vintage nature and nautical themes are made to mix and match and will add an old world yet graphic contemporary feel to any interiors setup. So if you’re not into flowers and foliage here are some skulls, insects and sea creatures for you.





Trend: Botanical Magic



The most amazing designs exist in nature. No matter how hard we try to create our own man made trends we find ourselves being led back to the molecular structures that are part of our very own makeup. The structure of an ice crystal, the patterns and spikes of a luminous sea organism on the ocean floor, the hypnotizing energy of fire or the first electric blooms popping up on a burnt landscape; all of these elements are inspiring yet mysterious at the same time.  Botanical prints have become the meeting point between trying to scientifically depict natural elements around us and turning them into a work of art. I’ve noticed botanical prints decorating the walls of a few artisan coffee shops and restaurants, and this has spread to scatter cushions, wallpaper and high end fashion. I remember a talk by global trend forecaster, Li Edelkoort, at Design Indaba Cape Town a few years back. She highlighted that the best colours come from nature and are selected from the rain forests and amazing natural locations around the world. Researchers will find the brightest frog or the most luminous leaf and try and recreate that colour synthetically as part of a new seasonal Pantone chart.

I came across Clinton Friedman’s collection of botanical printed everything and I was like a kid in a  candy store. I mean the guy prints botanical images on umbrellas. Who does that? He takes mind blowing nature photography and prints them on cushions, wallpaper, umbrellas and wall prints. Check out more of his designs at .

Nature trends are probably some of the most wholesome trends we have. A walk in the forest, a surf or swim in the sea and a hike up the mountain are natural antidepressants. Don’t forget to step outdoors from time to time and experience it for yourself.

Moodboard from top left (clockwise): Stella McCartney botanical dress, botanical drawings, Emilio Flores DT Spain editorial, Clinton Friedman’s wallpaper and scatter cushion designs.

Publish camper hats available at .

Office Hipster

Office Hipster

Let a little bit of fun into your everyday working environment with these retro delights from Typo. After all, a creative environment is a more productive one. From old school bicycle bookends to polaroid postcards,you can be the one promoting smiles all around the office.

Items from left to right (clockwise): retro camera wall hanging, retro camera correction tape, moustache stamp, eye test flask, polaroid postcards, bicycle bookends.

All items available from Typo stores or visit their site: