Vivez Bien * Live Well

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Art of Concealment

Thank-you all so much for your fabulous suggestions on where to go and what to do on my much anticipated trip to Paris. It is so much nicer to hear from friends like you than to rely purely on  guide books and travel sites. I will be sure to let you know about the highlights.

Onto today's post....if you are somewhat obsessive like me, and like your surroundings to be pleasing to the eye at all times, those necessary but unsightly appliances can be quite problematic! Our flatscreen resides in an antique cupboard, but I should just point out that I am the only one in our family that ever closes the cupboard. No-one else can see the point when it means that they just have to open it again the next time they want to watch TV, but I will continue my lonely crusade.

I love these examples of fold out doors hiding the much nicer than an ugly flatscreen spoiling a beautiful fireplace mantle.

In the example below, a screen does the job just as well.

Another appliance that really looks better disguised is the fridge/freezer. I haven't quite managed this in my home, I just try not to look at it :) This one, below, has been cleverly disguised as part of the kitchen built-ins.

Even more clever are the following two that have been disguised as pretty armoires.

Groceries generally aren't pretty and should never be in view, in my humble opinion, unless artfully decanted into attractive containers of some sort. This clever pantry below has a pocket door that, when open, makes everything easily accessible and can just as easily slide closed to conceal it.

I love this pretty door that conceals the unattractive stuff below but allows the prettier things on the top shelves to be shown.

This is pure genius. When closed you would never know what lies behind and a clever use of space as well.

Washing machines and tumble driers are also best kept hidden unless you are lucky enough to have a separate laundry area out of the public eye. A simple skirt can work wonders... do these barn doors.

This computer work station is easily hidden when not in use....

......and this gas barbeque can be hidden out of sight and protected from the elements at the same time.

When space is an issue, a guest room for visiting friends is not always an option. This bed is cleverly raised, not taking up any valuable floor space.

A bed in an alcove with a curtain for privacy is also a clever idea...

...and I love this little bedroom hidden behind folding shutter doors. 

And while on the subject of bedrooms, notice these clever little pull out trays that serve as bedside tables.

And then we get to our beloved pets and where to house their food bowls and beds.
Take a look at some of these clever ideas!

While we are on the subject of dogs, this is what I was confronted with one morning when I walked into my living room. My beloved dogs decided to eat one of my cushions. (Apologies for the bad photo-taken with my phone) They also chewed a corner of my coffee table, but that's ok - it needs replacing anyway.
And finally, you can conceal an entire room behind what looks like a beautiful wardrobe door. I would love to have a secret room. Between you and me...I would probably spend quite a bit of time there, hiding from my children!

Till next time
Sharon x

Image source: 1. Amy Howard Daily, 2. Cote de Texas, 3,4. Elan Interior Design, 5. Houzz, 6. Pinterest, 7, 8, 9, 10, Tumblr, 11. Charming Spaces, 12,13,14 Tumblr, 15. Georgiana Design, 16. Crush cul de Sac, 17. Georgiana Design, 18. Symphony of Stardust, 19. Zsa Zsa Bellagio 20. Pinterest, 21, Casa Decorada, 22. Pinterest, 23. Crush cul de Sac, 24. Houzz, 25. Roses and Rust, 26 Limilee

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Birds, Spring and other things

I have a bird in spring
which for myself doth sing.....
Emily Dickinson
Spring is being somewhat slow in coming to our part of the world. Every now and then we get a little taste of it...then winter returns with a vengeance.

One of the signs that spring is on its way is the increase in birds coming to our garden. I especially love the little birds like wagtails and white eye's. They always seem so sweet and cheerful, just watching them frolic lifts my spirits.

Maybe a blog post on birds will send a message to the universe that spring is just a little overdue here in Cape Town....please send in the spring and the birds!

In the meanwhile, I will content myself with pretty pictures of birds some real and some ornamental.

I hope you enjoy them too.....and please read my request at the end of this post...I really need your help with something....


Why I need your help....
....I have a birthday coming up.... quite a significant one....Ok... I'll just come out and say it.... my 50th!!....and.... my sweet husband is taking me to......PARIS.... yes, you heard right.... PARIS!! For a long weekend....sans children....and this is where you, my lovely readers, come in.  Please send me your ideas of what you would do over a long weekend in PARIS.  I know that I can count on you for the best ideas

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Till next time
Sharon x

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lovely on Leisure Isle

My siblings and I recently went up to Knysna to celebrate my dad's 85th birthday. We left spouses and kids behind .... it's amazing how much free time you have without them.... and one afternoon drove around Leisure Isle picking out our holiday/retirement/future homes. My sister found this one for me and it couldn't be more perfect! She clearly knows me well. 

The low stone wall, the pale blue/grey shutters, the wide verandah, the French doors, the corrugated iron roof... I love it all.

The garden is kept simple with lawn and lavender and the view across the lagoon is just perfect.

It's probably just as well that it was all closed up with nobody home or I might have embarrassed everyone by knocking on the door and asking to be shown around the inside.

I will just have to create my own interiors. The colours used inside would have to reflect the exterior hues, subtle shades of grey, blue, lavender, mustard and stone.

The kitchen would be rustic and homely with space for family and friends to gather.

The dining area would be causal and inviting with a large table and lots of seating. 

Rustic details, natural elements and lots of texture would be evident..

The living area would feature a mixture of wood, wicker and linen and a large fireplace would be a necessity. 

The colour scheme will continue into the bedrooms where comfort will be the top priority.

There would need to be quite a few bedrooms so family and friends could be easily accommodated.

A big dormitory for the boys and their friends will be the most practical solution.

Bathrooms will be kept simple and low maintenance, perfect for a holiday home.

And finally, because I'm a blogger, a little corner with a desk would be a must.

So there you have my dream holiday house on Leisure Isle.
Have a great week.
Till next time.
Sharon x
Image sources:house - own photos,  kitchen - via Casa Decorada, dining area via Décor de Provence, Rustic table via Tumblr, Wicker Chairs via Tumblr, Living Room via Charming Spaces on Tumblr, bedroom1 via Tumblr, bedroom 2 via Décor de Provence, kids bedroom via Josephine Ryan, bathroom 1 via Charming Spaces, bathroom 2 via tumblr, study via Charming Spaces