Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Le Weekend

My weekend started off on a good note on Friday morning when I went to an open day at a home in Noordhoek. Some time ago I was invited by the charming Robin, owner of the online shop  LIVE LOVE HOME to come and view her gorgeous selection of homewear. I roped in my friend Niki and we had a morning of coffee, eats, chatting and shopping. (♬ ♪ These are a few of my favourite things ♪ ♫). She stocks the most beautiful cushions, as well as table napkins, table runners, ceramics, bags and a whole lot more. So if you are looking for a unique gift for someone or to spruce up your home, go and visit 

Friday afternoon was a bit of a rush fetching kids from school, going to pick up a little table I found on Gumtree (see more about that later), heading off to watch a hockey match, followed by a concert at St Georges Cathedral where my 15 year old was playing in the SACS concert band. It was an evening of beautiful music by all the bands and the proceeds went to the Fikelela Aids Project

Saturday morning was spent watching my 13 year old play his very last rugby match of the season, though much of the time was spent on the phone to the washing machine repair guy who was at my house - apparently my washing machine needs a new gear box?!? Who knew? It's also costing the price of a small car! Then coming home to paint my 18 year old's new bedroom which I am busy fixing up, managing to get paint on my favourite jeans (anyone know how to get paint out of denim??)  I am now going to be without a washing machine for a few day which is a tragedy of epic proportions. I cannot tell you how much I love my washing machine. It is up there along with my husband, children and dogs!

I did manage to have a little nap on the sofa with some company, while waiting for the paint to dry.

I then had to find some "get up and go" as well as an outfit to wear for a nautical themed party that evening. I found a white blazer with gold buttons in the archives from my "corporate" day. Hoarding can be a good thing!

I woke up with a headache on Sunday morning which I'm sure was more to do with the paint fumes than the few glasses of wine consumed the night before! I bravely fought through the pain and carried on painting the walls in Matt's room and then decided to tackle the little table I bought on Gumtree that I mentioned previously. I wanted a table in my study near my easel to hold my art equipment, and this one was the perfect size.


 It was in good condition but was painted in a ghastly black and gold combo. (I hope the previous owner doesn't read my blog). I decided Annie Sloan was the way to go so started off with a layer of Paris Grey, followed by a layer of Chateau Grey, then followed by a dark wax. Using Annie Sloan is pretty idiot proof which is a good thing because my brain was still a little cloudy! (Paint fumes can really bring a girl down!)  Go here to find an Annie Sloan stockist in South Africa.

I think it turned out quite well. To reward myself , I did consider another nap on the sofa, but resisted the temptation....

 ....and moved onto my next project which was to paint the inside of a cupboard that is going into Matt's room.

The first coat is on and I am now seriously considering the nap option, but I thought I would do a quick blog post first because I know you are all dying to know what I did on my weekend. I do lead a very exciting life, I know! 

By the way, because of all the room switching around and the bit of redecorating I'm doing, I have a whole host of accessories and a few small bits of furniture that I am selling. If you are in the Cape Town area, I will be at the car boot sale at SARDA on Saturday 19 September. I've never done this before so I hope it will be worthwhile - need to fund the redecorating. Here are a few of the things that will be on sale at bargain prices!

Sadly, le weekend is  now drawing to a close. It has been quite productive though. Do you think I earned another nap?

Till next time.

x Sharon

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Marylou Sobel - Designer

I have always maintained that South Africa is full of hidden talent and I have just discovered a new one.

Well, maybe I didn't actually discover her.....she has clearly already been discovered judging by the impressive portfolio of clients she has. And maybe she isn't strictly speaking a South African because she has lived in Sydney, Australia, for 30 plus years, but she was originally from South Africa so I feel we can claim her as one of our own.

So, who is this new/well-known, South African/Australian interior designer.


Marylou Sobel, owner of Marylou Sobel Interior Design. You can visit her website here to see more of her work. She has a very diverse portfolio of projects and I have chosen some of my favourite pictures to share with you.


The first few pictures are from her own home in Sydney which was renovated and updated recently. I love the muted colours and comfortable, lived in feel. The best decorators always manage to make a home look like it hasn't been "decorated" if you know what I mean.


I absolutely love this patio with it's stone clad fireplace and comfortable furnishings. It really is an outdoor room in the true sense of the word. No plastic "stoep furniture" here!


Set in a lush garden, the outdoor area is as beautiful as the indoors.

The next few pictures are from a family home that required a transformation of the kitchen and the addition of a conservatory. Look at the beautiful outcome.

Another conservatory like dining area for a different client...

....and yet another, below. Beautiful!

She is a master at creating beautiful kitchens...

...and this idea for hiding unsightly appliances is genius.

Amazing attention to detail is evident in every corner...

...and she has a real knack for making warm and inviting living areas.

And finally, this cute little boys bedroom is also her creation.

I hope you all have a happy week ahead. 

Till next time

Sharon x

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trusty Trestles

Our lives and lifestyles are constantly in a state of flux. We might go from single to married or the other way around. We might go from no children to a family of 4 or more, or from a home with toddlers to a home with teenagers and later, to an empty nest. Every different stage will lead to a difference in the way we lead our lives, how we entertain, how we interact with our children and our friends.

As we go through these various stages, our homes need to meet our needs in different ways. Having furniture that is practical and versatile is a clever way of ensuring that you can make the changes you need to without always having to spend more money.

The humble trestle table has been around since the Middle Ages which is a testament to its good design. It is both practical and stylish and remains popular today for a number of different purposes.

Exposed limestone brick wall, dining room with long farmhouse trestle table, black Eames chairs and pendant lights!

It is popularly used as a desk. The trend probably started as an affordable option for students, but has evolved into more stylish incarnations for home office use. Here are some examples...

 They are a clever option for a dining table. If you have babies and toddlers, you might find that you don't use a dining table very often and it could easily be stored in a garage for later use. If you love entertaining in different ways, it can easily be moved to your garden or pool when required. Think braais (barbeque's for the non South Africans) or kids parties.

 Beautiful Buffets - rustic cocktail table

You could even have 2 the same size which could be used together as one long table when entertaining a large crowd. If you are having a buffet style party, just relocate the table to one side of your dining room.


Sawhorse Trestle Dining Table

A trestle table can work well as a kitchen island and folded out of the way if you need more open space.

Trestle Table as Kitchen Island

 Another popular use is as a table in an entrance hall, behind a sofa or against a wall to display decorative objects.



Art trestle table
A low version works well as a coffee table.

 They can add a lovely rustic feel to a bathroom....

 A ceramic basin set into a trestle table - so simple, so cool!

 ....and can be used outside as a potting bench or just to display some pretties.

If I haven't given you sufficient reasons to go out and buy a trestle table, then you haven't been concentrating hard enough and need to go back to the top and start again!  BACK TO TOP

Wishing you a happy week ahead.

Till next time

Sharon x