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Extra Virgin -  April 2010

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Home The ‘May’ is back in ‘mayhem’, and World Cup madness lurks on the horizon, says Miranda Sherry. Time to make your home a refuge, starting with the walls.

May is usually such a pleasant month. The weather is cool and the lawn wears a natty leaf carpet; but this year, poor old May is nothing but the month before the madness.

Consequently, the marshmallow-y walls of a padded cell might be the only décor inspiration you can envision right now. If so, I beseech you to step back for a moment and consider whether gluing all your duvet inners to the walls might really be the best way to bring a bit of life to your horizontal surfaces. For one thing, they’ll be hell to clean.

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For one thing, there are decals. The latest décor decals are about as far from those faded fuzzy stickers that you kept in albums as a kid as it is possible to get.

You can have anything from graphic designs, to poetry, to pictures, and what’s more, they’re not permanent, so you don’t even have to commit. From kid’s rooms to kitchens to super-stylish office spaces, these are definitely the way to go to add interest to a room. Try www.fantastick.co.za and www.ginandchocolate.com for some great ideas.

Of course, if you’re after really big impact, gone are the days of busy little bunches of twee flowers against a cream background. Wallpaper has made a fresh and funky return to the world of decorating. Warning: plastering every horizontal surface with your chosen design could lead to psychedelic visions and night terrors, so rather cover a feature wall or two with pattern, and paint the others in a complimentary colour. Check out www.wallcoverings.co.za for some gorgeous designs. Wallpaper is particularly good at giving a rich, sumptuous look to a room, so if you’re stuck on how to make a spot really special, this could be just the ticket.

Although it may sound like madness, drawing on the walls is another option. One of the latest trends in wallpaper design is interactive wallpaper, with bits that you can colour in yourself. I guess you could break out a pack of permanent markers and go wild, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have skills. If you must get self expressive on your walls, perhaps consider a ‘blackboard wall’ – this can be any smallish wall or section of wall painted in blackboard paint. Just keep a handy box of chalks close by for when inspiration (or a shopping list) comes to mind.

As long as you focus on decorating your walls rather than climbing them, you might make it through the month of May with your sanity intact. As for June? We’ll just have to figure it out when we get there.