Decor is about the eye

Amanda Ngudle

Amanda Ngudle

The first lesson I ever learnt about decor was that no matter how much flair you have, the most important thing is that it is as comfortable as it is pleasing to the eye of the guest.

What's the point of having a white and glass theme when your friends have very curious and clumsy toddlers?

Big Brother Africa's house decor artist has mastered this exhortation. No house has ever been more cheerful and invigorating. From the explosive bright contrasting wall colours to intricate elements like silver crockery against wooden handles.

African stools are used in conjunction with top-of-the-range stylish appliances. The house says: "kick your shoes off".

It would seem that first impressions make for the bias.

"Once you nail the garden and landscaping, you automatically endear yourself to visitors," says owner of Pula landscapers Thembisile Ngxathu.

"When you look at the effort that has gone into making the garden a little Eden, you realise why even God wanted us to live in the garden until we sinned."

Perhaps this is what my decor mentor means when she says the only virtue you shouldn't compromise is a statement.

"Every theme should tell your guests what you are about," says Big Brother Africa house decor artist Vallery Groenewald.

"If you look at that house at first glance you will see that nothing alienates anyone and I would suggest that if you have some controversial components that may not be appreciated by some guests, I' d say make them movable so you can bring them out with the appropriate guests," she says.

Groenewald says one must aim for elements that are generic, like the map of Africa and musical instruments, when considering equalising components.