Design trends for Christmas 2009

    A sour economy, a desire to simplify, green living, renewed interest in the past and hope for the future converge to create the colour and interior design trends for Christmas 2009 and into 2010.

Stress over the current economic recession translates to a yearning for the better days of the past. Aged, heirloom colours and distressed finishes remind people of their pasts, and will continue to be a strong trend in the year to come. Hues such as earthy browns, aged greens and smoky blues will be reflected in both paint and fabric.

Experts say that decorating trends will reflect a return to family and an interest in preserving and exploring the past, as money and the pursuit of things will take a back seat.

As a part of the desire people have to revisit the past, trend analysts are seeing a resurgence of interest in the ancestry of individuals. As a part of this return to their roots, people will long for patterns and colours with a global influence. Aboriginal, Native American and African tribal patterns, including bold geometrics, will be front and centre in design ideas across the globe.

Vibrant, yet subdued colours such as amber gold, tomato red and ocean blue will accompany these daring patterns. Tempered by putty and desert sand neutrals, the bold patterns and colours of this trend are very useable in today's home interior.

Design experts expect the current trend of repurposed and recycled furniture and accessories to intensify even more in 2010. Fueling this trend, in part, is a strong interest in green living. By reusing, repainting and refinishing items instead of discarding them, people are doing a small part to protect the earth. Using these items in their original, distressed finishes will continue to be popular.

Source: Suite 101

Interior design trends

Plant Nutrients

Sixteen chemical elements are known to be important to a plant's growth and survival. The sixteen chemical elements are divided into two main groups: non-mineral and mineral. Last month we looked at Non-Mineral Nutrients, this month we look at Mineral Nutrients.

Mineral nutrients are dissolved in water in the soil and are absorbed by the plant through its root structure.

Depending on the environment and surrounding vegetation, the soil at any specific location could lack in these nutrients and inhibit the healthy growth of a plant. The use of specific fertilisers will add the necessary mineral nutrients back into the soil for absorption.

The mineral nutrients are divided into two groups: macronutrients (primary and secondary) and micronutrients.

  • Macronutrients
  • The primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These major nutrients are usually the first nutrients to be lacking in the soil, as plants use large amounts for their growth and survival.

    The secondary nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). There are usually enough of these nutrients in the soil so fertilisation is not always needed. Large amounts of Calcium and Magnesium will naturally be added with the application of lime to acidic soils. Sulfur is usually found in sufficient amounts from the slow decomposition of soil organic matter (an important reason for not throwing out grass clippings and leaves).

  • Micronutrients
  • Micronutrients are those elements essential for plant growth but are only needed in very small (micro) quantities (sometimes called minor elements or trace elements). The micronutrients are boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn). Recycling organic matter such as grass clippings and tree leaves is an excellent way of providing micronutrients (as well as macronutrients) to growing plants.


A darling little town

Described as full of character and history, smiling faces, friendly manners and cosy accommodation, and just over an hour away from Cape Town, this dreamy town of Darling is a place that cannot be missed by any local Capetonian.

The town is proud to host the legendary Evita Bezuidenhout in a delightfully cheery theatre in the old station along the railway tracks. Inspired by the legends of Argentina's Evita Peron and decorated using local surplus paint, Evita Se Perron (perron = afrikaans for platform) is eye catching and humourous in nature. It includes two theatres, a restaurant and bar, arts and crafts activities, the Darling Trust Craft Centre and Boerassic Park (a humourous display of political icons and symbols).

A few B&B's or self catering units are available to those who wish to stay overnight. Trinity Lodge (within walking distance from the main road) is a lovely and cosy B&B run by Debbie (chef) and Shaun (host) McLaughlin. The rooms have a double bed, cupboard, tv and coffee / tea corner and a large ensuite bathroom with an antique claw bath in it (for those romantic at heart). A delicious breakfast is served at Trinity Lodge every morning with the care and attention that is unexpected in a place so far away from the hum drum of Cape Town entertainment. Wine tasting can be done at, and scrumptuous lunches and dinners (prepared again by Debbie and hosted by Shaun) can be dined on at the Groote Post wine farm with a delightful red or white wine to compliment the palate.

Local restaurants are few and far between, so should you choose to forego the dinner with Evita or at Groote Post, then try Bistro Seven on the main road in Darling for a very tasty selection of dishes. A little more upmarket than the pizzeria on the main road, Bistro Seven's food is also prepared and bar tendered by a local chef and her husband (Kit and Rene).

Contact Details:

Evita Se Perron : (022) 492 3930
Trinity Lodge : (022) 492 3430
Bistro 7 : (022) 492 3626
Groote Post : (022) 492 2825

Or for more information visit Darling Tourism Website


Hot News

Seasons Greetings

As 2009 draws to a close (many people being happy to see the end of it), Living Matter would like to thank all of our loyal clients and suppliers, for without their patronage the year could not have been as successful as it was.

We wish you all safe journeys and happy holidays with your loved ones wherever you might be.

Here's toasting to 2010 - a new year full of promise!

Please note : Living Matter will be closing on Wednesday 23rd December 2009 and will be reopening again on Monday 18th January 2010.

Great response to Living Matters Newsletter in 2009!

Our newsletter has been a great success, in that, not only has the readership more than doubled since its launch in March 2009, but the number of articles in each newsletter that are of interest to our subscriber base has also increased.

Trend analysis shows the popular items over this period:

  1. Hot news
  2. Preferred Partners
  3. Design and decor
  4. Places of interest

Thanks for the great response, and if you have any suggestions, please contact us.


Carissa Macrocarpa

Carissa Macrocarpa
(Natal plum)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous fast growing, ornamental shrub with white flowers scented like orange blossom.

Flowering time :

Spring / Summer

Conditions :

  • Full sun to semi shade
  • Average Water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost tender
  • Wind resistant

Brain Teaser

We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

Brain Teaser
November's Teaser Answer :
"Up before eight"

Win by filling in and updating your profile


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Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82