Home Made Easy – Tropical


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In this week’s episode of Home Made Easy, we look at ways to celebrate summer and create a tropical feel in around your house and garden

Part 1 – Gardening (Tanya)

Tropical Gardening

Tropical gardens come in different shapes and sizes, but for a tropical feel on your patio, Tanya has a fun pot recipe to do just that.

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You will need

Materials Plants
Potting soil Anthurium
Bone meal Bromeliad
Organic fertilizer Fern
Drift wood Peperomia
Wide-rimmed pot
Pebbles/gravel (for drainage)


  1. Start by mixing potting soil, with a few hands of bone meal and organic fertilizer pellets. This makes for a winning potting soil mix!
  2. Add a layer of drainage pebbles at the bottom of your pot.
  3. Place the drift wood in position and firm into place either using some drainage pebbles or some potting soil.
  4. Fill up the pot about half-way before starting to add plants.
  5. Once your plants are in place, simply fill the gaps with some potting soil mix and water well.
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Part 2 – Workshop (Ryan)

Water-wise Outdoor Shower

An outdoor shower is a wonderful way to bring us closer to nature. This project is perfect for when you want to rinse off after a swim in the pool, as it connects to a cold water tap.

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You will need

Materials Tools
Wood frame: 2.0M x 500mm Mitre saw / Jig saw
Wood slats: 500mm Drill
Wooden treated poles x2 incl. 2x stakes Painters tray
Exterior wood glue Router
Wood screws: 3.5 x 20mm
Paint or stain
Quick setting concrete
Shower piping and water wise shower head


  1. Determine a suitable location for the outdoor shower – preferably close to a water source.
  2. Create a rectangular wooden structure approximately 0M x 500mm
  3. On the back of the frame, add supporting slats to each vertical side and the middle of the frame; this will be used to secure each horizontal slat.
  4. It is a good idea to stain or paint the frame and horizontal slats before assembly in order to adequately cover each side suitably.
  5. Secure the horizontal slats to the frame using an exterior wood glue and wood screws.
  6. To mount the frame in place, secure a treated timber pole to each end from the back. Attach 2x metal stakes to the bottom of each foot and secure in the ground using a concrete mixture to create a permanent structure – quick-setting concrete works well in this application.
  7. After the cement has cured, attach the plumbing pipes that will connect to your water source. Be sure to use a water-wise shower head to conserve water.


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Part 3 – Décor (Elle)

Chest of drawers tropical revamp
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You will need

Materials Tools
Topical patterned fabric Electric Sander
Sponge roller, paint brushes and drop sheet Power drill
Clear water-based polyurethane
PVA Paint (Dark green and white)
Wooden cupboard knobs
Multi-surface primer


  1. Remove hardware/ knobs from the chest of drawers and give the chest of drawers a light sanding, then dust off before painting.
  2. Place the chest of drawers on a drop sheet and lay out the drawers side by side for easier painting. Start by painting a coat of the multi-surface primer on the surface of the chest of drawers covering all the parts of drawer that you want the new coat of colour paint to adhere to.
  3. Determine which colours match or compliment your chosen fabric. Dark green is painted on the drawers and white on the side of the chest. The top does not need to be painted as that will be covered with the fabric.
  4. Once the paint is dry, it is time to cover the top of the chest of drawers using clear Polyurethane and the fabric. Dust and wipe the surface. Cut the fabric more or less to size of the top, leaving a little extra on the edge as any extra fabric can always be cut off later. What you don’t want is fabric cut too small to cover the top of the chest of drawers.
  5. Always read the instructions on the polyurethane product packaging to make sure the proper steps are followed and safety precautions taken into consideration. Wear gloves and make sure to be in a well ventilated area or wear a mask. Take care when using this product and be sure not to get on to bare skin or in your eyes, if this happens, rinse with warm water. Take care and decant the polyurethane into the roller tray and apply a layer to the surface using a sponge roller brush, then apply the fabric on top of that and press down firmly. Make sure that the fabric soaks in the layer of Polyurethane and get rid of any air bubble by pressing down and smoothing out the fabric.
  6. Apply another coat of polyurethane on top of the fabric and allow to dry over 2 hours, before applying another coat. It is optional to apply more coats over a day or two, this allows for the full dry time between multiple coats. The more coats applied the harder and glossier the top surface will become. Applying 2 to 5 coats or more is optional and determined when the desired finish is achieved. For this project 2 coats were applied.
  7. Once the top starts to dry and harden, you can use scissors to make a clean cut on the edges of the surface and remove excess fabric , or if your surface has a “lip” one can fold the fabric under it and glue using a clear adhesive/Modge Podge and apply coats of polyurethane to the edge ‘lip” to harden edging to match the surface top.
  8. Reattached new or existing hardware or knobs back to the chest of drawers. For this project new oak wood knobs were used to compliment the new tropical look of this chest of drawers.
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Part 4 – Blogger (Karen Kelly )

Tropical Table Setting
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Blogger Karen Kelly shares her take on a tropical inspired lunch setting. Think delicious monster leaves, gold pineapples and pink flamingos…
For more inspirational ideas visit Karen Kelly’s blog lovilee.co.za

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