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Rugs Find Their Place on the Wall


Some rugs are so striking or rare, you want to treat them like works of art. Here are ways to show them off at eye level
There are many reasons to hang a rug on the wall – including the need for large art, preservation (rare rugs are for places where you do not dare to tread) and texture (there’s nothing two dimensional about a rug). Whatever the motivation, relocating a rug from floor to wall can add a lot to an interior.

In this home, Modern Mecca made a simple headboard so much more by placing a bold rug behind it.

The idea of a rug’s bringing texture to a room is highlighted in this project by Mark Ashby Design. The colours, pattern and texture of the rug do much to warm the stone walls of this room.

Designer Bobbie Tilkens-Fisher made a big pattern play by hanging a rug on the wall and putting a tribal flat-weave carpet on the floor. Often a rug’s border can work like a mat in a picture frame, drawing the eye and highlighting the central image.

Hanging this rug, an antique from Indonesia, on the wall protects it from wear and tear.

In another over-the-bed move, interior designer Jennifer Gustafson softened a brick wall and brought a high-ceilinged room into scale with a rug.

The floor-to-ceiling rug in this Rhode Island home, adds colour and impact in the entry.

This Moroccan rug emphasizes the long, low nature of the sofa in the Parker Palm Springs hotel.

Rugs need not be large or highly decorated to make a statement. This small rug with a graphic pattern adds the perfect grace note over a rustic bench in a home.

Be sure to avoid an uneven distribution of weight, which can cause a heavy rug to warp, sag or even tear. Georgia rug and textile dealer Marla Mallett writes about some common hanging methods, such as sewing a casing on the back of the rug or using Velcro to affix it to the wall.

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How to Bring Your Love of Aviation Into Your Home

Fill your life with what you love

For those of you who can’t get enough of planes, here’s one of the best ways to get your aviation fix when you’re stuck with your feet on the ground.
Furniture to Fly Home For

Do you come home after a flight and find yourself wishing you were still back in the air? The cockpit may be small, it may be cramped, it may not even be climate-controlled, but it’s clearly the best place to be, right?

What if we told you that you could now bring pieces of planes into your home to reflect your preference for flying? We understand that sometimes you just need a really bold statement piece that screams “I’D RATHER BE FLYING.” It’s like a more functional version of a bumper sticker that says, “My other car is an aeroplane.”

If you have big spaces to fill, Sotran is definitely one of the leading pioneers in stocking aviation inspired furniture that will leave you feeling right at home.
As the latest furniture trend to hit the home and décor scene, not only has aviator furniture gone mainstream, but this unique and trendy furniture style can now be found in homes and businesses throughout South Africa.

Inspired by all things military and aerodynamic from World War II and more, as well as driven by a passion for traditional handcraftsmanship, aviator furniture brings the skies into homes and businesses. A furniture style that’s vintage and perfectly combined with historical aviation and modern manufacturing techniques to create breath-taking work of art.

Eject from Reality and visit your nearest Sotran outlet today to get your hands on these beautiful pieces of art furniture.


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Headboards: Turning your Bedroom from Drab to Fab!

Take the adventurous route with wood pieces or splurge on a high-end rug. All of these unusual headboards show creativity and can become the centrepiece of a bedroom.

Just as the front door makes an important statement about who you are and what your style is, the headboard can make the same important personal statement.
Headboards are a becoming a critical part of a sophisticated bedroom design. They are often the first thing you see when you enter the room. They have the potential to add an incredible sense of finality to bedroom décor, while bringing all of the furniture in the room together.
Consequently, it’s a terrific place for letting your creativity soar and your imagination take wing.
A headboard doesn’t have to be a typical run of the mill piece… Headboards today can be anything you want really. Be it bought or DIY, the possibilities are endless with Sotran.




Doors are quickly becoming rather a common item of choice when it comes to headboards.  If you are lucky enough to come across pieces as wonderful as these, snap them up; they will be a once-in-a-lifetime find.
Doors allow you to add texture and flare to a bedroom as the enticing colours, knobby studs and curvilinear carvings make these an unforgettable statement.
I especially appreciate the unexpected minimalistic lamp that completes this design on the left and how the magnificent chandelier adds a touch of elegant to the rustic design of the doors.


An excellent way to add a negative space aspect to your bedroom is by using repurposed frames from Sotran as headboards. This concept is great for those looking for the minimalistic look, as well as those with minimal space in their bedrooms.
Window and Picture frame Headboards allow for great light while adding shape and dimension to your wall.
What’s great about this concept is that you can use any type of window frame and add your own personal touch by painting, adding texture.
Decorating the frame can create a whole new atmosphere for your bedroom, with fairy lights for a more whimsical feel or with fabrics and rustic elements for a more Boho and tropical vibe.
From my perspective this is a fantastic way to incorporate different textures into your bedroom by using wooden frames along with different fabrics on your bed.

Fireplace Mantels

I was surprised to see this well-worn fireplace mantel repurposed as a headboard at Sotran. The look you create will depend on the mantel you find. It could be a huge old oak surround, antique or even a brightly painted contemporary design.
There’s definitely a unique fireplace design out there for every style but whatever you decide on, consider choosing nightstands, dressers and other pieces that make the room totally personal to you.
Adjusting the colour and design of the mantel is a great way to add personal flare as well as make the piece more suited to your bedroom. Adding upholstering to the centre creates a wondering contrast and clean feel.
But simply painted the mantel and leaving a rustic wood feel is very in right now.


Have any excess fabric lying around? Or simply looking for a budget friendly way to add some colour to your bedroom, you will love this.
Although you could accomplish a headboard treatment like the image on the right with a readymade quilt, these are actually fabric samples that have been collected and inventively mounted to create a colourful, welcoming anchor for this bed.
Woven wool also creates a wonderfully warm and fantastically textured centrepiece for your bedroom.
Critical to the success of the design is not going overboard with other elements in the room as it could becoming quite noisy. Texture and variety is always ideal for the bedroom but keep an eye out for items that match and go with your design, or keep it simply and allow the colour headboard to do the work for you.

Carved Wood

A glorious speciality from Sotran Tropical Furniture and Décor! Carved Wood.
What a magnificent addition to a contemporary bedroom.  Elegant, classy and oh so detailed.
You can go grand and bold or intricate and subtle. Adding a carved wood headboard to your bedroom allows you to add detail, texture and a splash of colour to your bedroom, ticking all the boxes right??

Rugs and Tapestry

If you use a rug or a cool piece of tapestry you found as a headboard, your options are nearly endless. Geometric, floral, striped, shaggy, needlepoint, neutral — the sky’s the limit.
You can set the entire theme of your bedroom with this headboard idea, be it rustic, tropical nautical or even modern. Following this theme around the room is also key to using this idea, but Sotran can help with that too.
Rugs and Tapestry are my personal favourite as they are the perfect host of adding your uniqueness to your bedroom, take up a minimal amount of space and are a great foal point in the bedroom.
There are however a couple of caveats. Make sure the rug is at least as wide as your mattress; it could even be wide enough to frame your nightstands. But beware of rugs that are narrower than your bed, as they’ll end up looking not quite right.

Repurposed Wood

Everyone is going crazy over wood! Where rustic meets contemporary.
It adds magnificent texture and dimension to a headboard and I consider this look to be quite timeless. Getting your hands on some isn’t that hard either! As we have loose architectural panels from India at Sotran
Be it old driftwood, twigs, planks or the very popular used pallets, the choice are vast and the creative opportunities are endless
Twigs and old drift wood are spectacular pieces to use if you’re looking to add a bit of height and dimension to your bedroom, the ununiformed shapes are a delight to the eye.
The linear design of the twigs combined with the neutral bedding and leather accents create a simple, clean and strikingly modern aesthetic.
Repurposing driftwood and pallets into a headboard is the ultimate demonstration of turning found into fabulous. This would be perfect for a beach cottage bedroom or a Shabby Chic–style condo.


Who said what’s meant for the floor can’t be transformed into a unique headboard??
Tiles and wooden floor boards come in so many wonderful colours, shapes and designs that it would a tragedy to not use them whenever you can. I believe some things are just too beautiful to be used just for us to stand on!
Depending on the style and feel you are looking to create, there is flooring out there for you.
You can use wood flooring that travels all the way up the wall and across the ceiling to make a grand and dramatic statement. Or use a more texture and patterned tile to add a simple but show stopping aspect.

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How to Spot High-Quality Wood Furniture

Discover the pros and cons of solid wood, plywood, particle board and MDF furniture
Identifying quality wood furniture can be difficult these days. Many pieces look great in the store, only to prove flimsy once you get them home and start to use them. Here’s what to look for, and what to avoid, when shopping for your next piece of wood furniture.

When made with high-quality materials and solid construction, wood furniture can last for decades and sometimes even centuries. But not everything you see in stores is built to last. Buy something that’s made poorly and you’ll start to see wear and tear way too soon. How can you tell the difference? It’s harder than you might think. The first thing to pay attention to is the wood itself.

Solid wood. The highest-quality material for wood furniture is solid wood. This type of furniture will be made from single pieces of wood or wood boards that are glued together to make panels, called laminating — trees are only so wide, after all. If something is described as being made with solid wood, find out if that describes the entire piece or just certain parts.

Hardwood. Solid wood can be categorized as either hardwood or softwood. Hardwood comes from slower-growing trees and the wood is denser and more resistant to dings. Common hardwoods include oak, teak, mahogany, walnut, cherry and maple.

Softwood. Softwood comes from faster-growing trees and the wood is less dense. Some common softwoods are pine, fir and poplar. Since these trees grow faster, furniture made using their wood tends to be less expensive than pieces made from hardwood.

Domestic wood. Domestic wood comes from trees that are grown and processed in the South Africa. Common domestic wood species include SA Pine and Saligna.
A quick note about how wood is described: The species can describe either the material or the stain colour. So something described as walnut might be stained that colour but actually be made from pine. This isn’t necessarily bad — just make sure you know what you’re getting. You shouldn’t be paying teak prices for a piece of furniture made from less-expensive wood.

Imported wood. A lot of imported furniture is made from tropical wood species such as Burmese teak, mahogany, mango, acacia or sheesham (a type of rosewood). These species can produce a sturdy piece of furniture, but they may be susceptible to cracking if they’re coming from a humid environment to a drier one….choose a reputable Supplier who guarantees you kiln-dried timber.

Benefits of solid wood. Ensuring that your furniture is 100 percent solid wood is a pretty fail-safe way to know that you’re purchasing something high-quality. Solid wood construction is extremely long-lasting and can be easily refinished and repaired down the road.

Cons of solid wood. Solid wood is definitely the best choice for furniture but, as with any natural material, there can be downsides. Solid wood is more susceptible to changes in climate, which may cause it to crack or warp. It’s also more expensive than furniture made from engineered wood products.

Plywood. Plywood (sometimes called engineered hardwood) is made by gluing together thin layers of solid wood. When used in furniture construction, plywood is covered with a thin layer of stained and finished wood — a veneer.

Pros of plywood. The main benefit of plywood is that it’s stable when the climate changes and is less likely to warp or crack in dry climates. It can also give you a sturdy piece of furniture at a lower cost than solid wood.

Cons of plywood. Sometimes the quality of plywood comes down to the quality of the veneer. Poor-quality veneers can chip, revealing the lower-quality wood underneath. Damage may also be difficult to repair since the bulk of the furniture is made using a different wood species than the veneer. Also, some plywood is made using chemicals with formaldehyde, which can affect indoor air quality, although formaldehyde-free plywood is available.

MDF. Medium-density fibre-board is made from wood waste products (basically sawdust) that have been mixed with resins. The mixture is compressed to create large, flat boards. For furniture, MDF is finished with a layer of real-wood veneer or non-wood laminate.

Pros and cons of MDF. There are more cons than pros when you’re talking about MDF furniture. Pieces made from it are less expensive than those made of solid wood or plywood, which makes them budget-friendly. However, MDF requires a lot of chemicals to make and is the highest-formaldehyde-emitting wood product out there. Other downsides: It can easily be damaged by water, it’s difficult to repair, it doesn’t hold screws very well and it’s heavy.

Chipboard. Made similarly to MDF, chipboard uses larger wood scraps to create boards. You can differentiate chipboard from MDF by spotting the pockets of air when looking at it from the side.

Pros and cons of chipboard. The one thing chipboard has going for it is that it’s inexpensive. And then there are the downsides: It emits formaldehyde, requires a lot of chemicals to produce, is susceptible to moisture damage and really doesn’t hold screws well. Chipboard furniture tends to loosen up quickly, resulting in wobbles.

Veneers. A veneer is a thin sheet of real wood that is applied to the outside of a piece of wood furniture. It can be added to any of the wood products mentioned above. Veneers are used when you want to match up wood grain to create a design, as with this vanity, or to cover a lower-cost piece of furniture.

Selecting veneered furniture. Veneer quality varies widely. Look for those that are thicker, have good adhesion and are glued to solid wood or plywood as opposed to MDF or particle board. Poorly done veneers can peel and chip.

Taking a little time to research your wood furniture purchase will ensure you’re buying something that will last a long time. As always, purchase the best piece you can afford. It will save you money in the long run since you won’t need to repurchase again and again.

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Weave Designs from India Into Your Decor

Work carved woods, patterned textiles or hints of mystery into your modern space for an ethnic-inspired visual tapestry
I’ve always been attracted to Indian design. I love the textiles — everything from brilliant saris to muted block prints — and the colors. I love the classical architecture, the garish billboards, the woodwork and the religious iconography.
Because India was crisscrossed by so many people over the centuries, Indian design has elements from the Middle East, China and Europe. It is a rich tapestry that has taken thousands of years to develop.
But as with any contemporary design based on a place or a culture, you should proceed with caution, using the elements of Indian design as inspiration or as a launching pad. To get an Indian look that is not too “Disney India,” go less literal, more suggestive. Kind of like flirting.
These rooms are very different from one another, but they all use India as their starting point. Some are eclectic modern, while others are more overtly ethnic inspired. All of them are beautiful.

Ornate Carvings
The ornately carved antique doors add depth and a little grandeur to this otherwise plain space.

The carved doors leading to this breezeway are in rich contrast with the modern building. To me they feel like a seductive invitation to enter.

Indian Antique Damachiya
If you can’t swing a large, antique architectural element, furniture can add the same richness and texture. A piece like this could easily be the inspiration for an entire room.

Decorative Furniture
This amazing inlaid dresser is at home in this modern eclectic room. The room is not obviously Indian, but this piece adds a little hint of spice.

Bone Inlay Chest
An ornate piece like this could live comfortably in a white, modern room as well as in a richly coloured, layered room full of texture.

Chakki Dark Walnut  
This ottoman is a beautiful mix of subtle, modern fabric and traditional Indian design. It could work almost anywhere.

Arches and Architecture
The corbel arch is one of the most tell-tale Indian architectural elements. This room uses that shape, as well as screened panels, ornate textiles and traditional furnishings to bring India to mind in a modern, Western room.

White corbel arches and filigreed panels. It’s almost like the Taj Majal.