Last week, we heard from Tim Akinnusi, Head of Sales and Client Value Management at Nedbank Home Loans, about how owning your dream home is a life changing experience.  Now for some more expert advice…

Now that you are on your way to owning your dream home, it is advisable to start planning the interior elements of your new haven. Remembering that this aspect of your home is an extension of your personality, it will undoubtedly require your personal touch, adopting a style that exudes your preference while taking into consideration the re-sale value of the property at some point.

Through the ‘Win A Home’ competition, viewers stand a chance of winning a multi-million rand penthouse in South Africa’s premiere and luxurious lifestyle estate at Steyn City Lifestyle Resort, currently being built in the north of Johannesburg. Four design apprentices who face the weekly challenge of furnishing and decorating various apartments in the estate, have the privilege of working with four of South Africa’s top interior decorators; Amanda Elliot from Design Collective, Abilene Brodie from Head Interiors, Stephen Falcke from Stephen Falcke Interiors and Nthabi Taukobong from Ditau Interiors.

Liza Scholtz, one of the four young designers advises home owners decorating their homes to

Think practical and keep it simple, relatively neutral and timeless pieces negate the need to update your home continuously. Alternatively, the use of scatter cushions, throws and rugs to bring in a splash of colour won’t break the bank (excuse the pun) if you prefer changing your style more often.


Scholtz, who often spends days in fancy decor shops to track trends and costs, is not averse to visiting accessible and affordable home stores to find similar items at a fraction of the cost. ’Quite often, the line shops stock similar items so don’t miss out on a real bargain with style.’

Scholtz attributes her learnings and insights to her mentor, Amanda Elliott and adds that space planning is vital. ’Playing around with a floor plan and using a scale ruler or tape measure, you can get a great idea of what size furniture or rug to shop for, and avoid buying something that looks wrong for the space.’

’Some times home owners often feel they need to decorate the entire house in one go, which may put pressure on your finances if you haven’t planned or saved adequately for all the elements. So take your time and shop around as experts would advise that way your budget will more than likely be manageable,’ says Akinnusi.

Each designer was allocated R250 000 to design various rooms of which R60 000 went to the bedroom, R20 000 (bathroom), R40 000 (study or craft room), R82 500 (lounge), R23 000 (patio) and R24 500 (kitchen).

Scholtz used Nedbank’s MyFinancialLife™ personal financial management tool to plan and track her budgetary allowance prior to each shopping trip, and then recap her spending against the balance every evening.

’It is a really handy time-saving tool,’ said Scholtz. ’I work in Excel during the day for my landscaping quotes, so it’s nice to work on a different platform, with a colourful and practical look and feel that appeals to the creative mind. With MyFinancialLife™, it doesn’t feel like work, especially for a creative who fears numbers and columns in dull colours.’

For more property investment advice and creative decor and budgeting tips, tune into SABC 3’s exciting new show ‘Win A Home’ on Thursdays at 8 pm.

‘Win A Home’ is the only show which gives viewers the chance of winning the biggest-ever home prize in the history of South African television – a luxury, designer multimillion rand two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse apartment in the country’s premier lifestyle estate, Steyn City.

To be part of the conversation follow @WINAHOMESHOW and #WinAHome.

Follow the designers

Donald Nxumalo | @designerdony
Jonathan Avnon | @jonathanavnon
Liza Scholtz | @lizalakcevic
Jason Sandows | @jaysandows

 Win a Home episodes:

Episode 1 –
Episode 2 –
Episode 3 –
Episode 4 –
Episode 5 –
Episode 6 –
Episode 7 –
Episode 8 –
Episode 9 –
Episode 10 –