Fashion and decor knowledge collide for refreshing tips to elevate your interior + help beat lockdown blues

Refresh Yourself

Words: Hayden Horner | Image

The new year has officially rolled in and we’re still forgetting to date the year and perhaps some resolutions have fallen to the wayside. Alas, a simple home refresh is the perfect remedy to ring in 2021 and we couldn’t think of a better way than to start off with the space that symbolises relaxation, entertaining and lounging about.

Mmanaka Kelobonye’s insurance, industry day-job as an actuarial specialist may not sound too exciting, but this 34-year-old’s flair for fashion and home décor more than compensates for the statistics-heavy demands of her 9-5 daily grind. One need only check out her Instagram feed and massive following to see what we mean.

All too familiar with the challenge of being cooped up in the same place day after day, she says one’s home is one’s sanctuary and should instill a sense of peacefulness. To achieve this, she shares tips on how to beat the lockdown blues by refreshing your living space to make it feel new or different.


I think this has been the case for most of us, except for frontline workers. I stayed home a lot and still work from home. The pandemic has created a morbid mood across the globe. I have tried to create a peaceful space in my apartment; enabling me to maintain peace during a difficult time.


My lounge is simple, with main items being a couch, tv and sideboard with some ornaments. A cluttered room would stress me out further. So, keeping it simple helps me have a space I’m comfortable to destress in. Ornaments definitely are there to create a sense of peacefulness: from the presence of plants to diffuser and my fave books.


Yes, my apartment reflects my personal style. I would like to believe that it is timeless in terms of décor that’s amazingly simple, clean, and warm. It is very inviting. The pieces I pick can easily work in different spaces and I will enjoy them for a long time. Theme colour is grey, warm tones of grey. My furniture is mostly dark wooden furniture. I have lots of plants, scented candles and diffusers.


I moved to Cape Town November 2019 and, therefore, started afresh. I started furnishing my apartment from scratch to create the mood that I wanted.


I found amazing items on the Superbalist App to create a warm, simple and welcoming entrance. They key items being the console and round mirror. Everything else was picked to work with these two items. The plants, rug, home accessories and scented candles were chosen to flow with these main.


I am trying to be as minimalist as possible by not creating too many storage spaces because that’s how one encourages clutter. I do have my console at the entrance where I can store my magazines, as well as a coat hanger to keep guests’ coats. I also have some seagrass storage baskets at the entrance to keep accessories I use outdoors, such as an umbrella.

coffee table

I currently do not have one due to space. If I had more space, I would have a plant, scented candle and interesting travelling coffee table books on it.

outdoor area

I have an exceedingly small balcony. Ideally, I would like an outdoor chair I could use when reading or when in need of fresh outdoor air.

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