#WDC323 Acute Care Surgery Unit Makeover Kicks Off With A BANG!


WDC323_AcuteCareSurgeryUnitWardMakeover_Community_Primary-CopyThis past weekend was a biggie for Design Monarchy, Dr Juan Klopper (Head of Acute Surgery Ward at Groote Schuur Hospital), Monique of Easylife Kitchens Western Cape and Nadia Nel of PG Bison. Why? – because the first part of the construction phase of the #WDC323 Ward upgrade kicked off (you can read more about the project and our involvement: here). It was magic watching this World Design Capital 2014 project lift off. When I walked into the ward on Friday – which had been completely emptied out of patients and nursing staff – I really felt like shouting: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A LIFT OFF!!

The ward might have unnaturally been devoid of patients and nursing staff alike, but not of human activity. Into that space, Easylife Kitchens generously poured in their various installation teams – all voluntary I would have you know. The logistics of such an installation was not for the faint-hearted since franchise teams came from all over the Western Cape. Yet despite the crazy logistics, which was spearheaded by one diligent Easylife Kitchens worker bee, Monique Da Costa and her boss, Tersia De Wet (also very busy on site) – the whole installation process went off like Swiss clockwork. All the sights and sounds of a busy carpentry site was seen and heard. Teams of people some cutting wooden panels, other drilling, still others glueing stuff – with the cleaning crew never far behind.

This weekend’s AWESOME heroes:

Being part of this project I have met really incredible folk and companies who are adding their contribution to the development of Cape Town’s community via World Design Capital by getting behind this project. Then of course, none of this weekend’s work would have been possible without the diligent efforts of Nadia Nel of PG Bison, who generously sponsored all the boards and materials. Eclipse-HardwareWithout this charitable contribution Easylife Kitchens would not have been able to show us how they work their cabinetry magic. Then – a very special shout-out to the folks over at Eclipse who donated the joinery hardware – handles, hinges, runners, etc.

Whoop-whoop! Three cheers to:

Nadia & Bev from PG BISON;

Monique & Tersia of EASYLIFE KITCHENS WESTERN CAPE;

and DR JUAN KLOPPER

– a job well done! MANY thanks to all…

Let us not forget that the Groote Schuur Hospital Management Board has been awesome as well.

WATCH THIS SPACE! There is much more to come as we continue driving toward the goal of the complete ward makeover. There is still plenty of work to cover and more generous people to encounter. I will be interviewing Dr Juan Klopper during the course of the next few days, so that you can meet the man, hear his vision for the upliftment of the community he serves. P.S. You might have read something about our Groote Schuur ward makeover project in this morning’s Die Burger!

Since our last post on this very worthy project, we have gained several new contributors who have generously sponsored either their time, product or services. In the next couple of weeks we will tell you all about these worthy peeps and how the project is progressing.

In the meantime however we still desperately need the following:

WE NEED:

Furniture: chairs for the waiting room; visitors chairs for the ward; and a handful of office chairs for the doctors & nurses.

Fabrics: for window & privacy curtains; as well as re-upholstery of selected furniture.

Blinds: for selected windows.

Upholsterers & Curtain-makers: for reupholstery of new & existing furniture as well as curtain-makers willing to sew the ward’s new window & privacy curtains.

Spray-Painters: the ward’s beds and pedestals needs respraying. Plascon has already generously supplied the paint we just need somebody willing to do the actual spray-painting.

Hygiene Equipment: 5 x new paper towel dispensers; 11 x new soap dispensers; waste paper bins and 6 x medical trolleys.

… and one new bar fridge.

If you own, work for, or know of a local company or business that is willing to donate some of their time, product or services to this VERY worthy cause, please do not hesitate to contact us. This project is an excellent opportunity to make a charitable contribution whilst linking your company name to a renowned initiative such as World Design Capital can facilitate brand awareness and an indirect marketing pay-off.

Here is a little sneak peek of this weekends work….

Q&A With Artist Karen Cochlovius


Q: Tell us a bit about yourself… where you’re from, what you do?

Karen CochloviusBorn from a German father and British mother, I have always only thought of myself as South African. For twenty years I was an exploration geologist, a rich experience that still gave me quiet time to pursue drawing and writing.

I joined writing workshops and finally got the confidence to start writing my first novel – Desert Varnish – which was published in 2004. Then unexpectedly, I became seriously ill with an undiagnosed disease and I took a few years to recover thanks to an excellent doctor I eventually found here in Cape Town. Once my health returned, my priorities changed. All I wanted to do was paint prolifically. It became more than play, it became a passion. Painting is meditation for me, it’s a time to empty my mind of worries and fill it with line and colour.

Q: How long have you been painting?  Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

As a child I always attended art classes and took art as a subject at school. But I moved away from it when I had to focus on a science degree and then geology. So I would say I have only been painting for the last ten years. I have been to classes and enjoyed them for a limited time… but ultimately I have learnt I prefer to paint alone. I am influenced by various painters and paintings but have no formal degree in art.

Q: How would you best describe your art style/genre and what is your preferred medium?

My medium is oil on canvas. I would call my paintings unique, vibrant and colourful, often with an undercurrent of adventure. Some are very emotive, others decorative. I don’t really like the word ‘’genre’’, it tends to box creativity. If there is a theme, I would say many of my pictures create a sanctuary, most of them have no people in them and the viewer is often protected by shadow or branches in the foreground so they can observe without interruption. I think quite a bit about composition and line and distort perspective to draw the viewer in.

 Q:  Where do you draw inspiration from when painting?

Often travel, when you come across some unexpected scene that fills me with elation. That is why even though I am African, my paintings can look quite Mediterranean. I am also inspired by my local environment of the Cape Peninsula. Natural elements intrigue me for weeks on end, and I get quite caught up attempting to paint, rain or mist or cloud. Natural elements always call me, trees have great presence to me, as do rocks, mountains and seas. Each painting feels like a story to me… often the name of the painting comes to me first and then I paint that place – often inspired by a real memory and then stretched by emotion and play.

Q:  Do you have a colour that you favour most and why?

Oh that is easy; green. Why I don’t know. Perhaps because it represents plants and nature. But it calms me more than any other colour. Green is lush and abundant, soothing and hopeful.

Q:  Could you share your Secret Indulgence with us?

Travel really and visiting art museums around the world and discovering artists I never knew existed, or re-discovering artist I had heard of but never seen their work personally.  Barcelona was one city that blew my mind – all those Catalonian artists, so famous there, but not necessarily world renowned. When I see art I can relate to, I feel such excitement.

Q:   What is your favourite current décor trend?

Honestly. Can that be called a trend? But surrounding yourself with things you love that have personal meaning makes you a happier person. I have little watercolours from my mother that would never be my personal taste, but because they come from her, I incorporate them into my studio in the best way possible.

But if I need a more grounded designer reply I would use the words ‘’clean space’’. I don’t like clutter. I like big open rooms, with a lot of light and essential furniture.  Millions of tiny little things freak me out. I think better in emptier spaces.

Q:  Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

Two of them are ticked off; walking over a glacier and up onto the lip of a live volcano. So three left;

If I say this without ego, I would like to see one of my art-works unexpectedly in a hotel in a foreign country

I want to see more of the world, preferably with my husband as my travel companion; New Orleans, Chile, Peru, Budapest, Mexico… the list goes on, the more I see the luckier I am.

And I would love to work with elephants. Can I have one? Please. Just a little one.

Q: What do you have on your bedside table at the moment?

A collection of Samuel Beckett’s works, a National Geographic, and a book about the artist Egon Schiele. Oh, and of course, my spectacles, without which the rest is useless.

Q: Where do you exhibit / sell your work?

I sell art-works of my paintings on my website. I have an expert photographer who takes pictures of my paintings in high resolution, prints them out on the high-quality artist canvas, protects it from UV rays, and voilà… it gets couriered to the client in a rolled format which permits them to select a frame of their choice. The customer also has the opportunity to choose the size and amount they want of any art-work. These art-work are so detailed, one cannot detect the difference between it and the original painting.

Art Crush: Sarah Danes Jarrett


Whilst in Hout Bay last week for a meeting I spotted the most beautiful and captivating artwork in the Hout Bay Gallery window. I was absolutely spellbound by the dramatic faces staring back at me. The portraits, painted by artist Sarah Danes Jarrett, has an almost “fashion glamour shots meets fine art” feel – very sexy. Don’t you just adore the bold use of colour and choppy brushwork?! Love these – a definite art crush!

Images: Hout Bay Gallery

Hot Trend: Patchwork Tiles


By Marica

One hot hot hot décor trend that we’ve been keeping our eye on for the past year or so is the patterned tile trend. The web is a-wash with images of beautiful contemporary interiors tiled with traditional Moroccan or Mediterranean-style tiles. It started slow – a good thing I think as this trend is so visually stimulating it might take one a while to adjust to its attractive yet imposing busyness.

The trend has gradually migrated from floors to walls which has only made us like it all the more. Using a mix-and-match selection of tiles with different colours and patterns further enhances the playfulness of this trend. The end result is a quirky and eclectic patchwork effect with a slight Bohemian flavour.

This trend is however not for the faint-hearted. Balance is also very important. If you want your patchwork tiles to have maximum appeal it is best to introduce it to a fresh space with an overly white backdrop. The trendy Scandi-type style would be the perfect match.

If you love the idea of having patchwork tiles in your home but don’t feel brave enough to commit to tiling a large area – start small. Apply it as a small backsplash in your guest loo, or intersperse it with plain white tiles for a more reserved style statement.

Need a little patterned tile inspiration? Check out these gorgeous tiled examples…

{click image to enlarge and view source}
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