Earlier this week Rose and I were chatting about an unfortunate mishap in her home. A leaky pipe in the wall of her main bedroom en-suite caused a bit of havoc – peeling bubbling paint, mould etc. – messy stuff. Fixing the problem is just as tricky – enter an assortment of leak detectors, plumbers, tilers, and painters. The process was dusty, noisy and invasive… not to mention a drain on the wallet. Not fun at all!
Yet, trust Rose to put a positive spin on such a negative situation. She was quite thrilled by the prospect that, at least now, she can replace the tiles in her shower with a feature wall of decorative tiles.
Of course, that set the wheels turning in my head about the increasing popularity of decorative feature tiles. Over recent years we have witnessed a steady influx of decorative wall tiles in all shapes, colours and textures.
As interior designers, we cannot tell you how excited we are to see this trend become mainstream. Here at Design Monarchy, we have always been proponents of bold and interesting instead of predictable and safe.
The dismantled components of the flat-packed “El Cheapo” desk from Spaas located in Cape Town | source: via Spaas
The finished “El Cheapo” desk from Spaas – it requires no screws or glue | source: via Spaas
What is the definition of a Flat Pack Furniture?
Have you ever heard someone mention the term “flat pack” or “knock-down” furniture and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define flat pack furniture for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary…
Flat Pack Furniture: (also known as ready-to-assemble [RTA], knock-down [KD], or kit furniture) is a type of furniture that is sold in dismantled pieces and requires assembly by the customer. These pieces are “flat” packed into a box for easy transportation and come with assembly instructions and the basic tools. Flat pack furniture has become increasingly popular (think IKEA) and, because of this efficient and space-friendly design, it is often more affordable than its bulky counterparts.
Quirky, off-beat, unique, out-of-the-box, and sometimes… just plain weird. Those are just some of the terms that come to mind when trying to describe KARE‘s unusual style of furniture and decorative accessories.
Never heard of them? No sweat, we’ll give a quick introduction to this European design cult brand…
KARE describes themselves as an unconventional furniture company which strictly rejects run-of-the-mill concepts. Instead, they strive to create an innovative range of unique, non-conformist and authentic furniture pieces.
Friends, Jürgen Reiter and Peter Schönhofen, established KARE in 1981 as a quirky alternative after being frustrated with the either terribly drab or elitist furniture market of the time.
“For unconventional and romantic spirits, for the wild and the style-conscious, for birds of paradise and all those who cast off all constraints when it comes to furnishing their own home.“
AND, it just so happens that KARE has recently opened its first ever store in Joburg, South Africa! So all this weird, quirky fun could be yours!
I’m sitting here wondering how to get this article off the ground? Where do I begin? I’m a bit of a storyteller. So I’m wondering, should I start with “Once upon a Time”? …Nah! Not this time around. I’ll leave that for when I write my book. All I ask right now is that you try to stay with me until “The End”.
Back in September 2017, Design Monarchy was commissioned to assist with the interior design and project management of Chan Wela, a nail bar and beauty salon. I’ve always maintained that whether you design for residential, hotel, retail, or any other interior space, the processes and the principles are always the same. That being said, the interior design of a nail and beauty salon was a first for us, yet we were very keen and excited to get on with it.
Before I go any further, I think that it would be appropriate to open up the meaning of the Salon’s name. “Chan Wela” is Thai for “me time”. To this day, I still find the name and its meaning very enchanting.
There were two major challenges that we faced with this project. First off – the timeframe was extremely tight. The Salon’s PR driven celebrity launch party was to be on the 28th of November. From the time that the deal was agreed upon to the big evening’s launch party, we basically had two months! In that time, we had to tackle challenge number two: converting a typically bland office space, in a typical office block complex, into a compelling top-of-the-range, fully-equipped, upmarket beauty salon. NO pressure!
The construction and building process of a project and converting an interior space is always a time-sensitive issue. The processes are all time-consuming – stress trigger points deluxe! Always! If you are planning an interior upgrade, please, factor in sufficient time.Read More »
When Beatrice Moore-Nöthnagel of Media24’s Tuis/ Home Magazine recently approached me for a quotation as an “Expert Opinion” on the topic of “why pink remains ever popular in decor“, I was thrilled. Especially since the colour pink has been on my decor radar in recent times. This is for a few reasons, one of which being, that we had only recently completed the interior design and decor of a Nail & Beauty Spa which featured the colour. We selected a soft, silky tone of pink for some of the seating. Furthermore, it was upholstered in a velvet fabric – yummy! – another one of my favourite decor elements right now.
I’ve always been a lover of pink – no matter what the shade or tone. Way back in the late 80’s our main bedroom had walls painted in a very bold “shocking” pink.
Furthermore, I’ve never really been afraid of using it in our interior projects. There is one particular project that springs to mind. We installed two bold pink sofas in the lounge of Galway’s The House Hotel back in 2006. The Irish folk were delightfully gob-smacked! It actually became the talk of the town for a while.
Here is what I had to say on the undying popularity of pink:
Over the last few decades, the global psyche has slowly been undergoing a shift from a purely male dominated world order towards the inclusion of the feminine energy. As women have slowly moved out of the shadows towards the centre stage, so too has the colour pink.
Like a woman, what can the colour pink bring to a space? It can melt and softens linear lines. It brings with it a sense of deliciousness. It has the capacity to lift the vitality of a space, to make it light and frivolous if need be. Yet it can also raise its voice to make that big, bright and bold statement.
As women continue revealing their intrinsic value, so too will the colour pink continue revelling in the limelight.
Two weeks ago, on the 27th April 2018, we as South Africans celebrated Freedom Day. On that day 24 years ago ALL South African, of every colour, race and creed over the age of 18 went to cast their vote. For the largest part of our citizens, it was the first time ever that they got to experience the right to cast their vote. That was a freedom that was hard won and a liberation that exacted a heavy price from many of our nation’s people.
As I cast my mind back to 27th April 1994 and scanned what has happened in our country since that momentous day, a stirring within moved me to write a tribute to African Women. As one who loves colour, texture and pattern I have often admired and been mesmerised by the African Woman’s “crowning glory”.
Even though this blog is mostly all about interiors and all related interior design and decor “stuff”, we are going to feature some fashion statements today.
Fashion statement made by incredibly beautiful African Women. Fashion statements that I regard as a total works of art and often stand in awe of the women who wear them! I feel sure that you would have to agree, that these African women wear their “headgear” and fashion accessories with such dignity and pride, that their audience is often left breathless.