I was trawling through a small pile of emails, the interiors-related kinda email newsletters, this morning. When I stumbled onto the video featured below. I always love a good house tour video.
The extraordinary thing about this video was that I had no cooking-clue who this fresh-faced young man was. He is clearly a celeb of some kind – why else would he be featured?! Still no cooking-clue. Yet, he had my attention right from the very first sentence he uttered! He entusuatically welcomed the public into his home and then the casual house tour kicked in. I wanted to stop the video to go and google this 25-year-old man (who looks like a 20-year-old), but I just didn’t want to miss a beat.
Somewhat different to your normal house tour video. This young man conducted the tour himself. Spoke to the ins and the outs, the décor elements, the whys and the history of his Victorian-Era home. He was seriously entertaining. Plus, he impressed me with his obvious love for beautiful interior spaces. His home is cleary filled with what makes his heart sing.
How was it possible that such a young man could afford the house of his dreams? Well, as soon as he said goodbye at the gate and the video ended, I popped over to Google. I discovered that this unknown factor (to me anyway) is a South African born, Australian singer/songwriter and actor called Troye Sivan! I am pretty damn sure there are millions who know him and his music – well now I do too. I nipped over to listen to one of his songs and really enjoyed his voice and lyrics.
Okay, enough said by moi – Watch the video and listen to his music. I hope it entertains you as much as it did me. I’m so inspired by this young man and his interior choices.
Read more about Troye’s beautiful home on Architectural Digest: here.
I know, I know – since it is very nearly the end of February, I’m a tad late with the whole writing about the Colour of the Year 2021 trends! The chances are that you are already familiar with it. Well, at least the Pantone colours for 2021, since those seem to have a greater public spread (it’s yellow and grey for those who missed it). Last week, while sharing a past interior project on Instagram and Facebook, we noticed – by happy accident – that we applied those very Pantone colours to the room we designed. Maybe that is why I am drawn to exploring all the other chosen colours for 2021.
As you know, I am a #ColourFreak – I love colour! Through all my many years of exploring it, delving deeply into its ability to transform interior spaces (as if by magic), I find I never tire of it. I might shift gears often from bright to calming colours, from that which speaks to passivity over to that which enfolds you in a surge of passion. Moods – yes, colours are moody as well. It’s a state that is not only reserved for the female gender.
Dulux Colour of The Year 2021: Brave Ground
This morning I landed on a site that highlighted the Dulux Colour of 2021 (and its colour combos) – in video format. I found myself totally relaxing into the video’s words, content, and colours. Phrases such as “a drop of Courage carries us forward”, “courage to embrace change“, “invigorating“, “self-belief” and “collective connection” – the words grabbed my attention.
I think the psychology behind Dulux’s selections is a perfect summary of what we will need for the year 2021. We need “Brave Ground”. We need to be able to give ourselves permission to throw on the Cloak of Courage. To step bravely into that place of transformation that is calling us – whatever that might look like for each one of us. I have no doubt that every person in this “Global Village” has felt the shifting vibes that this transformation evokes.
And what about the colour itself? Brave Ground, which is a beigey neutral, seems to be stirring up a bit of controversy since it is so “sombre”. A lot of people question whether we need a colour so “depressing” at this time of the COVID PANDEMIC – wouldn’t the collective mood rather do with a pick-me-up colour?
Yes, there is truth in that thinking. YET, I also appreciate what the Dulux Colour Specialists are driving at. Hold that “Brave Ground” colour within the context of their bigger picture (as illustrated in their video) – a wider colour spectrum of which Brave Ground is more like a foundation.
You know, I have a feeling that more and more we are being ushered away from the grey tones that have been forefront for many years – towards the many tones of brown. Maybe, towards a more grounded context for life? Just think about it – how many of us would have entertained the thought of darker grey feature walls in our homes, gunmetal grey kitchen cabinets, etc. a decade ago? Now it is so every day, that even in the ‘burbs there are houses the exterior of which are painted deep, dark grey. Who would have thunk?
Quite frankly, I’m interested to see how the brown colour palette will gain momentum to become the “go-to” interior colour choice, so to speak! Let’s watch this space to see whether my hunch is valid.
Plascon Favourite Hue of 2021: Golden Syrup
Well, for those who feel that Dulux missed the mark and that Brave Ground is anathema, Plascon has that pick-me-up colour for you! They have selected the bright and bold colour “Golden Syrup” as their “Favourite Hue of 2021“. Opposite of Dulux’s grounding colour, they have reached for the sun’s effects on us. What does the word and concept of Golden Syrup evoke within you? For me, I think of honeycomb and delicious desserts! Oh – and – childhood pantry raids! Yum!
To quote them (because they have said it so well and why reinvent the wheel):
“Plascon’s Favourite Hue of 2021 invites us to shake off the heaviness of the year gone by and dare to imagine a lighter, brighter future.”
“Let your optimism take over and use Golden Syrup to transform your interiors from hiding places to creative spaces. Better yet fully embrace the audacity of hope and let it reflect boldly on your exteriors too.”
How do you like the sound of “embrace the audacity of Hope”. Wow! I like this.
So, as I see it, these two colours balance each other. Put them on the scales and you have balance. You have the firm foundation of “Brave Ground” for stabilizing transformation while embracing the sweet and yummy glow of hope in “Golden Syrup”!
Thank you. I’ll take that.
I’d be interested to know which of these two colours intuitively grab your attention and why! Anyone???
Bouclé is currently experiencing a trend revival. Here is the Saarinen Executive Chair upholstered in an off-white bouclé fabric. | source: Knoll via Instagram
This contemporary Bouclé fabric by Kirkby Design makes for an interesting, richly textured plain. | source: Kirkby Design via Facebook
What is the definition of Bouclé?
Have you ever heard someone mention the term “bouclé” or “bouclé fabric” and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define Bouclé for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary…
Bouclé: (from the French meaning “looped” or “curled”) is a rough textured fabric woven from looped fibre yarn of the same name. It is the coiled nature of the yarn that gives the textile its irregular knobbly or “slubby” appearance. The fabric is generally made from wool and mohair, although cotton, linen, silk, and in recent years, synthetic mixes, can also be used to create its distinctive look and feel. Bouclé’s versatile qualities and its durable, soft, and tactile nature made it was a popular fabric choice for both furniture and fashion designers in the Mid-century era of design (Eero Saarinen and Coco Chanel but to mention a few).
I must say, if I were one of Design Monarchy‘s regular blog readers, clients, friends, or followers, I might consider the title of this article rather bizarre and odd! Especially considering this blog has been active (sometimes, with long pause periods) for 10 years. Plus, this isn’t the first time that I have written about who I am and how I got to this place of being the owner and creative director of Design Monarchy.
I wouldn’t blame you if you are tempted to ask “just what more does she want to introduce about herself?” Yes, despite having written about myself in some past blog articles, I have the urge to tell you more about us within the context of our interior design business, Design Monarchy.
Now, WHY would I feel the urge or the need to talk more about myself / us and Design Monarchy?
It is simple really – the “KNOW, LIKE and TRUST” factor! The first time I encountered this as a business principle, was during a social media strategy session with a mentor years ago.
Would you not want to know more about the interior design or decorating professional whose service you would like to employ? You are after all allowing them access to your most intimate space – your home (or you treasured business premises).
It is generally accepted that those whom we know, like, and trust are those to whom we entrust those big-ticket items! It’s either that, or we would entertain a service provider whom others have known, liked and trusted.
Adding colour to the line-drawing which is our / my Story…
So, what else? Oh gosh, plenty, I guess filling in the gaps left in our website’s “About Us” page and past blog articles are where this is going. Consider it as opening up a little of the Personality of Design Monarchy.
What I really feel like sharing with you today, are those values that we embrace. Values that are intrinsic to Design Monarchy as a business. How those fit with valuing ourselves, our clients, and our service providers as we go about doing what we love every day. I see these values as fundamental ingredients for a great recipe for a successful interiors business. The same way something like flour, salt, and eggs are essential to many cooking recipes.
7 ideals we strive towards every day…
My first thought goes straight to that which is high on my personal values list – Integrity! From where I am sitting it takes courage to be an integrous person and run an integrous company, which goes hand in hand with Honesty.
I was schooled in a girls-only Convent. The teaching Nuns constantly liked to remind us that “Honesty is the best policy!” I can still hear our Principal’s voice. LOL. Yet despite their best attempts at brainwashing me, it wasn’t until much later in life, that Integrity and Honesty truly took root in my life.
I am as human as the next person and fear often set the pace for my emotional and verbal reactions. Often it was easier to lie than to be honest. I remember knots in my stomach when confronted by a situation that needed the truth told. That is why I maintain that it takes a courageous person to be Honest and Integrous. #TrueConfession: Somewhere along the path of this life, a shift from Fear to Honesty happened. Now, hopefully, it is at that place where it is as natural as breathing.
Thrown into our value mix – we are big on Authenticity. It comes in many shapes and sizes, particularly in a creative design industry. Over the past 10 or 11 years, I have discovered the absolute beauty of being authentic. It’s so powerful and empowering. That feeling of being the REAL ME is something that I enjoy. The knock-on effect being our clients have the benefit of our “keeping it real” mindset. Some like clients appreciate this, while it might escape others. Experience has revealed that this ideal opens the way for us to create interiors that speak to our client’s own authenticity.
Then there is Excellence and Commitment. I suppose the Convent education also contributes greatly towards this ideal. I know that I inherited my mother’s work ethic. She came from farming stock where the idea of applying yourself to the task was as natural as breathing. Naturally, that goes hand in hand with Commitment. Once we at Design Monarchy set our minds towards a task, we stick with it intent on delivering as good a product or service within our skillset. By the way, when I say “Excellence”, I am not referring to “Perfection”. That is a quite different animal!
Does that mean that this internal drive to serve well and with commitment make us doormats? Or open to abusive behaviour from projects or clients? Not at all! Both Marica and I have learnt this lesson the hard way. Yes, we have been so keen to do our best that we give way too much. That said, we are gradually finding balance in this regard.
Some ideals are easy because they come naturally. The concept of Respecting the Choices of others can be challenging for both the Interior Service Provider (i.e. us) and the client. Interiors ultimately is all about making choices. Choosing the style that speaks to you; choosing the floor plans, hard and soft finishes basically all interior finishes from start to finish of the project. That is where the service, experience, talents and skills developed over many years of Design Monarchy team comes into play. Facilitating the choices that best suit you and work in your space.
But what happens when the choices that the client leans into doesn’t sit well with the Interiors Professional? Million-dollar question? We constantly find ourselves in the dilemma of being the experts who have beat this Interiors path every day as a profession, encountering resistance to the proposals. It is and will no doubt continue to be a tight rope walk, a push and pull movement. We accept this, knowing it is a two-way street. That said though, much as we aim to respect the choices our clients embrace, we need our professional opinions to be given due consideration. I regard our journey with the client as a collaborative one. We aim for Win-Win.
When it comes to owning one’s Expertise, acknowledging talents and delighting in our skills publicly wasn’t an easy fit. I still need to throw on my Courage Cloak to do that one. Thank goodness it seems to be getting easier with practice. Believe me, it really takes courage. Of course, we don’t want to be mistaken for “show-offs”. However, we have come to appreciate that unless we show off a bit, we will be hiding our skills and talents under a bushel. The knock-on effect is that we will be shortchanging someone of the opportunity of calling upon our skills to achieve their dream space. And as the Aussies like to say “Why would yah?”
I’ll leave this here now. Hope that this does help our readers and followers to KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST us.
Wishing all our readers and friends a Merry Christmas and a joyous festive season!
Festive Season is upon us. Can you believe it?
“Can you believe it… it’s the end of 2020 already?” “Christmas is literally around the corner!” “Where did the year disappear to?” If, like me, you are reading plenty of Festive Season greeting emails you could well be muttering the same well-worn phrases!
Every single year, without fail, once we have passed the end of June (the year’s halfway mark) – the days, weeks, months just melt one into the other. Then – BOOM! – before we know it, it’s time for the annual shut down. Every year, at this time, just before we are about to shut our office doors for that well-deserved time out, I feel like the lead-up and the arrival of Christmas takes me by surprise – AGAIN!! I guess it could have something to do with the fact that as soon as the end of September has swung around, our industry busy season kicks in. Or, MAYBE, it’s just a game that Xmas likes to play with me.
I had intended to say something about what an exceptional and strange year 2020 has been. However, Marica kinda reminded me that in our recent email newsletters, I had already kicked-off with a chirp about 2020. So, I had to stop and consider, what is it I would really like to say about 2020?
I think it would be short and sweet: IT IS A YEAR I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET!
It reminds me of 1994, the year South Africans had their very first democratic elections. Previously disenfranchised folk stood for hours, in long snaking queues, to cast their vote for the first time. That too is a year I will never forget.
So, without any further ado, allow me to thank you for being such faithful readers and supporters of The Design Tabloid. Know that we deeply appreciate your presence. THANK YOU SO MUCH! See you on the other side of this unforgettable year in January 2021.
We have lovely plans for 2021. Plans hatched many years ago but found plenty of momentum in 2020. I guess that is one thing we can thank 2020 for.
KEEP CALM AND STAY SAFE.
Ciao, Rose and Marica
P.S. I would so very much love to hear what your short and sweet response to the year 2020 would be? Did you manage to hatch any plans for 2021? Love to hear about those too!
Our studio will be closed for business from 18th of December 2020 and will reopen the 13th of January 2021. Ergo, The Design Tabloid and our social media accounts will slow its pace a bit in terms of posts.
#59 A thoughtfully curated and polished bar cart or drinks cabinet can add a considerable amount of character and style to your space. A quick and easy way to dress up your bar cart is to jazz up the wine and spirit bottle corks. While decorative bottle stoppers can be purchased, making your own will add a unique and personalised element. Attached geodes, crystals or glass cabinet knobs to the tops of the corks for a sense of glamour. Copper or steel pipe couplings can make for trendy and contemporary bottle stoppers.
Decorative Bottle Stoppers DIY Tutorials:
If you want to make your own decorative bottle stoppers this weekend, check out this helpful post by Crafts by Courtney which features step-by-step instructions and pictures to make your job a tad easier: HERE
In the mood for a bit of a challenge? Try this stunning and trendy-looking wooden bottle stopper DIY idea by A Beautiful Mess: HERE.