Industrial AV Unit Concept

We are currently working on an AWESOME interior design & décor project here at Design Monarchy. Rose and I have always dreamt of doing a project in the now-trending Industrial Style and were therefore super excited when we finally got the opportunity to do so earlier this year! Whilst the project is ongoing and the house is still in the construction phase, most of the furniture, décor, and finish have already been selected. As you can imagine, Rose and our lovely open-minded client had an absolute ball during the recent furniture sourcing expedition!

We could however not find a fitting AV cabinet, and after stumbling across some beautiful precedent images, we designed a unit that would fit perfectly with the rest of the interior. We thought to share it with you as a little teaser until the rest of the project is completed. What do you think?

{precedent: 1, 2}

Li Edelkoort Talks Textiles

“In these almost impossible to live in times,” says Edelkoort with feeling, “we need to be cuddled.” As a trend forecaster, she believes that in the near future we will see the overwhelming revival of textiles in our interiors, and that we will literally crave their tactility, sense of narration and colour.  “The only problem, she points out, is that we are closing our mills at a rate of knots, and universities are fast replacing looms with computers. The result? We are slowly forgetting how fabrics are made and where they come from. Yet, the appeal of textiles is universal and timeless,” says Edelkoort, “making them also very sustainable.”

The future, she says, “will see the overwhelming revival of textiles in our interiors, covering floors, walls and furniture in an expansive and personal manner. These textiles will speak loud and clear, and become the fabrics of life, narrating stories, designing patterns, promoting well-being and reviving the act of creative weaving.”

Design Monarchy Logo

A New Look For Design Monarchy

Design Monarchy LogoMost of our loyal blog readers know that when Rose and I are not busy topping up our (and your) inspiration tanks by writing for The Design Tabloid, we are hard at work here at Design Monarchy. We are some of the lucky few who get to daily immerse ourselves in our passion – interior design and décor – and get paid to do so.

This past season marked some exciting developments here at Design Monarchy, including a bout of spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new! Our company has undergone quite a bit of growth and evolution the past couple of years and we thought it high time to rethink our branding and website. We asked the lovely Leila Fanner to design a new logo for us, and were ecstatic with the outcome. I think it truly speaks of who we are.

Furthermore – after two years, dozens of options, and a lot of to-and-fro, we have finally decided on the prefect tagline: “Serving Interior Design Excellence

Even though a small part of us will miss our old logo – it served us well over the years, this new logo and the branding that comes with it, just affirms our continued growth and forward movement. We feel more settled and defined as a company.

{So what do you think? Do you like our new branding?}

Before & After: Vintage Radiogram

By Jess Binns of Hector & Bailey

It’s with great pleasure to take the reigns on today’s post for the lovely Rose and Marica from The Design Tabloid. I’d love to share with you the latest ‘Found & Fixed’ item, hot off the press from the Hector & Bailey studio. And, exclusively for The Design Tabloid, I’m going to take you step by step through the whole upcycled process.

So get comfy and I shall begin…

Let me introduce you to Maxwell. An abandoned radiogram, stripped of it’s function and in general, looking a bit worse for wear.

      1. First things first, preparation is the key to a successful outcome, that and patience. So to start, remove handle and any other hardware and start sanding. I use a combination of an electric mouse sander and hand sanding. You need to aim to take off all the old varnish in order to reveal the timber is it’s raw form.

      2. Once this messy job is complete, I washed down the radiogram with a sugar soap solution.

      3. Due to this once being a functioning radiogram, there were signs of missing shelves where large recesses sat. I filled all of these areas with wood filler and allowed to dry fully. {click on images to enlarge}

      4. The next step is to mask off all the areas where you don’t want the paint to reach. In this instance, I wanted to retain sections of wood that were just too beautiful to cover up.

      5. Once complete, I then set to work priming the unit. I only work with water-based paints for all of my wooden items, so I use a wonderful primer from B-Earth, which creates a bond and provides excellent adhesion. Being toxic free, the bond has no smell and dries very quickly, best of both worlds!

      6. Now on to the main colour. For Maxwell, I went for a shade of ‘Greige’ (a grey/beige mix!) in a water-based emulsion. First I painted all the fiddly areas with a small paintbrush… {click on images to enlarge}

      7. The large surface areas were painted with a foam roller. I find this leaves a nice, smooth finish, especially if you have time to build the layers up. I mostly average on 3 coats.

      8. To add a bit of interest, I opted for pale cream painted socks, the contrast from the greige and the rich wood works a treat!

      9. Putting the main body to one side to allow the paint to set, I then turned my attention to the handle. Looking a little tarnished, I decided to spray them cream to match the feet. First you need to prime, allow to dry, then spray on the top coat.

      10. For the inside, I wanted to create an impact by using wallpaper. This is a great way to use up any off-cuts you may have.  This is where concentration levels have to be at an all time high! Especially if you want to ensure the pattern matches on both sides. Using wallpaper paste, I attached each section with a careful eye. {click on images to enlarge}

      11. In order to make the most of the radiogram, I decided to utilize the space underneath, so installed a 3mm ply painted base. Before fitting, I staple-gunned fabric to the grill section from behind to provide a splash of colour.

      12. It’s now time to add a back to Maxwell. For this I used 6mm Marine ply with a section cut out to allow access to the low shelf. This was finished in the same colour and panel pinned on.

      13. Almost there, I re-attached the opening mechanism and fitted the newly sprayed handles. the last job is waxing the whole unit with furniture beeswax to create a protective barrier. I prefer using wax over varnish as you can build up layers over time, beeswax is eco friendly and varnish always leaves brush marks.

Please meet the finished article……!

{Maxwell and some other Hector & Bailey upcycled treasures will be showcased and up for purchase at the Joburg Food Wine & Design Fair. Be on the look out for the miss+meisie collab – Jess alongside Wendy of SketchBok/dbn.}

Handmade By Me…

We would like to introduce you to yet another South African surface designer! We recently chatted to Sera Holland, the talented graphic and textile designer behind Cape Town-based design label “Handmade By Me“. Sera’s bespoke fabric designs has evolved into a full range of awesome products which includes cushion covers, tea towels, napkins and a wallpaper range which launched earlier this year. The most recent addition to the Handmade By Me range is a funky collection of chef and vintage-style aprons – too cute!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself… any likes / dislikes?  (We understand you’ve been in Ireland for the past 6 years?)

A: Yes I have just moved back home to cape Town after living in Dublin for over 6 years. I like to think I am a pretty easygoing person and I love to spend time with my friends (specially as I have been living away for so long). I love to be outdoors and in the sunshine, or cooking and entertaining at my house. And I am obsessed with anything pretty AND functional! There are a few things I dislike…like olives, raisins, the leafblower guy from outside my old office but it is safe to say that I HATE the Irish weather!

Q: How did you get into the textile design industry? Do you have an art or design background?

A: I have a diploma in design and have been working as a graphic designer for the last 10 years.  I have always wanted to make something functional as well as pretty, instead of working so hard on things I never really got to enjoy after they were done. I found a sweet little course which was all about printing onto fabric by hand using different techniques which I really enjoyed. One of the designs I came up with then was my origami birds but back then I was cutting out each bird individually with a scalpel out of acetate (which is really not easy nor fun) and it looked pretty handprinted and messy too. Being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted to do it right and so began my quest and discovery of digital printing onto fabric. Having the background and expertise in graphics and knowing how to set up artwork it made transition into the textile design side of things very smooth. I have also since then done a course in Textile Design and Print at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin where I learned a lot more about manual printing methods and the fabric side of things.

Q: Tell us a little more about Handmade by Me, where did it all start?

A: When my sister’s wedding came along shortly after my new digital printing discovery, I designed her and her husband a very special fabric design inspired by their obsession with their 3 dogs (see my Barking Mad design). And I learnt to sew so I could give them cushion covers, napkins and 3 doggy bandanas as their actual gift. It really was something handmade by me and so the name stuck. I really want to highlight the bespoke side of what I can do.

Q: And what about your product range… I see you have also recently ventured into wallpaper?

A: Yes at the moment I make cushion covers, napkins and tea towels. And my wallpaper range has just been launched which is really exciting. There are a few other things in the pipeline but what I would really like to point out is that I can really make just about anything. The bespoke side of my business is probably the part that people don’t really know much about. I can custom make other products or different sizes using my current fabrics and I can also custom design something as well.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from when designing? I’ve noticed several of African-inspired designs…

A: I pretty much get my inspiration from just about anywhere. Yes you may have noticed my South African nostalgia coming through with the proteas and strelitzias. Sometimes its a shape I like, or a colour, sometimes I know exactly what I want to do, and sometimes I just want to play around with different elements and see what happens. I would imagine that people probably think I’m pretty bird and flower crazy, but sometimes my designs have more (not so) hidden meanings like the “another rainy day” design which was inspired by the consistently rainy weather and lack of summers I experienced while I was in Dublin.

Q: Is there a certain style you admire or aspire to?

A: I just try to be different from everything else out there. I like all kinds of different styles so I like to explore and experiment! I guess it also just really depends on how I am feeling or the kind of environment I have been before working on an idea. Sometimes I go looking for inspiration and sometimes I just sit and think about things.

Q: Could you share your Secret Indulgence with us?

A: Sadly it’s brie cheese! I. just. can’t. STOP.

Q: Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

Visit Rome!!!! And south America! And just travel more really!

Buy a Mary Katrantzou dress

Learn how to hot-wire a car (always wanted to know how to do that)

Design and build a big piece of furniture from scratch

Drive a formula 1 car

Q: Any awesome future plans in the Handmade by Me pipeline?

A: Ha ha hopefully loads of awesome plans!!! I have so many ideas its ridiculous! Right now I am just establishing myself so its all about getting my brand out there and figuring out my little place in the market. And then hopefully onto some really awesome new projects! I would also like to do some really cool collaborations with other local creative types.

Q: Lastly, are your products available at local retail outlets, online stores or via people in the trade such as our company?

A: At the moment my products are available mostly online – Etsy, Hello Pretty, Meekel, Utique and We Heart This and in Durban I will be stocking Shoppe. I have only just arrived so I am currently in the process of supplying some interior decorator/designers and hopefully you will start seeing my items in more homeware style shops around the country.

And I would love my products to be available through your company : )

{Sera is also offering a Christmas present gift wrap and delivery service this year! Just send her your Handmade By Me shopping list and, when ready, your order will be delivered to you door – gift wrapped and all! You have till this Sunday to place your order! For more details see: here. Also be sure to check out the Handmade By Me website & Facebook page: here & here}

Décor Dictionary: Bombé

Bombé:  is a French term for any furniture piece with a rounded or convex shape – fronts and sides. The word bombé literally means bomb-shaped, cambered, or bulging. Popular during the French Regency period of Louis XV, the bowed shapes where often found on bureaus, chests of drawers and commodes. Because of its French pronunciation, the term is occasionally incorrectly spelled as “Bombay”.

[Image sources: 1, 2]
 
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