Plascon Trend Talk – Part Two

So let’s continue on from where we left off in our last post while covering the recent Plascon Trend Talk “Reflections on the Future” event.

Lianne Burton   – past editor of Elle Decoration.

Plascon Trend Talk - Lianne BurtonOMG – she has the most soothing tone of voice – what a pleasure she was to listen to. Clearly she is a methodical story telling person, who is able to paint a picture with her words.  She supported her content (words) with the most compelling and appropriate images.  Not getting the picture of her topic, Urban Millennium, was out of the question.  She made it so easy to follow.

In short, in her presentation she identified that the major shift we are facing is a move from the idea of “human nature” towards the concept of “urban nature” now that the majority of the human population lives & grows up in cities versus rural areas.  The stats apparently support this by revealing that the numbers for city living is overtaking that of rural country areas. Oh dear me! But thinking about it, it makes perfect sense. People have been flocking to the cities for decades now. At least we know that the country towns will still be there for us to do our getaway thing!

Interestingly, she suggests that trends start on the streets and spread virally, coming largely from cities. This is because cities offer diversity, proximity, possibility, and pace of change, identity and creativity. Social media is naturally the perfect platform to encourage and accelerate the spread of trends – and again Pinterest has been acknowledged as being a prime avenue.  Yet, the way I see it going, these urban culture trendsetters are the very people who are taking what rural / country life has to offer to mix into their trendy designs.

But I definitely think she has a strong point here.  You just have to look at Japan as a good example of Urban Nature –such a huge number of people living and growing up in a dense urban environment.  I did not know this, but in an effort to retain a sense of individual identity we ‘urbanites’ often run the maverick route.  Enter Japan – this is seemingly where the trend to pop streaks of pink, purple or whatever colour into your hair originated… well, I’ll be damned.

Therefore, by default as we adapt to this way of life, we will seek creative ways of expressing ourselves and making our urban environment a happy space to inhabit. Particularly in a concrete jungle that a city can be. I am tempted to think that the transformation that Woodstock is undergoing could be a product of the Urban Nature culture.  A run-down suburb in the City of Cape Town that is slowly regaining its faded sheen as designers begin to infiltrate its spaces – bringing with them a renewed, uplifting energy.  There seems to be a new appreciation for street art, old buildings with vintage walls that enjoy a glorious patina of their own (the new wood so to speak) revival of buildings, creative hubs and market spaces.  It is almost as if we have accepted our fate that we are urbanites now. That’s it – we have to make it work right here, right now.

Thinking about all of this Urban Culture shift stuff, brought to mind the presentation of Dan Pearson a Landscape Artist/Designer whom I heard speak at Design Indaba 2012. He conceptualised, designed and installed the most impressive Urban Garden Park in Japan. The idea was to make a creative green space available to the urbanites – a space full of natural surprises. A space where they could totally immerse themselves into nature, with the intention of re-engaging with the natural elements of life.  This is an essential ingredient in the growing Urban Culture. Visiting this Garden is on my bucket list…

So, there you have it – Yes it seems Urban Nature is entrenching itself while we speak.


Plascon Trend Talk – Part One

Marica and I sneaked out of the office to attend the recent the Trend Talks 2013, being hosted jointly by Plascon and InHouse Brand Architects. Pity we have not done so before. If memory serves me right, this initiative was conceptualised and started by Lauren Shantall in 2012. Joining her is Lacia Gess as MC and it seems that this event is fast becoming a “must do” on the calendar of the local design trade. Plus, plus, plus – local design-mined charity Rock Girl is the beneficiary of each event’s proceeds, while creating more awareness around safe places for vulnerable women, young girls and boys alike.

The theme of the topics under discussion was “Reflections on the Future”, with a view to looking at some design trends going forward what with 2014 becoming more of a reality with each passing day. The three speakers were Laurence Brick, Co Founder of retail outlet, Loads of Living (one of my personal favourite décor shops); Cara Siegers from InHouse Brand Architects and Lianne Burton, a past editor of Elle Decoration,  now an “accidental curator of words, images and ideas”,  – her own definition.

Today we look at what Laurence Brick and Cara Siegers had to say…

What was interesting for both Marica and I, looking back post the event, was that each speaker presented a very different angle of design (largely related to architecture and interiors) – so repetition was not the order of the day.

I am not going to go into hectic detail about the content of each speaker’s presentation. But will just highlight that which stayed with us and impressed us most. Neither of us here at The Design Tabloid professes to be Trend Gurus. We will leave that for the likes of Mr Dave Nemeth. But because we spend so much time on the social media platforms, especially Pinterest, we have noticed that we’re managing to stay pretty clued up when it comes to trends.

Plascon Trend Talk - Laurence BrickLaurence Brick spoke of many trends that have already made their mark locally and abroad, particularly – once again – on Pinterest. Elements of interiors such as the Industrial style, its related and complimentary elements – lighting, seating, furniture and those gorgeous warm metals that we have written about before. He touched on neons, which by the looks of things has no intentions of going away any time soon, as it morphs to take on different shapes and applications. The other design elements that seems here to stay are geometric patterns such as those triangular shapes that are so cleverly produced onto fabric, jewellery, wall textures etc. Yes, I do think that those little geos are going to gain momentum and we can expect to see far more coming out into the retail space.

Moving on to the point that really made my eyes stretch in wonder, was the fact that the patterned floors are once again gaining a place of prominence. Seemingly in kitchens and bathrooms. Probably patios as well. Mosaic patterned floor tiles with that strong Moroccan flavour. But not restricted to those areas or patterns. I have noticed it around the Pinterest-sphere but now am intrigued and fascinated by it. Would love an opportunity to install it into one of our interior projects.  And let’s not forget that pattern on the floor has been coming across strongly in rugs as well.  And no, I am not referring here to the traditional rug and kilim patterns.  Rather there is a great deal of modern kilims on the market. As well as those gorgeous re-loaded vintage flavoured Persian rugs that has been faded by a particular washing technique. The patchwork rugs are the yummiest of this genre. Note to self: Must write about that some time soon. 

Plascon Trend Talk - Cara SiegersWhat stayed with me most coming out of Cara Siegers presentation was the growing trend of 3D printing. Okay – so I have heard of it, but true to my form, when it sounds too technical for me, I don’t give it the time of day. Net result was that up until now, it has just stayed out of the reach of my mental grasp. Confession – even during her presentation, I was still not too clear on it.  Afterwards Marica and I had one of our oh-so many discussions and the light slowly began to dawn.  Later we popped over to research it a bit further – AND – it became an AH-HA moment.  I am quite excited about it and I guess now that I understand it a bit more, I will probably find it coming across my path more frequently. Thank you Cara Siegers for sharing your insights!

Next blog we take a look at what Lianne Burton had to present.

Cheers for now.

Décor Dictionary: Lime Wash

{click to enlarge}

Lime Wash: (or whitewash) is a traditional treatment for wood or masonry made from a slaked lime mixture. In recent years the traditional lime has been replaced by semi-transparent stains or diluted white paint as the favoured method of whitewashing. Matured lime wash gives wood an aged look – the finish is translucent, allowing the wood grain to show through. Furniture with a washed effect is often associated with French Cottage, Shabby Chic, and Coastal styles.

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

You might also like:


Buying Cheap vs Buying Value

The other day while walking my dog on the local cricket field I got chatting to one of the other “dog club” members. He was a man who had been round the block a few times with regards to running and owning businesses. The talk was around his proposed new business venture, which was importing inexpensive furniture from South East Asia.

His take was that he would import inexpensive furniture in volume and sells it off to wholesalers. The price bracket that he was speaking of made me realise that the furniture could not be the best and the possibility of a very short lifespan was strong. Which just means that the home owner would have to delve into his pocket again in about two year’s time to replace the headboard or bed.

I realise that we can still expect this economic downturn to run for a good while yet and as such we are all turning our pennies over twice before spending it. Naturally we are also out to look for bargains – the less strain on our already tight purse strings the better.

However, when it comes to interiors items such as furniture, art and rugs, I cannot buy into the concept of buying cheap just for the sake of buying something you need. Truth be known it is much better to delay gratification, save the money, spend a bit extra and buy a well constructed, good quality item of furniture. The reason is obvious – it will last you longer, in fact you could pass it onto your children. A sofa that has a well constructed frame and good fabric will definitely outlast any mass produced sofa. It will possibly require re-upholstery after a few years, but that would cost you a whole lot less than a replacement sofa.

Think about it – in generations past, most furniture was solid wooden items or sofas that had spring systems. Those pieces outlasted their owners, becoming the very pieces of furniture that are now sold not as “secondhand” but as trendy “vintage” and ‘retro’ items.

The same can be said for art and rugs. Not many of us can afford to fill our homes with original pieces, but please consider buying either one splendid rug or one stunning piece of original art, to create an attractive feature in your home. It will mean that you will have to save and hence wait, but that gives you time to source exactly what you desire and visualise for that spot.

Trendsetters have actually noted that during the economic downturn, if the public are going to spend their money on luxury items, they want to buy quality that will last.

Long may it last!!!

{Image Source – read this related article}

Movember Madness: Moustache Décor


It’s officially moustache season – November marks that very special month in which those who are able to can (and should) grow a luscious ‘stache… especially since it’s for a good cause. Not to mention chicks dig dudes with facial hair!

For those who don’t know …

Movember is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer and testicular cancer. At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their Mo, raising money along the way to benefit men’s health.” – please check out Movember South Africa for more info.

Now since we here at The Tabloid lack the testosterone levels to grow a decent moustache (being ladies and all), we thought the next best thing would be to share some lovely local moustache-inspired décor with you…

1. “Moustache Party Kit” by Lovilee available from Hello Pretty – each kit contains cake & cupcake toppers, striped paper straws, stickers, gift tags, and gift paper bags… all, of course, with moustache motifs!

2. “Modern Phrenology Bust: Pogonophile” by Chandler House available from Africandy – FYI a “pogonophile” is somebody who loves or studies beards. LOL!

3. “Moustache Movember Scatter Cushion” by Kerry Cherry Designs And Prints available from Hello Pretty – handmade block printed scatter cushion covers featuring a beautiful collection lip warmers!

4. “Keep Calm & Grow A Moustache Greeting Card” available from Typo – solid advice… no need to stress, just grow a ‘stache!

5. “BIG Moustache Magnet” by Fox & Heroine available from Hello Pretty.

6. “Moustache Washi Tape” available from Special Events – Washi tape and facial hair… two of my favourite things!

7. “Mos & Bows Pencil Case” available from Typo.

8. “Moustache Novelty Earphones” available from Typo.

{What do you think? Mo-tastic right?!}

Taxidermy Chic: Shongololo Studio’s Painted Skulls

“Remember the article we wrote two years ago regarding the unusual skull décor trend? Well it has blasted full steam ahead and it’s no secret that we here at The Tabloid think it’s pretty cool! We recently chatted to artist Marika Gregory of Shongololo Studio who is taking this interesting trend to a whole new level. She uses animal skulls as her canvas – painting colourful, intricate patterns and designs on them…”

Q:  Tell us a bit about yourself and Shongololo Studio…

A: I am a 32 year divorced mother of three, who has decided that working my life away for what I felt was a false sense of security was not for me. After the divorce split I started throwing myself into producing art works again.

Shongololo Studio was created in September as a leap of faith and a crazy unusual creative idea. In 6 weeks I have managed to set up a studio in Emmarentia. I was invited to exhibit some of my creations at The Gallery on 6th, Parkhurst and am thrilled that the exhibition runs until 22 November 2013.

Q:  How did you get into the unusual business of painting skulls? Do you have an art or design background?

A: I completed my national N6 Diploma in Art at Parktown College in 2002. Having completed my studies,   I worked as a Graphic Designer. I also held various positions in Finance and HR. Someone I know had an animal skull in their garden that they wanted to throw away. Instead I asked to keep the skull even though at that time I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.   Then one day out of boredom I decided to use it as my canvas.

Q:  Where do you draw inspiration from when creating?

A: Every one of my creations has a story to tell.   The story is always upbeat and I tell it as if I was in conversation with the person reading it. I draw my inspiration from my life, things I like, things that have happened either with me or people I know. I have a particular piece that is about three cockroaches that live in the Home Brew Shop where I have set up my studio. I named the art work – AKA Fred, Larry and Bob. Fred one day decided to do more than just his normal eaves dropping and ended up running out of my best friend Jackie’s pants!?!?

After painting DIE ANTWOORD skull, I decided that I would paint one skull a month – one that will make a statement on current or past affairs that effect South Africa or the world. I plan on having my own exhibition once I completed twelve pieces.

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

A: Nothing in particular. I keep on thinking about new ideas, themes and mediums to use on my creations. There was an article published not so long ago in the lifestyle section of The Star newspaper. The article was about “Taxidermy Chic” a new trend hitting the world.  I was amazed to see it was about what I have ventured into, except no one else is painting skulls as yet.

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

A: I love colourful things period.  But I must say my favourite colours to use on the skulls will be my metallic colours and most of the time I mix some white paint in. The colours take very well on the skulls, they are vibrant and striking. If I have to choose my favourite colour it would be blue.

Q:  Could you share your Secret Indulgence with us?

A: Chocolate & Ice cream, I eat at least 2 chocolates a day. I have had a love for chocolates since I can remember. I used to get so excited as a child when the school day was coming to an end, because I knew my mom would be waiting for me outside. Then we would go to the shops and I could have the chocolate of my choice.  Since there is no set time to enjoy ice cream, I must admit that I have ice cream for breakfast very often. My studio is one block away from Wimpy… Soft serve by the buckets!

Q:   What is your favourite current décor trend?

A: I love the Taxidermy Chic trend and I am reading up a lot on this subject at this moment. Taking something that is dead and giving it a new life and purpose makes sense to me. Also there is a lot of new design ideas to play around with, I have made it my job to explore this and see what others are doing before this trend fully hits South-Africa

Q:  Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

1.       Buy my own island and live on it

2.       Own the biggest tree house imaginable

3.       Test Drive a Ferrari

4.       Become a famous artist

5.       Go to the Tomorrow Land Festival

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

A: Smokes, ashtray and my mom’s home-made crunchy biscuits.

Q:  Future plans?

A: I plan to live and not ever going back to work my life away for anyone. I know good things are coming my way, I don’t need to stress about anything. I have put it out in the universe what it is I want to do and achieve, all I now need to do is believe and enjoy.

Q:  Where can one purchase your skulls?

A: My skulls can be bought directly from myself, I am also currently in the process of negotiating with art curators, Brown Eyed Boy. My skulls will be available to buy on their website. I will also have a stall at the Home Expo early 2014 and I have a few other business partnerships I am hoping will come through soon.

{Check out the Shongololo website: here, or follow her on Facebook: here.}