Design Monarchy Does World Design Capital

It’s been quite an exciting year thus far, especially since our beautiful home-town and mother city, Cape Town has been chosen as World Design Capital 2014.

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What is World Design Capital?

The World Design Capital is an international city promotion project that celebrates the merits of design. Held biennially, it seeks to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are truly leveraging design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities, throughout a yearlong programme of design-related events.”

The central theme behind the Cape Town’s successful bid, ‘Live Design. Transform Life.‘ focuses on the role that design can play in social transformation. You can learn more about the theme and sub-themes: here.

This year Cape Town will host over 460 design projects aimed at transforming the city… and we are proud and excited to announce that we, Design Monarchy, will be involved in one of these super worthy causes! Yay!

We will be assisting with the décor and design makeover of the Acute Care Surgery Ward in Groote Schuur Hospital. 

WDC323_AcuteCareSurgeryUnitWardMakeover_Community_Primary-CopyGroote Schuur Hospital is a large, government-funded, teaching hospital situated on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in Cape TownSouth Africa. It is famous for being the institution where the first human heart transplant took place, conducted by surgeon Christiaan Barnard. The hospital underwent major extension in 1984 adding two new wings adjacent to the beautiful main building first built in 1938.

It is in this “new” wing that the Acute Care Surgery Ward is located. Like in most state-funded hospitals it is in dire need of sprucing-up and some features are seriously worn and tired.

The ward makeover project is spearheaded by Head of the Acute Care Surgery Unit, Dr Juan Klopper and assisted by Dr Angela Dell. Dr. Klopper rightly believes that creating a comforting environment can have a positive effect on patient recovery as well as emotional well-being while staying in the unit. One of the challenges of this project will be to continue running the extremely vital and busy 24/7 surgery unit as normal throughout the renovations.

Design Monarchy will be collaborating with PG Bison and Plascon, who is graciously donating materials and paint to this worthy project, as well as Easy Life Kitchens who will be manufacturing the cabinetry and joinery items free of charge.

In order for this makeover to be a resounding success, we still desperately need the help of willing partners…

What we still 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.

Décor & Art – office-type accessories; art – be it paintings or prints; and framing.

Automotive Spray Painting – the wards beds and pedestals needs respraying and automotive would be the most hard-wearing.

If you own 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.

Read more about the Groote Schuur project on the World Design Capital website: here.

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Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Squares

By Marica

A couple of weeks ago Heather of Skinny laMinx introduced a brand new, quirky item to her gorgeous product range –  DIY Fabric Squares! Upon seeing this, Rose and I immediately starting making groot planne (that’s “big plans” for those who are Afrikaans-challenged). I absolutely adore the pink & red colour mix and Rose lost her heart on the green & blue number – in fact she has two easy chairs in her living room earmarked for a “patchy” re-upholstery.

The DIY squares consist of various Skinny fabric offcuts sorted into colour groups like Reds & Pinks, Yellows, Black & White, etc. Each pack contains fifty 15 x 15cm (6″ x 6″) squares and if stitched together, you’ll get a panel approximately 1m  (3’3”) square.

Just think of the beautiful patchwork quilt you can make of this!!

You can find the Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Square pack in her shop on Bree street, or purchase it online through her website or Etsy.

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{Images via Skinny laMinx}

Mother’s Day: Floral Delight

By Marica

Last week Rose and I had a good ole chat about our individual families’ go-to ways of celebrating Mother’s Day. Other than a gift or brunch, flowers seem to be the favourite choice. Why not – it is easy and relatively inexpensive. One should just be cautious of being tiresome. Yes, it is easy – just don’t limit yourself to the same humdrum generic options.

I challenge you to take a fresh approach to your floral arrangement this year. Please don’t run into the nearest grocery store and pick the bunch closest to the door – give it some extra thought… give it some sentiment. Now, I know what you are all thinking but extra “thought” does not necessarily equate to extra money. Bigger is also not always better.  There is no need to be overly extravagant… except of course if you are the type of person who brags about the amount of money they spent – then by all means fork it out.

Nevertheless, whether you spent fifty bucks or five hundred, make it unique and make it personal.

Here is a few other ideas:

Consider the person: Do you know your mom’s favourite flowers? What about her favourite colour? Maybe a flower that will remind her of a special event in her life, something meaningful to her.

Consider the vase or container: Go for something like a pretty teapot, vintage tin, metal bucket or something unexpected. If you are buying a pre-made bunch then at least buy some lovely paper, string and ribbon (or washi tape) to make to make it unique.

Consider the arrangement: Mix it up, don’t stick to one type of flower, select a couple of complementary flowers and add some foliage and greenery (sometimes I think the foliage is prettier than the actual flowers)!

Consider ditching the bouquet: Want something completely different? Buy a variety of flowers and arrange them in individual containers (like glass bottles, jars, or tins). A friend of mine snuck into her mum’s home one Mother’s Day and arranged the most beautiful floral vignette on the fireplace mantle. Imagine mum waking up to find a gorgeous floral “shrine” in her living room!

Consider going permanent: get a potted plant in quirky pot – something that will bless your mum year in and out.

Try finding a florist or wholesaler that have a variety to offer. We have a lovely florist in our area – it’s more of a flower “warehouse” really. They have the most beautiful pre-made bouquets or you can go into their cold rooms and pick the individual flowers you would like to purchase or have a bouquet made of. If you are in the Northern Suburbs areas check them out: Bunches for Africa.

So what are you doing for Mother’s Day? Also planning to buy some flowers?

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Faux Plate Placemats!

Sera Holland of Handmade By Me added these quirky new products to the homeware family- reusable placemats sets. They are available in four unique designs – two which feature her own Fly Away Birds & Pretty Proteas designs and two with a very beautiful faux plate designs. Rose has already earmarked the Delft placemats as her favourite while I quite fancy the oriental ones – perfect for a pretty dinner party table setting!

I asked Sera how on earth she came up with this funky concept, to which she replied: The idea started when I wanted to have delft plates for the dinner at my wedding (I am obsessed!!). But I couldn’t afford to go out and just buy a whole bunch of plates, so I came up with the idea of printing the image of the plate onto paper, and then using that as a placemat so that the image would frame the plate and you would still get the effect.

These placemats are locally made from card which has been carefully laminated so that they can be reused over again. A set of four placemats (of the dame design) can be purchased from the Handmade By Me online shop, Etsy and various other stockists.

Depending on the range’s success, Sera is also hoping to add a few children’s designs to her placemat range in the future – such fun.

What do you guys & gals think – any favourites? Be sure to take a closer look on the Handmade By Me website!