Swan Café Crêperie | Interior by Haldane Martin

Swan Café: A Bit of French Heaven

by Marica Fick

Two months ago, VISI shared a quick article on a gorgeous new crêperie that recently opened its doors in the Cape Town CBD.  The accompanying images of the interiors were so lovely, bold, and striking that I immediately knew that this was a space I just HAVE to see in the flesh.

Located on the corner of Buitenkant and Barrack streets, in the bustling east city precinct, Swan Café boasts of being Cape Town’s first authentic Parisian Crêperie. One can thank the overseeing hand of owner and restaurateur Jessica Rushmere for this authenticity as she is French – born and bred. Jessica, who also owns La Petite Tarte in the Cape Quarter, desired to bring a slice of Paris culture and food to Cape Town.

The interiors were skilfully designed by Haldane Martin. Interestingly enough, Haldane also designed the super cool steampunk interiors of Truth Coffee which is just across the street from Swan Café.

Swan Café Crêperie | Interior by Haldane Martin
interior design: Haldane Martin   |  photographer: Micky Hoyle

Taking queue from the gorgeous swan logo, designed by graphic designer and illustrator Heidi Chisholm, the space features a bold and patriotic blend of blue, red and white.

The bold blue walls and beautiful monochromatic wallpapers serve as a gorgeous backdrop to the space. The side wall features the well-known Renaissance painting “Leda and the Swan” by Leonardo da Vinci, while the back wall is that of Jean-Léon Gérôme’s “Leda and the Swan”.
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Decorating Dilemmas: The DO’S & DON’TS

by Marica Fick

Earlier this month Rose was offered the opportunity to do a 5-minute speaker slot at an XtraOrdinary Women network meeting. During the 5 minutes, the speaker gets the chance to briefly chat about their business or share something thought-provoking concerning their industry or trade. It is an excellent bite-sized marketing tool.

A day or two before the meeting, Rose and I sat down and put our heads together. A few ideas were bounced around. We really wanted to keep the subject light, fresh and relatable. What could we possibly chat about? There is only so much that can be said in 5 minutes…

Then we had it! We decided to chat about “decorating dilemmas” and include a few common decorating do’s and don’ts. The topic was a massive success! We, therefore, just had to share these points with you here on our blog.

Let’s start with the decorating don’ts…

Decorating Dilemma’s: The DO’S & DON’TS
source: Design Monarchy

9 Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

One of the services we as Design Monarchy offer is site consultations. Rose and I frequently get called out to consult on a home or space where the owner has reached their wit’s end. On arrival, we often encounter the same decorating blunders over and over again. The house, owner, year, trend, and location can all be different, but the blunders are always the same.

Here are some of the most common decorating mistakes we’ve noticed:

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Happy Mandela Day

A Happy Mandela Day to All South Africans Wherever They Might Find Themselves Labouring Today.

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. Each year Mandela Day challenges us to spend 67mins to create positive change and improve the world around us.

This year, South Africa will mark the centenary of the life of our Nation’s founding father Nelson Mandela under the theme: “Be the legacy”. The celebration is a major milestone in the incredible story of Madiba and our Nation’s journey.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day. What are you doing to make the world a better place? Here are a few small ways you can celebrate Mandela Day as suggested by the United Nations: see here.

TAKE ACTION. INSPIRE CHANGE. MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY.

Mandela Day

Decorating Quick Tip | Old Drawer Turned Wall Storage

Quick Tip #54: Old Drawer Wall Storage

Let’s continue with our “cool things to do with old drawers” Decor Quick Tip miniseries, shall we? As mentioned previously, this is but one of the many clever and quirky dresser drawer DIY ideas we’ve stumbled across. We are really enjoying this playful series! Be sure to check out the previous drawer tips, “Old Drawer Turned Table”, “Under Bed Drawer Storage” and “Old Drawer Turned Tray” … just in case you missed it.

#54  Looking for a fun way to add additional storage to your space? Why not repurpose an old and unwanted dresser drawer into upcycled wall storage. Attach the bottom of your drawer (or a grouping of drawers) to the wall to create a quirky and eye-catching wall shelf. You can use it to display decorative items or as a catch-all storage for everyday things like keys and letters. To further enhance your drawer’s appeal give it a lick of bright paint and apply an attractive wallpaper or wrapping paper to the inside of the drawer bottom. For a slightly different effect, attach the back of a drawer to the wall to create a cantilevered wall box – drawer front and handle facing out. Use it to store and display books, plants, or even toiletries and towels in the bathroom. It can even serve as quirky bedside storage (as shown above).

Images Sources: 12 3

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles

by Marica Fick

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.

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles
Love this dark and dramatic navy blue hexagonal tile used for this kitchen backsplash. | source: Fireclay Tile

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.

So, let’s chat a little more about this trend…

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Decorating Dictionary: Define Flat Pack Furniture

Decorating Dictionary: Flat Pack Furniture

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.

[Image Sources: Artifox, Spaas]