8 Trendy & Chic Rattan Furniture Items for Your Home

by Marica Fick

As we mentioned in the Trend Alert post we shared a couple of weeks ago – RATTAN is back and in a big way! Talk about a 70s blast from the past! What is next – Macrame and Moroccan shag-pile rugs?! Oh wait… that already happened too! Gotta love the cyclic nature of home and decor trends.

The element I most enjoy about the trend’s current incarnation is that it fuses vintage rattan pieces with new, contemporary designs. These fresh designs are slightly more simplified – almost minimal in a way.

While researching our Trend Alert article, I was surprised to see how quickly the rattan trend has spread to the South African retail market. This is something that usually happens at a snail’s pace. A quick online search of our local furniture and homeware stores delivered a lovely selection of gorgeous rattan and cane pieces. This is good news for those who want to incorporate rattan elements into their interior space.

SO, for all you lovers of rattan and cane, here is our round-up of trendy, chic, and beautifully contemporary rattan furniture pieces for your home…Read More »

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Trend Alert: Rattan

Trend Alert: Rattan

by Marica Fick

Well, hello my old friend! I am not only talking to you, our patient and longsuffering readers, but also to Rattan! Hello Rattan, I haven’t seen you since the 80s…

I have been meaning to write this Trend Alert post for quite some time. However, as the last quarter of the year is our industry’s silly season, Rose and I have been in the very thick of design and decorating work and projects. Fortunately, as we have now successfully handed off some of our projects, we can turn our attention to a (very long overdue) blog post – YAY!

Trend Alert: Rattan
These rattan furniture pieces provide some texture and visual interest to this lovely and bright Scandi apartment in Stockholm. | source: Stadshem via The Style Files

Since this particular Trend Alert article has been sitting half-finished in my draft folder for SO long, it is not much of an “Alert” but more of an after-the-fact “I am sure you have all noticed”. But hey, now we can happily chat about it together!

We have seen rattan furniture and decorative accessories creep back unto the interiors radar a couple of years ago – probably at the same time as the big Bohemian interior trend. Now, rattan is everywhere. Furthermore, once a trend makes its merry way to the sluggish South African retail market you know it is a big hit.

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

Read More »

Decorating Dictionary: Lacquer

Decorating Dictionary: Lacquer

What is the definition of Lacquer?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term “lacquer” or a “lacquered finish” and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define lacquer for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Lacquer: is a clear or coloured hard-wearing furniture coating with an intense high-gloss finish. The word “lacquer” borrows its name from the lac insect whose shellac-rich resinous secretions (think nail polish) were often used as a wood finish in ancient India. Lacquerwork is also synonymous with the ancient East Asians who used the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree to achieve a durable, shiny glaze. Today lac-based finishes are likely to be referred to as shellac, while lacquer is comprised of more synthetic substances.

[Image Sources: Alexandra Ribar, Painted by Kayla, Domino]

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”.
Read More »

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:

Read More »

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