Our Quirky KARE Wish List

by Marica Fick

Quirky, off-beat, unique, out-of-the-box, and sometimes… just plain weird. Those are just some of the terms that come to mind when trying to describe KARE‘s unusual style of furniture and decorative accessories.

Never heard of them? No sweat, we’ll give a quick introduction to this European design cult brand…

KARE describes themselves as an unconventional furniture company which strictly rejects run-of-the-mill concepts. Instead, they strive to create an innovative range of unique, non-conformist and authentic furniture pieces.

Friends, Jürgen Reiter and Peter Schönhofen, established KARE in 1981 as a quirky alternative after being frustrated with the either terribly drab or elitist furniture market of the time.

For unconventional and romantic spirits, for the wild and the style-conscious, for birds of paradise and all those who cast off all constraints when it comes to furnishing their own home.

AND, it just so happens that KARE has recently opened its first ever store in Joburg, South Africa! So all this weird, quirky fun could be yours!

Read More »

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy

Our Work: Chan Wela Beauty Spa

by Rose McClement

I’m sitting here wondering how to get this article off the ground? Where do I begin? I’m a bit of a storyteller. So I’m wondering, should I start with “Once upon a Time”? …Nah! Not this time around. I’ll leave that for when I write my book. All I ask right now is that you try to stay with me until “The End”.

Back in September 2017, Design Monarchy was commissioned to assist with the interior design and project management of Chan Wela, a nail bar and beauty salon. I’ve always maintained that whether you design for residential, hotel, retail, or any other interior space, the processes and the principles are always the same. That being said, the interior design of a nail and beauty salon was a first for us, yet we were very keen and excited to get on with it.

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
Chan Wela Beauty Spa’s manicure bar in Century City, Cape Town. Don’t you just LOVE the gorgeous mint velvet fabric we sourced for the manicure chairs? It was a very hard find!

Before I go any further, I think that it would be appropriate to open up the meaning of the Salon’s name. “Chan Wela” is Thai for “me time”.  To this day, I still find the name and its meaning very enchanting.

There were two major challenges that we faced with this project. First off – the timeframe was extremely tight. The Salon’s PR driven celebrity launch party was to be on the 28th of November. From the time that the deal was agreed upon to the big evening’s launch party, we basically had two months! In that time, we had to tackle challenge number two: converting a typically bland office space, in a typical office block complex, into a compelling top-of-the-range, fully-equipped, upmarket beauty salon. NO pressure!

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
The Pedicure station featured some beautiful plush and comfy wingback chairs upholstered in a stunning soft pink velvet.

The construction and building process of a project and converting an interior space is always a time-sensitive issue. The processes are all time-consuming – stress trigger points deluxe! Always! If you are planning an interior upgrade, please, factor in sufficient time.Read More »

Decorating Quick Tip | Old Drawer Turned Tray

Quick Tip #53: Old Drawer Turned Tray

Today we continue our “awesome stuff to do with old drawers” Decor Quick Tip miniseries. As I mentioned previously, we have found many of these clever and unusual dresser drawer DIY ideas. These tips are so quirky and playful, we are really enjoying the series thus far! Be sure to check out the previous drawer tips, “Old Drawer Turned Table” and “Under Bed Drawer Storage“… just in case you missed it.

#53  Looking for a quick and easy DIY weekend project? Repurpose an old and unwanted dresser drawer into an upcycled storage tray. Both functional and decorative, it is perfect for creating a decorative coffee table vignette or to serve as a quirky drinks tray. Choose your drawer wisely. For this particular DIY undertaking a shallow, box-like drawer (i.e. a drawer without an overlapping drawer front) will work best. Give your drawer a bright lick of paint or leave it natural or distressed if you prefer a rustic or Shabby Chic style. Add an interesting knob or handle that will complement your chosen style. 

Images Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

Decorating Dictionary - Define Hygge

Decorating Dictionary: Hygge

What is the definition of Hygge?

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

Hygge: (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is a Danish term, or rather philosophy, that refers to a sense of cosiness, comfort, hospitality, and a general feeling of contentment, happiness, and well-being. Hygge, which can be used as both a noun and a verb, is a cultural ideal and can be closely linked to social togetherness.  The term is also widely used in Norwegian and is fast becoming a global expression. In view of its unique and relatable meaning, the interiors industry has latched onto Hygge as it personifies the subtle comfort and cosiness of certain spaces.

Watch this video on Hygge…

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com

Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors

by Marica Fick

You don’t have to pour over every single one of our blog posts to know that Marica loves loads of colour in a bright, white space. The white-on-white interior trend, inspired by those lovely bright Scandinavian spaces, has long been an industry darling. While a white backdrop will always be a popular go-to choice, the past year we have seen the winds changing.

People are starting to yearn for something a bit more substantial … darker, moody. If there was one home trend that seemed to eclipse the others this past year, it was the gradual shift towards dark and rich tones.

Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com
source: Adore Magazine

Even I, lover of white, have succumbed to the inky siren’s call. Maybe it is the approaching cold of winter that has me longing for a dark and cosy nest.

I think, however, the element that finally convinced me to move to the “dark side” was the deep jewel tones often paired with these inky interiors. The only thing I love more than a white backdrop is an array of bold jewel colours.

In fact, that is one thing that most trend predictors agreed on last year – the insurgence of vibrant jewel tones. The beauty of these gemstone colours is that they are bold, loud and impossible to ignore in a room. It instantly fills the room in with warmth and drama.Read More »

Decorating Quick Tip | Old Drawer Turned Table

Quick Tip #52: Old Drawer Turned Table

Last year we concluded 2017’s Decor Quick Tips on a high note. For those who can recall, it was the very fun idea of transforming old dresser drawers into quirky under-bed storage units. I have since stumbled upon so many clever DIY ideas on things to do with old dresser drawers – enough to keep us knee-deep in interesting tips for a good few months! So, without further ado, here is the latest playful tip in our “awesome stuff to do with old drawers” Decor Quick Tip miniseries…

#52  Have any old and unwanted dresser drawers gathering dust in the shed? Hold a sec before you toss it! Why not repurpose that old drawer into a quirky side table. All you have to do is attach some salvaged legs to the bottom of your drawer (even the folding legs of a TV tray would work). The style of your upcycled table will take cue from the drawer and legs you choose to use. Attach some tapering wooden cone legs for a Mid-century feel or use metal filing drawers for a more Industrial look. Give your drawer a fresh coat of paint or leave it natural or distressed if that is your chosen style. Choose a knob or handle that will complement your chosen table legs. 

Images Sources: The Driftwood HomeDecor Viva! & Happy Together.