Friday Finds: ZCafe Rope Dining Chair

Currently Coveting: ZCafe Rope Dining Chair

by Marica Fick

I recently fell in love.

Who, you might ask, has captured my heart? Well, my dear readers, it is not a who but rather a WHAT. You see, I have fallen in design-love. My eyes have been a-wandering and my heart has been a-coveting.

Last month I was doing a little bit of online research and sourcing for our blog article, 10 Sleek & Chic Bar Cabinets for Your Home. The search for some locally-designed bar cabinets led me to Egg Designs where I not only found their eye-catching Parquet Cabinet (featured in our post), but also a gorgeous chair that had me crushing hard.

The ZCafe Rope Chair is a gorgeous dining chair with a funky, contemporary African-chic feel. The chair has an almost tub chair-like design with a steel frame that features a woven two-tone rope back and a brown leather seat. I found the various colour combinations especially beautiful. The copper frame with turquoise and orange nylon rope detail must be my personal favourite… although the black, burgundy and yellow combination is just as lovely.Read More »

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South African Design Industry Mourns Carrol Boyes

by Rose McClement

Some news you just don’t expect to hear, something like a curveball coming your way. It takes your breath away and leaves you wondering “WHAT just happened?!” That is how I felt yesterday afternoon when Marica sent me a message telling of the passing of one of South Africa’s great design creative legends, Carrol Boyes.

Mourning her passing today feels much akin to two other instances we have had to say goodbye to SA legends – Nelson Mandela and, more recently, Johnny Clegg. Carrol Boyes is such a household name, not only in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa but also globally. Her incredibly ingenious brand of decorative, yet functional homeware is instantly recognizable – the perfect fusion between art and function.

In the official announcement posted on the Carrol Boyes Facebook page yesterday, the company shared the following beautiful tribute:

Carrol enriched many lives in multiple ways. She instilled an unconventional approach to business and her message to her staff was ‘I have had such fun with you and you have enriched my life greatly. Please remember that we do things differently here. Never be ordinary – be extraordinary and throw in a bit of naughtiness every now and then and keep laughing. Never lose your sense of humour.

Carrol will be remembered for her love, her story and her quirky creativity. Carrol leaves our nation with a legacy of excellence, unity, empowerment and pioneering functional art. She will be greatly missed.

Instead of going into detail about her history or legendary work, I’ll rather leave you with the video shared above. I feel that the video, in which Carrol speaks of herself, her work, and her business, says more than I can hope to bring across.

We as a Cape Town / South African interior design company and blog would like to use this opportunity to pay tribute to her and her celebrated designs and product. I’ve absolutely no doubt whatsoever, that her legend will live on vibrantly through her creative brand as they continue to produce iconic works of functional art well into the future.

Our thoughts are with her family, loved ones, friends, her community, her employees, and anyone who mourns Carrol’s passing. Warmest condolences to them.

Andrew James Hofmeyr - Artist Illustrator

Creative SA: Andrew James Hofmeyr

by Marica

VISI recently shared a post on their website that piqued our interest. Printing and photography studio ORMS launched their own boutique range of wallpapers.

For this limited-edition collection, ORMS collaborated with 16 local creatives – South African artists, illustrators and designers – to create a lovely selection of unique and show-stopping wallpaper designs.

One of the motivating factors behind the launch of this exclusive range is that ORMS believe their clients are looking for individual designs with local flavour rather than the generic image spread offered by stock libraries.  “We get a lot of requests for custom-printed wallpaper designs, as our customers are wanting something unique for their homes and businesses,” says Leanne Barling, Head of Décor Printing at ORMS.

Andrew James Hofmeyr - Artist Illustrator

The artists involved in the collaboration are Ahimsa Ali, Aimee Hall, Andrea Brand, Andrew Hofmeyr, ARK Paper Studio, Cecile Nowars, Fleur Le Cordeur, Frances White, Gany Beyers, Liffey Joy, Katie Lund, Lisa Strachan, Maria Baumann, Mariette Kotze, Nicole Carr and Si Maclennan.

While all the wallpaper designs are absolutely lovely, the work of one artist, in particular, jumped out at us. It was the playful, quirky and utterly whimsical designs of artist and illustrator Andrew James Hofmeyr.Read More »

Creative SA: Zana

Creative SA: Zana

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Marica Fick

Today we want to share the gorgeous products of Cape Town-based creative studio, Zana, with you.

Zana produces beautiful screen-printed products – textiles, bags, cushions, and other fashion and home accessories but to name a few of their “giftables”. Their trendy graphic designs are bold and fun with a definite Scandi flair.

“We love to create things that pack a punch and give you that hair-blowing-back, confetti-bomb experience. We are in love with colour, pattern and typography. This is really what gets us inspired.”

– ZanaRead More »

Block & Chisel

Creative SA: Block & Chisel

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Marica Fick

The South African creatives we want to share with you today are very special indeed. Block & Chisel is celebrating an extraordinary milestone this year. 2017 marks the furniture and homeware company’s 30th anniversary – which is no small achievement for any business. They are one of the few local creatives who have built their business into a powerful, recognised local brand. One might even call them a furniture and decor dynasty.

We here at Design Monarchy hold Block & Chisel and their founders, Lynn & Sibley McAdam, in very high regard. The way in which they have developed and grown their product range over the decades is admirable.

The husband and wife team first began this journey after Lynn sold Biggie Best. With Lynn’s eye for beautiful pieces together with Sibley’s passion for restoring antiques and crafting fine furniture, Block & Chisel was born. The past 15 years has seen Block & Chisel welcome the McAdams’s son and daughter into the fold.

I, as a relatively “green” designer, love when Rose, who has been in the South African decorating industry for decades, enlightens me on the history of certain creatives and local design-related businesses. Block & Chisel is such a business – Rose can distinctly remember when they first opened their doors in 1987. Now 30 years later they own multiple successful shops.

Block & Chisel fills a very distinctive niche in the furniture and decorative accessories market. Their flavour is distinctly upmarket. They manage to create this delicious mix of eclectic, luxury, traditional but also contemporary, trendy yet timeless, oh-so-chic elements.

While Block & Chisel has their fingers firmly on the global interior trend pulse, they stay rooted in the company’s slightly colonial foundation which is evident in their classic French and English Country ranges.

Sibley first introduced these designs in the early years and to this day, it still forms the backbone of the Block & Chisel product range. In recent years more contemporary designs have been added. Lynn expertly accents these locally manufactured pieces with carefully chosen treasures to create an overall eclectic flair.

It is always such a treat and sensory experience to visit Block & Chisel in Diep River where we often shop and source for our clients. Not only does the showroom smell amazing, it is also filled with layer upon layer of the most beautiful furniture and decorative accessories. The showroom layout and various room settings tell such a wonderful decorative “story”.

We believe the key to Block & Chisel’s success (other than their visionary and talented owners) is longevity. Longevity, not only in their product ranges, but also in their business model. They keep evolving and reinventing to cater to their chosen market. And that is what we appreciate most about Block & Chisel.

Be sure to check out the Block & Chisel to see their full range of furniture & decorative accessories.

You can also follow Block & Chisel on FacebookInstagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

Creative SA: Lulasclan

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Marica Fick

Today we would like to introduce you to the bright and bold creations of Lulasclan Design Studio.

Lulasclan (or Lula’s Clan) is the brainchild of Bonolo Helen Chepape, a Joburg based creative with a background in graphic design. While the Lulasclan style is steeped in Bonolo’s African heritage, it undeniably has a strong contemporary appeal. Bonolo refers to this style as “New African” – a fresh and chic interpretation on African design.

Following her passion, Bonolo left her 9-to-5 last November striking out on her own to form Lulasclan. It is in fact amazing to see how far she has come in such a short period of time – a true testament that one should heed Passion’s call.

Lulasclan recently launched a collection of scatter cushions titled “AfricanWest”. True to its name, the designs feature a marriage of African and “Western” motifs. Finding inspiration in the leaded lines of stained glass windows often found in Roman Cathedrals, Bonolo fused it with the shapes and bold colours of the traditional patterns of the Nguni people.

I am however even more taken with funky designs of Lulasclan’s previous scatter cushion range. The “Meet the Other Side of Africa” collection was launched end last year and features the retro-tastic portraits of several modish African ladies.

The series is said to celebrate Women. Each cushion, each woman, has her own inspiring story and individual characteristics. These scatters have a distinct Pop Art flavour and the use of pattern and colour within the designs are quite striking.

I think what appeals to me most about Lulasclan is the masterful fusion of two worlds and cultures. Her chic designs perfectly illustrate how African aesthetics can find a voice and global appeal in the contemporary design market.

Be sure to check out the Lulasclan website to see their full range of scatters.

You can also follow Lulasclan on FacebookInstagramTwitter.