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 »

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 »

6 Industrial Chic Bedside Pedestals | via The Design Tabloid

6 Industrial Chic Bedside Pedestals for Your Home

by Marica Fick

Finding the right bedside pedestal for your bedroom can be quite a difficult task. I have experienced this firsthand. I have been on the hunt trying to source a suitable bedside table for our guest bedroom which we are in the process of revamping.

There are so many factors to consider – most of which comes down to functionality and personal preference. Are you strapped for space and need something slimline or can your available space allow for a bigger bedside unit? Do you prefer a bedside table with storage? If so drawer(s), door, or pigeonhole basket? Then there is table top space – do you have the space for a decent bedside reading light while leaving enough room to plop down your book, phone and other bedside necessities?Read More »

10 Beautiful Bar Carts

10 Beautiful Bar Carts

by Marica Fick

The bar cart and drink cabinet is back and back in a big way. Never mind taking a “shelfie” for your Instagram feed – rather take a snap of your trendy perfectly-curated bar cart.

Strange as it may sound, the perfect bar cart is not all about the booze. In this recent revival the concept of a bar cart or drinks cabinet has become a far more decorative element than in decades past.

The original bar cart was actually nothing more than a dressed-up tea trolley  – we can thank the Victorians for that novel idea.

The end of Prohibition in the 1930s ushered in a drinks revolution. Silver screen heavyweights like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly were often seen stylishly sipping an Old Fashioned next to a stocked bar cart. Hollywood glamour at its finest.

The bar cart reached the apex of its popularity in the 1950s, when hosting was an art and cocktail hour a daily occurrence observed by chic ladies and dapper gents.

Then, somewhere down the line, the idea of booze on display became a little tacky and passé. Bar carts were left empty to gather dust in the attic.

Today, the bar cart / drinks cabinet has seen an unexpected revival, some say in no small part thanks to the handsome Don Draper of Mad Men. Well, whatever the cause, the bar cart can serve as a lovely decorative focal point in your home.

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: the everygirl  |  styling: Alaina Kaczmarski

Here Are Our 10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Cocktail Station:

Find the Sweet Spot:

Not only is it functional, it can also be just the accent piece your entertaining space was missing. It tucks effortlessly into small nooks or awkward corners. Find a spot in your living space that can easily serve multiple areas when entertaining guests – somewhere between your lounge, dining, and outside braai / patio area.

Cart or Cabinet:

You can go either cart or cabinet. The benefit of a cart is that you can move it around as needed, whereas the cabinet is more streamline and can stow a lot more items and keep your glassware dust-free. Either way, you don’t have to fork out huge amounts of cash to find the perfect piece. Flea markets and second-hand shops are a good kick-off point. An old mid-century dresser or inherited cabinet can also be transformed into a decent drinks cabinet. If all else fails you can always “hack a cheapie”.

Divide and Conquer:

As with all display units or open shelves, keeping your bar cart organised is of utmost importance. Divide your cart into various sections – devote each section to a particular necessity, be that glassware, bottles, cocktail-making items or decorative elements.

Less is More:

In keeping with the tip above, it is essential not to overstock or clutter your cart. Keep only the most-used and prettiest liquor bottles on top, the rest can be stowed away until needed.

All That Glitter Is Glass:

Add an elegant sparkle to your bar cart with a collection of pretty wine glasses, cut crystal tumblers or rimmed champagne glasses. Once again, don’t overload your cart – a few of each type of glass will do. Want something eye-catching? Then forget about buying a matching set of everything, an eclectic yet coordinated blend of glassware is far more interesting!

Gadgets and Doodads:

Every bar cart worth its salt should contain some tools of the cocktail-making process. Bottle openers, coasters, cocktail shakers, bottle stoppers, jiggers, strainers, muddlers, drink stirrers, cocktail picks, and whiskey stones can all find a home on your cart. Beautiful and ornate cocktail tools in finishes like copper and gold can add a further decorative layer to your drinks cabinet.

Pretty It Up:

As I mentioned before, the bar cart is not just about booze anymore. Fresh flowers, decorative objects, candle sticks, framed art, pot plants, lighting – add a personal touch on and around your cart that will unify it with your chosen interior style.

Add Some Reading Material:

Break the monotony of your drink-centric bar cart with some lovely coffee table books or cocktail recipe books. Not only will it come in handy when you are searching for the perfect method for making a Moscow Mule, you can also leisurely page through your favourite publication while sipping your after-work drink.

Stock It Up:

The trick is to have a selection of basic liquors. No need to fill your bar cart with what you think you should have – rather carefully think about what you like to drink and what you most probably will be serving. You can always fill it out for special occasions like New Year’s celebrations or parties.

Vignette and a Tray:

Now that you have all the necessary functional and decorative items to create a good-looking drinks trolley it is time to style it. The best way to do this is to create a beautiful and balanced decorative arrangement or “vignette”. If you need some tips on creating a perfect vignette, see our post: here. Oh, and don’t forget to use the decorator’s organisational best friend – the tray.

source: Therese Winberg

source: vtwonen  |  photo: Rolinda Windhorst  |  styling: Leonie Mooren & Liza Wassenaar

source: BrittanyMakes (The Vintage Rug Shop)

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: MyDomaine  |  photo: Charissa Fay  |  styling: Becca Interiors

source: Refinery29  |  photo: Julia Robbs  |  styling: Kelly Lack

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: Anthropologie via Southern Arrond

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: RueMag  |  photo: Laure Joliet  |  styling: Jessica McClendon

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: RueMag  |  photo & styling: Michelle Walker

source: Domino  |  photo: Michael Wiltbank  |  styling: Jessica Hendricks Yee

source: Tina Ramchandani

Block & Chisel: Behind the Scenes

When you walk into a retail decorating outlet such as Block & Chisel (in our case Cape Town) or any other shop that sells quality furniture, I have to wonder how many of us stop to appreciate the “behind the scenes” activities that has gone into each piece of furniture on that shop floor.

Generally, we only deal with what we see in front of us and mostly we remain unaware of the journey that some pieces have taken, from conception of the design, through production, to what you see in front of you.  I guess shopping for anything rarely requires such awareness, be it a fashion item, household item or anything for that matter. We may well be more appreciative of price points, if we did in fact shop with more awareness.

Today however, I want to share with you via this video of Block & Chisel – what happens behind the scenes in a furniture manufacturing company. Over the course of my long career in this trade, while working for furniture manufacturers, I have often been privileged to spend time on the factory floor. There is a scene in the video of a craftsman running his hands over the wooden piece.  It took me right back to my short lived term of working for Pierre Cronje. I recall standing watching him and those craftsmen ply their trade with such tender passion for wood, and the craft.  I hope you pick up on the beauty of these craftsman’s applied skills – all respect to those who work their craft behind the scenes.

“Live Life Beautifully” – add something special into your space.

P.S. Just a quick FYI… This is not a sponsored post. In fact none of our posts are sponsored. We share this and others because they add value to our appreciation of interior elements.