Category Archives: Furniture

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.

 

Home Must Have: Stunning Velvet Sofas

Want to know what is on this interior designer’s personal home upgrade wish list?

A gorgeous, dramatic velvet sofa.

Preferably in a bold jewel tone colour – like a striking teal, emerald or amethyst pink.

I swoon every time a scroll through my Pinterest feed and spot another beautiful brightly-hued velvet sofa. There is just something so beautifully decadent about a velvet sofa – it’s almost theatrical. It is probably because velvet is synonymous with luxury and opulence. Rose recently sourced a stunning sapphire blue velvet sofa for a client of ours. I cannot even begin to describe to you how amazing it looked.

Maybe it is the colder months or the fact that velvet is so amazingly tactile that is driving my velvet sofa desire. I just want to curl up on one with a good book and a throw. Or maybe stroke it ever so gently… I promise I’m not weird.

Until a few years ago velvet was used quite sparingly as it had a reputation of being somewhat “gauche”. I mean, I’m sure we all had a grandma or great aunt with a ratty velvet sofa in her lounge.  Now velvet is experiencing a trendy revival… and I would give my right arm for my Gran’s ratty vintage velvet sofa.

Although velvet looks smashing on any style of sofa, I think there is something extra dramatic and seductive about a velvet sofa in a slightly more classical / traditional style. Take a Chesterfield or English Roll-Arm sofa for instance – it is as if it was made to be decked out in plush velvet. Maybe it is all the curves and deep-buttoning.

I did a quick online search to see what is available locally and was quite disappointed with the selection. I guess if I ever want to get a velvet sofa for my living room I would have to have it custom made trough on of Design Monarchy’s trusty suppliers.

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Swedish Elle blogger Elsa Billgren shared a couple of snaps of her Stockholm apartment. The crowning jewel of the living room would have to be this gorgeous green velvet sofa. The sofa from Ikea is appropriately called the “Stockholm” sofa and its slight Mid-Century Modern lines works perfectly in Elsa’s Scandi styled flat.  |  Photo: Beata Holmgren

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Interior designer Harriet Anstruther made sure to add some punch to her bright 1840’s London town house with this bold pink velvet sofa. The use of black and white makes for a dramatic colour combination.  |  Photo: Paul Raeside via housetohome

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Oh my, how I love stylist Emily Henderson‘s use of colour! Here, in the studio of Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, she had a quirky little retro sofa upholstered in a beautiful emerald velvet and paired it with hot pink velvet easy chairs. Do yourself a favour and pop over to Emily’s blog to see the rest of Joy’s studio – it is SERIOUSLY envy-worthy!  |  Photo: Zeke Ruelas

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I cannot tell you how much I love this bold red deep-buttoned velvet sofa in the pink-walled living room of New York interior designer, Miles Redd. Miles, who is known for his quirky brand of cosy glamour used to be the creative director of Oscar de la Renta Home.

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Love the touches of yellow New York interior design firm, Tilton Fenwick, used to complement this blue velvet deep-buttoned (or “tuffed” as the Yanks call it) sofa in this Greenwich Village Loft. | Photo: Trevor Tondro

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Another Mid-century Modern inspired velvet sofa, this one from Urban Outfitters. What would you call this colour? Chartreuse? BTW – can you believe this one is a sleeper couch?

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What an absolute statement this mustard-coloured velvet English Roll-Arm sofa by Rose & Grey makes! And it looks SO comfy too!

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This velvet sofa might actually be my favourite – a striking deep-buttoned Chesterfield style sofa with slightly sloped rolled arms – in a delicious deep purple of course! It is called the “Darcy” sofa from UK furniture manufactures, Arlo & Jacob.  |  Photo via Dear Designer

What do you think about these gorgeous velvet sofas? Are you going to add a velvet sofa to your home “must-have” list like I did? 

Get This Look: Industrial Home Bar

By Marica

Get The Look: Industrial Home Bar

After last month’s Trend Alert post about black metal we thought to put together a little “Get The Look” article featuring a prominent black metal item just to illustrate how edgy and striking this interior trend is.

I found this super cool and beautifully styled industrial setup on Stylizimo. It is from the gorgeous Scandinavian home of blogger, artist and all round interior design enthusiast, Nina Holst. Nina created this space to serve as additional storage in her dining area. I took one look at the metal cabinet and the glasses inside it and thought: “that would make one sleek sexy Industrial-style bar cabinet for your home!” Just add decanters and wine bottles on top of the cabinet and store all you glasses and cocktail making goodies inside. 

Making this Industrial-styled bar cabinet scene your own is quite easy. Here is the furniture and décor items you will need to achieve this look:

GET THIS LOOK:

1. This large elegant glass bell jar with wooden base can be a beautiful decorative feature – just place a succulent or small ornament inside.  |  {where to buy: @Home}

2. I adore this broody portrait of “Mrs Mia Wallace” by talented Londen-based illustrator Ruben Ireland. It can be purchased online – either framed or unframed – but I would definitely go for a gorgeous black box frame.  |  {where to buy: Superbalist}

3. This edgy fine art print of an original watercolour skull by artist Jessica Rowe will add the trendy focal point needed to make this space unforgettable.  |  {where to buy: Superbalist}

4. The monochromatic setup needs a bit of greenery to break the monotony. A succulent is a good low-maintenance choice. Although plastic greenery is definitely second prize, those with who struggle to keep anything green alive can opt for a artificial plant like this one. At least the paint-dipped concrete planter is pretty cool!  |  {where to buy: Mr Price Home}

5. The most important element in achieving this interior look is the striking black metal industrial cabinet. I could not believe my luck when I found something similar locally!  |  {where to buy: @Home}

6. ADD THIS: Glass terrariums are all the rage! This beautiful diamond-shaped terrarium with its lead-trimmed glass panes will fit this industrial home bar scene like a glove.  |  {where to buy: Down2Earth}

7. If you want to add a bit of understated glitz to your bar cabinet, exchange the white tray for this gold one. Remember trays are excellent tools to create successful decor vignettes or to keep your clutter organised. Pop your collection of liquor bottles and decanters on the tray to take this drinks cabinet to the next level.  |  {where to buy: H&M}

 

Concrete Is Still Hot: 10 Beautiful Designs to Prove It!

The concrete trend has been with us for more than five years. Part of me is quite surprised that it has not yet faded away to join all the other micro-trends on the “trends that was” pile. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the use of concrete or cement in decorative items, homeware and furniture. I just thought that people would have grown tired of it by now. Not that I have, I still love it as much as the first time I saw beautiful and clever concrete-y décor (not to mention those clever cement DIYs).

I suppose the use of concrete in interior design and decorative objects developed as the Industrial home style flourished. Further contributing to concrete’s popularity, is its versatility and availability. We now see both concrete and cement being used in unexpected, clever and out-of-the-box ways.

I also feel there has been a “refinement” in the way concrete is used by product designers. The general look is far more chic and sophisticated. This is evident in the various concrete products that are currently on our local homeware store shelves. We have selected ten amazing examples of local concrete décor products to show you below.

Well this definitely proofs that concrete is way more that just some passing fad…

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