A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

Rose recently spotted this beautifully renovated Capetonian cottage on My Scandinavian Home. We were super chuffed to see a local home on such a celebrated international blog.

The remodel process of this small and, at the time, rather ordinary home was first shared by local blogger, Diana from Miss Moss.

A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

The owners, wedding photographers Rebecca & Bruce, purchased the tiny property, located in Muizenberg – a coastal suburb of Cape Town, a few years ago. Seeing the potential, they immediately got cracking – transforming the space into something more suited to its name, Sunbird Cottage. Bruce and Rebecca, with the help of architect Donne Atkinson, did the majority of the renovation themselves – and that on a modest budget.

And what a transformation it is!Read More »

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Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours

Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours

feature image: Dulux New Zealand

by Marica Fick

Like our previous trend post about the resurgence of Rattan, the hot and spicy colour trend we will be sharing today also smacks of retro deliciousness.

With the chill of winter fast approaching, we are quite happy to see the interior colour palettes shift to richer and warmer tones. I think it is exactly this yearning for warmth, cosiness, and womb-like comfort that has made TERRACOTTA the go-to home colour trend of the past few seasons.

Trend Alert: Terracotta & Earth Colours
A perfect balanced of terracotta hues, pale blue, and earthy materials in Fonda Mexican restaurant in Melbourne. | source: Eclectic Trends

To give you a greater scope of the massive popularity of this earthy-coloured trend, let me share this tidbit:

A few times a year, Pinterest releases as a category specific report detailing the latest and greatest pinning trends from around the world. Last year, they reported a whopping 95% increase of terracotta-themed interior and homeware images in the UK alone.

Read More »

Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL

Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL

Feature image via: Honeycombers

by Marica Fick

Like previous years, I was once again surprised by Pantone’s selection for Colour of the Year 2019. My first reaction (and Rose’s too for that matter) upon hearing “The Chosen” colour for this year was: “Coral, really?! – been there done that!” That is so 8 years ago. In fact, we have actually mentioned coral in not one, but TWO blog posts in the past – both trend reflection articles – in 2011 and 2012.

Don’t get me wrong – it is not that I don’t like coral – I actually like it quite a bit and I was once again reminded of that fact while searching for all the gorgeous inspiration pictures we have shared below.

In Pantone’s defence – the way we use coral (now versus 8 years ago), how it is applied in an interior space and the colours we combine it with has evolved into something more “here and now”. Trends tend to do that – evolve.

Pantone Colour of 2019: LIVING CORAL
Kim Schipperheijn’s Netherlands home in Anthology Magazine’s Issue No. 15 / Spring 2014. | source: Anthology Magazine via honestly wtf | photograph: Henny van Belkom

I tried to recollect whether we at Design Monarchy have ever had interior projects that strongly featured coral. I immediately thought of one hospitality / retirement project we were involved with that included coral into the colour scheme. It was an upmarket seaside venue and we paired the coral with tones of blue – teal and aqua. See the fabric scheme: HERE.

On further reflection, I found that we had a few design and decorating projects that incorporated some shade of coral as an accent colour – be that a coral-coloured scatter cushion or a floral fabric featuring a lovely blue and coral bloom.

Read More »

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 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 »

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles

feature image: chaine femme by fireclay tile

by Marica Fick

Earlier this week Rose and I were chatting about an unfortunate mishap in her home. A leaky pipe in the wall of her main bedroom en-suite caused a bit of havoc – peeling bubbling paint, mould etc. – messy stuff. Fixing the problem is just as tricky – enter an assortment of leak detectors, plumbers, tilers, and painters. The process was dusty, noisy and invasive… not to mention a drain on the wallet. Not fun at all!

Yet, trust Rose to put a positive spin on such a negative situation. She was quite thrilled by the prospect that, at least now, she can replace the tiles in her shower with a feature wall of decorative tiles.

Trend Alert: Decorative Wall Tiles
Love this dark and dramatic navy blue hexagonal tile used for this kitchen backsplash. | source: Fireclay Tile

Of course, that set the wheels turning in my head about the increasing popularity of decorative feature tiles. Over recent years we have witnessed a steady influx of decorative wall tiles in all shapes, colours and textures.

As interior designers, we cannot tell you how excited we are to see this trend become mainstream. Here at Design Monarchy, we have always been proponents of bold and interesting instead of predictable and safe.

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

Read More »