Do you swap out your home’s decorative accessories seasonally?

feature image: pezula interiors & design monarchy

by Rose McClement

Marica recently posed an interesting question to our social media audience. Before publishing the post, we had a brief chat about it. Like we generally tend to do.

The question was “Do you swap out your home’s decorative accessories or scatters seasonally?” I didn’t really give it much thought at the time, because I knew my own answer as being “NO, I don’t“.

I knew that I wasn’t even in the slightest bit inclined towards such a move. I have a friend who does that, but then she is a seamstress and likes to sew new covers for her cushions and other little things.

Me, on the other, I’m no seamstress and have always had a bad relationship with a sewing machine.

A punchy and lush collection of decorative accessories and scatters. | source: Decoholic

It was only when the answers from my friends started rolling in, that I stopped to notice my own resistance to something like this. Yes – what I had put down as my own lack of interest, was actually resistance. I saw others offering one or two of my own type of “Nah, why should I?” kinda comments. Others said, “I don’t have the storage space“- a fair response. Yet, when I stop and scratch a little bit further, that answer falls by the wayside. Scatter cushion covers can be stored in your linen cupboard, along with your other linen goodies – one would not need a lot of space.

A few of my friends had taken the time to comment, and I’d say the majority voiced the same reply: “I keep it the same all the time“. In other words, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out – I keep the same décor accessories in place. Kinda like X marks the spot for X. 

Whoa, hold up here!! I am not judging them and their way of being in their home. Not at all – I am doing the same thing remember. The only difference is that I like moving my (same) decorative accessories around the space. I tend to move the cushions from one sofa to the other and shuffle the decorative items around a bit. But – that is about it! No seasonal cover changes for me.

A beautiful and calming selection of scatter cushions and decorative items – perfect for the colder months. | source: Halfway Wholeistic

Okay, you might be asking yourself: “So what is this decorator banging on about?!” Why is this even worth writing about? Is there really any value or benefit in switching up your décor accessories occasionally? The truth is, that despite the fact that I don’t indulge in this practice, it doesn’t minimize the value and appreciation of it. There is real value to be had. Not only from a practical point of view but also aesthetically, emotionally, and mentally! Really?! From scatter cushions?

Do I really have to be satisfied with the same ole same ole all year round I asked myself? Then the ‘dig deeper’ type questions started to rise to the surface. Once I began to see and own my reluctance, I had a shift in thinking. 

With a neutral backdrop, it would be easy-peasy to swap out the scatters and bed throw in your bedroom should you desire a change of scenery. | source: oh.eight.oh.nine

So, let’s do a bit of self-exploration together. Just easy-does-it self-exploration, done with a hint of playful curiosity. Ask yourself the following without being self “judgie” or self-justifying: 

What is really holding me back?  Is it something I want to do or even need to do?

Do I like what I have here? Does it make me feel good in this space? Or would something new and fresh make me feel even better?

Am I putting up with what I have got going here?

What have I got to loose by not switching up accessories?

With a layered approach like in this image, it would be quite simple and effective to change the tone of your bedroom. Exchange the beautiful rust-coloured cushions for teal or swap the striped cushions for floral – et voila. | source: Jojo Barr | House Nine Design

Now, which one or more responses in the list below do you connect with? Remember – not self judgy-ness!

I like what I have got going right now. It took me a while to get the right accessories and I don’t feel the need for change.

Trends come and go so quickly. No need to follow those.

My spending plan can’t cope with this extra unnecessary expense.

I have no storage facility.

I don’t know what to do, what to switch up, or even where to begin!

It’s going to take time and energy to decide on the items and change – and I don’t have that to give.

It is what it is!

My husband / family like what there is now. 

Why bother – the family just mess it up anyway.

I prefer the comfort of familiar items.

It just takes one or two key changes to completely transform the feel of your interior. Warm or cool, playful or opulent, sleek minimalistic or vintage – it just takes one quick swap. | source: La Grange Interiors

I have to wonder what are the chances that in truth we need to own the fact that the only thing that we are resisting might well be CHANGE!

Ah – there it is!! There is the real culprit that is lurking in the shadows, not wanting to be seen or heard. That word that shall not be spoken! CHANGE!!  

You might say: “Oh, for Pete’s sake, don’t be silly! How on earth can one view being uninclined towards switching up décor accessories as an indication of resisting CHANGE?!” Well, the possibility could exist! I certainly wouldn’t discount it. In our line of work, we often encounter resistance along these lines – in all shapes and forms.

We are only all too aware of the fact that life is very full and busy for most folk. The last thing anyone needs is to direct their attention to small changes. Even easy peasy changes are unwelcome.

What is important for me is this: small changes are needed to power us towards the bigger changes. It gets us outta our comfort zone and willing to entertain change on a regular basis.

Sadly, in my own life, I observed that because I resist change, I begin to “put up” with dissatisfying situations. It all stays the same. REALLY! Is that what I want?  I don’t think so. It seems that the question really is much bigger than merely switching up decorative items.

Enough said for now. Lots to think about and explore. More along these lines in the next post.

Ciao,

And We Are Back - Design Monarchy

And… We Are Back!

by Rose McClement

Hello All!

Yes, we have seriously been Missing-in-Action, well, from our social media platforms anyway! We have been active, but as previously said, sometimes the ‘pause button’ had to be hit. Running a design project and keeping up with social media at the same time gets to be a challenge. At times, one of them has to take a backseat. I’m guessing you know which one that has been. 

When things get quieter on the design project front, we find it very difficult to get back on the social media ‘horse’ again. I’m sure you know that feeling. It feels like a malaise. The talk in the head goes something like this: “I really would like to get a post out again. I feel I should. It is a marketing tool after all and it has been neglected. One is not supposed to neglect your marketing! And, some peeps have so faithfully supported and followed us all these years since 2011”. 

Then, the guilt sets in and that sounds something like this: “Oh gosh, I feel so bad about not having written anything for the longest time. How am I going to show my face in public again?” The evitable next step in the process is Procrastination, followed by the final stage… “going into hiding”. I just hide away and pretend like nothing has happened.

And We Are Back - Design Monarchy

Well, I don’t know about Marica – but I went through all those stages/processes until I finally found the energy to be honest with myself, be kind to myself, and admit that I was in hiding. It was time to come outta hiding and come clean.

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House Tour: Troye Sivan’s Expressive Melbourne Home

by Rose McClement

I was trawling through a small pile of emails, the interiors-related kinda email newsletters, this morning. When I stumbled onto the video featured below. I always love a good house tour video.

The extraordinary thing about this video was that I had no cooking-clue who this fresh-faced young man was. He is clearly a celeb of some kind – why else would he be featured?! Still no cooking-clue. Yet, he had my attention right from the very first sentence he uttered! He entusuatically welcomed the public into his home and then the casual house tour kicked in. I wanted to stop the video to go and google this 25-year-old man (who looks like a 20-year-old), but I just didn’t want to miss a beat.

Somewhat different to your normal house tour video. This young man conducted the tour himself. Spoke to the ins and the outs, the décor elements, the whys and the history of his Victorian-Era home. He was seriously entertaining. Plus, he impressed me with his obvious love for beautiful interior spaces. His home is cleary filled with what makes his heart sing.

How was it possible that such a young man could afford the house of his dreams? Well, as soon as he said goodbye at the gate and the video ended, I popped over to Google. I discovered that this unknown factor (to me anyway) is a South African born, Australian singer/songwriter and actor called Troye Sivan! I am pretty damn sure there are millions who know him and his music – well now I do too. I nipped over to listen to one of his songs and really enjoyed his voice and lyrics.

Okay, enough said by moi – Watch the video and listen to his music. I hope it entertains you as much as it did me. I’m so inspired by this young man and his interior choices.

Read more about Troye’s beautiful home on Architectural Digest: here.

Ciao,

Toot Your Own Horn | via www.designmonarchy.co.za

Do You Toot Your Own Horn?

by Rose McClement

DO YOU TOOT YOUR OWN HORN? Is that something that you are comfortable with doing?

About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Abigail Klopper’s Cafinnate Academy online coffee meet-up by means of Facebook Live. Towards the close of the meetup, this issue of ‘tooting your own horn‘ came up. “Do you do it?“, was the question. That touched an open spot for me. It got me thinking about this issue, although I will admit, not very seriously at the time.

This morning sitting on the edge of the bed, feet on the ground, I was taken back to what I had experienced and felt during COVID. I spoke about it in my last post. It was about the issue of honouring my own voice, my own inner knowing, and just switching off the outside noise and voices. This was something that was going at full tilt at the start and early days of COVID and lockdown.

Today, I almost want to say to this Rose person, “Who are you and what have you done with the Rose that came before you?” That Rose was not tuned in to her own voice, her own opinion, her own mind, her own heart. She was swayed by all the voices around her – gave them more credence and validity. She second and third guessed herself most of the time. She always felt that others knew better than her, were better than her and despite her leadership qualities allowed others to set the pace. She literally handed her power over to them. It was helluva stressful and helluva confusing. There just was no ‘off-switch’ to flip when it came to holding her own space.

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7 Home Decorating Regrets

7 Home Decorating Items & Decisions We Regret

by Marica Fick & Rose McClement

Earlier this week I read an article on Apartment Therapy that set the hamster wheel in my head spinning. The title grabbed me immediately: “3 Common Home Items I Wish I Never Bought”. In the post freelance writer, Sarah Lyon, shared that her past home decorating efforts has been accompanied by a fair dose of regret.

Sarah goes on to explain that while some treasured purchases have found a permanent place in her home, others left her with a bad taste in the mouth after a few short months. Her regrets include: cheesy, cliched wall art, cheap wine glasses, and pieces that are “too nice”.

While we did not entirely agree with all of her laments, it did spark an interesting office conversation. So here is Design Monarchy‘s list of home decorating items and decisions we regret…

Beautiful Vinyl Floor
We would opt for a beautiful good-quality vinyl floor above carpet in a heartbeat. | source: Godfrey Hirst via Instagram

Wall-to-Wall Carpet:

The first item on our home decorating regret list is one both Rose and I can’t wait to say “goodbye and good riddance” to. Wall-to-wall carpets. Until recently, opting for carpets throughout the home has been such an ingrain and default choice in home decorating.

We found that carpets take such an effort to clean and maintain in the long run. It just does not have the physical and aesthetic longevity that some other floor finishes have. No matter how regularly you vacuum and deep-clean your carpet, it still becomes a dirt and odour trap – especially if you have pets or little kiddos.

The carpets in my home are a real eye-sore. It was gorgeous when first installed but now it looks grubby no matter what we do. We have had it cleaned SO many times with no real improvement. And these were good quality, high traffic carpets!

Now, don’t get us wrong – we are not saying that you should immediately rip up the carpets in your home and get rid of them. We understand that there are some situations and areas where it remains the preferred application. Especially a bedroom – most people still prefer the added warmth and soft feel underfoot that carpets provide.

When it comes to general areas and living rooms we often recommend a good quality vinyl to our clients as an alternative floor covering. It is much easier to clean and maintain and adds a lovely visual warmth to any space. You can always opt for a loose rug that can be washed or changed as desired.

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Covid-19: Work from Home

Design Monarchy, Covid-19 and Lockdown Musings

Feature image via: Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash

by Rose McClement

As I sit and contemplate the last few months of 2020, it feels totally surreal.

As I slowly begin to emerge from living through a Worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, hectic S.A. Lockdown and all those issues that flow and follows in its wake, I have to ask myself “Did this really happen? Is this still really happening? Am I really experiencing an extraordinarily time that will no doubt make its mark in world history? Something like WW2 and Mandela!”.

These same questions crossed my mind during the initial worldwide lockdown period when I sat staring at the images of empty city street scenes – streets, public plazas, curbside cafes that would normally be abuzz with people. One remarkably familiar and local empty street scene image stuck with me.  As I gazed at the images Cape Town’s famous Camps Bay Main Road with not a car, bus, taxi, person in sight the brevity of the situation hit home. That was totally surreal and bizarre. Something not witnessed by me before.

Covid-19: Stay Home
Stay home. Image created by Vanessa Santos. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19. | source: United Nations via Unsplash

Then the adjusting into living in isolation, transitioning from working in the office to working from your ‘new home-office’, communicating via online platforms, wearing masks to the shops, etc. Who would have even begun to imagine at the start of 2020 that all of that would be our day-to-day reality? I always imagined that the year 2020 would have some sort of sci-fi-esque characteristic about it, like flying cars, robotic labour, etc. A movie-type pandemic, however? Nope, that was not the kinda sci-fi I had in mind.

Closer to home, the Lockdown-need for Design Monarchy (Marica and myself) to work digitally from our respective desks / home office setups was nothing new for the two of us.  For a good many years it is something that we had transitioned into and adopted as a way of working.  We use Skype, Whatsapp, TeamViewer, and the like as our online tools.  Thus, it was business as usual for the two of us.  We were fortunate enough to have a Beauty & Wellness Spa interior design project to occupy our time and attention (watch this space for forthcoming visual delights and the back story).  We were mainly working on the ‘behind the scenes’ stage of the project. Fortunately, we were also well versed with sourcing and shopping online thanks to Marica’s extremely well-honed and developed online research skills. I am telling you she can find the proverbial needle in the Online haystack!

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