Skinny laMinx And Her “Flower Dreams”

“The days just zap past a person”… that’s how I feel right now. I thought it was yesterday that Marica and I attended the launch of Heather Moore’s new range of Skinny LaMinx fabrics.  Instead, it was on Wednesday last…

Heather Moore and her Skinny LaMinx brand is no stranger to most folk in the décor world. In fact, it was all of three years ago that we coincidentally came across Skinny LaMinx on the internet. For the past 12 – 18 months, I have followed her on the internet via her blog, Facebook, Twitter and the like. You guessed it, I am a huge fan of Skinny LaMinx and when the invite came to attend her first ‘range’ of fabrics, there was none more thrilled than me. I have such admiration for Heather not only as a design creative, but also as a business person. I have watched how she has grown her business, both locally and internationally. She has been featured by well known international bloggers such as Kate of Design*Sponge and Holly of Decor8. I am sure there are plenty others, but these I know of as I follow their blogs.

Heather’s blog posts are such relaxed reads giving you a glimpse into her life. I am often left with the impression that illustration just comes so naturally to her. Putting fabric /surface designs out there seems to be effortless – such a talented person she is.

To show you how active she is… in 2011 she undertook a trip to the USA, where she participated in collaborative events with a American creative; she has an Etsy shop, she has just recently opened her own retail outlet here in Cape Town, she comes up with new designs… Yes very active creative / business person. Plus, although I have only spent a few minutes with her physically, the internet interaction that I have had with her leaves me in no doubt that she is a lovely person.

Heather – thank you for making us Proudly South African.

But hey… Here more about the launch party and the new range of Skinny fabrics:

The floral-inspired range entitled ‘Flower Dreams‘ is Skinny’s first official fabric collection. The playful yet elegant designs, reminiscent of clean-cut Scandinavian design, also contains a smack of retro. The Space for Life showroom was therefore an excellent launch venue as they import gorgeous and well-made mid-century furniture and other retro treasures from Scandinavia. One or two vintage furniture pieces were upholstered in some of Skinny’s new range – a beautiful and complementary combination. Heather, with a little help from The Silk & Cotton Company, also illustrated how easy it is to develop and change certain moods by mixing and layering Skinny laMinx fabrics with some Silk & Cotton basics.

The new range features a gorgeous almost-edible spring palette of plum, lemon and humbug including a delicious feminine milkshake pink – a colour Heather said she never identified with before now. The Flower Dreams fabric collection is made up of three new designs and a reissue of her popular Orla print.

The striking ‘Flower Fields’ design started as a paper cutout of a flower inspired by a Dutch vintage fabric. This fun design is the first two-colour print to be produced by Skinny laMinx, and is available in three colourways. There is almost something anime-like about this beautiful funky fabric.

‘Wild Flowers’ is a design that is a little bit mad, very playful, and certainly a strong design around which to build a look. The design started out as a custom wallpaper for her studio bathroom but Heather soon realised that it had great fabric pattern potential. Although it is a two-colour print, it reads as three colours, as the base cloth is used as one of the ‘colours’.

The third design called ‘Pincushion’, features a very Proudly South African pincushion protea. The sweet print makes a great South African-flavoured print coordinate for this collection.

Lastly, Heather rehashed the Orla print – a design she affectionately describes as “a bit of a fancy stripe.” For the new range the Orla design was converted into an inverted print aptly named ‘Solid Orla‘ – available of course in the new spring colour range.

To see all the designs in the new range as well as the existing Skinny laMinx fabrics and product, check out the website: here. If you are in the Cape Town area, you can pop into the Skinny laMinx shop in Bree Street (nr 201) or otherwise purchase her GORGEOUS product and fabrics online via Etsy: here.

Images & info via Skinny laMinx
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Most Beautiful Object In SA 2012 Finalists

By Marica

So, while Rose is off attending the first day of the Design Indaba conference (she just phoned saying that the conference is, in one word, “AWESOME” ), I thought to share the finalists of the 2012 MBOISA award with you.

Nominated for the Design Indaba Expo’s 2012 Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA for short) award, Design Indaba unveiled the 10 most beautiful and beguiling designs made over the past year earlier this month. Find the finalists below as listed on the Design Indaba website…

“Every year, the country engages with the question of what constitutes beauty through the MBOISA award. While some may consider beauty an aspect of taste and others know it on sight, beauty becomes far more profound than a visual sensation when design attributes such as social significance, economic impact, usability, sustainability and even humour are thrown into the mix.”  –  designindaba.com

The Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa for 2012 are:

1. //hapo Museum

//Hapo Museum by Office of Collaborative Architects – GAPP Architects + Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects

“The //hapo Museum (or just “//hapo“), which takes its name from the San word for “dream”, forms the primary entrance to Freedom Park in Pretoria. The concept evolved into the creation of large boulder-like volumes that contain the interior storytelling spaces. The boulders are planted at the base of the Salvokop hill like a rock outcrop. The copper-clad walls and roof will eventually rust to green and merge with the natural landscape. The interior spaces of the museum are designed with a cave-like quality, with natural light dramatising the large volumes and ‘outcrop’ forms of the buildings. Designed by Office of Collaborative Architects – GAPP Architects + Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects.”

2. Bird Neckpiece by Eric Loubser

Bird Neckpiece by Eric Loubser

“Johannesburg-based jeweller Eric Loubser’s design conveys the idea of a flock of birds around the neck, as if they are actually carrying the necklace and hovering around the wearer. It is inspired by a Victorian aesthetic, and made out of 9ct gold, silver, rose quartz, haematite and rubies. It is as light as air but also substantial; pretty and feminine but with a dark edge; precisely engineered with a messy, thrown-together look.”

3. Consol Solar Jar by Ockert van Heerden and John Bexley

“Housed in a one-litre Consol Classic preserve jar, which provides a practical and attractive casing, this alternative light source is literally bottled sunshine. Solar-powered LED lights are powered by sunlight, which is harnessed through a solar panel fitted on the lid. The Consol Solar Jar received the Special Recognition Award at the 2011 Institute of Packaging SA Gold Pack Awards. Although not strictly packaging, the judges decided that this clever use of a packaging material deserved an accolade.”

4. Frail Flower Paper Sculpture by Rebecca Jones

Frail Flower Paper Sculpture by Rebecca Jones

“Artist Rebecca Jones’s work reflects the precariousness of the world. She uses paper because it is an everyday medium that, though fragile, lasts indefinitely. The plants she depicts are not true botanical specimens but her work is so intricately constructed that each sculpture seems alive. The shadows thrown by the plants extend and emphasise their linear quality.”

5. Fish-Scale Dress by Suzaan Heyns

Fish-Scale Dress by Suzaan Heyns

“This dress is an extension of Suzaan Heyns’ Autumn/Winter 2012 show, “True Colours”, which reflects on the dichotomy of human nature and who we really are when no one is looking. Our double-sided nature is symbolised by the different materials in the dress. The fragile nude netting reflects our natural vulnerability. It is juxtaposed with the repetitive pattern of hand-cut metallic leather scales representing the self-important parts of ourselves – our more cold-blooded, reptilian nature.”

6. Curious Couch by Margaret Woermann (Heartworks) and Peta Becker (Projekt)

Curious Couch by Margaret Woermann (Heartworks) and Peta Becker (Projekt)

“Margaret Woermann and Peta Becker have transformed an old ball-and-claw couch into a functional work of art literally bursting at the seams with life and creativity. The couch is the product of a new collaborative project between Woermann and Becker called The Curious Room, an experimental design lab where the pair focus on one-off pieces. The Curious Couch has been worked on by more than 25 people who designed, recaned, embroidered, crocheted and upholstered it. A reaction to standardised mass-produced design, the couch was inspired by the idea of metamorphosis.”

7. Ridge Forrester Hanging Planters by Joe Paine

Ridge Forrester Hanging Planters by Joe Paine

“This amusingly named planter was born from the designer’s observation that television directors use plants as a key device in soap operas. “Through the bougainvillea and amaryllis we are privy to the most sordid capitalist lives,” says Joe Paine. The planter, manufactured from bent tube and handmade mild steel spinnings, reflects the bold jaw line of Ridge Forrester from the American soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful.”

8. A Travel Journal, Volume 1 and 2″ by Mornè Visagie

"A Travel Journal, Volume 1 and 2" by Mornè Visagie

“This hand-stitched lithograph on paper was part of a body of work for Mornè Visagie’s exhibition at the 2011 UCT Michaelis Graduate Art Show, which took Robben Island as a site of personal, social and aesthetic exploration. Visagie spent the first five years of his life – from 1990, when his father was posted to the island by the Department of Correctional Services, to 1995 – living among its small community of mostly prison employees. This piece distills the hues of the scrub-filled landscape and its surrounding sea into a slowly changing spectrum of pure colour.”

9. Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss

Lily Pad Ring by Kirsten Goss

“The Lily Pad Ring exemplifies Kirsten Goss’s contemporary design style, combining intriguing organic lines with a playful edge. Goss returned to South Africa after launching her eponymous design label in London in 2002. A qualified jewellery designer and Stellenbosch University alumni, she has a passion for experimenting with metal-smithing techniques, stone cutting and inspirational combinations of the two. All her pieces are handmade.”

10. PASTE mural by Linsey Levendall

PASTE mural by Linsey Levendall

“This mural appeared as part of PASTE, a street art exhibition curated by Shani Judes that took art out of the gallery space and into the streets of both city and township. Linsey Levendall was one of 15 local artists selected to design, illustrate or photograph work around the theme of Khayelitsha culture. The work was turned into a large-scale print that was pasted in Khayelitsha and the inner city of Cape Town.”

All of the MBOISA finalists will be on display at the Design Indaba Expo, open to the public from Friday 2 March to Sunday 4 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The award will be determined by public vote via SMS or online vote, and the result will be announced on Sunday afternoon in the DStv Events Arena.

SMS the word “MBOISA” and the number of your entry, followed by your name and contact number to 43431 (SMSs cost R2)

or

Vote on the DESIGN INDABA website: HERE

All MBOISA images and info sourced via the Design Indaba website: here

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Decor Diva: Colour Your World

I am totally fascinated by colour. Try as I may, I could never imagine living in a world that has no colour in it – even if it black or white, it is still colour.

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Everything we can see has a colour, everything you feel has colour, everywhere you go involves colour.  Around us, in our homes, at work, in nature, in space – it is universal.  Colour is as natural to our everyday life as breathing is to our bodies.

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As I sat down to write this post, I decided that maybe I should pop onto the net to take a deeper look into colour – see if there is actually a definition for the word “colour” – perhaps gain an historical perspective of it.  My thoughts were somewhere along the lines of:   “I so take the world of colour for granted, but when was it first named “colour”.

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Little did I realise that I was on my way to a science lesson, covering issues of light waves, electrons, atoms, reflection, absorption, the eye and its mechanisms.  A real head full of facts, but my conclusion – simply – colour is energy around us and in us.

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This then means that colour touches our bodies, our moods, our dress sense and the décor of the places you inhabit most – home, office, malls, gardens etc. It can either inspire us or turn us away.

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Possibly one of the very first steps to be taken when determining your décor & design style is to “Know thyself”.

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We have decided that on a regular basis we are going to look at how we can harness that energy of colour and make it work for us;  How we get to know ourselves via colour and use it to bring the expression of our personalities in our homes, in our offices and in our gardens – our space.

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I recently met a life coach, Claudia Brandt who is very involved with colour, from the point of view that she uses a personality assessment tool called Personality-abc. Personality-abc identifies three basic human behavioural patterns and uses three colours to represent them. These colours are Red (people with strong leadership qualities); Yellow (us very warm, intuitive, friendly and people’s person type – like moi); and then blue (the thinkers of this world).

Keep an eye on this blog in the weeks to come as we assists you in ‘colouring your world’.

By the way – it looks like I am a definite yellow, red, blue person.

Images via:

1 – Simply Grove

2 – Design Seeds

Decorex CT 2011 – Inspiring Designers

It is amazing what makes one stop and take a second look at an exhibition stand.  There were three Cape Town Interior Designers that exhibited to the public their craft and talents.  The most intriguing part was that each of them presented a completely different interpretation of an interior style.  Each styled room made me stop and take note – they were quite ‘out there’ in their boldness of design coming out of the designer’s years of experience in the trade.

The theme for Decorex was ‘Basic and Beauty’ – here are two designers who took this theme to heart, playing with their favourite design elements.

Adriaan Lochner. Image via Decorex

Adriaan Lochner is someone I have met a few times and have chatted in depth with him.  He is a very authentic person with many years in the interiors trade.  His style is timeless, venturing across the board in terms of being able to meet whatever genre of style his client’s brief gives him.  However, he selected to present a timeless setting of a dining room, which embraced antiques, rich warm colour palette, infused with a touch of the orient by way of a beautiful Chinese lacquer panelled screen.

The depth of room setting was further enriched by spectacular floral art – one of Adriaan’s hobbies and specialities.  The tonal warm was further made palatable with the inclusion of a display of pomegranates and autumn leaves – detail after detail adding depth and warmth to this timeless setting.

Adriaan Lochner. Image via Visi

Adriaan sums up his personal style preference as embracing stylish class, sophistication, finesse, always a reflection of good taste. As I said – he is authentic thus not allowing trends to set his pace. And that is just what he achieved – a timeless, infused, innovative interior setting.

I noticed that Adriaan was standing amongst the exhibit winners – Well done.

Salome Gunter

Salome Gunter on the other hand, presented a completely different exhibit – one that was so magnificently daring in totality – one that I was radically attracted to due to the fact that she presented the trendy, industrial relaxed and eclectic style so evidently ‘Now”.  The strong sophisticated, industrial country style was so inviting, that all I wanted was for everyone to leave, freeing me up to nestle into that red leather wingback and do what I love – read.

Salome Gunter. Image via Visi

She exposed us to her innovative, bold yet very intimate style with a bedroom and study room setting, packed with details that made full use of modern technology. We found that the digitally printed wall paper of a bathroom image from one of her projects; pages from a Louis Vuitton book – made into wallpaper panels – really just show how wallpaper can be anything you want, using any image you fancy.  (She tells me she is a Louis Vuitton junkie)

Salome Gunter

The ‘basic’ elements were to be found from the floor up – a rustic scaffold structure held the room setting within its confines and together with the untreated solid wooden floors planks.

Salome Gunter's Study setup with the beautiful Louis Vuitton sketches

Salome grew the interior setting layer upon layer, until the complete beauty of it unfolded, revealing Salome’s ability to keep pace with the global trend to include the past into the present, intimately.

We give her the “Royal Seal of Awesomeness”

Images, as noted: Visi & Decorex

Design Indaba 2011: Design Kist

By Marica

I think it is fair that I inform you from the get go that I am totally in love…

…with Design Kist.

http://www.designkist.com

How did this love affair start you may ask? Well, dearest Internet, I was one of the unlucky few who could regrettably not attend Design Indaba this year (shock and horror, I know) but fortunately Rose did. To my greatest joy she brought back with her a GIANT stack of business cards, brochures and pamphlets over which I faffed for a whole afternoon.  Now I’ve heard of Design Kist before, but I must not have been paying attention because when I took a quick squiz through their online gallery yesterday I fell head of heels and I’ve been drooling over their designs ever since… it’s a compulsion really.

http://www.designkist.com

For those of you still in the dark – Design Kist is an online surface design studio and the brainchild of South African textile designer, Kristen Morkel. She noticed how local retailers and manufacturers often sourced digital surface designs from European design studios to print onto fabric and manufacture into products. There were no South African counterpart to these studios and a gap existed between retailers and talented surface designers in South Africa.

http://www.designkist.com

Launched in 2010, Design Kist features a collection of freelancing South African surface designers who submit their work to be sold online. They sell fabric designs for bedding and clothing, and prints for gift wrap and stationery, but the patterns can also be used on homeware, accessories, packaging, upholstery and wallpaper.

http://www.designkist.com

As designers submit designs, they’re added to an online gallery, ready to be purchased, downloaded and printed. Clients need to register and obtain a password before they’re given access to the gallery, which protects the exclusivity of their designs. The cool thing is – once you paid for and downloaded your high res Design Kist image, you attain full and exclusive copyright on that specific design / pattern.

http://www.designkist.com

When clients are looking to develop something specific; Design Kist creates customised designs & collections. They also tweak colours and sizes of existing designs to give clients exactly what they’re looking for.

Design Kist also just launched a funky (growing) wallpaper range that can be purchased online for home delivery. Wouldn’t you just love to have their pattern-y beauteousness all over your walls? I would!

Local is most certainly lekker! I’ll leave you now to continue my drooling… I suggest you do the same.

{  So what exactly is Surface Design? Well, it encompasses a wide range of surface applications that gives structure, pattern, or colour to fibre & fabric such as gift-wrap, wallpaper, fashion textiles, home textiles, carpet design as well as surface design on ceramics, glass, wood, plastics, steel and automotive fabrics.  }

A Valentine’s Picnic… without the corny clichés

By Marica

If you are stumped for ideas to make your Valentine’s Day with your loved one special, try putting a new stylish spin on the old romantic picnic idea.

We as South Africans are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful country. The weather in Cape Town is excellent this time of year, it just begs for an outdoor celebration.

This Beautiful Anniversary Provençal Picnic was Featured on Design*Sponge a while back in collaboration with Bash, Please and Tinywater Photography. Click the Image for the Design*Sponge Article

I search the web for these beautiful images to inspire you. Now this is what a romantic picnic is supposed to look like!

Recently featured on Southern Weddings this inspirational shoot by photographer Larissa Cleveland and wedding planner Shannon Leahy is simply whimsical. Click the Image to view the original article.

Preparation for a romantic picnic should be quite easy and affordable. Use what you have, or otherwise invest in a few key items that can be re-used in future. Steer clear of cliché red & white colour schemes and cheesy old plastic roses. Here are a few helpful suggestions…

Find a beautiful location – Spier – or Warwick Wine Estates or Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, for example, has stunning estates. Choose a shaded spot underneath a tree (for a little more privacy). If you want a more intimate setting your own garden will do.

Select one or two blankets, throws or even a quilt. You might as well be comfortable so opt for a whole pile of pillows. Go for various fun patterns and complementing colours.

To create an intimate ambience, make use of some mood lighting – Fairy lights draped in a tree, candles in colourful glass holders, lanterns or even tea lights inside clear jam jars and glass bottles hung with ribbon from tree branches (be creative). Oh, and don’t forget the fresh flowers – bunches & bunches of it!

Instead of plastic cups and paper plates, use the real deal. Select some quirky dinnerware and chic wine glasses for instant elegance.

Beautiful Picnic Dinner Party Under The Trees

Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily just for couples anymore – my single friends and I thoroughly enjoy getting together on the 14th of Feb to celebrate our “single situation” with a fun bash. Expand the picnic idea into a group event by having a fabulous garden dinner party.

E voilà! A beautiful Valentine’s Day picnic without the “cheese”. Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!