“Today for Tomorrow” at Made by You Pop-Up Shop

Cavendish Square collaborated with local green designers to create sustainable products from the waste recycled by the centre. These chic & functional products can be bought at their Made by You & Cavendish Square Recycling Pop up store during the month of October 2014…

I rather like that title “Today for Tomorrow” as a WDC 2014 initiative.  To me it carries a very powerful message of being present in what we undertake today, with a view of impacting our environment and surrounding going into tomorrow. One of those “speaks for itself” taglines.

And in keeping with the whole pop-up shop trend that is still gaining momentum in Cape Town, it is heart warming to see one of Cape Town’s landmark upmarket shopping malls, Cavendish Square, playing host to a designer orientated pop-up shop. For those further afield from Cape Town, just a piece of useless information – Cavendish Square has many, many designer label shops. Mostly all in the “High Street” genre. That to me then makes this initiative by Cavendish really cool – bringing in your street level designer labels and giving them exposure alongside the high street labels. Just the kinda inclusive exposure these designers need.

 I realise that it is a bit late in the month, but for those of us in the Cape Town area, there is still time to nip over to Cavendish to take in the power of creative design influences by local designers. Something that we can surely be very Proudly South African.


Sneak Peek: Shawarminator

I know we’ve been a bit scarce here at The Tabloid the past month or two – it’s because our studio has been super hard at work on some awesome interior design projects.

In fact, our latest project is having its grand opening today! Yay! The project, Shawarminator, is a trendy Levantine shawarma take-away shop in Cape Town. We haven’t yet had a chance to have some professional snaps taken, so we thought we’d share a couple 3D model views just to get your design glands salivating.

Now we want to keep most of the juicy details in the bag until we get those photos taken, however we can divulge that the Shawarminator shawarmas are absolutely delicious. So if you are in the Durbanville area tomorrow, be sure to drive by check it out – it’s in the Sonstraal iPic Centre on the corner of Verdi Blvd & Langeberg Rd!

Oh and keep an eye out for our follow-up post!

{click image to enlarge}

Design Monarchy Does World Design Capital

It’s been quite an exciting year thus far, especially since our beautiful home-town and mother city, Cape Town has been chosen as World Design Capital 2014.


What is World Design Capital?

The World Design Capital is an international city promotion project that celebrates the merits of design. Held biennially, it seeks to highlight the accomplishments of cities that are truly leveraging design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities, throughout a yearlong programme of design-related events.”

The central theme behind the Cape Town’s successful bid, ‘Live Design. Transform Life.‘ focuses on the role that design can play in social transformation. You can learn more about the theme and sub-themes: here.

This year Cape Town will host over 460 design projects aimed at transforming the city… and we are proud and excited to announce that we, Design Monarchy, will be involved in one of these super worthy causes! Yay!

We will be assisting with the décor and design makeover of the Acute Care Surgery Ward in Groote Schuur Hospital. 

WDC323_AcuteCareSurgeryUnitWardMakeover_Community_Primary-CopyGroote Schuur Hospital is a large, government-funded, teaching hospital situated on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in Cape TownSouth Africa. It is famous for being the institution where the first human heart transplant took place, conducted by surgeon Christiaan Barnard. The hospital underwent major extension in 1984 adding two new wings adjacent to the beautiful main building first built in 1938.

It is in this “new” wing that the Acute Care Surgery Ward is located. Like in most state-funded hospitals it is in dire need of sprucing-up and some features are seriously worn and tired.

The ward makeover project is spearheaded by Head of the Acute Care Surgery Unit, Dr Juan Klopper and assisted by Dr Angela Dell. Dr. Klopper rightly believes that creating a comforting environment can have a positive effect on patient recovery as well as emotional well-being while staying in the unit. One of the challenges of this project will be to continue running the extremely vital and busy 24/7 surgery unit as normal throughout the renovations.

Design Monarchy will be collaborating with PG Bison and Plascon, who is graciously donating materials and paint to this worthy project, as well as Easy Life Kitchens who will be manufacturing the cabinetry and joinery items free of charge.

In order for this makeover to be a resounding success, we still desperately need the help of willing partners…

What we still need:

Furniture – chairs for the waiting room; visitors chairs for the ward; and a handful of office chairs for the doctors & nurses.

Fabrics – for window & privacy curtains; as well as re-upholstery of selected furniture.

Blinds – for selected windows.

Décor & Art – office-type accessories; art – be it paintings or prints; and framing.

Automotive Spray Painting – the wards beds and pedestals needs respraying and automotive would be the most hard-wearing.

If you own or know of a local company or business that is willing to donate some of their time, product or services to this VERY worthy cause, please do not hesitate to contact us. This project is an excellent opportunity to  make a charitable contribution whilst linking your company name to a renowned initiative such as World Design Capital can facilitate brand awareness and an indirect marketing pay-off.

Read more about the Groote Schuur project on the World Design Capital website: here.

Regent Insurance Flagship Office by Inhouse Brand Architects

One of Inhouse Brand Architects‘ latest design projects has left us with a little bit of office envy!

Regent Insurance is in the process of upgrading their corporate branding and appointed Inhouse to give their regional office interiors in KwaZulu-Natal the same transforming treatment. This innovatively designed office will serve as the blueprint for all the company’s offices going forward.

Designing a corporate office can be quite tricky – great importance is usually placed on functionality, branding, and the bottom line (ka-ching) which can very easily leave the space feeling cold and soulless. This is however not the case with the new Regent Insurance offices. Inhouse pulled off a corporate office space that not only met the client’s practical needs but also featured a variety of creative and playful elements to stimulate and impress staff and visiting clients alike.

One of these eye-grabbing elements is the suspended slatted timber ceiling feature in the reception waiting area. Lighting is cleverly incorporated into the solid wood bulkhead slats and the structure follows through to create a floor-to-ceiling “planted wall” which features potted succulents.

We love the bold pops of red introduced into this otherwise neutral space. The red has been used throughout to highlight and frame the glass walls of the individual offices as well as the dividing wall demarcating the pause area. Speaking of the frameless glass walls – they have integrated white boards panels which can be used on both sides of the glass – how clever!

Inhouse also created areas they refer to as “camp sites” – zones that allow staff to breakaway and meet informally. This kind of space creation is really the way to go in contemporary open plan offices.

So what do you guys and gals think? Isn’t this office cool?!

Images & info via Inhouse Brand Architects

Studio Tour: Zana, Woodstock

Earlier this week while I was sniffing around the web for some awesome local product to include into my Scatter Cushion Addiction post I spotted these lovely shots on Zana‘s blog of their gorgeous studio in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Zana is a talented design brand with a fabulous boutique range of fabrics and products including some deliciously quirky scatter cushions. I simply adore the bright loft-like space that now form their main base of operations. The studio is a complete creative station – from here they design, screen print, sew, and package their stunning products to be shipped right across the globe. They have even recently incorporated some retail space into the studio, so if you are in the Woodstock are be sure to check it out.

The studio space, like their product, features a fresh white minimalist backdrop with pops of bold colour and fun pattern. Interior designer, Melissa Louise, who assisted with the overall look of the space has since joined the Zana ranks! The gorgeous snaps below were taken by photographer, Lindie Meyer. Be sure to pop onto Zana’s website to view some more images of their beautiful studio and to check out their awesome product. Oh, and their blog features some fun and easy DIY ideas too…

Images via the Zana Products website: here

Truth HQ: Capetonian Steampunk

For a long time now we have wanted to feature one of Cape Town’s unique coffee venues, namely Truth Coffee HQ in Buitenkant Street. When we came across a recent video featured by VISI magazine, we were motivated to get out of the starting blocks.

Truth HQ Coffee Café - Steampunk Interior (1)

Quite a while back whilst exploring the The Fringe Design District we were introduced to the rather eccentric and dedicated coffee meister and owner of Truth Coffee, David Donde. At that stage Truth HQ was still a couple of days away from the grand opening and we were lucky enough to have the first look around. We also had the chance to chat with David (and his Victorian-styled moustache which I assume he cultivated especially for the HQ opening) and have a complementary brew of Truth’s delicious coffee. One thing was immediately apparent – David is extremely passionate about his craft.


The task of creating an out-of-the-box interior to compliment the Truth brand fell to talented designer Haldane Martin. In a past interview with Visi Magazine, Haldane says “that it was David’s ‘mad cap, inventor’ personality that inspired him to suggest steampunk and that it was an immediate fit. David has certainly gone all out with bespoke head-to-toe costumes from the Little Hattery, and an upcycled and functionally enchanting interior design by Haldane. ‘You can’t just glue some gears on and call it steampunk,” admonishes David, “the Truth brand is based on authenticity.'”


To those unfamiliar with the concept of Steampunk… it might be a little difficult to explain. You see, Steampunk is in essence a literary genre – a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that often includes social or technological facets of the 19th century (think of some the novels written by Jules Verne or H. G. Wells).

“Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art.”Wikipedia on Steampunk

“It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans.” – Caitlin Kittredge, author

Now if I had to explain Steampunk as an interior style to somebody who has never heard of it I would probably describe it as Victorian Industrial meets futuristic fantasy. It’s a combination of exposed industrial elements like gauges, cogs, gears, pipes and other nifty mechanisms – all in brass or copper, and the more luxurious and opulent aspects of the Victorian age like dark wood panelling and deep-buttoned furniture pieces in rich velvets or leather.

While you watch the video, bear in mind that we are being exposed to the art and craft of industrial design – something that not many of us are able to catch a glimpse of often.

{Are you rushing for that cuppa coffee yet? Truth HQ is a MUST visit!}

Images via: Visi & Colossal