Plascon Trend Talk – Part One

Marica and I sneaked out of the office to attend the recent the Trend Talks 2013, being hosted jointly by Plascon and InHouse Brand Architects. Pity we have not done so before. If memory serves me right, this initiative was conceptualised and started by Lauren Shantall in 2012. Joining her is Lacia Gess as MC and it seems that this event is fast becoming a “must do” on the calendar of the local design trade. Plus, plus, plus – local design-mined charity Rock Girl is the beneficiary of each event’s proceeds, while creating more awareness around safe places for vulnerable women, young girls and boys alike.

The theme of the topics under discussion was “Reflections on the Future”, with a view to looking at some design trends going forward what with 2014 becoming more of a reality with each passing day. The three speakers were Laurence Brick, Co Founder of retail outlet, Loads of Living (one of my personal favourite décor shops); Cara Siegers from InHouse Brand Architects and Lianne Burton, a past editor of Elle Decoration,  now an “accidental curator of words, images and ideas”,  – her own definition.

Today we look at what Laurence Brick and Cara Siegers had to say…

What was interesting for both Marica and I, looking back post the event, was that each speaker presented a very different angle of design (largely related to architecture and interiors) – so repetition was not the order of the day.

I am not going to go into hectic detail about the content of each speaker’s presentation. But will just highlight that which stayed with us and impressed us most. Neither of us here at The Design Tabloid professes to be Trend Gurus. We will leave that for the likes of Mr Dave Nemeth. But because we spend so much time on the social media platforms, especially Pinterest, we have noticed that we’re managing to stay pretty clued up when it comes to trends.

Plascon Trend Talk - Laurence BrickLaurence Brick spoke of many trends that have already made their mark locally and abroad, particularly – once again – on Pinterest. Elements of interiors such as the Industrial style, its related and complimentary elements – lighting, seating, furniture and those gorgeous warm metals that we have written about before. He touched on neons, which by the looks of things has no intentions of going away any time soon, as it morphs to take on different shapes and applications. The other design elements that seems here to stay are geometric patterns such as those triangular shapes that are so cleverly produced onto fabric, jewellery, wall textures etc. Yes, I do think that those little geos are going to gain momentum and we can expect to see far more coming out into the retail space.

Moving on to the point that really made my eyes stretch in wonder, was the fact that the patterned floors are once again gaining a place of prominence. Seemingly in kitchens and bathrooms. Probably patios as well. Mosaic patterned floor tiles with that strong Moroccan flavour. But not restricted to those areas or patterns. I have noticed it around the Pinterest-sphere but now am intrigued and fascinated by it. Would love an opportunity to install it into one of our interior projects.  And let’s not forget that pattern on the floor has been coming across strongly in rugs as well.  And no, I am not referring here to the traditional rug and kilim patterns.  Rather there is a great deal of modern kilims on the market. As well as those gorgeous re-loaded vintage flavoured Persian rugs that has been faded by a particular washing technique. The patchwork rugs are the yummiest of this genre. Note to self: Must write about that some time soon. 

Plascon Trend Talk - Cara SiegersWhat stayed with me most coming out of Cara Siegers presentation was the growing trend of 3D printing. Okay – so I have heard of it, but true to my form, when it sounds too technical for me, I don’t give it the time of day. Net result was that up until now, it has just stayed out of the reach of my mental grasp. Confession – even during her presentation, I was still not too clear on it.  Afterwards Marica and I had one of our oh-so many discussions and the light slowly began to dawn.  Later we popped over to research it a bit further – AND – it became an AH-HA moment.  I am quite excited about it and I guess now that I understand it a bit more, I will probably find it coming across my path more frequently. Thank you Cara Siegers for sharing your insights!

Next blog we take a look at what Lianne Burton had to present.

Cheers for now.

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Review: Plascon Spaces Magazine

Heck – you know the old adage about time flying – well right now that is just what I feel like saying  “what the heck – how time has flown past”.  It has been quite a while since I did the last magazine review. (Errmm– not that we have done many of those!)

Today I am going to take a look at the Plascon Spaces Magazine. Although this mag has been on the shelves for many years, it was not really one that I felt the need to get involved in. For no specific reason other than the fact that I was just maxed out when it came to reading interiors magazines and blogs.

But I found myself unable to resist picking up and flipping through the Plascon Spaces mag in the notorious Woolworths “temptation isle”. Each edition has the most amazing covers and eventually I bought one. And have done so ever since, not wanting to miss out on any of the issues.

It is page turning inspiration from the first page to the last. I am one who is not afraid of strong and bold colours and, I guess for me, that is one of the draw cards of this magazine. Since Spaces is connected to the Plascon paint brand and seemingly one of their marketing tools, you can expect it to be vibrating with loads of colour.

But that is not all that Spaces is about. Over and above the trendy colour palettes ideas, you will find plenty of inspiration to indulge your creative flair via the most exquisitely styled images. I mean these images take my mind to such an inspired space, that all I want to do is get out there and create something similar. In fact, I drew inspiration for one of our recent projects from Issue 7. One of my favourite regular features is the “1 Room 4 Looks” section where they take one room set-up and dress it in four different styles and colour schemes… seriously cool.

They also take you along with them to visit the spaces, places and homes of local designers. Or just simply fabulous homes to be found in SA.  And man, do they manage to convey amazing interiors via they photography.

For me this Plascon Spaces magazine is top quality including the actual quality of the paper. Were you to ask me to rate it between 0 to 5 (5 being excellent) I would have to give it a 4 or 4 ½.

Go along – see for yourself if you have not yet tried this magazine. Like Nike says: JUST DO IT!

{Images via Plascon Spaces}

VISI ♥ DIY

It is no secret that Marica and I are total VISI fans. Naturally, when they approached The Design Tabloid to get the Décor Diva‘s view on blogs, social media and it’s effect on design, for the February 2013 Issue – we were over the moon.

However, the best was yet to come. We found that we had managed to sneak into one of the best issues I have read to date. Brilliant page turner for design lovers such as we are. Seriously – by the time I had turned the last page, I still wanted more – more of those divine VISI-styled images, more news, views, and interviews about the clever local creatives and their products.

This DIY issue even had the unmotivated DIY-er in me going, wanting to get to my trash and make something to boast about with it.

Wanna know what tantalised me most? Here goes…

VISI - DIY Deluxe Issue ǀ The Design Tabloid (1)

1}  Okay as expected – I am going to point you directly to the page that has given The Design Tabloid national print media coverage – Page 14 of the awesome section “32 Reasons to always love smart ideas”.  Altogether now – Whoop, Whoop!!

2}  Dustbin Décor – working with plastic bottles to make a bird-feeder (hubby favourite) and what looks like something so do-able – the Liquid Chandelier.  It just blows my mind that we can create such easy peasy good-looking items from what has always been termed “rubbish”.  You do however need someone with some electrical understanding to stand by you.

VISI - DIY Deluxe Issue ǀ The Design Tabloid (2)

3}  Second Life – I love that there is a trend around taking what would have been considered the unthinkable a good few years ago, and making a creative décor item from it.  Like the pieces made from tyres.  My first thoughts when reading this was “I need a Man Cave to decorate – soon!”

4}  You know how Mosquitoes are not wanted and yet are always around on those hot summer evenings and nights, biting into your flesh.  One of the most effective mosquito remedies I have found is a coil that you burn.  However, the messiness caused by the ash and question “what the heck do I put this on/in?” – put me off that coil.  No more – Catherine Raphaely from Planet Baobab Safari Camp found the perfect solution in a floor polish tin.  Congrats Catherine – I loved the solution. (Page 66)

VISI - DIY Deluxe Issue ǀ The Design Tabloid (3)

5}  Page 84 had a full page image of row upon row of toasters, stretching from what I can only imagine to be the 50s to present time.  That was sobering for me.  Why?  Because I have experienced many of those toasters at one time or another in my lifetime.  NO – who wants to be reminded how many toaster designs you have lived through! Dah.  Just as a postscript here – when Marica and I spoke about this toaster business, she went on to tell me about an awesome lighting project she did while studying design.  It involved one of them toasters.  It sounds totally ingenious, just as she is.  I am trying to get her to write a post on that toaster.  Maybe you can join me in nudging her.

6}  While in the Obsess & Collect section, another truly creative and authentic SA collection by Ekim Falconer of Bone Idol (cool name) was a display of rusted implements, crockery and skulls.  Mostly stuck onto the front of his house!  It blends beautifully into the natural surroundings.  Which is what makes it so clever?  Man oh Man – some people might think that they are “bone idol” but ingenious they are!

VISI - DIY Deluxe Issue ǀ The Design Tabloid (4)

7}  I am not too sure whether it was 2010 or 2011 that I first encountered the “Yarn Bomber” – Cape Town’s own Isabeau Joubert.  She had a field time bombing various iconic statues or public arenas with huge knitted coverings.  There was a time when I knitted some and that is why I was intrigued by this yarn bombing sub-culture.  Read about her on Page 180.

This issue of VISI has once again brought home to me what a plethora of creative talent is to be found in South Africa. Creatives that take our natural and cultural aspects to broadcast our unique South Africa brand. I am reminded that The Design Tabloid came about for this very reason – to showcase SA talent.

My question to you in closing is this: “Have you read the I Love DIY issue of VISI?” If not, why not? JUST DO IT!

VISI - DIY Deluxe Issue ǀ The Design Tabloid (5)

Good Housekeeping SA - Cover

Review: Good Housekeeping Magazine SA

Good Housekeeping SA - Cover

The next time you are standing in front of the rack displaying magazines at the supermarket or bookstore, take time our to meet the new kid on the block Good Housekeeping Magazine (SA).

Yes the Good Housekeeping mag has come to our shores at last.  It might be the new kid on the block in terms of South African mags, but it is an internationally recognized superbrand which was first launched in 1885 – you heard right!  Wrap you brain around that one – 126 years ago! With more than 30 million readers across the globe. In fact in the very first issue, there is a double page spread showing you exactly the countries it is to be found in.

As I write this I am reminded of a comical local TV ad about a man that is a company’s 1 millionth client. He is being interviewed as such and the TV presenter asks him “what took you so long?” Echoing my sentiments exactly – I so enjoyed reading this GH (shortened version of name) I too have to say “what took you so long to get to SA?”

It is not specifically an interiors magazine, although it naturally has a very good décor section and pages with all sorts of gorgeous décor goodies to buy from SA retail outlets. To quote the editor Sally Emery, “It is targeted at women exactly like you and me – women with full, busy lives, who are looking for smart, easy, affordable (and fun) solutions to all the challenges life throws at us.” Having read the GH from cover to cover, I could not sum the content and mission up any better – it is as she said it.

The various sections /categories of the GH are all titled with a wonderful play on the word “GOOD”. There is “Good Choices” – good buying options shared; “Good Looks” – which deals with beauty & fashion; “Good Buzz” – insights into home, family, celebs etc; “Good Advise”- expert advise on different aspects of life; “Good Enough Housekeeping” – fun ideas, short cuts, step-by-step solutions and then lastly “Good Health” – speaks for itself.

In the Good Enough section you will meet our favourite local blogger, Vicki Sleet from I Want That. Vicki, who is also Good Housekeeping’s Lifestyle Editor, heads the lifestyle advice column called “Ask Vicki” for all house-care tipe questions. Well done Vicki!

On the cover of this first issue is none other than Heidi Klum who after 4 children still looks like so slim, trim and beautiful. There is a fab interview with her in the Good Buzz section.

What do I fancy most about this mag and in particular this issue? For starters, I don’t do bikinis anymore and was so chaffed to find an article showing full length bathing costumes and helpful hints as to what to look for when buying. Then the “101 wonders / magic must haves” – clever buys with awesome images.  I cannot actually single out anymore because the mag is jam packed with loads of interesting tips and features.

They are equally as active online. You will find loads of competitions on their website. Stay updated & interactive with them on Facebook and Twitter.  Marica and I have just had the fun-est time entering the entire lot of FAB competitions online. Get in there quick peeps – it anything from an iPad and appliances to picnic baskets and a nature reserve weekend! I have read the book “Elephant Whisper” and want nothing more than to go hang out with them ellies in Thula Thula. The iPad – okay, between Marica and I may the best woman win (hopefully).

Will I buy it again – yes I definitely will. After battling to find a Mag that I could settle into for years now (other than décor mags) I think I have found my everyday gals mag.

Happy reading all – until the next time, Yours in service to interiors.

Review: Home Magazine

Scott Peck’s first line in his book “The Road less Travelled” is: Life is difficult. That sure gets the reader’s attention! Well although that is the truth, today I want to start out by saying: “Life is fascinating!” What makes it fascinating for me is that we are all different and yet we all have something in common.

The other fascinating thing is the fact that despite there being so many local and international interiors magazines, they all have a niche market, appealing to different people for different reasons.

This month I have the pleasure of briefly reviewing “HOME” the sister magazine of “IDEAS” which Marica reviewed last month.

Coming out of the few issues that I have read, I would say this magazine does not necessarily focus on featuring the work of designers and those in the trade, or featuring specific homes and projects. Rather I have noticed that it gears itself more towards the being an informative guide to achieving good interiors. It is a much broader “Get the Look” hands-on magazine. NOW – that appeals to me and I am sure to many.

The articles cover the history of interiors, different styles of interiors, interior trends, gardens and food. And let’s not forget the tips on how to get that look.

The messages are further enhanced by the entertaining, clear and concise images.

Local gets even more lekker – you will be able to find it on the shelves in both English and Afrikaans (I believe it’s called “Tuis”).

Combine this Home mag with its sister Ideas and what do you have – a fabulous wealth of interiors knowledge being shared. I would like to give them both the Design Monarchy’s “Royal Seal of Awesomeness”.

Check out their website: here and keep an eye out for the latest issue – it’s all about green-awareness and sustainability…

Review: Ideas Magazine

By Marica

Being in the interior design industry, our studio library contains many magazines (and I mean a-freaken-lot). Magazines are a great source of inspiration and it keeps us informed about what’s happening in the local and international design scenes. Over the years (and hundreds of mags), we have separated wheat from chaff and established a short list of our favourite magazines that we seldom deviate from – we are quite the magazine elitists.

However, earlier this year and quite per chance, Rose bought an Ideas Magazine (it contained an article on Toile that caught her eye)… and we LOVED it!

Ideas speaks to a different facet of my creativity – it stirs my “you can do this yourself” muscle (a part of me I believed to have died after the horrible décor DIY trends of the mid to late 90s). However, with the current handmade and nostalgic fads doing the rounds, I am newly inspired to create with my hands (btw, something I’m not very good at).

Ideas is page upon page of awesome and original décor, fashion and culinary DIY inspiration. Every time I turn a page, I find myself exclaiming, “I can do that!”, “That is SO clever!”, “We should do this!” It completely inflames and satiates the DIY diva in me at the same time!

Predictably, my favourite features are the “Craft & Décor” and “How To” sections. Ideas also include a “Templates” section at the back of the magazine with patterns, motives & cut-outs used throughout the magazine – that way you can just have it photocopied or blown up to scale to create the brilliant items you just read about.

Guys and gals at Ideas you can pat yourselves on the back – you give out an excellent magazine, and after that one impromptu purchase we haven’t missed one issue!

Check out Ideas Magazine’s website for some more DIY goodness and very interesting and crafty ideas…here.