Season’s Greetings From Design Monarchy

Wishing all our readers and friends a Merry Christmas and a joyous festive season!

Festive Season is upon us. Can you believe it?

Can you believe it… it’s the end of 2020 already?” “Christmas is literally around the corner!” “Where did the year
disappear to?
” If, like me, you are reading plenty of Festive Season greeting emails you could well be muttering the same well-worn phrases!

Every single year, without fail, once we have passed the end of June (the year’s halfway mark) – the days, weeks, months just melt one into the other. Then – BOOM! – before we know it, it’s time for the annual shut down. Every year, at this time, just before we are about to shut our office doors for that well-deserved time out, I feel like the lead-up and the arrival of Christmas takes me by surprise – AGAIN!! I guess it could have something to do with the fact that as soon as the end of September has swung around, our industry busy season kicks in. Or, MAYBE, it’s just a game that Xmas likes to play with me.

I had intended to say something about what an exceptional and strange year 2020 has been. However, Marica kinda reminded me that in our recent email newsletters, I had already kicked-off with a chirp about 2020. So, I had to stop and consider, what is it I would really like to say about 2020?

I think it would be short and sweet: IT IS A YEAR I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET!

It reminds me of 1994, the year South Africans had their very first democratic elections. Previously disenfranchised folk stood for hours, in long snaking queues, to cast their vote for the first time. That too is a year I will never forget.

So, without any further ado, allow me to thank you for being such faithful readers and supporters of The Design Tabloid. Know that we deeply appreciate your presence. THANK YOU SO MUCH! See you on the other side of this unforgettable year in January 2021.

We have lovely plans for 2021. Plans hatched many years ago but found plenty of momentum in 2020. I guess that is one thing we can thank 2020 for.

KEEP CALM AND STAY SAFE.

Ciao, Rose and Marica

P.S. I would so very much love to hear what your short and sweet response to the year 2020 would be? Did you manage to hatch any plans for 2021? Love to hear about those too!

Our studio will be closed for business from 18th of December 2020 and will reopen the 13th of January 2021. Ergo, The Design Tabloid and our social media accounts will slow its pace a bit in terms of posts.

Frame vector created by BiZkettE1 – www.freepik.com

Decorating Quick Tip | Decorative Bottle Stoppers

Quick Tip #59: Decorative Bottle Stoppers

Last month Rose spotted a quirky little article on VISI website illustrating how one can repurpose interesting bottle shapes and reinvent the corks. VISI used copper pipe couplings and end-caps to create trendy bottle stoppers. We loved the idea of embellishing wine corks and bottle stoppers so much that we just had to turn it into a decorative quick tip!

#59  A thoughtfully curated and polished bar cart or drinks cabinet can add a considerable amount of character and style to your space. A quick and easy way to dress up your bar cart is to jazz up the wine and spirit bottle corks. While decorative bottle stoppers can be purchased, making your own will add a unique and personalised element. Attached geodes, crystals or glass cabinet knobs to the tops of the corks for a sense of glamour. Copper or steel pipe couplings can make for trendy and contemporary bottle stoppers.

Decorative Bottle Stoppers DIY Tutorials:

If you want to make your own decorative bottle stoppers this weekend, check out this helpful post by Crafts by Courtney which features step-by-step instructions and pictures to make your job a tad easier: HERE

In the mood for a bit of a challenge? Try this stunning and trendy-looking wooden bottle stopper DIY idea by A Beautiful Mess: HERE.

Feature Images Sources: 12 

Decorating Quick Tip | Decorative Bottle Stoppers
Cupcakes & Cashmere shared this awesome DIY bottle stopper tutorial using glitzy geodes: HERE. How chic would that look on a bar cart?!
Decorating Quick Tip | Decorative Bottle Stoppers
Bridal Guide shared this do-it-yourself apothecary jar project using crystal drawer knobs: HERE. The little bottles can serve as a thoughtful guest favour or bridesmaid gift.
Decorating Quick Tip | Decorative Bottle Stoppers
Karianne of Thistlewood Farms repurposed these vintage metal doorknobs into striking bottle stoppers – all in under 30 minutes! Find the step-by-step instructions: HERE.
Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Room Reveal: Rose’s Entrance Foyer Makeover

by Rose McClement

The Makings Of A Grand Entrance:

It’s time for a room reveal! Furthermore, what makes this reveal extra special is that this space is in my own home. Yes, I am finally doing it! I have gotten to the place where I am ready to show “myself”.  This was especially difficult for me because a room reveal cannot be done outside of revealing a part of who you are.

As I have said so how many times: “Your home speaks to who you are, your character, your values, your preferences, etc.

So, let me kick-off be saying: Welcome to my home, my world! Grab a cuppa because it’s a long-ish story. Long-ish but hopefully light, easy and fun. I want to reveal the journey of getting into it and doing it. You could say “share the processes” – but that sounds so officious.  

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Just before I get into the nitty-gritty, I think I should mention something about how I “play this game called Interiors“. 

On the one side of the coin, you have designers and decorators who prefer a more structured game plan. They lean towards a more methodical and linear creative thinking (technically-inclined Architects come to mind). On the flip side of the very same coin, you have the designers for whom a more organic and spontaneous game plan is a better fit. 

Yours-truly fits into the latter category. Does this make the organic decorator someone who flies by the seat of her pants, or is all over the show? NO – hardly. We still follow a pattern and structure but are open to changing lanes and move into it with a bit more ease. So, this room reveal won’t really be a “5 steps to get to the goal” kinda story.

Read More »
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.

Read More »

Decorating Dictionary - Define Neutral Colour | via designmonarchy.co.za

Decorating Dictionary: Neutral

What is the definition of Neutral?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term “neutral“, “neutral colour“, or “neutral palette” and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define Neutral for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Neutral:  In interiors, neutral colours serve as subtle background hues, which can easily be combined and layered with other bolder colours. While neutral tones are often mild and unoffensive, they are not necessarily devoid of colour. Most neutral colours have undertones of other colours in them. Traditional warm neutral shades include colours like taupe and beige while cooler neutrals have a slightly bluer undertone – these would be your greys and silvers. Neutrals can also vary from very light tones, such as white, to darker shades, such as charcoal.

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

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.

Read More »