Quirky, off-beat, unique, out-of-the-box, and sometimes… just plain weird. Those are just some of the terms that come to mind when trying to describe KARE‘s unusual style of furniture and decorative accessories.
Never heard of them? No sweat, we’ll give a quick introduction to this European design cult brand…
KARE describes themselves as an unconventional furniture company which strictly rejects run-of-the-mill concepts. Instead, they strive to create an innovative range of unique, non-conformist and authentic furniture pieces.
Friends, Jürgen Reiter and Peter Schönhofen, established KARE in 1981 as a quirky alternative after being frustrated with the either terribly drab or elitist furniture market of the time.
“For unconventional and romantic spirits, for the wild and the style-conscious, for birds of paradise and all those who cast off all constraints when it comes to furnishing their own home.“
AND, it just so happens that KARE has recently opened its first ever store in Joburg, South Africa! So all this weird, quirky fun could be yours!
I’m sitting here wondering how to get this article off the ground? Where do I begin? I’m a bit of a storyteller. So I’m wondering, should I start with “Once upon a Time”? …Nah! Not this time around. I’ll leave that for when I write my book. All I ask right now is that you try to stay with me until “The End”.
Back in September 2017, Design Monarchy was commissioned to assist with the interior design and project management of Chan Wela, a nail bar and beauty salon. I’ve always maintained that whether you design for residential, hotel, retail, or any other interior space, the processes and the principles are always the same. That being said, the interior design of a nail and beauty salon was a first for us, yet we were very keen and excited to get on with it.
Before I go any further, I think that it would be appropriate to open up the meaning of the Salon’s name. “Chan Wela” is Thai for “me time”. To this day, I still find the name and its meaning very enchanting.
There were two major challenges that we faced with this project. First off – the timeframe was extremely tight. The Salon’s PR driven celebrity launch party was to be on the 28th of November. From the time that the deal was agreed upon to the big evening’s launch party, we basically had two months! In that time, we had to tackle challenge number two: converting a typically bland office space, in a typical office block complex, into a compelling top-of-the-range, fully-equipped, upmarket beauty salon. NO pressure!
The construction and building process of a project and converting an interior space is always a time-sensitive issue. The processes are all time-consuming – stress trigger points deluxe! Always! If you are planning an interior upgrade, please, factor in sufficient time.Read More »
When Beatrice Moore-Nöthnagel of Media24’s Tuis/ Home Magazine recently approached me for a quotation as an “Expert Opinion” on the topic of “why pink remains ever popular in decor“, I was thrilled. Especially since the colour pink has been on my decor radar in recent times. This is for a few reasons, one of which being, that we had only recently completed the interior design and decor of a Nail & Beauty Spa which featured the colour. We selected a soft, silky tone of pink for some of the seating. Furthermore, it was upholstered in a velvet fabric – yummy! – another one of my favourite decor elements right now.
I’ve always been a lover of pink – no matter what the shade or tone. Way back in the late 80’s our main bedroom had walls painted in a very bold “shocking” pink.
Furthermore, I’ve never really been afraid of using it in our interior projects. There is one particular project that springs to mind. We installed two bold pink sofas in the lounge of Galway’s The House Hotel back in 2006. The Irish folk were delightfully gob-smacked! It actually became the talk of the town for a while.
Here is what I had to say on the undying popularity of pink:
Over the last few decades, the global psyche has slowly been undergoing a shift from a purely male dominated world order towards the inclusion of the feminine energy. As women have slowly moved out of the shadows towards the centre stage, so too has the colour pink.
Like a woman, what can the colour pink bring to a space? It can melt and softens linear lines. It brings with it a sense of deliciousness. It has the capacity to lift the vitality of a space, to make it light and frivolous if need be. Yet it can also raise its voice to make that big, bright and bold statement.
As women continue revealing their intrinsic value, so too will the colour pink continue revelling in the limelight.
Two weeks ago, on the 27th April 2018, we as South Africans celebrated Freedom Day. On that day 24 years ago ALL South African, of every colour, race and creed over the age of 18 went to cast their vote. For the largest part of our citizens, it was the first time ever that they got to experience the right to cast their vote. That was a freedom that was hard won and a liberation that exacted a heavy price from many of our nation’s people.
As I cast my mind back to 27th April 1994 and scanned what has happened in our country since that momentous day, a stirring within moved me to write a tribute to African Women. As one who loves colour, texture and pattern I have often admired and been mesmerised by the African Woman’s “crowning glory”.
Even though this blog is mostly all about interiors and all related interior design and decor “stuff”, we are going to feature some fashion statements today.
Fashion statement made by incredibly beautiful African Women. Fashion statements that I regard as a total works of art and often stand in awe of the women who wear them! I feel sure that you would have to agree, that these African women wear their “headgear” and fashion accessories with such dignity and pride, that their audience is often left breathless.
Today we continue our “awesome stuff to do with old drawers” Decor Quick Tip miniseries. As I mentioned previously, we have found many of these clever and unusual dresser drawer DIY ideas. These tips are so quirky and playful, we are really enjoying the series thus far! Be sure to check out the previous drawer tips, “Old Drawer Turned Table” and “Under Bed Drawer Storage“… just in case you missed it.
#53 Looking for a quick and easy DIY weekend project? Repurpose an old and unwanted dresser drawer into an upcycled storage tray. Both functional and decorative, it is perfect for creating a decorative coffee table vignette or to serve as a quirky drinks tray. Choose your drawer wisely. For this particular DIY undertaking a shallow, box-like drawer (i.e. a drawer without an overlapping drawer front) will work best. Give your drawer a bright lick of paint or leave it natural or distressed if you prefer a rustic or Shabby Chic style. Add an interesting knob or handle that will complement your chosen style.
Marica recently wrote a Trend Alert article, highlighting some of the gorgeous dark and moody interiors. Prominent in all of these moody interiors were the wonderfully exhilarating deep and darker tones of some jewel colours. Colours such as Royal Blue, Emerald Green, Teal Green, Plum, Grape, Yellow, Bold Pink, Dark Grey, Orange and Lime Green.
While reading that article, I seeped into those alluring interior images. My heart was pounding with absolute pleasure at the beauty of those interiors. Definitely my kinda thing in a big way!
My friend Stella, a loyal member of our Facebook Fan Club made a very interesting comment on the post.
This is what she said: “I sooooo appreciate viewing these dark & moody tones. But for me it’s largely seasonal. As you say, winter draws one in. It’s cosy, gorgeous but come summer I want to bask in LIGHT, white and bright. So could I live with the dark tones? I don’t think so… but an accent wall, now you’re talking.” (All emphasis hers, including the numbers of “oooo’s” in the word “soooo”)