Our Quirky KARE Wish List

by Marica Fick

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!

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The Evolution of Pink

The Evolution of Pink

by Rose McClement

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 fabricyummy! – another one of my favourite decor elements right now.

The Evolution of Pink | Home Magazine
Rose of Design Monarchy is featured in the May issue of Home Magazine / Tuis Tydskrif

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. 

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African Women's Crowning Glory

African Women’s Crowning Glory

by Rose McClement

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”.

African Women's Crowning Glory
Nigerian actress, Ini Edo | source: Nollywood Community

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.

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Bold & Bright Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com

The Flip Side: Bold & Bright Interiors

by Rose McClement

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!

Bold & Bright Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com
source: bien fait via instagram

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”)

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Décor Diva: Make it RED

It’s strong, it’s vital, it’s bold…

it’s RED

WARNING: This post is a longer read than normal.  If you endure, you may well be entertained and enlightened…

In the last post on colour, we showed you that the Personality ABC tool used by some Life Coaches actually manages to categorise the different personality characteristics into three easy colour references, namely: (please bear in mind that I am describing it in the most basic terms)

RED strong leadership skills, proactive, risk takers, competitive, ambitious, driven, aggressive

YELLOW– warm hearted, friendly, co-operative, team players, sociable, easy going, sensitive

BLUE – Thinkers, contemplative, precise, logical, independent, analytical, systematic etc

Essentially we all display the characteristics of all three colours, but one colour will dominate, with the second colour being less dominant and the third colour just trailing in.

To make it easier to understand: – I am a yellow person, followed by red with blue characteristics being the little sister. (Hey – with my scant understanding, I wondered whether Oprah would be a yellow, red and blue person as well??)

What does that mean – I am a warm, friendly, co-operative person, whose loves playing in a team, capable of being proactive, competitive and ambitious, not given to much analytical thinking.  I certainly do not like reading a manual to find out how to operate my new cell phone.  I am a do-er so let’s get down to the task at hand and if you don’t do it quickly enough, then I will do it for you. I like to lead within my comfort zone. (Such honesty!)

Now Marica on the other hand – she is equal parts blue and yellow (maybe a tiny bit more yellow than blue) and the little sister is red.  She is so given to fiddling when trying to figure out new stuff and coming to terms with the ‘how to’ matters of life. She likes to design something that will show that she has put a great deal of thought into it. Plus she is a really friendly team player, sociable with a wicked sense of humour.  But she is quite happy for me to be the leader of the pack.  So, you can see how we compliment each other’s personalities and skills.

What on earth does this have to do with interiors?  Lots – let’s take a quick look at someone who is dominant in the RED ZONE:


The colour RED speaks of power, authority, boldness, risk taking, passion, excitement, opulence, superiority and of course tradition.  It is stimulating (hence often being associated with dining), it is confident and it reflects prosperity.  Just think of how many strong, famous brands have RED in their brand identity.  Absa Bank, Virgin, Wells Fargo and Revlon to name a few.  When you speak of a Ferrari motor car, what colour comes to mind RED?   The senior priests of the Roman Catholic Church, namely the Cardinals wear RED.  

You can so easily see why that colour relates to the leaders among us.

This Nico van der Meulen Architects interior is an excellent example of a RED personality space. It's big, it's strong, it's filled with texture and statement items.

And when you go into their homes, you will find that the architecture and the interiors will be making those exact same statements.  Please don’t think that you are going to see red walls, carpets and cushions everywhere.  No, instead you will find architectural and interior features that are bold, strong and express authority (even if it is a quiet expression of authority).   These features could be strong linear lines in the architecture, with concrete floors or walls, strong wooden cladding, spacious rooms, with high ceilings, big windows, big or bold, or both kitchen and bathroom designs.  The Interior design will be done in such a way as to command your attention.

The shocking pink table shouts "look at me, look at me!" These bold colours make a definite statement. Image via Living Etc

The soft furnishings could include luxurious fabrics draping the windows, comfortable custom made seating, designer furniture, an art collection, other collectables of note, Persian carpets – modern or traditional.  Everything will be immaculate and the quality the best. Unique items – plenty!

Proof that a RED personality does not equate to a red interior. This bold, lavish blue Todd Romano interior has all the hallmarks of a RED personality. Image via Architectural Digest

These are the types of homes of successful business leaders in SA and globally.  One such a person is Marguerite Macdonald owner of Mavromac Fabrics.  A recent Visi article featuring her home she was quoted as saying:  “I don’t like puny, I like bold.  I don’t like skinny, I like fat”.

Marguerite MacDonald's lofty kitchen & dining area. Image via VISI

Those leaders who have not yet attained the wealth to develop interiors along these lines can also make the statements in their spaces, even if it is only one or two décor elements that speak of your ability to be bold and confident. Take a look around your space and notice how you express your personality.  If you are not doing it, then I would like to suggest that it is time.

A RED personality's home will be bold & lavish no matter what style it's done in. Take this glamorous black & white lounge as an example. Image via New House of Art

That then is a peep into the characteristic of the dominant RED, but remember, it is always brought into balance by either yellow or blue.

More next time!!!

Images via:

Nico van der Meulen: here

VISI: here

Architectural Digest: here

New House of Art: here

Living Etc: here