Simonsberg Silo's: Unique Cottage Break-Away

Simonsberg Silos: Unique Cottage Break-Away

by Marica Fick

If you are looking for rather unusual and whimsical weekend getaway accommodation, we might just have found the place!

Positioned on the shadowy lower slopes of the beautiful and majestic Simonsberg Mountains just outside Stellenbosch you will find two unique self-catering cottages. Used as grain storage and then stables in a previous life, the dilapidated old silos were lovingly restored by farm owners Alex and Sumari Milner into something all-together different.

Simonsberg Silo's: Unique Cottage Break-Away

The Simonsberg Silos are located on the leafy and historic farm, Natte Valleij, in the Klapmuts winelands district. The farm and manor house overflows with rustic charm. Seeped in history, the Cape Dutch homestead, old wine cellars, brandy stills, magnificent mature gardens with ancient trees, pergolas and ponds are all surrounded by whitewashed walls.

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South African Design Industry Mourns Carrol Boyes

by Rose McClement

Some news you just don’t expect to hear, something like a curveball coming your way. It takes your breath away and leaves you wondering “WHAT just happened?!” That is how I felt yesterday afternoon when Marica sent me a message telling of the passing of one of South Africa’s great design creative legends, Carrol Boyes.

Mourning her passing today feels much akin to two other instances we have had to say goodbye to SA legends – Nelson Mandela and, more recently, Johnny Clegg. Carrol Boyes is such a household name, not only in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa but also globally. Her incredibly ingenious brand of decorative, yet functional homeware is instantly recognizable – the perfect fusion between art and function.

In the official announcement posted on the Carrol Boyes Facebook page yesterday, the company shared the following beautiful tribute:

Carrol enriched many lives in multiple ways. She instilled an unconventional approach to business and her message to her staff was ‘I have had such fun with you and you have enriched my life greatly. Please remember that we do things differently here. Never be ordinary – be extraordinary and throw in a bit of naughtiness every now and then and keep laughing. Never lose your sense of humour.

Carrol will be remembered for her love, her story and her quirky creativity. Carrol leaves our nation with a legacy of excellence, unity, empowerment and pioneering functional art. She will be greatly missed.

Instead of going into detail about her history or legendary work, I’ll rather leave you with the video shared above. I feel that the video, in which Carrol speaks of herself, her work, and her business, says more than I can hope to bring across.

We as a Cape Town / South African interior design company and blog would like to use this opportunity to pay tribute to her and her celebrated designs and product. I’ve absolutely no doubt whatsoever, that her legend will live on vibrantly through her creative brand as they continue to produce iconic works of functional art well into the future.

Our thoughts are with her family, loved ones, friends, her community, her employees, and anyone who mourns Carrol’s passing. Warmest condolences to them.

A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

Rose recently spotted this beautifully renovated Capetonian cottage on My Scandinavian Home. We were super chuffed to see a local home on such a celebrated international blog.

The remodel process of this small and, at the time, rather ordinary home was first shared by local blogger, Diana from Miss Moss.

A Charming and Beautifully Renovated Cottage in Cape Town

The owners, wedding photographers Rebecca & Bruce, purchased the tiny property, located in Muizenberg – a coastal suburb of Cape Town, a few years ago. Seeing the potential, they immediately got cracking – transforming the space into something more suited to its name, Sunbird Cottage. Bruce and Rebecca, with the help of architect Donne Atkinson, did the majority of the renovation themselves – and that on a modest budget.

And what a transformation it is!Read More »

Swan Café Crêperie | Interior by Haldane Martin

Swan Café: A Bit of French Heaven

by Marica Fick

Two months ago, VISI shared a quick article on a gorgeous new crêperie that recently opened its doors in the Cape Town CBD.  The accompanying images of the interiors were so lovely, bold, and striking that I immediately knew that this was a space I just HAVE to see in the flesh.

Located on the corner of Buitenkant and Barrack streets, in the bustling east city precinct, Swan Café boasts of being Cape Town’s first authentic Parisian Crêperie. One can thank the overseeing hand of owner and restaurateur Jessica Rushmere for this authenticity as she is French – born and bred. Jessica, who also owns La Petite Tarte in the Cape Quarter, desired to bring a slice of Paris culture and food to Cape Town.

The interiors were skilfully designed by Haldane Martin. Interestingly enough, Haldane also designed the super cool steampunk interiors of Truth Coffee which is just across the street from Swan Café.

Swan Café Crêperie | Interior by Haldane Martin
interior design: Haldane Martin   |  photographer: Micky Hoyle

Taking queue from the gorgeous swan logo, designed by graphic designer and illustrator Heidi Chisholm, the space features a bold and patriotic blend of blue, red and white.

The bold blue walls and beautiful monochromatic wallpapers serve as a gorgeous backdrop to the space. The side wall features the well-known Renaissance painting “Leda and the Swan” by Leonardo da Vinci, while the back wall is that of Jean-Léon Gérôme’s “Leda and the Swan”.
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Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy

Our Work: Chan Wela Beauty Spa

by Rose McClement

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.

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
Chan Wela Beauty Spa’s manicure bar in Century City, Cape Town. Don’t you just LOVE the gorgeous mint velvet fabric we sourced for the manicure chairs? It was a very hard find!

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!

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
The Pedicure station featured some beautiful plush and comfy wingback chairs upholstered in a stunning soft pink velvet.

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 insufficient time.Read More »

Quirky Workspace | Interiors by Design Monarchy

Our Work: Workspace Before & After

Quirky Workspace Before & After | Interiors by Design Monarchy
AFTER: The completed fun & quirky workspace featuring the trestle desk made out of a reclaimed vintage door.

by Rose McClement

I am sure by now you are quite familiar with the following workspace as we have shared and chatted about it many times before.

After images of this interior project appeared in the January issue of Tuis / Home Magazine last year, we have received so many compliments on this specific space.

This quirky workspace seems to stir up a stack of enthusiastic comments and questions. We heard a lot of: “Wow, this is awesome!”; “I want a workspace like that!”; “Where did you get that desk?”; “And the boxes where did you buy those?”; “Is that a real brick wall?!

So we thought we would share a bit of the design process involved with this workspace with you.Read More »