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 in sufficient time.Read More »

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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 complements 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 »

Old Books Archives

We Are Delving into the Blog Archives

by Rose McClement

Often during the winter months, due to the slower pace of work, we take advantage of the breathing space, to revisit and revitalise the social media side of our business. Coming out of recent chats, Marica and I have decided that we are going to “modify” our email newsletter tempo a little. Like gear it up a bit.

What will that look like in reality? Well, for a while now our newsletters have been sent every fortnight. Cool – until it dawned on me that since we have been blogging for near on 7 years now, we have so many articles and posts from “back then” that may not have passed before your line of sight yet.  I’m excited about this and hope that you will enjoy it with us.

In the spirit of #ThrowbackThursday, we will also be sharing past blog posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages every Thursday.Read More »

Creative SA: Zana

Creative SA: Zana

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Marica Fick

Today we want to share the gorgeous products of Cape Town-based creative studio, Zana, with you.

Zana produces beautiful screen-printed products – textiles, bags, cushions, and other fashion and home accessories but to name a few of their “giftables”. Their trendy graphic designs are bold and fun with a definite Scandi flair.

“We love to create things that pack a punch and give you that hair-blowing-back, confetti-bomb experience. We are in love with colour, pattern and typography. This is really what gets us inspired.”

– ZanaRead More »

Block & Chisel

Creative SA: Block & Chisel

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Marica Fick

The South African creatives we want to share with you today are very special indeed. Block & Chisel is celebrating an extraordinary milestone this year. 2017 marks the furniture and homeware company’s 30th anniversary – which is no small achievement for any business. They are one of the few local creatives who have built their business into a powerful, recognised local brand. One might even call them a furniture and decor dynasty.

We here at Design Monarchy hold Block & Chisel and their founders, Lynn & Sibley McAdam, in very high regard. The way in which they have developed and grown their product range over the decades is admirable.

The husband and wife team first began this journey after Lynn sold Biggie Best. With Lynn’s eye for beautiful pieces together with Sibley’s passion for restoring antiques and crafting fine furniture, Block & Chisel was born. The past 15 years has seen Block & Chisel welcome the McAdams’s son and daughter into the fold.

I, as a relatively “green” designer, love when Rose, who has been in the South African decorating industry for decades, enlightens me on the history of certain creatives and local design-related businesses. Block & Chisel is such a business – Rose can distinctly remember when they first opened their doors in 1987. Now 30 years later they own multiple successful shops.

Block & Chisel fills a very distinctive niche in the furniture and decorative accessories market. Their flavour is distinctly upmarket. They manage to create this delicious mix of eclectic, luxury, traditional but also contemporary, trendy yet timeless, oh-so-chic elements.

While Block & Chisel has their fingers firmly on the global interior trend pulse, they stay rooted in the company’s slightly colonial foundation which is evident in their classic French and English Country ranges.

Sibley first introduced these designs in the early years and to this day, it still forms the backbone of the Block & Chisel product range. In recent years more contemporary designs have been added. Lynn expertly accents these locally manufactured pieces with carefully chosen treasures to create an overall eclectic flair.

It is always such a treat and sensory experience to visit Block & Chisel in Diep River where we often shop and source for our clients. Not only does the showroom smell amazing, it is also filled with layer upon layer of the most beautiful furniture and decorative accessories. The showroom layout and various room settings tell such a wonderful decorative “story”.

We believe the key to Block & Chisel’s success (other than their visionary and talented owners) is longevity. Longevity, not only in their product ranges, but also in their business model. They keep evolving and reinventing to cater to their chosen market. And that is what we appreciate most about Block & Chisel.

Be sure to check out the Block & Chisel to see their full range of furniture & decorative accessories.

You can also follow Block & Chisel on FacebookInstagram, Twitter & Pinterest.
Decorex Cape Town 2017

Decorex Cape Town 2017: What to Expect

It is that time of the year again; Decorex Cape Town 2017 is just a stone’s throw away. The lifestyle expo will kick off on Thursday the 27th of April 2017 at the CTICC and conclude on Sunday the 3rd.

If you have been wondering what to expect from this year’s expo here are a few anticipated highlights as suggested by the Decorex team:

Decorex Cape Town 2017

WHAT TO EXPECT AT DECOREX CAPE TOWN 2017…

“In line with the 2017 theme, ‘Make your space your living dream’, visitors to South Africa’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition will be immersed in natural fabrics, revitalising tones and quality products all centred around a vision of reclaiming a space of sanctuary, disconnected from the relentless noise and distraction of the modern world.

Decorex Cape Town

Cape Town, which leads the way in décor excellence nationwide, can expect to see only the highest quality products and décor set to international standard, as well as the country’s most creative designers who will be showcasing the latest trends.

Visitors can interact with the country’s top designers where the latest trends will be accessibly featured in a variety of room settings. The Decorex Designer Spotlight will showcase the work of iconic Cape Town designer Dylan Thomaz while stylish living ideas can be picked up at the Decorex Trend House.

Decorex Cape Town

The Decorex SA Trend House is a project which gives the audience a visual representation of how the 2017 trends can be realised in any living space by creating a home using carefully selected @home furnishings.

Anyone looking for a change in hue can visit the Plascon stand where the highly anticipated 2017 colour forecast will be revealed. And for the latest in international-level kitchen products and appliances, visitors are invited to the Franke Kitchen Trend Project where four local kitchen designers will compete to create the ultimate ‘Simplicity in Design’ kitchen.

Decorex Cape Town

Adding value to the home with insightful décor and gardening tips is the not-to-be-missed Builders DIY Theatre. Leaders in the DIY industry, as well as a number of celebrity speakers, will share advice on home and garden revamping, general improvements and fix-ups with live demonstrations throughout the four-day exhibition.”


Decorex Cape Town

Date: 27 – 30 April 2017

Time: 10am – 6pm daily

Ticket prices: Adults: R95, Pensioners: R85, Children under 12: R20

Venue: Cape Town International Conference Centre


For more information visit www.decorex.co.za

You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram or follow @decorexSA on Twitter

All info and images via Decorex