Art Crush: Sarah Danes Jarrett

Whilst in Hout Bay last week for a meeting I spotted the most beautiful and captivating artwork in the Hout Bay Gallery window. I was absolutely spellbound by the dramatic faces staring back at me. The portraits, painted by artist Sarah Danes Jarrett, has an almost “fashion glamour shots meets fine art” feel – very sexy. Don’t you just adore the bold use of colour and choppy brushwork?! Love these – a definite art crush!

Images: Hout Bay Gallery

Trend Watching 2012 – Part One

By Marica

Just like last year, Rose and I sat down earlier this week to discuss our favourite trends of the past year. We might not be good at predicting future trends (yet) but we love to observe the evolution of current and past trends – we call this little exercise “trend watching”.

As predicted many of the 2011 trends we wrote about last year continued on into 2012. Since most of these trends are still relevant and to refresh your memory you can read the 2011 trend reports here: Part 1 (Style), Part 2 (Colour), and Part 3 (Pattern).

Interesting to note that the primary style trends have not changed much over the past year. Trends like Industrial, Mid-century Modern, Scandi, and Vintage are now more popular than ever – especially since trend-related items have finally reached the retail market. More and more emphasis is also being place on designing green and buying homemade.

Rose and I also read a fascinating article on Freshome recently concerning the link between fashion and interior trends. In recent years the world of interiors has seen about a 2 year lag from runway to living room. Now that gap seems to be closing in at a much faster rate. The article also addresses Pantone’s Colour of the Year and its trend influence – it’s a very interesting read.

Now, today we’ll be looking at our favourite colour trends of 2012…
Untitled-1

The most surprising colour trend of 2012 would have to be Neon! First hitting the runways as part of Spring/Summer 2012 fashion collections – my first instinct was to run for the hills. However, this current neon trend is not a rehashing of the horrible, unmentionable neon trends of the 80’s. It’s contemporary, it’s refined, it’s balanced – it’s interesting!

Within months (maybe even weeks) this bold trend made its transition into the world of interiors and décor. Vibrant and eye-catching, pops of fluorescents adds an unexpected element to any interior. I’m not saying you should go paint all your walls a shocking pink – just add one or two bright accent pieces. It’s cool, it’s brave, it’s not for everyone – I totally love it.pastel

Pastels are by no means a new trend – it has been around for yonks. However, we have noticed a pastel evolution over the last handful of years. No longer restricted to kid’s bedrooms or fluffy girly spaces, we have moved away from the predictable cotton-candy pastels. The current pastel palettes – including those of 2011 & 2012 –  have a lot more depth. We saw the introduction of “bright pastels” – think corals, salmons, mints and aquas. These spring-coloured pastels where much the rage last year.

A new addition, which I’m sure we are going to see a lot more in the year to come, is what I like to call “dusty pastels“. Not as saturated as “bright pastels“, it has an almost time faded appearance – think dusty lilac, faded rose, or powdery moss.

Another delicious current trend is to combine pastels with pops of neon – the result is absolutely stunning!

metallics

Various metal finishes have once again made a comeback. However, it is not the shiny, glam, and gaudy metallics of trends past. It is an aged, faded kind of metal trend – no blinding, polished golds and silvers. Old gold, antique silver, and especially brass and copper have seen a revival. There is just something about these rich, warm-hued metals that adds dimension and a sense of vintage luxe. I have seen some gorgeous brass and copper light-fittings and décor accents, and it works so well with our other colour trends!

Stick around for Part 2 of our 2012 Trend report where we discuss the past year’s pattern trends…

{So, what colour trends did you notice in 2012? We would love to hear about your favourites colour!}

Jared Odell Asks “What’s Your Colour?”

I’ve recently been thinking back to our whirlwind Design Indaba experience earlier this year. We saw SO many awesome things and met SO may awesome designers, including this talented local boy’tjie…

Jared Odell on his FULBRITE Coffee Table

Capetonian furniture designer Jared Odell has been making some serious design waves since the launch of his first furniture range last year. The Fulbrite Range playfully combines bent powder-coated sheet metal with gorgeous solid Scandinavian birch plywood. It has an elegant simplicity and quirky fold-out and slot-in look about it that in some slight way reminds me of flat-packed furniture. The beauty of the range is the option to choose your favourite colour for powder coating, giving you the option to create something truly unique.

The FULBRITE chair. Pick a colour!

Jared, who studied Industrial Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology alongside the Pedersen+Lennard whiz kids (sho, that year sure turned out design diamonds), is a Mid-century Modernists enthusiast. Just like the Modernists, he attempts to balance aesthetics, function, and simplicity while staying true to his chosen materials.

The FULBRITE bench and the newest addition to range, the “Lobby Chair” on the right.

In an interview with Jared last year, Visi posed the question: “Does South Africa inspire your design at all? If so, how?” I quite like Jared’s answer…

“Yes, I think the relaxed culture of South Africans has inspired me to create furniture that’s fun and not too pretentious. European design is beautiful, but it’s often so serious. South Africans like beautiful yet practical things, so I’ve tried to create a range that’s usable and practical. I’m designing furniture, not making art.”

Check out Jared’s website: here.

The Jared Odell FULBRITE Tri Table & Table
The FULBRITE chair in white.
Absolutely LOVE the FULBRITE desk lamps!
[Images via Jared Odell]

2011 Trend Watching – Part Two

By Marica

Yesterday we discussed some style trends we observed in 2011, highlighting our favourites. Today we’ll be looking at our favourite 2011 colour trends…

Colour Trends:

{source: 1 & 2}

At the beginning of 2011 various berry colours did the rounds – luscious shades of purplered and pink. Pantone’s colour of 2011, Honeysuckle Pink, probably had a large role to play in the berry-coloured trend. Since the trend is to draw our inspiration from nature in terms of colour, it comes as no surprise to find that the rich, warm and comforting colours of berries have unfolded onto the artist’s palette. The colour red hit the stage of fashion and design a number of years ago. And like most things that evolve, so too has the tones of red. This evolution has moved from being bold striking reds, to the more gentle tones of berry, cherry, pink, purple – and the most awesome part of it all, is that these same colours are boldly and effectively, being coupled with teal blue, deep aqua blue, chartreuse yellow, grey and black. Adding exciting and adventurous flavours that allows the man-in-the-street to dabble with colour in a manner not seen for a long time.

{source: 1 & 2}

Another awesome colour trend was the use of sunny yellow. I’m instantly drawn to the warm, friendly colour. We observed a good few beautiful yellow interiors – most often paired with another trending colour – grey. The predominant trend is to use pops of yellow as accent colour and the contrasting grey as a neutral base. Splashes of yellow adds some instant sunshine and statement to an interior as the use of such a bright yellow is quite bold. The combo of warm (yellow) and cool (grey) really complements contemporary interiors.

{source: 1, 2, 3}

A colour trend that is still going strong, is my much-loved shades of blue. Blues of all shades and hues has been trending this past year – strong cobalt, bright ultramarine, deep indigo, sea-foam, aqua, turquoise, robin’s egg. Jeez, thinking of all the beautiful inky blues is making me all excited, lyrical even! Rose also agrees that this blue trend was by far her favourite colour trend of 2011 – lets hope it sticks around for another year or ten…blue is timeless.

{source: 1 & 2}

There is one of the past year’s colour trends that Rose and I really had to get used to – the all-white phenomenon. Hugely popular, we now see it in every other interior –  white wallswhite floors, splashes of accent colours and textures. Our problem, you see, is that we view walls and floors as an integral part of “layering” – an interior with white walls and floors is therefore missing “layers”. Rose and I have however grown to love this fresh and open style of decorating (when somehow refined) – it must be the Scandinavian influence.

{source: 1, 2, 3, 4}

Towards the end of 2011 we saw gradual migration towards fresh spring colours – especially corals and salmons, usually paired with aqua and turquoise blues. I found the introduction of the coral and salmon hues quite surprising and unexpected. I can remember telling Rose “I will never like those – it’s just another name for shades of (dreadful) peach!” Luckily, I soon changed my mind – I can honestly say that the coral-aqua combo is one of my favourite colour trends of 2011. This pastel-coloured trend is also said to be one of the strong colour trends of 2012.

Stick around for Part 3 of our 2011 Trends report where we discuss the past year’s pattern trends…

So, what colour trends did you notice in 2011? We would love to hear about your favourites colour!

Colours that don’t “do it” for me…

When considering colour in décor and design, I often wonder where the starting point of this specific topic is and where it end (if ever). There is just so much to say about colour – its intentions, its effects, the trends, the do’s and the don’ts and more. But over and above all that, one thing I am always conscious of is the fact that colour is “individual specific”. What works for me may not work for you.

Which brings me to the opinion I want to share with you today- the colours that just don’t do it for me any more and those that manage to grab my attention of late.

Terracotta walls and a dark stained vanity? Definitely does NOT do it for me!
This earthy African interior is bland, dark and heavy. Give me colour that pops!

Let’s start with the DON’T DO IT: Terracotta orange and clay colours, along with that dark stained finishes on wooden furniture and joinery items. For me the days of the dark kitchen cupboard doors and drawers, as well as dark coffee tables, dining chairs and tables are long gone tired, over and done with. That whole dark wenge and dark African mahogany wooden finish seemed to walk hand-in-hand with the deeper “earthy tones” of burnt orange and clay on a background of beige colours. Pretty much that “African” look.  We were subjected to such an over-exposure of it, that it became anathema to me – loathed when encountered. That is where the problem lies – total over-exposure. Could the possibility also exist that working with these dark finishes were somewhat limiting and stifling, leading to creative boredom?

It almost seems silly to be raising this style as a topic of discussion, particularly since there has been a natural progression from dark finishes to lighter natural wooden finishes with complimenting vibrant colours such as green, fresh oranges, soft browns and strong hues of blue. NOW THIS I CAN DO!  The operative word here is VIBRANT.

See how this pale blue compliments the terracotta! Beautiful and FRESH!

With the gradual advent and introduction of growing eco-awareness, the shift to natural was inevitable. Somehow, that shift to all things a-la-natural has evoked a surge of creative energy, making it very difficult to grow tired of this natural trend. It is the foundation for a much broader colour spectrum and really can be such fun to work with.

HOWEVER, having said all of that, I am not writing off the colour clay completely. In fact clay can be a fab complimentary colour (and burnt orange if it comes to that) when carefully paired up with another vibrant colour, such as a strong teal blue.

Now this is colour that POPS! The vibrant teal compliments the warmer terracotta perfectly! (This bright combination is not for the meek though)

Take this bathroom for instance.  The feature colour is teal, complimented by the clay bath, vanity unit and towels. When it is not the dominant colour, IT CAN DO IT FOR ME.

Images sourced from Houzz: here.

Interesting Soap Dishes

10 Bathroom Accessories Under R200

By Marica

An economical way for your bathroom to remain beautiful and timeless is by keeping it a blank canvas. Investing in quality contemporary finishes in neutral colours will allow you to change the look of your bathroom regularly by just switching out a handful of décor items and colours. I have noticed in most homes that bathrooms are either cold and bare or, on the other end of the scale, uncoordinated and filled with unnecessary fiddly bits. Here is a little budget inspiration for your bathroom…

Towels - White & Purple
Buy good quality white towels as a basis, like this "10 Year Towels" from Weylandts (R199 each) and one or two less expensive towels in a colour of choice. The splashes of colour will serve as accent without dominating and since coloured/dyed towels wear and fade far quicker you don't have to spend piles of money on them. The striking purple towel is from Mr. Price Home (R69.99) and the aubergine towel from @Home (R80.00)
Recycled Paper Waste Basket
This beautiful waste basket is made out of recycled paper, available from Weylandts at R179.00. Select a non-translucent bathroom bin - nobody wants to so what you toss away...
Purple Glass Candle Holders
Add a couple of colourful tea candle holders - keep it simplistic (remember - no fiddly bits!). These beautiful glass holders can also serve as funky ear-bud containers. The ribbed tea light holder is R15.99 and the other one R5.99, both from Mr. Price Home
Interesting Soap Dishes
I find the average soap dish to be extremely boring. If you can't find something beautiful like this grey lace soap dish from The Pause Room (77.00) use interesting side-plates or butter dishes: The funky purple side plate is from Woolworths (R29.95) and the gorgeous silver leaf dish is from Farriers (R60.00)
Funky Laundry Basket
I love this funky fabric Laundry Bin, and it is collapse-able for easy storage when empty. R129.00 from @Home
Scented Candles Violet Lilac and Grey
Candles are a must! Make sure they are scented - a bathroom should always smell as beautiful as it looks! The candles above are R49.00 each, all from @Home.
Amethyst Tumbler and Silver Glass
Just like the soap dishes, I find toothbrush holders extremely drab! Rather opt for a beautiful glass tumbler or interesting container. The stained glass tumblers show above are perfect as they won't appear dirty too quickly. The amethyst glass is from Mr Price Home (R29.99) and the platinum mist tumbler is from @Home (R39.00)
Handmade Soaps
Don't forget some gentle handmade glycerine soaps! Always beautiful. These two tone soap bars are from The Pause Room (R30.00 each)
Beautiful Purple Bath Mat
This gorgeous bold purple bath mat immediately caught my attention. The pebbled surface aids to the water absorption and is seriously funky. Beautiful! Available from @Home for R119.00
Most people are afraid to put art work in their bathrooms, but if you have the wall space - go for it! I love these simplistic yet trendy geometric prints: Available through Etsy, it is by an US design company called Acquired Design. It works out to about R100.00 each (ex shipping) Not bad at all!)

Check out these products on the supplier’s various websites:

@HomeMr. Price HomeWoolworthsThe Pause RoomFarriersWeylandtsEtsy