Covid-19: Work from Home

Design Monarchy, Covid-19 and Lockdown Musings

Feature image via: Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash

by Rose McClement

As I sit and contemplate the last few months of 2020, it feels totally surreal.

As I slowly begin to emerge from living through a Worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, hectic S.A. Lockdown and all those issues that flow and follows in its wake, I have to ask myself “Did this really happen? Is this still really happening? Am I really experiencing an extraordinarily time that will no doubt make its mark in world history? Something like WW2 and Mandela!”.

These same questions crossed my mind during the initial worldwide lockdown period when I sat staring at the images of empty city street scenes – streets, public plazas, curbside cafes that would normally be abuzz with people. One remarkably familiar and local empty street scene image stuck with me.  As I gazed at the images Cape Town’s famous Camps Bay Main Road with not a car, bus, taxi, person in sight the brevity of the situation hit home. That was totally surreal and bizarre. Something not witnessed by me before.

Covid-19: Stay Home
Stay home. Image created by Vanessa Santos. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19. | source: United Nations via Unsplash

Then the adjusting into living in isolation, transitioning from working in the office to working from your ‘new home-office’, communicating via online platforms, wearing masks to the shops, etc. Who would have even begun to imagine at the start of 2020 that all of that would be our day-to-day reality? I always imagined that the year 2020 would have some sort of sci-fi-esque characteristic about it, like flying cars, robotic labour, etc. A movie-type pandemic, however? Nope, that was not the kinda sci-fi I had in mind.

Closer to home, the Lockdown-need for Design Monarchy (Marica and myself) to work digitally from our respective desks / home office setups was nothing new for the two of us.  For a good many years it is something that we had transitioned into and adopted as a way of working.  We use Skype, Whatsapp, TeamViewer, and the like as our online tools.  Thus, it was business as usual for the two of us.  We were fortunate enough to have a Beauty & Wellness Spa interior design project to occupy our time and attention (watch this space for forthcoming visual delights and the back story).  We were mainly working on the ‘behind the scenes’ stage of the project. Fortunately, we were also well versed with sourcing and shopping online thanks to Marica’s extremely well-honed and developed online research skills. I am telling you she can find the proverbial needle in the Online haystack!

Read More »

Quarantine Crafts: 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom

Quarantine Crafts: 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom

by Marica Fick

So 2020 has been an unexpected, out-of-control, wild horse of a year thus far. Who would have ever predicted and prepared for a worldwide health crisis that would leave billions of people lockdown in their own homes for safety. Yet here we are. Hello Covid-19. While some countries are entering their 5th week of Coronavirus quarantine, others are only calling for lockdown restrictions now.

Either way, I can imagine that most of you are climbing the walls out of frustration and boredom. All the books have been read and the Nexflix queue is empty. I am just thankful that I can wear my pyjamas (yay elasticated waist!) most of the day because the cycle of binge-watching and snacking has resulted in a bit of jelly-belly.

I see that people cope with the quarantine boredom in various ways – cooking, spring cleaning, running laps in the backyard, and of course… DIY.

If you want to attempt a few quarantine crafts to keep you busy during lockdown, we have put together six of our easiest Decorating Quick Tips from past posts for you to try at home.

Here are our 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom:

1. Turn Vintage Tins Into Functional Decorative Accessories:

If your home is anything like mine, you probably have a collection of pretty vintage tins gathering dust on some forgotten shelf. Over the years my mom and gran accumulated a fair assortment of interesting tea, biscuit, and flour tins. It was quite fashionable a few decades ago to put these empty tins on display… on top of kitchen cabinets mostly. Did your home feature a similar vintage tin stockpile or is this a purely Afrikaans phenomenon?

The good news is, vintage tins are once again a desirable commodity. However, instead of just using them for display give them a practical function…

hintRepurpose pretty and vintage tea and flour tins by using them as gorgeous herb or flower planters. Smaller biscuit or sweet tins can also be converted into beautiful candle holders. One can also give pretty spice, vintage cigarette, or mint tins a second life by turning them into refrigerator magnets. Just slip a strong magnet inside the tin and voilà – stunning fridge storage.

The Cultivated Candle Co. posted a lovely DIY video illustrating how you can make your own set of vintage tin fridge magnets. Watch the video above to see just how easy it is! If you want to try your hand a creating a tea tin candle, you can follow this lovely tutorial shared by Sweet Cayenne. Alternatively, House & Home posted step-by-step instructions on how you can transform your tin collection into pretty herb planters.

[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 2 August 2012  |  Quick Tip #16: Practical Pretty Tins ]

2. Brighten Up Your Garden or Patio With Paint-dipped Pots:

Decorating Quick Tip Paint-Dipped Pots

Playing with a “paint-dipped” effect is a brilliant way of adding colour and interest to an item without going overboard. The idea is to replicate the look of something that has been partially dunked in paint. Whether you do this by actually dipping part of your chosen item in paint or using tape and a brush to create the effect the result is playful and trendy.

Stick a lovely succulent, fragrant herb, or happy flower in one of these paint-dipped pots, and they would make for excellent Mother’s Day gifts or a sweet way to say thank you to your child’s favourite teacher.

hint A fun and easy way to add some colour and quirk to your indoor or outdoor potted plants is to paint-dip the pots! All you need is some sturdy (yet cheap) unglazed terracotta or ceramic pots and the paint colour[s] of your choice. For added interest, you can even opt for an angled dipped-effect. These trendy dipped pots would make for a stunning kitchen sill herb garden or add some quirk to your garden patio.

Better Homes & Gardens shared a lovely step-by-step video on how to mimic the paint-dipped look on terracotta pots using a rubber band and acrylic paint. See the video: here.

[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 20 March 2014 | Quick Tip #31: Paint-Dipped Pots ]Read More »