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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.

Trend Alert: Beautiful Blush Pink

By Marica

If you have been watching your Pinterest and Instagram feeds I’m sure you would have noticed a strong influx of soft and gentle pinks. And, just to be clear, when we say “pink” we are not speaking of a candy-coloured baby pink or a bold fuchsia. Oh no, we mean gorgeous shades of blushdelicate and warm with an almost “skin” like or “nude” undertone. So subtle a colour it is almost bordering on a neutral.

I have to admit this trend alert comes to you a little belatedly. However, Rose and I are so taken with this colour that we could not let the opportunity pass to share it with you. I suppose one thing that works in our favour is that trends take so long to reach retail level – it seems once the general public notices a trend and sees it on the shop shelves, it is almost old news online.

This gorgeous colour trend is another gifted to us by the fashion industry – think pretty barely-there pink lips, flowing and soft dusty rose fabrics, and stunning nude pink leathers and shoes.

Furthermore, it is not surprising that blush coloured interiors are all the rage as such a pink was Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2016. The lovely pink, called “Rose Quartz”, actually formed part of a colour duo, a first for Pantone. It was paired with “Serenity” – a soft blue.

Blush, while understated, can be quite chic and sophisticated. Even though the colour is soft and strikingly feminine, it is not necessarily fluffy or overly “girly”. Because of its dusty muted undertones Blush can easily be incorporated into a more masculine or gender-neutral interior.

In colour psychology Blush pink signifies tenderness, tranquillity and a nurturing strength. When introduce into one’s interior it can have a very enveloping womb-like and calming effect. It is therefore an excellent choice for spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms or any other areas where you seek comfort and relaxation.

Because of its warm almost-neutral quality, Blush pink falls more into the Winter colour sphere than that of Spring. It works well with greys, whites, and other muted pastel shades like pale sage greens. This rosy colour also looks beautiful when combined with lighter Scandinavian woods and warm metals like copper or rose gold.

If you are afraid of creating an excessively feminine space, use a more neutral colour as a base and only incorporate Blush as an accent by way of your decorative accessories.

source: Pompeli

source: Shauntelle Sposto

source: Junebug Weddings  |  photo: Kreativ Wedding

source: Rått & Sanselig  |  photo: Birgit Fausk

source: Rått & Sanselig  |  photo: Birgit Fausk

source: Ikea  |  photo: Sara Danielsson

source: Suite One Studio

source: vtwonen  |  photo: Alexander van Berge

source:  stadshem via gravity home

Season’s Greetings From Design Monarchy

Season's Greetings From Design Monarchy

Wishing all our readers and friends a Merry Christmas and a joyous festive season!

We loved sharing our passion for design, décor and pretty things with you this past year!

Our studio will be closed for business from today, the 15th of December 2016, to Monday the 16th of January 2017. Keep your eyes peeled – next year brings BIG and exciting things!

Have a good one, guys and gals! Design Monarchy out!

Love, Rose & Marica  x x x

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