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 »

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircases

How to Be Daring: Wallpaper Your Staircase!

by Marica Fick

It is no secret that wallpaper is not solely for walls anymore. One can use wallpaper in all kinds of interesting and unusual ways. In fact, we dedicated a whole mini Décor Quick Tips series to out of the ordinary wallpaper uses a few years ago.  The collection of clever tips included wallpapering your furniture, using wallpaper to create a quirky lampshade, framed wallpaper “art”, and fun wallpaper headboards.

There is one more appealing use for wallpaper that recently grabbed my attention – using wallpaper on staircases.

Not only this quirky decorating idea quick, simple, and easy on the wallet, it will add a conversation-starting focal point to your home. It truly is an inventive way of introducing pattern, colour and personality into an otherwise drab and utilitarian space.

As Holly Becker of decor8 said recently while discussing this wallpaper idea on her blog, it “has such a huge impact for little effort and I think it adds a PUNCH of happiness and colour to our understated white space.

The trick to successfully pulling off this feature is to not paper a staircase in an already busy interior. You will notice that all the example interiors in this post have one important thing in common – they all have relatively white surroundings. It is this bare Scandi-like minimalism that forms the perfect calm backdrop for such a bold and visually busy feature.

The beauty of this idea is that you can select any wallpaper that will compliment your home and interior style. Your chosen paper can be sleek and contemporary with minimal colour – something geometric maybe? Otherwise go bold with a dramatic, colourful pattern or soft and feminine florals for a more Shabby Chic or Country Farmhouse flavour. Feel free to mix and match.

If you are renting your home, or hesitant to commit to such a bold interior statement, you can use peel-and-stick wallpapers for a temporary no-hassle no-glue solution.

Just be careful with your wallpaper selections – one can easily venture into tacky territory – try to keep it tasteful.

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: decor8 |  photo: Rachel Whiting

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Claire Zinnecker Design  |  photo: Molly Winters

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Ideal Home  |  photo: Lizzie Orme

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Pinterest  |  photo: unknown

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Libelle (Issue 18) |  photo: Sjoerd Eickmans  |  Styling: Tamara van Gelderen

source: Spoonflower (catalogue)

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Chez Larsson

10 Wonderful Wallpapered Staircasessource: Home Depot

source: Lonny  |  photo:  Patrick Cline

Pinterest Picks - Wonderful Workspaces

Pinterest Picks: Wonderful Workspaces

Following the great fun Rose and I had selecting our favourite bedrooms and thereafter our favourite nooks and niches for the previous two Pinterest Picks posts, we could not wait to get right on the next instalment of the blog series.

Just to remind you what this series is all about: we are in essence playing a little game of “I wish“, as in “I wish I had that interior” – be it lounge, bedroom, kitchen or anything in between. After spending some time perusing our various Pinterest boards, we each select our favourite interior image – the space we most desire to have as our own. We then explain exactly why we coveted that particular space and if there is anything we would like to change.

Naturally, we ended up choosing two “runner-up” interiors… because deciding on just one room is just too difficult!

For this instalment we decided to select our best-loved images from our “Office & Workspace” Pinterest board. The board is a collection of Design Monarchy’s favourite and most beautiful workspace finds – from gorgeous home offices and studies, to studios, craft rooms and business workstations…

After much deliberation, here are our top 3 nominations for the loveliest, most desirable workspace…

roses-pick

Pinterest Picks - Wonderful Workspaces

Rose said:

“Once again – having to work through 320 images on our “Office & Workspace” Pinterest board evoked some strange reactions, least of which is ‘Why on earth did I pin that image?’  Taste and preference evolves obviously:”

Rose’s Pinterest Workspace Pick:

“Why was I drawn to this particular office image as my preferred space? The feeling of openness in the many white finishes. Namely the floor boards painted white, white walls, white cabinets etc. It looks like a space that allows one the freedom to be creative while functional at the same time. Big plus is that fact that it’s situated in front of a window.

One very important criterion for me is an expansive desk-top space, with plenty of funky storage units, such as seen here in the boxes and the baskets.  Another appealing element – the tall storage cabinet with its glass front doors – making the content of the storage unit visible adding depth and another layer into the room. That wall lamp so does it for me as well.

What would I change? The chair – it doesn’t look all the comfortable to sit in for hours. Furthermore, I would introduce a strong splash of colour with the chair. I would also like a natural oak desk-top – once again introducing that sense of being connected to something earthly and solid (and another necessary layer in a very white space to ground it).

Yes – with that done, I could easily move myself into this space.”

runners-up-1

1st Runner Up…

“Marica has this saying about us as a company, she would often say: ‘When we grow up, we can…’  This gorgeous spacious Manhattan Industrial Style office is what my heart would desire ‘when we grow up!’  Those windows leaves me with that ‘weak in the knees’ feeling every time. Not to mention that awesome wooden floors that ground the whole space. I would love for our studio premises to be something along these lines.”

2nd Runner Up…

“This desk space is just too cute and quirky to pass over.  I find each decorative element entertaining and so well put together. One thing that comes across clearly to a professional such as myself, is the fact that each element has been carefully thought through to create a delightful space and ensemble. Not only would I recreate this in my personal home office space, but I wouldn’t hesitate recommend it to a client.”

maricas-pick

Pinterest Picks - Wonderful Workspaces

Marica’s Pinterest Workspace Pick:

Marica said:

“Before opening our Pinterest boards and starting my workspace image search, I thought I would quickly and easily find my dream office set-up. The process proved to far more difficult. With our previous Pinterest Picks posts my decision was largely influenced by aesthetics alone. This time around I found that my criteria for selecting a perfect workspace weighed more heavily on practicality and need. Finding my “Number One” was tough.

After some to and fro I settled for the home office space of interior designer and stylist Souraya of Binti Home. Interestingly enough this is not the first time I have selected one of Souraya spaces for a Pinterest Picks article. Her sunny yellow guest bedroom was my third choice for our Bedrooms post.

What appeals to me most about this workspace is the white backdrop. In true Scandi form, both the floors and walls are painted white which gives the space a bright and open feel. The double volume / high ceiling further contributes to this sense of spaciousness. Souraya used decorative accessories to inject pops of pastel colour to the space which imbues the office with a soft, feminine quality.

Some other elements I love are the pretty kilim rug, the quirky grey ladder, the Scandi trestle desk, and the floor to ceiling cork board which is both decorative and functional. The only item I would like to add to this workspace is a big storage unit – preferably with glass doors and painted in a bright and happy colour (like this one).”

1st Runner Up…

“While I generally consider myself to be a person who prefers colour, there is something very pleasing about this monochromatic black and white space. I don’t know, maybe it has an essence of calm about it.

The workspace has a distinct Industrial flavour to it. I adore the white Ikea Kallax units on castors, which provides loads of storage space. Furthermore, I find the collection of monochromatic art prints as well as the black Industrial light fitting very appealing. Oh, and that wooden floor is to die for!”

2nd Runner Up…

“My third choice is a bit of a wild card – it is a dark and cosy attic workspace.

I love the bold black-painted wall, the wooden table with its pretty turned legs, and the various vintage elements and flea-market finds. I find this room to have a lovely sense of depth and just a hint of drama.

While in reality I would probably tire of this office quite quickly – I think my mind desires a lighter, slightly less cluttered space to work in – it sure is striking and beautiful to look at.”


What do you think of our Pinterest workspace picks? See anything you like too?

Stay tuned for the next addition in our Pinterest Picks series – maybe we will do our favourite living rooms or kitchens.

10 Beautiful Bar Carts

10 Beautiful Bar Carts

by Marica Fick

The bar cart and drink cabinet is back and back in a big way. Never mind taking a “shelfie” for your Instagram feed – rather take a snap of your trendy perfectly-curated bar cart.

Strange as it may sound, the perfect bar cart is not all about the booze. In this recent revival the concept of a bar cart or drinks cabinet has become a far more decorative element than in decades past.

The original bar cart was actually nothing more than a dressed-up tea trolley  – we can thank the Victorians for that novel idea.

The end of Prohibition in the 1930s ushered in a drinks revolution. Silver screen heavyweights like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly were often seen stylishly sipping an Old Fashioned next to a stocked bar cart. Hollywood glamour at its finest.

The bar cart reached the apex of its popularity in the 1950s, when hosting was an art and cocktail hour a daily occurrence observed by chic ladies and dapper gents.

Then, somewhere down the line, the idea of booze on display became a little tacky and passé. Bar carts were left empty to gather dust in the attic.

Today, the bar cart / drinks cabinet has seen an unexpected revival, some say in no small part thanks to the handsome Don Draper of Mad Men. Well, whatever the cause, the bar cart can serve as a lovely decorative focal point in your home.

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: the everygirl  |  styling: Alaina Kaczmarski

Here Are Our 10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Cocktail Station:

Find the Sweet Spot:

Not only is it functional, it can also be just the accent piece your entertaining space was missing. It tucks effortlessly into small nooks or awkward corners. Find a spot in your living space that can easily serve multiple areas when entertaining guests – somewhere between your lounge, dining, and outside braai / patio area.

Cart or Cabinet:

You can go either cart or cabinet. The benefit of a cart is that you can move it around as needed, whereas the cabinet is more streamline and can stow a lot more items and keep your glassware dust-free. Either way, you don’t have to fork out huge amounts of cash to find the perfect piece. Flea markets and second-hand shops are a good kick-off point. An old mid-century dresser or inherited cabinet can also be transformed into a decent drinks cabinet. If all else fails you can always “hack a cheapie”.

Divide and Conquer:

As with all display units or open shelves, keeping your bar cart organised is of utmost importance. Divide your cart into various sections – devote each section to a particular necessity, be that glassware, bottles, cocktail-making items or decorative elements.

Less is More:

In keeping with the tip above, it is essential not to overstock or clutter your cart. Keep only the most-used and prettiest liquor bottles on top, the rest can be stowed away until needed.

All That Glitter Is Glass:

Add an elegant sparkle to your bar cart with a collection of pretty wine glasses, cut crystal tumblers or rimmed champagne glasses. Once again, don’t overload your cart – a few of each type of glass will do. Want something eye-catching? Then forget about buying a matching set of everything, an eclectic yet coordinated blend of glassware is far more interesting!

Gadgets and Doodads:

Every bar cart worth its salt should contain some tools of the cocktail-making process. Bottle openers, coasters, cocktail shakers, bottle stoppers, jiggers, strainers, muddlers, drink stirrers, cocktail picks, and whiskey stones can all find a home on your cart. Beautiful and ornate cocktail tools in finishes like copper and gold can add a further decorative layer to your drinks cabinet.

Pretty It Up:

As I mentioned before, the bar cart is not just about booze anymore. Fresh flowers, decorative objects, candle sticks, framed art, pot plants, lighting – add a personal touch on and around your cart that will unify it with your chosen interior style.

Add Some Reading Material:

Break the monotony of your drink-centric bar cart with some lovely coffee table books or cocktail recipe books. Not only will it come in handy when you are searching for the perfect method for making a Moscow Mule, you can also leisurely page through your favourite publication while sipping your after-work drink.

Stock It Up:

The trick is to have a selection of basic liquors. No need to fill your bar cart with what you think you should have – rather carefully think about what you like to drink and what you most probably will be serving. You can always fill it out for special occasions like New Year’s celebrations or parties.

Vignette and a Tray:

Now that you have all the necessary functional and decorative items to create a good-looking drinks trolley it is time to style it. The best way to do this is to create a beautiful and balanced decorative arrangement or “vignette”. If you need some tips on creating a perfect vignette, see our post: here. Oh, and don’t forget to use the decorator’s organisational best friend – the tray.

source: Therese Winberg

source: vtwonen  |  photo: Rolinda Windhorst  |  styling: Leonie Mooren & Liza Wassenaar

source: BrittanyMakes (The Vintage Rug Shop)

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: MyDomaine  |  photo: Charissa Fay  |  styling: Becca Interiors

source: Refinery29  |  photo: Julia Robbs  |  styling: Kelly Lack

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: Anthropologie via Southern Arrond

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: RueMag  |  photo: Laure Joliet  |  styling: Jessica McClendon

10 Beautiful Bar Cartssource: RueMag  |  photo & styling: Michelle Walker

source: Domino  |  photo: Michael Wiltbank  |  styling: Jessica Hendricks Yee

source: Tina Ramchandani

pinterest picks: lovely nooks

Pinterest Picks: Lovely Nooks & Niches

We had SO much fun browsing through our Pinterest boards and selecting our favourite bedroom images for our previous Pinterest Picks post, that we could not wait to get started on the next instalment of the blog series.

Just to remind you what this series is all about: we are in essence playing a little game of “I wish“, as in “I wish I had that interior” – be it lounge, bedroom, kitchen or anything in between. After spending some time perusing our various Pinterest boards, we each select our favourite interior image – the space we most desire to have as our own. We then explain exactly why we coveted that particular space and if there is anything we would like to change.

Naturally, we ended up choosing two “runner-up” interiors… because deciding on just one room is just too difficult!

This time around we decided to select our favourite images for our “Nooks & Niches” Pinterest board. This particular board is somewhat of a “catch-all”. It contains various transitional spaces that do not necessarily fall under any definite area or room. Pause spaces like reading nooks, hallways or foyers, staircase areas and other tucked-away nooks are often pinned on this board.

After much deliberation, here are each of our nominations for the loveliest, most desirable nook…

roses-pick

 

 

pinterest picks: lovely nooks source

Rose said:

“Allow me to take you behind the scenes before going onto to share my selections and reasons for them. By the behind the scenes I mean – my thinking.

So for me the concept of a ‘nook’ is similar to that of a ‘cosy corner’ or a special feature area that has been carved out in the home space, so as to either be functional and appealing, or welcoming.

While I was sitting trawling through the collection of images that we have pinned onto our ‘Nooks & Niches‘ board over the years, I was once again surprised to find that my taste has definitely evolved. There are so many images, each speaking to a different type of niche or nook. So I set the criteria as follows: Could this be an area that I would create in my home? Would I enjoy it? Would I be happy to inhabit it? Based on all the stuff I just said, here goes with my choices:”

Rose’s Pinterest Nook Pick:

“A daybed so perfectly situated between two windows, which means not only can I do what I absolutely love doing – reading (definitely mostly lying on a bed) but there is plenty of daylight streaming in.

Plus, I like that Mid-century Modern style of the bed, with the quaint wooden box next to it. That old natural feeling the box presents, gives me a feeling of timeless. And I find that box intriguing – like asking myself, what could I store in that box that would almost feel like I’m hiding something that has treasure value attached to it.

That tactile looking fur throw is so very inviting and this space feels like it is calling me to come and recline there, chill and just be – like the wooden word on the window sill say FLOW! It’s a big part of my values.  That circular cushions, it shape and it’s pattern so does it for me.

There ain’t  much I would change in this set up – except the black and white print would be one of my family. I would introduce different colours in the striped fabrics of the rectangular scatter cushions – like the colour I’m crushing on right now, that soft rose pink. It works so well with the existing colour scheme going on here.”

runners-up-1

 

1st Runner Up…

“This image of an entrance hall stopped my right in my tracks. In fact, it was a toss-up between this image and my current #1 – for first place.

I would happily replicate this scheme in my entrance hall. I find it striking and that is what I would like to create in my entrance hall. The colours black, white, gold and a hint of natural wooden elements – it works for me.

Naturally if there were no hexagonal brass/gold mirrors displayed in the way they are, the statement and feature element would be seriously compromised. It’s this hex mirror configuration where the striking feature element lies. Notice the gold touches on the Bombé chest of drawers.”

2nd Runner Up…

“Taking the vacant area under a staircase in order to create a feature nook / niche can be tricky. I have seen some images that reveal that sometimes folks get too practical with their shelving and drawers etc. Sometimes they get too O.T.T. as well.

The simplicity of this layout is what works for me. The all white surroundings in the staircase, introducing black into it in the framed images, lamp and rug keeps it clean and interesting. I won’t change a thing with this scheme and if I had a house that has this kinda space available, this is where I would head.”

maricas-pick

pinterest picks: lovely nookssource

Marica’s Pinterest Nook Pick:

Marica said:

“I was immediately drawn to this little staircase nook in the home of Swedish ceramicist, Frida Anthin Broberg. To me it is such a happy space. This little pause area under sweep of the stairs actually forms part of Frida’s kitchen. It serves as desk, sometimes kitchen island, and general gossip corner.

The curving white-painted staircase divides the kitchen and nook area from the equally pretty dining area at the back.

The aspect that appeals to me most must be light, bright space – a beautiful white backdrop with light grey painted wooden floors and pops of bold colour. It is every bit the quintessential Scandinavian home.

I love green-painted open shelves under the stairs which feature a collection of colourful crockery and stacks of books arranged by colour.

The furniture pieces are mostly flea market finds. The upholstered Mid-century chair with its happy floral folk art scatter cushion would have to be my favourite. That, and the rustic table with its distressed blue-grey legs. The Industrial style light fitting adds the finishing touch to this playful space.

Is there anything I would change or add? To me it is pretty perfect as is!”

 

1st Runner Up…

“I would love to have a pretty pastel seating nook like this in my kitchen or lounge. Perfectly situated next to a window so one can longingly gaze outside on rainy days while reading a book.

This nook has just the right amount of fluffy scatter cushions to keep your comfortable while you are enjoy your breakfast or having a read. All your favourite books are stored in the woven basket ensuring they are always close at hand. And that sleek wall light guarantees that you have loads of reading light on glum days.

I also love the way the birch branch is used as a decorative object – and of course the bit of greenery in the window. Yes, this is definitely a ‘Marica’ space!”

2nd Runner Up…

“My third choice is something a bit different – it is a lovely and unique entrance hall with a distinct vintage feel.

The focal point or statement piece in this space would have to be the vintage theatre seats. Karen of the Mrs Rollman Blog found these gorgeous 1920s wooden theatre seats (complete with ‘usher’ labels still attached) in an antique store.

While I normally love bright and happy colours, I find this warm neurally coloured space quite appealing. I love the incorporation of a bit of pale greenery on the shelf in between all the other bits and bobs. The addition of the script scatter cushions and the white tasselled throw creates a soft relaxed atmosphere. The single white framed sketch next to the vintage wire coat hooks is a lovely touch too.”


What do you think of our Pinterest nooks & niches picks? See anything you like too?

Stay tuned for the next addition in our Pinterest Picks series – maybe we will do our favourite living rooms or kitchens.

5 Pioneering Women In Interiors

by Rose McClement

I heard mutterings recently about today being International Woman’s Day, but obviously I wasn’t really paying much attention. I once sat down to examine the international calendar and believe me there are many causes out there that have a day set aside for them.  That, I think, was my subconscious reaction towards this day – until this morning that is.  That is until I went onto Google this morning and took a long look at the women who were being celebrated and acknowledged for their contribution to global society as a whole!

It was then that I decided that we here at The Design Tabloid need to pay tribute to the women who have made their mark in the field of Interiors internationally.  Some of them local gals (since South Africa isn’t so behind the bush in a third world country as some may be tempted to think) and some international ladies. We salute these impressive women for making their mark in the Interiors Profession.

Elsie de Wolfe

While Elsie De Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, was not the first ever interior decorator – there were definitely others before her – it is she who is said to have turned it into a valid profession. From her first commission in 1905 to the 1930s, Elsie was without doubt the most well known name in the American interior design / decorating field.

Elsie was quite the interior design revolutionary – a style rebel of her time. She famously detested the Victorian style of her youth which she described as dark and ugly. Instead she opted for lighter and brighter schemes, creating softer and slightly more feminine interiors. Elsie, who preferred the late 18th century French style, also reintroduced the concept of white and light painted furniture. She hated clutter and favoured expanded open living spaces.

In 1913 Elsie authored the widely read book, The House in Good Taste, a collection of writings on interior decoration and practical decorating advice.

Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan – I almost have to say no more than that – has been a household name for decades. She can be viewed as the figurehead of the decorative painting revolution and is internationally recognised as a respected paint and colour expert. The Telegraph even named her as one of “Britain’s most influential female designers.”

Annie unwittingly changed the face of furniture painting in 1990 when she launched her own range of decorative paint. Unable to find the exact paints she desired to work with, Annie used her fine art knowledge of colour, paint, pigments and art history to develop the now renowned Chalk Paint brand. The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint product can be found in over 50 countries around the world and has influenced not only the decorative painting industry, but interior decorating as a whole.

Tricia Guild

Tricia Guild is a British designer and the founder of Designers Guild, an international home and lifestyle company. She is known for her bold and exciting use of colour and pattern.

Designers Guild had its modest birth in 1970 when Tricia was searching for new and exciting textiles to decorate with. She recoloured a collection of Indian hand-block printed textiles, which later became the company’s first collection.

In the past four decades Tricia has grown and expanded Designers Guild into a global homeware and lifestyle empire. Today their product range includes everything from fabrics and wall coverings, to furniture, homeware and even paint.

Tricia has authored 15 books and has been commissioned by the Royal Family multiple times – something which is no small feat.

In 2008 Tricia was appointed an OBE for services to interior design.

Lynn McAdam

Lynn McAdam has been involved in the field of South African interiors for must be well over thirty something years. Lynn and her sister were the founders and creatives behind the Biggie Best brand of the 80’s, a household name in South African retail interiors.

Lynn and her husband, Sibley sold Biggie Best and in 1987, they opened a retail brand, with a new and different type of interior product, namely handcrafted wooden furniture. The shop was called Block & Chisel. Naturally, driven by their passion and business skills, Block & Chisel has become a much desired interior retail store in Cape Town and has expanded to include Loft Living as well as a store in Johannesburg.

Retail interiors is a very challenging field and needs clever and dedicated navigation in order for it to remain a player in the business. Block & Chisel under the guidance of Lynn McAdam has done just that.

Pru Phufl

When Lynn and Sibley McAdam decided to explore other avenues in life, Pru Phufl bought Biggie Best and continued to expand the retail outlets via franchises throughout South Africa. Every major city had a Biggie Best shop.

Pru went on to take the brand internationally via franchises as well, with shops in Europe, Australia and Britain. Pru was awarded the coveted “Business Woman of the Year Award” in 1989 by Business Woman Association of South Africa. Being very hands on person, Pru continued to be involved in the design and development of their range of fabrics, wallpapers and furniture throughout the years.

Although many of the franchise outlets have been reduced, Biggie Best continues their retail and trade business to this day, having survived for near on forty years.  They have managed remain in touch with the flow of interior trends, while retaining their particular flavour / style of interior finishes – Contemporary Country.

To me the secret of their success was to remain an affordable brand – bringing interiors to the middle class people. Making it attainable at a time when interior decorating was a luxury only the privileged of the upper class could afford it, just outside of the reach of the middle class. Oh how times have changed – thank you Pru Phufl for your contribution.