Do you swap out your home’s decorative accessories seasonally?

feature image: pezula interiors & design monarchy

by Rose McClement

Marica recently posed an interesting question to our social media audience. Before publishing the post, we had a brief chat about it. Like we generally tend to do.

The question was “Do you swap out your home’s decorative accessories or scatters seasonally?” I didn’t really give it much thought at the time, because I knew my own answer as being “NO, I don’t“.

I knew that I wasn’t even in the slightest bit inclined towards such a move. I have a friend who does that, but then she is a seamstress and likes to sew new covers for her cushions and other little things.

Me, on the other, I’m no seamstress and have always had a bad relationship with a sewing machine.

A punchy and lush collection of decorative accessories and scatters. | source: Decoholic

It was only when the answers from my friends started rolling in, that I stopped to notice my own resistance to something like this. Yes – what I had put down as my own lack of interest, was actually resistance. I saw others offering one or two of my own type of “Nah, why should I?” kinda comments. Others said, “I don’t have the storage space“- a fair response. Yet, when I stop and scratch a little bit further, that answer falls by the wayside. Scatter cushion covers can be stored in your linen cupboard, along with your other linen goodies – one would not need a lot of space.

A few of my friends had taken the time to comment, and I’d say the majority voiced the same reply: “I keep it the same all the time“. In other words, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out – I keep the same décor accessories in place. Kinda like X marks the spot for X. 

Whoa, hold up here!! I am not judging them and their way of being in their home. Not at all – I am doing the same thing remember. The only difference is that I like moving my (same) decorative accessories around the space. I tend to move the cushions from one sofa to the other and shuffle the decorative items around a bit. But – that is about it! No seasonal cover changes for me.

A beautiful and calming selection of scatter cushions and decorative items – perfect for the colder months. | source: Halfway Wholeistic

Okay, you might be asking yourself: “So what is this decorator banging on about?!” Why is this even worth writing about? Is there really any value or benefit in switching up your décor accessories occasionally? The truth is, that despite the fact that I don’t indulge in this practice, it doesn’t minimize the value and appreciation of it. There is real value to be had. Not only from a practical point of view but also aesthetically, emotionally, and mentally! Really?! From scatter cushions?

Do I really have to be satisfied with the same ole same ole all year round I asked myself? Then the ‘dig deeper’ type questions started to rise to the surface. Once I began to see and own my reluctance, I had a shift in thinking. 

With a neutral backdrop, it would be easy-peasy to swap out the scatters and bed throw in your bedroom should you desire a change of scenery. | source: oh.eight.oh.nine

So, let’s do a bit of self-exploration together. Just easy-does-it self-exploration, done with a hint of playful curiosity. Ask yourself the following without being self “judgie” or self-justifying: 

What is really holding me back?  Is it something I want to do or even need to do?

Do I like what I have here? Does it make me feel good in this space? Or would something new and fresh make me feel even better?

Am I putting up with what I have got going here?

What have I got to loose by not switching up accessories?

With a layered approach like in this image, it would be quite simple and effective to change the tone of your bedroom. Exchange the beautiful rust-coloured cushions for teal or swap the striped cushions for floral – et voila. | source: Jojo Barr | House Nine Design

Now, which one or more responses in the list below do you connect with? Remember – not self judgy-ness!

I like what I have got going right now. It took me a while to get the right accessories and I don’t feel the need for change.

Trends come and go so quickly. No need to follow those.

My spending plan can’t cope with this extra unnecessary expense.

I have no storage facility.

I don’t know what to do, what to switch up, or even where to begin!

It’s going to take time and energy to decide on the items and change – and I don’t have that to give.

It is what it is!

My husband / family like what there is now. 

Why bother – the family just mess it up anyway.

I prefer the comfort of familiar items.

It just takes one or two key changes to completely transform the feel of your interior. Warm or cool, playful or opulent, sleek minimalistic or vintage – it just takes one quick swap. | source: La Grange Interiors

I have to wonder what are the chances that in truth we need to own the fact that the only thing that we are resisting might well be CHANGE!

Ah – there it is!! There is the real culprit that is lurking in the shadows, not wanting to be seen or heard. That word that shall not be spoken! CHANGE!!  

You might say: “Oh, for Pete’s sake, don’t be silly! How on earth can one view being uninclined towards switching up décor accessories as an indication of resisting CHANGE?!” Well, the possibility could exist! I certainly wouldn’t discount it. In our line of work, we often encounter resistance along these lines – in all shapes and forms.

We are only all too aware of the fact that life is very full and busy for most folk. The last thing anyone needs is to direct their attention to small changes. Even easy peasy changes are unwelcome.

What is important for me is this: small changes are needed to power us towards the bigger changes. It gets us outta our comfort zone and willing to entertain change on a regular basis.

Sadly, in my own life, I observed that because I resist change, I begin to “put up” with dissatisfying situations. It all stays the same. REALLY! Is that what I want?  I don’t think so. It seems that the question really is much bigger than merely switching up decorative items.

Enough said for now. Lots to think about and explore. More along these lines in the next post.

Ciao,

And We Are Back - Design Monarchy

And… We Are Back!

by Rose McClement

Hello All!

Yes, we have seriously been Missing-in-Action, well, from our social media platforms anyway! We have been active, but as previously said, sometimes the ‘pause button’ had to be hit. Running a design project and keeping up with social media at the same time gets to be a challenge. At times, one of them has to take a backseat. I’m guessing you know which one that has been. 

When things get quieter on the design project front, we find it very difficult to get back on the social media ‘horse’ again. I’m sure you know that feeling. It feels like a malaise. The talk in the head goes something like this: “I really would like to get a post out again. I feel I should. It is a marketing tool after all and it has been neglected. One is not supposed to neglect your marketing! And, some peeps have so faithfully supported and followed us all these years since 2011”. 

Then, the guilt sets in and that sounds something like this: “Oh gosh, I feel so bad about not having written anything for the longest time. How am I going to show my face in public again?” The evitable next step in the process is Procrastination, followed by the final stage… “going into hiding”. I just hide away and pretend like nothing has happened.

And We Are Back - Design Monarchy

Well, I don’t know about Marica – but I went through all those stages/processes until I finally found the energy to be honest with myself, be kind to myself, and admit that I was in hiding. It was time to come outta hiding and come clean.

Read More »
Colour of the Year 2021

Colour of the Year Showdown 2021: Dulux vs Plascon

by Rose McClement

I know, I know – since it is very nearly the end of February, I’m a tad late with the whole writing about the Colour of the Year 2021 trends! The chances are that you are already familiar with it. Well, at least the Pantone colours for 2021, since those seem to have a greater public spread (it’s yellow and grey for those who missed it). Last week, while sharing a past interior project on Instagram and Facebook, we noticed – by happy accident – that we applied those very Pantone colours to the room we designed. Maybe that is why I am drawn to exploring all the other chosen colours for 2021.

As you know, I am a #ColourFreak – I love colour! Through all my many years of exploring it, delving deeply into its ability to transform interior spaces (as if by magic), I find I never tire of it. I might shift gears often from bright to calming colours, from that which speaks to passivity over to that which enfolds you in a surge of passion. Moods – yes, colours are moody as well. It’s a state that is not only reserved for the female gender.

Dulux Colour of The Year 2021: Brave Ground

This morning I landed on a site that highlighted the Dulux Colour of 2021 (and its colour combos) – in video format. I found myself totally relaxing into the video’s words, content, and colours. Phrases such as “a drop of Courage carries us forward”, “courage to embrace change“, “invigorating“, “self-belief” and “collective connection” – the words grabbed my attention.

I think the psychology behind Dulux’s selections is a perfect summary of what we will need for the year 2021. We need “Brave Ground”. We need to be able to give ourselves permission to throw on the Cloak of Courage. To step bravely into that place of transformation that is calling us – whatever that might look like for each one of us. I have no doubt that every person in this “Global Village” has felt the shifting vibes that this transformation evokes.

And what about the colour itself? Brave Ground, which is a beigey neutral, seems to be stirring up a bit of controversy since it is so “sombre”. A lot of people question whether we need a colour so “depressing” at this time of the COVID PANDEMIC – wouldn’t the collective mood rather do with a pick-me-up colour?

Yes, there is truth in that thinking. YET, I also appreciate what the Dulux Colour Specialists are driving at. Hold that “Brave Ground” colour within the context of their bigger picture (as illustrated in their video) – a wider colour spectrum of which Brave Ground is more like a foundation.

You know, I have a feeling that more and more we are being ushered away from the grey tones that have been forefront for many years – towards the many tones of brown. Maybe, towards a more grounded context for life? Just think about it – how many of us would have entertained the thought of darker grey feature walls in our homes, gunmetal grey kitchen cabinets, etc. a decade ago? Now it is so every day, that even in the ‘burbs there are houses the exterior of which are painted deep, dark grey. Who would have thunk?

Quite frankly, I’m interested to see how the brown colour palette will gain momentum to become the “go-to” interior colour choice, so to speak! Let’s watch this space to see whether my hunch is valid.  

Plascon Favourite Hue of 2021: Golden Syrup

Well, for those who feel that Dulux missed the mark and that Brave Ground is anathema, Plascon has that pick-me-up colour for you!  They have selected the bright and bold colour “Golden Syrup” as their “Favourite Hue of 2021“.  Opposite of Dulux’s grounding colour, they have reached for the sun’s effects on us. What does the word and concept of Golden Syrup evoke within you? For me, I think of honeycomb and delicious desserts! Oh – and – childhood pantry raids! Yum!

To quote them (because they have said it so well and why reinvent the wheel):

“Plascon’s Favourite Hue of 2021 invites us to shake off the heaviness of the year gone by and dare to imagine a lighter, brighter future.”

Let your optimism take over and use Golden Syrup to transform your interiors from hiding places to creative spaces. Better yet fully embrace the audacity of hope and let it reflect boldly on your exteriors too.”

How do you like the sound of “embrace the audacity of Hope”. Wow! I like this.

Plascon Favourite Hue of 2021: Golden Syrup

So, as I see it, these two colours balance each other. Put them on the scales and you have balance. You have the firm foundation of “Brave Ground” for stabilizing transformation while embracing the sweet and yummy glow of hope in “Golden Syrup”!

Thank you. I’ll take that. 

I’d be interested to know which of these two colours intuitively grab your attention and why! Anyone???

Ciao for now wonderful Readers. 

7 Ideals Design Monarchy Strives For

Do you know what makes us tick? Take a quick peek beneath our bonnet.

by Rose McClement

I must say, if I were one of Design Monarchy‘s regular blog readers, clients, friends, or followers, I might consider the title of this article rather bizarre and odd! Especially considering this blog has been active (sometimes, with long pause periods) for 10 years. Plus, this isn’t the first time that I have written about who I am and how I got to this place of being the owner and creative director of Design Monarchy.

I wouldn’t blame you if you are tempted to ask  “just what more does she want to introduce about herself?” Yes, despite having written about myself in some past blog articles, I have the urge to tell you more about us within the context of our interior design business, Design Monarchy.

Now, WHY would I feel the urge or the need to talk more about myself / us and Design Monarchy?

It is simple really – the “KNOW, LIKE and TRUST” factor! The first time I encountered this as a business principle, was during a social media strategy session with a mentor years ago.

Would you not want to know more about the interior design or decorating professional whose service you would like to employ? You are after all allowing them access to your most intimate space – your home (or you treasured business premises).

It is generally accepted that those whom we know, like, and trust are those to whom we entrust those big-ticket items! It’s either that, or we would entertain a service provider whom others have known, liked and trusted.

Adding colour to the line-drawing which is our / my Story…

So, what else? Oh gosh, plenty, I guess filling in the gaps left in our website’s “About Us” page and past blog articles are where this is going. Consider it as opening up a little of the Personality of Design Monarchy.

What I really feel like sharing with you today, are those values that we embrace. Values that are intrinsic to Design Monarchy as a business. How those fit with valuing ourselves, our clients, and our service providers as we go about doing what we love every day. I see these values as fundamental ingredients for a great recipe for a successful interiors business. The same way something like flour, salt, and eggs are essential to many cooking recipes.

7 ideals we strive towards every day…

My first thought goes straight to that which is high on my personal values list – Integrity! From where I am sitting it takes courage to be an integrous person and run an integrous company, which goes hand in hand with Honesty.

I was schooled in a girls-only Convent. The teaching Nuns constantly liked to remind us that “Honesty is the best policy!” I can still hear our Principal’s voice. LOL. Yet despite their best attempts at brainwashing me, it wasn’t until much later in life, that Integrity and Honesty truly took root in my life.

I am as human as the next person and fear often set the pace for my emotional and verbal reactions. Often it was easier to lie than to be honest. I remember knots in my stomach when confronted by a situation that needed the truth told. That is why I maintain that it takes a courageous person to be Honest and Integrous. #TrueConfession: Somewhere along the path of this life, a shift from Fear to Honesty happened.  Now, hopefully, it is at that place where it is as natural as breathing.

Thrown into our value mix – we are big on Authenticity. It comes in many shapes and sizes, particularly in a creative design industry. Over the past 10 or 11 years, I have discovered the absolute beauty of being authentic. It’s so powerful and empowering. That feeling of being the REAL ME is something that I enjoy. The knock-on effect being our clients have the benefit of our “keeping it real” mindset. Some like clients appreciate this, while it might escape others. Experience has revealed that this ideal opens the way for us to create interiors that speak to our client’s own authenticity.

Then there is Excellence and Commitment. I suppose the Convent education also contributes greatly towards this ideal. I know that I inherited my mother’s work ethic. She came from farming stock where the idea of applying yourself to the task was as natural as breathing. Naturally, that goes hand in hand with Commitment. Once we at Design Monarchy set our minds towards a task, we stick with it intent on delivering as good a product or service within our skillset. By the way, when I say “Excellence”, I am not referring to “Perfection”. That is a quite different animal!

Does that mean that this internal drive to serve well and with commitment make us doormats? Or open to abusive behaviour from projects or clients? Not at all! Both Marica and I have learnt this lesson the hard way. Yes, we have been so keen to do our best that we give way too much. That said, we are gradually finding balance in this regard.

Some ideals are easy because they come naturally. The concept of Respecting the Choices of others can be challenging for both the Interior Service Provider (i.e. us) and the client. Interiors ultimately is all about making choices. Choosing the style that speaks to you; choosing the floor plans, hard and soft finishes basically all interior finishes from start to finish of the project. That is where the service, experience, talents and skills developed over many years of Design Monarchy team comes into play. Facilitating the choices that best suit you and work in your space.

But what happens when the choices that the client leans into doesn’t sit well with the Interiors Professional? Million-dollar question? We constantly find ourselves in the dilemma of being the experts who have beat this Interiors path every day as a profession, encountering resistance to the proposals. It is and will no doubt continue to be a tight rope walk, a push and pull movement. We accept this, knowing it is a two-way street. That said though,  much as we aim to respect the choices our clients embrace, we need our professional opinions to be given due consideration. I regard our journey with the client as a collaborative one. We aim for Win-Win. 

When it comes to owning one’s Expertise, acknowledging talents and delighting in our skills publicly wasn’t an easy fit. I still need to throw on my Courage Cloak to do that one. Thank goodness it seems to be getting easier with practice. Believe me, it really takes courage. Of course, we don’t want to be mistaken for “show-offs”. However, we have come to appreciate that unless we show off a bit, we will be hiding our skills and talents under a bushel. The knock-on effect is that we will be shortchanging someone of the opportunity of calling upon our skills to achieve their dream space. And as the Aussies like to say “Why would yah?

I’ll leave this here now. Hope that this does help our readers and followers to KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST us.

Ciao,

Season’s Greetings From Design Monarchy

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

Festive Season is upon us. Can you believe it?

Can you believe it… it’s the end of 2020 already?” “Christmas is literally around the corner!” “Where did the year
disappear to?
” If, like me, you are reading plenty of Festive Season greeting emails you could well be muttering the same well-worn phrases!

Every single year, without fail, once we have passed the end of June (the year’s halfway mark) – the days, weeks, months just melt one into the other. Then – BOOM! – before we know it, it’s time for the annual shut down. Every year, at this time, just before we are about to shut our office doors for that well-deserved time out, I feel like the lead-up and the arrival of Christmas takes me by surprise – AGAIN!! I guess it could have something to do with the fact that as soon as the end of September has swung around, our industry busy season kicks in. Or, MAYBE, it’s just a game that Xmas likes to play with me.

I had intended to say something about what an exceptional and strange year 2020 has been. However, Marica kinda reminded me that in our recent email newsletters, I had already kicked-off with a chirp about 2020. So, I had to stop and consider, what is it I would really like to say about 2020?

I think it would be short and sweet: IT IS A YEAR I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET!

It reminds me of 1994, the year South Africans had their very first democratic elections. Previously disenfranchised folk stood for hours, in long snaking queues, to cast their vote for the first time. That too is a year I will never forget.

So, without any further ado, allow me to thank you for being such faithful readers and supporters of The Design Tabloid. Know that we deeply appreciate your presence. THANK YOU SO MUCH! See you on the other side of this unforgettable year in January 2021.

We have lovely plans for 2021. Plans hatched many years ago but found plenty of momentum in 2020. I guess that is one thing we can thank 2020 for.

KEEP CALM AND STAY SAFE.

Ciao, Rose and Marica

P.S. I would so very much love to hear what your short and sweet response to the year 2020 would be? Did you manage to hatch any plans for 2021? Love to hear about those too!

Our studio will be closed for business from 18th of December 2020 and will reopen the 13th of January 2021. Ergo, The Design Tabloid and our social media accounts will slow its pace a bit in terms of posts.

Frame vector created by BiZkettE1 – www.freepik.com

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Room Reveal: Rose’s Entrance Foyer Makeover

by Rose McClement

The Makings Of A Grand Entrance:

It’s time for a room reveal! Furthermore, what makes this reveal extra special is that this space is in my own home. Yes, I am finally doing it! I have gotten to the place where I am ready to show “myself”.  This was especially difficult for me because a room reveal cannot be done outside of revealing a part of who you are.

As I have said so how many times: “Your home speaks to who you are, your character, your values, your preferences, etc.

So, let me kick-off be saying: Welcome to my home, my world! Grab a cuppa because it’s a long-ish story. Long-ish but hopefully light, easy and fun. I want to reveal the journey of getting into it and doing it. You could say “share the processes” – but that sounds so officious.  

Room Reveal: Entrance Foyer Makeover | via Design Monarchy

Just before I get into the nitty-gritty, I think I should mention something about how I “play this game called Interiors“. 

On the one side of the coin, you have designers and decorators who prefer a more structured game plan. They lean towards a more methodical and linear creative thinking (technically-inclined Architects come to mind). On the flip side of the very same coin, you have the designers for whom a more organic and spontaneous game plan is a better fit. 

Yours-truly fits into the latter category. Does this make the organic decorator someone who flies by the seat of her pants, or is all over the show? NO – hardly. We still follow a pattern and structure but are open to changing lanes and move into it with a bit more ease. So, this room reveal won’t really be a “5 steps to get to the goal” kinda story.

Read More »