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
As promised it is GIVEAWAY time!!
Those of you who have read yesterday’s instalment of our Creative SA series will know how nuts we here at Design Monarchy are about the beautiful artworks of South African artist and illustrator Leila Fanner. We simply adore her bold use of colour and pattern. You can read the post: here.
Well, Leila has been generous enough to gift us with some of her gorgeous printed product to dole out as giveaway prizes to some of our blog readers! YAY!
4 Lucky readers can each win a set of 3 gorgeous Leila Fanner greeting cards. Each card features one of Leila’s unique and beautifully whimsy paintings. You won’t find these in the shops folks!
LIKE the Design Monarchy Facebook page: here.
LIKE Leila Fanner’s Facebook Page: here.
COMMENT below to let us know you have entered…
>>Want a couple of extra entries? Share this post on your social media channels – just be sure to tag/mention Design Monarchy when you do.
The competition closes on Sunday the 11th of December at midnight and is open to South African residents only. Winners will be announced on Monday.
The next South Africa creative that we will be sharing as part of our Creative SA series, hits quite close to home as she has had a personal hand in the creation of our brand and the look and feel of our website.
Nicole Bruigom is a graphic designer and illustrator hailing from sunny Durban. Have you ever walked the aisles of a Mr. Price Clothing or Home store and wondered who designed the trendy graphics and quirky doodles you see on the product? Well, the chances are good that it might be Nicole, as creating lovelies for Mr. P is her day job.
When Nicole is not designing for the Mr. Price shelves, she sells her freelance design services under the moniker “Nicole & The Striped Flamingo”. Upon spotting her quirky whimsy illustrations back in 2013 we immediately fell in love with them and interviewed her for the “Interviews & Features” section of The Design Tabloid.
Not too long for thereafter, while working on the design of our new Design Monarchy website, we were searching for an illustrator to create some custom graphics for certain pages of our website. We immediately thought of Nicole as both Rose and I enjoyed her style of illustration and use of colour and pattern. We thought it would perfectly complement our logo, branding and identity, which we perceived as feminine and elegant, yet quirky with a slight vintage flair.
We explained to Nicole exactly what we had in mind and she created the most beautiful illustrations for us. The illustrations consisted of a quirky megaphone for our Home page, a pretty typewriter for our Press page, an old school phone for our Contact Us page, a hipster camera for our Portfolio page, and a toolbox and desk illustration to accompany our Company page. She also redesigned our Design Monarchy “Stamp of Approval” to match and compliment our new branding and graphics.
We were absolutely thrilled with the results and feel that Nicole’s illustrations really “made” our website. Since the launch of the website we have had tons of complements and we have found that visitors to our site find the illustrations had to forget! Feel free to pop over to our website to take a look at the illustrations “in situ”, so to speak.
As mentioned in our previous interview, Nicole is also an author. She published “Little Chef”, a quirky illustrated children’s recipe book, in 2010 and it has proved so popular that she released a second edition.
You can also adorn the walls of your home with some Striped Flamingo loveliness, as Nicole designed a range of whimsy wallpapers for Robin Sprong that would be perfect for a children’s bedroom or nursery.
Want to see some of Nicole’s designs in the flesh? If you reside in Joburg, you might want to visit Cafe Hemingways in Kyalami as Nicole has done extensive work for them – everything from the gorgeous murals on the wall to the menus and cake toppers – she even designed a range of postcards for them.
Be sure to check out more of Nicole’s gorgeous illustrations on her website.
You can also follow Nicole & The Striped Flamingo on Facebook.
A couple of weeks ago we, Design Monarchy, were approached by a potential client who needed a little assistance in the space planning of their children’s bedrooms. They were about to welcome a new addition to their family and had to rethink and reshuffle rooms. The new baby girl would inherit the current guest room which meant that the two older siblings – both boys – would share a (quite small) room.
Rose did an onsite consultation to assess the space and to determine our clients’ needs. Our brief was simple – find the best way to accommodate both boys, their toys, TV and gaming console and a possible desk for the older brother.
We would draw up a basic floor plan to show our client the optimal furniture layout and put together a quick presentation with some quirky and clever storage ideas.
We attacked this project with gusto (it’s always fun doing kids rooms). We kicked off, as always, by collecting some inspirational pictures and ideas. I created a Pinterest board and we started pinning. Pinterest is an excellent tool to garner inspiration, collect and organise your thoughts, and to bounce ideas of clients.
To us, storage was a main concern. As we have shared in a previous post, organising a shared room for two siblings can be quite challenging. You have to accommodate two personalities with different interests in one room. The last thing you want is kids stumbling over stuff in a too crowded room. We opted for bunk beds to open up some much needed floor space.
We started playing with a basic two-dimensional furniture layout. I soon realised that even though the room was small, it lent itself to multiple solutions. In our desire to find the perfect solution to our client’s needs, we often play with it until we have more than one possible solution. I have to admit, I got a little carried away. Our client ended up with not one, but FIVE possible room layouts for the boys’ room. I decided to create a basic 3D, or three dimensional model, of each layout to better assess the space…
Layout 1: Reuse Existing Bed
In the first Layout we endeavoured to save our clients a little money by reusing the existing three quarter bed. We proposed a raised bunk bed-like setup over the loose-standing bed which was placed at a 90° angle to the bunk. The space at the foot of the bunk allowed for a small desk with built-in storage above.
We also included a bookcase underneath the bunk bed (behind the ladder) and toy boxes on castors for additional under-the-bed storage. The narrow recess between the door and existing built-in wardrobe made for a perfect spot to put a floor-to-ceiling book “ledge”.
Layout 2: Seamless Built-In Bunk Beds
For Layout Two we designed a seamless built-in staggered bunk bed. This option allowed for loads of additional, well-organised storage and freed up the most floor space. We suggested a small loose-standing desk under the window and that the TV be wall-mounted. The boys will be able to play on their console either from the comfort of their beds or from small pouffes on the floor.
Layout 3: A Brilliant Combo
Layout Option Three is similar to Option One in that it features a built-in desk with storage above at the foot of the bunk beds. In this layout however, the exiting bed has been replace with a more traditional loose-standing bunk bed. This allows for space to include a storage unit under the window that can also serve as the TV cabinet.
Layout 4: Loose-standing Everything
Layout Four would be the best option for home renters as all the various elements in the room are loose-standing. We managed to squeeze a bunk bed in behind the door, (provided that the bed in no more than 2m in length) which opened up a lot of floor space for a big loose-standing storage unit and desk.
Layout 5: Big On the Storage
In our Fifth and last layout we made storage the prime goal. We proposed an L-shaped built-in storage unit at the foot of a loose-standing bunk bed. The storage unit featured a deeper cabinet with door (to hide an unorganised mess) and a bank of pigeon/cubbyholes perfect for toy boxes and baskets. As with our other four layouts, we once again proposed under-bed storage boxes on castors and a book “ledge” in the recess by the door as one comes in.