8 Trendy & Chic Rattan Furniture Items for Your Home

by Marica Fick

As we mentioned in the Trend Alert post we shared a couple of weeks ago – RATTAN is back and in a big way! Talk about a 70s blast from the past! What is next – Macrame and Moroccan shag-pile rugs?! Oh wait… that already happened too! Gotta love the cyclic nature of home and decor trends.

The element I most enjoy about the trend’s current incarnation is that it fuses vintage rattan pieces with new, contemporary designs. These fresh designs are slightly more simplified – almost minimal in a way.

While researching our Trend Alert article, I was surprised to see how quickly the rattan trend has spread to the South African retail market. This is something that usually happens at a snail’s pace. A quick online search of our local furniture and homeware stores delivered a lovely selection of gorgeous rattan and cane pieces. This is good news for those who want to incorporate rattan elements into their interior space.

SO, for all you lovers of rattan and cane, here is our round-up of trendy, chic, and beautifully contemporary rattan furniture pieces for your home…Read More »

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Decorating Dictionary: Lacquer

Decorating Dictionary: Lacquer

What is the definition of Lacquer?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term “lacquer” or a “lacquered finish” and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define lacquer for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Lacquer: is a clear or coloured hard-wearing furniture coating with an intense high-gloss finish. The word “lacquer” borrows its name from the lac insect whose shellac-rich resinous secretions (think nail polish) were often used as a wood finish in ancient India. Lacquerwork is also synonymous with the ancient East Asians who used the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree to achieve a durable, shiny glaze. Today lac-based finishes are likely to be referred to as shellac, while lacquer is comprised of more synthetic substances.

[Image Sources: Alexandra Ribar, Painted by Kayla, Domino]

Decorating Dictionary: Define Flat Pack Furniture

Decorating Dictionary: Flat Pack Furniture

What is the definition of Flat Pack Furniture?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term “flat pack” or “knock-down” furniture and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define flat pack furniture for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Flat Pack Furniture: (also known as ready-to-assemble [RTA], knock-down [KD], or kit furniture) is a type of furniture that is sold in dismantled pieces and requires assembly by the customer. These pieces are “flat” packed into a box for easy transportation and come with assembly instructions and the basic tools. Flat pack furniture has become increasingly popular (think IKEA) and, because of this efficient and space-friendly design, it is often more affordable than its bulky counterparts.

[Image Sources: Artifox, Spaas]

Our Quirky KARE Wish List

by Marica Fick

Quirky, off-beat, unique, out-of-the-box, and sometimes… just plain weird. Those are just some of the terms that come to mind when trying to describe KARE‘s unusual style of furniture and decorative accessories.

Never heard of them? No sweat, we’ll give a quick introduction to this European design cult brand…

KARE describes themselves as an unconventional furniture company which strictly rejects run-of-the-mill concepts. Instead, they strive to create an innovative range of unique, non-conformist and authentic furniture pieces.

Friends, Jürgen Reiter and Peter Schönhofen, established KARE in 1981 as a quirky alternative after being frustrated with the either terribly drab or elitist furniture market of the time.

For unconventional and romantic spirits, for the wild and the style-conscious, for birds of paradise and all those who cast off all constraints when it comes to furnishing their own home.

AND, it just so happens that KARE has recently opened its first ever store in Joburg, South Africa! So all this weird, quirky fun could be yours!

Read More »

6 Industrial Chic Bedside Pedestals | via The Design Tabloid

6 Industrial Chic Bedside Pedestals for Your Home

by Marica Fick

Finding the right bedside pedestal for your bedroom can be quite a difficult task. I have experienced this firsthand. I have been on the hunt trying to source a suitable bedside table for our guest bedroom which we are in the process of revamping.

There are so many factors to consider – most of which comes down to functionality and personal preference. Are you strapped for space and need something slimline or can your available space allow for a bigger bedside unit? Do you prefer a bedside table with storage? If so drawer(s), door, or pigeonhole basket? Then there is table top space – do you have the space for a decent bedside reading light while leaving enough room to plop down your book, phone and other bedside necessities?Read More »

Block & Chisel

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.