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,

7 Home Decorating Regrets

7 Home Decorating Items & Decisions We Regret

by Marica Fick & Rose McClement

Earlier this week I read an article on Apartment Therapy that set the hamster wheel in my head spinning. The title grabbed me immediately: “3 Common Home Items I Wish I Never Bought”. In the post freelance writer, Sarah Lyon, shared that her past home decorating efforts has been accompanied by a fair dose of regret.

Sarah goes on to explain that while some treasured purchases have found a permanent place in her home, others left her with a bad taste in the mouth after a few short months. Her regrets include: cheesy, cliched wall art, cheap wine glasses, and pieces that are “too nice”.

While we did not entirely agree with all of her laments, it did spark an interesting office conversation. So here is Design Monarchy‘s list of home decorating items and decisions we regret…

Beautiful Vinyl Floor
We would opt for a beautiful good-quality vinyl floor above carpet in a heartbeat. | source: Godfrey Hirst via Instagram

Wall-to-Wall Carpet:

The first item on our home decorating regret list is one both Rose and I can’t wait to say “goodbye and good riddance” to. Wall-to-wall carpets. Until recently, opting for carpets throughout the home has been such an ingrain and default choice in home decorating.

We found that carpets take such an effort to clean and maintain in the long run. It just does not have the physical and aesthetic longevity that some other floor finishes have. No matter how regularly you vacuum and deep-clean your carpet, it still becomes a dirt and odour trap – especially if you have pets or little kiddos.

The carpets in my home are a real eye-sore. It was gorgeous when first installed but now it looks grubby no matter what we do. We have had it cleaned SO many times with no real improvement. And these were good quality, high traffic carpets!

Now, don’t get us wrong – we are not saying that you should immediately rip up the carpets in your home and get rid of them. We understand that there are some situations and areas where it remains the preferred application. Especially a bedroom – most people still prefer the added warmth and soft feel underfoot that carpets provide.

When it comes to general areas and living rooms we often recommend a good quality vinyl to our clients as an alternative floor covering. It is much easier to clean and maintain and adds a lovely visual warmth to any space. You can always opt for a loose rug that can be washed or changed as desired.

Read More »

Decorating Dilemmas: The DO’S & DON’TS

by Marica Fick

Earlier this month Rose was offered the opportunity to do a 5-minute speaker slot at an XtraOrdinary Women network meeting. During the 5 minutes, the speaker gets the chance to briefly chat about their business or share something thought-provoking concerning their industry or trade. It is an excellent bite-sized marketing tool.

A day or two before the meeting, Rose and I sat down and put our heads together. A few ideas were bounced around. We really wanted to keep the subject light, fresh and relatable. What could we possibly chat about? There is only so much that can be said in 5 minutes…

Then we had it! We decided to chat about “decorating dilemmas” and include a few common decorating do’s and don’ts. The topic was a massive success! We, therefore, just had to share these points with you here on our blog.

Let’s start with the decorating don’ts…

Decorating Dilemma’s: The DO’S & DON’TS
source: Design Monarchy

9 Most Common Decorating Mistakes:

One of the services we as Design Monarchy offer is site consultations. Rose and I frequently get called out to consult on a home or space where the owner has reached their wit’s end. On arrival, we often encounter the same decorating blunders over and over again. The house, owner, year, trend, and location can all be different, but the blunders are always the same.

Here are some of the most common decorating mistakes we’ve noticed:

Read More »