Toot Your Own Horn | via www.designmonarchy.co.za

Do You Toot Your Own Horn?

by Rose McClement

DO YOU TOOT YOUR OWN HORN? Is that something that you are comfortable with doing?

About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Abigail Klopper’s Cafinnate Academy online coffee meet-up by means of Facebook Live. Towards the close of the meetup, this issue of ‘tooting your own horn‘ came up. “Do you do it?“, was the question. That touched an open spot for me. It got me thinking about this issue, although I will admit, not very seriously at the time.

This morning sitting on the edge of the bed, feet on the ground, I was taken back to what I had experienced and felt during COVID. I spoke about it in my last post. It was about the issue of honouring my own voice, my own inner knowing, and just switching off the outside noise and voices. This was something that was going at full tilt at the start and early days of COVID and lockdown.

Today, I almost want to say to this Rose person, “Who are you and what have you done with the Rose that came before you?” That Rose was not tuned in to her own voice, her own opinion, her own mind, her own heart. She was swayed by all the voices around her – gave them more credence and validity. She second and third guessed herself most of the time. She always felt that others knew better than her, were better than her and despite her leadership qualities allowed others to set the pace. She literally handed her power over to them. It was helluva stressful and helluva confusing. There just was no ‘off-switch’ to flip when it came to holding her own space.

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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.

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Covid-19: Work from Home

Design Monarchy, Covid-19 and Lockdown Musings

Feature image via: Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash

by Rose McClement

As I sit and contemplate the last few months of 2020, it feels totally surreal.

As I slowly begin to emerge from living through a Worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, hectic S.A. Lockdown and all those issues that flow and follows in its wake, I have to ask myself “Did this really happen? Is this still really happening? Am I really experiencing an extraordinarily time that will no doubt make its mark in world history? Something like WW2 and Mandela!”.

These same questions crossed my mind during the initial worldwide lockdown period when I sat staring at the images of empty city street scenes – streets, public plazas, curbside cafes that would normally be abuzz with people. One remarkably familiar and local empty street scene image stuck with me.  As I gazed at the images Cape Town’s famous Camps Bay Main Road with not a car, bus, taxi, person in sight the brevity of the situation hit home. That was totally surreal and bizarre. Something not witnessed by me before.

Covid-19: Stay Home
Stay home. Image created by Vanessa Santos. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19. | source: United Nations via Unsplash

Then the adjusting into living in isolation, transitioning from working in the office to working from your ‘new home-office’, communicating via online platforms, wearing masks to the shops, etc. Who would have even begun to imagine at the start of 2020 that all of that would be our day-to-day reality? I always imagined that the year 2020 would have some sort of sci-fi-esque characteristic about it, like flying cars, robotic labour, etc. A movie-type pandemic, however? Nope, that was not the kinda sci-fi I had in mind.

Closer to home, the Lockdown-need for Design Monarchy (Marica and myself) to work digitally from our respective desks / home office setups was nothing new for the two of us.  For a good many years it is something that we had transitioned into and adopted as a way of working.  We use Skype, Whatsapp, TeamViewer, and the like as our online tools.  Thus, it was business as usual for the two of us.  We were fortunate enough to have a Beauty & Wellness Spa interior design project to occupy our time and attention (watch this space for forthcoming visual delights and the back story).  We were mainly working on the ‘behind the scenes’ stage of the project. Fortunately, we were also well versed with sourcing and shopping online thanks to Marica’s extremely well-honed and developed online research skills. I am telling you she can find the proverbial needle in the Online haystack!

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Pantone Colour of the Year: Classic Blue | via thedesigntabloid.com

Pantone Colour of 2020: CLASSIC BLUE

Feature image via: Design Monarchy Interior Design Studio

by Marica Fick

Happy 2020 folks! 2020… can you believe?! It sounds very sci-fi. I hope you all had a lovely, rest-filled festive break and are all geared for the new year?

I’m sure by now you have all noticed a certain colour trend flooding your Pinterest, Instagram and blog feeds? You know the colour I’m referring to – it is a bold, almost primary blue… a kind of “delft-meets-school-uniform”.  Well, however you choose to describe it, it is called CLASSIC BLUE and it is Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020.

I know I mention this every year, but I was once again surprised by Pantone’s selection for Colour of the Year – it is never what I expect it to be. Not that I am going to complain because I just so happen to be a blue-girl. While Classic Blue is a tiny bit on the strong and bright side for me, I generally love all shades and hues of blue.

Thinking back on Pantone’s previous selections for COTY, it does seem that they prefer bold and bright above muted and soft. With the exclusion of 2015’s dusky Marsala and 2016’s soft pastel duo, Rose Quartz & Serenity, the last ten years have been pretty bold and punchy. Think last year’s Living Coral, 2018’s Ultra Violet, and 2013’s Emerald.

Pantone Colour of the Year: Classic Blue | via thedesigntabloid.com
The Classic Blue painted wall of this living room combined with the gorgeous green velvet Chesterfield sofa, quirky art pieces and crisp white painted mouldings and floor make for a dynamic and fresh interior. | source: Anthropologie

The selection of Classic Blue as Pantone’s Colour of the Year also came as a surprise to a good few trend-watchers and forecasters who anticipated a shade of green to win out. Plascon, for example, reflected this in their choice for Hue of 2020, Mulberry Leaf, a gorgeous moody green.

Some trend observers are of the opinion that Pantone was playing it rather “safe” by selecting a generally liked colour like blue.

In an article written for Dezeen, design consultant Michelle Ogundehin stated that in choosing a democratic colour like blue, Pantone played it safe and still missed the mark:

“… seeing as blue is routinely cited as one of the Western world’s eternally favourite colours – no doubt because it instantly recalls cloudless summer skies and warm calm seas – it couldn’t go wrong with such an inoffensive pick. Or could it?

Michelle went on to say that this rather safe choice is a result of the backlash and criticism surrounding last year’s COTY, Living Coral. Design commentators and critics felt the inspiration behind the colour and name selection was an insensitive choice considering the rapidly dwindling amount of coral left in our oceans.

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Season’s Greetings From Design Monarchy

Festive Greetings from Design Monarchy

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

It’s that time of the year again! Time to eat & drink too much, celebrate and be merry – not to mention put the feet up! Thank you for all the tons of support during the year – we truly appreciate every like, comment, share and high five! As always, we loved sharing our passion for design, décor and pretty things with you this past year!

Our studio will be closed for business from 19th of December 2019 and will reopen the 16th of January 2020. Ergo, The Design Tabloid and our social media accounts will slow its pace a bit in terms of posts. Keep your eyes peeled however – next year brings new and interesting changes for us here at the Design Monarchy!

Have a good one, guys and gals! Design Tabloid out!

    Love, Rose & Marica    

Leafy background vector created by Photographeeasia – Freepik.com
Instagram Inspiration | November 2019

Instagram Inspiration: November

feature image: Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home via Instagram

by Marica Fick

Most mornings, while enjoying our first cup of coffee and checking our emails, we also take some time to browse through Pinterest and Instagram. It is part of our studio routine and, I would say, one of the key perks off being in the interior design and decorating trade. Seriously, we get paid to look at beautiful images – let’s just call it “Research & Development” shall we.

Every week we spot these amazing, inspirational, drop-dead gorgeous and down-right desirable images on Instagram. From beautiful interiors, furniture, and fabrics to lovely eateries and spaces, delicious-looking food and oh-so-fashionable apparel.

We would love to share this visual inspiration with you. Each month we will post a roundup of our favourite Instagram finds – anything that made us go “wow” or weak at the knees. The instant-likes that turned into #instalove.

Let’s kick off with the lovely feature image above.

This lovely wall light… (feature image above)

Blogger, Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home, shared this inspirational image of a lovely little corner in her home. If you browse through her Instagram feed you will notice that this living room nook in her apartment in Sweden has changed and morphed multiple times over the years. I love the current configuration though!

The feature that first drew me was the gorgeous dove grey and brass long-arm wall light. The ever-evolving collection of framed art and prints on the gallery wall above her sofa further adds to the lovely Scandi feel.

This very chic-looking bunk bed…

Now isn’t this the most elegantly put together kids room you have ever seen? Designed by Amber Lewis of LA-based Amber Interior Design Studio, this space is all kinds of beautiful. From the sleek fitted bunk beds with wooden ladder and trim to the built-in book niches at the head of each bed. Not to mention the floating shelf storage unit at the foot of the beds and the stunning brass wall light fittings. The bright white and lovely rusty pink / coral colour scheme is so pretty to boot.

It’s clean, it’s contemporary, and it’s chic, yet playful and feminine enough for a little girl’s bedroom.Read More »