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!

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Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy

Our Work: Chan Wela Beauty Spa

by Rose McClement

I’m sitting here wondering how to get this article off the ground? Where do I begin? I’m a bit of a storyteller. So I’m wondering, should I start with “Once upon a Time”? …Nah! Not this time around. I’ll leave that for when I write my book. All I ask right now is that you try to stay with me until “The End”.

Back in September 2017, Design Monarchy was commissioned to assist with the interior design and project management of Chan Wela, a nail bar and beauty salon. I’ve always maintained that whether you design for residential, hotel, retail, or any other interior space, the processes and the principles are always the same. That being said, the interior design of a nail and beauty salon was a first for us, yet we were very keen and excited to get on with it.

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
Chan Wela Beauty Spa’s manicure bar in Century City, Cape Town. Don’t you just LOVE the gorgeous mint velvet fabric we sourced for the manicure chairs? It was a very hard find!

Before I go any further, I think that it would be appropriate to open up the meaning of the Salon’s name. “Chan Wela” is Thai for “me time”.  To this day, I still find the name and its meaning very enchanting.

There were two major challenges that we faced with this project. First off – the timeframe was extremely tight. The Salon’s PR driven celebrity launch party was to be on the 28th of November. From the time that the deal was agreed upon to the big evening’s launch party, we basically had two months! In that time, we had to tackle challenge number two: converting a typically bland office space, in a typical office block complex, into a compelling top-of-the-range, fully-equipped, upmarket beauty salon. NO pressure!

Chan Wela Beauty Spa | Interiors by Design Monarchy
The Pedicure station featured some beautiful plush and comfy wingback chairs upholstered in a stunning soft pink velvet.

The construction and building process of a project and converting an interior space is always a time-sensitive issue. The processes are all time-consuming – stress trigger points deluxe! Always! If you are planning an interior upgrade, please, factor in sufficient time.Read More »

The Evolution of Pink

The Evolution of Pink

by Rose McClement

When Beatrice Moore-Nöthnagel of Media24’s Tuis / Home Magazine recently approached me for a quotation as an “Expert Opinion” on the topic of “why pink remains ever popular in decor“, I was thrilled. Especially since the colour pink has been on my decor radar in recent times. This is for a few reasons, one of which being, that we had only recently completed the interior design and decor of a Nail & Beauty Spa which featured the colour. We selected a soft, silky tone of pink for some of the seating. Furthermore, it was upholstered in a velvet fabricyummy! – another one of my favourite decor elements right now.

The Evolution of Pink | Home Magazine
Rose of Design Monarchy is featured in the May issue of Home Magazine / Tuis Tydskrif

I’ve always been a lover of pink – no matter what the shade or tone. Way back in the late 80’s our main bedroom had walls painted in a very bold “shocking” pink.

Furthermore, I’ve never really been afraid of using it in our interior projects. There is one particular project that springs to mind. We installed two bold pink sofas in the lounge of Galway’s The House Hotel back in 2006. The Irish folk were delightfully gob-smacked! It actually became the talk of the town for a while.

Here is what I had to say on the undying popularity of pink:

Over the last few decades, the global psyche has slowly been undergoing a shift from a purely male dominated world order towards the inclusion of the feminine energy. As women have slowly moved out of the shadows towards the centre stage, so too has the colour pink.

Like a woman, what can the colour pink bring to a space? It can melt and softens linear lines. It brings with it a sense of deliciousness. It has the capacity to lift the vitality of a space, to make it light and frivolous if need be.   Yet it can also raise its voice to make that big, bright and bold statement.

As women continue revealing their intrinsic value, so too will the colour pink continue revelling in the limelight. 

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Bold & Bright Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com

The Flip Side: Bold & Bright Interiors

by Rose McClement

Marica recently wrote a Trend Alert article, highlighting some of the gorgeous dark and moody interiors. Prominent in all of these moody interiors were the wonderfully exhilarating deep and darker tones of some jewel colours. Colours such as Royal Blue, Emerald Green, Teal Green, Plum, Grape, Yellow, Bold Pink, Dark Grey, Orange and Lime Green.

While reading that article, I seeped into those alluring interior images. My heart was pounding with absolute pleasure at the beauty of those interiors. Definitely my kinda thing in a big way!

Bold & Bright Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com
source: bien fait via instagram

My friend Stella, a loyal member of our Facebook Fan Club made a very interesting comment on the post.

This is what she said: I sooooo appreciate viewing these dark & moody tones. But for me it’s largely seasonal.  As you say, winter draws one in. It’s cosy, gorgeous but come summer I want to bask in LIGHT, white and bright.  So could I live with the dark tones? I don’t think so… but an accent wall, now you’re talking.  (All emphasis hers, including the numbers of “oooo’s” in the word “soooo”)

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Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com

Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors

by Marica Fick

You don’t have to pour over every single one of our blog posts to know that Marica loves loads of colour in a bright, white space. The white-on-white interior trend, inspired by those lovely bright Scandinavian spaces, has long been an industry darling. While a white backdrop will always be a popular go-to choice, the past year we have seen the winds changing.

People are starting to yearn for something a bit more substantial … darker, moody. If there was one home trend that seemed to eclipse the others this past year, it was the gradual shift towards dark and rich tones.

Trend Alert: Bold & Moody Interiors | via thedesigntabloid.com
source: Adore Magazine

Even I, lover of white, have succumbed to the inky siren’s call. Maybe it is the approaching cold of winter that has me longing for a dark and cosy nest.

I think, however, the element that finally convinced me to move to the “dark side” was the deep jewel tones often paired with these inky interiors. The only thing I love more than a white backdrop is an array of bold jewel colours.

In fact, that is one thing that most trend predictors agreed on last year – the insurgence of vibrant jewel tones. The beauty of these gemstone colours is that they are bold, loud and impossible to ignore in a room. It instantly fills the room in with warmth and drama.Read More »

Pinterest Picks: Lovely Living Rooms

Rose and I were pretty excited to get stuck into our first Pinterest Picks blog post of 2018. For those keeping tally, this is our fifth post in the series, having previously selected our favourite bedrooms, nooks & nichesworkspaces and bathrooms.

Now, I have the word “were” emphasised above for a reason. Turns out, this was our most challenging Pinterest Pick post yet! In fact, we reached a point of such frustration that Rose remarked that she was “getting very disillusioned with Pinterest” – gasp! Why was this so difficult? I don’t know. Maybe it is because we both have such a specific picture in mind for our ideal living room that the beautiful lounges on our board were just not cutting it this time. Nevertheless, we soldiered on!

Just to quick refresh on this series and its criteria: we are in essence playing a little game of “I wish“, as in “I wish I had that interior” – be it lounge, bedroom, kitchen or anything in between. After spending some time scouring our various Pinterest boards, we each select our favourite interior image – the space we most desire to have as our own. We then explain exactly why we coveted that particular space and if there is anything we would like to change.

Naturally, we ended up choosing two “runner-up” interiors… because deciding on just one room is just too difficult!

For this instalment, we decided to select our favourite images for our “Living Rooms” Pinterest board. The board is a collection of Design Monarchy‘s favourite and most beautiful lounge/living room finds.

After much, MUCH deliberation, here are our top 3 nominations for the loveliest, most desirable living rooms…
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