Is There Heart in Your Home?

One of the vloggers I regularly follow starts off a video blog by greeting her audience with this salutation: “Hello all you Shiny Puppies”. I’m thinking – maybe I should also come up with an opening catchphrase for my blog posts. Any suggestions?

I kicked off the year attending a network meeting of note. One of my fellow networkers, Melanie – such a cool gal – was looking at the Home Magazine article of January 2016, in which one of our interior design & decorating projects was featured (this has now become my brag book). Melanie is a Real Estate Consultant and a comment she made is what motivated me to write this article.

Quirky Workspace designed by Design Monarchy
This quirky, creative workspace we designed for our client Mrs Turner was one of our favourite nooks EVER. Many of the elements, including the desk made of an old door and the wall boxes, Design Monarchy designed and had custom made. (As featured in Home Magazine January 2016) Photography: Francois Oberholster | Stylist: Marian van Wyk (for Home Magazine)

Many homes lack “heart”…

She said that what she loved about the interiors of the featured house was the fact that one could see it was full of “heart”.  She went on to tell me that since she deals with many upmarket houses, she has seen many interiors.  What strikes her is the fact that most of the houses have all the interior finishes you can want for, but no heart. Nothing that particularly warms the cockles of one’s heart. Nothing that stands out as being unique to the occupants of the home. By “interior finishes” she meant that the house has the granite kitchen top, the right tiles, the fairly updated kitchen, good furniture etc, but that is where it ends it seems. Pretty much what fellow blogger, Lelanie Slater, once coined as being a “showroom type interior”.

Quirky mismatched dining chairs
To add a creative and playful touch to the dining area we selected a mismatched mix of chairs. We had some chairs painted and sourced gorgeous fabrics from Skinny laMinx and Design Team for the seats. (As featured in Home Magazine January 2016) Photography: Francois Oberholster | Stylist: Marian van Wyk (for Home Magazine)

I so get what she is saying. I too have seen so many houses like that. It remains a house that people occupy but not a home. The interior décor lends no expression – no heart or warmth. Nor does it reflect the personality of the folk who live there. Such a great pity, because that is not what a home is meant to be.  We at the Design Monarchy, fulfil the desire of our own hearts, by helping our clients find expression of who they are in their home, in a heartfelt way. We do this by way of their interior decorations!  It is actually a very powerful process and loads of fun.

Does your personality find expression in your home?

I often wonder why it is that so many people are unable to connect with their home as a heart space. Why it is that this disconnect even exists?  It’s almost unthinkable for me in my world. But it is there and I feel I would like to explore this in a few blog posts to come. Why the superficial interior space? I am going to rope Marica in to share her views as well.

Vintage industrial styled entrance foyer
I spent a good hour or more arranging all the décor items and vintage accessories we sourced to create this perfect table vignette. We also used some of our client’s existing pieces, including the table and art, to style this amazing personality-filled space. (As featured in Home Magazine January 2016) Photography: Francois Oberholster | Stylist: Marian van Wyk (for Home Magazine)

Maybe some feedback from our readers can help me here.  Are you able to suggest why so many folk have a heart disconnect to their home interior space? Is it money? Is it fear of finding expression? Can you help me here?

Cheers all – for now.

The New Exciting World of Instagram

We have seen the (Instagram) light:

Okay, so Instagram is not exactly “new” – but it is quite new to us. I read recently that Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and currently has over 400 million active users. I am proud to say that we here at Design Monarchy are the latest Instagram converts.

We were a little unenthusiastic when we created our Instagram account more than two years. We saw it as just another time-consuming platform we would have to maintain. Now however, we have gotten into the swing of things and I totally see the appeal.

The element I most like about Instagram is that, unlike Pinterest, it is designed in such a way to encourage you to only upload images created by you. You are not re-sharing someone else’s images you’ve randomly found on the net, you are creating your own unique snaps and moments.

We have endeavoured to regularly upload new snaps to our IG account. It will be a work-in-progress, behind-the-scenes peek at what we are doing in our studio and all the interesting furniture, décor and beautiful fabrics we find when sourcing for clients. We have already uploaded some pretty awesome stuff!

Let’s be Instagram friends!

Are you on Instagram? Be sure to check out Design Monarchy’s Instagram account and follow us so we can be IG buddies! We would love to see what you are sharing / uploading too! Find us: here.

Design Monarchy Instagram uploads

We Are Front Page Awesome!

*WARNING: some serious (yet justified) bragging below!*

What a way to end the year!

Do you believe in dreams coming true?  Well I can now vouch for the fact that dreams do come true! Or as some would say – your visions do manifest!

Our work has been featured not only on the front page, but also enjoys a full TEN-page spread.  Whoop-Whoop!

Magazine feature of house designed by Design Monarchy

About two months ago, we were advised by our client, Sharon Turner, from Cintsa – that Home / Tuis Magazine had approached her with a view to featuring her house in their national magazine.  This project we started back in 2012 and completed in 2013.

As I sit here and write, my mind goes right back to the time, when Sharon first approached me about the possibility of working with her on a house that she had purchased. This house I could see was to be something special for Sharon. It has THE most incredible location and a view that some would kill for.  During the first briefing conversation we had, she made mention of the fact that she had recently taken a tour of featured homes.  At that point, I said to her “don’t worry; you are going to have a house that will be included into that tour once done!”

Once the project was completed, we were often told that we should approach a magazine to feature the work we did there.  Actually, we always knew that the exquisite results of the combined journey of creativity and dedicated effort of Sharon and Design Monarchy just had to have its day in the sun. And – here it is – without any punting or whatever, the interiors of the house spoke loud enough to draw the attention of a national magazine.

Sharon was a really cool client to work with.  It was a crazy time, but Marica and I will forever be grateful to her for giving us creative license, opportunity to find expression of what is our preferred style or interior handwriting (as it is said in the our trade). I would like to thank her and her husband Mickey for trusting the interiors of their home to our care. I am sure that she must be feeling super proud right now. I know this – Marica and I are very proud!

 I have to pinch myself almost every day since the two mags hit the shelves. The other day as I walked towards the magazine racks in my local supermarket, I just had to stop myself when I saw the image of the entrance hall, one of my all-time favourite areas we have designed so far, on a mag cover. Particularly since I so enjoyed putting the entrance hall decor together.

Do us a favour, nip out and get yourself a copy of either the English “Home” mag or the Afrikaans “Tuis”.  You may need a magnifying glass to see the name of our company – but does that matter when we have made Front Page news!!!

  A wonderful way to close off a really stunning year of work!