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,

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!