Ask Décor Diva: Where Can I Buy Retro Cushions?

One of our readers recently contacted The Design Tabloid to ask our resident Décor Diva some advice…

She asks:

“I have a dark brown suede L shape couch and want retro, bright scatter cushions but not sure where and how to get them…

Décor Diva says:

This is actually a tricky question, without a particularly straight forward answer.  The reason being that the term “retro style” could mean one thing to me and another to you, coming out of our individual perceptions of “retro”.

In décor & interior design “retro” basically speaks of a trend or style that is reminiscent of those styles of the 50’s and 60’s.  However, the definition of “retro” is in actuality anything that is older than 20 years.  To some retro means “vintage” or “mid-century modern” or the pop culture styles prominent in the 60’s and early 70’s.  In recent times even those fashion and décor items and styles appropriated in the 80’s is gaining momentum.

This all then begs the question: what is your perception of retro patterns and styles?

But in an attempt to assist you with your scatter cushion décor dilemma, I think it best that I just simply point you in the direction of some of the local suppliers of fabrics & cushions that we would regard as retro – in a more universal sense. You take your pick from these and hopefully it will help you to move forward. If you struggle to find ready-made scatter cushions in the shops, there is a good few fabric houses that sell awesome retro-inspired fabrics that can be made into scatters. In the event that you are not needle and tread capable, approach a local curtain manufacturer to make up the scatter cushions for you.

Here is the suggested suppliers of retro patterned fabrics:

Unfortunately most fabric houses do not sell directly to the public BUT luckily if you see a fabric you like you can contact us and we will order it for you!

  • Local Cape Town designer Skinny laMinx (not necessarily bright, but certainly retro)!
  • Hertex has a handful of quirky fabrics with retro comic strip motifs on it.
  • Then there is a fabulous range of fabrics and patterns to be found from Design Team, especially their Young at Heart and Baha ranges. Their website has a full and comprehensive range of fabrics to be viewed. If want you could spend some time looking through their range, you may strike it lucky.

Love, Rose  x x x

{Below find some awesome local retro-inspired scatter cushions. Please click on images to enlarge}

Whimsical Nicole Long

We interviewed local freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Nicole Long (aka Striped Flamingo). Her whimsy, vintage, girlie, pastel-coloured illustrations are simply beautiful – it’s right up my street. Don’t be surprised if you find Nicole’s work familiar – she has designed a ton of gorgeous stuff for Mr. Price (lucky Mr. Price)!

Nicole Long - Striped Flamingo

Q:  Tell us a bit about yourself… where you’re from, what you do, any likes / dislikes?

Born in JHB, grown up in Durban. I got my Graphic design degree at Durban University of Technology. I work full time for a Fashion retail store and freelance in my spare time. I love illustration and quirky drawings – my children’s cook book, Little Chef was my stepping stone.

Q:  How did you get into the illustration business? Do you have an art or design background?

I have been drawing and painting since before I can remember and I always knew I’d carry it through in whatever I did.

Q:  Where do you draw inspiration from when designing?

I draw inspiration from everything and anything around me – from food packaging, colours, children,  the outdoors, and even things people say.

Q:  Is there a certain style you admire or aspire to?

I like simple, pretty and hand drawn.

Q:  Could you share your Secret Indulgence with us?

Shopping for my home, furniture and interior design.

Q:   What is your favourite current décor trend?

Aztecs and geometrics in fabrics

Q:  Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

Have my own shop

Holiday in Thailand

Publish more books

Travel Africa

Run comrades

Q:  Do you have a colour that you favour most and why?

Pastel colours, they are soft and refreshing and bring me peace.

Q:  What do you have on your bedside table at the moment?

A bridal magazine, a fineliner, iPod & a white clock from typo

Q:  Future plans?

A few fabric houses are about to stock my fabrics, I’d like to expand my range and get them into more shops.

{Find more of Nicole’s AWESOME work on her blog: Striped Flamingo, or follow her on Twitter: here.}

Gorgeous 60s Pop Art Scatters!

Lookie here, lookie here! Check out these super dooper retro-tastic scatter cushions from Halogen! By now you already know that beautiful or quirky scatter cushions makes me go weak at the knees and these novelty vintage Pop Art beauties are making my credit card hand a little itchy – I want!

Here’s the best part…

You can order these scatter cushions through The Design Tabloid! Yay!

Available while stock lasts!

They are R 399 each

(excluding delivery cost)

Just drop us a message: here 

Mid-Century Furniture Finds

To conclude our little, unplanned, random blog series of Mid-Century Modern musings we thought inspire you with some local Modern furniture finds. The Mother City’s trendy style, hipster vibe and appreciation for all things vintage ensured a natural affinity to the global revival of the Mid-Century Modern trend. Cape Town is littered with flourishing shops dedicated to the import and restoration of Mid-Century Modern furniture & décor. Sigh, what can I say – we just love it…

This gorgeous mid-century chair is something different – not a Scandinavian import, it was made in the good ole R.S.A. Manufactured in the 1950’s, this armchair was made by the well known furniture maker G.H Starck Limited, who opened their doors in 1936 in Parow. Salvaged and restored by one of my favourite local mid-century upcyclers, RESTORE, they re-sprayed the chair in fresh white and upholstered it in this striking geometric fabric by Lulu Fabrics.

Another beautiful space filled with mid-century furniture, gifts and quirky vintage kitchenalia and collectables is that of well-known, VAMP. I loved this quirky two-seater Mahogany couch and love set of Maple nested tables with inky grey tops.

This striking and fun mid-century modern arm chair was revamped by SAKS CORNER. Their vintage restorations usually have funky unique and playful twist.

We have mentioned SPACE FOR LIFE before – they specialise in the import of beautifully designed and well-crafted mid-century furniture pieces from Scandinavia. This gorgeous teak easy chair above, manufactured by Soren J Ladefogde & Son in 1959, still has it’s original dark green wool fabric upholstery. The tall teak side board dresser cabinet is also a superb piece of craftsmanship.

The MID-CENTURY MODERN showroom & gallery in Durham Avenue, Cape Town has a gorgeous array of mid-century originals (as well as some awesome Bauhaus pieces) It was their remarkable collection of mid-century lighting that caught my attention this time. The well-known “Contrast” pendant lamp by Poul Henningsen (circa 1962) and the striking teal hand-blown glass pendant light by Luciano Vistosi (circa 1957) were my favourites.

MID-CENTURY MODERN also import pieces from the Danish furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Son, who has been manufacturing the designs of renowned mid-century furniture designer, Hans Wegner since 1949. The Y-Chair (also know as the Wishbone Chair) and the stunning upholstered lounge chair (CH445) is just two of Wegner’s most recognizable designs.

Then, or the mid-century lover on a budget – you can take the less-expensive route of purchasing mid-century replicas. The Eames lounge chair and rocker replicas are available from 5ROOMS.COM

And there you go – some lovely mid-century awesomeness to carry you into the weekend!

Retro Pampering At Petticoat Parlour

Rose and I have been running around like headless chickens this past two weeks – all in preparation for the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA fo’ short) that started this Wednesday in Durbs. One of the sessions will focus largely on sustainable development, green architecture, and future trends within the hospitality design sector. Rose is one of the speakers – along with a handful of (mostly) architects – and should actually, by my watch,  be “hitting the stage” shortly. She will hopefully give you a little feedback on the conference once she returns next week.

Anyhoo, so that is the reason for our radio silence the past week… It is also the reason why my Mother’s Day arrangements has, once again, bit the dust. The only solace – the knowledge that my mum loves me unconditionally and quickly (and often) forgives my slacker ways.

I have however, endeavoured to make it up to her in some way – I’m thinking Mani / Pedis – and I know just the place…

Petticoat Parlour in Green Point has gotten a lot of airtime (ie. various blog posts and mag articles features) since their grand opening last year – and rightly so. This place is extraordinarily cool, as in James-Dean-in-a-leather-jacket cool. The little beauty parlour is a retro dream, 50s-inspired from the black & white chequered floor to the Pop Art pin-ups on the walls (I really didn’t mean for that to rhyme).

The funky day spa offers a wide range of treatments for you ladies looking to refine and unwind. AND some awesome pampering for the gentleman as well (seriously guys, get with the times). I can imagine that Petticoat would also be the perfect place to host a bridal shower or entertain a gaggle of teenage girls!

Who wouldn’t want to sit back with an old fashioned milkshake while someone is buffing you nails to a lustre?! Some vintage tunes on diner jukebox, having a good ole “skinner” (that means “gossip” for those of you who are Afrikaans-challenged). Sitting in those blue 50s diner chairs you are sure to feel like Olivia Newton-John in Grease.

So, this is definitely on my bucket list – might even drag one or two girlfriends with and score some serious brownie points.

Be sure to check out Petticoat Parlour’s website: here for all the necessary details or their Facebook page for the latest specials. I believe the month of May is their birthday month so there is bound to be some awesome birthday and Mother’s Day specials.

Images via Petticoat Parlour

Dear Me…

By Marica

Rose and I recently had a “town day” – a tradition we instituted after our move from our beloved little Victorian office in Kloof Nek to our current studio in Edgemead. We use our town day to soak up some of the City Bowl-inspiration & zing and to have a good scratch around Town for new or hidden treasures. We found one such treasure tucked away in an inconspicuous part of Longmarket Street.

Dear Me is a new brasserie & bar that opened earlier this year in a stunning 181 year-old, three storey building. Architect & urban designer Mario Bonadei undertook the massive task of restoring the geriatric building. It must have been no easy feat renovating the building to former glory whilst making allowance for the integration of the funky contemporary interiors designed by Francois du Plessis.

The trendy brasserie & deli occupies the ground floor. The predominantly white & gray interior with just a touch of fresh green and some natural timbers here and there compliment the exposed masonry of the existing building beautifully. I love the slightly industrial-looking glass pendant lights over the deli counter and the beautiful green honeycomb-like wine racks under the staircase.

Another quirky little feature is the various potted plants hanging upside down from the ceiling (wonder who waters it every week?) The quirky wall and mirror designs were designed by illustrator Daniel Ting Chong – quite playful.

Rose immediately recognised the beautiful crate-like (and slightly Provencial) storage & display unit as the fine craftsmanship of our friends at Moorgas & Sons.

 

The first floor is mainly used for functions. Open to the staircase is a funky little interlude lounge with quirky retro furniture and decor and a beautiful private dining area containing the “Chef’s Table” which hosts the Thursday evening food and wine pairing.

The private function room offers a blank canvas with its pure white walls and floors and the beautiful crystal chandeliers add just a touch of glamour and elegance.

The top floor contains the striking rooftop bar, Tjing-Tjing, that opens up to a lovely rooftop balcony (perfect for warm summer nights). The dominant feature of this intimate loft space is the beautiful existing timber roof beams, a rustic contrast against the bold & glossy blood-red bar with its gorgeous Tom Dixon brass pendant lights.

Another beautiful element is the black & white photo-collage wallpapered wall with the crochet-patterned mandala-like feature.

Even though this Tjing-Tjing is said to be Chinese-inspired it reminds me somewhat of a Russian tearoom – it must be the brilliant red bar counter and shiny faux leathers (maybe it’s a little of both like Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl).

Chef Vanessa Marx makes delicious unpretentious food and the menu is changed daily. They have recieved glowing reviews so far….well worth a visit.

What an awesome find – Rose, I think we should have town days more often…

Images courtesy of Dear Me (thanks Ilse & Liza)

Dear Me:
165 Longmarket Street
Cape Town
Tel no: 021 422 4920
Fax no: 021 422 4815
info@dearme.co.za