Rose McClement

Rose McClement is the owner of Design Monarchy, a Cape Town-based Interior Design and Décor company. For 25 years, Rose has worked within the upmarket residential and hospitality industry including multiple award-winning 4 & 5 star hotel projects in Ireland. She is also a published décor column writer and the editor of The Design Tabloid, a popular Proudly South African design & decor blog that aspires to showcase local interior design, architecture, furniture, décor, & related suppliers and feature the gifted designers behind them.

The Design Tabloid: http://thedesigntabloid.com/
Gallery Director Jennifer Reynolds  chats to guest curator Rose McClement.

How did you get started in design?
Purely by default- many, many years ago (more than I would care to mention).  I was a decorating consultant for one of Cape Town’s leading upmarket retail interior decorating houses. Over the years it graduated to include interior design as well – also by default by being the owner/director of an interior design company.

What is your concept of luxury?
Being able to enjoy something that gives you total pleasure, without skimping on the costs.
What role does artwork play in your interiors? Critical.  Not having  art in a room, could be compared to a celeb walking the red carpet, in the finest designer garment, without make-up, a good hairstyle or shoes – you cannot have one without the other. 
How much effort should one put into selecting artwork for the home? It needs a great deal of thought, sourcing and searching, to find the appropriate art pieces for a home.  It involves knowing the taste of the client as well.  Many factors to consider, yet there are times, when you can hit a piece first time.

Can style be affordable?
Very definitely – if you can discern style, then it is something you know when you encounter it.  Particularly in something as subjective as art.  There is a misperception that art is for the rich – not so!

What are two of the most common design ‘mistakes’ people make when dressing their interiors?

Easy one this – buying oversized furniture plus emotional/ impulsive buying. Dressing an interior is something that needs exploration, preparation and attention to detail – particularly with regards to the size of the space you are working with.

What is the biggest misconception you find people making regarding art in their homes?

Like I mentioned earlier – that only the rich can afford to buy original art works. If you work within budget constraints, then it seems that most folk think you have to settle for commercialized prints sold in the big retail outlets.  That is why I think that StateoftheArt is awesome – it makes art available across the income spectrum.   

What’s trending in South Africa now?

In terms of art - definitely illustrations in a variety of mediums; whimsical images; typography, photography is big.  I see that watercolors are once again gaining favour.

What’s your number one tip for making an interior sizzle?
There has been a buzz word in recent years – POP – With a move towards white interiors coming out from the Scandi countries, having a neutral/white palette interior with pops of bold colour in textures, colours or pattern.  That can make an interior sizzle.

What intrigues you about buying artwork online?

The fact that it is convenient.  Gives you the time and the space to ‘get in touch’ with the art pieces and browse at your convenience. When you go to a gallery it is not often that you can ‘interact’ with the artist.  On line the artists’ bio is that behind the scenes interaction, which allows me to shine the light of curiosity onto the work of art.  Besides for which, I find that too many galleries are very commercial lately.  It is getting more and more difficult to find ‘unique-ness’ in the galleries. 

What’s hanging on your walls at home?
2 x Gavin Collins nudes. Probably by far the best nude paintings he has done.  Lucky me.  A very big ‘hot’ colored abstract of dunes (painted by my daughter, Claire as a gift to her father).  Other arbitrary and sentimental paintings done by friends and family.  A very large photographic print of my family above my bed.

Where your are favorite places to go are get inspired by art?

Your website and any non-commercialized Gallery.  But often some of the best art collections can be found in corporate offices, boardrooms and lately for the everyday man in the street – Pinterest.

What was the first piece of art you bought?
Gavin Collins!

What would our readers be surprised to know about you?
I wonder if it would surprise people that the owner of an Interior Design Company used to visit hardened criminals in prison, as part of an organization whose mission it was to extend kindness to the incarcerated.

“I decided to simply select those paintings that I was attracted to instinctively. Wearing the decorator hat I asked myself this question – ‘Would this appeal to other people as well?’ Bearing in mind that art is not only about the message, but for simple viewing pleasure as well.”