Inspired by the growing need of guests to connect with loved ones, in a private exclusive environment, where they would feel like home away from home, the owners of Morukuru Family created a unique offering of 3 private villas in the magnificent, malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa.
Fox Browne Creative was briefed to give 2 of the family-owned and run, private villas that were built over 15 years ago, a refreshed and an updated look. The existing houses were still in immaculate condition so no structural change to the existing buildings was needed.
“We took our brief directly from the owners who have a strong sense of their own style and preferences. It was important to them that the houses should still feel very much like private family homes. They wanted a strong use of colour and curated rather than decorated interiors,” says Debra Fox, Fox Browne Creative.
Set amidst the enormous Morukuru (Tamboti) trees along the Marico River, in a private concession in the South-East corner of the 75,000 hectare Madikwe Private Game Reserve, Fox Browne took their inspiration from the famous Painted Dogs/Wild Dogs of the area, Tswana basket weave and the dense riverine forest.
In Morukuru Owners House mustard accents and pattern feature prominently in the choice of fabrics. A custom-made mustard leather and bead chandelier, over the dining table, makes a strong contrast against the existing stone fireplace and natural texture of the thatch roof.
Gallery quality pieces, like the antique framed Kelim above the sitting room fireplace, sits comfortably with the best of South African contemporary designed pieces, like the Dora Lamp from Douglas and Douglas, the Big Sweat stone lamp from Doktor and Misses and server by Tonic Design. Artefacts that were saved and repurposed from the original house add a layer of warmth and reflect the owner’s love of African art. All original paintings were kept as a nod to the previous design, creating a sense of continuity,
The outdoor deck was expanded including a comfortable built-in firepit seat under an ancient Morukuru tree. This connects guests to the Marico River and encourages al fresco evenings around the fire.
In the bedrooms, the custom-made, hand-woven, headboards are inspired by the traditional basket weave of the Tswana culture in the region. Their use of geometric pattern in all their design is carried through in the bold texture on the stained-glass panels in the new cabinetry. Hand blown glass bedside lamps were sourced from a young local artist.
Bathrooms were given a complete overhaul for a lighter fresher look. Mottled marble vanities reference the texture and pattern of the wild dog coats, while strong black steel accents give the bathroom a lighter more contemporary feel.
At Morukuru River House, the colour palette is inspired by the olive green of the ancient Morukuru trees and riverine forest. Green accents feature throughout the 3 bedroomed house. The same geometric patterns, inspired by the Tswana basketweave are referenced in the stained-glass cabinetry. The Artwork is a mix of new organic pieces and the owner’s original collection.
The outdoor verandah at River House was enlarged with a new bigger pool to create a spacious outdoor living for families with more comfortable outdoor furniture.
The staff uniforms have also been updated to reflect the new look and feel.
“We are thrilled with the new look and feel that Fox Browne have created. The result feels refreshed with a contemporary light-hearted feel and a strong sense of place and still feels like home” says Ed & Anka Zeeman, owners Morukuru Family.
To celebrate the refurbishment and their 15th anniversary of Morukuru Family they have launched a SUMMER SPECIAL rate across all their properties including Morukuru Family De Hoop and AtholPlace House & Villa. The special is open to both international and local guests and is valid for stays from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021. Special terms & conditions apply.
Download Morukuru Family Summer Specials.