CLASSIC MEETS CONTEMPORARY AT SIMBITHI HOUSE
Meet renowned husband and wife interior design team, Mark and Michele Metior, and take a tour through their latest project: a contemporary classic home in a prestigious KZN golf estate.
Take a look inside a magnificent home on the Simbithi Eco Estate in Ballito, KZN and meet the achievers who brought it to life. The interior design was the work of Michele and Mark Metior of M & M design. With 30 years of experience, the couple have become specialists in their field.
Surprisingly, Mark and Michele never started in interior design. While Mark’s background was in footwear design, Michele’s background was in the medical field. Mark explains how their lives took this unexpected turn, saying, “In 1997, we bought an old Victorian house that was in bad need of renovation. Michele, with a natural passion for interiors, took it on as a project. Within no time, we had everyone saying, ‘Please come and help us too!’. All of a sudden, this business erupted and we developed M & M Design: Mark and Michele.”
“Starting a new business was quite time consuming,” shares Mark. “I would be a cobbler by day and a decorative designer by night.” But as their business continued to thrive and grow, by the year 2000, they opened their very own retail store in Ballito.
Their latest project at Simbithi Eco Estate called for some collaboration. Sharing a vision of achieving excellence is architectural team Jarryd Murray from MAP Architects and Charles Taylor from Mode Architects.
The architectural team was faced with a particular challenge: the site was extremely steep. To maximise the building space and introduce that ‘wow’ factor the client was looking for, Charles and Jarryd decided to layer the building down the site, creating a three-storey home.
Jarryd explains, “In layering the house, we were able to create separate courtyards in the home. Because of our prevailing winds on the coast, we get strong North-Easterly and South-Westerly winds. Now, you can choose which courtyard to use on different days depending on the winds.”
The house occupies three levels and has four en-suite bedrooms along with an entertainment area, infinity pool, and outdoor patios. With a family who love to entertain, the home is also equipped with big kitchens, pizza ovens, pool verandas, braai fire-pits and even a deli bar.
Inside, Mark and Michele were inspired to marry the classic with the contemporary. With the architecture very modern, M & M Design introduced classical shapes and finer elements throughout the home. The home’s contemporary luxury is balanced with timeless and elegant pieces, accents of brass, and exquisite modern artwork. Most of the fittings and furnishings were specially designed and made by local craftsmen for each individual space.
Mark names the master suite, “magnificent,” explaining how he balanced the femininity of the dusky pink tones with masculine elements in the suite, such as the comfortable chairs and the touches of blue. The level is complete with a private TV lounge, a study area, and a guest suite.
The guests’ space was set up so that friends who come to stay can enjoy their own private area complete with a kitchenette, indoor courtyard, and an outdoor shower for hot summer days.
Jarryd and Charles added additional landscaping, creating an indigenous roof garden with water-wise plants to suit the climate.
Jarryd explains, “Whatever footprint you use when building the house, you take that landscaping and put it back on the roof. Creating that green space brings back the bird life and also gives you another space to use in the house.” Charles adds, “This can be used as an entertainment space, but also as a quiet space for people to retract to or for meditation.”
The design of the glass-sided pool was a feat of engineering and took six months and many consultations to perfect. Jarryd shares, “This pool is quite a special one. It’s cantilevered off one column, so the whole pool floats in the air with glass all around. It won the Pool of the Year award!”
With such a big project, the home would not have been complete without an incredible team and a spirit of collaboration. Mark concludes by saying, “Working on this project was absolutely amazing. With an amazing team, we’ve been able to encapsulate what our client wanted: to create something that is totally unique.”