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A simpler way of living

As the pace of life seems to speed up, many of us are looking for ways to take a step or two back in time to when life was less complicated and living was more relaxed. Take a look at interior design trends and you will notice a yen for simpler things; a return to casual living with emphasis on everything handmade, repurposed or restored.

If you're looking for examples of a style that is relaxed and comfortable, La Grange Interiors sums it up in their product range. Founded in 1996 and originally set up in a 200-year-old barn in the heart of Franschhoek, La Grange Interiors now has an outlet in Umhlanga and Kramerville.

The La Grange brand is unique in that every single item is handpicked or designed by Sumari Krige herself and invariably has an exotic story attached to it. It's a brand that effortlessly blends old with new, straddles classic and contemporary style and above all promotes easy, elegant living. From soft furnishings in 100% linens to timeworn antiques, custom designed wooden furniture, lamps, accessories and glassware that will still be admired by the next generation.

While I may not be able to afford most of the items in the store, there's nothing wrong with drooling and finding a bit of inspiration for my next DIY project!





Call it Wabi-Sabi, primitive living, shabby chic, cottage style or whatever else you like, but there is a definite trend towards creating home interiors that are not sleek and polished, but rather place emphasis on living a in a more relaxed way. Without a doubt there will be those that prefer a more modern approach to decorating a home because, let's be honest, technology has advanced to make living easier.

How many of us could survive without a microwave or power shower! But the increasing move towards being eco-friendly and using sustainable materials as part of construction and design ultimately mean thinking about the way we live and how we can simplify and live on a different level. On a personal level, while we might be making small steps towards cutting back on the damage we have done in the 20th century, if we only continue to take small steps it's going to be too late. We all need to commit to change in the way we live.

Morukuru Lodge
Commissioned by the owner, this extension to a private lodge in the Madikwe reserve is a combination of contemporary, urban living and subtle safari and bush references. Working with the clean lines of the architecture, Sumari Krige and Adele van der Merwe, her partner on the project, created a scheme that accentuates the sense of easygoing, contemporary living ensuring a sense of comfort remained key, from the cushion-backed sofas and soft rugs underfoot in the living areas to the layers of tactile blankets in the bedrooms.

Each and every item of furniture was either specifically sourced for this property or custom designed by La Grange Interiors.
"We wanted to create a space where guests would feel at home despite the exotic bush surrounds on their doorstep. We tried to reflect the external environment as much as possible by using a variety of different textures and an earthy palette of browns, sage greens and understated slate shades, and then we worked in some quirky touches and splashes of colour to take things away from the traditional safari look" says Krige, who had much of the furniture custom made according to her specifications.

The result is an ultra comfortable space, with plenty of pockets of privacy for the guests staying there and a sense of being at one with the beautiful bush surrounds.