Decor & Design

Shaping Spaces

By May 29, 2019 May 31st, 2019 No Comments

At the helm of M&M Designs is a couple whose combined talents have taken each of them from studying footwear in Milan to showcasing their interiors on popular TV show Top Billing. Despite their frenetic travel schedule, they’ve set up shop in Ballito, with one of their latest briefs being the transformation of a space into a wellness hub for a local Pilates studio.

Meeting Michele and Mark Metior in their mixed-use retail space and offices at The Quarter shopping centre in Ballito is quite a creative whirlwind. They travel the country transforming spaces into things of beauty, and we get the feeling they don’t sit still for long.

Both Michele and Mark are African born, with both families hailing from Belgium. Michele grew up in KZN with her final schooling years being in the Eastern Cape, while Mark grew up between Africa and Europe. Their diverse backgrounds have contributed to their design ethos, as their projects have a noticeable global aesthetic. However, they’re adamant about forging their own path for their clients, rather than following trends.

“Michele’s first venture into interior design was in the late 1990s, with the restoration and renovation of a Victorian wrap-around veranda home built in 1908,” explains Mark. “It soon became evident that the ability to offer clients a full turnkey service would become the foundation of M&M Design,” he adds. “Working closely with clients and contractors over a period of 20-odd years, Michele’s natural knowledge and ability in translating dreams into reality is enviable.”

“For me,” explains Mark, “being born into a family of cobblers and having a creative mind, the obvious choice growing up was footwear design. I completed my studies in Milan in the late 1970’s, and my career in footwear spanned 27 years.”

“As M&M grew, I found myself being drawn into projects, and really enjoyed the opportunity of exploring new creative ventures with my clear understanding of design, proportion and a love for detail. The opportunity of Michele and I working together became my focus and in 2007 this became a reality.”

Their favourite projects are without a doubt full ‘turnkey’ projects, but each job tends to be unique.

“Our work ranges from theatrically inspired retail projects to boutique lodges, and from contemporary homes through to classical homes. At the end, it’s all about the ability of translating a client’s dream into a reality,” he adds.

“For me,” explains Mark, “being born into a family of cobblers and having a creative mind, the obvious choice growing up was footwear design. I completed my studies in Milan in the late 1970’s, and my career in footwear spanned 27 years.”

One of Mark and Michele’s most recent projects was the incredible space Tash B Pilates has relocated to, also at The Quarter shopping centre.

“Tash was very specific about her requirements. Her need to create a space with the right synergy for her team and clients alike was paramount,” explains Mark.

“The location of the studio was also a big factor, with its large windows offering views of our rolling green hills was inspiring. The location has a warehouse feel so this also became a focus on the final design. We built on the industrial feel by bringing in commercial factory windows as partitioning in the interior. Dark grey walls and timber floors continued this feel. The only challenge left was to bring in the lush feel of the countryside. After some research we found a vintage wallpaper of a tropical l’orangerie (Greenhouse) which replicated the exact feel we wanted, adding in cascading plants above the reception, and jazzed up industrial light-fitting completed the picture. The space is tranquil, uncomplicated and current.”

The cosmopolitan studio really has to be seen to be believed, and if M&M Design’s primary intent is indeed to ‘shape a space’ and reflect the spirit of the people who inhabit the place, then the studio is a prime example of their talents.

For more on M&M Designs, visit mmdesigns.co.za or call 031 539 1072.

One of M&M Design’s beautifully curated homes.

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