Mpho Vackier's cool yet casual Centurion home
Posted: 09 June 2017
Vinyl floors lend a warm, homely feel to the house, while many couches and chairs, such as a sofa from @home, encourage the family and guests to relax and get comfortable.A lime-green front door set in charcoal exterior walls makes Mpho and Harald Vackier’s home stand out from the earth-toned houses that surround it in an estate near Irene in Centurion, Gauteng. This bold juxtaposition is characteristic of the double-storey property, which has eclectic design and easygoing family living at its heart.
An antique marble-topped coffee table lends a sophisticated touch to the Vackier family’s otherwise understated lounge in Centurion, Gauteng.Previously a process engineer on platinum mines, Mpho switched to interior design to follow her passion and spend more time at home with their son Xavier. Mpho runs her two businesses – Design Peo, an interior-decorating consultancy, and The Urbanative, her product-design studio – out of her home. Fabric swatches, flooring samples and other tools of the trade litter the floor and adorn the walls of her office, reflecting her work and creative process.
A collection of design pieces and objets d’art can be found in the dining room, including a Beat Stout pendant by Tom Dixon from Créma Design.‘Because the layout works so well now, I can do anything in the space,’ Mpho says. This is the result of a full renovation she oversaw in 2015 before the family moved in, which included fixing structural issues, adding windows and doors to allow light to stream in, extending the patio and changing the overall layout to suit the family’s lifestyle.
Harald, Xavier and Mpho Vackier in the kitchen, with its Buumi bar stools designed by Mpho for The Urbanative.Mpho says that she wanted it to ultimately reflect their characters, and the outcome is an open, bright and cosy house made for living in – the family’s dream home. And while on the surface the place has a wide-ranging style, closer inspection reveals a specific conversation between European and African design influences, with the decor combining her South African and Harald’s Belgian heritage. The flowing open-plan living spaces downstairs have multiple areas where the family and guests can gather and relax. The Vackiers love entertaining: ‘I want people to feel at home when they walk into my house,’ Mpho says. ‘I don’t want them feeling as though they can’t touch anything; it’s a space I want everyone to share.’
A variety of blue and yellow Le Creuset kitchenware and pendants from MRP Home add playful pops of colour to the white-and-grey kitchen.A typical weekend sees Harald preparing an early lunch while Xavier takes a swim and Mpho relaxes on the patio with the family’s two Yorkshire terriers, Lala and Zoe. Sunday mornings usually start off slowly with reading in bed followed by ‘lupper’, lunch and supper combined, at a nearby restaurant to have Xavier in bed early for the school week ahead. Sometimes, they visit the Irene Dairy Farm or walk the dogs around the estate.
Mpho’s love of pattern play can be seen in a geometric mosaic in the bathroom and wallpaper accent walls in Xavier’s bathroom and bedroom.Harald is the chef in the family, and Mpho designed the kitchen to suit his needs. The cool turquoise accents, which include pendants over the island where the family eat breakfast every morning, lend a casual feel to the white marble surfaces, and geometric floor tiles echo the shape of the breeze-block wall that encloses an outdoor sitting area off the kitchen. Mpho loves pattern play and this theme recurs throughout the home in linen, soft furnishing and wallpapered feature walls in the bedrooms.
Read Mpho's secrets of Irene here.