Five Minutes With Interior Designer Mia Senekal

What makes a good designer and how does the creative process work? We chatted to interior designer and founder of furniture company MurrMurr, Mia Senekal.

Supplied, MurMur

Mia Senekal

Based in Cape Town, MurrMurr creates distinctly unique furniture, of which each piece is considered a work of art. Founder Mia Senekal merges her appreciation of lines and textures in nature with her flair for interior design, creating a range of eye-catching designs, aesthetically striking and comfortable furniture.

Breaking the barriers of what is traditionally considered innovative yet comfortable, Senekal has created a collection of furniture items that are a sensory experience with comfort at the heart of each piece. 

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Five minutes with Interior Designer Mia Senekal

Tell us about Murrmurr: what inspired you to create this particular brand now, in this particular place?

I have been wondering what I form of design I would like to settle in for a long time. I have been working in retail interior design for 9 years. I have always loved focusing on the detailed elements of objects and furniture design just found me at the end of 2018. I just knew that I have to give it a shot and the designs just flowed through me after I had made the decision.

MurrMurr furniture

Why did you choose the name Murrmurr (which we love, by the way!)?

Thanks, I absolutely love it too. It is so difficult to find a name that really means something to you. The name comes from the concept of a murmuration of swallows or starlings. Murmuration describes the phenomenon of birds flying in close formation, creating different patterns as they fly. I have always loved creating patterns and when I came across the concept I just knew that this was it.  

MurrMurr furniture
New moon couch 
Can you describe a typical day in running your business?

I launched the company in August this year and since then I have been working mostly on promoting the company and also integrating myself into the South African design world. A typical day at this point would be sending out & receiving quotes, driving to suppliers and connecting with new designers in South African and also the EU & US.  

We love your elegant Moon range, especially the New Moon sofa and Quarter coffee table and side table – can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind these pieces?

The different phases of the moon and the shapes that the shadows create captivated me and inspired the collection. The New Moon Couch is inspired by the new moon phase which is a solid round defined shape. Endless curves and lines. The Quarter Coffee & Side Tables were inspired by the quarter moon which shows in the cut outs in the marble – the positives & negatives reflecting one another.

MurrMurr Full Moon
Full moon 
How and why did you choose the quite luxurious materials you use for your pieces?

I have always been intrigued and interested in luxuriously bold, rich and heavy materials. When I saw the Picasso Marble slabs, which the Quarter Moon Table is made of, I was in love. I have always loved marble and could not wait to work with it. Luxurious and patterned fabrics will always be close to my heart as I studied fabric design in school for 5 years. It was something that I escaped in. Choosing fabric is the best shooping spree for me. I can lose myself in it.  

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What’s your favourite international destination (city or country) for design inspiration, and why?

From what I have experienced the English Gardens in Munich was mind-alteringly beautiful and inspirational in so many ways. There are the gardens, trees, streams and pathways but also buildings & bridges that are just breathtaking - the juxtaposition between natural and man-made design.   

What’s the quickest or easiest way to update a home’s interiors?

A few things come to mind. Soft furnishings like scatters, carpets, curtains and throws can change the look & feel of a space in seconds and are easy to change up. Changing the layout of a room can transform a space. Lastly a lick of paint can make your interior feel like a new space.  

Who is your favourite South African architect or designer, and why?

David Krynauw's designs are fantastic. You can see the energy, detail and love that goes into every piece - thoroughly thought through and beautifully crafted. Broadly, I love the energy and vitality in South African design. Design is such an important and positive driving force in our country. It builds bridges in our society, bringing minds together with shared visions and passions, while also creating disruption and making people think.  

ALSO READ: How to use mirros to liven up any interior 
What’s your favourite room in your own home, and why?

My lounge. It's a space that everyone sees, comes together and relaxes in. It is the space that I spend most of my time in, reading and working. It is also the space that I feel you can ‘play’ with the most.  


If money were no object, what piece of design or art would you treat yourself to?

Mine is a bit elaborate and definitely unattainable – but if I could, I would buy Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. It evokes emotions in me that I cannot describe in words. I have been intrigued by it since a young age when I used it as inspiration for a fabric design in school. The soft and flowing curves are majestic.

MurrMurr furniture