Skip to content

Women Shaping Design: Mia Senekal

The designs of Mia Senakal and murrmurr combine striking aesthetics with optimal comfort to create unique furniture - each piece viewed as a work of art

By Shannon Manuel  | August 6, 2021 | Design

Mia Senekal founded murrmurr after nine years of extensive experience in retail interior design.

Inspiration for her designs and creations come from nature and the outdoors - drawing on elements of the world around us and bringing them inside our homes. Additionally, a strong emphasis is placed on ergonomic design, ensuring conformity to the highest standards of comfort.

H&G: Can you take us back to when you first started designing and how you entered your career path?

Mia: I first started designing when I was 16 years old. I studied textile design in school and loved creating patterns and then printing with silkscreen by hand. The whole process was fascinating and hands-on. I studied Interior design after school and worked in the retail design industry for 9 years before starting murrmurr. Furniture design just found me; I love the detail of it and creating a single piece with a story behind it.

H&G: Were you a creative person growing up?

M: I have always loved art and started taking art lessons as a young child. It has always been part of how I expressed myself and also a safe space where I could escape and connect with myself. When I design it feels like I am transported into a different dimension. A space where anything is possible.

H&G: What does design mean to you? What designers have influenced you over the years?

M: I eat, sleep and breathe design. It is part of my core being. The first designers that inspired me were when I was in school - Gavin Rajah and Marianne Fassler. Each of their designs had a story and richness behind them.

H&G: What motivated you to start your business? Any advice to other women?

M: At the end of 2018 I wanted to do something different. I wanted to express myself through individual pieces - focus on detail. Starting my own business just made sense. I love working on my own and going into a bubble and creating. When I changed my career path, I started my business with no knowledge of how to approach it. I think that showing women, no matter what experience you have, you can learn and do anything if you put your mind to it.

H&G: Please tell us about murrmurr.

M: murrmurr offers unique collections and custom design services. We first launched the moon collection at the end of 2019, which was inspired by the phases of the moon cycle. In May this year, we launched the Flourish collection, which was inspired by the beautiful shapes, textures and colours of mushrooms. Flourish places emphasis on organic shapes, nature, earthy tones and hues, and ergonomic design.

H&G: What, for you, is the essence of furniture making?

M: The essence for me lies in the story and the concept of a piece or space. Each element of the design, or piece, needs to drawback to the original concept - it requires meaning and depth.

H&G: Your pieces/ design style is appreciative of lines and textures in nature? And, in fact, your brand name murrmurr is also nature-inspired?

M: I feel a strong connection to nature and it is where I draw all my inspiration. Nature is an endless source that grows, changes shape and evolves with time. I like to apply this thinking to my process and designs. Being in touch with nature grounds me and inspires the creative juices to flow freely. It is calming and reassuring.

H&G: What woman in your life has inspired you the most?

M: The woman that has most inspired me in my life would be my mother. She has always celebrated my creative side and has been my biggest supporter my entire life. Without her wisdom, support and guidance, I would not be the woman I am today.

H&G: How would you describe the ways in which you engage and empower others?

M: My main motto is to engage with others with respect - to act and treat others the way I would like to be treated.

H&G: What are you working on at the moment?

M: I am constantly working on something just because I love designing - sketching ideas that might form part of a new collection or just be an inspiration. For the moment I am focusing on promoting and enjoying the Flourish collection.

Related Tags

Interior Designers