Whitewashed walls, wind pumps and koppies dotting the landscape typify the Karoo aesthetic. But a renaissance is happening in the Platteland, its old homes reimagined.
The Karoo is where you go to escape, and although the area has caught up to the rest of the world, it still prefers to keep itself at an arm’s distance.
De Kleine Prince in Prince Albert and Mukti in Nieu-Bethesda retain that element of a country escape with splashes of modern pizazz.
Contemporary art adorns the thick walls. The wooden floors are glossy with a fresh coat of paint but still creak underfoot. The characteristic plaas dam is still outside but is now a swimming pool.
De Kleine Prince – A Karoo Village Home
Taking a heritage site into the 21st century is no small feat. Often without reverence for its period fittings, a renovation can look tacky. Jumping through those bureaucratic hoops, the heritage council has got it right, having wielded a masterpiece so sumptuous you can’t help but gawk.
Outside, spekboom and olive trees line the side of the main street in Prince Albert, a town already saturated with quaint guesthouses. This is exactly what owner Adrian Lombard did with De Kleine Prince.
He didn’t just buy things from a store registry or source them online but carefully, purposefully and pedantically selected them. The homestead stands out on the corner of the street, its white walls reflecting brightly in the Karoo sun.
But as you enter through the doors, you encounter original Oregon pine floors and high ceilings characteristic of old Victorian homes, complemented tastefully with modern art hanging on the walls.
For more information or to make a booking, visit De Kleine Prince
Bringing the charm of the Karoo to the present, Mark and James have converted an old derelict cottage into a living cabinet of curiosity that defines a new interior aesthetic: Karoo chic.
In 2018, they were charmed by the town, extended their stay and boldly decided to buy the dilapidated building.’Mukti was for sale as part of a deceased estate. She was very run down, but we loved her friezes and traditional Karoo architecture. So, we made an offer without even stepping inside.’
High ceilings, generous rooms, Oregon pine floors and attentive light fittings… this decor transports you to a dreamy space, a time warp. Outside, you can hear horses galloping on the hard Karoo earth, and the ragged mountain landscape surrounds Mukti.
For more information or to book, visit Mukti
Pictures: Jared Ruttenberg/ @Jaredincpt
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