Framing the Karoo veld
Elle editor Jackie Burger's working hours are filled with the new. In her own time she looks for something old, something borrowed, for a certain immutability and a slow, elusive blue.
Here she talks about her Karoo weekend getaway in Prince Albert.
Do you come here often?
About once every two months - not often enough.
Last year was wonderful: five years after we bought the original two-roomed cottage, complete with the previous owner's furniture, we were finally building, which meant we had lots of excuses to come.
How did you go about decorating?
It was important for us to do it slowly - it took ages figuring out where the light falls and when.
We wanted the windows to act as picture frames for the surrounding landscape, and we took our time choosing which "pictures" we wanted framed.
What guided you?
I tried not to impose an alien aesthetic onto the quiet beauty and humility of the Karoo.
Everything has been done with the greatest appreciation for the surrounding environment.
Where did you source the majority of your items?
Most of my pieces are from years of careful collecting. I don't believe in discarding beautiful furniture just because it's old. There is beauty in decay, and in handcrafted pieces.
What makes the Karoo so special?
You can feel the heartbeat of everything here. People fall in love with the romance of small towns, but it can be challenging.
When the drought and the mosquitoes come, people sell up and move on. But I find sitting at the old monastery table eating homemade bread and jam or walking in the veld infinitely healing.
- This article appears in the June issue of Elle Decoration which is currently on sale