Marula Mercantile


Marula Mercantile

Coming To Birth
When Jonathan Baker relocated to Kenya, he could not find the perfect furniture for his house. Fuelled by this need and his interest with craftsmanship, he embarked on a journey to create his own designs. He sourced repurposed wood from old dhows and mkokoteni, which he transformed into rustic wood and metal furniture. Jonathan’s friends expressed their admiration for his impressive creations and requested similar pieces for themselves. This encouraged him to showcase his work on Facebook, after which Motorola reached out to him. 

An Innovative Approach
Motorola’s owner wanted to open a restaurant with a rustic industrial theme for the bar area and he extended an invitation to Jonathan to visit the space and explore design possibilities. Jonathan drew inspiration from the space, ultimately conceptualising what would become Rusty Fundi’s inaugural project. In a design scope where 3D renders were not yet commonplace, Jonathan stood out by presenting detailed 3D renderings of his vision to the client. The innovative approach left a strong impression and secured him the project with the creative freedom to bring his ideas to life.

The Flower of Life and Sacred Geometry
For the bar’s design, Rusty Fundi incorporated The Flower of Life patterns and sacred geometry to establish a harmonious and character-rich balance. The use of repurposed wood to make the furniture, bar, panels, cabinet shelves and decorative screens added an authentic, aged quality to the space, further enhanced by the inclusion of metal framing and rustic patinas. This project broke new ground in Nairobi, setting a trend that inspired other designers to embrace similar