A symphony of colour
Grey forms the perfect backdrop for an ensemble of bright and bold hues in musician Elvis Blue’s family home.
After three years in a rented home where the walls, floors and furniture were all the same boring shade, Chireze Hoogendyk was ready for something new. When she and her singer husband Jan (aka Elvis Blue) built their new home on a golf estate in George two years ago, they were in absolute agreement: it could be anything but monotonous. “We both love bright colours,” says Chireze. “Elvis’s favourite colour is red while I love royal blue, yellow and red – at the moment, yellow is at the top of my list,” she says with a smile.
Naturally, once the construction work was completed and they were able to start decorating, there was no holding back.
“We decided on grey as a base colour throughout the house because it is neutral enough to allow you to play with colours around it,” says Chireze.
The Hoogendyks bid farewell to Johannesburg in 2015 and moved to George. “It’s so quiet and safe here and you get to enjoy nature as well,” says Chireze. They moved into their new home, a stone’s throw from the 15th hole at the Kingswood Golf Estate, in February last year. “I couldn’t wait to get started on decorating my own home. My good friend Janine Borcher is an interior decorator; she helped a lot by laying the foundations for the palette and then I simply had to ‘colour-in’ as I went along.
“I really wanted to prove that it’s possible to be just as creative on a tight budget. Earthy elements are way more beautiful than bling and so much more inviting.”
A musician’s home must, of course, have a piano – and the living room is where Elvis has put his. “This is his space; it’s where he writes his music,” says Chireze. “Our girls love holding their own little concerts here while daddy is making music.”
Yellow is a strong accent colour in the living room and has been added in a playful manner with a high-gloss paint (Dulux’s Gloss Enamel range). The coffee table was made from a vintage chest that Chireze has had since she was a little girl. “When we moved here, I decided to give it yellow legs (Dulux Tarragon Glory 4) and transform it into a coffee table,” she explains. The yellow balland-claw chair (also Tarragon Glory 4) is an heirloom from Elvis’s grandmother.
“People often think yellow is a difficult colour and too much of a gamble but when our friends see it, they love it,” says Chireze.
Large stacking doors lead out to a secluded corner of the garden that boasts an old cane patio suite updated with a coat of Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue. “I feel the same way about blue as I do about yellow: it stands out beautifully and it makes you feel good. Yellow and blue also complement each other,” says Chireze.
I love the feeling of happiness that yellow inspires. – Chireze
The Hoogendyks created an industrial yet earthy feel in the kitchen with raw bricks, grey concrete floors and natural wood; pops of colour were introduced with artworks and a loose rug.
The swing bench on the stoep was specially made for Elvis by a craftsman in town who took an ordinary bunk bed, cut off one side and attached sturdy ropes.
The pattern on the cement tiles at the front door was inspired by Pinterest. Chireze had a stencil of the design laser-cut, gave the tiles a base coat of grey roof paint (Dulux Roofguard) and painted the pattern with white paving paint.