‘We did everything, from plumbing to tiling’
Withhavingtheremovalneverhadofoldtheslateopportunitytilesandtotherenovate,addition ofthegorgeousarnolds accessories,seizedthechancethisverandatocreateis nowthekitchenthe perfectandstoepplaceoftotheirrelaxdreamsandunwind.on their new property.
Sharné and Luca Arnold desperately wanted a change of lifestyle – they were keen on a smaller home, a simpler life and quiet surroundings far away from the Port Elizabeth rat race. So they began looking for new property and were open to pretty much anywhere in South Africa that would offer them a peaceful change of scenery.
Online research led them to the tranquil village of Tesselaarsdal in the Western Cape’s Overberg region. An estate agent showed them four properties – one of them a vacant plot of 3 665m2 with a stream trickling through it. Even though it wasn’t part of their plan to build a new home from scratch, they fell in love and followed their hearts. They said farewell to their busy lives in PE and stayed in a caravan on their new plot for six months while local labourers built the foundation, walls and roof.
“Once the roof was on, the rest was up to us,” says Sharné. The couple did everything from the plumbing and tiling to laying floors and building and installing the ash plywood cupboards. “We read up on how to do things and asked for expert advice when we needed it – even though it took us longer than the professionals to do it, we got it done!” she adds.
The kitchen and stoep showcase their love of combining old and new to create something practical and beautiful. “We love our view from the stoep, being surrounded by nature and waking up to birdsong,” says Sharné. “We’re at peace here; it’s everything we hoped for.” It made sense to have a dining table on the deck with its beautiful view. The couple found the old Coca-cola fridges (below) at a scrapyard. “Quotes for freestanding cupboards were ridiculous, so we opted for these fridges for storage,” says Sharné.
with Sharné and Luca
Any cost-cutting tips? Repurpose! When we drew up the plans for our new home (using Sketchup), we considered our furniture in PE and what we could repurpose – and then designed our house around that. What would you do differently next time? It’s important to budget for the cost of materials in the area in which you’re going to build or renovate – not in the area where you’re based! Where did you get your ideas? Most of our ideas were inspired by cost-saving drives. Any other advice? Measure twice, cut once. And when looking for more affordable used items, remember that there will probably be additional expenses such as cleaning, repairing and painting. What do you enjoy most about your new home? We love that the kitchen and dining area is central and opens up onto the stoep. What’s next? We threw away the quotes we got for manufacturing and installing garage doors and now Luca is making them himself! Having learnt so much on this project, we’ve also started up our own company, White Oak Home Improvement & Décor.