Our home café

Louise and Salve­lio love spend­ing time to­gether in eater­ies, so they cre­ated their very own. Kim Arendse • Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster • Styling Mar­ian van Wyk

Home Renovations - - CONTENTS - By Pho­to­graphs

The space used to be a nar­row cor­ri­dor, so get­ting the pro­por­tions right was a chal­lenge – ev­ery de­tail and pur­chase was care­fully con­sid­ered. Hav­ing saved on costs by do­ing so much them­selves, the cou­ple was able to splash out on the café chairs they adore.

Afew of their favourite things in­clude en­ter­tain­ing at home, spend­ing time in cafés and en­joy­ing Span­ish di­rec­tor Pe­dro Almod­ó­var’s vi­brant use of colour in film. So when the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self, Louise and Salve­lio cre­ated a so­cia­ble Span­ish-in­spired café in their home, turn­ing a cramped walk-through to the pa­tio into a bold and beau­ti­ful space.

It took five months to com­plete the ren­o­va­tion and, apart from the ceil­ing with down­lighters (which re­quired the help of an elec­tri­cian) and a few cush­ions made by a friend, Louise and Salve­lio did ev­ery­thing them­selves.

“It helped that we had a very clear idea of what we wanted,” Louise, a fea­tures editor at a lo­cal news­pa­per, says. “Luck­ily, Salve­lio is a keen DIYER – and I was his willing side­kick!”

Salve­lio, a videog­ra­pher, had pre­vi­ously laid the floor with just a few bags of ce­ment and in­ex­pen­sive wooden planks; he fin­ished the job with stain and var­nish. “Our friends said it would never work, but in the end it looked fab­u­lous and it has worn very well,” Louise adds.

The cou­ple says the café makeover turned out to be a re­ally fun pro­ject they could do to­gether – and they man­aged to transform a space they never used into a so­cia­ble area they now thor­oughly en­joy. They named it Café Milorca – af­ter their cats, Mila and Lorca!

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