Ask the experts to solve your problem
Lapa in need of a makeover? Keen to update an old mirror or time to replant pincushions? You ask – we’ll find the answers.
Isabel Barends of Love Lemon Interiors and Liza Louw of Paint Effects
reply The first step is to remove everything that doesn’t contribute to the purpose or atmosphere of the space. If construction is a possibility, close up the lapa with stacking doors and windows. This will allow sufficient light into the lapa and help keep dust out, making the space functional in winter and summer.
Paint it pretty
• For a modern look, plaster the brick walls and paint them: Dulux Sultana Spice 3 (a lovely sandy colour) will give the lapa a neutral appearance. Use bold colours in the finishes to brighten up the area. If you want to be more daring, consider Plascon Tibetan Cloak (a trendy dark grey). Use lots of lanterns, candles and sand-coloured furniture to create contrast against the grey background.
• You could also simply paint the bricks: after a good clean, add a layer of Universal Undercoat followed by a coat of Plascon Wall & All in a neutral colour similar to the options above. You can paint the ceiling beams as well, which will open up the space and look beautiful against the thatched roof.
• Painting the floor will be more affordable than tiling it; opt for a warm sand colour or a shade of grey.
For the décor…
• Divide the lapa into two areas with a dining table and chairs or benches on one side and a coffee table with couches near the fire on the other side. We still love Thys and Colette du Plessis’ lapa in Bloemfontein (above and right), as featured in Home Yard 2015 – they managed to divide the space into various functional areas with great success.
Anchor this space with a large vintage-style rug, or consider a washable outdoor rug from Hertex.
• Introduce pops of colour with vintage-style cushions on the couches and an eye-catching tablecloth or runner. Upholster the dining chair cushions in a vintage-style fabric.
• Hang an oversized cast-iron chandelier in the middle of the room or suspend lanterns and fairy lights from the ceiling.
• Introduce greenery with colourful pots containing succulents.