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aA few years ago, I viewed a prop­erty here in Cape Town. At the time, my hands were itch­ing to do a ren­o­va­tion. It was a cor­ner prop­erty and the scene that un­folded as I got out of my car was like some­thing from a sit­com. The agent was in a state. Clutch­ing her hand­bag, she hur­ried me around the cor­ner and with wide eyes whis­pered: “Lis­ten, I need to warn you. These home­own­ers are cre­ative and their son is very cre­ative. We can chat af­ter­wards, back here on the cor­ner. But first, let’s take a look...”

Next year, I will have been in jour­nal­ism for 20 years and af­ter many years spent telling some peo­ple’s sto­ries and read­ing oth­ers’, I can con­fi­dently say that a state­ment like that is sure to spark my imag­i­na­tion – and I al­ways ex­pect the worst. I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed. The in­te­rior of this old Vic­to­rian home had al­ready been care­fully ren­o­vated with its white ce­ment floors, an ex­pen­sive kitchen that opened out onto a court­yard with built-in benches, and an ex­tra bed­room in what used to be the base­ment that was so clev­erly fur­nished it de­served to be pho­tographed and shared with the world.

The home­own­ers were in­deed cre­ative. And yes, so was their son. Be­cause ev­ery­thing was cov­ered with the lit­tle guy’s “art”. Chalk, koki pen, pen­cil and ink ev­ery­where: on the walls, the high-gloss doors on the new kitchen cup­boards, the floors – even the mir­rors in the bed­rooms. The house was ba­si­cally one big scrib­ble that wouldn’t likely wash off with soap and wa­ter. Brand new, but des­per­ately in need of a makeover.

With dif­fi­culty, I sup­pressed my laugh­ter; the agent’s eyes would surely have popped out of their sock­ets if I’d dared to say some­thing. Which, of course, meant I couldn’t help my­self.

“Hey, look!” I said. “Pic­tures ev­ery­where. Who’s the artist?”

The mother beamed, ready to re­late the story be­hind each ‘mas­ter­piece’. She be­gan to ex­plain her parenting phi­los­o­phy, the child tug­ging, point­ing and cry­ing through­out. (PS You can raise your kids any way you want, but don’t ex­pect me to like the free ‘art’ that comes with the deal.)

The agent looked as if she was about to faint. I stood back and en­joyed the scene. Need­less to say, the agent and I never made it to the cor­ner af­ter the view­ing. Way too cre­ative, if you ask me. In this is­sue, we visit other gen­uinely cre­ative peo­ple – read­ers who in­spire us and whose homes are so gor­geous, you’ll want to try on their style. Some of them are store own­ers whose good­ies we show­case reg­u­larly, oth­ers are ex­perts whose homes brought a smile to our faces. I al­ways say that if I fin­ish read­ing a story and im­me­di­ately feel im­pelled to call for a quote for my own home, then we’ve hit the nail on the head. Let me just say that I’ve made three calls al­ready... En­joy!

We visit gen­uinely cre­ative peo­ple – read­ers who in­spire us

and whose homes are so gor­geous, you’ll want to try on their style.

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