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.