Marianne loves gardening. “A beautiful garden makes me happy. There was no garden to speak of when we moved in, so we worked extremely hard at the beginning.” Thanks to bags of plants that friends donated from their own gardens, Marianne’s soon started to take shape.
A feature that gives her an enormous amount of pleasure is the focal wall adorned with trees outside the couple’s bedroom window. “This wall was at the top of a list of things that bothered me. Our room looks out onto that wall and I just knew it needed a creative touch.” Marianne drew the outlines of the trees on the wall with pencil and the builder then ‘painted’ each one with a thin layer of cement. “An uninspired view was turned into a beautiful painting and all it took was two bags of cement and a day’s wages. What a bargain!”
[MARIANNE’S COST-CUTTING TIPS]
• You can save on architect’s fees by drawing up the plans yourself and getting a draughtsman to finalise them. But when a project requires it, I like to work with a good architect. • We did a lot of the decorating ourselves: the wallpaper in the entrance hall is made up of my own pictures (I installed it with the help of a builder) and I painted an old door red to serve as a headboard in Wehann’s room. • Art doesn’t have to be expensive. Because I like to paint, I was able to hang up a few of my own artworks and our children’s art is also all over the house. • I love trawling second-hand shops for bargains. The table behind my velvet sofa cost just R80 – one of the best bargains in our home. • We also saved money by leaving some of the focal walls in raw cement or only finishing them with a diluted coat of paint. >>
Two narrow glass doors look much wider than they are, thanks to the yellow shutters on either side. A collection of old bowls and jugs above the doorway completes the picture.