Out­door spa­ces

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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.

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