Sim­ple and un­clut­tered,

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Tak­ing the Kor­ing­berg cli­mate and land­scape into ac­count, Pippa de­cided on a bone-coloured ce­ment screed floor through­out (op­po­site) – it not only com­ple­ments the pal­ette, but also en­hances a cool, tran­quil at­mos­phere when tem­per­a­tures soar into the 40s in sum­mer. Typ­i­cal of a small com­mu­nity, the Kor­ing­berg­ers were gen­er­ous with their ad­vice. “I mined the very wel­com­ing lo­cals for in­for­ma­tion. As far as pos­si­ble, I used lo­cal ar­ti­sans and sourced the build­ing ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes from the sur­round­ing towns of Piket­berg and Moor­rees­burg,” Pippa ex­plains.

She pri­ori­tised re­plac­ing the tiled roof with white Chro­madek and re­plac­ing all the old steel-framed win­dows and bro­ken doors with solid wooden ones. All the out­dated fin­ishes were stripped – from the bath­room and kitchen fit­tings to the floor tiles.

“I worked very closely with the builder, or­der­ing all the ma­te­ri­als my­self and mak­ing sure they were on site when needed. This way, I saved both time and money. The roof, doors and win­dows were my big­gest ex­pense, but it was well worth it,” says Pippa.

In March 2015, af­ter two months of work, Pippa moved into what she re­mem­bers as “a mess of epic pro­por­tions”. With the help of some in­cred­i­bly tal­ented and re­source­ful lo­cal ar­ti­sans, she got stuck into the fin­ishes. “And my Afrikaans im­proved ex­po­nen­tially!”

Lis­ten­ing to Pippa wax­ing lyri­cal about her new life in a smaller space, it’s ev­i­dent that it’s not only her Afrikaans that has im­proved. “My life in Kor­ing­berg couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent to my life in Dur­ban, but I ab­so­lutely love it and couldn’t imag­ine be­ing any­where else. As an artist, I can work any­where so be­ing in a city is un­nec­es­sary. The land­scape is end­lessly in­spir­ing and I love ex­plor­ing the area.

“It never gets old, this huge gift of liv­ing here. The moun­tains look dif­fer­ent ev­ery hour of ev­ery day, some­times crys­tal clear and some­times so hazy you can barely see them. Walk­ing home be­neath the stars af­ter din­ner at some­one’s house is mag­i­cal and I feel very lucky ev­ery time. As some­one said to me re­cently: small house, big life.” >>

I want to keep my life

a great in­cen­tive not to have too much stor­age space.

Win­dows and doors from Swart­land Win­dows and Doors; paint­ing and fin­ishes by Willem Jagers

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