Kitchens Read­ers share their ren­o­va­tion suc­cess sto­ries

These read­ers share the se­cret in­gre­di­ents of their stylish – and savvy – ren­o­va­tions.

Home (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Kim Arendse, Shané Barnard, Beatrice Moore-Nöth­nagel and Frieda le Roux Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster, Justin Pa­trick and Elza Cooper Styling Mar­ian van Wyk and Amanda van Wyn­gaardt

An­drew and Sonja van Zyl WHERE Rood­e­poort, Gaut­eng SIZE 17.6m² Sonja and An­drew used old Ore­gon pine ceil­ing boards found at a recla­ma­tion yard to clad the kitchen is­land, and a solid wooden top in African ma­hogany (lov­ingly do­nated and ma­chined by Sonja’s fa­ther) fin­ishes the look. Formica square-edge ‘post­form’ tops in the colour Saxon Oak have been used on the other cab­i­nets. The pen­dants were de­signed and made by An­drew and Sonja for a frac­tion of the price of sim­i­lar store-bought ones.

While ren­o­vat­ing their im­prac­ti­cal kitchen had al­ways been on the cards, the Van Zyls’ plans were set in mo­tion when Sonja was re­trenched. That same night, frus­trated and an­gry, she picked up a ham­mer and had a go at the old-fash­ioned tiled coun­ters.

Then af­ter re­ceiv­ing an un­ex­pected sum of money from Sonja’s re­tire­ment fund, the cou­ple de­cided to for­malise the process and what be­gan as a “let-it-all-out” de­mo­li­tion ex­er­cise turned into a fully-fledged makeover.

An­drew and Sonja’s home, which they bought in 2014, is about 25 years old – as were all the fit­tings! “Armed with ex­tra-large ham­mers, we de­mol­ished the en­tire kitchen, in­clud­ing the ceil­ing. And af­ter much de­bate, we also chopped out the screed floor as the lev­els were all wrong,” says Sonja. “Ad­ven­ture kitchen­ing” is how the cou­ple de­scribes the process in which they even mas­tered the art of han­dling a jack­ham­mer and a con­crete mixer.

Although they did most of the work them­selves, the cou­ple got an elec­tri­cian to reroute and tidy up the orig­i­nal con­duits in the new ceil­ing. An­drew moved the elec­tri­cal sock­ets and stove iso­la­tor and he did the wiring and in­stal­la­tion of the new LED down­lights and pen­dants. He also moved some of the plumb­ing pipes as the orig­i­nal sink and dish­washer had to be re­lo­cated. The Van Zyls’ vi­sion for their new kitchen was clear: “Our home is all about com­fort; our dogs and cats are al­lowed on the fur­ni­ture and they’re al­ways un­der­foot in the kitchen. We wanted an open, light at­mos­phere and this mo­ti­vated us to ex­pose the roof trusses,” says Sonja.

This turned out to be one of the most chal­leng­ing as­pects of the project. “We lit­er­ally had no idea how we were go­ing to cre­ate the dif­fer­ent planes and how the dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als would meet up. In ac­tual fact, just get­ting the cut-to-size ceil­ing boards up be­tween the trusses was a chal­lenge in it­self,” says Sonja. Luck­ily, the cou­ple lacks nei­ther mo­ti­va­tion nor in­no­va­tion. “I still don’t know how we man­aged to sup­port the ceil­ing boards and screw them in place when it came to the larger sec­tions,” Sonja says. ‘‘Thank heav­ens for a bat­tery-op­er­ated screw­driver!”

Changes and ad­di­tions were made as they pro­gressed. “The red brick cladding around the win­dow above the counter wasn’t in the orig­i­nal plan and nei­ther were the rus­tic Ore­gon pine shelves that house our per­sonal trea­sures,” says An­drew. “We also didn’t want stan­dard poly­styrene cor­nices and opted for a shadow line pro­file in­stead.” >>

A pre­vi­ous kitchen ren­o­va­tion that went hor­ri­bly wrong – the cup­boards were lop­sided and lit­er­ally fall­ing apart – forced Her­man and Tiene to make a new plan in their hol­i­day home in Sand­baai.

The house is one of the old­est in the coastal town and has been owned by the Fouries since 1976. Pre­vi­ously owned by mis­sion­ar­ies, it boasts its orig­i­nal shut­tered sash win­dows set in thick walls. Ac­cord­ing to Mon­ica van der Berg, the Fouries’ daugh­ter and co-owner of the vinyl stick­ers com­pany Hope Vol Hoop, it was im­por­tant to her par­ents that they stayed true to the orig­i­nal aes­thetic of the area.

“One of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the dis­trict is blue and white melamine tiles,” says Mon­ica, who was re­spon­si­ble for the new de­sign of the kitchen. “We stuck to a blue and white pal­ette when we ren­o­vated to re­in­force this look and re­tained the orig­i­nal blue and white floor tiles.” To round it off, pretty vinyl tiles in the same colour scheme were added to the walls. Run­ning Wa­ter vinyl tiles (150 x 150mm) from Hope Vol Hoop adorn the walls (above). They work well on ex­ist­ing tiles but can also be ap­plied on a plas­tered wall, as long as it’s clean and dry – all you have to do is pull off the back­ing and stick them in place. If you make a mis­take, sim­ply re­move them care­fully and then reap­ply.

I t’s hard to be­lieve that the bright and breezy kitchen in this Hout Bay home was once made up of five small rooms: a tiny kitchen, hall­way, study, bath­room and laun­dry room.

Lys­beth and Peter rented the prop­erty for five years but when the op­por­tu­nity to buy it arose, they did just that and em­barked on a ren­o­va­tion that would re­sult in a spa­cious open-plan kitchen and din­ing room.

To save on costs, Peter, who has been in the con­struc­tion busi­ness for 20 years, and Lys­beth, an avid “junk hunter”, ren­o­vated their kitchen them­selves in just un­der two months. They called in a small team of labourers to as­sist with big­ger jobs such as knock­ing down walls and lay­ing screed floors, but then filled the space with pieces they ei­ther made them­selves or found in de­mo­li­tion yards, sec­ond-hand stores and thrift mar­kets. “As in the rest of our home, al­most every­thing in our kitchen has been re­cy­cled or up­cy­cled,” Lys­beth says. These days, the kitchen in­cludes a spa­cious din­ing area with stack­ing doors that lead out into the gar­den, let­ting in plenty of light and cre­at­ing good flow be­tween the in­doors and out­side. “We live in our kitchen. It’s the per­fect in­door-out­door room. Even the squir­rels don’t know where they be­long any­more!” Lys­beth says. >>

C ramped, dark and dated!” That’s how the Kotzes de­scribe the orig­i­nal kitchen in the Dur­banville home they bought in 2016. Very much ‘on the same page’, the cou­ple dreamed of a spa­cious and stylish space and this makeover was at the top of their list of pri­or­i­ties.

Feli­cia and Danie were on a strict bud­get and set out to do most of the work them­selves; luck­ily, Danie owns his own con­struc­tion com­pany and is quite the handy­man. The first step was to de­mol­ish a wall be­tween the old laun­dry room and kitchen to cre­ate a sin­gle open-plan space. “Danie did the job him­self be­fore we moved in,” Feli­cia ex­plains. “Then it ba­si­cally be­came a build­ing site, so we had to use the flat­let’s kitchen dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion – which was rather chal­leng­ing for par­ents of a three-week-old baby!”

But it was worth it: nine months later, the two dark rooms had been trans­formed into a light, airy kitchen. “Our new open-plan kitchen leads into the liv­ing and din­ing ar­eas and has an up­lift­ing ef­fect on the en­tire space,” Feli­cia says. >>

As soon as the Trol­lips re­ceived the keys to their first home in May 2014, they started ren­o­vat­ing. The liv­ing area was beg­ging for some TLC – not to men­tion the out­dated and dam­aged kitchen! It was so small that you couldn’t even reach the oven with­out clos­ing one of the in­ter­lead­ing doors.

Not afraid to get their hands dirty, Her­bert and Mar­lene put all their fur­ni­ture – ex­cept for a mat­tress, tele­vi­sion and fridge – in stor­age and jumped right in.

“Ev­ery night, we’d carry the mat­tress in from the garage and sleep on the ce­ment floor in our liv­ing room,” says Mar­lene. “Our pet bun­nies, Stof­fel and Jan­gles, slept next to us be­cause they were afraid of the cats in our new neigh­bour­hood.”

The cou­ple jug­gled the ren­o­va­tion in-be­tween their full-time jobs. “It was quite a chal­lenge. We worked ev­ery night un­til the early hours of the morn­ing,” says Mar­lene. “Luck­ily, I mar­ried a very hard­work­ing man who was keen to learn and got stuck into most of the phys­i­cal work him­self.

“Apart from the space is­sue, dated fin­ishes and filthy Novilon floors, the ceil­ing in the kitchen was also wa­ter-dam­aged,” ex­plains Mar­lene. Next to the kitchen was a small, im­prac­ti­cal stoep that could hardly fit a lit­tle ta­ble or chairs, so the Trol­lips de­cided to knock out the wall lead­ing to it in or­der to en­large the kitchen. >>

A few items left to the cou­ple by An­drew’s mother are housed in a spe­cial cor­ner.

WHO LIVES HERE? The door to the pantry has been cov­ered in black­board paint – con­ve­nient for lists and mes­sages!

The old counter be­tween the kitchen and din­ing room was bro­ken out to cre­ate more space. All the old cab­i­nets were re­moved and the plumb­ing re­lo­cated so the room could be bet­ter utilised. Be­fore


#3 WHO LIVES HERE? Lys­beth Bi­jl­stra and Peter An­nes­ley WHERE Hout Bay SIZE 50m² Old trusses from a home that was de­mol­ished were up­cy­cled to make the din­ing room ta­ble. The kitchen and din­ing room cup­boards were made us­ing af­ford­able ply­wood for the...

#4 WHO LIVES HERE? Feli­cia and Danie Kotze and their tod­dler, Joe (2) WHERE Dur­banville SIZE 24m²

In the scullery, the same blue pat­terned tiles as used in the kitchen were added as a splash­back. Tiles from CTM

The Trol­lips wanted black and white tiles on the kitchen floor but could only find large ones (600 x 600mm), so they had each tile cut into quar­ters to cre­ate the checkered pat­tern (op­po­site). #5 WHO LIVES HERE? Her­bert and Mar­lene Trol­lip and their...

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