EL­E­GANT BLEND

Old trea­sures decorate this newly ren­o­vated cot­tage, prov­ing that you can make mod­ern up­dates with­out sac­ri­fic­ing his­toric style.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY HILARY PRENDINI TOFFOLI

Learn how dec­o­rat­ing a newly ren­o­vated home with old trea­sures helps main­tain the beauty of his­toric style.

|OP­PO­SITE| CASUAL AP­PROACH. Now open plan, along with the kitchen, the liv­ing area has a freer, more con­tem­po­rary feel. Flax-col­ored slip­cov­ered couches are fam­ily friendly and add to the re­laxed am­bi­ence.

The tiled floor down­stairs was re­placed with warmer oak planks. Wider stack­ing fold­ing doors were in­stalled in the liv­ing room to cre­ate a

bet­ter out­door con­nec­tion.

SHADY LANE. The home is a blend of farm­house ar­chi­tec­ture and Cape Cod charm. Craig and Rox­anne Den­bury fell in love with the ma­ture tree-lined prop­erty and the ren­o­va­tions worked around pre­serv­ing the grounds.

It’s this small cor­ner of wooded par­adise that en­tranced Craig and Rox­anne Den­bury six years ago when they first set eyes on the pretty, two-story cot­tage that was to be­come their home. Its en­chant­ing back gar­den was shaded by giant swamp cy­presses and poplars, and the cou­ple could im­me­di­ately vi­su­al­ize bliss­ful sum­mer lunches on the deck be­side the lit­tle fern-cov­ered stream on the edge of the prop­erty. What clinched the deal was that there was a small gar­den cot­tage linked to the main house by a court­yard. “There was enough space there for me to cre­ate a sep­a­rate work kitchen,” says Rox­anne, who is a pas­try chef with her own bakeshop.

“To en­ter­tain we like to cre­ate a re­laxed mood with an abun­dance of food, so we were happy our vi­sion for the kitchen turned out per­fectly,” the cou­ple says. “We love the com­bi­na­tion of steel, glass and raw oak.” GOOD WOOD. Warm oak planks have re­placed the for­mer tiled floor in the liv­ing area. The cab­i­net is from Smi­ley’s Ware­house (smah.co.za); the glass pen­dant fix­tures con­trib­ute to the light­ness of the space, while the mix-and-match din­ing set cap­tures the vin­tage tone of Rox­anne’s style.

IS­LAND LIV­ING. The new, larger kitchen is­land is topped with a giant slab of Vi­co­s­tone quartz. The steel-and-oak bar stools are by Ped­er­sen + Len­nard (ped­er­sen­len­nard.co.za). The glass-fronted steel-frame doors on the new is­land add an in­dus­trial touch and are a nod to the restau­rant-style kitchens Rox­anne is ac­cus­tomed to work­ing in.

BUILD SLOW

As their fam­ily be­gan to grow, the per­fect house started to feel a lit­tle less per­fect, cramped ac­tu­ally. For­tu­nately Rox­anne and Craig had spot­ted a few un­der­used ar­eas be­tween the two build­ings that could be revamped: the big up­stairs bal­cony, for ex­am­ple, that linked the houses, as well as the un­used court­yard be­low it.

To­gether with ar­chi­tect Robyn Mil­lenaar, they de­cided to open up the main house, ex­tend­ing it into the un­ex­ploited spa­ces. This would give them an ex­tra bed­room and study up­stairs, and down­stairs what Rox­anne de­scribes as “a freer, more open and con­tem­po­rary feel, with more space for the kids to move around,” while let­ting the north sun come in and lighten up the en­larged liv­ing room.

All this en­tailed a ma­jor struc­tural re­vamp, so for six months they moved in with Rox­anne’s par­ents. Changes in­cluded re­mov­ing walls and beams on the ground floor and putting in sup­port for the up­stairs struc­tural walls. “We used steel I-beams to carry the floor above,” says the ar­chi­tect. “The chal­lenge was to po­si­tion them as high as pos­si­ble to give a con­tin­u­ous feel to the open-plan area.”The tiled floor down­stairs was re­placed with warmer oak planks. Wider stack­ing fold­ing doors were in­stalled in the liv­ing room to cre­ate a bet­ter out­door con­nec­tion. The main bed­room was made open plan with the bath­room.

“In the end it’s smarter not to rush the ren­o­va­tion process. You have to live in the space—let your life­style in­form the de­sign and tell you

what you re­ally need,” Rox­anne says.

AN­TIQUE AM­BI­ENCE. The Master bath­room shares the an­tique-furniture feel of the master bed­room, thanks to full win­dows adorned with gauzy

sheer win­dow cov­er­ings, and an an­tique hang­ing cu­rio cab­i­net.

“In the end it’s smarter not to rush the ren­o­va­tion process. You have to live in the space—let your life­style in­form the de­sign and tell you what you re­ally need,” Rox­anne says.

NOW YOU’RE COOK­ING

Much of the ren­o­va­tion fo­cus was on the look and func­tion­al­ity of the kitchen. Rox­anne and Craig both love cook­ing. “To en­ter­tain we like to cre­ate a re­laxed mood with an abun­dance of food, so we were happy our vi­sion for the kitchen turned out per­fectly,” the cou­ple says. “We love the com­bi­na­tion of steel, glass and raw oak.”That in­cludes the chic lit­tle Ped­er­sen + Len­nard steel-and-oak bar stools on which six bak­ing stu­dents can perch around the new kitchen is­land, which is topped with a giant slab of Vi­co­s­tone quartz.

TAKE A PEEK. The front door of the ren­o­vated home, in Cape Cod style, opens onto a small but wel­com­ing gar­den with a charm­ing wa­ter fea­ture.

|ABOVE| POWDERY FIN­ISH. The over­sized glass-fronted cab­i­net in the back­ground is lime­washed, giv­ing the space a rus­tic, earthy feel. The matte black light fix­tures bring an in­dus­trial edge.

|TOP RIGHT| CU­RATED COL­LEC­TIONS. Rox­anne’s scarf col­lec­tion hangs on a vin­tage wooden lad­der in a cor­ner of the main bed­room. The rest of the wall above Rox­anne’s vin­tage desk-turned-van­ity is adorned with flea-mar­ket art mixed with old fam­ily photos.

|BOT­TOM RIGHT| SOME FINE SPEC­I­MENS. A col­lec­tion of vin­tage glass and other flea-mar­ket trea­sures makes a strik­ing state­ment in this jet-black glass-fronted med­i­cal cab­i­net.

{Roof Raiser}

The big­gest chal­lenge was to elim­i­nate the height dif­fer­ence be­tween the eaves of the two wings. To line up the roof above the guest bed­room with the rest of the house, the builder clev­erly raised it by dis­con­nect­ing the roof from the walls, prop­ping the struc­ture up on scaf­fold­ing and rais­ing the roof in­cre­men­tally by adding the req­ui­site num­ber of brick cour­ses.

HIGH CAMP HOME. Moose antlers set the stage for this ad­ven­tur­ous boy’s room. The te­pee may be for a young child, but the brass bed will age well and last for years to come.

|ABOVE LEFT| BEAU­TI­FUL BATH. The bath­room mim­ics the open-plan ren­o­va­tions, with col­or­ful tile shar­ing the vis­ual fo­cus with the gor­geous claw-foot tub. Clear-glass walls en­close the shower yet don’t dis­rupt the space.

|ABOVE RIGHT| AMONG THE FERNS. Craig, Rox­anne, three­year-old Jack and Frankie the bull­dog en­joy an al­fresco lunch on the deck be­side the fern-cov­ered stream. The ta­ble and benches are from Block and Chisel (blockand­chisel.co.za).

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