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