Romantic at heart
#1 Pure indulgence
Oluf and Michelle Erichsen have always loved European architecture, as well as sun rooms and conservatories. When they designed their home in the Glen Cullen Country Estate in Middelburg, Mpumalanga they had the layout and look of a barn in mind for the main house, complete with a corrugated iron roof and exposed-brick walls.
Since the couple love to incorporate contrasting elements in all of their designs, they decided to create a bathroom that stood apart. Oluf arranged for this breathtaking structure to be imported in panels by The Crystal Conservatory to create the conservatory-style bathroom they were after. The panels were hot-dipped galvanised to get the colour just right and they had to assemble the structure themselves. “It was quite a challenge to put it together as the instructions were in French!” says Oluf.
#2 Whimsical escape
When renovating the two family bathrooms in her Northcliff home, 2017 Fix it with Flair runner-up Ramona Afonso couldn’t wait to bid the original 1980s style of the old spaces farewell. In keeping with her love of all things French, she opted for a romantic look in the main bathroom by combining various ornate elements: a dramatic framed mirror; soft, draping window treatments; beautiful old furniture with turned legs; and touches of gold from the side table to the paint technique on the vanity reminiscent of the Baroque era.
The hand-painted basin cabinet is a real showstopper. “I knew I wanted something truly unique for this bathroom and I searched high and low for the perfect dresser,” says Ramona. She found an old antique cabinet, painted the base and had the floral artwork on the drawer fronts done by a friend, Talia Botha, whose kitchen made it into the Top 5 in our 2018 Fix it with Flair competition. “I absolutely adore the result!”
The shower room, as Ramona refers to the second family bathroom, is mainly used by her husband Nuno, so she opted for a more modern feel with a touch of vintage style in the finishes. Thanks to a neutral palette, the cementlook tiles on one of the shower walls (Onyx from Italtile) and trendy hexagonal tiles (from Tile Africa) on the other, this space has a more masculine feel. >>
#4 Warm in white
Originally the First Apostolic Church, Rosalind and Grant Nale’s Stanford home in the Western Cape had no bathroom. While adapting the layout of the building for their family of four, they left the exterior of the barn-style structure in its original form but removed the interior walls and added a bathroom and a cottage. The new open-plan bathroom adjoining the main bedroom is a tranquil space with a stunning view of the garden.
“When designing the house, we just knew that the freestanding ball-and-claw bath had to be placed right in front of the window. It’s so indulgent and makes for the perfect bathing experience,” says Rosalind.
“It literally feels as though I’m in a dream when I walk in – there’s nothing to assault the senses, just peace and quiet.”
#5 Raise the bar
After Pierre and Felicity Heymans purchased a stately old home in Paarl in 2015, they renovated the dated house over a period of 12 months. In the main bedroom, the previous owner’s double bed stood where the bathroom is now located. “We know that the raised area was once another room,” explains Felicity, owner of interior decorating business Domaine Du Cap. “We decided to use it as a natural divide between our bed and bath areas.”
For a romantic bathroom, quality lighting is important. “We replaced a small metal window with a large sash window to bring in plenty of natural light and to enable us to enjoy the view. We also fitted a vintage chandelier and candle wall sconces for a soft touch,” says Felicity.
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A soft muted palette creates a wonderful backdrop for finer details and personal finishing touches.