An unusual colour scheme and exquisite finishes have transformed this space into something special.
Nico and Lizelle Janse van Rensburg give the distinct impression that style choices come easily to them. But strategy also plays a vital role, says the couple.
We featured their home in our June 2018 issue – a dark grey eclectic double-storey gem that started life as a humble storage space and is now a characterful living space for Nico, Lizelle and their three rescue pups Amy, Diesel and Jet .
Recently, the urge to renovate struck again. This time round, the plan was to install a built-in braai on the stoep and to fix niggling issues in their home. “One of the problems was a loose bathroom tap in our en-suite bathroom that needed to be repaired,” recalls Lizelle.
But it seldom happens that the extent of a home improvement project remains as it was in the planning stages, and many a renovator will identify with Nico when he says: “Things got slightly out of hand...”
The only items on their shopping list were supposed to be silicone and a new shower door. “But there were such beautiful products in the stores that before we knew it, we were tackling the entire bathroom from top to bottom!” says Lizelle.
In the blink of an eye, the project snowballed. It all began with a Doctor and Misses cupboard they’d seen in a friend’s home; its structure and the shade of green they love were the catalysts for a total bathroom makeover.
A shower with a story
In 2015, when they moved into their hardwood floor home, the shower was “rather interesting, to put it mildly,” the couple recalls.
Water seeped through the floorboards under the shower and the shower door wouldn’t close completely. “The water went everywhere!”
Back then, they devised a temporary solution by changing the shower slightly, but all the years of moisture had caused irreparable water damage. “When we realised that the entire shower floor had to be lifted, it gave us a good reason to also redo the shower walls. We decided to install metro tiles in a herringbone pattern on the walls, we created an alcove in the shower wall for soaps and shampoos, and replaced the tap and shower head. Charcoal-coloured tiles were laid on the floor.”
The black shower doorframes were custom made, while their search for the perfect (black) shower head took quite a while.
“There were quite a few available at leading retailers but they were often unaffordable,” says Lizelle. “After a lengthy online search, we found the perfect one at Plumbitonline in Centurion – at a much better price.” >>
Planning and teamwork
Looking at the exquisite detail and perfect choices made for this space, you cannot help but wonder: are Nico and Lizelle impulsive renovators who adapt as the project progresses, or do they stick to their original plans? “We are definitely planners but there are always surprises and you have to be willing to adapt.”
They called in Andrew Genade and his team at Creative Concepts Construction to do the building but sourced and purchased all the materials themselves. Lizelle was involved in the design and selection of the accessories, while Nico liaised with the builders.
They expected the project to take about a month to complete but the builder wasn’t immediately available, so one month turned into two. “Our lives weren’t really disrupted by the delay, so it didn’t bother us too much. We just had to brush our teeth over the bath for a day and pretty soon the new cupboard was installed.” The shower’s customised tiling also delayed the process slightly, but the couple used the bath in the meantime.
Nico and Lizelle say they worked well together during the renovation. “Our taste is similar and we have good communication. The only hiccup was that it wasn’t supposed to be such a major project – we hadn’t really budgeted for that.”
Nico smiles when he mentions the one thing this renovation taught him about Lizelle: she likes expensive designer items! 1 Two tiny ornamental birds, a gift from a friend in New York, reside under the toilet roll.
The couple would like to replace the toilet roll holder with a black one, but are still searching for the right fitting.
2 After an extensive search for a black shower head within their budget, Nico and Lizelle eventually found the perfect one at Plumbitonline.
3 The towel hook is from Superbalist.
4 The black mixer tap was on special at Italtile.