From study to tod­dler’s sanc­tu­ary

Home Paint It - - CONTENTS - By Si­mone Borcherd­ing Pho­to­graphs Morné Marais of Breede Photography

A ne­glected home of­fice has been trans­formed into an en­chant­ing

child’s bed­room – and all it took was

clever plan­ning.

The brief

Home­own­ers Van Zyl and Is­abel de Wet wanted to con­vert the out­dated home of­fice on their farm just out­side Robert­son into a bed­room for their two-year-old son Jaco. “Be­cause the fam­ily was grow­ing and there was the pos­si­bil­ity that Jaco would get a brother or sis­ter, I wanted to cre­ate a space suit­able for a girl or a boy,” says designer Gera de Wet ( right) who helped with the project.

The bud­get

The bud­get was tight at about R22 000, so Gera had to work her magic. “Work­ing with a small bud­get in­spires you to think more cre­atively, and the end re­sult is all the more re­ward­ing,” she says. Her trick? Work­ing with ex­ist­ing pieces and giv­ing them a new lease on life. “You have to be clever about the trans­for­ma­tion,” she says.

The project

“It’s a small room, so care­ful plan­ning and mea­sur­ing had to be done first,” says Gera, who got rid of some of the old built-in pressed wood cup­boards to free up some space, keep­ing just the big cor­ner unit for lit­tle Jaco’s clothes.

Gera painted each cup­board door of the re­main­ing unit a dif­fer­ent shade, which she care­fully se­lected to ac­cen­tu­ate the wall colours, and re­peated the wall­pa­per used on the fo­cus wall on one of the cup­board pan­els.

She also lifted the car­pet to re­veal a wooden floor un­der­neath, but it was in a poor con­di­tion so she gave it a few coats of durable white roof paint to re­vive it.

The brack­ets used to hang Jaco’s tow­els and jack­ets were placed at dif­fer­ent heights to keep up with his grow­ing body. “Even­tu­ally, Jaco will be able to use the top bracket and the top book­shelf,” Gera ex­plains.

Prac­ti­cal can be beau­ti­ful too!

To cre­ate a be­spoke look, Gera de­signed some of the pieces for the room, in­clud­ing the small wooden stor­age boxes and book­shelves, and had them cus­tom made by

Wood­peck­ers. Ev­ery­thing was care­fully po­si­tioned ac­cord­ing to

where it would work best.

BE­LOW LEFT The big­gest DIY chal­lenge was the mar­quee let­ter lights. “I cut out the let­ters as well as holes for the bulbs from hard­board. The bor­ders around the let­ters were made from steel and I treated the let­ters with a heat-re­sis­tant spray paint. Then the ca­bles were added and leads con­nected,” says Gera. The “J” stands for Jaco and the am­per­sand above the spare bed is for friends.

THE COLOUR PAL­ETTE 1 Du­lux Grey Steel 3 2 Du­lux Wood­land Pearl 6 3 Du­lux High­land Falls 6 4 Du­lux Grey Steel 2

Van Zyl and Is­abel de Wet with lit­tle Jaco. To cre­ate the zig-zag moun­tain pat­tern be­hind the bed, Gera painted the en­tire wall with char­coal grey paint. She then used mask­ing tape to form the ‘peaks’ and painted the ‘moun­tain area’ in green. A pine...

OP­PO­SITE Gera in­cor­po­rated an adult-sized desk from @home, com­plete with open­ings for a com­puter and in­ter­net ca­bles, where Jaco can one day sit and do his homework.

BE­LOW Be­cause Jaco loves books, Gera cre­ated a lit­tle read­ing nook for him. “I de­signed the book­shelves so that Jaco can see the cover of each book; at his age the words on the spines mean noth­ing to him,” she says. ABOVE Gera also de­signed the Ro­man...

LEFT The cush­ion on the chest was made from left­over fab­ric.

Light from Wool­worths

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