Many hands make light work

A fa­ther, mother and son team got stuck in with paint­brushes and tools to cre­ate a fresh pal­ette for their dated kitchen.

Home Renovations - - Contents - By Mar­ian van Wyk Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster Styling Shelly Bergh

Rea­son for ren­o­va­tion

Af­ter more than four decades and three chil­dren later, Billy and Jeanette Laub­scher are as con­tent as they were on the day they moved into this, their first home, in 1974.

“Over the years, we’ve tack­led var­i­ous ren­o­va­tion projects when our bud­get has al­lowed,” says Billy, who cur­rently works for the non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Busi­ness Against Crime (BAC) af­ter many years of ser­vice in the po­lice’s com­mer­cial branch.

A few months ago, the cou­ple painted the pine ceil­ing in the kitchen and din­ing room white – which in­stantly lifted the space and made it seem big­ger. They were so chuffed with this sim­ple but sig­nif­i­cant facelift that they de­cided to ren­o­vate the rest of the kitchen. “But we were shocked at the po­ten­tial cost of us­ing con­trac­tors,” says Billy.

Luck­ily, the Laub­sch­ers’ son Da­neel (31) was pre­pared to lend a hand. He’s an in­dus­trial engi­neer at Plantation Shut­ters and a keen DIY en­thu­si­ast who worked in the build­ing industry as a stu­dent. Da­neel de­signed a more con­tem­po­rary style for his par­ents’ kitchen and sug­gested a lighter colour pal­ette.

The ex­ist­ing colour scheme, wall tiles and melamine coun­ter­tops were all dated. “For­tu­nately, the work­man­ship of the kitchen cup­boards, which were built

25 years ago, was ex­cel­lent. They’re made of solid oak, which to­day would be very ex­pen­sive,” says Billy.

Billy and Da­neel sin­gle­hand­edly tack­led the plumb­ing and tiling while Jeanette painted all the cup­board doors – 44 in to­tal! Three weeks later, they were able to ad­mire their hand­i­work over a cup of cof­fee. And what a deep sense of sat­is­fac­tion that gave them. The only con­trac­tor who set foot in the kitchen was the gas in­staller.

Main al­ter­ations

• All the cup­board doors were re­moved and sanded so Jeanette could paint them while Billy and Da­neel un­der­took the rest of the work.

• The wall tiles were re­moved and the walls clad with face­brick tiles.

• The sink and mixer tap were re­placed.

• The old elec­tric hob was re­placed with gas burn­ers and a new ex­trac­tor fan was then in­stalled.

• The melamine coun­ter­tops were re­moved; Da­neel con­structed and in­stalled new mer­anti sur­faces.

• The old cup­board door han­dles were all re­placed.

• Da­neel had rub­ber­wood shut­ters made and in­stalled them on the south-fac­ing kitchen win­dow.

• The wooden back door was painted in the same colour as the cup­boards. >>

The painted cup­boards con­trast beau­ti­fully with the new face­brick tiles. White cast iron casse­role from @home; vase (op­po­site, top left) from Wool­worths

Jeanette her hus­band Billy and their son Da­neel

tack­led the kitchen makeover to­gether, with­out hav­ing to change the lay­out. A row of cup­boards still sep­a­rates the kitchen from the din­ing room.

(left), (right) (cen­tre)

Who lives here?

Billy and Jeanette Laub­scher

WHERE Ridgeworth, Bel­lville SIZE 18m²


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