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.
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.
• 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