‘Ren­o­vat­ing is our bread and but­ter’

This in­no­va­tive cou­ple has turned their tal­ent for transforming homes into a prof­itable busi­ness.

Home Renovations - - CONTENTS -

The kitchen was moved from the mid­dle to the front of the home to form a spa­cious open-plan area with the din­ing room.

The bold blue on the fo­cal wall was mixed by Mica based on a sam­ple Kelly made by com­bin­ing var­i­ous tints. With the help of their friends from Time Out Cre­ations and Hanga Steel, the cou­ple built a new stair­case lead­ing to the old at­tic, now a bed­room with an en-suite bath­room; the raw iron rail­ing adds an in­dus­trial touch.

The Croe­sers brought the Ore­gon pine din­ing ta­ble with them from Zim­babwe. “It was once an art ta­ble cov­ered in paint, then the legs were chewed by farm dogs and it be­came a work­shop ta­ble in a garage. Fi­nally, af­ter Johnathan sanded it down, it be­came our din­ing ta­ble,” Kelly ex­plains. Johnathan made the benches from scaf­fold­ing planks.

In 2010, Kelly and Johnathan re­lo­cated from Zim­babwe to South Africa. Upon ar­rival, they were faced with the daunt­ing prospect of earn­ing an in­come – and find­ing a place to live. Af­ter a rocky start, the in­ven­tive cou­ple found a way to kill two birds with one stone: they de­cided to buy a cheap, run-down prop­erty, stay in it while ren­o­vat­ing and then sell it.

Their plan worked and now, six years later, the ren­o­va­tors are ex­perts at turn­ing derelict spa­ces into beau­ti­ful homes – and they al­ways have a place to stay. Each ren­o­va­tion takes just over a year and they do al­most ev­ery­thing them­selves, right down to the til­ing and plumb­ing. Each time, their builder, Onias Banda, makes the trip from Zim­babwe to Cape Town to as­sist.

The avid up­cy­clers say this Fish Hoek home, their most re­cent pro­ject, is one of their favourites (and it’s sold al­ready!). “It was a small and dated two-bed­room, one-bath­room prop­erty with mis­matched win­dows and a ne­glected gar­den,” Kelly adds. The win­dows were too high and the kitchen was in the mid­dle of the house with walls separat­ing each small room, cre­at­ing a cramped look and feel. On top of that, all the coun­ter­tops were al­most at chest height – to­tally im­prac­ti­cal!

But the Croe­sers saw the prop­erty’s po­ten­tial, in­clud­ing wooden floors, high ceil­ings and a spa­cious at­tic. “Now we’re proud to de­scribe it as a gor­geous, light, three-bed­room, three-bath­room home full of char­ac­ter and charm,” Kelly says proudly.

While ren­o­vat­ing is their bread and but­ter, Kelly and Johnathan hope to one day stop mov­ing into homes only to leave them a year later. “One day, we’ll have a per­ma­nent place we can truly call our own!” >> The cou­ple used the un­usual height of the win­dows to their ad­van­tage and cre­ated a sunny break­fast bar in the kitchen. They re­placed the old, rot­ten Mer­anti win­dow frames with white cot­tage pane win­dows bought from a de­mo­li­tion com­pany. “This saved us a lot of money and the win­dows came with their orig­i­nal bur­glar bars and glass,” Kelly says. Old forks and spoons were used to cre­ate quirky han­dles and empty pic­ture frames were added around the cup­board air vents. They were screwed on with chip­board screws and painted over. “The frames were af­ford­able and gave the flat and dated doors a bit of depth and a French feel,” Kelly ex­plains.

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