Our home café
Louise and Salvelio love spending time together in eateries, so they created their very own. Kim Arendse • Francois Oberholster • Styling Marian van Wyk
The space used to be a narrow corridor, so getting the proportions right was a challenge – every detail and purchase was carefully considered. Having saved on costs by doing so much themselves, the couple was able to splash out on the café chairs they adore.
Afew of their favourite things include entertaining at home, spending time in cafés and enjoying Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s vibrant use of colour in film. So when the opportunity presented itself, Louise and Salvelio created a sociable Spanish-inspired café in their home, turning a cramped walk-through to the patio into a bold and beautiful space.
It took five months to complete the renovation and, apart from the ceiling with downlighters (which required the help of an electrician) and a few cushions made by a friend, Louise and Salvelio did everything themselves.
“It helped that we had a very clear idea of what we wanted,” Louise, a features editor at a local newspaper, says. “Luckily, Salvelio is a keen DIYER – and I was his willing sidekick!”
Salvelio, a videographer, had previously laid the floor with just a few bags of cement and inexpensive wooden planks; he finished the job with stain and varnish. “Our friends said it would never work, but in the end it looked fabulous and it has worn very well,” Louise adds.
The couple says the café makeover turned out to be a really fun project they could do together – and they managed to transform a space they never used into a sociable area they now thoroughly enjoy. They named it Café Milorca – after their cats, Mila and Lorca!