Home Renovations - - Kitchen -

The old homestead on the farm Steyn­skraal out­side Heidelberg in Gaut­eng was pretty much in ru­ins when Yolandé Lotriet and her hus­band Jean de­cided to give it a new lease on life.

“We had to redo ev­ery­thing in the house as it had been stand­ing empty for many years and all the elec­tri­cal fit­tings, plumb­ing, doors and win­dows had been stolen,” ex­plains Jean.

The cou­ple de­cided to tackle the kitchen first. “This was the first room where we knew what we wanted: a warm, wel­com­ing space where you can sit for hours, talk­ing and hav­ing a good time with guests.”

Al­though they had help from a builder when it came to con­struct­ing and break­ing down walls, Jean says they did about 80% of the work them­selves, in­clud­ing mak­ing all the win­dow frames. “I did all the plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal work and wood­work, and Yolandé did all the dec­o­rat­ing and paint­ing.”

The cou­ple also made use of left­over ma­te­ri­als they found on the farm, in­clud­ing bricks, ce­ment and lin­tels which they used mainly for the kitchen cab­i­nets and coun­ters.

The Lotri­ets used slate tiles on the floor to cre­ate a rus­tic look; their big­gest chal­lenge was to get the floor level. “We com­bined three dif­fer­ent rooms to cre­ate the kitchen and lev­el­ling the space was dif­fi­cult,” says Jean.

Some of the kitchen lights are made from old paraf­fin lamps, while the coal stove was made from empty drums found ly­ing around on the farm.

with Jean

Where do you find ‘golden oldies’? Yolandé loves to hunt for an­tique trea­sures in an­tique and sec­ond-hand stores. Van Ouds Af and Ti­mols (both in Heidelberg) are her favourites, says Jean. How does one ac­com­mo­date changes in per­sonal taste? You can al­ways play with colour and paint fur­ni­ture and walls. But I don’t think we’ll do that soon – we love our kitchen!

The heavy wooden ta­ble had been ly­ing in a mud pool for al­most six months when Jean and Yolandé de­cided to make bet­ter use of it.

The old-school chairs com­ple­ment the kitchen’s coun­try feel; Yolandé dis­cov­ered them in a sec­ond­hand shop in Heidelberg. The wooden dis­play cabi­net was res­cued from a work­shop; it was re­paired, all the oily residue was re­moved and then it was sanded.

Yolandé dec­o­rated the doors of the cup­board un­der the sink with cute servi­ettes she ap­plied with podge.

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