From ship­ping con­tainer to com­pact cot­tage

This com­pact home set among blue­berry fields and over­look­ing the Mostertshoek mountains is the per­fect spot for a bit of rest and re­lax­ation.

Home (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Watch the last rays of the sun tint the moun­tain peaks pink, take a shower un­der the stars and re­lax with your pooch by the fire­place...

Sounds idyl­lic? Then Claire and Dun­can Dicey’s eco home – a self-con­tained cot­tage made with ship­ping con­tain­ers – on the farm Palmi­etvlei near Wolse­ley in the Western Cape will def­i­nitely tickle your fancy.

“The stoep and small jetty on the dam that my hus­band Dun­can and I built are my favourite fea­tures,” says Claire. “And, of course, the out­door shower!” The cou­ple started build­ing their get­away spot in Oc­to­ber 2017 and it was com­pleted in Jan­uary this year.

“We call the house FamTin, short for Fam­ily Tin. Ship­ping con­tain­ers are made of metal, af­ter all, and this one is big enough for an en­tire fam­ily.”

Claire had al­ways liked the idea of a con­tainer home. “Re­cy­cling and re-us­ing is very im­por­tant to me. I love giv­ing new life to dis­carded items.” >>

The process

The house con­sists of two con­tain­ers, side by side, with a stoep out front.

Claire did a lot of re­search be­fore she and Dun­can tack­led the project. “We found a com­pany on­line that spe­cialises in con­vert­ing con­tain­ers into homes and or­dered ours from them. The builders be­gan con­struc­tion in Oc­to­ber 2017 but we later parted ways with them and a builder from Bredas­dorp, Deon Morkel, com­pleted the project. I drew up the plans and he han­dled con­struc­tion.

“Our first task was to con­struct the base on which the con­tain­ers were set – this was built with bricks, as was the stoep. The con­tain­ers were de­liv­ered by truck and erected on the base us­ing a crane; then the weld­ing, car­pen­try and roof­ing was done.

“On the in­side, we in­su­lated the walls with Mag­naBoard and then painted them. We left the ship­ping con­tainer as is on the ex­te­rior so that one can see ex­actly what it is.”

Claire rec­om­mends care­fully se­lect­ing a com­pany to do the con­ver­sion: “Make sure you agree on what a qual­ity fin­ish en­tails and en­sure that they can com­plete the project on time. Now that we’ve found some­one we can trust, we plan to build more houses like this one next year.”

Part of the farm

Claire and Dun­can live on an­other farm near Palmi­etvlei. “Only FamTin and an­other guest­house, The River­stone House, are lo­cated on Palmi­etvlei, sur­rounded by berry and pear or­chards,” she ex­plains. “The River­stone House sleeps nine but if there are more guests, they can now be ac­com­mo­dated in FamTin.” A path leads from The River­stone House down to the Breede River.

Palmi­etvlei is about 80 hectares in size; Dun­can farms with blue­ber­ries and Claire keeps horses, but she also does train­ing and she or­gan­ises horse sa­faris.

“We have 16 sta­bles with 21 horses. I train nine of them ev­ery day; the oth­ers are ei­ther too young or re­tired. My com­pany, Equiknow, takes clients to Ger­many, Por­tu­gal and the Nether­lands for eques­trian events and we go on sa­faris in the Oka­vango.”

Claire spared no ex­pense in mak­ing the con­tainer home as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble. “I love be­ing cre­ative and had lots of fun dec­o­rat­ing. I al­ways try to see how much I can ac­com­plish with as lit­tle as pos­si­ble or how at­trac­tive I can make some­thing look with­out spend­ing a for­tune.

“Any­one can achieve a lot with an abun­dance of cash. I like the chal­lenge of re-us­ing items with the help of lo­cal crafts­men. I buy fur­ni­ture at auc­tions and junk shops and knick-knacks at con­ven­tional re­tail stores. Some­times I plan ahead for cer­tain looks; at other times I sim­ply put dif­fer­ent things to­gether and see how it turns out.

“I’m not in­flu­enced by fads and I use what I like. At the mo­ment, I’m par­tial to bright colours such as yel­low and burnt or­ange.

“The dé­cor in FamTin is coun­try-chic – be­cause when I step in here, I want to re­lax.”

THE HOME­OWN­ERS Claire and Dun­can Dicey WHERE Wolse­ley, Western Cape SIZE 96m²

Claire played an ac­tive role in pre­par­ing her home’s ter­rain, al­though she had help with the ini­tial plan­ning. “An ex­ca­va­tor was lit­er­ally on our heels as a friend and I painted lines with lime so that the op­er­a­tor knew where to ex­ca­vate soil from the slope and move it to the dam.” Intaba En­vi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices de­signed the veld gar­den sur­round­ing the house.

The floor is sealed ce­ment. “Not tinted, just sealed – ex­actly as I wanted it,” says Claire. Yel­low mug from MRP Home


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.