READER’S RENOVATION #6
Being hands on was key for the owners of a family-friendly apartment in Johannesburg
What should have been a four-month project turned into a year-long renovation for Bailey and Jan-jan Bezuidenhout. The couple, along with their young twins, had outgrown their Parkwood flat in Johannesburg and were charmed by the prospect of Hyde Park apartment living. In the old Killarney-style block that immediately caught their eye, there was plenty of privacy – the apartment sits at the end of the corridor – and lush views from its third-floor location.
‘I was away and Jan-jan came to look at the apartment and said, “I think I’ve found the place”,’ says Bailey. ‘I fell in love instantly and didn’t mind what was inside, because we’d basically gut it anyway.’
The Bezuidenhouts knew exactly how to make it their own and set about drawing ideas on a map of the apartment, with the help of Bailey’s parents. Once they’d got the go-ahead from the structural engineers, renovations began and all the walls that separated the kitchen, dining room, lounge and living room went tumbling down. Demolishing was the easy part… then came dropping the ceiling a few centimetres to accommodate downlights throughout the space – which involved moving electricals from concrete mazes in the floor to the ceiling – and additional work on the plumbing and dry walling.
‘We’d received quotes from two builders, but I knew who I wanted to work with: Elzabe de Klerk of Paint ICU, who previously
assisted my sister on a small renovation. As a female builder, she brought a different sensitivity to the project,’ says Bailey.
In the private entrance leading up to the apartments, the Bezuidenhouts changed the frosted glass to clear panes to let in as much light as possible, and removed one of the two front doors that opened into the kitchen to free up the space that the door blocked behind it. ‘We completely redid the kitchen and added extra counters wherethe door used to be,’ says Bailey. ‘I was really set on marble. Even though everyone said it’s a bad idea because it marks, we understand that it will change and scratch. Marble adds a bit of elegance, and I wanted the softer wood touches to make it homely.’
The library-like living room used to be a third bedroom, and was converted by removing the door and wall and flipping around the cupboards that opened into it to create linen cupboards in the corridor. The balcony, onto which the living room and adjacent dining room and lounge open, was previously self-contained and closed off from the outside with a solid wall. ‘We were quite far in our renovation when I saw the edge of a brick and thought, “What’s going on here?” I didn’t know that a previous renovation had covered up airbricks, and I absolutely love them – especially the light they let in,’ says Bailey.
The Bezuidenhouts also made two clever bathroom changes. In the main bedroom, the bathroom was divided to build a walk-in wardrobe. And to create a separate guest bathroom, a sliver was stolen from the kids’ bathroom, which Bailey had free rein to prettify in pink. With the exception of this, and Jan-jan handling the budget, everything else was a team effort, including regular Saturday trips in search of the right tiles and finishes.
‘Renovating was such a labour of love for us. We were involved in every aspect and it’s such a nice feeling,’ says Bailey. ‘Our aesthetic has grown together, this is us – a bit of him, a bit of me, a bit of togetherness.’ Find this home’s renovation specialists’ details in the Black Book on page 124 and online at houseandleisure.co.za
THIS SPREAD AS YOU WALK THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR OF BAILEY AND JAN-JAN BEZUIDENHOUT’S RENOVATED APARTMENT IN HYDE PARK, JOHANNESBURG, THE LIGHT-FILLED LOUNGE INSTANTLY WELCOMES YOU TO HAVE A SEAT. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW ROOMS IN THE HOME FOR WHICH THE COUPLE BOUGHT NEW FURNITURE, AND THEY SOURCED THEIR CHAIRS, COUCH, BENCH AND MARBLE TABLE FROM MEZZANINE (MEZZANINEINTERIORS.CO.ZA).