READER’S REN­O­VA­TION #6

House and Leisure Before and After - - CONTENTS -

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).

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