ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Thanks to a major overhaul, a tired family holiday home in Plett is now set to make more happy memories
A dated Plett holiday home gets a new lease on life
After 20 years of holidaying in this house, the owners, who have a large extended family, decided it was time to modernise. The house had hosted many happy family holidays, but was now showing signs of wear and, as their lifestyles had changed and their children had left home and had families of their own, the layout no longer worked for them.
In June 2016 they called in architect Tickey Klawansky and Meg Fasanelli of Meg Vaun Interiors (who had decorated their Jo’burg home) and together they came up with a plan to bring the house up to date. The architect’s aim was to simplify and minimise the details and
THIS SPREAD, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Stacking glass doors that open up completely make the dining area feel like a covered patio. The practical wood-look tiles from Italtile blend with the deck.
Rustic doors from Amatuli invite you into the streamlined courtyard. A large new door gives a glimpse of the ocean view.
streamline the finishes. Arches were squared off in the bedrooms, shadow lines replaced the traditional cornicing throughout and instead of curtains, shutters were installed on the windows that required privacy.
Strangely enough, for a house with an amazing outlook, the living area faced inwards, away from the view. A major part of the new design was to open up the traditional series of rooms and create one large living, dining and cooking space with huge windows and doors so that wherever you are, you can appreciate the beauty of the setting.
The entrance to the courtyard was fitted with rustic doors from Amatuli and through these, a large window now draws the eye through the living room to the pool deck and ocean beyond.
“We love the idea that you experience the view from the front door and it gets better as you proceed through the house,” say the owners.
Walls between the various rooms were removed and the rooms gutted. Even the traditional fireplace was replaced with a freestanding wood-burning stove. But the biggest difference came with the installation of bigger windows and frameless glass sliding doors, which link the house to the pool deck.
“One of the most effective changes was raising the pool,” explains Meg Fasanelli. “Previously, there was a small pool on a lower level accessed by a set of steps. By installing a new pool on the same level as the house and surrounding it with decking, it now becomes an extension of the living areas. We further emphasised this connection by laying similar wood-look tiles throughout the living rooms.”
As the owners love to cook, the kitchen was designed accordingly. “Because the family tends to socialise here, we made the island over three metres long and fitted it with a prep bowl, an instant hot water tap and popup plugs so that it works for more than one cook,” explains Meg. “We kept the cabinets neutral and integrated the appliances so the kitchen forms a subtle backdrop to the living areas.”
Part of the streamlining process involved incorporating an exterior staircase into the house and adding another bathroom. This meant that the house went from having four bedrooms to having three. However, all are now en suite and large enough for daybeds that can also be used for sleeping.
In addition, the existing bathrooms underwent much-needed rejuvenation. “To simplify things, we used the same pale blue mosaic tile in all the bathrooms to highlight certain walls.
We installed a freestanding bath in the main bathroom, but in the others, we built them in and clad them with Caesarstone, which, because there are no grout lines, has a very clean effect,” says Meg.
As the furnishings needed replacing, Meg designed new pieces, which were custom made for the different rooms. “We sourced all the furniture and accessories in Jo’burg, even the kitchen cabinets, and then transported everything down here,” she explains.
“We wanted a light, fresh holiday feel so we chose practical neutrals for the large pieces like the sofas and introduced colour through the scatter cushions. We also kept it simple in the bedrooms, upholstering the headboards in vibrant fabrics and using the same white linen and quilts in all the rooms,” explains Meg. “You don’t want to have to fuss with furnishings when you’re on holiday.”
The renovations took around 18 months to complete, but the owners are thrilled with the results. “The new pool and its proximity to the house has given us so much more living space where we can sit outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the views,” say the owners who are looking forward to spending their first summer holiday here.
THIS PAGE, FROM TOP: The TV room is an extension of the living areas but can be closed off with metal-framed glass doors that slide into the wall. The built-in unit was custom made.
THIS SPREAD, CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: As the old pool was on a lower level, it was filled in and a new pool built on the same level as the living areas. The furniture is from Plaisir du Jardin. In the main en suite bathroom, the owner wanted a shower seat so, for visual continuity, Meg extended this under the vanity with storage space inside. There’s more storage behind the mirrors. For all the bedrooms including the main one, Meg designed double headboards that extend on either side. “This way, you can use two single beds with a bedside table in the middle if you prefer.” The headboard in the guest room is covered in Duralee fabric from Halogen International.
THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: To simplify the renovations, the same aqua mosaic tile was used in all thebathrooms. The bath was clad with Caesarstone, which was also used for the vanity shelf extending over the bath. The taps and shower fittings are by Hansgrohe. Although the house lost a bedroom in the renovation, the remaining ones, like this guestroom, are large enough to accommodate a daybed, which can be used for relaxing or as an extra bed. In the bedrooms, the dressing tables can double as computer desks.