From the outside, the house looks as if it should be on the coast, facing the sea, the spray of salt clinging to the timber deck and the balmy wind blowing through the simple outdoor terrace. Inside, however, the house takes on the panache of a city apartment, a study in restraint anchored by a sophisticated palette of white, charcoal grey and warm wood, and enlivened by vibrant artworks, quirky pieces and an abundance of natural light. They like to think of it as a seaside bungalow in Joburg, says architect Bob van Bebber of Boogertman + Partners. To achieve that kind of feeling in a suburban Parkhurst home, where the trees tend to be oak and the sea concrete, is no small feat but when they first bought the house, which was originally built in 1943 and last renovated in 1962, what was meant to be a fixer-upper turned out to be an extensive year-long renovation.
WHAT THEY DID
1. Having demolished the entrance and the sunroom, the couple gained space for a terrace and pool area. They wanted a small private garden in the back, with a terrace and pool in front. The original carport was also done away with in favour of a tandem garage with room for a third car. The terrace now sits above the garage. The couple opted for a patch of Astroturf for easy maintenance as well as timber tile decking, which allows the water to drain freely.
2. This is essentially a two-room house – there’s the main suite and the living suite. As a standard Parkhurst lot it’s not a very big house. To give the illusion of space and light, they stuck to a palette of white walls and grey fittings set off against the teak parquet floor. Over 60 per cent of the floor area consists of the house’s original parquet. The newer pieces, necessary to cover the enlarged space, blend in seamlessly with the old.
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This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of House and Leisure.