renovation, houses

Renovation: Before & After Room #1 Kitchen Jack Alexander and Ashley van der Walt

The modernisation of a 1930s kitchen in an old Parkhurst home has resulted from a clever union of heritage features and minimalist design.

Sarah de Pina

The 1937 kitchen in his Parkhurst, Joburg, home was very small and had no real connection to the rest of the house, says Jack Alexander, and the kitchen update ended up becoming the catalyst for a larger renovation project. Also, did we mention that it was covered in bright pink tiles? Jack, together with wife and design-studio partner Ashley van der Walt, wanted a more practical, contemporary space, but felt it was an opportunity to re-orientate the entire house, too. ‘We carved away the internal walls and changed the house from a south-facing street orientation, to a north-facing home with a garden view and open-plan entertainment area,’ he says. ‘The kitchen is the pivot around which we were able to do this.’ 

READ MORE: Find this room’s renovation specialists’ details in the Black Book.

To honour the heritage value of the property, Jack and Ashley ‘wanted to play the beautiful old pressed ceilings and original wooden floors off against a very modern, slick kitchen – and highlight both old and new via their direct juxtaposition,’ says Jack. Colour-wise, the duo painted the ceilings pure white and oiled the floors with a white stain, then chose black and dark grey for everything new (think taps, countertops, fridge and stove).

‘Ashley and I favour a minimal approach to aesthetics in our professional design work, and our own home is no different,’ says Jack. ‘The pressed ceilings and knotty pine floors were loud enough to be the heroes of the space already – anything new should be quiet, clean and not try to compete with those beautiful original features.’  



ALSO READ: All the other Before & After House and Room renovation finalists.

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