Renovation: Before & After Room #2 Bathroom Dean Macpherson
Initially fraught with challenges, this renovation ultimately resulted in the creation of an elegant bathroom bathed in natural light.
When Dean Macpherson briefed architect Bryce Henderson of TAG Design to transform a tired and forgotten 1930s Art Deco apartment in Fresnaye, Cape Town, into a space that was modern and comfortable, the task included ensuring that its historical heritage was acknowledged, too. ‘When I bought it, the apartment was very dark and felt disjointed,’ says Dean, and so he asked Bryce to create the feeling of a home – ‘and not a hotel room, which happens all too often in current renovations. ‘It needed to be a space that was inviting and aesthetically beautiful, but also a haven from the hustle and bustle of the city.’
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A particular focus was the renovation of the bathroom. ‘I wanted something that was truly luxurious and felt grand and spacious,’ says Dean. Cue the use of 120×60cm tiles that ‘really give the bathroom a feeling of quality and class, while the stone floor tiles give you texture.’ Dean describes the oak screening that now separates the bathroom from the bedroom as a ‘work of art’ that allows natural light into the bathroom area while also creating privacy.
But these beautiful features didn’t come without a few renovation trials. ‘We faced real challenges as the building falls under the Heritage Act, so we had to respect this,’ says Dean. Unfortunately, the team was also let down by builders. ‘I simply can’t state strongly enough how, as an owner, you have to be on site more often than not to ensure the work you pay for actually gets done,’ Dean says. ‘And I would highly recommend you buy as much as you can – from flooring to sanware – yourself so that you retain more control.’
Renovation tip: screen star
Dean is most impressed with how the bedroom (which had not been fully en suite before) was maximised via the renovation. The feel of an open-plan space has been created by allowing natural light to reach the bathroom via the slatted oak screen, which provides both privacy and a degree of separation of the bathroom and bedroom spaces, he explains. ‘This brought a new dimension to the bedroom for me, and makes the room particularly spectacular at sunset.’
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