It’s said that change is as good as a holiday. This might be less true when it entails leaving England for South Africa to make a fresh start in the Free State village of Clarens. It’s the situation in which this family found themselves several years ago. Having built a new home from scratch, it wasn’t too long before they purchased another Clarens property with the intention of renovating it and renting it out as a guesthouse.
It may have been the final resting place of face brick and knotty pine, but they saw straight through the original building’s ubiquitous orange veneer and recognised its potential. With an overall move to update, open up and brighten the building, the result could almost be an entirely different property.
WHAT THEY DID
1. The front of the house has been formalised and given a distinctly English feel. Previously clad in unpainted face brick with a yellow canopy that sheltered the front door, they plastered and repainted the walls. They also upgraded the fencing to black steel and added pathways to the front of the property with landscaped beds. The original aluminium windows were laid out as and where needed, leading to an irregular appearance, and so they enlarged and realigned them to give the facade a more uniform appearance.
2. In addition to whitening and brightening all surfaces upstairs in keeping with the rest of the renovation, they capitalised on the upstairs bedroom space. With two bedrooms originally flanking a shared bathroom (only accessed from the passage), they chose to brick up the doorway and divide the area. Using the existing plumbing, they built two back-to-back bathrooms that lead directly off each bedroom. In gaining an extra room they’ve also gained more privacy, not to mention the fact that their passage now ends in a more attractive wall.
This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of House and Leisure.