When the owner moved back to Cape Town after nine years in ‘smoggy’ London, he was determined to find a holiday home in the countryside. His non-negotiable criteria were: a space within an hour-and-a-half’s drive of the city, an old property with character, and sea or mountain views. It took him four years, but he finally settled on what he describes as ‘a neglected country home brimming with potential’ below the Olifants River Mountains in Porterville. The house had heaps of old-world character, which he was adamant on keeping. He did, however, want to increase its charm by adding period features. While he’s assisted friends with their renovations, this was the first project that he’s embarked on purely for himself.
WHAT THEY DID
1. By simply widening the doorway between the living and dining rooms to fit salvaged double doors, he introduced a more modern flow to the space. He had a similar set of doors made for the doorway to the veranda – the only other structural change in this part of the house.
2. Screed floors fitted perfectly with the country vibe he was after, and preferring a more rustic look, he purposely omitted skirting. For the same reason he kept the conduits between the lights and their switches exposed (he did, however, have the wiring to the plug points chased into the wall). The result is that it still feels like an old farmhouse, and is the perfect place for his collection of inherited and found furniture.
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This article was originally featured in the July 2012 issue of House and Leisure.