Garden Route Renovation
There’s a belt of land between the Indian Ocean and the Tsitsikamma mountains on the Garden Route, bordered by a lagoon, that’s much favoured by city-dwellers needing a tranquil, unspoilt escape. And here, in the heart of Nature’s Valley, open to the forest and the ocean, and the possibilities of long days of leisure, is the holiday home of a Limpopo-based family, who relish its quiet ease and spacious comfort. It wasn’t always so. The house was once a boxy, red-bricked and dated maze, uninviting and cold, with no hint of ‘holiday’ in its mien. But the site on which it stood was gifted with sea and mountain views, and good elevation. Because the fundamentals of the house were good, despite its drawbacks, and they were reluctant to disturb the ecology of the area with heavy construction, they decided to work with what was already there.
WHAT THEY DID
1. One of the ways to make a home comfortable – especially on holiday – is to have an easy-to-maintain bathroom with clean surfaces. The main en-suite bathroom was fussy and impractical, so transforming it was high on the owners’ priority list. Revamping involved a partial resurfacing, clearing of the existing spaces, and installation of new basins, tubs and fittings. The flooring is South African pine, stained and sealed. Pigmented screed was laid in all the showers.
2. The facade was softened by fragmenting elements such as the roof and by recessing or cantilevering parts of the upper storey. The upper-floor slab was made thicker, with added reinforcement, to ensure structural strength, and to level the flooring throughout and raise it uniformly to the desired height. The new, gently pitched roof has improved insulating properties and lends itself to the easier collection of rainwater, in a storage tank.
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This article was originally featured in the July 2012 issue of House and Leisure.