This post has been a long time coming, but you know… LIFE. New baby. Lack of sleep. When we found out I was pregnant in late 2016, it was panic stations ahead as we knew that we now seriously had to renovate the house we had moved into in 2015. We live in the old manager’s house on the guesthouse property and man, oh man, it needed so much work! When we first arrived in Stellenbosch, we knew we had taken on a massive project. The property was old-fashioned and run-down and not even remotely cool-kitsch. It was just kitsch. Like you mom’s yellow-and-blue-Biggie-Best-curtains-circa-1995 kitsch. All our time and effort went into renovating the business end of things such as the guest house rooms and the reception and the garden and tennis court and parking lot. Although we were living in a bit of a pit (think chocolate brown toilets, apricot jacuzzi baths and peeling walls), it was, after we had covered most of the house in a lick of white paint and installed a make-shift kitchen in the old office, still pretty liveable.
But we knew once we got the big old baby news that changes would have to be made. Most importantly, the damp and mould in the main bedroom and bathrooms had to go before our little one could live there. In true building style, the project’s completion date was delayed and delayed and instead of moving in in March 2017, we moved in mid-May – just a few weeks shy of my due date. Almost a year later, there are still a few things we need to fix (the fire place and outside area stillness a bit of work), but for the moment we are quite happy in our new bright, open space. We knocked down most of the walls and turned an old rabbit wren into one big open living area and converted the two tiny spare rooms into one big baby room. We also pulled out both bathrooms and installed big wooden stack doors in the bedrooms and living areas to maximise the light into what was a rather dark space. We levelled out the floors throughout the house to make it one safe baby-cruising level (except for one remaining step up to the bedrooms) and I just love our wooden floors, open brick walls and mismatched wooden beam accents. We also built new outside walls to separate our home from the parking lot and to stop hotel guests from peeking through our windows! (Please note that when I say “we” – I mean largely Andrew as he pretty much did this whole thing on his own whilst I was pregnant and packing book orders! I know. He’s amazing and I’m so thankful to have him!) Our house is not big. It’s not fancy. And it’s not quite perfect… but our home is just right for our little family. And our daughter was born in our new bedroom a couple of weeks after we moved back in – what could be more special than that?
Below are some pics we snapped as we were moving out and began building:
The naked ladies in the apricot bathroom were my favourite! Lol.
And here is the end result (please note pics taken after a thoroughly massive deep clean and tidy-up… our house does NOT look like this every day!) :
Lifestyle photographs by Claire Thomson Photography.