Home Improvement

We’ve been living in our current house, together, for four years and Mr H has owned it since 2009. He originally bought it with a friend (quickest way to end a friendship just by the way) and it was a dive. Pink walls. Green bathrooms. Shoddy tiling and a garden that was a set piece from Jumanji.

Two years ago we bought out the ex-friend and we immediately started on renovations. The work that has gone into this house has been HUGE and though we’re still not quite finished, the biggest projects are done and I thought that I must share some before and after shots because there is nothing more therapeutic than seeing your hard work come together.

If you’re thinking of renovations then just remember these three rules:

  • Have patience. You’ll need it for your relationship if you’re doing this with your partner and for the (many) days when nothing seems to be getting done. And for the dust. So much dust.
  • Shop around. Unfortunately there is no one place for all your building needs if you’re on a budget so you will need to be savvy.
  • Don’t do everything all at once. Floors are a nightmare especially when you have to take up old tiles and level because you basically have nowhere to walk so work carefully. When we did out kitchen and lounge, I was washing dishes in the bathtub…but at least I had that bathroom to use still.

You’ll have to excuse some of the pictures as they were taken “back-in-the-day” with a Blackberry.

The Lounge and Kitchenkitchen 3

How delightful is this kitchen. It’s almost inspiring.
Before Mr H moved in, it was a completely separate room and was so dark that you couldn’t see the rat poo…which was probably a good thing because what you don’t know….might not give you the Black Death.

We ripped everything out and took off the manky floor tiles.

kitchen 1 kitchen 2lounge and kitchen
And now we’ve finally got an open-plan kitchen and lounge that we love being in.

The Kitchen kitchen 2Loungelounge 2Pantry

Mr H built all the kitchen cupboards and the pantry shelving himself. He’s a legend.
I was a bit dubious about having the massive sleeper wood table but I love it so much now because it’s a lovely feature. And, because the cupboards, walls and floors are light, it doesn’t make the room seem smaller.
That oven is the best thing in the world.
I love entertaining people, the open space is so much more inviting; the large white space above our bookshelf is for our projector – great for movie nights.
We will eventually put sliding doors on the pantry because little fingers need to be kept away.

The spare bathroom

Yes, this is me washing dishes in a freakin’ bathtub whilst the kitchen was being re-done. I look like a troll.

sparebathroom 1spare bathroom
Those floor tiles make me so very happy, I think it’s very timeless.
The next addition will be a Victorian-style bath but I have yet to save up my pennies for that.

The Main bedroom and en-suite

You cannot call this a bathroom. It was an experiment for mold.

ENSUITEmain bedroom
Look at that flooring, and the cupboards. Beautiful. *cough*
We added in that double door because we originally had a tenant who lived in the main room and had the braai room too. She was honestly the most disgustingly dirty creature on the planet and hoarded EVERYTHING (dirty underwear, dead animals, bones…)

With a lot of hardwork, our bedroom and bathroom now looks like this…

ensuiteMaster Bedroom
I’m so happy with how it looks now; the bathroom is elegant and inviting.
The bedroom fits our massive bed in (best investment ever AND we made the headboard, not that you can see much of it) and I love the green paint with the gold door frame that we made.
Next step is to put doors on the wardrobes…again, because of the little Princess.

The Braai room

Everything you see here was left by the former owner and was foolishly not burned straight away…except that we did sell that bar for a nice sum. I think this photo is around 5 years old.

Once the tenant was disposed of, we set to work cleaning and then clearing everything out. We knocked through walls to open the place up and plastered over the yucky brick.

braai room 2
And voila…
braai roombraai room2
The doors are glorious because they let in so much light and make the space even bigger.
By simply covering the fireplace with new, lighter brick, it makes such a difference.
The wine wall is my wall (obviously) and Brett has his beer fridges and spirits on another wall and he will eventually make himself a bar with proper taps.

Looking at all these photos, I truly can’t believe the work, dedication and time that has gone into making our house a home. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the pics and perhaps have possibly been inspired. You can do it!

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  • Reply Amy Brown April 5, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Ha ha ha Duane in the bar is the funniest thing!! Also. That braai room when that tenant was in there. I only have a few words: packets over the packets over my shoes. Cannot believe ANYONE could live like that. VOM. But you guys have done an AMAZING job!!

  • Reply Jenny April 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Oh my gooooodness – what a transformation! Epic!

  • Reply Connie April 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Absolutely amazingballs!

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