The Illustrated Brief
Finishing FernwoodA beautifully planned and appointed home set in the established part of Fernwood. The client purchased it with the understanding that all the major finishes still needed to be completed, presenting Mint with a wonderful opportunity to assist them in putting their own stamp on their new family home. With the client having recently relocated from the UK and setting down their first roots in South Africa, resale value, space, light and as much mountain view as possible was imperative.
From creating a custom pool and terraced area, redefining the boundary walls and the property entrance, to building a balcony and entertainment area, Mint was tasked with co-ordinating the construction, fittings, decor and finishes throughout the home.
Finishing Fernwood: Pool and Exterior FinishingWe designed an irregular shaped swimming pool with a landscaped water feature to compliment the unusual shape of the grounds. The old pre-cast concrete boundary wall was removed to be replaced with a formal plastered stone wall in keeping with the architectural style of the home, providing a strong backdrop to a new terraced area above the pool for further outdoor relaxed living.
The entrance to the property, the pavement and driveway, were all paved with cobbles and landscaped in style with the new outdoor areas. We continued the cobbled theme to link the guest room with the new balconied entertainment area and along the paved exterior areas closest to the house.
Finishing Fernwood: Balcony and Entertainment AreaLiterally 'clearing the decks', the existing out-of-character roofed patio at lawn level was removed in preparation for the important value-added square meterage extension to the living space, both upstairs and down.
'Creation of space' was key to our innovative approach to the balcony design: not wanting to break up the flow of the entertainment area downstairs, nor to chop up the view with conventionally spaced support columns, we opted for the broadest span possible. The two columns on either side integrated with the upstand beam allowed us to support the upstairs balcony - by partially closing them in, we were able to create a windbreak while delivering the desired stylish broad setting that successfully integrates the new entertainment area with the formal lounge.
Finishing Fernwood: Balcony and Entertainment AreaThe existing built in braai, previously standing away from the house, was incorporated into the new entertainment area, neatly linked by the addition of working and serving surfaces. Stone cladding of the central braai fireplace and co-ordinated travertine coverings of the new surfaces enhance the feel of an extended living space in keeping with the new interior finishes of the home.
The effect downstairs of the broad frame of columns and balcony gives a shady daytime family feeling to this braai area, while our use of a wrap around recessed ceiling canopy with down lighting turns the nightime scene into a glorious social stage for entertaining.
Finishing Fernwood: Refined finishes and decorIn the open plan living area we approached the fireplace dividing the formal from the TV lounge with special attention: wanting to move away from sandstone finishes we clad it in a stunning grooved granite tile. A dramatic 'grizzly grey' accent wall used to link and enhance elements of the decor detail, while imported textured wall coverings were applied to continue our theme of tonal textures throughout. Warm greys and hints of silver reflect in metallic glass mosaics, travertine tiles and soft grey woollen carpets, and of course, in the lighting defining them.
Finishing Fernwood: Refined finishes and decorIn the entrance foyer we created a mosaic wall recess at the foot of the stairwell which was itself transformed into a feature of contemporary elegance: we stripped away carpeting, widened the stairway tread and covered it in silver grey travertine tile. Finished off with a stainless steel ballustrade and lit by a custom glass chandelier reflecting every 'mountain mood' outside, a grand entrance was achieved!
Finishing Fernwood: The KitchenThe heart of this home needed a little contemporary chic to complement the beautiful dark solid wooden floors.
The existing formica counter tops gave way to co-ordinated granite throughout, while the centre island was removed and replaced with a custom, new centrepiece topped with caesar stone to the client's requirements. We installed a glass mosaic splashback, adding a sparkling gleam amongst the new cupboard doors throughout.
Finishing Fernwood: The Bathrooms and GuestroomsWhile the sanitary ware was in place, both the main en suite and the family bathroom were in stark isolation from the emerging new feel of the home; we set about designing bespoke floating back lit mirrors for both, where opaque trim allows a flattering light to filter through.
Frameless shower enclosures were installed and a subtle repetition of the mosaic trim used elsewhere in the home was repeated to lift and give these spaces a touch of glamour.
Both guest bedrooms were given a nip and a tuck, making these rooms extra welcoming for special visitors.
Finishing Fernwood: The BedroomsAs the new balcony was completing, we set about opening the master bedroom out toward the glorious mountain view. Removing two sash windows, a double door was installed leading out onto the new private balcony, where the finishing touches of tiling and ballustrading completed this extension of adult living space. A touch of opulence was added in the decor with creams, silvers and greys picking up from the freshly upholstered chaise lounge and being repeated in the curtaining, carpeting and comforter.
The girls' rooms were a delight to decorate, a pink theme for the 2 year old and lilac for the newborn, with both rooms splashed with silver trim - creating some enchantment for the youngest family members.
Finishing Fernwood: The Children's PlayroomWe tackled the old loft with relish to make a fun, safe, light and airy playroom for the two 'princesses'.
We ripped out the old rough flooring, and after re-joisting to provide a safe base, laid a completely new wooden floor, limewashed to a smooth and light finish. Now we were set to play with with the window coverings, storage spaces and decor ... and didn't we have fun?!
Co-ordinated pastel storage toy boxes in open cupboards, custom 'how much is that doggy in the window' patterned blinds, cushions and daybed all in co-ordinated colours and fabrics ... light and sunny!
What the client said
"Sue Lloyd-Roberts and the Mint Renovations team added great value to our home renovation project. They came up with new ideas we wouldn't have thought of ourselves, managed the project successfully from start to finish and delivered high quality workmanship and finished product. We are thrilled with our new home and the team was a pleasure to work with."