The Illustrated Brief
Rondebosch Heritage: the brief and our journeyUpon first visiting this house, it was immediately apparent that it was dark, ‘tired’ and stuffy. My client wanted a fresh approach to this 65 year old Cape Dutch Home. We immediately set about creating drawings that would create much more light and flow throughout the main focus areas of her new home. During the planning phase, it was evident that subsantial reroofing would be required and our reworking of the pool room plans allowed a 50% saving to the project as a whole.
Their love of the mountain became apparent at our first meeting, and I suggested, if permitted by the Heritage Council, we could create two dormer windows in the upstairs bedrooms. Not only would this create much more space within the room itself, but would immediately access incredible light and the magnificent mountain views. It also assisted in the overall temperature control. This upstairs section was unbelievably hot in summer and the converse in winter. Fortunately, Heritage approved this detail.
Rondebosch Heritage: a voyage of discoveryDuring the demolition phase, an exciting discovery (a fabulous surprise) presented itself … we removed the old white ceiling panels only to discover a perfectly preserved oregon beamed ceiling, which we set about exposing throughout the ground floor.
This provided an added benefit by raising the ceiling by at least another 500 mm, which at the end really helped in transforming the home to its former glory.
The previous owners had also covered the staircase with an ugly mottled cream carpet and we happily ripped this out only to expose a solid teak staircase … What a find!
Rondebosch Heritage: 'wood, natural walls & floors'With the client owning other homes in both Namibia and Spain, a sense of light and openness was vital. It was an exciting challenge; as with all heritage houses, one does not have carte blanche.
During our discussions we agreed that it would be exciting to juxtapose timeless elegance with the newest natural finishes on the market. Whilst every single area was ‘touched’, we paid particular attention to the kitchen, bathrooms and entertainment areas.
Each room had to have an eclectic feel, nothing was to appear manufactured or ordinary. From colour choices to texture, the naturals were paramount. Natural walls and floors, no tiles. Maintaining as much wood as possible
Rondebosch Heritage: chef's gourmet kitchenTo open up the entire kitchen space, we made use of existing teak sash windows and bashed through to incorporate the scullery & laundry area as part of the overall kitchen. This not only more than doubled the size but also allowed more natural light to enter. The kitchen is the heart of their home and we set to work designing a chef’s gourmet kitchen with an open fire place. This particular client, constantly pushing the boundaries, was not afraid of colour … in fact the bolder the better. So we opted for a deep brick red and grey green combination. A beach end grain island counter top with natural stone counter tops.
Rondebosch Heritage: bathroomsAnother discovery during the planning phase, was to be able utilise the roof space behind a linen cupboard, in order to create a fourth bathroom. Staying with the ‘naturals’ we used oregon flooring with skimmed walls and a bamboo vanity. In the configuration of the main en suite we created a flow between the dressing room area and the bathroom itself. Once again utilising the roof space we were able to create an open plan feel, whilst maintaining a degree of privacy. Skylights allowed more natural light in whilst assisting ventillation.
As with all the other bathrooms, we gutted and reconfigured the guest bathroom. All natural floor and wall finishes included shades of putty, grey and green, with a walk in pebble shower base to add to the natural textures throughout. The oriental loo was also fun. Nothing demure here: red and more red! Once again, contrasting the antique vanity carefully sourced with a Ming basin, pewter sanitary ware with natural floor and wall finishes!
Rondebosch Heritage: exterior and entertainment areasThe challenge with this annexe was to redo it so that it would be more visually appealing, and more in keeping with the heritage flavour of the property as a whole.
All the old paving was replaced with natural white stone pavers and all windows and doors were treated with a darker stain. Areas of the facade were damp proofed and the exterior repainted.