Thursday, 21 June 2012

My favourite space

My aunt Jenny lives in Cape Town and blogs at Jenny Just Stuff.  She's written about her favourite place in her house...

A guest post for Janet - I am honoured - and on a topic that did not require much thought on my part.  My favourite space in my house?  My kitchen and courtyard!

When Michael and I bought our new home, nearly six years ago, we did the opposite of what parents usually do.  Usually your children leave home, move overseas or buy their own homes and you carry on living in your established, now childless home.  Not this time.  We had two established homes and children who were still studying or did not look like leaving home.  So we found a new home and fled the nests ourselves. 

The house needed attention but fortunately it was solid and well built, and besides building a double garage, putting in a few extra doors and moving a few windows, most of the work was cosmetic.

We did have a budget (we had not sold our other homes) and there were a couple of small things that needed some serious negotiating.  Michael did not mind living with stippled walls but there was absolutely no way that I could.  Replastering the entire interior of the house was costly but I wanted smooth walls so badly that I was prepared to forfeit the budget for the kitchen to have the beautiful, smooth cretestone walls. 

It was a 50s house that had not not had any work done to it for years.  It had no garden, only a couple of trees and some dead grass, wall to wall mottled beige carpets which, when lifted covered the most beautiful blond narrow stripped flooring.  So there were surprises along the way.  Michael was not convinced that the existing kichen could be transformed. It was a shocker. 

The kitchen, pre-makeover

I found a painter who would paint the existing cupboards for me (he was not either convinced) and I sourced new hinges and knobs.  Granite or wooden counter tops would have broken the bank so our builder built me a concrete counter which tied in with the concrete bench he had just built for me in the courtyard.

Jenny's lovely, plant-filled courtyard

Michael had a dresser in his office, which also had a facelift and - much to his mother's horror - the dark wood was also painted "Duncan Green".  The newly painted dresser was the perfect piece to house my tin collection (and our glasses and crockery).
The gorgeous painted dresser, with vintage tin collection
I am no interior decorator and some of the units do not fit in perfectly but I am very proud of my budget kitchen.  It is the room in my home where I am most happy.

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