A well-used part of our little piece of the world is at the front of the house. The original garage was converted into a third bathroom so the driveway was gardened over years ago. It’s very pretty and we didn’t want to lose the sacred bamboo, the aloes, the plumbago and the white pear tree, but we needed more space for our cars. And also a tidier look!
It took four men (from Boss Paving) five days to finish the job, and they really excelled themselves.
That’s Tess posing for a new profile pic :-)
The previous owner, who is a lovely, creative woman and a well-known writer, had a natural talent for combining unusual and baroque elements in her home. The swans at the gate had become something of a landmark in this little part of Mowbray, but I am boring and conventional compared to Helen so I opted for plain pointy pier caps and decided to encourage the swans to fly into the back garden, to roost amongst the inca lilies.
And looking at the above photo, I’m wondering if I haven’t actually made a mistake… :(
Kathryn gave me some excellent advice on moving to a new abode: she said to take photos of every room so that, when you’ve made changes, you have a visual record of how much you’ve achieved – especially when negative feelings set in and you feel like you’ve actually got sweet nowhere!
This room was the previous owner’s music room: it’s nice and big, with original pine floors and windows, and a brick fireplace (in working order). The walls were a great shade of purple, but the blue and green fitted bookshelves jarred a bit. And the darker shades meant that the light from the window had nothing to reflect off.
- Remove bookshelves.
- Introduce lighter colours.
- Ta dah!
The bookshelves have been relocated to the “front lounge”, and repainted white. I had to use 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of white enamel to de-blue them successfully. [Operation Unpack Books still in progress…]
Frustration is my middle name right now…very minor progress made in the last couple of days, and all I can really show you is my bathroom vanity.
The old sink had to go, and whatever replaced it had to be quite small.
This is a little table/drawer thing that my grandfather made shortly after immigrating to South Africa from Switzerland in the 1930s. It came to me in Cape Town in time to be used as my telephone table at Linden Park for many years, and I really liked the idea of remodelling something old and valued instead of just buying something new for the sake of it. Anwar brought out his wood cutting tools and fitted the basin and mixer tap just perfectly. The drawer is no longer a drawer, obviously, just the front of the original one.
Three coats of pale grey Velvaglo later, it makes me happy just to look at it.
Thanks, Oupa. I hope you don’t mind the upgrade!
Andre and co have nearly finished painting the outside. From this –
to this –
and you can see even the clivias are blooming with happiness :-)
A quick view of the front, pre-garden reshaping and paving:
And an entirely gratuitous pic of the cross-stitch butterflies I did many years ago to fit an old fire-screen of my grandmother’s. This emerged from the depths of the garage at Moving Time, and I’ve become fond of it all over again. Fire-screen not needed, and legs were always wonky anyway, so it might find itself up on a wall sometime soon.
Turns out that waiting for plaster walls to dry out thoroughly is terribly boring. Can’t make progress in bathroom or bedroom until they’re good and ready, so I’ve been painting some wooden furniture in the meantime and am about to embark on the wooden window frames. So, nothing to show you today. EXCEPT for New Blanket, which I begun about five years ago and then somehow abandoned….
I crochet while I work my way through all four seasons of House of Cards. I’m in love with Kevin Spacey. I always was and I always will be.
Something else that’s been occupying my thoughts while in renovation limbo: a BMW GS 1200. I’m not going to say any more about it right now, except that it looks like I’m going to need my own helmet…