Building The Dream; When a couple couldn’t find their perfect house, they built it! The result is a creative & comfortable family home

Too small house for a growing family, think about some changes?

Limitation of current living space

MOVE TO THE COUNTRY was on the cards for Anouk Kapiteyn and her husband Gert-Jan when their home in the centre of town was proving too small for their growing family. “We wanted the children [Sem, 8, Floris, 5 and Mack, 1] to be able to play in the street without the busyness of a town around them,” Anouk says.

Too small house for a growing family, think about some changes?

Too small house for a growing family, think about some changes?

It took four years of househunting for the couple to find something they liked, but the disused block of land with only a shed on it wasn’t quite the dream home they had envisioned.

A new plan for a comfortable house appears

“Standing on the plot felt good and right,” Anouk says. “It was just a 20-minute bike ride to the beach. And the best thing was that the previous owner had permission for a house to be built on the plot.”

When the couple saw the plans for the house they immediately fell in love with the design – “A pointy roof, a verandah, 180 sq m It had everything we were looking for,” Anouk says. “It still had to be built but we were prepared to go on an adventure and went for it.”

And the family certainly had an adventure. “It was a year of utter madness,” Anouk says. “But all our fantasies about what our home should be like were coming true.”

After finding that place, they plan for interior painting the house

After finding that place, they plan for interior painting the house

Repairing and interior painting the house

Just one year later the house was ready and the finishing touches to the interior could be made. To help cut costs the couple did some of the work themselves including all the interior painting; they also built a few items of furniture, such as a table and workbench for the boys and a bed for Seb. “We didn’t buy many new pieces of furniture when we moved in, but a lot of what we already had changed function,” Anouk explains.

Reclaimed materials were incorporated into the house, too, such as second-hand roof planks and salvaged timber panels from market stalls that Anouk painted white and attached to the wall to add character. “It was important for us to bring old materials into a house this new to create a warm atmosphere,” she adds.

Furniture the house with new set of table and recliner chair for relaxing in the corner

Furniture the house with new set of table and recliner chair for relaxing in the corner

After five weeks of decorating the family moved into their new home and they couldn’t be happier with the result. “Every day I find myself lucky to be living here,” Anouk says. “It’s in the small things. Breakfast in the garden, sitting on the verandah. That’s when I enjoy living here the most.”

But the best thing about living in their new house in the country? “The children have plenty of space to bounce around in and we are surrounded by more trees and less traffic.” Mission accomplished!


Creative intuition and a liberal dose of improvisation have turned this apartment into an elegant yet down-to-earth home that exudes the unrestrained style of its owners

Given the stereotypes attributed to creative professionals, you’d be forgiven for expecting the home of a magazine fashion director and an advertising creative director to be an exacting sequence of slightly intimidating spaces. Not so the home of Chris Viljoen and Christan Boshoff, whose apartment in part of a former 19th-century manor house is both seriously stylish and playfully informal.

When the couple bought the 140-sq-m apartment, it was woefully rundown and comprised one bedroom, lounge, lobby and an ill-conceived, low-slung kitchen and bathroom in what was once the back verandah of the original residence. “Our entire apartment is the dining room of the former manor house,” Christan says.

All that remained of the building’s glorious past were the spectacularly high ceilings, wide floorboards, marble floors and a festoon of decorative woodcut detail on the window frames in the main bedroom and the ceilings throughout the apartment. It was this faded grandeur that captured the imaginations of the creative duo and gave vital clues as to what could be achieved in the renovation they would take on with good friend and architect Phillippe Fouche.

The back of the home had originally been open to the now lush communal back garden by way of a verandah, so floor-to-ceiling industrial conservatory windows were installed in the kitchen, thereby connecting the interior space to the garden. “The windows were a great choice in almost every respect,” Christan says. “They’re affordable, locally made and readily available. But most importantly, they let in a lot of natural light as the back of the apartment is quite dark.”

Industrial conservatory windows in kitchen

Industrial conservatory windows in kitchen

Rather than build a fitted kitchen, the couple made use of shelves across the windows for storage and have assembled a “creative” central island including an old table and a hospital unit on wheels. “The kitchen is still very much a work in progress,” Christan says. Both Chris and Christan love the old black and white marble floor tiles on the front verandah and so replicated them in the kitchen and bathroom. New white subway tiles cover the bathroom walls, while contemporary fittings complete the makeover.

A spiral staircase leads upstairs to the home office that looks out through the conservatory windows onto the garden beyond. The spare bedroom, a more private enclosed area, is positioned alongside it.

The resulting home is comfortable with a wonderful mix of the old, the surprising and the unlikely. It’s laidback yet inspiring, much like Chris and Christan.

Posted in Creative home space

Paint it! Quick cures for boring walls; You don’t need to go to a huge amount of expense or effort to transform your home. Just look at these cool paint colour combos

COLOUR is alive again. Expect interiors to become vibrant following fashion’s bright and bold combos in the spring/summer ’11 collections, which is where we took our colour cues from when creating these “wow” walls. It’s all about the stripes this season!



Hallways can easily become dark and boring, but they’re best suited to a bold design. After all, they provide the first impression of your home. To create interest here we painted the top half of the wall in a vibrant Hermes-inspired orange and the lower half in white. We then created a striking herringbone design after taking inspiration from a chic suit from the S/S ’11 Sportsmax collection (below). With such a strong pattern it’s best to keep the other walls in the space simple.

White and Orange color for hallway

White and Orange color for hallway



Classic stripes continue to be popular in fashion, and there’s no reason this look can’t be used in interiors – in a variety of hues. Softer shades were used here to create a cool and calming scheme. We marked a halfway line in pencil on the wall and used a soft blue shade for the complete top half section of the wall. When dry, stripes were drawn in pencil 10cm apart on the lower half of the wall and alternating colours of grey and blue were painted.



Yes, young girls often want pink bedrooms. To stay away from the sickly sweet trap, not only did we knock some of the pink out of the room by teaming the pink shades with a white stripe, but we also introduced a stronger, contrasting berry stripe. The wall was painted white and when dry a halfway line was marked in pencil horizontally along the wall. We then marked lines 10cm apart vertically on the top half of the wall, and 10cm apart horizontally on the bottom half. The pink stripes were marked off with masking tape and painted.

Pink bedroom for your girls

Pink bedroom for your girls



The bold yet feminine colours in this room were inspired by Prada’s S/S ’11 collection. Teaming fuchsia with black is a great way to introduce a girly colour in a palatable amount. To achieve this look we first masked off the sections on the wall where we wanted the pink stripes to be positioned – a 3cm width for the top stripe, 15cm for the wider pink stripe, with a 2.5cm space in between left unmasked for the thin black line. We then painted the remainder of the wall black. When dry we painted the pink areas. Simple yet effective.



This colour combo was inspired by an image taken at the Celine S/S ’11 ready-to-wear show. The bold blue and kelly green had been on the shoulders of the top and red was used on the waistband, which goes to show you can take colour inspiration from anywhere! To create this look we painted the wall white and marked off lines from the half-way height downwards in pencil – 10cm width for the blue stripe, 5cm for green, 15cm gap left for the white, 5cm for the green again, and repeated the pattern, leaving a 5cm width for the lower white stripe. The skirting board, like the waistband, is a bold red, as is the Starburst wall clock, which ties the look together. CELINE S/S 2011 runway photography getty images 56 www.



Stimulate conversation with bold colours in your dining room. We used the bottom half of a Prada dress as inspiration for our scheme. The wall was divided into thirds, masked off and then painted. If you don’t feel brave enough to use such vibrant colours in your home, simply opt for a different colour combo – eg, three shades of the same colour (just double the strength for one option, and halve the strength for another option). Alternatively, find a piece of fabric you love and use three colours from that as your starting point. With such dominant walls it’s a good idea to keep the pendants in the space simple yet strong in form.

Bold colours for your dining room

Bold colours for your dining room

Posted in Your home color concept

Creative SPACE; An architect redesigns her apartment, opening up the home’s potential and adding plenty of personality along the way

Creative space Design

Clever furniture solutions and creative space


FRIENDS often drop in to architect Sara Giese Camre’s apartment. So much so that she’s redesigned and furnished the place to accommodate the constant flow of people, as well as her ever-changing decorating schemes. The home features open-plan living spaces and clever furniture solutions, such as tables on wheels, so she can rearrange zones on a whim to suit the occasion or mood.

Redesign her apartment with open space

She wants to redesign her apartment with open space

Her apartment

Sara rented this 150-sq-m apartment for two years until she bought it with the intention of giving it a major makeover. “The apartment included a long corridor with six small, dark bedrooms,” Sara says. But she could see the potential. After sketching for almost a year, she came up with the design for a spacious apartment with a huge living room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus open-plan kitchen-dining area.

Open plan kitchen at her apartment

Open plan kitchen at her apartment


The timeline was tight, but with the help of an expert building team, Sara carried out the renovation in just six weeks. “It was a major project – walls were torn down, new water pipes and drains had to be fitted and a 10-metre-long steel-beam bearer had to be lifted in through the window,” Sara says. To save money, she painted the walls, ceiling and floors herself – and still keeps cans of paint on hand because she constantly discovers moulding or borders that need another coat. Sara chose white for all the surfaces because “it really makes the furniture stand out”.

…And what she does for interior design

The interior design is a patchwork of furniture that Sara has bought or built herself when the need arose. “A lot of my finances were used on the renovation, which meant I had to be creative when it came to the interior design,” she says. “I built the coffee table myself from MDF boards and had it coated with car paint.” Where Sara did choose to invest was on the sofa and lamps. “Lighting is important,” she says. “You can create an atmosphere with light, enhance a corner, hide something”

Light design is important in a house

Light design is important in a house

Sara is constantly surrounded by design and tries to keep herself up to date with the latest innovations, but is also fond of classics, “especially the Danish furniture designs”, she says.

Sara is inspired by travel, too, and adapts different cultural aesthetics to her own home. At the moment, she is strongly influenced by Japan. “On a recent trip there I bought a lot of fabric and rolls of fine paper that I have used to make cushions and decorate boxes with,” she says. But this scheme isn’t permanent. “In six months’ time everything will most probably look different, when I’m onto my next ‘thing’.”

“I’m passionate about creating,” Sara says of her evolving home. “Actually, I just can’t help it.”

Posted in Your furniture concept