|zincs (first section)||100000|
|Silver shine for zincs||900|
|built in bedroom cupboards||80000|
About the Project:
Before I get started I would just like to express my excitement with regards to this competition, I think it is beyond awesome and congratulations to the other that have entered. I am entering the house in which I live that is situated on my parents’ farm. The whole project was done by him and…
Before I get started I would just like to express my excitement with regards to this competition, I think it is beyond awesome and congratulations to the other that have entered. I am entering the house in which I live that is situated on my parents’ farm. The whole project was done by him and I. We did the structure with the help of 2 loose workers. I hope you think that it is as amazing as I do because I have no words to fully express it. Enjoy.
Until my husband and I moved here the farm was abandoned for 50+ years. The farm is located off a busy secondary road and the homestead is within walking distance so mischievous people would come and vandalize/break down the buildings of the homestead so there was lots of work to be done to get our house where it is now. The house was actually an old milk shed that has been standing on the farm for more than 100 years that my father and I decided to renovate. It was a long project to finish as it was done completely unprofessionally, with the exception of an electrician of course. The two bedroom, one bathroom, kitchen, office, open planned living/dining room area took almost 2 years to finish. A very long project but definitely worth the wait. All of the furniture in the house is mine and my husbands and has almost all been either made, inherited, redone or personally re-painted but of course one or two items had to be bought. Our house, not only the structure but the inside and the contents as well, can be said to be one big project.
My dad had this amazing overall vision of how he wanted the actual structure of our house to look but due to unforeseen circumstances it had to be built in two stages. Stage one was a one bedroom, one bathroom, open planned kitchen/living room area as well as a semi-enclosed courtyard which was set to become the second stage of our house. Stage two was the addition of another bedroom, an office and an open planned dining/living room area.
My dad used the Karoo and the natural surroundings of the farm as inspiration when building our house. He wanted to make our house look rustic and natural, blending in well with the surroundings, so he kept that in mind throughout the whole process.
Let me start with the first section of our house, working from the top of our house downwards. Some of the zincs were donated to us by a family friend that was renovating his house in Jeffreysbay and the rest were bought. My dad installed them and repainted them with silver shine. The ceiling consists of big plywood boards that are resting on poplar beams that we got from trees on the farm that had died. The beams were a huge job as we had to remove the bark from the beams and sand them down, filling in any holes with matching wood putty. The outside of our house is made of stone and the inside walls are brick. The cement between the stones had to be chipped away and re-done and above the stone section of the outside walls was mud brick which was disintegrating and thus needed to be broken down and replaced with new bricks. An inside wall of 4 ½ inch was then built on the inside of our house with brick. 5 holes had to be broken through the stone wall for 3 windows namely: one in the master bedroom, one in the bathroom and one in the open planned kitchen/living room area. The window sills were built wide enough for a person to be able to sit on them as extra seating and packing place. 2 holes had to be broken for our 2 sliding doors as well: one in the master bedroom and one in the open planned kitchen/living room area which both lead out onto the semi-enclosed courtyard. The sliding doors were then incorporated into the new section of our house that was later added on. The windows and doors are all aluminium as they require no maintenance especially in the harsh Karoo climate. The floors were packed level with round rocks that were found on the farm and were then cemented level and in place. Kilimanjaro tiles were then laid on top of tile cement and grouted to finish the look. The kitchen cupboards were bought at Lotters pine in Bloemfontein and were transported to the farm by us. The kitchen cupboards were also varnished and put in by us. In our kitchen we also have a Formica marble countertop that was an off-cut which we also put in ourselves. The toilet, basin, bath, shower fittings and shower doors were all bought but were put in by us and the plumbing was also self-done. The drain also had to be dug as there wasn’t an existing one and that was a feat on its own as the farm rests on a rock bank. The light fixtures, plugs, switches and wiring were all bought by us. They were installed and wired by my dad but were then checked and connected by a qualified electrician. The 2 inside doors, our bedroom door and the bathroom door, were also all bought but were stained, varnished and installed by us. In our bedroom we have built in cupboards that we outsourced to a contractor to do for us. Honestly, that is the one of the only things in our house that wasn’t done by us except the electrician that had to check and connect our power.
The new section of our house started off as a semi-enclosed courtyard. The outside is also stone with a 4 ½ inch layer of brick on the inside, except for one of the walls in our living room area that we kept stone for aesthetic purposes. The zinc had to be bought but was put in place by us. The ceiling is made from recycled pallet wood that my dad got from a friend that worked on a nearby solar farm and the beams that we used were lying around in the shed. We had to paint the ceiling and the beams as they were covered in marks. The beams and the ceiling boards were obviously not perfect but we wanted to do something sustainable and we also thought that they would add nicely to the rustic ambience of our house. A hole was broken into one of our spare room walls, the wall that borders onto our living room area, because we had to put in a window as the spare room was very dark. The room however was still too dark so we were given a skylight by a family member from Cape Town which was transported by them as a favour to us and we installed it ourselves. In our living room area we have a counter next to our built-in braai that was built by my dad from thick wooden beams repurposed from old lintels and held together by long bolts that were recycled from the beams of other broken down buildings on the farm. There is a built-in braai in our living room area that was done by my dad as well. My husband designed and welded the inside grill of the braai and the coal making section of the braai. Underneath our braai are doors that cover our wood storage section and the doors were built by my husband out of fence droppers that were found around the farm. Our doors in the new section were bought but stained, varnished and installed by my dad. The one door however, the one that leads from our dining room area into our office, is different from the rest. It had to be installed as a sliding door as there was a space limitation so it slides on a rail. Round rocks from the farm were laid in the new section to make it level to our old section, as our house is slightly raised, and was then filled with brown powder coloured cement. Our new sections floor has not yet been sealed with floor sealer/varnish as there is still some moisture in certain areas that is coming up through the cement. A sliding door was bought and installed as the entrance to our living/dining room area and thus our house. Leading from our garden gate to our front door is paving that was self-laid with flat stones found on the farm and cemented by us into place. We have strategically left a place open on one of the living room areas walls that a passage can be built out from and thus our house can be expanded from.
Also listed below are, in less detail, the contents of our home that were personally done.
*I repainted our pine bedside tables. I painted the actual tables white, the bedside table doors mint and the bedside table draws with silver glitter paint. I then sealed everything with matt sealer. (The bedside tables are not completely done yet).
*I repainted our pine dressing table. I painted the actual table with a first coat of yellow and then a second coat of white. I then sanded it for effect and sealed it with a matt sealer. I also painted the dressing table draws as well as the dressing table mirror with silver glitter paint and then sealed them with a matt sealer as well.
*My mother made my husband and I the memory quilt that is draped over the chair in our bedroom.
*I painted the pine chest at the bottom of our bed. I painted it with different brushes and in different layers and consistencies to get the look that I wanted. I painted it with a mixture of white, grey and yellow paint and then sealed it with matt sealer.
*I took one of my husbands Fallow deer antlers and turned it into something that I saw on Pinterest. I painted it coral and stuck flowers to the base of the horns. I hung it above our bed and use it to hang my necklaces off.
*My husband made a coat rack for me using a plank that he sanded down then varnished and for the hooks he used Springbok horns.
*Some of the photos on the wall are old family photos that I salvaged from boxes and framed.
*My husband made me the shelving crate that is above our bath. It used to be for storing tools in my dad’s work room. My husband had to re-sand it and seal it with varnish.
*The pine draws next to our bath were painted baby blue by me.
*I painted our pine bathroom cabinet baby blue as well, to match the pine draws, and replaced its handles with matching ornate handles that I bought.
*I painted the chairs that are under the ‘marble’ kitchen counter, they used to be pine. I painted 3 of them maroon and 2 of them grey. I then stencilled a protea on each of their seats. On the grey chairs I stencilled a maroon protea and on the maroon chairs I stencilled a grey protea.
*My dad fixed the daybed that stands in front of our kitchen window. The daybeds bottom cushion has been ordered and we are just waiting for it to be completed.
*I spray painted our safe with Rustoleum effects spray paint so that it looks ‘softer’ and more natural. It used to be a metallic blue colour.
The dining room area:
The spare room:
*I painted the pine dressing table black and I did decoupage on its draws. Each draws decoupage looks similar but different. The draws have been sealed with a matt sealer already but the dressing table still needs to be sealed.
*I painted the pine dressing table chair as well. I painted the seat black and wrote ‘relax’ on it with white chalk so I had to seal it with a matt sealer spray paint so as not to smudge the chalk writing. I painted the chairs legs with mint green gloss paint.
*The blind that covers the window in the spare room was made by my mom as a present for us. The back of the blind is brown so it matches the colour of the bricks in our living room area as you can see it from the living room area. The front of the blind is an ornate fabric with a beaded finish at the bottom.
*The quilt and the pillows on the bed were done by my mom as a present for us as well.
The living room area:
*I sanded down the serving board in the living room area that was stained with a dark brown stain.
*My husband made the mounted horns that are on the one wall and put them up for me.
*The 2 shelves that are under the counter next to the built-in braai were cut to size, sanded down and put in place by my husband.
*I painted our pine television cabinet an avocado green with white draws and doors. I also replaced its handles with ornate and matching yet mismatching handles.
*The curtain that covers our sliding door was too long so my mom sewed it to size for us.
*The side table next to our couch was plain white and I decided to sand it down as well and its top was sealed with matt sealer.
The rest of the things in our house were bought, donated, lent or inherited. I still have some plans for some of the things in our house but will get to them eventually.
I have tried to explain as well as what I can but one actually needs to come visit our house in order to see everything and listen in depth what has all gone into making this amazing home. I hope you enjoyed reading about this awesome project as much as I enjoyed writing about it.