Changing an existing kitchen

If you alter an existing kitchen, you can use a few clever tricks to fix problems without it costing you a fortune. In Marié’s kitchen, the distribution board was in the middle of a wall and very unsightly, but too expensive to move. “We found this open shelf at Nerf-af; the middle section is high and wide enough to accommodate the board ­ we simply removed a section of the back of the shelf and used this to conceal it,”

You designed the kitchen yourself? “I like to get stuck in and do things myself. I’ll drill and chop out and paint if I want something done. It’s part of farm life. I also helped our workers to demolish walls. I planned the new kitchen down to the last millimetre and marked out the cement floor to make sure I’d have enough space to dance around my island. And believe me, I dance in my kitchen regularly!” hat’s your favourite feature? “The pot-filler tap above my stove, and the outlet sink underneath it. It’s very handy if you have a large pot of meat simmering on the stove and need to add water. I saw these taps in Europe and wanted to make my own because you couldn’t get them in SA, but then Willie surprised me and ordered one from America. It has a swing arm so it can be used for any of the pots ­ I’d recommend one for every kitchen.”

Which design element was vital for you? “I’m an avid cook and keen baker. I really wanted lots of work tops and a spot to sit and eat, especially for our three children (Zania, Willem and Anike) and their friends. I’d also always wished for sufficient plug points and a scullery.” hat were your most successful storage solutions? “I grew up with a pantry and will always recommend one. You can never have enough cupboards for extra-large pots, buckets and bulk groceries. The best is that you can close the door on messy days. “I love the drawers in my huge built-in cupboard. This is my solution for all the clutter that forever ends up in a kitchen drawer. My cabinet-maker engraved various labels on the front of the drawers, and Liza Louw, who did the paint technique, painted them bronze.”

What did the renovation entail? “I swivelled the entire floor plan around and designed the new kitchen where the lounge used to be,” Claudia explains. “The old kitchen was demolished completely; that area is now a TV room and lounge. I also demolished the wall between the old kitchen and the lounge for a more contemporary, open feel. “All that remains from the old layout is the travertine floor. The renovation took three months to complete.” ere there any challenges? “I had to put my thinking cap on to create a seamless look going into the laundry room,” says Claudia. “Rather than installing a regular interior door, I used the same white spray-painted cabinet doors for access, so you don’t know that there is another utility room behind the kitchen.”

Were there any challenges? “Space was limited, so we demolished all the internal walls to the back of the house in order to reconfigure the living area,” explain Renée and Janel. The house came to an end after the original kitchen and we landfilled the backyard in order to add additional space for a braai room right next to it.” hat did the renovation entail? “When we demolished the original ceiling, we discovered that there was a vast amount of vertical roof space that would lend a light and spacious feel to the new kitchen. Hans agreed with our suggestion to follow the slope of the roof instead of installing a flat ceiling. We insulated the new ceiling with two layers of Think Pink and used Oregon beams to create mock trusses. Then we turned our attention to designing a farm-style kitchen for easy entertaining.”

Undoubtedly the heart of this open-plan home, the design and layout of Clive Biden’s Montagu kitchen area is both seamless and sensible with all the utilities concealed but still within easy reach: the pantry is a walk-in cupboard, the fridge is behind doors and the kitchen island `hides’ the gas stove from the sitting area. Plus it allows for easy socialising while cooking. Clive made the island and cupboards himself, adding French detail with fleur-de-lis motifs ­ all brought into sharper focus by the natural light streaming in through the French doors and windows that overlook the water feature in the back courtyard. Metro tiles are still big news ­ these days, they’re available in a variety of colours and their classic design ensures that they never really go out of fashion. The kitchen has been tiled right up to the ceiling, creating a striking contrast to the revamped wooden floors and kitchen island. The stainless steel hob, oven and extractor fan give the space a contemporary industrial feel, with the open shelving above the sink reminiscent of a café kitchen ­ perfect for the keen entertainer. >> · Get some comfortable barstools to place around the kitchen counter so your guests can keep you company while you cook. · If you have an `open’ island such as this one, conceal the cylinder for the gas hob in an attractive wooden box underneath the counter ­ and paint it in an accent colour that’s repeated elsewhere in the kitchen.

White and neutral colours are the logical choice for small spaces, but who would have thought that black could work so well? Blackboard paint has become a popular décor touch in many homes (check out the De Goedes’ renovation on page 88) as it not only creates an interesting textured surface, but also provides a space for inspirational quotes or shopping lists. Here, in Leslie and Ian Hurst’s Stellenbosch home, it breaks the white of the kitchen yet it `binds’ the room and creates a cosy feel in this open-plan house. Often, black can also make a wall `disappear’, which helps to create the illusion of greater space.