Beach Cottage Makeover

After

After

A sea or lagoon-view house in Sedgefield is now only available to the rich – or those who bought before the property boom. We’re not rich, just  lucky enough to have bought early.

 

The first house we bought was old, solid and in a desirable position. It was also cheap, as South African property was still in the doldrums. We spent a couple of years doing it up, mostly aesthetically, and sold it for a substantial profit. We then used that money to buy an ugly house with fantastic views. 

A shoestring budget  made us creative when it came to renovating and decorating. It’s amazing what you can do with a small amount of money and a large amount of sweat.  All the houses with sea views in this part of the world face south – the wrong direction for light and winter warmth in the Southern hemisphere. Our house was dark and pokey – brown walls, dark floors and black  bookshelves built-in around the fire place. We sanded the floors and painted them white, along with the walls and the bookshelves.  It suddenly looked beachy and very light.
Lounge before

Lounge before

Lounge after

Lounge after

The kitchen is small and had been done up in pale brown and yellow – even the tile grouting was a virulent yellow! The floor had a multi-hued lino on it. Once again we got the white paint – painting the walls, the tiles (they need a special undercoat, after which you can paint them with ordinary paint), and the melamine cupboards (also need an undercoat). We replaced the plastic yellow cupboard handles with steel ones and put black and white ceramic tiles on the floor. The tiles were the only costly item, and the small size of the floor made it pretty affordable. The cost of the paint and  handles was negligable.
Kitchen before

Kitchen before

Kitchen after

Kitchen after

The quickest, cheapest and most rewarding way of transforming a cottage is by doing up the garden. We only plant indigenous stuff and we rarely pay for any of the plants. Local flora grows easily from cuttings and we are complete scroungers. Taking a small careful cutting and putting it in your garden is not theft – it’s propagation!
We have large rain water tanks and by getting rid of most of the lawn (dead carpet that it is) we don’t need too water much to keep the garden looking great.
Garden before - looking left

Garden before - looking left

Garden left after - driftwood is free and adds interest

Garden left after - driftwood is free and adds interest

Garden before - looking right

Garden before - looking right

Garden after - looking right

Garden after - looking right

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