Houses have their own personalities and energies, and so when I was introduced to this grand old lady first time around I was quite taken a back, and then quite simply, could not wait to get my hands on her.
From the street all one sees is a door, and not the prettiest at that, but oh, when you get your first glimpse of the giant ferns in the front garden you realise there is something magical here.
Beautiful wooden floors, and lush jungle like garden in front with subtle detailing throughout, like an inherited string of pearls around her wrinkly neck….getting the picture?
Lovingly nicknamed the Jungalow, I am going to be taking you along for the ride from our conceptual planning of this space, through each phase we enter.
The last two weeks we have stripped her back to her lingerie (no granny pants here), sanded, chopped, stained and painted, making sure we have a solid base to now build upon. There has been blood, sweat (we chose the hottest day in October to replace the garage roof) and a few tears (no, not really but it helps with the analogy), but she is looking magnificent…waiting patiently for her next layer of clothes.
*Photography by Alex du Toit
To start conceptualising this space I focused on 2 key elements to pull the design together:
- Considering who the client is – their personalities, likes and dislikes and ultimately what the space is being used for. As a designer you want to create a space that reflects them and their needs, but also pushes their boundaries a little giving them what they love without them even knowing it.
The Jungalow’s new owners travel an insane amount and thus I wanted to create a space that could encapsulate this sense of global wanderings. They also love entertaining, and being active and outdoors.
This enabled us to include fun elements like:
- an outdoor shower (my plumber found it rather amusing when I announced– “Its kiting season, didn’t you know? It’s crucial the sand stays outdoors!”)
- converting an existing garage space into an insane sports man cave complete with bar counter hatch (watch out ladies all your men will want one!)
- an en-suite sun room/ true jungalow
- Considering the space itself – you need to treat the foundations with respect, this is about enhancing features not complete plastic surgery. That doesn’t mean that the sky isn’t the limit, but if the bones are there already, treat them with respect.
See the full mood board here.