Designing a new home is a completely different experience to renovating an existing home. Very often clients end up with a far larger home than they feel comfortable living in once completed, resulting in dissatisfaction and eventual selling. It is very important to contain ones ideas and realise that bigger is not necessarily better. One has to imagine oneself in the spaces designed and that is the job of the designer who must give constructive guidance here. It’s often much more cost effective to renovate an existing home than it is to build a new home, as with building there are many hidden costs such as garden landscaping, perimeter enclosures, security, interior finishes which often are taken for granted in an existing home but form an integral part.
See how we designed and built this lovely home in Langebaan Country Estate, Langebaan. Before and after photo’s.
Langebaan Renovations Company – Living Design is a small Cape Town and Langebaan based company owned by Wendy Holmes, specializing in house renovations and the creation of beautiful homes, typically from old and ordinary houses. Whilst she also take on the building of new houses, Wendy’s passion lies in the transformation of houses from ordinary to spectacular, her main strength being her vision and ability to see potential in old buildings and to creatively convert them to suit her clients’ needs. She is also a very ‘hands on’ project manager thereby ensuring surprisingly short construction programmes but at the same time controlling quality and cost.
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A French country style is what Wendy Holmes, the owner of this quaint home, wanted to achieve. An architect, interior designer and the owner of Living Design, she developed the concept and house plan for the home.
“We wanted our home to have different textures in the finishes, hence the exposed brick walls and steel beams. The house had to be warm and welcoming, with as little waasted space as possible and that is why there are no passages,” she says.
Capturing the view of the golf course and dam in front of their home was on the top of the list, not to mention the importance of privacy.
The owners have managed to incorporate the best of all seasons with a living area that is flexible. “In summer it feels part of the outdoors, as it opens up completely to the patio and garden. In winter it can easily be made cosy with the fireplace, and best of all, it’s the central part of the house, so family and friends are always in touch,” she says.
The modern, yet rustic, feel of the home is cosy and inviting. The kitchen, with it’s wooden centrepiece, white countertops and modern conveniences, oozes home comfort and family fun. The furnishings blend well. “We wanted to bring in the colours of the surrounding area, such as blues and greens, and we spent time choosing finishes that are natural, inviting and easy to live with,” she says.