PLAYING THE HUES
Moving easily between the interior and exterior of this beach house, a touch of turquoise on the horizon visible through lush trees, it’s easy to forget where in the world you are. And it’s easy to forget that a year ago this modern open-plan home a short stroll from Langebaan Lagoon was worn-out and dated.
The dining room above is an example of the strategic use of Mandarin Tusk (EC 49) and Bovine (EC 47), offset by the crisp white of the staircase and ceiling, painted in Plascon Velvaglo, as well as the use of abundant indoor plants.
The transformation is quite something.
The house, which had been rather oddly laid out, needed some imagination and TLC. It had been on the market for a couple of months when owner Michael Brown came to view it and saw the potential where others hadn’t. It was what he calls “an old dog”, his term of endearment for a forgotten gem in the right area code. He points out several as we walk around Langebaan; Michael has a knack for spotting promise.(See all the before images in the gallery at the bottom of this page.)
The boundary wall and portico and the raised beds in the courtyard were painted with Plascon Wall & Wall Exterior in Bovine (EC 47); and the entrance hall with Plascon Cashmere, also in Bovine. Michael made the mirror frame using offcuts of sappling poles from the pergola, painted in two light coats of Plascon Velvaglo.
He took on the poky five-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom, ’70's house and turned it into an immensely live-able four-bedroom and four-bathroom home. “My intention,” he says, “was to create an open plan, beachy, modern way of living with more light, space and freedom to move around the house.” Now, there are natural areas for shared activity and ones for privacy, but you never feel disconnected or far from the action.
Adding open-plan en-suite bathrooms to three of the bedrooms helped to update the house, which previously had only one-and-a-half bathrooms. On either side of the bed, Michael installed simple wall lamps on wooden brackets, also painted in Bovine (EC 47).
The renovation took seven months. It started with shifting the footprint of the house and redirecting the flow to focus on key living areas. This meant reclaiming and leveling the generous front garden. Now, the open-plan lounge and two front bedrooms open out to the veranda with its built-in seating, pool and outdoor shower, extending the living and entertainment areas..
At the back of the house, a weatherproof entertainment area was created by transforming a built-in braai area off the kitchen into a courtyard. Durable aluminium windows and stacking doors replaced mismatched wooden door and window frames.
The kitchen was opened up and modernised into a light, bright space with an L-shaped bar separating it from the dining room (once the lounge), which flows to the lounge (once the garden), then to the veranda and the garden beyond.
The modern kitchen opens out to the courtyard. Laminate flooring in a light oak replaced carpets, and large tiles in a similar hue were laid in the bathrooms.
Aluminium-framed stacking doors replaced wooden window frames, opening up the rooms to the outside. The main bedroom’s doors open to the patio with its built-in seating and pool. The en-suite wet room opens to a courtyard, where the walls are painted with Plascon Wall & All Exterior in Bovine (EC 47).
The contemporary feel has been further emphasised by the choice of a classic palette. Plascon Wall & All Exterior in the rich Bovine (EC 47) was applied to the newly constructed boundary wall and portico. Interior and exterior walls were painted in Mandarin Tusk (EC 49), with Bovine used strategically on statement walls.
“The colours are modern and easy to live with,” says Michael. “And despite the limited palette, the two tones look different in every application.”
In the bright midday sun, Mandarin Tusk on the exterior walls veers to a crisp, clean white; inside, its shadows change from a grey to blue, beautifully offset by the white ceilings and beams painted with Plascon Double Velvet. In the garden, Bovine brings out the intensity of the greens of the vegetation.
When he’s not paddling on the turquoise lagoon or walking his dog on the beach, Michael can usually be found chilling at home. It’s easy to see why.
“I am proud of the freedom the layout has created,” he says. “I love opening the whole place up and entertaining. It has a relaxing, sociable atmosphere, which I believe reflects the mood of Langebaan.”
PHOTOGRAPHS: JAN RAS
PRODUCTION: SUMIEN BRINK
TEXT: AMELIA BROWN