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Home Makeover Jess and Pat

Meet Jess and Pat, a young, fun-loving newlywed couple from Cape Town looking to turn their 2 bedroom rental into a more stylish, liveable space until they purchase their dream home. Whilst creating a comfortable home is important, the couple need to be sensitive to the rules of living in their rented apartment. We took on the challenge of a budget-friendly makeover, to help this newlywed couple transform their space into something that feels a little more like home.

 

THE STORY | THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE MAKEOVER

Jess and Pat are a professional newlywed couple living in Cape Town. Jess works a high profile job in government, and Pat is a busy entrepreneur, which often results in early mornings and late nights for this dynamic duo.

After moving to Cape Town in 2013, the couple secured a fantastic rental in Green Point. After relocating from London, they hit the ground running with new jobs and packed schedules. They decorated the apartment when they could, by squeezing in a few after hours shopping trips to purchase the essentials. Engaged at the time, they intended to purchase their first property together after the wedding, putting decorating their space on the back-burner.

By mid 2015 the couple had almost two years in Cape Town and a wedding under their belt, and started the house hunting process. As many newlyweds can relate, Jess and Pat were on the hunt for their first home, only to be met with exorbitant Cape Town property prices. The couple decided to extend their lease for another year in order to save for their dream home rather than settle for something they didn't love.

After almost 18 months in their apartment and with another year ahead, Jess was finally fed up with "waiting to live". Finding herself doing her make up from the bedroom floor in the mornings and resenting the dining room table and chairs they had bought in a rushed late night shopping trip as a last resort. As a couple who are enthusiastic about cooking, entertaining and drinking wine, they wanted a warm and inviting space to entertain friends and family, as well as a comfortable living space to retreat to after a busy day. 

 

THE APARTMENT | THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

The apartment is a lovely, bright 2 bedroom in Green Point. Situated in a well-maintained older block, the apartment benefits from larger rooms - the master bedroom in particular is of a good size.  The apartment also has a great open balcony with lovely city views. The large, open windows bring in loads of natural light, making this a light and airy space.

The kitchen and bathroom have been modernised in recent years and don't require much addition, not that this would be a viable option as the couple are only renting.  The focus of the makeover will therefore be the open plan lounge/ dining room, balcony and master bedroom.

As all renters know, it's not an option to make any major changes so the challenge is to create a warm, cosy and inviting space without any painting or major changes and within a small budget.

 

THE VERDICT | GUIDELINES FOR THE MAKEOVER

Jess and Pat want to add warmth and soul to their living and dining area, whilst making the master bedroom more comfortable and practical. Though it's not their main focus, we think the balcony could offer a great seating and entertainment area to relax after work or on weekends, especially with Summer on the way.

Jess has unfussy style, she prefers neutral tones and clean, simple lines. Her go-to colour is blue in all shades and forms. As a couple, they want a more pleasant ambience for relaxing and entertaining, without anything too bright, bold or over the top. Ideally they'd like items which they can take with them when they move out.

 

BEFORE | THE LOUNGE

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

 

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BEFORE | THE DINING AREA

   

 

 

AFTER | THE LOUNGE & DINING AREA

The lounge and dining area have undergone a huge transformation in the past weeks. We've lightened up the space and pulled it together with a stone and blue colour palette that brings these rooms to life. For the most part, we repurposed and reused existing items, keeping costs down to a minimum, adding new accents that make maximum impact to both the style and the comfort of the space. Here are the results:

AFTER | HOW WE TRANSFORMED THE DINING ROOM

 

1. WE USED CHAIR SLIP COVERS

The dining room was a bad combination of dark wood and dark leather chairs that were draining the light out of the space and creating a stark contrast against a large, blank white wall on the one side and a messy bookshelf on the other. The biggest impact in the dining room was achieved by creating slip covers for the dining chairs using affordable, linen-look fabrics. We used "Boucle Linen" from range Simplicity for the plain covers, a fantastic cost-effective option that is easy to pop into the washing machine for cleaning. To add some character, we created slip covers in "Globe Ocean" from collection Cosmos for the two head chairs. 

 

2. WE WHITE- WASHED THE DINING TABLE

The dining room table was one of Jessica's pet hates in the room, but one of the easiest to address. Picking up on some white-washed accessories she already had around the house, we applied the same technique to the table, using two coats of white paint. A simple white wash transformed what was actually a fantastic table. 

We accessorised with a brass tray we found hidden in a kitchen cupboard, topped with some fresh flowers.

3. WE CREATED BUDGET-FRIENDLY WALLPAPER ART 

To address the stark walls without repainting or applying wallpaper, we repurposed and repainted old wooden frames that we picked up on Gumtree and used them to frame wallpaper samples we had leftover from some of our Prestigious Wallpaper collections, hanging the larger frame above the dining table and the three smaller frames down the right hand side of the wall to balance out the bookshelf on the left. To see how we created this wallpaper art for under R200, take a look at our "how to" article online here.

4. WE STYLED THE BOOKSHELF WITH WALLPAPER AND ACCESSORIES

We held back on painting the bookshelf to avoid making the space too "matchy-matchy" and overly white. We did however add some extra interest by adding wallpaper randomly to some of the panels,  and re-arranging the accessories to create a neater, more stylish feature. We cleared out the messy books, opting to keep only the necessary items. Again, a little re-arranging and some light tweaks cost very little and transformed the bookshelf. The addition of some hanging frames to the right also balanced out this large piece.

5. WE CREATED HANGING LIGHTING

One of our favourite additions to the dining area was the lighting feature we added above the dining table. The space lacked lighting above the table, and whilst it was not an option to hang a permanent fixture to this rental, we used gut and small white ceiling hooks to hang glass tea light holders of various sizes at different heights. The result was an interesting decor feature that creates a soft l lighting option for evening entertaining and an interesting design element during the day. 

 

AFTER | HOW WE TRANSFORMED THE LOUNGE

The lounge was bland and stark and missing a feeling of comfort and luxury. Whilst Jess and Pat had invested in a great tv cabinet and lovely modern couch, these pieces needed some styling to bring the room to life. 

 

1. WE ADDED SCATTER CUSHIONS TO THE COUCH

One area where we did invest a little was by adding custom-made scatter cushions to the couch. This not only added a real feeling of luxury (it doesn't even look like the same couch anymore!), it also added some much needed comfort. By removing the back cushions that came with the couch and replacing the bad quality scatters with large, plush, feather-filled cushions we made a huge difference to the look and feel of the room. We chose a combination of "Albery Linen" from the Charterhouse collection, "Earth" and "Slate" from the Saxon collection, and "Celeste Dove" from the Andiamo collection to make up these cushions.

TOP TIP: Don't skimp on your scatters! They have the ability to not only transform the look of a room, but also the perfect opportunity to add extra comfort to your seating arrangement.


2. WE CREATED FABRIC WALL PANELS

The tv cabinet was being dwarfed by the blank white walls behind it. It was a large space to fill without painting, so we created easy DIY wall panels using wooden frames, a staple gun and a beautiful blue and white stripe from the Wedgewood collection to create maximum wall coverage on a small budget. We re-used the existing lamp which now looks more at home against the wall panel.

 

3. WE ADDED FEATURE VASES TO THE WINDOWSIL & UPGRADED THE OTTOMANS

The apartment has wonderful natural light coming in from the windows and it's a nice feature in the room. Ideally, we would have liked to add curtains to frame the windows and create a softer, more luxurious look, however, it wasn't possible due to the layout of the windows and door. Instead we opted to add a pop of fresh colour with long, thin glass vases, filled with simple lilies. The result finished off the room and draws attention away from the old blinds.

Jess and Pat had two shabby looking ottomans that had really seen their day. In a small space with limited seating and storage options, these small ottomans can really come in handy. Judging by the state of the ottomans, we could see these were hardworking little cubes, so we had slip covers made up in heavy duty upholstery fabric "Twist Atlantic" from the Ditsy Collection.

Using square trays that were previously used as bedroom side tables, we placed these behind the couch to store Jess's candle collection. It's a nice feature to separate the lounge from the dining room, and these can be moved around as additional seating or side tables when guests come round.

 

All in all these small changes made a massive impact to the open plan lounge and dining room, completely transforming the living area of this rented apartment without spending a fortune.

 

TAKE A LOOK AT THE OTHER ROOMS:

 

BEFORE | THE MASTER BEDROOM

  On the bright side - the master bedroom is a great size and filled with natural light. One of the main concerns is the lack of storage and a dressing table for Jess in the mornings, leaving her to get ready from the floor.

 

On the bright side - the master bedroom is a great size and filled with

natural light. One of the main concerns is the lack of storage and a dressing

table for Jess in the mornings, leaving her to get ready from the floor.

  The bedroom benefits from wall to wall windows, creating great light during the day and city view at night, however the current blinds are cold and lack personality, as well as not providing enough coverage against the summer morning sunrise.

 

The bedroom benefits from wall to wall windows, creating great light

during the day and city view at night, however the current blinds are

cold and lack personality, as well as not providing enough coverage

against the summer morning sunrise.

  The queen bed is a nice size and the couple have invested in good quality white linen. The space just lacks a headboard to give the bedroom a more finished look and additional comfort. The bed frill is ill fitting and making the bed look untidy.

 

The queen bed is a nice size and the couple have invested in good quality

white linen. The space just lacks a headboard to give the bedroom a more

finished look and additional comfort. The bed frill is ill fitting and making

the bed look untidy.

  The bedside tables and lamps were bought in another late night shopping trip and they are not to scale, being swallowed by the room and backdrop of the white walls making the room feel cold.

 

The bedside tables and lamps were bought in another late night shopping

trip and they are not to scale, being swallowed by the room and backdrop

of the white walls making the room feel cold.

 

BEFORE | THE BALCONY

  It's a luxury to have a balcony with a view and this could turn into a great  additional entertainment space.

 

It's a luxury to have a balcony with a view and this could turn into a great 

additional entertainment space.

  The balcony is a little on the small side and the current furniture and decor choices aren't maximising this bonus area.

 

The balcony is a little on the small side and the current furniture and decor

choices aren't maximising this bonus area.

 

COMING SOON | MORE AFTER SHOTS!

We'll be revealing the "after" pictures of the bedroom and outside area in the coming weeks. Subscribe to make sure you don't miss out on more makeover transformations and decor inspiration!