Fix it with Flair: Meet our 2021 winners

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We were blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of the titleholders in our three categories. See for yourself…

MOST BEAUTIFUL - winner

WHO Derick and Renette Opperman 

WHERE Napier

WHAT Entire home

Their dream to buy and restore a home in the Western Cape became a reality four years ago when Derick and Renette found the perfect house in Napier in the Overberg.However, the building was nothing more than an empty shell with very few internal walls and only one tap with running water.

The couple converted it into a cosy double-volume space by slowly but surely plastering walls, fitting a kitchen, and adding a library on a mezzanine level.Derick and Renettte did most of the work themselves, with limited help from contractors.

“With each completed task, our lovely home’s identity took shape,” says Renette with a satisfied smile.

* See the Oppermans’ complete project in the April 2022 issue of Home, on sale from 11 March.  

MOST BEAUTIFUL - runner up

WHO Maryke and Milan de Wet

WHERE Johannesburg

WHAT Kitchen and living area

“We’ve always loved the old-school charm of Melville homes: the timber floors, pressed ceilings and cottage pane windows,” says Maryke de Wet.

“Our new home had it all, but the kitchen and backyard were a little too outdated.

”To enlarge the small kitchen and living room, the exterior wall and a door that opened onto a tiny back stoep were demolished and the area incorporated into a new open-plan space. Although it was a minor alteration, the transformation was massive. A new roof was fitted onto a steel frame and the cottage panes were extended at the top to let in additional light – this feature became the real showstopper of the renovation.

* See the De Wets’ complete project on page 86 in the new issue.

DIY - winner

WHO Petro and Fanie Kruger

WHERE Cape Town

WHAT Bathroom

Thanks to a profit made from the very first home they renovated, Petro and Fanie Kruger were able to buy this lovely 1950s home.

“She had good bones but was in desperate need of some tender loving care,” explains Petro. “Feeling confident after our DIY renovations at our previous home, this time around we did even more of the work ourselves – from demolition and brickwork to tiling and all the finishing touches,” she says. 

The bathroom was gutted and the wall between the toilet and bathroom removed. The door was moved to the hallway to achieve an open-plan layout. The real game changer was the opening up of the bathroom window and installation of a new wooden sliding door with reeded glass.

Now the bathroom is bathed in natural light and feels much more spacious.

* See the Krugers’ complete project in the August 2022 issue of Home, on sale from 15 July.

DIY - runner up

WHO Dirkie and Nikkie Kotzé

WHERE Wellington

WHAT Kitchen

“We only intended to make a tiny hole in the wall to connect a small outside room with the kitchen to form a scullery,” says Nikkie of what resulted in a full-blown renovation and a cosy farm-style kitchen. 

The kitchen was gutted and extended to the outside room, improving the look and feel of the home significantly. Inside, Dirkie built a fireplace and braai combo and installed a wooden spiral staircase to the loft, while Nikkie was responsible for the finishing touches. “We painted murals, made photo ledges, stencilled the floor and even photographed alpacas to create artworks in our home,” says Nikkie.

* See the Kotzés’ complete project in the April 2022 issue of Home, on sale from 11 March.  

INNOVATION - winner

WHO Wehrner and Annette Lemmer

WHERE Gqeberha

WHAT Hair salon

The craftsmanship and beauty of this “bush salon” made Wehrner and Annette the clear winners in our Innovation category.

In 2020, the couple had to move Annette’s salon from the city centre to their smallholding on the outskirts of town to save on costs.

“The idea was to build the salon in such a way that we could at some stage reinvent the space, either as accommodation or as a retirement home for ourselves,” explains Wehrner.

The wood for the entire structure came from a single invasive Eucalyptus tree, which was cut down in the Langkloof and transported back to the Friendly City. 

The structure was built on site and anchored in a cement base. The couple took a hands-on approach; this way, they could specify the dimensions of the wood required for the nifty box window, for example.

These days, Annette’s clients relish a day trip to this gorgeous out-of-town salon.

* See the Lemmers’ complete project in the May/June 2022 issue of Home, on sale from 22 April.

INNOVATION - runner up

WHO Lodewyk and Mia Pienaar

WHERE Pretoria

WHAT Natural swimming pool

What started out as a ‘job creation venture’ in June 2020 to support local labourers after the first lockdown turned into a six-month project.

“Initially, we just wanted the men to start digging a hole in the ground for a future swimming pool,” says Lodewyk. “That hole grew into a massive project!”

“We set out to install a salt-chlorinated swimming pool, but then the idea of a natural pool that could also serve as a water tank appealed to us,” explains Mia. 

The couple consulted with Wetland Pools, who provided information on plants and the running of a natural pool. For the rest, the Pienaars did everything themselves, including designing and building the pool and planters on the edges for the greenery.

* See the Pienaars’ complete project in the September 2022 issue of Home, on sale from 26 August.

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