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Sensitive renovations and extensions to a family home

Sensitive renovations and extensions to a family home

This family home in Vainona has been extensively remodelled without compromising the original look and feel. The current family member had added two new wings to the house – a bedroom wing and a generous extension to the lounge and living area. Working with Liz Howes from Howes and Homes he’s recently added a double garage, a new verandah and outside entertainment space, and renovations and improvements to the domestic quarters. He’s achieved all of this while preserving the integrity and personality of the home and at the same time creating an extraordinary lush, tropical garden hidden at the back of the house.

The previous extensions included the bedroom wing with two guest bedrooms – each with their own distinct look and feel – and a shared bathroom with an elegant free standing tub. One bedroom is decorated with a blue and white colour palette and has a double bed with a white painted bed stand with small turned bedposts. The other bedroom has a teak and rattan headboard, and although the bed dressing favours softer pinks and creams it feels somehow more masculine – perhaps because of the romantic art work above the headboard.

Both bedrooms have windows overlooking the front garden so they’re light and sunny. The windows are broken up into smaller square panels with chunky white aluminium frames that are new replacements but in keeping with the overall design. These frames are repeated throughout the home and echo what were probably originally steel ‘Crittall’ frames.

The bedrooms are separated by a small wall at the end of the passage painted in pistachio and brown stripes that look like wallpaper. This wing of the house also has the owner’s study/home office dominated by a large antique sailing ship in a glass display cabinet.

The second new wing is made up of a generous lounge extension with windows running along both sides. One side looks out to the front garden while the other side has full height doors and windows opening to the new verandah with views of the pool and the extraordinary water feature in the garden. The new section is made up of an open plan dining area and an elegant formal lounge.

The dining room is dominated by a beautiful antique oak table, with cabriole legs ending in castors, which can comfortably seat eight. The open plan dining room and lounge are separated from the more cosy TV lounge by a double-sided fireplace and chimney breast. The furnishings throughout are comfortable and functional with a few select good quality antique pieces to add warmth and interest to the large spaces.

The owner has installed new solid teak floors throughout the central part of the home which includes the two lounges, the dining room, the bar and the kitchen.  The floors were originally installed by Pride of Africa and recently sanded and resealed by Interfloors (Integrated Flooring and Maintenance) – under the supervision of Howes and Homes.

Howes and Homes also repainted the entire house, both inside and out, as well as restoring cornices and ceilings where needed, and the skirtings were repainted in crisp white. On one wall of the lounge the existing wallpaper proved to be difficult to remove so Howes and Homes painted over the wallpaper creating a sort of hessian textured feel.

The core of the house has been reconfigured and now contains the open plan kitchen, a bar and entertainment area and, of course, the master suite. The kitchen,  designed and installed by Easy Life Kitchens, is modern and functional with all the necessary convenient appliances. A nice feature is the folding windows above the sink so you can look out over the back courtyard while doing the washing up!

The bar is a comfortable area for grown-up entertaining with a unique bar counter custom made by Brigette Lotter. High bar stools – with backs – and mirrored shelves for bottles complete the intimate, informal look.

And then there’s the master suite. The spacious bedroom is mostly simple and uncluttered with large folding doors along one wall opening to a private verandah overlooking the amazing back garden water feature. Behind the bed a paint effect feature wall adds interest to an otherwise simple and unadorned space. The overall effect is tranquil and suitably relaxing. There’s a dressing area leading to a spa like bathroom and outdoor double shower set in lush, tropical planting.

Howes and Homes are responsible for the latest renovations and additions. They’ve added a large verandah along the side of the lounge and dining room, bridging the gap between the garden and the interior. The verandah also helps to control the sun that previously poured into the lounge a little too intensely bleaching the wood floors and any furniture nearby. The verandah is huge, measuring approximately 13 metres by 4½ metres.

Howes and Homes has copied the paving around the pool (by Set in Stone) so that the verandah seems to extend out to the pool and garden. When it was first built the verandah roof allowed storm water to flood the area- but Howes and Homes added a small roof extension which has solved the problem. The Chromadek roof has a bleached pine tongue and groove ceiling and the end wall, furthest from the bar, has a textured stone-like wall finish that blends with the wall behind the Jacuzzi. (Howes and Homes also installed the Jacuzzi – a first for them!)

The verandah now comfortably accommodates two lounging spaces, a dining area and a wall unit for serving food and drinks. Together with the pool and Jacuzzi (and of course the wonderful water feature) it’s an entertainer’s dream.

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Howes and Homes also extensively renovated the quarters for the domestic staff, adding a roofed in courtyard clad, in part, with translucent polycarbonate roof sheets from Classicom, an outdoor cooking and dining area, and renovating the existing bathroom.

Howes and Homes also built the new parking garage block which incorporates a laundry and storeroom. The new block, designed by InArc Design, fits in perfectly with the existing structure. They’ve copied the gable ends from the main house which look like a modified and modernised version of Cape Dutch gables. The gables have a small window below and are squared off, unlike the traditional curvy Dutch gables. Howes and Homes found a local manufacturer, Alumex Glass and Aluminium, to exactly copy the imported window frames both below the gables and throughout the new build. Who says Zimbabweans can’t compete on the international market?

For more information about Howes and Homes:

Call Liz Howes on: 0772 253 236


-text Michael Nott

-photos Structure and Design

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