Renovation : Diningroom and lounge makeover

The best words I can use to describe this look is Industrial Farmhouse!

LOL! Think it’ll catch on?! I needed to come up with a name after I got some very concerned looks from friends when I explained what we were going to do with the house.

You remember my last blog post showing you the renovated bathrooms? Well, it’s about time I showed you a bit of the rest.

As I mentioned in my last post, and some of the other posts about our renovation, we needed to replace all the tiles because they were awful… and the big thing, the main thing, we aimed to do in this renovation was bring light into the house.

Our house was very dim with cream walls and dark wooden beams on the ceiling… and at night it was even worse because the light fittings in the house were terrible and didn’t light up the house at all.

This is what it looked like:

So, here’s what we did to the rest of the house…

1. Replaced the tiled floors with Cemcrete (grey Colour Hardener). We wanted the unfinished concrete look, so are quite happy that the floors change as they get older.

2. Replaced every single light fitting. This was a problem, because of the lack of ceilings in the house, and we were stuck with getting wall fittings, unless we rewired everything… so we opted for spot lights and managed to find something we both liked.

3. Painted every single wooden beam white. I think the builder cursed us a few times once he got going, he needed to paint them 3 times! And he did the entire house… this has made an enormous difference, and the whole house feels bigger and more airy.

4. Painted the dark wooden staircase grey. Strange, I know, but our other option was white, and that would not have worked with a house of boys and huskies. I’m thrilled with the stairs! They work so much better than I thought they would.

5. Painted all the walls a very pale grey (incl all the bedrooms and the study).

6. Replaced all the old inside doors and handles with new panelled doors… the cheapest part of the renovation and it’s made a huge difference!

7. Replaced all the brown wooden blinds with white wooden blinds (incl all the bedrooms and the study).

8. Replaced the old dining room chairs with new ones that I found online at Robert Thomson. I was about to buy similar chairs at Mr Price Home, and then found these. I’m thrilled I did, because these are so much more sturdy!

9. Bought new rugs and pale grey curtains from Mr Price Home.

10. Ooh and we replaced the old steel framed sliding patio door with a new aluminium door.

And this is what it looks like now…


See that old cabinet? It was our old teak TV cabinet that I’ve now repurposed into a wine cupboard… I found awesome wooden wine storage boxes that fit in the cupboard beautifully.

The persian rug that was in the dining room has been moved to the lounge to get more colour into the space… although the jury is still out on that one. We may move it upstairs to the study.

My Joburg skyline looks amazing under the new lights… oh and every single piece of art, apart from the images in the bedrooms are “made by me” :)

The passage is crying out for a new rug and the photo walls to get put up properly… with new frames and a lot of new images.


All this has made an enormous difference to the house. The house feels bigger. It’s airy. It’s light for the first time ever! We don’t even need to turn on all the lights at night to read a book…

What still needs to be done? The photo walls down the passage need to be put back together again… with new frames. We need a “something” to hang on the one huge wall in the dining room, it’s double volume, so whatever we choose needs to be big. We need a new piece of art for the entrance area because the old one is red and orange and won’t work there anymore. And then of course, we need to start thinking about replacing the patio and repainting the outside of the house!

So, what do you think?

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Cousins and friends in the pool

I didn’t have a shoot yesterday. I planned my weekend that way. I needed to run a long run to prepare for my 21km race… so knew that if I ran I would be too tired for a photo session.

Instead we had friends and family over for a braai. It was awesome!

The kids spent most of their time in the pool… and a little bit of time playing XBox… but most of the time outside, and they all looked shattered when they went home… the sign of a good day :)

Erin and Carmen loved having another girl to play with instead of just boys, and were inseparable. As Bradley said “new besties that’ll only see each other when we have a braai”… guess we’ll just have to organise more braais ;)

They were also so sweet, they managed to find one fluffy dog in the house that they carried around and played with the whole afternoon… there wasn’t anything else girly around!

Check the purple lips! LOL they were freezing by then!

I love Sundays in summer!


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At the Pretoria Zoo with a 50mm

This is the second time we’ve been to the Pretoria Zoo… also known as the National Zoo. And this time, I could see what the fuss was about… other than the lack of decent food outlets. It’s quite a special place.

They are renovating parts of it, and the lions must be chomping at the bit to get back to the spacious enclosure… but on the whole I thought it was great. Loved that the rhino’s space was HUGE compared to the Joburg Zoo. Did feel that the tanks in the aquarium were a little cramped.

But, maybe it’s because the kids are bigger, and can both read etc, but I LOVED all the write ups at the animals enclosures. There were stories and proper maps… and the kids chatted non-stopĀ about the level of endangerment marked on a scale at each enclosure.


I don’t even think I noticed this fountain last time we went. It’s gorgeous!! The plaque on it had Sammy Marks name as well as the date 1903. Shows how old the zoo is! It also made me take more note of the older enclosures that have mostly been turned into offices… there’s a few photos from the facades at the end of the post. The kids were horrified when I explained where the carnivores were kept in the 1930’s and the bears in 1911!! I couldn’t help wondering what was in the building marked 1902!

Of course, a trip to the Pretoria zoo cannot be without a trip on the cable cars :)

The view from the top is just spectacular! Especially at this time of the year with all the jacarandas in bloom

We opted to walk back down the hill instead of taking the cable car… we love the old lookout points above the lion and tiger enclosures… so much fun!


Then another highlight… going into the massive aviary! We didn’t do that the last time. The kids had a ball climbing up to all the levels :)


Loved the gorgeous cheetah :) I took this through the fence, by the time I walked around the corner, he’d moved on.

We saw much more of the zoo than we did the last time, and I saw animals I’ve never seen before ever! And yes, there aren’t many animal photos in this post… I would have taken more animal shots if I’d taken a longer lens! This was all taken with a 50mm.

The kids are a little disappointed that I didn’t take photos of their favourite animals… the baby ring-tailed lemurs. We stood at the lemurs for ages giggling at the baby lemurs bouncing around the adults. They were so cute!


If you’re wondering about the day… it’s half term, and I took the day off to spend with the kids :)

I’m completely shattered!

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Earphones in


Decided that I needed to take a photo tonight.

Not the most artistic… but OMW I’m so thrilled at the difference in the light in the house! This was taken at 9pm, I could not have even bothered trying before the renovations… even with the fancy camera that I have.

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Kids in the water

It’s so hot today… and the coldness of the aircons at work are making go a little loopy! I took the photos of the kids a few weeks ago, when they were swimming at my parent’s house. How bad am I? To be fair, I couldn’t find the CF card that these images were on, […]

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Renovation : Bathrooms during and after

It’s about time I blogged about the renovations and shown you what it looks like now! We did quite a bit, from the replacement of the living room, dining room, passage floors, to the repainting of the whole house, replacement of all the doors and light fittings in the house, as well as completely renovating […]

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A love letter just for me

Connor, my cuddly child, loves writing me little notes. I bought him a new pencil yesterday, which he needed to test out… so he grabbed the first piece of paper he could find and wrote me a little love letter. I love these little notes. I should be keeping them, but taking photos of them […]

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Lunch with Lauren at Delta Cafe

When I do shoots at Delta Park, which is often, my clients often ask me where the closest coffee shop is… and to be honest, there really haven’t been many places to send them to, other than traipsing to Linden or Parkhurst. Then I read a post on Kate’s blog about a new place called […]

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This year’s iPhoneographySA exhibition in Joburg

It’s that time of the year again… for the 3rd year in a row, the iPhoneography exhibition took place at the iStore in Sandton. It’s a one night only exhibition, and showcases photos taken with iPhones and edited on iPhones… or iPads actually. This year was HUGE compared to the last 2 years. It didn’t […]

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100km this month

Every month at Run Walk for Life, you get encouraged to set a goal for the month… it apparently gets you motivated. Apparently they’re right, because that goal setting works for me. LOL! This month my goals were to run 100km, and to do one run of 15km. I’ve achieved both! During September I: ran […]

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