i first met years ago when we got married, as they were our wedding photographers! since then we have always kept in touch on social media and followed eachother’s lives in that peculiar online way. they bought their first home in the seaside Cape Town suburb of Muizenberg in early 2016, almost exactly when Anton and I had just bought our first house, and so i followed their renovations eagerly while bugging Becs for details (your tiles! the taps! where did you get them??). i also immediately claimed dibs on their before & afters for a potential blog story – and 2 years later here we are. they have turned a tiny beige cottage into a warm, personal and stylish home and i think you’re going to love it.

We wanted to keep our home relatively small & cozy. The downstairs floor plan (minus the mezzanine) is only 70m2. We have two bedrooms and an office (not pictured), and there is space for a second bathroom upstairs when the time comes and finances allow. We had a relatively small renovation budget relative to what we wanted to do, but managed to stretch it a LONG way by sourcing second hand and overstocked products and doing a huge amount  of the work ourselves. was our architect and her services were by far our best investment. Once we had the vision we could run with it.

if you have any questions about the renovations, sources or anything else please ask in the comments and Rebecca will answer you as best she can! All photos by Rebecca & Bruce Meissner.

The House

“Bruce project managed the build and was on site everyday. Once the main construction was done he did a lot of the finishes himself (with the help of numerous friends)”

BEFORE + DURING THE RENO:

AFTER!

The Kitchen

one of the most impressive details is the DIY oak parquet counter-tops which !

BEFORE + DURING THE RENO:

AFTER!

The open plan kitchen area before + after:

The Living Area

BEFORE + DURING THE RENO:

AFTER!

The mezzanine + bedroom loft

BEFORE + DURING THE RENO:

AFTER!

Looking towards the mezzanine area before + after:

THE BATHROOM

BEFORE + DURING THE RENO:

AFTER!

A before + after comparison:

The Garden

“The property is 490m2 so there is lots of outside space. We have plans to extend the living area into the back garden and eventually will move the garage forward to allow for much more garden space along the side of the house. We only have one car so that massive driveway is a waste. The garden is also still getting established but we’ve managed to keep things going well with grey water despite the drought, and with all the rain we’ve had recently even the small lawn is flourishing now! “

BEFORE

AFTER!

33 Comments

  1. Holy shiiiiiit that is GORGEOUS! What a beautiful and stylish transformation 😍

  2. Beautiful renovations! What wooden flooring did they use in the new house?

    • Hey Annari,
      The floors were one of our biggest investments. We’ve always wanted a proper wooden floor and we’re so glad we invested the time and money into finding a good option.
      They are engineered oak. You can use engineered oak straight on concrete (thin foam layer between), whereas pure oak, or pure Oregon Pine requires to be set onto beams, so the wood can breathe. The engineered option is also a bit more affordable than pure hardwood.

      We got ours from Ticktin Timbers in Woodstock actually. Who are mainly a timber supplier, not really a hardwood floor specialist. However they do have engineered oak and we lucked out (I was looking for other wood for something else in our house) and Craig (raddest salesman there) mentioned he had a lot of boxes of already oiled oak flooring! They were the perfect colour/shade of oil and the exact rustic grade we were after and much cheaper than other places, as they were unwanted by a client.
      I jumped on the chance, and that’s how we got our wooden floors!
      We also saved a lot by installing ourselves. (Blood, sweat, tears!)

      I can recommend them highly, they also did our solid oak shelves in the kitchen. They’ve always been super helpful.

      The overstock area/depot at Zimbo’s flooring is also worth exploring. Cheap deals if you find something you’re after!
      I got our brand new parquet floor, which was used for the kitchen countertops there. Apparently no one wants parquet anymore? So I got boxes of it brand new for an absolute steal!

  3. I have been immersed in all angles of the property market for the last year and this is unbelievable inspiring

  4. Would you mind telling me where the lounge curtains are from? I love how delicate they are.
    The whole renovation is just beautiful.

    • Hi Catherine, they are from Mr Price Home and amazingly they are polyester (!) – we wanted linen but didn’t have the budget – these do the trick nicely though :)

  5. Oh, the countertops are amazing, so beautiful! Is the parquet treated with oil or something else?

    • Hi Ingrid,
      I went with a very tough polyurethane sealer called Glatex 8. Made by Plascon.
      I wanted something very tough and low maintenance, but still be able to feel the wood underneath your fingers.
      About 2/3 coats of it worked well. More than that and you’ll start getting that sheened glass look.
      It did yellow the oak slightly, and we wanted to keep it light, but with oil based sealers they generally all will darken/yellow the wood.
      There are some water based non-yellowing sealers, but I’ve learnt from experience, oil-based sealers just last longer.

      Apparently the bar at Springboks is sealed with this, so I thought if its survived that much liquid spillage and traffic, it must be good!
      :)

  6. Really amazing! Your bathroom..GOSH!where is the mirror in the bathroom from? Also,
    I love your bedside tables. Where from?

    • Hi Thandi,
      The mirror comes from Builders Warehouse of all place ;)

      I designed and made the bedside tables.
      The metal legs were done by a friend of mine (as welding is the one skill I haven’t got right yet). And the wood (oak) comes from Ticktin Timbers in Woodstock.

  7. Hi, Rebecca :) I’m dying to know where you got the shower curtain Do you mind sharing?

    • Hi! We ordered it from Target in the USA and got a friend to bring it over for us. They have a great range x

  8. Cecile Blake Reply

    HI there, Really such an inspiring renovation. We are looking to buy and it makes me think twice about passing up on all the bland houses we have seen. My favourite detail is the lead glass window in the loft, was it a 2nd hand find or did you have it set in a new frame? Gorgeous!

    • Hi Cecile!
      We had the lead window made by Hero Stainedglass in Somerset West and Jacob’s Joinery (who made all our windows) made the frame.

  9. Andrea Meyer Reply

    Rebex, your home is beautiful. Love all the natural light and the incredible attention to stunning details.

  10. Hi Bruce & Rebecca,

    Well done on a beautiful renovation. My wife and I bought a smallish 2 bed on a 700sqm plot with the idea to make it our forever home. I’ve toyed with the idea of replacing the roof.

    How long did the renovation take from removing the roof to being able to move back in?

    Secondly, what insulation did you end up going with in the roof?

    Thanks,
    Gavin

    • Hey Gavin,
      That sounds like a really nice spot you’ve got!

      Our whole renovation took about 4/5 months from demolishing the walls to actually moving in.
      There were a couple of other small things I did after we moved in like cupboards and varnishing windows etc, but we were in at least.

      If you are to do any renovations on your place and they involve roof work at some stage, do it first! The amount of dust and mess that a roof involves means that everything else gets wrecked.

      Insulation in roof (in order) is Isoboard, then there’s a layer of Isotherm inside this and then a foil/bubble wrap type material (can’t remember the name), then the roof itself, Colorbond, from Youngmans Roofing.

  11. Absolutely blown away!! I’m obsessed with the Tiny House movement, so this renovation is right up my alley. So divine, every aspect is just beautiful. I especially love the exposed beams and how it just brings so much space and light into the house. Congratulations xx

  12. Beautiful renovation! Could you please share:

    1) Where the hidden brackets/supports came from for your floating shelves? And where you got the shelves?
    2) Where did you purchase your taps?
    3) That teapot tho! Where is it from?

    Fantastic job!

    • Hi Lynn,
      1) We didn’t use any purchased bracket for the floating shelves. None of the ones on the market could hold our shelves, and all floating shelf brackets I’ve used in the past don’t work well, especially with heavy wood like our shelves.
      What I did was drilled a hole in the wall slightly thicker than a solid steel bar (hole around 15mm thick and steel bar around 12mm thick). I cut the steel to the right length’s just using an angle grinder. I seem to remember they went around 200mm into the wall and came out about 150mm, so 350mm long pieces of steel bar).
      I put the bar into the holes, and injected epoxy resin into the holes and while it was setting used a spirit level to get them 100% straight. This resin set really fast and it was really tricky to be honest!
      Once set they were SUPER solid, by this I mean I hung on one and it took my entire body weight!
      Then I drilled holes into the side of the shelves (if you have access to a drill press, use this!) to line up exactly with the bars in the wall. Then it was a matter of lining the holes all up with the bars (I had to slightly bend some of the bars to get them exactly right) and pushing the shelf onto the wall. Most I needed to tap with a rubber mallet to get onto the wall, but it worked great and whoever takes over our house one day will literally have to cut those shelves off the wall!!

      2) We got most of our brass fittings and taps from BRM (Brass Restoration and Manufacture) in Edgmead 0215592333. Chat to Leeroy. They were such legends. I really enjoyed working with them.
      They are also able to dechrome anything. Which means all those nice Cobra taps you find at second hand markets that are chrome, but have a nice design, they can strip that all off the reveal the brass underneath, for very little cost :) generally if a tap fitting is heavy in weight, its got brass under there. If its quite light (and cheap), it probably doesn’t have brass underneath.
      Some of the Brass fittings were from a pawn shop in Maitland. (I can’t remember the name now).

      3) I’m presuming you’re referring to the brass teapot? I have absolutely no clue where Rebecca finds most of the stuff in our house! My guess would be Milnerton Market, a second hand shop of sorts, or friends finding stuff for us. She’ll answer you though :)

  13. Marie Williams Reply

    Holy cow! I’ve never commented on a house renovation before, and I’ve seen 100s, but this one is my favourite. It took my breath away. I love it all! Can I move in with you? Or, failing that, would you come and be the project managers on my kitchen extension?

    Great, great, work,

    Marie

  14. Nice! What colours are the exterior door and the kitchen cabinets?

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