Home Makeover: From Shoddy to Holiday Destination with Dulux

Every space, big or small, has the potential to be something magical. And when Dulux launched their colour of 2019, Crème Brulee, and asked us to create said magic, we knew a little rondawel on Germarie’s farm was going to makeover heaven very soon. We didn’t grasp how many hours of painting would have to go into this little spherical home, but it was all worth it. Now, the rondawel is a bright and cheerful space that is a joy to stay in!

Here is what went on behind the scenes!

Rondawel Reveal_Home makeover before

The rondawel was in a shoddy, but admittedly colourful, state. However, the interior called for a neutral canvass as the original colours were dated and mismatched. Some of the stone interior walls may look like natural stone (and they are underneath the paint) but is a faux stone paint effect that had to go. Electrical wiring was one of the first to-dos on the list with a proper kitchen unit hot on its heels.

home makeover mood board and paint

We really did receive bucket loads of paint. We received paint in the full complimentary palette: rich Crème Brulee, a gorgeous berry red, charcoal, cool teal, pale grey and a soft, dusty pink. Germarie aimed to keep the walls relatively neutral, except for a Crème Brulee feature wall, with the pops of colour in repurposed furniture and décor.  For the detailed list of colours and Dulux paint codes, click on this link!

Armed with loads of colour, we were ready to get our hands dirty.

1// The Walls & Floor

home makeover upcycled floor

After the electrical was all sorted, we painted the interior walls, ceiling, and window trim in crisp white. It’s strange how oppressive the previous blue and brown wall colours made the room feel. Now that it was all white we could finally take a step back, breathe and see its true potential.


Since the rondawel is spherical and built with river stone, we needed a flat surface for wall décor and to conceal electrical wiring. Germarie decided to add two complementary MDF panels that were painted a dusty pink. We also gave the floor a coat of charcoal epoxy to finish the base of the interior.

2// The Furniture

Then we moved on to the furniture. I started with smaller pieces first — especially those I could move out of the rondawel to dry, which enabled me to get going on bigger pieces. Our focus was on painting as many items as possible to show that most pre-loved décor and furniture can be made amazing again.

home makeover painted furniture side table

I loved painting these little compressed wood side tables. These tables are inexpensive and sturdy which mean many homes have one, but they tend to end up with a tablecloth of some sort on top of them.

The texture of the compressed wood is not ideal, and I was sceptical about the effect the paint would have. But, I was so thrilled when Dulux’s acrylic paint soaked into the wood and formed a smooth layer on top! The top layer still has a little texture to it, but it’s not rugged. I love it and would definitely use this specific type paint for a similar project again.

home makeover painted furniture

A vintage armchair got a dramatic berry red makeover, finished with newly upholstered cushions with fabric from Hertex. We cannot get enough of this chair, and we love the floral print.

home makeover painted armchair

A family dining table, painted in blue with fish to resemble the ocean, went through a grey transformation to become a sophisticated Scandinavian take on colour.

home makeover upcycled furniture

We added a red chair because we wanted to – and it turned out to add a touch of wabi-sabi.


3// The Kitchen

The kitchen was in desperate need of a little clarity. So, we took the sturdy kitchen cabinet (there were two) and painted it fiery red. Germarie was able to envision a simpler kitchen area with a customised countertop which the rondawel direly needed.

home makeover painted furniture kitchen

Two floating shelves were installed to hover above the new kitchen counter, and Germarie made the L-brackets entirely out of wood. Now the kitchen is a spacious area that caters to holiday guest or small-home living alike.


4// The Roof

The roof was something Germarie or I have never attempted before, and after receiving wisdom from local painters in the area, we decided not to try it ourselves. The roof is super slanted, near 45˚ angle, so we decided to enlist the help from an experience roof painter (he may have been a trapeze artist in a previous life).

5// Final Touches

The final touch was the feature wall. Germarie created a contemporary Crème Brulee effect that adds to the earthiness and laidback sophistication of the interior.


After a couple of tough weeks the rondawel is now move-in ready and a happy sight indeed!


Additional items we needed come from Mr Price Home’s botanical-inspired catalogue.


But the rest of the items were repurposed or made, like the portable clothing rack, bedside tables and platter.


Always add fresh flowers or pot plants to interiors – they tie everything together beautifully.






This project was the second largest renovation project Germarie completed on the farm; the other is Providence Cottage, another lovely Airbnb destination.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your home project. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Happy Homemaking!

How to do a Quick Room Makeover on a Small Budget

We moved our two eldest boys into a shared bedroom a year and a half ago when their baby brother was born. At the time, I was completely preoccupied with the nursery, so their bedroom didn’t really get any attention. As with all the rooms in our home though, I get to a point where I can’t stand it anymore and then swiftly change it, on a small budget and with minimum effort. But I usually need a catalyst for this to happen. So, when My Wall Tattoos offered to send me some wall decals to play with, my room makeover plan was kicked into action.

room makeover

One morning last week, while they were in school, I set out to create a superhero-inspired bedroom for my two very different boys. The black and blue Triple Triangle stickers were perfect for the graphic wall that I had in mind, and they were surprisingly easy to use.

How To Apply Your Wall Tattoos:

  1. Cut out the vinyl stickers
  2. Position on the wall using sticky tape (and tape measure/spirit level if necessary)
  3. Peel off the back
  4. Stick in place
  5. Rub the vinyl to secure and then peel away the transfer tape

Repeat several times. That’s it!

Because of the random pattern that I wanted to create, I spent about an hour getting all of the stickers into position first. From there, it was just peel and stick!

room makeover

room makeover

And here’s the result!

  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Budget: R2,350 (this includes only the new things that I bought and not the items I repurposed from elsewhere around the house.)

The boys, 5 and 7, have very different personalities so creating identical spaces didn’t make sense.

room makeover

I am dead set against character bedlinen and tend to go for white in all of our bedrooms. To bring in the theme, however, I used the pages from a calendar with vintage superhero posters. The slim black frames create a subtle border around the prints, making them pop against the busy background.

room makeover

room makeover

For Jean’s bed, I chose black & white, indigo and green cushions in graphic patterns. In his words: “Now, I have a grown-up boy bed!”

room makeover

The bright blue herringbone throw is from The Cotton Company. These incredibly versatile Turkish pestamals can be used as a towel, throw, picnic blanket or anything else you can think of really! It’s made from high-quality Aegean cotton and is finished with hand-knotted tassels – the perfect accessory!

room makeover

Gian is more wild and rough, so I chose scatters with a playful element to them. The colours are bright and unapologetically bold, just like him!

room makeover

room makeover

room makeover

Another cotton throw from The Cotton Company is great to sleep under when the nights are too warm for a duvet.

room makeover

Above both beds, I used the remaining pages of the calendar and stuck them down with washi tape. This is a playful and inexpensive way to hang art on the wall. And it’s effortless to replace should they get tired of them!

The Full Picture

room makeover

The only splurge in the room is the new cubby shelf. It’s actually an upright shelving unit that I turned on its side to function as a bedside table between the two beds. It’s the perfect height for nightlights and to store the endless paraphernalia that they tend to accumulate.

room makeover

The ombré curtains are colour-dipped sheets. It’s one of the most cost-effective and easiest things I have ever made – have a look at the article here!

The boys love their room, and finally, theirs is not the most neglected room in the house anymore.

Next up on my last-minute-DIY’s-for-2017 is the scullery. A water leak necessitated an overhaul which I will share as soon as its done. As I said, all I need is a catalyst!

Happy decorating!

*Vinyl stickers for the walls were sponsored by My Wall Tattoos, and the Turkish pestamal throws were provided by The Cotton Company.

Providence Cottage: From Garage to Guest Accommodation on a Budget

At long last, the cottage on the farm is done! I have been working with a team of builders, contractors, handymen (and not-so-handy men) and a throng of other people over the winter to get this tired old cottage ready for the summer tourist season in the Franschhoek Valley. Here’s how I turned a garage into a guest accommodation on a budget.

providence cottage

This is what it looked like before we started. The 50sqm extra-length double garage had been hastily converted to a garden cottage about 7 years ago. Since then, not much was done to the place. The bathroom was atrocious, the kitchen rotten, and the rest was in dire need of paint and repairs. But as always, I see opportunity where others see despair!

Here’s What We Did!

1// The Bathroom

providence cottage

spectacular bathroom makeover


The bathroom was the first project on our list. It was a transformation of epic proportions and the results are just gorgeous! Click here for the full post!

2// The Kitchen

providence cottage

tiny kitchen

tiny kitchen

Next up, was the kitchen. We really only built in a small kitchenette as the restaurant offering in the valley is outstanding and we doubt people will come here to cook their own food. None the less, it is equipped with enough to prepare a meal. Click here for the full post.

3// The Windows

providence cottage

The windows offered another challenge: the views around the cottage are very pretty, but the light can be very bright and in summer, the heat needs to be blocked out as well. Click here to see how we resolved that.

4// The Living Room

We bought the coffee table and side table from a discount furniture store; the sofa was a second-hand one with a loose cover one that we had redyed; all the accessories we bought at the end-of-season sales. The animal hide rug is on loan until we have made enough money to invest a bit more!

providence cottage

This Ikea Chair was an online second-hand find.

We kept the colour scheme really simple and neutral, with lots of textures.

providence cottage

I just love this little bench – also a treasure from a hunt around the used furniture store.

providence cottage

5// The Dining Room

providence cottage

The dining is definitely my favourite part of the project. I bought the used chairs online for R150 each. The table was new and the console table came from our local second hand furniture store. I indulged in the cost of the table lamp but saved the money when I made the glass jar chandelier and round studded mirror.

round studded mirror DIY

6// The Bedroom

providence cottage

The room is very small, so I chose to have a floating shelf with a hanging bar for clothes for short-term guests instead of a wardrobe. The luggage stand below provides an additional storage surface.

providence cottage

We have a huge affinity for proteas on the farm, so when I saw this cushion, I knew it had to be incorporated! I found that mirror for R250 at Sheet Street – what a bargain!

providence cottage

We made little glass jar night lights for the bedroom as well. It’s a really simple and inexpensive way to add light and save space over a nightstand!

The whole project cost R88,135 (including sponsors) and when you keep in mind that we started with an empty shell, I am quite pleased! That works out to a complete overhaul (including all building materials, labour, electrical and plumbing work, furniture, all kitchen equipment and utensils, bed linen, towels and cable TV) at R1,763 per sqm. I hope that this project has inspired you to do something about unused space that you can turn into an income-generating asset for you and your family. I’d love to get your feedback on this renovation – let me know what you think!

Happy Renovating!

This project was supported by Tile Africa and Builder’s Warehouse, Consol Glass, and Finishing Touches – and for that, I am so super grateful! Now, it’s up to Airbnb to get it occupied!