A renovation project for a couple, their two small children and one golden retriever, this 550-square metre family home in Mostertsdrift, Stellenbosch, Western Cape took about 8 months to complete. The house was cold and dark before the renovation, so the brief was to allow more natural light into the ground floor area. The solution was to enlarge the open-plan footprint of the house by extending it to the outdoor stoep; ultimately connecting the two spaces together.

The brief was simple: to extend the open floor plan to the outdoor stoep (balcony) and enclose it in a glass and steel combination conservatory. Says interior designer Andrea Potgieter: ‘I decided to do the same for the front door entrance to tie the architecture together, along with the same floor tile design. This made the living space greater in size and the property value has increased.’

Within are three en suite bedrooms with pyjama lounge and guest bathroom; a study and butler’s pantry / man’s room; the kitchen, scullery, lounge and dining room are all open plan with the new extension of the conservatory that houses the bar, braai (barbeque) and additional dining area.

Andrea continues: ‘We had to remove the exterior doors and raise the level of the outdoor area, enclosing the stoep with steel and glass (as is with a conservatory) to bring in the natural light.’

The conservatory’s modern signature design importantly includes stacking doors that allow the space to open up completely to relate to the outdoors, allowing the natural world outside to complement the design influence and aesthetic angle. All joinery and furniture were chosen to respond harmoniously to this modern look in the new extension of the house.

Inspiration was drawn by the architecture of the house, but instead of continuing in the same design, Studio Ontwerp chose to introduce a modern twist to the original, evolving it to be more timeless and interesting. Says Andrea: ‘I am fascinated by ‘parasitic architecture’ where designers add small architectonic additions to existing structures in a small space to enhance the property’s appeal. That was the aim with the conservatory.’

Challenges during the renovation process included: ensuring no leakages on the glass and steel structure, as it is always risky to install on an existing building that already had water problems – all problems were managed and fixed before the first wet winter; making sure that the structure would not cool the house too much –underfloor heating was installed; making sure that during the hot season, the structure could completely open up by stacking doors to allow cooler breezes of air inside; vertical blinds were installed on the slanted roof structure to also eliminate some of the heat and direct sunlight.

The owners love to travel, so this is an ideal home to lock up and go. We must add that under the current circumstances of lockdown in South Africs, it was also enjoyed as the perfect place to work from home by the residents.

The owners are very social and love to entertain, thus the new extension that was added had to comply with this brief, expanding the original footprint to enlarge the property size and have a more open flow from exterior and interior. This makes entertainment not only practical, but inspired.

all furniture was designed and purchased by Studio Ontwerp
photography by Juan Venter Photography
interior designer: Andrea Potgieter

lighting: Hoi P’Loy and Eleven Past
interior Rugs: Hertex
joinery and Wood work: Human Kabinette
fireplaces by: Fire and Gas
tiles by: Pudlo SA, Southern Art Ceramics and W.O.M.A.G
marble / granite tops by: Granite Works
shutters by: American Shutters
furniture : Pierre Cronje, Meyer von Wielligh, Sofa Company, Weylandts, Stokperd