Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
After returning from a six month sabbatical from our busy lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, about four years ago, my husband & I were looking for a place with a little garden. The idea was to find a spot where we could live for six months or a year until we found our first ‘grown up home’.
The über convenient location of this second floor, 180m² (1,937 square feet) corner apartment is a big plus. The surprisingly quiet spot with a view of many trees and gardens of surrounding buildings, makes it hard to imagine that you are right on one of busiest roads in Johannesburg. It couldn’t be more perfect for our lifestyle - close to work, on the bus route and across the road from some of Johannesburg’s trendiest eateries and coffee shops. We love entertaining, so we needed plenty of space. We also wanted to have enough space for when a little addition to the family arrived.
Uncertain about how long we would be in the apartment and hesitant to buy many custom-made furniture pieces, we still wanted to make the space our own, so we worked with existing furniture pieces and heirlooms. Innovative ideas and upcycled furniture were used to put our personal stamp on the apartment. Pieces were upcycled, restyled or just used in a new way. The stack of antique suitcases, for instance, which have been in our family forever. The tiny brown one belonged to my grandfather that I never got to meet. And the white distressed cupboard used to be in my grandmother's’ kitchen on her farm. When I decided to introduce a splash of yellow into the room, the cupboard got a lick of yellow paint for a more contemporary look without taking away any of the precious memories.
Lucky for us, the landlord is very lenient and was happy for us to paint, so the very first step was to make the very large space a bit cosier with ceiling to floor curtains for some of the rooms. We also painted the living area (which is a massive 10 x 5 metres) in a dark grey. An odd, dark corner in the entrance area got a bit of color with fun wall art (many simply framed postcards), a bright red table and an unusual yellow and grey door.
When our little Oliver arrived in 2013, one of the three rooms became the nursery. Fun non-permanent items like washi tape and bunting were used to create the perfect room for a little boy. As Oliver became more mobile, the balcony was also transformed into a sort-of outside play room with synthetic grass; ideal for toys and a mini play tent. We have never used a heater in this apartment except in baby Oliver's room when he was newborn. It is just so wonderfully sunny. We absolutely lazily soak up the Jozi winter sun as we sit on the inherited riempies bench and rattan chairs (my parents’ very first furniture pieces) on a Sunday morning as we relax with a cup of tea and the Sunday paper.
The kitchen is probably my favorite space in the entire apartment, because I'm a very keen cook.
We also love entertaining and this is the perfect apartment for it. It has seen many lazy breakfasts, Christmas’ in July and dinner parties. It is the absolute perfect fit for this chapter in our lives.
Thanks, Yolandi! Check out Yolandi's blog A Zesty Life.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.