Former Port Elizabeth couple NJ and Samantha Bouwer, who now live in Vredehoek, Cape Town, recently won House and Leisure magazine’s 2015 Renovation Competition – and walked off with R30 000.
The couple, who were born and bred in the Bay, moved to Cape Town in 2012 due to work. NJ, 32, is in the water treatment industry.
Former Collegiate High School pupil Samantha, 33, who owns a wedding and events company called I Do Box as well as an online baby store called Aapie and Skaapie, said they had to submit 10 “before” and “after” photos of their home and answer several questions about the renovation.
“We were then contacted to say we were finalists and that we would be featured in the special renovation edition in 2016,” Samantha said.
“The issue came out at the beginning of the year and readers were asked to vote for their favourite renovation.
“The competition was open for about three months and we were notified at the beginning of May that we were the lucky winners!”
The couple, who have always been interested in home decor, said this was a passion- project for them.
“We had some idea of what we wanted to do with the house. We definitely wanted to knock down the majority of the walls to give the house a more open feel, as the original rooms were very small and closed off,” she said.
The couple not only lived in the house while they did the revamping, they also did most of the work themselves.
“Living in the house while renovating helped us to see what was going to work and what was not.
“We did have a builder in the very beginning of our renovation but it didn’t work out, so we decided to give it a go ourselves.”
“Some days were better than others, with a lot of trial and error,” Samantha said.
Their beautiful home has many interesting pieces, which they sourced from all over the country.
“A lot of our furniture is from second-hand stores. My cousin owns The Knock Shop in Grahamstown, so we have found some awesome pieces there,” she said.
“Colonial Antiques in Cape Town is also one of our favourite shops and we were lucky enough to have inherited some of our furniture items from our grandparents, which we have restored.”
NJ, who went to Grey High School, also enjoys making furniture so if he cannot find what they want, he makes it.
Samantha gets a lot of her ideas from Pinterest, but also draws inspiration from home, architecture and decor magazines.
“We choose comfort first, so it has to work in the house for us and our two bassets, who seem to take over every piece of furniture we own.”
And with a baby on the way, Samantha can’t wait to start decorating the nursery.
“We have tons of ideas and are busy extending the baby’s room. We’re just waiting for the new window to go in and then we can start decorating.
“I’m loving the monochrome nursery style at the moment and am wanting to bring in rose-gold somewhere.”
Source: Herald Live