rep residence reveal! 

Brett and I are so very excited to share with you the first photos of the almost completed rep residence! We are so very grateful for all that God has done. No-one thought we could finish this massive task in 12 weeks, but through the incredible generosity of our rep community and other friends, and by the grace of God, we are about to move in!

I will share more over the next few weeks and will add the stories behind the photos, but wanted to give you a peek at the outcome of all the crazy, hard work! Brett and I would not have taken on this massive project without the leadership, assistance and support of Jasper and Jari Esterhuizen of The J Factor. They drove all the way to our project on a daily basis for the entire time and led the building project. We worked alongside them and all had various roles. I don’t think we (the four of us) have ever worked so hard in our entire lives! Thank you Jasper and Jari for your incredible generosity to us and the rep community.

We are so very thankful that Davey came earlier in December and has been able to help, and that Fay flew in on Sunday. We had the builders’ holiday as a deadline, but this mama had her daughter’s arrival as the goal. I wanted to house finished (mostly finished) and pretty (much more important) so that she would get a wonderful surprise. We had James and Jessy on FaceTime as we shared the house with the family and they were all thrilled. They have walked this long housing journey with us and we were so delighted that they could be with us for the initial “reveal”.

Before and After!

Living Room

One of the reasons we chose this house as we could see that the living room/lounge would be big enough for meetings. We removed the very old carpet, put in new stackable windows, treated the floors with special concrete sealants and painted everything white. Brett will be adding a fireplace soon and a very large TV, so that we can use the room for trainings. We are grateful to John Noble for the wood and Neville Owen for the marble that is being used in the fireplace.

I chose the kelim carpet as my first purchase and then decided on the decor from there. We took a long time choosing the couches so that they could each seat 4 people and then added the yellow chairs for fun!

Before the house actually transferred into Vine’s name, Jasper, Jari and I were able to attend the annual factory sale of Hertex, one of the top fabric manufacturers in South Africa. It was quite an overwhelming experience for a fabric lover! I prayed for wisdom as I walked around. I bought fabric that caught my attention and that I liked and later decided on how to use it. The living room curtain fabric came from Hertex and is so beautiful. It is an exquisite grey. I just love the yellow chairs and they make me smile.

Dining Room

The dining room of this special house is so important as we want to host groups of people. We designed the dining room so that we can seat 16 people at the same time!

We bumped out the wall to give more space, put in new windows and refinished the floors. The old parquet floor was in the passage, dining room and downstairs bedrooms. We decided to refinish what was there and then match the same floor in the kitchen so that it flowed together. I am not crazy about parquet flooring, but I do like the idea of taking something existent and making it beautiful rather than replacing it with fake wood. This was much more of a mission than we imagined. More on that later!

Our niece’s husband, Durren who was one of the clients at our very first rep venture, made the tables. He used oak flooring that he laboriously turned into three exquisite and very heavy tables. I added perspex chairs that I had bought at half price at the going-out-of-business sale of POCO which was like IKEA. (I went weekly to this big box store and bought new items as they were put on sale. This provided great savings as I had to equip the entire house.)

Jasper designed the lights and we had them custom made by a local woman, Christine who owns Candelabra Lighting. They are so very beautiful.

Kitchen and scullery

The first decision we made was to remodel the kitchen. The kitchen was extremely outdated, but it was big and as such we knew there was good potential. We put a lot of thought into how it could best serve our needs. The removal of the wall between the kitchen and the small outside braai (BBQ) area made the kitchen massive. Brett is so excited about having an indoor braai! We look forward to using it in winter to heat the kitchen as well. The kitchen opens onto the deck with folding doors, so the inside outside living is amazing. And it faces north which is perfect for letting in the winter sun and we are protected from the southeaster wind.

We opened the wall between the kitchen and the dining room so that we have flow between the two areas. The wall between the kitchen and a tiny study was removed and we now have a scullery. (For those who don’t know what the word means, it is an old British phrase for the area where the dishes are done!) We have the dish washer, clothes washer and dryer there as well as space for cleaning and hospitality supplies. We added a sliding window onto the deck so we can pass the dishes through if we have a party outside!

We are deeply grateful to the rep couples who paid for the kitchen and the appliances. This area is so stunning and will be so well used.

The guest bedrooms

The house has two small bedrooms on the ground floor. We refinished the parquet flooring, replaced the windows (a massive, very messy job), painted everything white and changed the doors and hardware.

I had so much fun thinking through how I wanted to decorate these two rooms. I had chosen fabric at the Hertex factory sale and had curtains made. Once this decision was made, the colors were locked in and I began from there. I prayed, planned, dreamed and then began being creative. I wanted one room to be more masculine than the other so guys would feel at home there. We put twin beds next to each other in each room so that they can be used as single beds or a king bed. We were amazingly blessed by Marietjie Fouche who owns the Pure Cotton Shop as she provided the bedding which is made of organic cotton. (I can’t say too much about this but a famous couple recently used sheets from the same company for their honeymoon!) I painted the floral pillows to match the carpet, made the felt flowers for the cushions and my friend Lydia and I stitched all the throw pillows. I bought fabric at outlets and at factory stores and sewing the cushions ourselves saved so much money. I am trusting that our guests will be very blessed when they sleep in these rooms. The photos don’t really capture how beautifully the rooms turned out, so you will have to come and visit!

Our bedroom

We didn’t think we would have the time or resources to do the upstairs master bedroom and bathroom, but we are so grateful that we were able to improve it. We removed the ugly carpet, put in new windows, painted the room white and the concrete floors grey (will deal with flooring later) and hung lovely new curtains. We were able to bring in additional plumbers and tilers and do our bathroom as well. Thanks Jasper for choosing all the tiles and fixtures and making the bathroom so stunning. (Photos to come.)

I fell in love with an offcut of fabric and had it made into a quilt. I painted a picture to match the design of the fabric. It is far from perfect, but I enjoyed the process. I later realized that I had bought a very similar fabric at Uzes Market in France a few years back and used this to make a bench. I will add more photos soon.

The bathroom and toilets

We initially thought of just painting over the tiles in the bathrooms, but before long the decision was made to update them. So glad we did, although it was a complicated task. There is a guest bathroom downstairs, two toilets side by side (we changed where the door was) and an upstairs bathroom off our bedroom.

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Jasper did a stunning job choosing all the tiles, fixtures, bath tub, vanities and shower enclosures. We have beautiful bathrooms because of his talent and creative eye. Thanks Jasper! More photos coming soon.

The view room

The upstairs lounge seemed too much of a job for us to remodel, so we thought of leaving it for a later time. But the carpet and curtains were filled with mould and everything was so very outdated and unattractive. Just a couple of weeks ago we decided to remodel it ourselves with casual labor we hired. We knew the builders would not have time to get to it, so Brett began the work. He has spent days scraping and painting and making this space incredible! The view of the sea is lovely and the room is filled with light.

I wanted a built in bench to provide storage and also be a place where we could stretch out and relax and see the view. Cliff Stewart spent a long time designing and planning for the bench and then he and Davey finished it at the last minute on Saturday night, even though Cliff was not well. Thank you both so very much!

I think I enjoyed planning for the decor of this room the most! I went to a large fabric outlet store and walked around praying for wisdom as to what to buy. My eye fell on a cotton fabric with scenes of Cape Town and South Africa and I fell in love with it. To top it all, the fabric was very, very cheap. I added some cotton shweshwe fabric (the most authentic, local fabric, the skill for making it brought into Lesotho by Swiss missionaries a long time ago.) My friend Lydia and I sewed and sewed until we had piles of cushions! When I realized the kelim carpet was not going to work in the dining room because of the very busy floor, I decided to see if it would work with the cushions we had made for what we are calling the view room. I was amazed! It was as if I had carried the carpet with me when I went shopping for the fabric! A perfect match!! There is still more we need to do, but we love the room.

The back garden

Because this house is going to be used for groups, training and hospitality we knew we needed space for socializing. The back garden is small, but it is private and protected from the wind. The decision to build a large deck came out of the need for groups to gather.

We also decided to add a splash pool (the cost here only about $1,000) because we needed to move the fibre glass pool into the backyard while the fence was being replaced. If we hadn’t have brought it in through our neighbors’ garden, we couldn’t have done it in the future with the high fence. I am so excited about eventually getting patio furniture when we have the resources, so that we can have a relaxing place for our guests to enjoy. The deck was only finished on Saturday, the day before Fay arrived. And the pool just a few days before that! The pool was a surprise for everyone and I couldn’t wait for our family to see it. We are looking forward to using the dipping pool when the work slows down!

We will work on the garden/yard in the new year. Thanks Hanno and Loilyn for the rose bushes that will be coming here. Andrea, Carina and Kerry have also given me plants for the garden, which I am looking forward to planting.

Brett will have an office in the outside room which will look onto the garden and the pool. I hope he doesn’t get too distracted! We will work on that later.

Cushions and pillows- just for fun!

Lydia sewing cushions

I am so grateful for all the help my friend Lydia gave with the cushion sewing project. She came day after day for 12 hour stretches and we made almost 50 cushions!!

Using fabric from discount stores, we saved a lot of money and now have some unique cushions to use in various places in the house!

Construction in Africa…

This was a new experience for us. We have been used to seeing wooden construction in the USA and it is so much easier than dealing with bricks and concrete. It was so very messy. Our main builder, Phineas is from Zimbabwe, but we had other workers and artisans from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo and other parts of South Africa. There were many languages being spoken. At one point there were 19 different people working on the premises, most of whom were unconnected with each other. I would greet people, ask them their name and what they were coming to do. Jasper and Jari did a spectacular job in scheduling all the various workers. Thanks Jari for keeping on top of all the finances too. What a mammoth job.

We are grateful to Andries for his help with the engineering advice, to Andrew for stopping by to give very helpful advice to our builders, to Cliff for all the help with the internet and other building projects. Thanks Stephan and Jan Hendrik for helping with hanging all the curtains.

Thanks to Tim and Lindsay for lending us your bakkie/pickup trick that was invaluable and another car as well. Thanks to our rep friends who donated products from their businesses to help our project. Thanks Gary and Lorraine for the hot water heaters/geysers, Marietjie for the bed linens, Neville for the marble, John and Tania for the furniture, and the many others who have given so generously.

Hosting- the guests are coming!

It has been a joy to welcome our first guests. We were so thankful to have Fay and Davey as our first staying guests and they both enjoyed their rooms. We have been able to host a few other friends although we are holding off having too many people here as we are trying to complete the many jobs that still need to be done. This house will get very busy soon.

Current activities

Brett and I are spending time finishing off the various small tasks and also planning how we can finish some bigger and essential projects as the money becomes available. We still need to add the front wall and gate which is essential from a security perspective, as well as the room outside that will be Brett’s office. We are trusting that God will make a way for us to finish strong. We are deeply grateful for all the help and support!