Renovation advice from Chessie Ellenbogen
Renovations can be full-scale gut-and-rebuild projects or small changes that make a big difference. We look at makeovers by both homeowners and designers, proving that there isn’t just one right way to do it
CHESSIE ELLENBOGEN, JEWELLERY DESIGNER AND MOM OF TWO
A quintessential creative (she’s an artist and a jewellery designer, and has worked in interiors), Chessie recently renovated the Parktown North home she shares with her husband. The charming house has good bones but was a little worse for wear, being such an old building.
WHAT WAS THE PRIMARY GOAL OF YOUR RENOVATION?
Kitchen: We wanted to create an open-plan living/eating space and modernise the finishings and fittings. The house is old, with good bones, but it needed a refresh.
Bathroom: This space needed to be more guest-friendly. There also wasn’t a shower in the house aside from the master suite, so we needed to incorporate one.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FEATURE OF YOUR MAKEOVER?
Kitchen: The indoor/outdoor flow makes a huge difference to the space. We also chose a great stove – it’s such a pleasure to cook on.
Bathroom: I love the pink walls (Dulux Cracked Clay 3). I chose something a little out of the box and it’s perfect.
The drawers are recessed slightly within the honed granite shell, a smart and polished detail. The two-tone grey is also a nice touch. The choice of pink for a guest bathroom is inspired. It makes a feature of the space, and adds warmth and personality to a room that’s often quite sterile.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE FIND?
Kitchen: The honed granite tops were a big success.
WERE THERE ANY UNEXPECTED EXPENSES?
Kitchen: We used encaustic tiles on the floor and didn’t realise that we needed to seal them, so they got really marked. The cleaning and sealing was an unexpected step.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D DO DIFFERENTLY?
Kitchen: We initially had an above-the-counter cupboard that extended to the countertop surface. It was meant to house appliances but the cupboard wasn’t deep enough so we had to shorten it.
Bathroom: If I’d known about coloured grouting during the renovation, I would have loved to try it.
This article originally appeared in REAL ESTATE magazine.
Credits: Photo: Karl Rogers and supplied, Text: Julia Freemantle