Office transformed into chic home

RICHMOND Hill interior designer Brigitte Hills, who has done work for the Paxton Hotel, the Marine Hotel and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, took MyWeekend on a tour of a family home she recently renovated.

She worked hand in hand with architects and builders as she determined the structure of a space to achieve her client’s ultimate vision.

An office building with a great view was transformed into an open-planned home with sunny spaces filled with old-fashioned charm.

Brigitte created the feeling of more space by selecting a warm neutral white colour scheme. Using a lot of her client’s antique wooden furniture, she created a vintage look and added a personal touch with black and white photographs with old wooden frames.

This style combined elements of both classic and intimate decor settings.

A white setting provides a clean canvas for showcasing other elements to create an inviting, and enchanting home. The floors – mostly made of wood – extended out to a coordinated deck through glass doors, creating the illusion of a much bigger space.

“Because it is an old Richmond Hill home, we chose to use its old charm instead of trying to make it modern. The first thing I did was to knock down the walls and paint everything white.

“The walls and ceilings were originally dark wood. I did this to open up the place, making it look bigger than it was,” Brigitte said.

“Wood finishes look richer against white, the printed fabrics pop up even more and lighting fixtures such as chandeliers and pendants stand out as sculptured elements against the neutral backdrop. Brigitte used neutral colours throughout the home – except for owner Shelley Hills’s 10-year-old son’s room where she added a splash of red and blue.

“The project was a complete gut and renovation, inside and out with new bathrooms, kitchen and a separate cottage – all accomplished on a shoe-string budget.”

Shelley, who bought the property in September last year, said the light fittings in the kitchen were her favourite decor items. The fittings came from Brigitte’s showroom just a street away.

Brigitte said from the moment she heard the house was on the market, she knew it was meant for Shelley.

“I knew this house really well, as a friend of mine lived here a few years ago and I knew that I could turn it into the perfect home for Shelley.

“She works from home and her mom lives with her. This property ticked all the boxes, as there was space to convert the garage into a cottage and still have a double garage.

“Plus the sea view is always a great inspiration,” Brigitte said.

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