Home crafted over time, with love…

Neo Bodumela

MAKING house a home takes time and that testament cannot be better expressed than by the home artist Anthony Keogh and his wife, Leana, have made during their marriage.

The couple have been living in the house in Mount Croix for about 25 years. The house was originally built in compartments.

“When we first moved in, the rooms in the house were quite small and compartmentalised as the houses were built for people who were returning from World War 2.

“We had to break down a lot of the walls in order to open the house up.

“All the houses in this area were built the same way with thick ceramic tiles on the roofs,” she said.

Despite its historical background, the house has some modern additions to it including a studio for artist Anthony built in the back yard of the house – but which their photographer daughter Sarah now uses as her private accommodation.

“Currently Sarah is using the studio as her apartment but one day when I retire from my job as an art conservator [at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum] and when she has moved out, I will use that room as my studio,” Anthony said.

Most modern homes have the hallmarks of being decorated by professional interior decorators but the couple said they decided against an interior designer to give their home their own personal touch.

“We weren’t really influenced by any particular design style.

“We kind of decided this is our space and we of course would live here and not some designer so we should be the ones to dictate the decor.

“Our house reflects who we are and there’s no set matching style. The space and the decor has really evolved around us over the years,” Leana said.

Because of the recent drought in Nelson Mandela Bay, the couple decided to do their part by reducing their water consumption on the property.

“Instead of having grass on the outside of our house, we decided to pour gravel right around our house so that we can save water. The gravel itself is easier to maintain and it doesn’t raise our water bill,” he said.

The Keogh’s artistic flair is evident in their home with paintings hanging on almost every wall in the house with individual art pieces adorning the walls and cupboards as well.

“Ours is a simple house that we bought and adapted to our own style.

“For example, the couch we have in our living room is a couch we picked up from a warehouse and restored.

“All of the books on the book shelves are books we have read and not just for show.

“The house is open and flows from room to room and we can say that truly, life in general is very simple in this house,” Leana said.

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