Providence Cottage: From Garage to Guest Accommodation on a Budget

providence cottage

At long last, the cottage on the farm is done! I have been working with a team of builders, contractors, handymen (and not-so-handy men) and a throng of other people over the winter to get this tired old cottage ready for the summer tourist season in the Franschhoek Valley. Here’s how I turned a garage into a guest accommodation on a budget.

providence cottage

This is what it looked like before we started. The 50sqm extra-length double garage had been hastily converted to a garden cottage about 7 years ago. Since then, not much was done to the place. The bathroom was atrocious, the kitchen rotten, and the rest was in dire need of paint and repairs. But as always, I see opportunity where others see despair!

Here’s What We Did!

1// The Bathroom

providence cottage

spectacular bathroom makeover

 

The bathroom was the first project on our list. It was a transformation of epic proportions and the results are just gorgeous! Click here for the full post!

2// The Kitchen

providence cottage

tiny kitchen

tiny kitchen

Next up, was the kitchen. We really only built in a small kitchenette as the restaurant offering in the valley is outstanding and we doubt people will come here to cook their own food. None the less, it is equipped with enough to prepare a meal. Click here for the full post.

3// The Windows

providence cottage

The windows offered another challenge: the views around the cottage are very pretty, but the light can be very bright and in summer, the heat needs to be blocked out as well. Click here to see how we resolved that.

4// The Living Room

We bought the coffee table and side table from a discount furniture store; the sofa was a second-hand one with a loose cover one that we had redyed; all the accessories we bought at the end-of-season sales. The animal hide rug is on loan until we have made enough money to invest a bit more!

providence cottage

This Ikea Chair was an online second-hand find.

We kept the colour scheme really simple and neutral, with lots of textures.

providence cottage

I just love this little bench – also a treasure from a hunt around the used furniture store.

providence cottage

5// The Dining Room

providence cottage

The dining is definitely my favourite part of the project. I bought the used chairs online for R150 each. The table was new and the console table came from our local second hand furniture store. I indulged in the cost of the table lamp but saved the money when I made the glass jar chandelier and round studded mirror.

round studded mirror DIY

6// The Bedroom

providence cottage

The room is very small, so I chose to have a floating shelf with a hanging bar for clothes for short-term guests instead of a wardrobe. The luggage stand below provides an additional storage surface.

providence cottage

We have a huge affinity for proteas on the farm, so when I saw this cushion, I knew it had to be incorporated! I found that mirror for R250 at Sheet Street – what a bargain!

providence cottage

We made little glass jar night lights for the bedroom as well. It’s a really simple and inexpensive way to add light and save space over a nightstand!

The whole project cost R88,135 (including sponsors) and when you keep in mind that we started with an empty shell, I am quite pleased! That works out to a complete overhaul (including all building materials, labour, electrical and plumbing work, furniture, all kitchen equipment and utensils, bed linen, towels and cable TV) at R1,763 per sqm. I hope that this project has inspired you to do something about unused space that you can turn into an income-generating asset for you and your family. I’d love to get your feedback on this renovation – let me know what you think!

Happy Renovating!

This project was supported by Tile Africa and Builder’s Warehouse, Consol Glass, and Finishing Touches – and for that, I am so super grateful! Now, it’s up to Airbnb to get it occupied!

 

 

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