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.
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
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
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
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!
This Ikea Chair was an online second-hand find.
We kept the colour scheme really simple and neutral, with lots of textures.
I just love this little bench – also a treasure from a hunt around the used furniture store.
5// The Dining Room
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.
6// The Bedroom
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.
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!
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!
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!