Oftentimes, there are neglected corners, passageways and attic spaces with which the home-owner is unsure what to do. Like clothes that have been hidden away and stayed un-worn for ages, these spaces soon become unappealing and even go unnoticed. That is, until someone decides to do something about them.
Sprucing up, redesigning and decorating a neglected space in the home can be a very rewarding exercise. In the case of someone wanting to rent out or sell, the adventure can result in an overall higher value for the property.
Rescuing dead spaces almost always uplifts the mood of the room occupant/user, much like the dreary winter months yielding to the colourful autumn days. For some adventurous home owners, this activity even becomes a habit that is practised seasonally.
In our case study, we take a look at what was formerly an uninspiring corner in the study room of Mrs. Mahube’s rural bungalow in Mabutsane, a sleepy desert village in the south-west of Botswana.
Mrs. Mahube’s study room was unutilized for years; it was basically used as a dumping place for dirty laundry and a motley crew of household items. Her brief to Kori Interiors was short, direct and emphatic: “Please make this place nice and useful”.
The first task was brightening up the space as it was quite dark. This was achieved by increasing the height of the two existing windows and turning them into floor-to-ceiling, aluminium-framed beauties. The dated rhinolite-panel ceiling was removed and replaced with new light-weight, light-reflecting, translucent panels made of PVC.
The floor tiles were also replaced with new, satin-finish, reflective, ceramic ones that aid with the diffusion of light into the room.
It was decided early on in the design stages to note the geography of the region in which the house is located, and to try and translate the colours and textures of the locality into the renovated space.
Looking at the finished space, the warmth of the omnipresent light brown colour of the closet, skirting and cornice is immediately felt. This shade of brown is derived from the sands and soils of the semi-arid nature of the region.
The designers cheated a bit by downloading artwork from the internet, printing it on canvas and then framing it in the centre of the closet! However, it looks great as a focal point, and equally as gorgeous are the two slender mirrors that sandwich the artwork.
The shelves on either side of the central closet were deliberately detached; having one continuous unit would have made it look voluminous and rather boring.
Finally, the faded light-pink walls of the room were bathed in warm-white acrylic paint. The formerly-dead space is now an inviting, light-filled and airy room, much to the delight of the old lady owner. A voracious reader who used to do her reading and writing in the bedroom, the retiree now spends most of her time in this room, next to a pile of books and a teapot that gets heated every hour!