Before & After Part 5

It is always exciting when we add final touches to a space and I am particularly happy about the fact that I can bring you another before and after post so soon after the previous one. 🙂

What you see above is our living/dining area. As you will see in the before photos, this room was only used as a livingroom and the dining table was crammed into the small space that leads into the kitchen. We took a more minimalist approach to create a space that feels open and airy. We wanted a Scandinavian-style space with some ethnic and Moroccan elements – read on to find out how we did it.


A lot of clutter, as you can see. The entrance way was separated from the rest of the room by a set of curtains and it created a very tiny, closed space. We got rid of the curtains and decided not to put any furniture here – it simply isn’t necessary. Instead of a small rug, we actually layered two long runners, creating the idea of a long hallway. This and the gallery wall on the left really made the room feel much bigger.




What I love most about the renovated version of this room, is how spacious it is. Just because you have a large space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it up – space, in my opinion at least, is a luxury and should definitely be maximised if you are going with this style.



As you can see, we removed the pelmets and curtains and replaced the window with a solid one that reaches to the floor. We kept the original door but updated it by replacing the handle and giving it a fresh coat (or two) of white paint. We expanded the area where the heater was and fitted a wood-burning stove – perfect for these Cape Town winters and of course, a staple in every Scandinavian home. Also, definitely worth the investment if you ask me.



I love the comparison above because it really shows the contrast between the clutter and the openness that we created. The prints and scatter cushion can be found in our online shop and the white sofa is actually from Ikea.




We replaced the front door with one that has a glass panel – we painted it white on the inside and black on the outside, to complement the exterior of the house (which I will still feature in a future blog post). The gypsum wall light is one of my favourite elements in this room because it casts a beautiful shadow when switched on and just blends in nicely overall.



The space in the above photo is too small for a dining room table, so we simply added a small table and a couple of bistro chairs to create what we love to call our ‘coffee nook’. Opposite the table and chairs (can’t be seen in the shot) is a sideboard with our coffee machine and turntable. We later added the Black Jack Floor Lamp, Rope Pouffe, print and chess board. This is one of my favourite spots in our home because I think we have utilised it well.

That’s it for the comparisons. Now I can show you what the whole room looks like…



The white ladder is from The Moroccan Warehouse – one of my absolute favourite places in Cape Town – and provides some extra hanging space when needed. Our Laundry Basket adds a natural touch and holds fire wood for the winter.


I have to make mention of our dining room table here. It was one of the only items we brought with us from PE (we sold nearly all of our furniture so that we could start from scratch). We removed some – though not all – of the paint from the top to create the rough look that you see (I like it because now no one has a table like ours). We bought the two Harry Bertoia-inspired chairs online and were lucky enough to find two Navy chairs when we moved into the house, which we painted black. The bench is more modern-industrial and I love it because it is part of the dining table but is also useful when extra seating is needed in the livingroom area.



I have mentioned a few times how I love driftwood. We have them all over our home – they just add a natural feel to any room and match our floors very nicely as well. The white pot above is also from the Moroccan Warehouse (again, one of my favourite places in Cape Town and a must-visit for decor lovers). The plant is an Aloe (not sure which kind) – we originally planned on putting a large cactus here but couldn’t find one. Now I am happy that we went with the Aloe instead – it is an indigenous plant, giving this space a nice South African touch.

UPDATE: I am told that the Aloe is called a long-stemmed Aloe.


The plant above is also an Aloe, planted in one of our Utensil Holders (these are really useful for all kinds of things, as I’m sure you know by now). The tray is from Coricraft and is also Moroccan-inspired.

The rug, to me, is one of the highlights of this room. We searched so long for a Moroccan-inspired rug or kelim and finally came across this one. It is a hand-knotted wool Berber rug in a Morrocan design and I think it just brings this whole look together. I am also happy to say that we are considering stocking these (please let me know what you would think of that in the comments).

The model ship is neither ethnic, nor Scandinavian but I think the old-fashioned details make it an interesting focal point in this room (so much better than the TV, right?).


The two very comfortable chairs above are from Weylandts – another one of my favourite brands. We didn’t want a lounge suite in the livingroom. I much rather prefer to have a sofa and a couple of armchairs to show that some creativity went into choosing the livingroom decor.

And I cannot finish this post before I mention the staircase. It is such a striking feature in this room and we only accentuated it by painting the railing black. We also removed the old carpet to reveal the solid wood stairs, which received a new coat (or three) of varnish. I now love how it brings a vintage element to our modern decor.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our livingroom! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know in the comments section below (personally, I’d love to hear your feedback).


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Belinda Kitney-Meijreply
28 October 2015 at 4:25 PM

wow! Love it! Thanks for sharing. This is so inspirational. I’m scouring over decor ideas as we will soon be moving into our own (first) home so want to have a ‘look’ or theme in mind before we buy furniture. Love the wool Berber rug, would be amazing if you stock items like that too! Looking forward to more ‘before and after’ posts 🙂

Petro Vivierreply
28 October 2015 at 5:57 PM
– In reply to: Belinda Kitney-Meij

Thanks Belinda! Glad you found it inspirational. I will post some more before and after photos for sure. 🙂 🙂

Chereen Strydomreply
5 November 2015 at 1:40 PM

Absolutely LOVE this post! SO inspiring! I’m so drawn to Scandi design and a more minimalist lifestyle at the moment, but have been feeling a bit despondent as I feel that my house is a lost cause. This post – and seeing your before and after pics – have given me hope and made me realise that it IS possible. Thank you for the inspiration – always! (And a big fat YES for stocking that rug! Gorgeous!)

Petro Vivierreply
5 November 2015 at 1:47 PM
– In reply to: Chereen Strydom

Thanks for the lovely comment Chereen!

So glad we could inspire. Nothing is a lost cause – if we could transform this house into what it is now, anything is possible! 🙂

3 December 2015 at 8:31 PM

What an amazing transformation. Just love it. Please can you tell me where the wooden floors are from?

Petro Vivierreply
4 December 2015 at 8:06 AM
– In reply to: Liza

Thanks Liza! The floors are from Flooring Depot and are called ‘Washed Oak Distressed Engineered Floor’. They may have discontinued it (not sure) but you should be able to find something similar. 🙂

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