By Jess Binns, Project Consultant and property coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Chris Allan

This family home is all about space and connection, rolled into a barnstyle build to suit the owner’s taste and practical needs.

Known fondly by friends as the “little cathedral”, the main lounge and dining area sits beneath a 7,5m-high open roof structure, instantly adding character to this open-plan space. The feature apex is one of many striking additions that make this KwaZulu-Natal home unique.

In the entrance, a beautifully patterned tiled floor is a bold and creative gesture that sets the tone for the interior finishes. Careful not to skimp on the main elements, such as the floors and bathrooms, the owners set a limited budget for the decoration, which is where the creative juices began to flow.

“Almost all of our furniture has been given to us over the years and tells some kind of story. Our dining room table’s legs were in my mom’s florist workshop for years, and before that in my grandpa’s shop in Pietermaritzburg,” the owner says.

Antique sideboards have been used as bathroom vanities and old wooden crates have been hung on walls to create shelving, a fun and practical addition to the kid’s bedroom. Recycling of various pieces has brought character to this new build, as well as happy memories for the family.

More cost-saving decor appears on the stairs that lead to the bedrooms. “Two nights before we moved in, my mom arrived with wallpaper glue and a whole pile of wallpaper off-cuts that she had managed to buy for about R200. We stayed up until close to midnight, cutting and sticking. It was a really fun experience, and makes for a great feature as you walk towards the bedrooms.”

For this owner, the whole experience of building and finishing their home has been positive and confidence-boosting. Best of all, it has led potentially to a new career in the world of interiors, with a recently received diploma in interior design.