By Kerry Hayes

Time to paint the town red! Or at least look at red paint for an accent wall in the indoor part of our entertainment area.

We had finally reached the most exciting part of our renovations, that we have been discussing in the last two renovation reflections blog posts – deciding on materials, colours and textures for our entertainment area, and then getting cracking.

But before we begin that journey, let me give you the quick low-down on what the area looks like: the whole entertainment area is broken into four zones. The first two zones make up the indoor part, which is shaped in an L-shape – one side is designated as the “new” dining room, and the other side will house the bar once it is built. This then flows outwards from both sides of the L, which would be enclosed with sliding stacking doors, to the outdoor area, one side of which would house a patio suite and the outdoor kitchen counter, and the other which would have the firepit and surrounding seating.

Our first port of call was colours. Hubby and I both had a set idea in mind to go natural, with a twist of French Provencal, a peppering of rustic, and a splash of colour.

To the colour specialist!

Our lady, with whom we had a good relationship, popped by for a cup of tea (ideas always seem to flow better with a beverage in hand) and to get a feel of the space. I really love the way this lady pulls colour ideas into a space – it’s like watching one of those technology TV ads where the speaker pulls frames or pictures through space onto a virtual screen in front of her, then flings them away or twists and enlarges them; you can almost see the inspiration whirling through the air in front of this colour expert.

So we settled on a beautiful natural beige, with an undertone of grey (and decided to keep the red accent wall for later down the line when the bar area was built – it’s always best to start with a neutral canvas and complete the area, then add in your pops of colour).

Walking on sunshine

Next was a trip out to the flooring and cladding manufacturing site, to meet with a wonderful team of people who advised us on some options for flooring and cladding, as we had decided to clad the firepit seating as well as the kitchen counter facades. This meeting was shortly followed by a visit by the team to our home, see and measure the area. We settled on a French Antique simulated stone for the flooring, which is a beautiful sandy-grey colour with a lot of depth and texture; and complementary cladding for the outdoor kitchen counter and firepit seating.

So our bases had been chosen and ordered, the design was ready and the areas measured – now was the time to get cracking.

Team up with the best

I can not stress enough how vital it is to have a team of good builders, and even more so, a great project manager to guide the team. From day one, this team arrived on time, and worked methodically and to an obvious structured plan. As the home owners, we were consulted every step of the way; if an idea needed to be tweaked along the way, we were immediately consulted and a decision made, so as not to halt the building process. It is important for the home owners to be involved and to visit the site regularly (easier if the building is taking place at your home!) – but not to interfere; a good construction team knows what they are doing and has a building strategy in place – so trust them to get it done.

We also had to take weather into account. Our construction began in April, deep into Gauteng’s rainy season, so allowances had to be made for wet weather, which doesn’t work well with cement. However, when possible, the team continued their work with dedication and commitment, cleverly moving to work on the indoor area when weather stopped outdoor building.

Look out for our final renovation reflections blog post, where we wrap up with the final touches, including a small wine room converted from an existing storage room, with custom-made wine racks and my favourite of all, a “wine tree”, and the first event that put the firepit to the test!