Before and After: Durbanville Family Home

WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Mat Van Niekerk (after), Hanno de Swardt (before)

Architect and designer Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design gave a cosmetic makeover to a family home stuck in the ’80s, updating an outdated interior and giving life to impractical rooms.

The project, which took two-and-a-half months to complete, focused on the main living areas with attention paid to bold new wall colours, wallpapers, locally sourced wall art and custom-made joinery.

“The brief was to lighten up the house, both visually and physically,” explains Hanno. “The client felt trapped in her own house and wanted to improve the use of the general spaces, as well as her two son’s rooms, which were in desperate need of a revamp.”

Hanno began by tackling the dark cream walls, black skirtings, facebrick features and poor artificial lighting. A lack of storage and joinery in disrepair lead to cluttered spaces. His other area of focus was the entrance, to establish a sense of arrival upon entering the house, and to introduce some greenery.

The family spends a lot of time in their TV rooms and both were fitted with custom-designed and -made TV units. The boys’ bedrooms were also fitted with new desks and wardrobes. One bedroom features a wallbed that folds away into the wardrobe in order to free up space when friends come to play. In the same room a multifunctional window seat offers extra storage.

The boys’ bedrooms are now characterised by masculine charcoal grey linen and blockout roller blinds and light grey joinery, all offset by bright accents in orange and lime green. One of the boys is a keen musician so Hanno chose a graffiti wallpaper to keep him inspired.

The overall result is a lighter, brighter family home with an emphasis on function and flow and contemporary elements that won’t date soon.

Check out more before and afters by Hanno here.