Before and After: Milnerton Cottage

WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Hanno de Swardt & Matthew Van Niekerk

Architect and interior designer Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design transformed his third bedroom into a self-contained cottage with character.

“There are only two of us living on the property, so we wanted to turn the third bedroom into a cottage that could bring in a rental income,” Hanno explains. “My design brief was to manipulate the quite limited available space to create a contemporary, multifunctional living space for one or two people, while sticking to a tight budget.”

The concept is one-room living that can be adapted to the time of day or occupant’s needs. The wall bed – Hanno’s favourite element – folds away to create an entertainment area. “When folded away it looks like a wardrobe. It’s such a clever way of freeing up a space. The reaction when people ask where the bed is is always priceless!” says Hanno.

The built-in corner bench, as an extension to the linear kitchenette, can be sofa seating, a dining nook or work area. “For the look and feel I kept it fairly neutral using charcoal and light greys with colourful art and scatters for colour,” says Hanno.

Hanno’s advice for renovating a small space on a small budget? For joinery, go for MelaWood instead of duco finishes. It looks great but is more economical. And instead of free-standing pieces, like sofas for example, consider built in-furniture. Then you can have fun with (and only pay for) accessories.

Missed our post on a before and after project in Cape Town’s Green Point? View it here.