Our home in the CBD – Kitchen makeover

We are renting a beautiful old apartment in Cape Town, join me as I share a few tips and tricks on doing small renovations to make your house a home for the duration of your stay. In this series I will be showing you how we makeover our home in the CBD!


We moved into our home in the CBD  just over a year ago, I foolishly thought I would have shared these posts with you all a long time ago! I guess it was a way of motivating myself to get things done, but oh man making a house feel like a home takes time… A year and 2 weeks to be exact!

Lets take a few steps back, we previously lived in a semi detached old Victorian house in Woodstock. James and I both moved out of our parents home into this semi, it was our very first home together, all our furniture was bought to fit and it was our little kittens first home too. It was/is a house that carries so many memories for us, sadly our landlord was selling and we had to move. I was terribly sad for a long time, you know the kind of sadness that doesn’t allow you to think of what greatness may be around the corner for you? Well yes, that’s where I was stuck.

It took us 4 months to find our new place, rentals in Cape Town is incredibly expensive which made things more difficult. As long as the place had ‘good bones’ we were confident that we could make it our home… and so we did!

The beauty of  older apartments in the CBD is the space, our new home is bigger and has SO much sunshine! The potential I saw when we viewed it for the first time helped me to come unstuck! If you are wanting to make small changes to your current rental just ask… Our new landlord is lovely and has met us half way with some of the renovations, after all it is upping the value of her apartment. Don’t be shy to ask, the worst they can say is no… I think my interior design background has helped with this negotiation. 

Okay, so lets get to it.

I am starting with the kitchen makeover, this is the room that has had the biggest transformation. The kitchen is the heart of our home, we love to entertain and this is also where I make all the Studio Melissa Louise candles.




Apart from just being old, this place needed a DEEP clean!


Mix matched cupboards.




James made the copper utensil overhead hanger, how handy? All copper parts bought and cut at Builders Warehouse.  


We jazzed up the existing white tiles by applying cut vinyl, designed by Frizzy Diamond.  


3 top tips when doing your own kitchen mini makeover:

  1. Paint, paint and paint – a fresh lick of paint will make the biggest difference to your space. We went with white, it has a way of making the space appear larger. Also in an older place white has the potential to brighten up the space and make it look clean and fresh.
  2. Change the door knobs – this is an inexpensive way to update your cupboards. Our pine knobs were +-R4.50 each. 
  3. Vinyl – great as a focal point on walls or tiles. Make sure you clean and prep your surface properly to avoid it from peeling.


Do you have a home that you are proud of and would like to share? I would love to feature it in our ‘beautiful homes around the world’ series, I would love to hear from you.


All photographs by Melissa Louise unless stated.



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