Francoisnette Van Hoogstraten

Name: Francoisnette
Surname: Van Hoogstraten
Location: Stellenbosch
Entry Date: June 4, 2024
Category: Most Beautiful
Project: Entire House

About the Project:

I moved from Somerset-West to Stellenbosch after my husband passed away at the end of 2022 as my two children were attending school in Stellenbosch. I bought the ugliest house in the neighborhood; it resembled a Greek Church: white walls, turquoise windows with a centre resembling a tower. I saw the potential in creating a…

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I moved from Somerset-West to Stellenbosch after my husband passed away at the end of 2022 as my two children were attending school in Stellenbosch. I bought the ugliest house in the neighborhood; it resembled a Greek Church: white walls, turquoise windows with a centre resembling a tower. I saw the potential in creating a house with an eclectic feel, something of everything, as I believe your house should reflect your personality. I wanted to make use of all the antiques I inherited, combining them with modern pieces, pieces I re-upholstered and pieces I renovated myself. This was also an opportunity for me to see what I am capable of. My husband was a project manager and I helped him with interior aspects of building but never project managed a renovation on my own. I worked for 28 years in the corporate fashion industry as a designer, merchandiser and buyer and this helped me with costings and managing the project. I project managed the building of the house and did the entire interior myself.

I kept the outside walls of the house and stripped all the floors, windows, doors and tiles, and broke out a few walls on the inside.
The big swimming pool also had to go. Most of the building rubble was dumped in it, which saved me a lot of money. This made space for my new garage. The old garage was converted into a flatlet for Airbnb. I used the aluminium windows, doors, kitchen cupboards, bedroom cupboards and bathroom items that I removed from the house in the flatlet.

I bought the most beautiful Indian front door, entry gate and pillars from Private Collection to give the house its own special look. The house is painted in earthy tones mixed with exposed brick and wood. To finish off the courtyard, I tiled it in a natural tile that gives the impression of concrete. The lights in the courtyard were also bought at Private Collection to match the Indian doors and pillars.

I love colour and was not scared to try new combinations. Each room in my house has a different feel to give it its own character.

The braai room/kitchen: I increased the height of the roof and moved my kitchen next to the braai. The colours I used for the cupboards are Congo, Expresso and Treviso (wood look) to give it a natural look to match the braai. The mosaic tiles on the floor completed the look. I love to entertain, and I wanted to be part of the party and not back in the kitchen. The kitchen is now part of the outside and inside entertainment area. I also built a new smaller swimming pool to be part of the entertainment area.
The rest of the house flooring was done with clip vinyl. This was a stock offer at R180/sqm.
The kitchen area was turned into my dining room. This is my favourite room in the house (besides the guest toilet). I can’t wait for winter to use the slow burner that has a two-way entry from the library/TV room. I painted the room a dark olive green to offset the green side table and dining table. The flower couch was an Indonesian leather couch that I re-upholstered. I bought the table for R900. I striped all the varnish, sealed it, and painted the legs a dark olive. I repainted my old wooden chairs in a natural colour. The antique cupboard I inherited from my mom. I bought the green side table in Woodstock almost 20 years ago.
The library/TV room with its dark navy walls and gold curtains and ottoman gives the house a cosy and dramatic atmosphere. The peacock statement chair in the library was an old brown leather chair that I re-upholstered. My husband was very fond of reading, and I got a contractor in to build the bookcase especially for all his books. The posters against the wall are from our trip to Europe in 2018.

To give the house a better flow, I broke out the wall between the braai room and living room. Most of the ceilings were redone, except the beautiful wooden one in this double-volume room. The olive green and tropical leaf couch were old couches that I re-upholstered. I renovated the cocktail table with podge and paint.
The two green velvet antique chairs (that were upholstered with maroon velvet) I inherited from my mom’s grandparents. I love animal print and the cushions on the chairs give it a funky look.
I updated the stairs with a new wood-and-steel railing with shelves that match the bookcase in the library. I kept the staircase as is with the weathered wood look as it matched the rest of the house perfectly. I added mosaic tiles to the uprights to complete the look and to make a statement. The bar area used to be a linen cupboard, but it still needs some work.
All the bathrooms were redone. The guest toilet was part of the quest bathroom that I subdivided. This is my pride and joy and I love the gold and dark teal combination. The vanity was a bedside table that I renovated.
In the bedrooms, the beds have old headboards that I re-upholstered myself. I made most of the cushions and renovated the old antiques with podge and paint.
The white cupboards in the house were replaced with sliding-door cupboards in matte black/silver and Treviso (wood look).
All new household items were bought at sales or second-hand.

As water and electricity are becoming very expensive and are under enormous pressure, I installed a grey-water system for irrigation of the garden and a solar system for the house.
All the rainwater and water from the bathrooms, kitchen and washing machine is stored in JoJo tanks with an overflow. The solar system has 2 x 10kw batteries, a 14kw inverter and 18 solar panels.

I used the contractors and suppliers that my husband worked with for many years. It would not be fair of me to disclose what I paid as it is 20 – 30% less for labour and retail prices. This was a way for them to say thank you for his continuous business over the years.

This was a big achievement for me, and I would love to go into project management and interior design in the future. We started the project on 3 October and finished at the end of April. Basically, it took me six months, keeping in mind building holidays in December.

Budget Breakdown:

Building: Blom Constructions


Electrical: De Kock Solutions
Tiles, bathroom essentials & lights: Bathrooms 4U
Building supplies: Builders, Built IT & GH Construction
Steelwork (gates, bookcases, stairs): H.J Projects
Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom cupboards: Nelberg Interiors
Aluminium windows and doors: FG Aluminium
Paint: Laminin Paints & J.H. Painters
Ceilings: Ceilings Online
Curtains and blinds: Boston Blinds
Vinyl flooring: Strand Flooring
Plugs, light switches and lights: Okavango Electrical
Grand Total