A coat of black paint and a patterned tile floor turned a basic kitchen into a showstopper

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When Esté and Reenen Kok bought this house in Stellenbosch’s Welgevonden Estate, it came with the developer’s standard kitchen. “We wanted to give it some personality, but without breaking the bank,” explains Esté. Luckily the couple had a friend they could turn to for advice – designer Willem J Bruwer of Karakter Studio.

showstopping kitchen makeover




As the existing layout suited the open-plan space and the cabinets were in good shape, Willem saw no need to make any major structural changes.

“I assessed the budget and helped Esté and Reenen identify the areas they were happy to spend money on,” he explains. As they enjoy entertaining, the couple decided to invest in a freestanding cooker and extractor fan. To accommodate them, the existing cabinets were altered slightly. On the opposite side, an awkward niche was turned into a pantry cupboard aligned neatly with the neighbouring wall.



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The cabinets were then painted in Plascon’s Dark Onyx. “It’s incredible how a simple change of colour gave them a much more expensive look,” says Willem. The Venetian blinds, which were also in good nick, were sprayed to match. What remained of the budget was used to replace the flooring with beautiful hand-painted tiles from Moroccan Warehouse. “For the splashback we opted for a budget-friendly white tile from Tilehouse, which was laid in a running bond pattern for interest.”

“Now our kitchen really makes a statement and has loads of character,” say Esté and Reenen. “Guests tend to gravitate towards the kitchen counter, so it’s become a great space for entertaining.”

showstopping kitchen makeover


KITCHEN COSTS (approx. in May 2019)  

 Cupboards (including modifications, new hardware and paint): R15 500

Blinds respraying: R600

Floor tiles (excluding labour, tile adhesive and grout):  R11 880

Splashback tiles (excluding labour, tile adhesive and grout): R835

Total: R28 815