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How I refurbished my house: My teenager’s room

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Mother of four boys, Marinda and her hubby, who own a local pub in Blouberg, bought an old, dilapidated six-bedroom house which had been used as a swimming school by the previous owner.

Over the next few weeks we will be cataloguing their journey of transforming the house from unfit-for-purpose, to versatile, comfortable and homely family living.

The lady who we bought from was the original owner and her husband passed away 16 years prior so it was a bit dilapidated by the time we bought it. But we love DIY-ing! She ran a swim school from here and the house has six bedrooms; one is chopped in half as a sewing room/study my husband and I share. The room I’m featuring today is my eldest son’s room: it was used as a change room for the kids in the swim school. It had mould in all the corners, old vinyl/linoleum tiles – a few were missing – the ceiling’s skirting was coming loose in a corner and a whole section on the wall had plaster chipped off.

It was also a real tiny space (3mx2,5m), but in our house the young ones get the big rooms as they have more nonsense to lug around. I still, however, wanted the room to feel really spacious and not cramped.

My inspiration for the open shelf storage system served several purposes: it kept flow open, made the space feel bigger and it forces him to keep it neat and tidy!

Cleaning the canvas










I believe you start on a clean slate when a project kicks off, so remove ALL hardware: screws, nails, curtain rods, hooks, etc. Then fill all holes with Polyfilla, cracks along the skirting and ceiling with Acrylic and, once dry, sand all. Prime if you work on a total gut job like this, and then do two to three coats of paint. I like using Dulux for edging and door frames as it has a standard seven-year warranty. I use Dulux Luxurious Silk (water-based) on walls and Pearl Glo (enamel) on window and door frames as a rule. For large surface walls in rooms we occupy and can’t close off for a day or so I prefer the Paint & Place’s Low/No VOC paints.

Walls, floors and more


In this room we kept the original floor and installed our laminate floor over it – we used a cheaper wood laminate as I detest the plastic-looking ones. It cost R239/m2. Once the floor was in we did the shelving on the wall. It’s literally industrial, garage shelving we assembled to give us a space for hanging clothes, book shelves, a desk – it all literally just clips into the vertical slats and can be moved and removed with just a hammer.

We bought a table top while the desk legs came from one of our old office tables. Because of the age of the house, most of the rooms only had one plug point – or none like this room. It’s not the prettiest look with all the conduit, but we had to drill through the wall from the adjacent room to get power in there and then run it along the wall for more plugs on the other side.

After the shelves were up we took care of the essentials. We installed a fan first but because it’s a north-facing wall it gets crazy hot so we installed an air conditioner too. A mirror, a television for his gaming, bendable reading lamps (one by the desk where he does homework and one next to his bed), a floating shelf, two wire storage baskets on wheels under his bed.

I love how it came out.IMG_0521


  • Flooring was roughly R2,000 from the Flooring Depot
  • Shelving was roughly R3,000 from Builders Warehouse
  • Prep and painting, and consumables probably no more than R600
  • Fan was R1,000
  • Aircon was R9,000 for a 9000 BTU inverter unit (we only use and buy inverter units to save on electricity as it uses half the power)
  • All lights installed have LED lamps (we only use LEDs aside from the salt and crystal lamps on the shelves)
  • Mirror was R250
  • Plugs, light switches etc were roughly R300
  • Storage baskets on wheels were R200 each from Builders
  • Blinds were R600 from Builders

Next time we will be featuring the transformation of the toddler’s room into a Montessori-inspired dream room


Review overview