Fairview Homestead | The make-over of Shanty 21
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The make-over of Shanty 21

When our children were still in school they formed a band and, as you know, a band needs to practice. When you grow up in a house that is your home as well as a guest house that proves to be a problem. Our children’s solution was to claim a small storeroom below the swimming pool as their little music den. They called it Shanty 21. I asked Alex: ‘why 21?’ and he answered: ‘ every abode needs a number…’ I suppose when you are 16 years old 21 sounds like a grand number to be. Shanty was kitted out with seating – discarded rickety chairs, logs covered with old carpets, lots of candles and cobwebs for ambiance – the perfect music den. The words ‘herein lie the sound of music’ were added next to the crude signage of ‘Shanty 21’.

In Summer of 2013 we decided to restore ‘Shanty 21’ and use it as a small guest room for single occupancy, but let us start at the beginning:

When they removed the door frame the wall collapsed! Not much left, but the restoration of a listed building means it has to be rebuilt in exactly the same place (we were tempted to sneak in a square meter or three!)We had clay bricks held together with mud and ferns…unbelievable if you scroll down for the end result.

Shanty-21-compressed

 

 

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and the final result:

DSC_4614

Shanty-restored-compressed

Room-007-1024x682

 

garden-room-basin-compressed-677x1024

 

Copyright © Philda Benkenstein    All Rights Reserved

Philda Benkenstein
benkenstein@mweb.co.za

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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