Interview – Nicolene van der Linde


Man … I love blogging. This is a place where I get to share awesome people! It’s been a long time since CS has interviewed someone. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time! But we are back and we starting with a beautiful soul. She is a women after my own heart. We talk the same language. We get excited about the same creative things and its so refreshing.

Nicolene has a background in law as well as lecturing law at Varsity College but her law career was placed on hold when her heart felt that practicing law was very different from studying it or lecturing it. Once Nicolene had children she found her herself with a much happier spirit being creative with her kids and in this her love for creativity that photography took shape.

” The photography bug bit very hard from there onwards. I think I have finally found my vocational passion! It is very creative but also very technical… actually a little bit of everything. I love it!”

Her home renovation journey has been an inspirational one. Never a dull moment in renovating is there?

Living in this solid old Durban North home with Nicolene is her husband Ewoudt and together they have two kids Luwaldt(4) and Limirie (2) &  four dogs. The house over looks the beautiful ocean but not close enough for salty spoils. However, it was in need of some modern love and personal spice. Nicolene really needed to find someone who would take their family into consideration while renovating as she was heavily pregnant at the time and wanted to use what they had existing to create their perfect space but that did not happen the first time round. Their first building experience (The Granny Flat behind the house) was rather a huge learning curve …

” With the granny flat we managed the process ourselves. We contracted builders, tilers, painters, electricians, plumbers and so forth. We bought and scheduled delivery of all the supplies ourselves. It was a grueling process. The first builder we had went awol with a portion of our money, and the admin around what should happen when was pretty intense. As was choosing all the finishes (we planned a certain look, but halfway through realised the floor we wanted wasn’t available anymore and had to change course half way). But luckily all turned out ok (and nobody got divorced or murdered in the process).”

exposed-brick granny-flat-bathroom

grann gr

Most of the material used for building and decor was restored and Nicolene tried to use whatever they had to make magic happen. Not solely for cost savings but because that is what being creative was all about!

” We kept the basics natural and organic- screed, wood, raw brick. Décor wise we always joke if its rusty or peeling we will take it, so the organic look was pretty much the natural choice for us.”

gra gran-bath

drawers gran

FRONT OF GRANNY FLAT: This is where they cooked outside most evenings while the main house was being renovated. Rain or shine.


The main house reno was done while they loved in the granny flat. This picture is of the view of the main house, ocean in the distance.
Walls were knocked down to open up the living area
Practical flooring & beautiful kitchen design make the perfect heart of the home zone for the family.
Ladder on display but used when needed!

entrance frame

CS- What tips have you got to share with someone who is starting a renovation? Plan, plan, plan (the look you want, budget, timeline… the list is endless). Finding builders you can trust is a big step in the right direction. Think outside of the box– we recycled our old garage doors into a linen kist and used walking sticks as towel rails. Don’t feel discouraged when the going gets tough keep your eye on the ball, it is so worth it in the end! Live in the space for at least a year if possible before renovating you get a comprehensive idea of your needs.

CS- Can you say what the best part of the reno was? Moving in! The space was ‘us’ and felt like home!

CS- Can you share your worst experience? As I mentioned the first builder disappeared with some of our money (hard lesson to learn). And we had a bad burglary in the middle of the process which meant we had to up security by installing an electric fence which of course took a big bite out of our budget.

CS- Looking back on it all, why did you choose the design and decor you did or was it just an organic way? I am an avid décor magazine reader and got lots of ideas there. We had a pretty good sense of what we liked as we had to save for a long time, so plenty of dreaming had happened! However, it was difficult putting everything together and letting some ideas go that just didn’t work.


CS- Having kids is a big factor in deciding on your layout and decor choice. Can you tell us what decisions were made for this? We wanted an open space where kids could play and everyone is ‘involved’ whilst going about their daily tasks. Nothing is too fancy and where very few things are ‘don’t touch that’. Most things are easily cleaned (like the leather couches and grass carpets) and I squeeze in extra storage wherever I can (example, some old milk cans are now home to a variety of balls).


CS- You are definitely a creative & hold a natural flair for ‘thinking out the box’
with designs… Can you share which item you made with whatever you
had lying around?
My favourite is probably our headboard made from old burgler bars from before the renovations. Oh and our TV unit which Jomo (our gardener and handy man) and I made from scaffolds used in the building process.



shelves kids-room8

Shelves in kids rooms also made from scaffolding, pretty awesome hey!?

CS- What would you do over again if you had the chance?Mmmm I currently have a bee in my bonnet to white wash the wooden floors…

CS- Would you do it all over again, ie do you enjoy the process and why? Hahaha, that depends on when you ask the question! The process is very exciting, but there are times that you are 100 % sure it’s going to kill you and you can’t take a minute more (of course having the right team will minimise this feeling). However… in the end it is a couple of months worth of tough going and then months and months and months of loving your space every day… So yes, I would definitely do it again!

Favourite aritists: Marike Prinsloo-Rowe- One day when I am grown up I would love to own one of her pieces. Ingrid Hall & Rentia Smith.

The car bed was made by Nicolene

Knob Kirri’s used as hand rails in the bathroom.

{Through Nicolene’s Eyes}

Sundays are about church and family time… and relaxing as much as possible with two toddlers around! My favourite memory in this home isthere are too many to choose from! Life is not complete without chocolate Super M’s (my kids would argue its strawberry) If we were the last family on earth we would live simply and farm organically. Today is a gift and a blessing and glorious! I love my country because there are a million places and things to be discovered. The way to a kid’s heart is being emotionally present and being involved. If I had the time I would watch a movie or 10, learn some new tricks in photoshop and read, read, read. My favourite corner in my home is the study because so much of my creative energy is spent there. I am cooking spicy chicken for supper. Nothing is better than seeing my kids be carefree. Being creative is like shooting stars in heart.

detail2 detail3 inter1 front-door


Man, dont you just love this women and her free creative spirit! What I love about her & her home is that she used something old and made it something new.She used what she had and with thinking out the box she created beautiful things!


Hearty Swedish home

Hello everyone. Wow, its been a crazy few weeks. We had our baby girl, Hannah Mae and she is now 3 weeks old. Hence the few blog posts. Sorry. But I’m back on and looking forward to blogging more. Here are some photographs by Fredrik Karlsson from Alvhem Estate & Interior / SE360. Once again a beautiful swedish home near Gothenburg. Hope you enjoy it x



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Oh yes! It’s Friday!! Time to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air of an awesome weekend ahead. Whether there have plans or not, enjoy every moment.

Perhaps its the British in me. Perhaps its my romantic side. Maybe I was meant to live in these types of places? None the less I had to share with you some balcony inspiration I found. All photos are found via here. One could imagine yourself on each of these outdoor spaces, looking over the rooftops of your surrounds. Breathing in the crisp air and absorbing the suns rays … Sounds delightful.

Anthony Debbo – The Good Wood Co.

Anthony Debbo from The Good Wood Co. has brilliant kitchen and solid timber talent. All kinds of wood, all kinds of creations and he has a heart after nature, he now plants a tree for every job he does! That’s what I call giving it back.

Here are just two of his stunning kitchens. There are plenty more to show you so watch out for his Interview. Anthony does not conform to kitchens, he designs and builds beautiful furniture which always holds a unique flavour. If you inspired, please feel free to leave a comment or click here.

The Good Wood Co. is based in Durban, South Africa but that does not limit Anthony’s canvas, The Good Wood Co. does work up and down the Natal coast as well as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Durban home of Jared Dwyer

A while back I viewed probably one of the most stunning apartments I have ever seen. A flat purchased by a talented carpenter who is not only creative but also a very cool guy. Jared allowed Creative Stream to write about his home, his passions and his line of work. One can see that he is extremely self motivated and thrives on doing things to the best of his ability. Be it working with wood, sports or hanging with his beautiful girlfriend Max. His apartment completely gutted and redone was perfectly orchestrated by himself to the finest details. It oozes masculinity, realness and charm. The living space is open planned with the kitchen which creates a superb place for social vibes, as well as an ideal chilling area. The bedroom is clutter free, even with a creative working corner and fitness workout station, it remains peaceful and calm. I love the exposed brick walls which is the reason I got introduced to Jared and his home.

His business, budding from the experience and interest he gained working with his father at a young age, offers many services including office, home & factory loft style interiors. He also offers maintenance, repairs and installations. Woodmans Carpentry is how some of you might know him from. He has a unique eye for creating something out of things you would conservatively use. For example, his television is attached to the wall by a pipe, a drain pipe! His window shutters are made from the wooden floor boards which were in his flat when he purchased it and an old mill sack is used as his laundry bag and is hung by an industrial hook and chain and his storage or shelving is actually a row of post boxes….I told you, he has remarkable ideas! “..I used to work for my dad who runs a painting contracting business.On the construction sites I would go to the carpenters aka chippies and use their hand saws and a few nails to make myself a bench to sit on in my lunch break.Thought it was quite cool so started to build bigger and more complex things and eventually grew into what I do today. It is mainly expressing my creativity that is the fulfilling part.”

This home reflects no mundane style what so ever. It is the complete opposite. The kitchen, though of smallish size, feels open and clutter free. The way Jared accomplished this was by making counter tops with steel movable legs. No cupboard doors close in the kitchen; instead you get the openness of the walls as well as the workspace. The stove plates are one of my favourite! He used an industrial gas stove top which is the same style worktops that is used throughout the kitchen.

His use of steel, industrial equipment, wood and exposed brick creates such a clean look that when he displays special furniture or a piece in his home; you cannot help but be drawn to it. It is as if the style of this place leaves an open canvas for the quaint & important parts of his home or personality to shine out. For example, the special vintage sewing machine on his wall in the lounge area, also the lamp rounded and perfectly placed next to the armchair in the lounge. All work and layout was designed by Jared. He enjoyed every minute, he valued every piece of dust or rubble and he was motivated by a vision and dream, which he knew he had the ability to reach.  He got his hands dirty for sure and did as much of everything as he can. He enjoyed every moment “…would bring the blow up mattress sweep the dust aside and we used to stay here and I was so content…”


An eye for detail and personal flavour. Vintage sewing machine-one of Jared’s favourites, the attachment from kitchen counter to wall and then the mill sack hung by industrial chain in bathroom as laundry bag.



Bathroom oozes simplicity, Exposed brick walls throughout the home creates an equal flow of ambiance & the leather chair recovered by Jared, it holds a wonderful leather which welcomes character and usage.


Bedroom creates light and loft style living, Inspiration board above the bed reveals Jared’s passions and drive.

I asked Jared a few questions:

If you had a white wall, what would you do with it? Expose the bricks, decorate it with a jack hammer.

If you could build your own house, where would it be? I’ve always been intrigued by New York, I love the loft style. That’s where I got this inspiration from as well. But I enjoy so many places, I cannot narrow it down to one. I enjoy living in the city and I like going out and doing sport in the country.

Have you travelled much? Not allot, I’ve been to the UK three times. I’d like to climb some mountains!

What has been your most unusual buy or creation? Most unique? (he thinks because a lot of it has been unique) I love my lamp…and my shutters. I thought about this for a long time. Everybody said don’t rip up the floor boards, don’t do it….I then ripped up the floor boards. (we all laugh)

What has been the biggest challenge in this home? Trying to make everything work together. You must know your heart…I’d be driving and see something and know exactly that it would work with my  flat.

Do you want to do more to the flat? I don’t think so because my ideas have evolved now and I need a new canvas, I need to paint a new picture now. I’ve got to be challenged & this has reached its full potential.

Jared’s words:
On a summer’s day I love to…ride my bike
Home is…right here at 188 Clark Road.
The Drakensberg…is the best place to be in winter.
Max…is my baby.
Décor can become…something special when you get creative.
My creativity is always…like an endless well.
People think my style is…different.

Above: TV attached to wall by pipe brilliantly creative. Shutters made of the ripped up floor boards, which I belive are fantastic and then Jared’s creative space which entertains work and fitness.

Jared’s choices:
Restored or newRestored
Dark wood or light wood – Wood in general
Wooden floors or carpets – None, concrete floors
Paintings or prints – Neither
Sea or mountains – Both
Coffee or tea – coffee at Colombo

All photographs except his profile pictures are taken by Grant Pitcher. Thank Grant for these pictures!

The owner of this home is not only creative but a fitness lover. You can see that his home reflects a determination that flows right through his lifestyle. Thanks so much Jared for allowing Creative Stream to interview you and your home. Your creativity is contagious!

Jared’s quotes

“What I absolutely love is taking something and using it for a purpose that it was not intended for”

” It inspires me every time I walk in here and I smile. I love this place”

Jared’s work has been featured in Grant Pitcher’s website and Home Owner Magazine Face to Face article. Jared can be reached at

For More photographs by Grant Pitcher of Jared’s home and work, please see our gallery here.

Umdloti Home

Make no mistake, Dominique Seppings brings a calm and delightfully tasteful style to any room. I would like to share with you the inspiring home of Dominique & Dean Seppings. Dominique is the owner of Jabula Skincare. She runs Jabula from her home, which allows you to not only appreciate the wonderful service & treatments but appreciate her Umdloti home the minute you walk in.

I asked Dominique a few questions on home, decor& Jabula.

What is it about Decor that you love? It inspires me, being creative inspires me. I am always looking for new ideas and colours….It’s the only place I am creative.

Since when did you enjoy decor/styling? Since I was in my teens but then it was enjoyment with clothes because I never had my own house. So I expressed creativity with clothing and fashion. As soon as I moved into my own apartment, it moved to decor.

What is your idea of fashion nowadays? Anything goes these days but if it is for a lady, it has got to be feminine.

What is your idea of decor nowadays? Natural, minimalistic, spacious, inspirational. Things from nature like woods, stone, clean with a touch of bright colours.

What is your fave piece in your home right now? My mirror above my bed….also, the Clinton Friemann print displayed in Jabula…..oh and my pink single sofa!

Tell us about Jabula? It is absolute joy when friends & their friends come and relax and get some good TLC. Our treatments are at an affordable price. Jabula will be a personal experience. We use organic products and offer organic skin care treatments.


Freedom is to follow Jesus.

At home is where I relax.

My Clifton Friemann print or my Antwood mirror is what I would decorate a white wall with.

I would love to have coffee with Jesus.

When I look at the ocean I feel relaxed.




Home Interior / fashion
Wooden floors / tiles laminate wooden floors
Colour / natural
Flowers / plants Both-but they have got to compliment each other.
Plain linen / patterns…because they inspire me more, I use them together.
Rugs / Nguni hide the latest is actually sea grass carpet.


Jabula is a place you truly can escape from it all. Hidden on the cliff of Umdloti beach, the views are magnificent and the calm ambiance instantly relaxes you to enjoy the treatments Dominique offers. What I LOVE about Jabula is the skin care products as well as all treatment products used are ORGANIC! Though Jabula specialises is facial treatments there are many other treatments available. If you would like to make a booking or receive more information on prices and what Jabula has to offer, please email