Tuesday, December 11

Matriculant with a love for antiques creates the ultimate man cave

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When his parents added a room on top of the garage at their family home, a young rugby player made the space his own by building unique furniture and patiently hunting for bargain decor items in second-hand shops

The somewhat clichéd saying “like father like son” certainly applies to the Eygelaar family of Monte Vista – especially where woodwork and a hands-on approach are concerned.

When he finds the time in a busy schedule between school, sport and socialising, son Petru, 18, loves to discover treasures in the second-hand goods shops in Woodstock and Voortrekker Road.

“I love the challenge of finding something and figuring out how to make it work”.

The desk features legs made from springs taken from an old garage door. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

The matriculant at DF Malan High School, who lives to play rugby, has created an ultimate man cave. With a love for unique pieces (shared with his father and mother, Gysbert and Carin), each with a story to tell, it has been a fun journey.

Petru describes his style as a combination of rustic, industrial and vintage, and has developed a sure feel for what works and what does not.

When his parents expanded their home by building a study on top of their garage to accommodate their growing family, he decided the new space would be far more suitable for him as a new bedroom. He negotiated a trade-off – his old room as their study, and he would create a dream room in the new space.

Petru says: “I love time in my room because I created it myself. It’s satisfying to live in a unique space tailored to my needs.”

His vintage wardrobes used to belong to his paternal grandparents. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Every item in his room he made or has a story to tell. His three-quarter bed was originally his single childhood bed. Having outgrown it but determined not to waste, he dissembled it and used wood his dad had left over from his projects.

Additional storage was created by turning apple crates from Elgin into drawers which fit under the bed. A rustic lamp was added as bedside illumination.

His cupboards are vintage his-and-hers which belong to his paternal grandparents. They were designed specifically for the modern man and woman of the 1950s – one with space specifically for men’s clothes, another for women’s needs. Petru replaced plywood in the doors with glass to create instant statement pieces.

The bedroom is part of an open-plan layout, with the cupboards creating a temporary wall and much-needed privacy.

Petru Eygelaar turned a single bed into a three-quarter bed. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

When the home’s garage doors were replaced, Petru saw the potential of their springs. When he constructed a custom-made desk from recycled Oregon pine, the springs became the legs.

Coming across a large piece of discarded metal, he loved its rustic look and today it has pride of place above his desk as his noticeboard.

His bedside table is a set of vintage sewing drawers destined for a landfill. They had belonged to a friend of his mom who made bridal gowns, and it still has the holes where the bobbins fitted.

The rugby player was not intimidated by seamstress furniture, immediately identifying the potential as handy storage for knick-knacks.

Another favourite discovery is a vintage desk fan found in a shop in Voortrekker Road. When bought, it did not work, but after an afternoon of tinkering with it, it is now as good as new. A vintage army chest kept on top of Petru’s cupboard has become perfect storage for his trophies and memorabilia.

A vintage desk fan adds interest in Petru’s man cave. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Petru says his biggest challenge was to find the perfect pieces for his bedroom as it was a time-consuming process: “But if you are patient, you will be rewarded.”

Wise words from a young man who lives in today’s fast-paced world in which instant gratification is shouted from all media platforms.

At the moment, his room does not have a door, so his next project is to build a barn-style door on rollers.

No doubt it will be as unique as the rest of his bedroom.

Next year, Petru leaves home to go to university. What a treat he leaves behind for his family.

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