Bellissima! A boring kitchen undergoes an unbelievable transformation

An Italian pizza oven steals the show in this stunning kitchen makeover.

By Beatrice Moore-Nöthnagel • Photographs: Francois Oberholster

When Diané van Rhyn first entered the old, neglected house in Tara, Durbanville, she was anything but convinced. But her husband, Cobus, had already made up his mind to buy the house and renovate it. ‘I was sceptical, but he was adamant and said it would be his project,’ Diané explains.

After a few sleepless nights, the Van Rhyns’ offer was accepted and their mammoth task began in earnest. Of the original house, Cobus and his team retained only the walls; all the cupboards, kitchen- and bathroom fittings were removed and the old-fashioned arches were squared. Five months later, they moved in. We paid them a visit to find out how they had transformed their kitchen.

Kitchen Before

The project
‘We wanted to create a cottage look in the kitchen. At our previous home we had a pizza oven outside, but this time we wanted it inside – socialising in a kitchen is the best!’ says Diané. The kitchen and indoor braai room now form one big entertainment area.

After all the old, rotten kitchen cabinets had been removed, the Van Rhyns called in Dan Mel Melamine City. ‘They designed our previous kitchen and knew what we wanted. We sat down together and with our pictures and their ideas soon formulated a plan,’ says Diané.

A new floor, a window that opens wide much like a stacking door, cupboards and the pizza oven were all installed, and the Van Rhyns are thrilled with the end result. ‘The window overlooks the garden and we love the fact that we have loads of space. And, of course, the pizza oven is a winner!’


The new kitchen boasts a large island around which the whole family gathers to create their own delicious pizzas. All the kitchen cabinets rest on feet because the Van Rhyns’ previous house flooded twice and they don’t want to lose all their cupboards again!

This old dresser is made from a material similar to melamine; a coat of Plascolac Pigmented Wood Lacquer from Quick Tint in the colour Terracotta has turned it into a dramatic focal point.

Fine finishes
Cupboards White melamine and PVC carcasses; doors made of manufactured wood with a wood grain (colour Country Nature); turned wooden feet; Antique Brass Club handles.
Work surfaces Hanstone in the colour Liscia.
Flooring Tiles from CTM.
Lighting from Eurolux.
Sinks from Waterstone.
Pizza oven from Italoven.
Windows by Firstfit Glass.


Make sure your kitchen gets plenty of light and that there’s enough storage space – Cobus and Diané


The huge window is definitely an asset – even Bella the dog agrees! The lettering on the wooden boxes was added by Gepetto’s Art & Decor.