Tag Archives: pressed tin ceilings

Don’t judge a house by it’s cover!

Having lived in over a dozen houses in the last 9 and a half years, I think that unofficially qualifies me an expert? ūüôā

I realised the other day, I haven’t really posted anything about our current dwelling. ¬†I think I unknowingly¬†omitted writing about it as we once again have a short stay here!

Having experienced such a lot of homes in such a short span of time, I have developed a nick for finding a gem here and there.  And yes, I found one here!

From the first glance, this is just an ordinary house on the street. ¬†In fact, it is no looker! I actually will go as far as saying…I hate the exterior!

Exterior of house

This is a typical house in Johannesburg.  This type of house was build for mine workers that lived and worked in the city.  You find this building style all over Joburg.

The house is very surprising in a lot of ways.  I remember the first day I came to view it.  Firstly it was on the market for rental for 4 months.  That already fitted our requirements as we just need some time to find our perfect (permanent) home! Also the rental was a ridiculous amount.  That got me sold!

Then the interior really blew me away! I recently found out the house is almost 70 years old…and it really looks good! ¬†Let me show you:


The kitchen is nothing fancy…but has that old-world feel. ¬†It has just plain white cupboards and vinyl on the floor. ¬†However, it is warm and we find ourselves relaxing here most of the time.

Kitchen & Dining Room

The living room still has the original oak floors and its looking good!

Oak floors

The rooms are huge and the ceilings are high. ¬†I think the ceilings are my highlight! Pressed tin ceilings and crown mouldings in all the rooms and bathroom! I can stare at it for hours…the detail is amazing!

High ceilings

Peach tree in the back

Then there’s the huge backyard. ¬†Perfect for little ones…especially the peach tree. ¬†I spoke to the owner who grew up in the house and she vividly recalled climbing this tree as a child.

This house has the X-factor. ¬†You cannot exactly pinpoint what you like about it…but you immediately feel at home.

X-Factor ~ {(informal) an unknown or hard-to-define but important special property}

I love this house…I really do. ¬†It has great bones and seem to have great memories. ¬†Makes me want my own house now more than ever. ¬†Be patient Lizl, soon!

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Going back to yesteryear…

Although I would consider myself a contemporary designer, I do appreciate design of yesteryear. Two of the projects I am currently busy with are in fairly old houses.

We are currently refurbishing the kitchen of this house of 114 years and in a leafy suburb in Jozi. But what really impressed me was this:

Ornate design and ceiling rose

Original pressed tin ceilings are suddenly surfacing again. The trend is to try and preserve the old…I love it.

Historically, tin ceilings were introduced to North America as an affordable alternative to the exquisite plasterwork used in European homes. They gained popularity in the late 1800’s as Americans sought sophisticated interior design. Durable, lightweight and fireproof, tin ceilings were appealing to home and business owners alike as a functionally attractive design element that was readily available.

It was during the¬†Victorian era¬†(1839‚Äď1901) that thin rolled tin-plate was being mass-produced. Between 1890 and 1930, approximately forty-five companies in the United States marketed metal ceilings; most were in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, located along railroad lines that served as the main routes for delivering the pressed metal products directly to contractors. Sheets of tin were stamped one at a time using rope drop hammers and cast iron molds. Using this method of production, metal was sandwiched between two interlocking tools.

In the 1930s, tin ceilings began to lose their popularity and ceilings as a design element were ignored. In the 21st century, some renewed interest has been shown in tin ceilings. ~ Wikipedia

Different design

The other house is in Roodepoort and is about 45 years old. (Sorry don’t have pic).We will be refurbishing the kitchen and dining room into an open plan area. ¬†The ceiling height in the two areas are at different heights. The dilemma is whether to keep the tin ceilings or rip them out. ¬†I have suggested we try and replicate it with the¬†polystyrene¬†versions to help keep the character of the house. ¬†The client has yet to decide. ¬†Two guesses what I want?

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