i began following Chloe O’Doherty sometime last year, in the midst of those early all-consuming baby days – when i found myself stalking as many mothers as I could on Instagram. it was a way for me to silently connect with women going through the same thing as i was, trying to figure out life with a new baby while balancing whatever else is thrown at you.
Chloe’s daughter Ava is a few months older than Axel, and they moved into their newly renovated home in Johannesburg’s Parktown North just before she was born. we also moved into our own old house right before Axel’s birth, so i found myself connecting to Chloe in more ways than one. i got a few glimpses into their place through her various Instagram Stories, and eventually reached out to ask if she’d care to share their home on the blog.
i would usually take these kind of home tour photos myself, but being that i’m 1400km away in Cape Town proved a bit of an obstacle. luckily for me, and you, Chloe is a photographer. she and her husband Patrick run KISS KISS, specialising in family, birth, newborn & pregnancy photography. their motto is ‘real is more interesting than perfect’, which i think applies pretty perfectly to their home, too.
We bought the house at the beginning of 2015, I was already in the early days of my pregnancy and clearly needing to nest like a maniac. We bought the house despite it being condemned by the bank and set to work restoring it to it’s former glory.
Slate has been added to the beautiful round stoep in the 70’s, underneath the original polished floor was intact. Thankfully the house was mostly just in bad disrepair and had not been overly modified, most of the original 1920’s fitting remained. I think that’s what made us fall in love with the house, the light fittings, door handles, cornices, picture rails and detailed handles on all the wooden window frames.
The entrance hall during and after restoration:
The Lounge before & after restoration:
By the time I was 8 months pregnant we had spent our first night in our new home on a mattress on the floor. What ensued next was a flurry of nesting activity getting our home ready before our baby girl was born. She arrived 2 weeks early during a heatwave in Johannesburg on the 18th of January 2016 and life was never ever the same again.
The Main bedroom:
The bathrooms Before + After:
“The dusty pink en suite bathroom had a false low knotty pine ceiling we ripped down…”
Another room in the house, with a second fireplace, before & after restoration:
Since having Ava I’ve needed a creative outlet since quitting my job as an art director in advertising, so I started Kiss Kiss. Photography which had always been a hobby felt like a good fit. I hated all the cheesy Pinterest style family photography I saw everywhere and so have tried to capture people, babies, families and even a birth in a documentary style. Before having Ava I don’t think I could have captured the beauty in a dad holding his baby, but since becoming a mother I’m a weepy emotional trigger happy mess.