Gavin Rooke isn’t an architect or a professional builder; he’s not the sort who figures he can frame up a small weekender and move in in six weeks’ time. But that didn’t keep the 41-year-old Johannesburg art gallerist from taking up a T-square and hammer in 2004 to start work on a 330-square-foot weekend house in tiny Deneysville on the Vaal Dam. "Being a modernist at heart, I believed that a home could be designed by a layman as long as the function of a building took precedence in all decisions," he says.
Though Gavin, his wife, Karin, and their two kids have spent ample time at the small house, it was only this year that they had the cash to refresh the interior with new dining chairs and curtains. And, more important, to add the red-and-gray Vermont cladding from Everite’s Nutec line that makes it an instant landmark (and a good deal warmer come winter) in a region full of rustic steel barns. "The color scheme pushes the envelope," Rooke says. "This town could do with some color."
Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.