Durban - Life has a way of going full circle and for East Coast Radio DJ Jane Linley-Thomas that meant finding her dream home in Cowie’s Hill where she grew up.

“We were looking in the wrong places, but when some one suggested this part of the world and we came up here to look, it immediately resonated. I went to school here and stood on the side of the road with my folks for many a Comrades Marathon to cheer on the passers-by,” says Linley-Thomas.

The family of five settled in quite easily, largely because they’re not precious about material things and do as they like when it comes to decor.

“You can’t be when you have three toddlers,” she says.

But despite having created a down-to-earth, playful haven for the kids, she must, and she will, surround herself with bric-a-brac.

Most of it is interesting and quirky local art, photography, jewellery and ceramics.

“We have a wealth of incredible talent in KwaZulu-Natal and I guess I’m a collector. I’m also a shopper and love unusual finds, so apart from local arts and craft I am a bit of a fleamarket and antique shop trawler,” she says.

She and husband Mike love to up-cycle, and much of the furniture they own is refurbished.

They have been inventive with bookshelves, light fittings and other functional aspects of a house, such as Perspex-like burglar bars on windows that do not detract from the greenery outside.

Linley-Thomas is also a colour junkie and her kitsch old burglar gates painted bright red and yellow, kitchen chandelier, and bright patio area are among the aspects of the home that make it quite clearly Jane.

Omeshnie Naidoo, The Mercury