From the whitewashed interior to the organic textures, Acanda Jaswa’s Pretoria home is full of unmistakable charm. Situated on an estate in Pretoria, the single-story house, which Acanda shares with her 10-year-old daughter, Acehi, is a space that she describes as peaceful, welcoming and purposeful.
Acanda, who is of Ghanaian and Ugandan descent, is the head of marketing at HarvestPlus, a non-profit organisation that works with farmers across Africa, Asia and South America to sustainably plant bio-fortified staple crops, addressing micro-nutrient deficiencies in these countries. Her move to Pretoria from Johannesburg was prompted by her need to be close to family – her mother lives just 10 minutes away – as her job requires her to travel quite often.
She bought the home two years ago and it was built several years before that. The owner intended to sell it after the building was completed, but loved it so much that she held on to the house for a while before putting it on the market. ‘When I first moved in, she would send me emails with landscaping and interior ideas of things that she had wanted do,’ says Acanda.
She has always known the kind of space that she wanted to live in. The non-negotiables were natural light, high ceilings and white walls. ‘I was fortunate to find all that and more the moment I walked into this space,’ she says.
She describes her interior design aesthetic as being inspired by Axel Vervoordt and the Japanese wabi-sabi way of living. The living room is layered with modern pieces, unique finds and treasured objects that tell interesting stories of specific times and places. The miniature Ashanti throne that sits on the TV unit is a nod to her matrilineal heritage, while a silver Coptic cross, which she picked up on her travels to Addis Ababa, is dear to her. ‘Often, people think that religion is just something that came to us, but going to Ethiopia showed me how the Christian faith has always been around in Africa,’ she explains.
The living room is also the room where Acanda has balanced a few splurge items with quality budget finds – her most extravagant purchase is a built-in replace and chimney. The coffee table was a bargain, discovered on Route 6 in the Colbyn area, which is known for its many antique and vintage shops.
The dining area is both light and airy. A covetable Oval Bail chandelier from La Grange Interiors looms above the marble-top dining table that doubles as Acanda’s workstation when she works from home. As someone who loves to cook and entertain, her kitchen is one of her favourite rooms in her home.
In the bathroom, a large tub gives the space the feel of a luxurious spa. On the edge of the bath is Acanda’s most valuable possession: a calabash with etched detailing that her father got in Uganda in 1982, upon returning to his home country after the civil war.
Acanda’s bedroom is full of natural textures and tones and her love of greenery is evident. ‘My room is peaceful and o ers solitude,’ she says. ‘It does not matter where I am in the world when I am traveling it is one of the things I look forward to coming back to.’