Harry and Lerato Sitole’s colourful Woodstock home is furnished in a way that reflects the couple’s interests in Africana, art, food and family.
Text: Leigh Robertson
In the house’s bright, sunny kitchen, private chef Lerato Sitole chops vegetables and fresh coriander, stirring cumin seeds and curry leaves into pots simmering on the stove, preparing for a catering gig where she’ll share local flavours with a clientele of mostly international visitors. The artistry of Lerato’s dishes is matched by a home that is fittingly storied and colourful; her husband, Harry Sitole, runs Cape Town’s African Image brand. Harry was a painter before he joined African Image – a retailer known for its vibrant, often witty aesthetic and considered mix of contemporary and traditional artefacts – and he has layered the family’s living spaces with the accumulation of his life’s passions.
The couple fell in love with the house because it had not undergone the sort of radical contemporisation that might have stripped it of its authenticity. ‘We saw it as a blessing that it was in its original state,’ says Harry. They set about fixing it up; making it their own. Vintage furniture pieces in retro ice-cream tones add to the house’s eclecticism. In the lounge, the popping tangerine of the leatherette sofa complements wooden artefacts.
The couple is happiest at home, entertaining friends in the courtyard, which is decorated with a quirky display of barbershop signs; or walking on nearby mountain trails with their children, Zwelibanzi, Phethile and Lujulile. ‘We enjoy what surrounds us,’ says Harry.
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