city, houses, small spaces

Collectors of Heritage

Micky Hoyle


Avid collectors Greer Valley and Thembalezwe Mntambo’s one-bedroom Sea Point home is a colourful reflection of their combined heritage.

‘My mother, Brenda, is a big collector of antiques and art objects, and I was lucky to learn from her design sense,’ says Greer, MA student and co-owner with Themba of leather and textile goods label Kushn.

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‘The apartment was in poor condition when they bought it, so they took the opportunity to inject it with style and energy. ‘It’s a small space; we wanted to make use of every aspect to maximise it,’ says Themba, who also works part of the time in the media industry.

Filled with stores of books, artworks, antiques, and local design and textiles, this creative duo’s home echoes their eclectic tastes.

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‘We tend to collect pieces that resonate with us,’ Greer says of purchases from their travels, antique and retail stores. Cherished ones include: an old South African Railways chair; a painting by Ethiopian artist Kibrom Gebremedhin – serving as a reminder of the couple’s time there; an artwork that was a gift from Themba’s sister, local artist Nandipha Mnthambo, hangs in the living room; and antique Moroccan brass tea tables given to them by Greer’s mother.

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With plenty of light, this once run-down apartment has been turned into a modern and vibrant space that mirrors its owners’ personalities.

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This article originally appeared in HL December 2014