Picking through curtains and drapes

Picture this. You are standing at your window with nothing on but your birthday suit. You sip your coffee and look up to find your neighbour staring at you. He is wearing a nerd sweater and khaki pants. You always thought he was cute. Then it hits if you can see him, he can see you too. Yes we should probably get you curtains. Continue reading “Picking through curtains and drapes”

11 ways to use make old furniture look new

  1. Wallpaper on an old table

Have a scrawny table tucked in a corner and for the love of muffins you have no idea what to do with it?  Pick your left over wall paper and cover the table with it. If your wall paper is of different designs mix it up and you have a  ‘designer’ ahem table. Continue reading “11 ways to use make old furniture look new”

Let’s crack tables

The one thing that haunts me to date is the scolding I would get for leaving the table dirty. Be it bread crumbs, a dried up drop of honey or gravy, crystals of sugar or any other debris that is left after a ten year old’s day of eating and lots of TV watching. Then we went to school and there was a rhyme about tables and chairs. It went something like this; Continue reading “Let’s crack tables”

Making room for pets at home

When I turned 20 I got a dog, Bush. That was his name. A big cuddly German shepherd. Then my brother came home with a cat that he had rescued from the street. We should have known that a cat and a dog, in this case Bush and Mia, could not live together. Bush ate Mia in the end in full sight of the family. With no shame at all. He tore her apart and went back to his kennel smacking his lips. Savage. He died months later quietly in the night. Karma. Continue reading “Making room for pets at home”

20 classic buildings in Nairobi that remain entrenched in Kenya’s history

Nairobi is considered a melting pot of many cultures and diversity. Foreigners have made their way to Kenya tracing back to the 18th century bringing with them iconic architectural designs from their homelands that have stood the test of time . Today we look at some of these familiar buildings in Nairobi that remain sentimental to our nation’s history. Continue reading “20 classic buildings in Nairobi that remain entrenched in Kenya’s history”

27 DIY storage ideas for your home

“Declutter your house once every month.”

“Re-arranging your house is therapeutic.”

“Spice up your room with happy colours.”

“How about a yellow on the floor?”

All these are quotes from various sites that try  to help us get our spaces in order. One of the mind boggling things to do in the house is find storage from everything from bobby pins to fish  plates or the endless pairs of shoes.  Every morning Saturday we resolve to make sure that everything is in its place, by Wednesday you cannot trace the left shoe to your favourite boot. I put together some tips that we could all use to have a more organized space. Continue reading “27 DIY storage ideas for your home”

Open Kitchens Vs. Closed Kitchens, who takes the cup?

In the course of hunting for spaces to share with you, the team and visit different spaces including hotels, restaurants and homes among others. One thing that always fascinates me is the kitchen. It has become a space where interior designers and architects apply their skills to create a piece of art that is nothing short of amazing. At one of the apartments I asked two colleagues what their preference was between the two established kitchen plan layouts; the open and closed. One of them, a mother, prefers the closed kitchen because she has a toddler who could easily crawl into the kitchen and hurt themselves or ingest something that may be harmful. On the other hand one of our creatives, a single gentleman, prefers the open concept because he hosts his crew at his house. This confirms what John Petrie, president- elect of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (US), says- Create a kitchen space that works for you. Let us look at what the two designs have to offer:

Open Plan Kitchen

This design is a shift of the times. The kitchen is now accessible to the different people in the house. Previously, in the African culture, it was taboo for the man to go the kitchen as it was considered the woman’s domain. The modern man is in kitchen now making omelets and helping with the dishes. The kitchen is no longer the room at the very back of the house. The open kitchen is a way of allowing more interaction and communication.

Open Plan Kitchen
Open Plan Kitchen

Pros

  • An open kitchen will allow more contact between you and your family.
  • You can cook together and set up at the counter for everyone to enjoy.
  • It is also welcoming if you, like the gentleman  at our office, love hosting. You can chop up your carrots while catching up with your friends.
  • These kitchens are very airy and increase volume of the space. Ideal for small apartments.

Cons

  • If you value privacy then an open kitchen is not for you
  • Cooking is not as easy as it is on the Food Network. It gets get messy and smells will travel fast not forgetting how noisy it can get with all the blending, chopping and frying.
  • You might drop the chicken and have to quickly pick it up – you know the 5 seconds rule.
  • You need space to compose yourself when there is an awkward moment and what better place that the kitchen?

 

CLOSED KITCHENS

Most of us grew up in such kitchens and there was pleasure of peeping in the kitchen and whisking away a chapati as mummy dearest is cleaning the vegetables. Or waiting for her to ask you to check whether the chicken is ready because that would mean you get a piece of it before everyone else. Bliss. The closed kitchens are making the way back because they have their perks including:

closed-kitchen
Closed Kitchen
  • Kitchens can get really messy and you don’t need anyone seeing that. Ideally no one should see you sweat.
  • Closed kitchen have three walls where you can have cabinets and shelves giving you more storage.
  • Unless you have excellent ventilation or a cooker that has an exhaust hood that an open kitchen requires, not everyone wants to smell cooking onions and garlic.
  • The dining experience is formal because everyone waits for dinner at the dining table.
  • You have room to run to when it gets awkward at the table. Very important.
  • The rest of the family can have their privacy without you feeling like they are hovering.

Cons

  • Closed kitchens feel cold and the cook may feel isolated.
  • When hosting you have to carry dishes all the way to the kitchen that could be a bit too far. This is a legit problem.

How to have the best of both worlds…

Interior design does not come easy or cheap so if you are torn between what designs to go with here is what you can do:

  • Add a pass through window which gives the kitchen the balance between privacy and welcoming.
  • Quality, sound dampening appliances for the open plan kitchens will work best with open concept kitchens.
  • Pocket doors to separate the kitchen from other rooms will allow you to switch up your kitchens as you deem fit.

 

 

10 Hacks to make room for the baby at home

One thing they do not warn you about being in your mid-twenties is the number of baby showers you will be invited to and turn down. What is even more daunting is shopping for the baby. At one baby shower, there was so much happening in the home. There were too many things everywhere, toys, books and by the time we got to midday the expectant mother of one, a three year old, was too tired to enjoy the party. For those with no children (yet) it may come as a shock that in a home everything is everywhere. Continue reading “10 Hacks to make room for the baby at home”

Setting up the home bar

 

When I was younger I often visited an uncle who had lots of coin to spend. I loved his house. It was big, tastefully furnished with everything seemingly perfect. I had access to all but one space. It was edged in one of the corners of the living room. Small black fridge, above it a cabinet made of glass and minimal wood with a lock and key that was verboten. My uncle would religiously go to the corner after work, pour himself what I believed to be bad juice (all my aunt’s doing). Years later I laugh at the thought. My uncle had a fantastic home bar. Continue reading “Setting up the home bar”