Touching up the interiors…

I like the progress I have made so far. I love the way the human mind works. It seems whenever you move something from its original spot, you notice the area around it. I gave us a deadline of this year to do most of the furnishings in the house. Actually till the end of October. We have made quite some progress on this and yes, we did it diligently. We were working with our pace and at the same time saving up. There is no such comfort as knowing you have back up somewhere…more like a cushion for you to fall on should an emergency come up.So this is what I have been working on lately.

I gave my bedroom top priority. It looked really bad with marks on an unpainted wall, and barely shelves to use as storage. When you have something so tiny and survive with it, each day you find yourself dreaming of big things. Like the wardrobe I sought in every supermarket for many days. They were all too costly and still looked weak. So I went to my trusted fundi and showed him some photos I got online. We re-created a new model of my wardrobe as big as my dream was. It is a double door- sliding (for the sake of space and all attached to the wall. Its extension is a dressing table that one can only break down to steal:)

Old shelves that did storage
Old shelf that did the storage
That’s the same wardrobe my husband decided would look better in green than blue and sad as I was it actually turned out to be a great colour!
New Wall to wall wardrobe
New Wall to wall wardrobe
As for the ugly marks, I put up small beautiful frames to hide the flaws…
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I went back to our open kitchen and added more storage at the top. I can never have enough storage…not with my mom as my neighbor, no. she calls me to collect kienyeji mbogas and bananas from my mama land. I love my mother; in her eyes, her children never grew up! So we fixed three wooden partitions and yes, I painted it white so it would go well with the other kitchen colours.
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I hated the seat colours I had… they somehow looked too noisy with the many colours we had…pink, orange, golden brown and black… this is what they looked like…

These are about 20 years old by the way.. hehe
These are about 20 years old by the way.. hehe

We opted to shut them up and changed the seat covers to creamy and black. We then matched them with a large black and cream carpet and voila… the room was finally lighting up! DSC02853
We just needed the right drapery and we would be good to go. A friend insisted we keep it white. “Your house looks like a rainbow” she lamented “please don’t paint it any more!” I really hope she was not on the verge of howling… Hehe. I listened and took my rainbow inspiration to its edges, combining the kitchen green with some gold and largely white on the extended decor…DSC02856
kitchen main door curtains I kept the cushion linen orange to match the large orange holding the entertainment unit but this is only to be seen when we are cleaning or changing the covers. unsealed cushions
Those are yet to be completed and yes, it’s a Do-It-Yourself-Task.

Eventually when they are all filled out and stitched to closure they will look somewhat like this…seat with Cushion 1
So far, i stand from far and I like what I see.. its my little haven and done in a span of three years. so proud of myself 😀

Justin wants a male touch to the house…he wants a home theatre and he wants it now…I, on the other hand want a female touch! (One wonders what the heck we have been touching up with!) I need flower pots big enough for a future son to sneak a pee in hehehe! Just kidding, but in the meantime, I am desperately in need of book shelf and study desk ideas… 🙁

Newbie in the Bedroom

Part one of our bedroom is ready; the wardrobe. This is how we did it. We searched online for designs we could borrow. Having used shelves for the last three years, it was time we made a big switch to something different; something…bigger. I wanted a wall to wall cabinet with a little allowance for the dressing table. So we searched everywhere and finally, I got it; a three door cabinet…and a cool calming color to go. Before kick starting this, I visited various supermarkets to see what I could find. It was surprising that not one in town had what i had imagined. However, Naivas near Allsops had a nice three door cabinet with the middle part fitted with cabinets, just as I wanted. I was going for Kshs. 32,000 and the various dressing mirrors that would go well with it ranged beween Kshs. 10,000 to kshs. 15,000. Total avereage cost was about Kshs. 47,000. There was no way my husband would let me buy something worth so much for one place only; I never bothered to ask either. So I printed out my little dream wardrobe and visited Paul, our carpenter. What we had in mind was something like this.
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We made a few changes here and there and Paul set of to start.
he is a genius; in four days, the wardrobe was ready for painting. I wanted a very light shade of blue. I always get to pick my favourite colours and I sent my husband to buy a nice baby blue… I sent him with this lovely image on his phone…
blue cabinet colour 2

As men will always be men, and we women just never learn. He picked out something close to the blue… the exact opposite I mean; it was light green!

Not to worry though, it came out nicely though the challenge now is matching out this colour to the wall, bedding and drapery coming soon. Here take a look and let me know what you think…Oh and advise us what color to use for the rest of the house…we are honestly stuck! 🙁
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Thanks to the small Nairobi houses, opening these doors meant eating up a lot of space. As usual our flexible Paul was so kind as to accept the changes we had in mind. We put in sliding doors and yes, I played with them till they moved smoothly. This piece of beauty saved us an amazing Kshs. 10,000 from the full price we would have spent in the supermarket!

And come to think of it, its the color of our intended cabinet lol!. And one more thing. I did the painting myself yet again!

I love my cabinet! I love my cabinet! *dancing around*

House Warming

We are finally up and running and oh, how I am in love with our new house! I hope the new painted walls don’t smell too strong! We used friendly colors so too can feel at home, Oh, and they put up a very nice big ME right in the living room. I’m smiling so hard, my cheeks hurt. I never thought we would be moving here this year, though I always welcomed the idea. See, they say the greatest things in life are for free…they are not. I am in so much debt to my good pal Ed. I am embarrassed by his great kindness and generosity when I look back at what he has done for me a trip to Taita hills may just not be enough hehe.
I have a friend and colleague.
His name; Edward
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I met Edward for the very first time in 2011; not too long ago really. He joined us and we took him out for lunch at the then new KFC Junction outlet. It was his birthday already and we made him feel like home; hoping he would enjoy working with us. I am not sure whether he was repaying that lunch, or if he is just one of those kindest people you always question suspiciously…either way, he too bought us a surprise lunch to thank us for the birthday gesture. We all liked him instantly. I hope you notice that I refrain from using emotional words… he might get murdered by Justin or me by his lady; but we all loved him… I seriously dread porridge burns.
Since that day, we have always worked together, and have never really disagreed. Oh wait, I have only seen him angry once when he got locked outside the office and the girls went to enjoy some breakfast. Only I know the look I found him wearing and I immediately got his key copied. He always has time for us even in the middle of a project and he takes his work seriously. That’s exactly what he did to my website. He gave it dedicated time and creativity and look just how simple and stylish it looks! If it were a dress, I would wear it everyday.
This didn’t start with my interest in having a website; neither was it that he was interested in making me a star…or was he? All I know is he always has a generous heart and it definitely must be bringing him some warm and fuzzy feeling each time we are on the verge of hugging him in gratitude. I remember his staying up late…so late just so he could create our wedding cards. For those who saw them and loved them; my friend Edward created and inspired the design. He then offered to inspect them and make sure they were done as he had pre-imagined them. He stayed up late with us as we folded, glued, cut, signed and stuck them up. I thought that was just a wedding gift, but look now. I have no idea where to hide. I owe him way too much! And even if he brushes me aside, I know I will never pay him enough for giving his best even he gets nothing in return. Thanks Edward. I love my new house.

Yes!! I think I did it!

Have you ever felt like such a great achiever? Well I do already! Now listen, hubby and I were looking to expand our space to make our once one-bedroom house accommodate an extra bedroom. Why we thought it would work? Easy! We had a large living room that at some point became hard to even arrange. We didn’t want a table centralising our space either. It would look like my mom’s house, and my auntie’s house, and the neighbours….you know what I mean.

We wanted a diverse look, away from what we grew up in. for our children to have a different setting from what we had. Not that it was bad, just like chalk and cheese. I say this for those friends who like the centralised coffee tables that have them seats encircle them. Please note that they are still an in-thing and that this is just my view; my thoughts; my ideas; my blo….*tongue in cheek* Back to the area under discussion.

So we started by shopping for sinks and granito tiles. Kijabe Street was the place to go. Like I mentioned on this post, they have a lot of vast things at very even-handed costs.

We fixed them then got the cupboards fixed too. Later we had to paint and for wood, the paint had to be oil based. I don’t want to believe that the whole court knew akina Pesh were painting…but that is what everyone said. The smell, despite mixing with turpentine instead of paraffin, was intolerable. On day two, I sent Pesh and the housie to grandma’s. We left all ventilation outlets bare and took off, then later came home to an almost iced house. Anyway, the paint stench was gone and we had moved a stride.

The problem with renovating slowly is the fact that just when you complete something, another suddenly gets noticed. It always looks irksomely ugly and you just have to work on it.

We tiled the new kitchen and the new bedroom and finally painted. So now the only room that looks like it belongs to someone else is our bedroom. The floor is the same old cold cement, the ceiling boards are sagging-tired and the walls look like they have been crying, what with the rains and lots of humidity? The only thing that looks gawkily out of place is the bed.

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I promised you a sneak peak if it turned out well, right? Well it was better than I imagined! The lime-green brightens the house by cutting off the stream of tango shades. The black granito tiles break the white monotony of the cupboard and the white tiles and the house looks neatly organised. For a small house in the Kenyan economy, I think its fab! *sticking my tongue out* Now I think I can comfortably host my guests….note, not live-in guests… 🙂

sneak peak 1

Some friends say I’m in the wrong profession. I’m not. If you meet someone who loves art, trust me, chances are that he is a poet, an artist, a writer, a musician, an interior designer or all! Enough said. Give me your views on this one. If you hate it, don’t rip my heart out. Tip me off to go undercover instead! 😉

My big news draws near…oh wait. You thought this was the big news? No. we are simply doing all these as fast as we prepare to prepare for the big thing…and I did not repeat a word back there. Soon I will be calling my close friends. I will lose some friends and probably gain new ones. I will find out who my true friends are and will be shocked by the unexpected care of those who never bothered. I will lose all the weight I have struggled to gain, courtesy of stress.  I will use a lot of airtime and fuel and I will have numerous headaches, probably even migraines. Finally….Bam! And in one day, our lives will take an altered turn.

I plan to open a new page to share my journey’s experience all through… Not to worry though I will capture as much as I can on camera and try even more not to bore you to death. Meantime, grab your jackets and get ready for a glacial journey through the cold season. Later pals.