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Edition 19

The Inspiring Samadari

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The recent launch of Garden & Patio, a flagship of thought provoking outdoor furniture stirs one to appreciate the depth of bespoke furniture design and talents behind it all.
Garden & Patio is Samadari’s franchise in Nairobi by the scions, Rakesh Shah and Vishaal Shah, of industrial entrepreneur Chandrakant Shah; also known as CP of the famous Vitafoam Industries.
Rakesh stands out as the driving force behind the establishment of Garden & Patio’s formation. Reputed for humble beginnings in the heart of Kenya’s coastal town of Lamu, Samadari has since its inception in 2003 walked the journey of precision of delivering quality and style to discerning clients ranging from corporate establishments to individuals moved by creative works.
The recent launch of Garden & Patio store in Nairobi along Mombasa Road, depicted the worthy response to clients who over the years could only find the best of Samadari in the Kenyan Coastal town. The response to the growing client demand defines yet another moment of scaling design to another worthwhile crescendo as Nairobi stamps its authority as the hub for middle class and wealthy décor clientele.
It is hoped that Samadari’s entry into the mix of creativity at the hub of décor clientele yearning for rare tastes will heighten the momentum of customers getting the best at a closer market spot.
Samadari inspired by Italian clientele in Malindi and Watamu during its formative years largely specialized in Swahili furniture. As trends changed Samadari evolved into creating more modern pieces that has since endeared diverse cultures.
Samadari has been able to excel in its core activity due to the excellent craftsmanship of its dedicated team of artisans Led by its head of carpentry division, Mr. Jones Mumbi.
Ranked second
During the 2006 DANIDA Appraisal of furniture manufacturers countrywide Samadari was ranked second in the country. This recognition was an eye opener and major contracts followed thereafter which made Samadari into a household name in the Kenyan coast especially and later on countrywide.
Samadari’s furniture and Décor has graced homes and hospitality institutions from Lamu’s Peponi hotel, plush homes and villas at the Vipingo Ridge, penthouses on the Mombasa island amongst various other luxurious properties.
The shear variety of different exotic hardwoods, in fact Samadari stocks 16 different types, has led to a wide array of fine artistic furniture pieces to be manufactured. Samadari has been actively involved in Agro-forestry to keep its business environmentally sustainable and responsible and has planted in excess of 24,000 trees in the past 11 years.
Further evolvement
In the year 2011, Samadari started its famous range of decorative concrete products most importantly its exquisite range of modern concrete Planters. This new line of products which were unique to the Kenyan market has further enhanced Samadari’s reputation as a design house specializing in outdoor décor. It was now possible for clients to have a one stop destination for not only indoor furniture but as well outdoor landscape products.
Concrete planters were followed by coral stone tiling and cladding which were runaway successes.
During 2015 Samadari started its range of mixed media, hardwood and concrete benches, planters and ornamental Garden Lighting. This led to recognition from landscape Architects and Designers.
Wits behind Samadari
Samadari is the brain child of Mr. Sayed Azhar Kadri, Founder and CEO, who has passionately built a tradition of a fine balance between design and manufacturing aspects of its beautiful products. No task is unequal to the challenge at hand. The result has been a satisfying journey to owning perhaps the most beautiful Furniture and Decor showroom in the Kenya.
On this journey he has been ably assisted by his friend and Director of Finance, Mr. Tushar Shah. In fact Mr. Kadri emphasizes that the growth of Samadari could not have come faster and stronger without the input of Mr. Shah’s fine caliber and circumspect financial acumen.
Samadari has also been fortunate that Mr. Sayed Salahuddin Kadri was able to sacrifice a budding career in the ICT industry and follow his Father’s footsteps. This step has led to new energy being dissipated into the Samadari culture of fine craftsmanship to be passed on to the next generation. And to further strengthen this above Samadari now welcomes back its lead designer Sanaa Kadri back into its fold. Sanaa is a qualified interior Designer aspiring to
Accelerated Growth
To be able to take its concrete decorative products closer to its clientele Samadari decided to enter into franchising agreements with like minded organizations and has been able to establish a number of Garden centers across the country after Malindi and Mombasa, Nairobi being the latest addition.
Garden & Patio
Garden & Patio is Samadari’s franchisee in Nairobi. It is owned by the scions, Rakesh and Vishaal, of industrial entrepreneur Chandrakant Shah. Also known as CP of the famous Vitafoam Industries. Rakesh Shah is the driving force behind Garden and Patio’s formation.
Rakesh has long wanted to establish a foothold in the Design industry. This first step of opening a garden centre on Mombasa Road next to panari hotel has been a dream come true. He brings his vital experience in the FMCG industry to the fore and has now lent a strong and able hand for both companies to chart their success and stamp their names on the design industry.
In fact Samadari’s board has unanimously hailed Rakesh’s involvement and subsequent establishing of the Garden Centre.
Samadari’s CEO Mr. Kadri intimated that we could not have found a better partner than Mr. Rakesh of Garden & Patio.
Vishaal Shah will be playing a supporting role as Garden & patio will look to establish themselves as a force within the landscape Industry in Kenya.
Launch
With the launch of Garden & Patios flagship store on Mombasa road, Increasingly becoming the hub for Nairobi’s middle class and wealthy decor clientele, it is hoped that Samadari would have achieved its goal of bringing its products ever closer to the customer.

Edition 19

10 tips for One Room Living

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One room living can be very interesting. However most one roomed flats or studio apartments are box-like spaces with little to commend them in the way of interesting detail or character. And generally they are small.
Since they are going to be not just living room but bedroom and dining room, this means that every inch of space has to play its part, every piece of furniture has to be dual-purpose if not multi-functional, and every activity has to be properly catered for. To work efficiently this sort of room needs discipline, neatness and above all imagination. Successful one room living is more an attitude of mind than anything else. If the room is not to look a complete jumble, you have to try to create distinct areas for relaxing, sleeping and eating. Since you very often cannot physically divide the space, you have to divide the ‘look’ with different lighting or rugs or color to make separate visual areas.

01. Lighting

Weigh your selections along with the lighting in your room. A room with limited light can seem somber when dark colors dominate. If maroon or brown are among your favorite colors but you want a well-lit, bright atmosphere, use those hues in toss pillows, vases, lamp bases, candles and other accents.

02. Pastel colors

Enlarge the look of a room with soft shades of yellow paint or small wallpaper prints in soft colors. Use pastel colors to create a light, airy feeling in narrow hallways, tiny bathrooms and small bedrooms.

03. Furnishing

Small is beautiful and even comfortable if you’re a shrewd decorator. Furnishings must work harder; clever storage is essential.

04. Disguising the bed

When living in a single room, you don’t want visitors to feel like they’ve walked into your bedroom. There are several clever ways to disguise a bed. If you intend to keep your regular double bed, it is wise to invest in a screen to disguise it. You can get ready-made screens from Chinese, Indian and Pakistan furniture shops or you can ask your local fundi to make one for you. You can also pile lots of cushions on your bed during the day to make it look like a large sofa.

05. Day Bed

On the other hand you can invest in day bed. This is the fold up bed that turns into a bed at night and into a sofa during the day. This way no one will ever know where you sleep as you simply fold up the bed in the morning. Avoid using bed sheets or partitions to disguise your bed. You end up clattering your space and it looks downright tacky.

06. Walls

Hang attractive artwork or pictures on your walls. You can change wall colors. If you can’t afford to buy much, try just painting the trims (base or skirting boards, door and window frames and any moldings) with a contrast color in semi-gloss. It will give an immediate lift to the room.

07. More Lighting

Invest in some up lights and stick them in corners, behind plants and pieces of furniture, or behind a sofa. The difference in light and shade and subtlety will be enormous. Invest too, in a small spotlight to pinpoint anything interesting you have, even a plant. Use a soft even light and eliminate shadows, which tend to slice a room up into smaller spaces. Avoid ceiling lighting this will visually lower your ceiling.

08. Plants

Do not underestimate the change plants can make to a room. Buy the fullest and best shapes you can afford and let them make a bold definite statement. Put them in corners, lit from behind with up lights or spots; mass them on windowsills, add them to arrangements of any kind of collection you may have. The fresh green of well-kept foliage will brighten the dullest of studio apartment and your spirits into the bargain.

09. Cushions

Add throw or scatter cushions wherever you can, but cushions in well-chosen colors and designs can add immediate zing, warmth and personality, injecting dashes of vitality where none existed before, as well as covering shabby and stained patches in upholstery.

10. Carpet

A carpet can make a difference to how your one room flat looks. As part of a room’s background, carpet color can do remarkable things. A carpet the same color as the walls or lighter can make the room seem larger. A sharply contrasting color concentrates attention on the furniture and lessens focus on the walls. For a one room flat, a patterned wall-to-wall carpet and a co-ordinate patterned paper on the walls and ceiling can, amazingly make the space seem much larger. If you have patterned wallpaper, lots of pictures on the walls or collections on shelves, avoid a patterned floor covering.

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Edition 19

Turn on Your Space

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The season for preparing to participate in Ideal Interiors Expo 2017 – another feast and siesta of exciting ideas, designs and innovations that add life to spaces we live in, work from and entertain our families and guests are here. It is with us.

The eventful exhibition themed; Connecting with Excellence inclines on pairing you with the best-of-the-best in the trendy world of interiors. You get to know; who’s woken to the realities in this industry that will never ever again be underrated as a passing fad by some cynics.
The trendy expo sets the year’s momentum. It is richly enhanced with a diversity of appealing ideas and evenly renders the yearned for a good mix of decisive clients. If anything, by today’s lofty standards, the 2017 expo is evidently big. But do not just take our word for it, if you are in the queue of actualizing the homely home. Take it. It’s a must diarize event.
It is the interiors that make homes homely. Enviable hotels are actualized by it. Corporate offices are hardly complete without the fine touch of ideal interiors.
Well in this edition, we also explore about having favourite corners in your house or home. This is timely considering the festive season. Your own little ‘chill-out zone’ adds flavour to your moments of holiday experience at your space. What would you be waiting for? Isn’t it time to get creative and turn a corner into your ‘Me-Time’ space away from the mundane chores?

THE WORKPLACE
We also explore workspaces that deliver work. We take you through the larger forces driving change in workplaces which range from; the business lines that need to respond, and six practical workplace modifications that any company can use – no matter how traditional.
Five distinct, but interrelated shifts are affecting the workplace on a grand scale. To better explain the evolution of the physical workplace, we identify the broad cultural and commercial themes that are changing the way we work—and thus how the office can deliver.
This edition also looks at some eclectic ideas that can help you start creating and designing your corner at home…While our emphasis is on a location, we impress on you to ideally think about your secret corner next to a window.

In Meru, In Style
This edition also takes us to Interiors Centre in Meru, the deserving focal point of the greater Mt. Kenya. The essence of the exceptional showroom speaks volumes. It is stocked with designer flooring products, furniture and furnishings, glassware, kitchens and kitchenware, sanitary-ware as well as lighting and fittings.
Why Interiors Centre? Style is getting to the country-side. The county offices are styling-up. Fashion is becoming trendier. Homes are opening up to new ideas.
So what’s in all these for you? So much. I can say with certainty. You need precision. You deserve beyond the latest but the best unveiled in the marketplace. We hope this will pave the way and engage you with quality clientele. The great deal and time invested on Interiors Centre in Meru and Interiors Expo attests to the top value that you can’t afford to miss to sample.
Happy holidays and a bountiful 2017.

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Edition 19

Create a workplace that works

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Workplaces are steadily changing and their awesomeness is highly getting related with output of staff members. Unless one works at an out-of-the-box company, it’s hard to find an office space that inspires workers through exciting interior design. While some might think that this is a frivolous claim, the visual environment the staff members are surrounded with can affect productivity and energy levels, writes Humphrey ODHIAMBO.
The workplace is not just where work happens. It’s how work happens. And that changes over time. Reasons of the change are numerous: a maturing (and very selective) workforce, pervasive internet access and mobile enthusiasm, an energetic (if wary) economy, newfound concern for worker wellbeing, rapid growth in the “contingent” workforce and the alarming disengagement levels1 of employees who can’t shake the feeling that we’re just not meant to spend 40 hours a week corralled in cubicles.
Fortunately, employers are largely on the same page. Companies are looking to their physical office as a strategic way to engage and attract talent, cultivate personality and stay competitive. It’s imperative in a global, digital landscape where reputation, environmental footprint, employee perks, product efficacy and corporate character all precede you.
Workplace Change
The technology sector is leading the charge in renewed workplace design, defying long-held workplace expectations. Perimeter offices and opaque, high-walled cubicles have been replaced with open floor plans and ambient lighting.
Tech has catered to the emerging, collaborative work style and defined what the modern workplace looks like, albeit with a decidedly Californian vibe. The value of bean bag chairs is unique to a certain kind of culture, but the idea that the workplace can and should evolve to better support employees is resonating across industries.
What’s driving workplace change? Why now? Five distinct, but interrelated shifts are affecting the workplace on a grand scale. To better explain the evolution of the physical workplace, we identify the broad cultural and commercial themes that are changing the way we work—and thus how the office can deliver.
Toward a lasting investment
Reducing spend in offices is still a priority, more especially when a number of companies are less strapped for cash, they’re able to make strategic investments in the workplace. Instead of seeing real estate as a cost, top companies are looking at it as a way to deliver value.

Digital Revolution
We’re in the midst of an era of change not seen since the Industrial Revolution, ICT expert Dr. Bitange Ndemo. The internet and digitization have created a second economy, says Dr. Ndemo noting that it connects us globally and functions largely without our conscious input.
Many processes that formerly required human supervision and focus are happening automatically, intelligently and silently all the time. Our attentions are shorter, maybe; in higher demand, absolutely; but also freed from certain laborious, fixed routines.
It’s time we thought strategically about the efficacy of the physical spaces, people and processes that can’t be digitized.
Digital Natives
The modern workforce – particularly new generations of employees—expect the flexibility to work from anywhere, be it home, the office or a coffee shop. However, all these workspaces require some reasonable sprucing to ensure that worthwhile meetings can also take place around or within such settings. For this to happen, engaging an interiors designer to actualize the space is absolutley necessary.
Among the improved items used on the move are laptops, smart phones, tablets, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and communications platforms such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, instant messaging, social networks and web conferencing. All these make work-shifting possible. We have an unprecedented ability to collaborate among employees and with external stakeholders.
Employees today are away from their desks more than ever. The population of non-self-employed teleworkers increased 103% since 2005 and 6.5% in 2014, with 80%-90% of the East African workforce indicating they would like to telework at least part time.
Digital expense
Not surprisingly, the cost of outfitting the modern worker with an arsenal of gadgetry and infrastructure is at an all-time high. The average IT spend per employee is significantly rising.
Large investments in technology, however, can be offset by significant space savings and reduced attrition. 95% of employers say that teleworking reduces turnover.

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