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Edition 07

Traditional Kitchen Design

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The effort to actualize a kitchen that has personal feel calls for one to ensure that everything coordinates but still retains its own individual character, writes Elizabeth OMONDI.

Traditional kitchens are not necessarily what are commonly referred to as ‘country’. Although the traditional kitchen design is warm and classic, with elements of old European tastes, the colours applied today are different.

Instead of the bright blues and gold used in the past, today’s traditional kitchens incorporate soft, muted colours. Part of its charm is that it brings the outdoors in, so patterns can often include fruit, flower and other natural motifs. This language is open to interpretation and appeals to a cross section of ages and personalities.

Traditional kitchens are actually a combination of various styles that incorporate more detail and ornamentation than the simple clean lines of contemporary kitchen designs..

The focus in traditional kitchen design is to create a warm and homely feeling, given that a family would tend to spend a great deal of time in this type of kitchen.

The need to bring the outdoors in means the space will include natural materials on the floors, in the cabinetry and within the furnishing. These include marble, stone or wood all applied in a handcrafted manner.

In deciding whether or not a traditional kitchen design is suitable for your home, you will need to go through the following process:

  • Consider the way your kitchen’s look will integrate with the rest of your house. An ultra-modern kitchen in a 19th century style farmhouse will stick out like a sore thumb, and vice versa. It is important to keep architectural integrity in mind.
  • Remember that selecting beautiful cabinets is only half the battle. More important is to ensure that you have enough storage for all your pots and plates, plus accessories like tray dividers and pull-out shelves that will make them easy to find.
  • Colour selection: While personality is important, the cabinetry is not the place to go totally wild with colours. Whereas one can use strong colours on appliances and accessories, it is best to select cabinet colours that you and your family can live with for the next 15 years. A more muted approach is a must if resale is an option you would be considering in future.
  • Project the life-cycle of your kitchen; while a lowered countertop seating would be the perfect play space for your kids, in 10 years this space will be worthless. Plan with the future in mind. Ergonomics like raised dishwashers  will keep your kitchen functional as you grow older.

As you plan to acquire a traditional kitchen , ask yourself the following:

  1. What style appeals to you,
  2. What items must you have,
  3. How much can you spend,
  4. What size and shape do you prefer,

As with all kitchen detailing, it is important to remember that the products you will select will ultimately affect your kitchen’s look and functionality.

The architectural style of your house can not be divorced from the language of your kitchen design. By making your home’s interior reflect its exterior, you bring continuity to the whole structure.

Your needs; choose a language that best suits your needs, whether you are looking for a place to cook a big family meal, or if there may be special accessibility concerns for various family members.

Ultimately, it is the cabinet door styles and colour that will have the most impact on your new kitchen’s palette by making the strongest visual statement.

The appliances that you select and where you put them will determine how cook-friendly your kitchen layout is.

Finally, in developing your traditional kitchen, you need to choose complementary countertops, flooring, plumbing fixtures, and architectural details. Don’t try to get everything to match exactly. You can give your kitchen that personal feel by making sure everything coordinates but still retains its own individual character.

Elizabeth is the managing director at Kitchen & Office Interiors located at the Alpha Centre along Mombasa Road in Nairobi

Edition 07

Beating the budget

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The process of investing on interiors calls for one to partner with a professional who can realistically execute and complete the project within given timelines and estimated amounts writes NYAMBURA KINUTHIA.

IN OUR EVERYDAY LANGUAGE, the word BUDGET surfaces. It is a household name in government circles, corporate world, business world and the Small Medium Enterprises. In several homes, the language is about apportioning money for school fees, domestic consumption, staff, house shopping, projects and the list is endless. Budgeting is thus the way of living.
Well, in some instances, budget will be used to mean “cheap”, to work “smart” or to have a “reality”. With the same breath, when a client engages an interior designer to work with them, the word “budget” means “let us work smart and on reality and where necessary cut down cost and not compromise quality”.
Realise and actualise

Therefore, budget in interior design is not about cutting down costs or going “cheap”. Budget is a reality-check, a must do exercise in order to realise and actualise envisioned purpose on the intended project.
It is therefore very essential that when you as a client start a project, it is paramount to engage and interior designer well in advance to come up with the realistic project budget before the interiors stage start.

Understanding requirements

The interior designer works closely with the client to understand the client requirements and the intended use of the space – office, home and hotel set-ups. They then develop a check list of works and suggest as well as guide the client on different materials suitable for particular areas. Among the items to consider are:-

  • The nature of interior finishing and furnishing materials to be used considering materials wear and tear and effect to the interior design.
  • What effect will time have on the new design.
  • How the colours will impact the design.
  • How each new interior design element will relate to the overall scheme.
  • What other product and finishing material options can be available.

The amount budgeted for a project is contingent upon project location, clientele, type of finish, quality of material used and the design details unique to the client environment and taste. Your designer will be able to help you with these details.
Consolidate project finances
As the designer will help the client determine the budget and a completion timeline, this gives you as the client space to consolidate project finances before work execution thus primarily saving you time and money.
Another area greatly affected by budget is the day-to-day project management that include:-

  • Site interpretation of the proposed designs.
  • Evaluation of quantity of materials required on each area before purchase to avoid wastage.
  • Your Interior Designer can take on all project management aspects or they
  • can consult with you as you act as general contractor/project manager
  • Will coordinate all trades as they have the expertise (electricians, carpenters, architects, engineers) from a scheduling and design stand point to ensure the project is completed per schedule.

Your Interior designer who has an understanding of the specialized needs of the client will work with the client to develop concepts that transform their spaces into an environment that has a unified look; and environment that is inviting to clientele and employees while Creating an image.
Below is an example (not exhaustive) of a broad check list based on hospitality outlet that your interior designer will come up with to help with the project budgeting:-

  • Flooring: ceramic tile, carpet, stained concrete slab, wood, linoleum, etc.
  • Wall covering: paint, wallpaper, faux finish, wall treatment and wall texture, wood panel.
  • Ceiling: paint, mouldings, gypsum ceiling, T&G etc.
  • Lighting: task, decorative, etc.
  • Window treatments: blinds, curtains, shades, etc.
  • Bars: size, style, equipment, finishes
  • Furniture: barstools, tables, chairs, lounge seating, etc.
  • Tabletop: centerpieces, tabletop accessories, etc.
  • Decorative accessories: artwork, mirrors, pictures, sculpture
  • Fixtures: display fixtures
  • New additions: new walls, conceptual architectural elements, etc.
  • Labour costs: The list above represents material costs. Don’t forget labour
  • Administration – Licence
  • Structural changes
  • Sound Systems
  • Accoustical considerations
  • Kitchen equipments and appliances.
  • Sanitary fittings and mixtures
  • Flexible Nightclub lighting
  • Design Consulting Fees
  • Soft furnishings: linen
  • Cutlery & crockery

This kind of list helps the client to get started. Your Interior Designers will work with the client to come up with the options, quality and quantity which will help work out the budget after selection and zeroing of preferred materials. This must do exercise helps the client save money by taking advantage of the designer planning, design and construction experience.
Entering into an interior finishing or renovation project without adequate knowledge can be very costly as experience has shown over the time.
Consulting with an interior designer is a wise way of saying “I will work and partner with a professional to realistically execute and complete project that has been professionally managed smartly and within budget to create that envisioned unique and functional space”.
Nyambura is the Head Designer at the Nairobi based, Zidaka Interiors

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Edition 07

SUPPLIER AT A GLANCE

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Electrical and General Appliances

EGA’s main focus is to supply, install and service high quality equipment sourced from world-renowned manufacturers in USA and Europe.  The company offers a wide variety of equipment to choose from which is unmatchable, and a lot of inventory to insure faster delivery times, and on-demand availability.

Despite success over the years, EGA has faced challenges with counterfeit products or lower quality products from the Far East. These products appear to be cheaper based on their price tag attracting many price conscious consumers. “However,   many customers do not realize that the specification of the cheaper equipment are not as powerful, less cost effective, have significantly worse performance and have a shorter life, costing you significantly more money in the long run when it comes to servicing, parts, and opportunity cost lost due to under-performing or non-functioning equipment.” says Shiraz Ramji, Managing Director, EGA.

EGA focuses on supplying the best quality equipments, installation, service, and advice for all their customers’ laundry needs; while practicing business ethically and professionally.

 

 

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Edition 07

Saffarini exacts new architectural standards

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A new concept in architectural design has landed in East Africa courtesy of Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office (Africa branch), by KelaiWanjiru.  With a strong heritage and history in the United Arab Emirates, the architectural and design consultancy is surely changing the design of urban cities in the region. Already strategically initiating projects in various parts of the city, Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office has set foot with the aim to establish new property models that are sustainable as well as architecturally unique.

Being the brains behind most of the world famous towers in Dubai like the Princess Tower  (the tallest residential tower in the world) The Elite tower in Marsa Dubai, and  the Mohammed Ishmael Tower.  Some of the Office landmarks include Universities, Shopping Malls, Skyscrapers, Embassies, Warehouses, Schools, Mosques, Villas, Commercial and Residential Buildings.Adding glory to the firms many credits is the AI-Zaher Palace, which belongs to His Highness Sheik Rashed AI Noeimi, which was a distinguished project designed by EAS, and is printed on the first Currency of UAE, a fifty Dirham Bank note.  A building of notability is the Falcon city of wonders in the heart of Dubai, built to resemble a falcon, is another world famous project designed and supervised by the Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office in Dubai.

Eng. Adnan Saffarini Africa is set to change the way real estate developers and architects in East Africa view projects.  The engineers, architects and technical staff at the esteemed firm not only look at projects from a profit making perspective, but they go deeper to create aesthetic appeal, incorporate unique value adding aspects of every development, and give each one an exclusive architectural dimension that will leave an impression not to be matched over the ages.

Saffarini Africa has also endeavoured to change the city of Nairobi with new developments set to begin.  Already identified is a shopping mall in the heart of Eastleigh that’s set to beat any other complex in the region.

Built to accommodate the whole family, the complex will have a unique in-house all inclusive value added services.  The engineers behind this concept are convinced that the complex will be so welcoming and inviting that average time spent in the mall will be 4 hours.  Other developments are a 4 star hotel in the heart of Nairobi city and a city in the wilderness of OngataRongai.  The city resort will be 100 per cent eco-friendly with dams around the complex and residents having a panoramic view of the Nairobi National Park.

According to the regional director, Africa MahadMohamudKarani the firm aims to create design concepts that when actualised, are simple, realistic and sustainable. Small features like setting areas aside for taking walks, riding bikes, playgrounds for the children and security are what Saffarini Africa has taken into consideration.  In the various developments handled by the firm, one will notice that attention to detail is imperative and

With a vision to change architectural concepts to attain international standards, Saffarini Africa is a firm with a vision for Africa.

 

Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office

Engineering Consultants

International house 10th Floor

Mama Ngina Street

P. o. Box 22173 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Website : www.saffariniafrica.com

Tel: +254 20 2225355 / +254 20 2225551

Fax:+254 20 2224999

 

SaffariniAfrica .. A vision for Africa

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