By Kelai WANJIRU
Picture this beautiful setting – a lush green landscape set among beautiful gardens, surrounded by exotic flowers and mature trees in a quiet, serene and inspiring environment.
As we drove around the Karen suburb trying to locate the gardens, little did we imagine that we were about step into the most mesmerizing place in Nairobi. As the gates were opened, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the green green grass and the most fascinating flowers – some of which I had never seen in my life. I actually had to touch the grass just to make sure it was real.
Lost in the astonishing landscape and the amazing view of the Ngong Hills, we were ushered into the gardens by the charming and most pleasant owners who explained to us the meaning of the word “Sani”.
A fairly new home in the area, the gardens were once just a vast land of stones and gravel, that were quickly transformed into a haven of tranquility and peace.
Step into the trendy Sani Gardens – a unique recreational garden filled with breath-taking greenery, covering a large area of peaceful parkland. Nestled in the serene suburb of Karen, the gardens epitomize a relaxed garden scheme of uplifting colours and scents.
The gardens run by a group of entrepreneurs, are a popular spot for visitors looking to rejuvenate and relax their senses after a long hard week, picnics, corporate events, wedding parties, among many other activities.
Surrounding a most enchanting home, the gardens are a beautiful extension that comprise of a series of spaces the each feature distinctive elements that are sure to enchant anyone spending a day here – a truly enchanting spot.
With the remarkable expanse of unique trees, amazing botanic gardens and the tranquil park, there is something melancholy about the nature surrounding the Sani Gardens.
The gardens give meaning to the phrase “maximizing space”. The sheer size of the park is a challenge to anyone and an outdoor space has never been this inviting.
This enchanting garden features exquisite and striking spaces like a tranquil “pergola” where one can hold a romantic dinner or a family get-together.
There are also unique areas around the garden where graceful plants define the gardens in the countryside by the city and manicured archways that line the gardens. The gardens are also graced with beautiful and one of a kind sculptures that offer the African theme of embracing family and unity.
In line with going green and being friendly to Mother Nature, the mission of the founders of Sani Gardens is to promote relaxation, enjoyment and appreciation of nature.
Enjoy days and evenings filled with the fresh scent of nature and fragrant plants at the fabulous Sani Gardens.
Comfort in the bedroom
Mattresses immensely contribute to the quality of beds. But one wonders, what really makes that mattress a worthwhile one for a quality sleep. Jeniffer MBOGORI gives a sneak preview of the users preferences.
The debate between soft versus firm mattresses rages on even after decades of us appreciating the need of quality sleep nursed on worthwhile foams. There are benefits and drawbacks to options of having the sleeping surface softer or harder according to MekanMatresses a leading East Africa mattress household name.
With its firm roots in Kenya and design aerials in Turkey, Mekan has steadily cut a niche for themselves in the now competitive mattress market. It is they who continue to lull quite a number of those desiring quality sleep with enviable mattresses.
According to YasinCenk, one of directors at the firm comfortable sleep isn’t chanced. “The ingredient for quality sleep hinges on a quality mattress,” he stresses.
While some people opt for the stable support of harder, less forgiving mattresses, others choose softer and more lenient mattresses on their beds. With selection of mattresses increasing constantly, Cent notes that a mattress’ style, functionality and option to select which design and material are right matters.
Comfort vs. Support
One difficulty in the pursuit of the perfect mattress is the division between comfort and support. For years, hard mattresses have been recommended as essential for proper back support, and the only option for maintaining healthy spine alignment during sleep.
Contrastingly, more and more mattresses are marketed purely for comfort, claiming to mimic the softness of sleeping on a cloud. While sleeping comfortably is an obvious aspiration for most people shopping for a new bed, an aching back lacking adequate support clearly presents an obstacle to a good night’s sleep as well.
Orthopedic mattresses are an example of sleep-well products that hit the market with a bang owing to the fact that they do not only offer comfort and a good night’s sleep. They also help to align the body structure appropriately, thereby providing valuable health support. In this category are also the latex mattresses.
The most common form of mattress available, the innerspring, uses a layer of metal springs, covered by a small layer of fabric. The springs are designed to support the weight of your body, while sinking just enough to feel comfortable. Depending on the gauge of the coil, spring mattresses can range from firm to moderate support, and then eventually reach soft with age and wear. Within the spring layer, one of four types of coils that may be used:-
Each row of interior springs is made up of one continuous spring. The use of one spring as opposed to many is thought to increase the strength of the coil, providing stronger support, and extending the life of the spring’s original resistance.
The oldest style of spring mattress, open coil spring form the shape of an hourglass, and are bound to each other by a series of smaller wire spirals. While open coil springs initially provide adequate support, they tend to lose their resistance relatively quickly.
An adaptation of the open coil, offset coil springs forms a square head rather than circular. This design change is thought to increase the mattress’s ability to conform to the weight of a person’s body. Offset coils are also connected to each other within the mattress by a series of smaller wire coils.
Individually wrapped coils
Rather than using a chamber of coils spanning the entire interior of the mattress, this style uses individually wrapped coils, each enclosed in a fabric pocket. The separation rather than connection of coils attempts to reduce the transfer of motion from one coil to another, stabilizing the mattress’s surface.
Golfing transformed at Aberdare Hills
If you ever thought of refreshed international standard golfing, then Aberdare Hills Golf Resort, with homely interiors, a nostalgic environment and manicured landscapes designed by world renowned designers Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo (WATG) would definitely be your next big bet by Kelai WANJIRU.
Sitting in grandeur at the foothills of the world famous Rift Valley, is a beauty unknown to most people – facing the Aberdare ranges is the highly anticipated Aberdare Hills Golf Resort. Thanks to Panda Development Company initiative speaks volumes of fantastic interiors graced with beautiful surroundings and manicured landscapes.
Going on a tour to this eco-friendly golf resort is undoubtedly a nostalgic experience. Set on a massive 1,650 hectares of prime land in Naivasha, the resort boasts of a five star hotel. It is designed as a self-contained residential community with recreation, leisure facilities and amenities that offer a unique and luxurious lifestyle. One quickly sees the opportunity of an international golf championship talking place at this well kempt arena. Within the golf course’s vicinity is a commercial centre.
With wide views of the mountains and the feel of the soft breeze of the rift’s air on one’s cheeks, pure relaxation and contentment is what the developers – Panda Development Company had in mind when this world class resort was incepted. It affirms its quality space around the neighbouring flower farms that’s known of Naivasha – a town equally popular with those who are keen on the finer things of life.
The generous spaces of the Aberdare Hills Golf Resort boldly make it a site to behold. Its 18-hole golf course and endearing vehicle parking yards jells pretty with the green mother-nature that serves as a special sanctuary for birdlife. Several species of the birds abound. One can easily see why the resort is mother-nature’s best friend.
According to the chairman of Panda Development Company, Dr.PritamPanesar, the integration of the East African Community makes the incomparable major regional development a sure determinant of Naivasha’s future in Kenya’s growing global market position.
The development comprises two phases with the first phase comprising of 216 Ultra-Luxe Villas each with a choice of three to five bedroom rare units, an 18-hole golf course that’s built to international and USGA championship specifications, a Golf and Country Club House and infrastructure to support the first phase. Construction of the golf course has already started and the first phase will be completed in 2014. Design for the second phase has been completed.
Dr.Panesar, so passionate about the environment, states that the golf resort is environmentally sustainable as it will contribute to alleviating some of the pressures of the city and ease congestion. He notes that the golf resort has a safe and secure environment that provides freedom for children and adults alike to play and explore the natural landscape accessed by well maintained paths and trails. With superb views from elevated areas, the Aberdare Hills Golf Resort is designed by world renowned designers Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo (WATG), who have done a superb job of creating a visionary mix of housing and commercial space – a first in Kenya.
David Jones, the golf-course design team leader was certainly out to make a difference at a location that is away from the hustle and bustle of the Nairobi – Kenya’s capital city. However, by virtue of being only an hour’s drive the city, the golf resort offers luxurious living with excellent services that surpass the expectations of the East African Community and international travellers. The resort, which has changed the face of the small town of Naivasha is a sound investment that is sure to elevate the country as the destination to be.
The exquisite and stimulating design of the villas is a summary of inspiration. Each villa is uniquely designed to capture the spirit of nature and the feel of the Aberdare Ranges that stands tall in a not so far-off distance. That contemporary and modernity feel couldn’t escape the designer’s mind. While it is almost difficult to capture the designer’s concept, kudos goes to the unrushed and well thought-out process of the awesome and inviting Aberdare Hills Golf Resort.
By creating beautiful spaces to live, work and play, the Panda Development Company offers an exceptional experience that combines opulence and nature.
P.O Box 46235 – 00100 Nairobi
Offices that uphold businesses
The physical workspace is one of the most ignored, yet well designed offices immensely contribute heightening business engagement with clients besides rendering a pleasant environment to the regular user writes Humphrey ODHIAMBO.
Businesses definitely thrive in well planned, uniquely designed and furnished offices. The office designs make worthwhile statements to clients. The setting has some emotional attachment as it inclines towards making the formal working space friendlier to the regular occupants and to clients.
It is a fact that many people don’t stop and take a moment or two before setting up their offices to consider little things like left or right hand orientation. Comfort in an office calls for a well thought-out process. It is never a sheer trial and error game. It’s serious business. Besides the commercial-oriented offices, even hospitals have taken a queue. They need nothing less than enviable interiors.
Be it a home-office or a workspace in a commercial set-up there ought to be a seamless flow of its cleaning and organized pattern of ensuring work efficiency and safety. Spending much time searching for things than actually working is no way a path to succeed in an office.
Jackson Ndegwa, whose firm Design40 has caused a glorious stir and indeed a demand for contemporary designed offices with matched flair and comfort speaks about formal workspaces with a passion. Being an inspired entrant in the competitive office design segment of the interiors vibrant market, he affirms that every office has its message. Their radiant appeal emanates from their design and outlook.
Years back, governments across East Africa did set a box-type standard of offices. It was all white spaces less for the doors and maybe some window frames and metallic door handles that had different colours. Another tinge of enhancement was perhaps some red or gray or blue carpets, curtains plus an intimidating table and some furnishings.
Creative and happy
Perhaps it is a number of law-firms that have been keen to sustain that momentum. But who says the government and law-firm offices must be boring? Governments and law-firms need to be in business and therefore deserve appealing office set-ups.
Setting up contemporary offices that would consistently measure with a business’ stature is a mighty task. Ndegwa notes that as the world has now crept into a more interactive environment physical spaces matter. “It’s easier to be productive, creative and happy at work in a colourful, organic, playful environment than in a grey, linear, boring one,” he asserts.
Many companies have buildings that are sleek, modern, architectural glass-steel-and-cement sculptures on the outside – and cubicle wastelands on the inside. These companies according to Ndegwa need to remember that most employees tend to work inside the building not outside.
With that in mind, some of the Design40’s candy innovative designs for workplaces hinge on simplicity, fun, flexibility and practical use for the office users. Corporate branded offices should thus have their own unique perfections. The structural materials of the building with its vibrant and creative interior design should display a sense of privacy, reception area, customer relations area that is discreetly separate from the creative spaces.
Critical in all the Design40 interior plans are the natural light that spreads full and open into the workspaces. The organization usually comes-up with symmetrical design solutions even in seemingly strange mezzanine floors. It is one company that’s keen with matching colours, sweet luxuries and green energy smarts that make the working space enviable.
Setting-up the space
It is important to take some time to consider the tasks that one will want to render in the office besides using the computer. Will you have a lot of printing? Arrange printers so that they are accessible and easy to replenish paper and ink.
Sketching finer drawings of the furniture that one has what might be required down the road provides a useful guideline, as it helps the most in setting-up the available space.
Questions that come-up include: Will you need a lot of storage space? Is a filing cabinet required? What about a board room and the executive officers? Planning that out early matters as it leaves room to grow in a chosen office space says Ndegwa.
Owing to the flexibility of aluminium and glass, they stand-out as among the best office material bets. “It is evident that a number of offices are also using gypsum boards and paint to make a significant difference,” says Ndegwa. For this he reckons one doesn’t have to rush to make inviting office interiors but consider engaging services of a qualified interior designer in-order to have a long-term impact in the office set-up that would uphold the business.
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