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Interior fitting can be an overwhelming project. Soaring budgets, never ending projects and unforeseen setbacks can turn any renovation into a nightmare writes Patrick WEBULE. 

kitchen Cabinet installation can also be a major source of confusion and stress. Not only is the market full of styles and options, the list of local and international manufacturers is huge. Picking cabinets to live with for years can seem an impossible task.

Fortunately, the process isn’t as frightening as it seems. By breaking down the main differentiators between local and imported cabinets, homeowners and developers can start to understand how to build their ideal kitchen. This guide will examine domestic and imported cabinetry and explain some of the major differences and features of each.

Risks of Imported Cabinets

The quality of imported cabinets varies significantly. At the low end, some cheap imported cabinets are poorly built using substandard materials and hasty construction. On the other end, high grade imported cabinets can rival the quality of locally made brands.

Consumers face additional risk from imported cabinets as quality control in some overseas factories may be low.

Another risk is the fear of pirates which makes some importers use the South African route which sometimes can be costly and time consuming. This affects the delivery time on projects that rely on the imported fittings which has a minimum importation period of 3 months; time is crucial for any project, especially those funded by financial institutions with crippling interest rates.

Furthermore, the distance and language barrier can make customer service a difficult endeavour for many. While the price point of some imported cabinets is lower, the quality, service and reliability are never guaranteed.

Bulky items

Imported cabinets vary in quality, cost, and style. Various factors, including the cost of shipping bulky items overseas can contribute to a higher overall cost for imported kitchen cabinets. Overseas companies aren’t as accessible for returns and quality issues as local brands.

Locally manufactured cabinets typically feature greater quality than many cabinets made overseas. The proximity to the manufacturer ensures that customers buying cabinets made locally typically have better access to the source, and a greater chance of support, returns, and customer service than customers who import cabinetry.

Locally manufactured cabinets are made of solid wood, MDF, laminated boards and acrylic depending on the desired style and price. While locally made cabinets might not be the least expensive on the market, buyers have the advantage of enforceable warranties, direct contact with the manufacturer, and world class quality.

Utilizing maximum

Custom made kitchen cabinets are those which are uniquely designed to cater to individual customer needs. Such custom made cabinets could bring about many advantages. One such advantage is being able to make maximum use of small kitchen spaces. Utilizing maximum space especially within the household is becoming increasingly crucial. Therefore in most cases standard kitchen cabinets which are readily available in the market may not serve the purpose of maximum space utilization. Accordingly an individual has the capability and sovereignty to decide on how the kitchen space needs to be allocated for cabinets when the cabinets are custom made.

Another advantage is the liberty to design your own kitchen cabinets to meet individual preferences. The standard cabinets available in the market may not always meet the image in the customers mind. Therefore being able to uniquely custom make your own kitchen cabinets will deliver complete satisfaction in building your dream home.

Having the liberty to select colour combinations, design patterns and glass themes is another benefit of custom made kitchen cabinets since the market may not always make available the widest variety of colour themes, allowing the customer to match various colours and design the kitchen they desire the most. Moreover the concept of custom made cabinets saves customer time since it does not involve hunting for the perfect kitchen cabinets to meet the ideal design, colours etc, to meet individual preferences.

In the recent past, kitchen cabinets have emerged as an integral part of modern homes to organize their kitchen appliances, food items and cooking equipment. While freestanding kitchen appliances have been in the market for many years, built-in kitchen appliances are a relatively new concept. The built-in kitchen appliances integrate many essential kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, hobs, hoods, dishwashers, ovens etc.

Local suppliers have come of age and match the international standards and incorporating this new concept into the designs. The customer can preview the designed kitchen through the use of 3D software. This facility is made available in most professional cabinet making companies locally which allows the customer to make changes till he/she is fully satisfied.

Customized cabinetry has immense storage capacity as compared to readymade or imported cabinetry.  While there are a limited variety of imported cabinets available in the market, the variety for custom made cabinets is unlimited, as every design potentially is a unique culmination of a set of ideas from individuals with unique tastes, preferences and needs. They can be set as high or as low as a homeowner needs them to be, they can be as wide or narrow as desired, and they can also be placed in the most convenient places possible for the home owner, facilitating all activities that take place in the kitchen.

Locally made cabinets deliver a high level of satisfaction and a variety when renovating since the materials are locally available and any modifications can be made on site. Unlike imported cabinets is saves you headache from designing cabinets haphazardly which will not only lead to dissatisfaction.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, each homeowner or developer has different factors when deciding on the perfect cabinets. Price, availability and quality, all influence the product’s attractiveness. Although it may seem overwhelming, taking time to study the manufacturers, styles, and components, consumers can find the perfect cabinets for their budget locally.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Daisy

    March 25, 2014 at 9:10 am


    Glade to hear that you’re on the market for furniture.

    We are factory manufacturing furniture for 10 years, with good quality and pretty competitive price.

    Should you have any questions, pls contact me.

    Tks & br,


    Shouguang Bailongma Economic Trade Co., Ltd.
    Tel: 18263332171 Fax: 0536-5207095

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Edition 05

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.

Innerspring 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:-

Continuous coil

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.

Open coil

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.

Offset coil

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.

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Edition 05

Enchanting Sani Gardens




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.

Astonishing landscape

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.

Beautiful extension

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.

Graceful plants

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.

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Edition 05

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.

Jells pretty

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.

Superb views

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


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