Furniture trend for this season is bringing the outdoors in through the use of natural hardwoods. For a trendy look, one can mimic the look by selecting wood furniture with unique curves or pieces that highlight the natural texture of the wood.
“It is never a surprise to see hardwood show up in what’s trending all over in interiors. After all, hardwood is a natural material that is essential throughout the house – any style of house in cabinetry as well as furniture.
Inspired by Mother Nature, furniture designers at MobilCasa are thrilled to make furniture using hardwoods in both traditional and modern forms. They in this regard accentuate the organic curves, movement and form of the natural material in their showrooms.
“When we opened our doors, our mission was to make beautiful, high-quality furniture,” says BenardMulei, MD MobilCasa Furniture. “I think so far, we have succeeded,” he enthuses. Mulei is exceedingly proud of his company and its products. “All of our products are produced locally by highly skilled craftspeople.
Today the company makes a lot of items ranging from elegant dining tables to elaborate, custom-made sofas. Every piece is lovingly hand-finished to produce a magical item that is a pleasure to touch and own.
MobilCasa was initially in Nairobi but later on opened a branch in Uganda. “The opening up of the new branch was necessitated by our need to serve the Ugandan market following the high demand for hardwood furniture in that country.
The idea of taking the business regional was a good business decision according to Mulei. He says that they had been receiving a great deal of orders from Uganda through their Nairobi office which comprised of furniture for hotels and residential property as the real estate sector in Uganda was experiencing phenomenon growth. “Now that we are in Uganda, we are able to tap into this market and it is working. Ugandans have good taste and are upbeat about hardwood products.
As a whole, the MD prompts customers to visit any of the MobilCasa showrooms in Nairobi or Kampala. “We encourage you to look around and touch the furniture. Our sales people are there to guide you through our vast product line and the process of creating your special piece of furniture,” says Mulei.
With hardwood as a prominent trend in home furnishings right now, MobilCasa is a valuable partner for those looking to incorporate high value with their spaces. One of the great things about hardwood is that even as design trends come and go, solid hardwood furniture will last a lifetime and can be refurbished for a new look, Mulei asserts.
Beating the budget
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.
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
SUPPLIER AT A GLANCE
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.
Saffarini exacts new architectural standards
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
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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