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By Alnoor JUMA

Over the last decade, carpeting has relinquished its predominant position in the floor covering industry, to harder types of flooring, such as wood, laminates, ceramics and natural stone (marble, porcelain, granite) especially in the residential sector.

However, it still maintains a respectable 30 – 40 per cent of the floor covering industry due to important advantages, mainly aesthetics underfoot comfort, a feeling of warmth, coziness and excellent sound insulation.

It remains the flooring of choice for bedrooms in both palatial homes and luxury hotels, primarily because it is the foundation of a rich, warm ambience. A thick, white carpet in your living room indicates a singular lack of compromise in entertaining your distinguished guests.

 Why carpet?

The primary advantage of a carpet over other types of flooring lies in the versatility of choice in colour, the myriad design and textures, availability, giving the interior designer virtually unlimited choice in selecting decorating themes such as classic floral to abstract, geometric designs. One can even obtain a neutral or minimalist look by selecting a leather or tweed pile type of carpet. The design possibilities are endless.

Another point to consider is cost – it can be an economical alternative to move expensive types of hard flooring, such as solid timber or marbles and yet offer a more luxurious appearance.

Carpet can easily hide imperfections in the floor – construction defects are easily covered up. Sound insulation is a challenge easily solved by the installation of carpet and underlay. Higher slip resistance, very important to the elderly and young children is another important advantage of carpeting, especially in areas like bathrooms and staircases.

Most carpets today have an application of stain resistance so that most spills easily come off it and spot remover with towels is all you need for interior maintenance, which if done regularly, will greatly reduce the frequency of professional cleaning.

  Choosing the carpet

Selection of the appropriate carpet involves looking at several factors. When shopping for a carpet, look to buy the best quality that your budget can withstand. The better quality will be more economical in the long run, in terms of durability and cleanability.

How does one ascertain quality? Firstly, consider the type of fibre a nylon/wool blend or 100 per cent nylon carpets will last at least twice as long as any of the cheaper synthetic such as polypropylene, polyester and acrylic. Nylon and wool are also easier to clean and keep clean with only a good vacuum cleaner and a damp towel.

Secondly, look carefully at the density of the surface fibre. Fold the carpet backwards and check how much of the base is showing, look carefully along the length of each strand of fibre – its thickness and the number of twists. Different carpets can be compared directly in this way.

Remember – the longer the fibre, the greater the tendency to stumble. Hence, as a general rule, only use deeper pile carpets in bedrooms and rarely used boardrooms. The busy area should have a very short pile carpet with high density per square inch. This will greatly ease cleaning and give better appearance retention over time.

For those with a hectic lifestyle, selecting a soil – hiding pattern or colour is of paramount importance, earthy beiges, brown, taupe and rust tones will camouflage dirt. Stay away from ocean, off-white, pastel shades of blue, pink, grey and yellow, if you are looking for a practical carpet.

 The right pattern

Pattern is also very important in soil hiding. A plain colored carpet will always show footsteps and dirt more easily than a patterned one, the heavier the pattern the better the soil hiding effect.

This is why we see heavy patterns in ballroom hotel carpets, where food and drinks are spilled constantly and there is no time to clean in between functions.

Recently we have noted a greatly increased use of patterned carpet tiles in residential spaces. In the Kenyan market the  carpet tile is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be easily installed by a lay person without adhesive, which means that it can be picked up when dirty and most of the available qualities can easily be washed under the kitchen tap, left out in the sun to dry and replaced within a few hours.

There are also quite a variety of patterns and colour available locally. Coordinating solids can be mixed with patterns to create stunning designs. Inlaid borders of contrasting colours can be done very easily without the need for an expensive installer.

All that is required is any straight metal edge, a trimming knife and a steady hand. Move on this exciting new trend in flooring, in the next issue where we will showcase different exciting design – colour combinations.



Alnoor JUMA runs Contract Carpeting, a firm that offers specialist carpeting and flooring services in the region. Email


Edition 04

Make moving a pleasant experience



By Jeniffer MBOGORI

The thought of moving is enough to bring strain to someone’s mind. Whether one is moving house or office, the process of organizing and facilitating a move is not an easy task and can be a strenuous one.

There are quite a number of things to consider when contemplating a move. Obviously, everyone remembers the important things like paying outstanding bills, redirecting mail and taking the last electricity meter readings, but the nitty-gritty in relocating is what matters.

Are you one of the people who wait until the last minute to look for the nearest lorry and help hands to move your home or office? Do you start worrying about packaging and you do not even know where to begin? Really, are you just totally confused about the whole moving process?

 Pleasant experience

This is where Armstrong Movers & Storage, a company incorporated in 2008, comes in. The company ensures that your move is a pleasant experience as it specializes in the relocation of household and office removals for the middle and upper class in the East African region.

The company is steadily plunging into the international freighting of goods which at the moment rests mostly with international firms.

According to the Managing Director, Mr. Joseph Ndichu, Armstrong Movers & Storage have created a niche service in the market by providing personalized and friendly services that are professional and surpass expectations of clients.

“Relocation should be well-planned,” quips Ndichu, while noting that Armstrong Movers carefully plan and execute your move from them first phone call to the final drop off. Armstrong Movers & Storage are known for their specialized packaging materials that are designed to absorb shock, protect delicate items and offer all round protection for each and every item one is moving from the home or office.

 Cost fundamentals

Prior to making a move, a major concern for every home owner or office occupier is always the costs one will incur when planning and executing the move. Well, there is no cause for worry because at Armstrong Movers & Storage, budgets are negotiable and cost is never a hindrance to the peace of mind when moving.

Before embarking on any task, the friendly staff will take time to enlighten clients on what is involved in the moving process. While walking a client through the process, the staff members will ensure they get acquainted with the locations involved in the moving process. After booking services in advance, time is allocated to the client, a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your residential moving needs survey is undertaken, and only then is a quote created to match the job description.

A plus for clients moving out or into the country is the large warehouse facility located very close to the airport. Knowing very well the high cost of warehouse facilities at the airport and the limited durations of time for storage, it is a welcoming relief to note that you can store your items for as long as you like at the Armstrong warehouse located just a few metres from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

 Spacious facility

With the long traffic jams we are experiencing in the city, it is easy to miss a flight, so when this occurs (we hope it doesn’t happen), one can store luggage at the spacious facility. International travel can prove a challenge to anyone, thus we provide full-service global mobility management by arranging sea or air transportation, packing, and the preparation of shipping documents for our clients, thus ensuring smooth transition from one location to the other.

Armstrong Movers & Storage delivers total logistics solutions to our clients, combining an efficient fleet service along with supply chain management of all your transportation needs.

Our performance tracking provides ongoing system analysis for our customers, reducing overall costs and enhancing function throughout their enterprise. Armstrong is always on call and available to handle fluctuations in demand as well as emergency shipments, enabling you to operate at peak efficiency while delivering exceptional value and unparalleled service to your customers.

In addition to home and office relocation services, other services offered include international relocation, packing and crating services, moving supplies and equipment and data storage solutions.

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Edition 04

Breathe easy: Hotpoint introduces ultra-modern air con



Hotpoint Appliances Ltd has newly introduced into the market, the TITAN range of air conditioners under its Room Air Conditioners division.

 The TITAN AC comes with a built-in AVS (Voltage Stabilizer) though that is just one of its numerous advantages, says Rabinder Kanani, one of Hotpoint’s Sales Managers. The TITAN comes with other premium advantages such as virus and allergy filters, powerful three way airflow, quiet operation, greater airflow swing action, modern design, faster cooling achieved by powerful compressor and a function for economical consumption of energy.

The firm’s Commercial Air Conditioners division equally introduced the LG MULTI V III commercial Air conditioner this year. “This inverter unit is your premium solution for all commercial air conditioning needs. MULTI V Inverter system offers one of the world’s largest capacity units, essential for high-rise buildings,” Ms Magon says. “We are proud to say the system will ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Multiple indoor units are connected to a single outdoor unit thereby creating an efficient system that offers outstanding energy saving of up to 35 per cent.”

Simple, easy installation, and connection to different types of indoor units, makes it easy to design and set up. With air conditioning, your environment is also assured of optimum conditions regardless of season or space with the ability of a single outdoor unit simultaneously handling heating and cooling via synchronous operation.

Products and solutions

Hotpoint provides a host of products and solutions for its customers. In the business area, there are residential and commercial products, air conditioning and heating products as well as accessories such as solar energy and LED lighting and solutions.

LG’s residential air conditioners have been leading the global industry since the year 2000 in terms of market share, trendsetting and performance. They are unique in that they offer both heating and cooling modes.

The products’ health-conscious features are one of the key distinctive elements. Hotpoint for instance, have the world’s first anti-dengue mosquito technology and the Dual Action Virus Protector, which kills 99.9 percent of H1N1 viruses in 24 hours of constant operation. Features like these are upgrading the firm’s consumers’ lives and helping them stay in healthier environment.

 The commercial horizon

LG air conditioners have been designed to achieve maximum energy savings. By sensing body heat, the Eco Eye sends out the optimized direct or indirect airflow, thereby making big savings in energy consumption. Also, the Inverter technology reduces energy use by up to 60 percent compared with non-inverter units.

The new flagship Multi V III, LG’s new VRF system, enables world’s highest energy efficiency. It is also the most compact-sized air conditioner in its class, occupying up to 30 percent less space than others drawn from competition. The firm’s – and the world’s – first continuous heating system can generate heating without interruption (on a contrary to conventional type with 7 to 8 minute’s interruption per an hour operation) which consequently results in energy efficiency.

 Good conditions

All of their grilles and diffusers are manufactured in our modern Sri Lankan factory and thanks to LG’s 34 years in the air movement sector and competitive pricing structure, the firm may be well placed to offer value and quality.

Hotpoint’s range of products create optimal living and working conditions by enabling their customers to control their environment including temperature, humidity and air quality to make them more comfortable. Their products are safe to operate and easy to manage. Hotpoint provides clients with reliable and cost effective solutions.

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Edition 04

General manager with a difference



For Ghulam Samdani, the journey to become Ole Sereni Hotel’s general manager has evidently been one long but inspirational path of success.

From a humble background of a restaurant intern in 1994 for six months, Ghulam has kept his pulse in the hospitality industry and has since then served in four continents – Europe, America, Asia and Africa.

His first steps as a hotelier saw him rise through the ranks in Switzerlands four leading city hotels before proceeding to the US where he became an assistant restaurant manager at Wellesley Country Club for almost an year. Boylston Palace tapped him for a restaurant manager’s job and opportunity that gave him yet another step of becoming the director of food and beverage at Holiday Inn in the US.

Holder of a Hotel & Restaurant Managementdegree and masters in Organizational Behaviour at Johnson & Wales University in the US, Ghulam’s nudge to acquire more experience saw him polish and rise through various ranks in the hotel industry. Among them was being the event manager at Eagle Pond Lodge in USA for nearly three years before scooping a more challenging general manager’s job at Sarovar Premiere Hotel in Kerela, India. This awesome responsibility had Ghulam manage the entire food and beverage operations of domestic and international airport of “Trivandrum”, which is leased to the hotel owners.

Humbled, assertive and jovial, Ghulam who been at the helm of Ole Sereni Hotel since August 2010 is affirmative that besides the wonderful aesthetics that hotels should have it is service delivery in hotels that renders the business worthwhile results. He further notes that effective hotel management is the pillar that contributes to the most profitable business to the hotel and the economy as a whole.

In 2005, Ghulam initiated Foreign Internship Program with German based Hospitality Institutes.

His effort to initiate a corporate social responsibilty programme led him initiate a foundation branded SMILES, which offers a helping hand to the mentally and physically challenged persons. Numerous fundraising activities have been conducted since inception of the initiative in 2006.

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