‘A house is livable when given a personal touch’
By Esther Dianah | June 10th 2021
A dream home is on top of most people’s bucket list.
But once the house is built, fitting and furnishing it can be overwhelming; it is hard to decide which colour best fits your home, what style best suits your vision and most of the time, the furniture.
Interior designer Fraciah Kaiga says the first thing anyone needs before styling a house is to have a vision on what exactly they want the space to look like.
“Have a picture of things you have been admiring, have a mood board then start narrowing down to the furniture you desire,” she says.
Ms Kaiga advises against shopping without a vision board because everything is usually beautiful if you do not have a concrete plan.
“It is normally very chaotic to shop without inspiration. The vision board helps you plan and identify your style because there are so many styles: there is the farmhouse style, bohemian style, modern farmhouse, electric mid-century and Scandinavian style, other times you combine all the styles.”
The bohemian and farmhouse styles are the most sought after among her clients,” she says.
“Farmhouse is popular because it has traditional elements with a modern twist. It has a lot of painted furniture and more glam.’’
The two styles are common, Kaiga says, because they bring light to the house as a result of the modern touch; unlike traditional houses which are rather dark inside.
“The bohemian style has a bit of colour, throw pillows, a bit traditional.
The farmhouse style is affordable and more traditional, according to the interior designer.
“People are not looking to throw away their traditions, they just want a little modern twist and the farmhouse has that.”
Kaiga dislikes common colours when it comes to designing a living space. “A home is personal, so when people have the same colours in their houses then it ceases to be a home and becomes a trend.”
She especially cannot stand the ubiquitous orange. “When something becomes common it loses its purpose. Orange has become very common and the house doesn’t feel like home anymore.”
Unless a house is made personal, “anyone can buy furniture and space turns out like a showroom. Adding personal preferences to the house makes it livable.”
The colour of the house is determined by the style of design someone wants. “Once you get the vision right, you settle for a colour scheme as well. The vision is where everything is.”
“I like working with neutral backgrounds then add in colours to give it a bold look.”
When colouring your house, she says, you are choosing the environment you are going to live in and it determines the mood.
Colours have very bold elements. “It can be energetic, if you are a person that desires a lot of positive energy, you go for the colours that have elements of power. There are also warm and cozy colours.”
She says the colour one uses is basically the mood and energy they want to set.
“The advantage of working with a designer is that they can tailor your house around. I work with what a client has provided. It is my job to turn around every space.”
She also says working with a designer is affordable because some people spend a lot of money and end up not getting the look they desire. “Interior designing is a skill and not everyone has it.”
The cost of designing a house starts from Sh300,000 but Kaiga says the budget can be as low as one wants if they do not require a designer.
“You can simply turn around your old furniture and maybe paint it to have the look you desire. It also depends on what exactly one wants to revamp, it is not necessarily the whole house.”
When it comes to curtains and lighting the house, she says clients need a lot of advice. “Many people go for the bright printed curtain which can be very busy and makes it difficult to get the desired outlook.”
Also, a house can be complete with basics such as a good sofa, window treatment and good lighting. “This forms the foundation from which you can build up your design for a living room,” says Kaiga.
In her observation, most of the people who seek the services of an interior designer are either busy, love their homes or just appreciate the professionalism and other people’s talents.
“A lot of young families seek services of interior designers too,” she says.
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