Developer injects creativity in real estate

By Morris Aron

Real estate developers are getting more creative with interior design as a way of adding value for the increasingly sophisticated homebuyers.

This was evident during the unveiling of Oyster Breeze, a three-bedroom executive apartments property at Balozi estate off Mombasa road, in which its developers have invested in model architecture and contemporary design to give it an edge.

Targeted for middle-income earners, the contemporary block of apartments has embraced a fresh concept of African interiors with a rustic feel, giving the houses a quiet and sheltered feel.

"Today with a more discerning real estate clientele who are more exposed, finishing is a deal maker," said Mutahi Wariithi, the developer of Oyster Properties International that is developing the property.

"Quality design means by the time of purchase, the house is ready for occupation, leaving the tenant comfortable with minimum dÈcor."

The developers say the concept was driven by market demand, particularly of homebuyers, for designs that stand out.

Mr Wariithi says many people constructing their own houses do so, as opposed to buying ready homes, so as to accommodate creative designs of their liking.

Modern features also means the house takes time to age.

House interiors

"Quality finishes offer comfort and ease of maintenance. It makes interior decoration cheaper and simpler since they do not need much to create a homely finish. This is what the market is looking for," he said.

The Oyster Breeze house interiors have used artwork such as spears and tree barks, achieved through special paints effects.

The kitchens don granite countertops, high-end faucets; while the extensive bedrooms have laminated floor boards which are easy to maintain and modern wardrobes, while the bathrooms have a tub and shower cubicle and stainless steel appliances.

The property comes Dstv ready, with a large underground water tank and a self-contained guard house – with shower and toilet for the watchman.

Mr Wariithi said the property give added value to the middle class neighbourhood, which can be compared to high- end locations of the city. The units are selling at Sh10 million.

"We feel also that if the exterior is poor it does not matter how good the interior is," said Mr Mutahi.

Oyster Breeze exteriors have been done with natural stone, brick and an artistically designed majestic gate, to make the homes stand out.

The driveway is done with natural stone different from the normal cabro look many properties embrace.

Social amenities

The property is being promoted by Azizi Realtors a property agency based in Nairobi’s Lavington area.

"The property is secure, and when you are inside you experince a unique feel as if you are in Lavington or Kilimani," said James Mwangi,the General Manager of Azizi realtors.

"Availability of a garden gives it a serene nature, while the developer has also emphasized on natural lighting to cut down on energy costs."

Mombasa road has of late become an attractive destination for home buyers due to many new and upcoming social amenities like the Sameer Business Park, Panari centre, shopping malls and schools, in addition to its proximity to the city centre.

The property market has been sizzling over the past five years, fuelled by a growing population middle class Kenyans seeking homes that come with a classy touch.