Wednesday January 29 2014

Keeping up with home styles

a wall unit with space for a TV, photo frames and other accessories. This trend is taking over cupboards and TV stands.

A wall unit with space for a TV, photo frames and other accessories. This trend is taking over cupboards and TV stands. 

Just like fashion, house styles change every year. From designs, decor and accents to landscaping concepts, preferences change every year. We bring you what is trending this year in all these aspects.

The phrase out with the old, in with the new is usually used for wardrobes and personal accessories. When it comes to homes, however, trendy styles take a twist with a mix of the old and new (modern). There are several aspects of the home to consider when one is picking a design, colour and concept that goes with their personality since the home reflects who they are. Yet still, there can only be so little of so much explored in this article since there is a multitude of ideas when it comes to the interior, accents, walls, roof, design and landscape of the home.


For the walls and accents, Iva Dubajic one of the partners at Wasanii Living, a home décor and interior design shop, says there exist few general trends in wall colour since it is not about matching all the walls. She however adds, “People are definitely going back to brighter colours, especially when it comes to accents around the house.”

Home decorating accents include cushions, rugs, wall hangings, flower vases, sculptures and candle holders. According to Dubajic, one can opt for blush (mild pinks) wall colours but have strong bold ones like red for the cushions, rugs and blue for candle holders. In short, with varying preference, more people are falling for plain walls and vibrant coloured accents to brighten the room.

In addition to this, Sarah Ndagire, an interior designer with Sadolin Paints states there is no such thing as trendy colours for paint but rather a new era of paints. In the past, people stuck to white, soft white, cream and used super gloss paint because it was washable. “People, however, did not know that super gloss paint was flammable. Today one can use water based paint which can be washed and is non-flammable,” says Ndagire.

The new era of painting homes involves using all the colours but ensuring the colour matches the concept of the room or place. Although a number of people are oblivious to concepts of the rooms before they paint, Ndagire uses an example of Serena Hotel whose concept is Arabian and explains that the brown colour completes that concept.
Besides the concept of the room, Ndagire says the size of the room matters as well. She continues, “You cannot go for strong hot colours for small rooms and rooms with low ceilings.” Dubajic who is in agreement with this statement explains, “Even if you painted the walls red and black which is a really nice combination, you would get bored with it in a short while because it is too in your face.”

When it comes to curtains, according to Sam Shema of High Point Furniture, people are moving away from plain curtains to brightly coloured ones with patterns that match the accents in the room. Hence for colours, especially for the walls, grey, toned down, blush (mild pinks) and playful colours are trendy at the moment.


In design we look at architectural designs, roofing, floors and what people are going for in the different rooms.

“Several buyers are opting for quality roofing and materials. They now ask for top brands from outside Uganda, for example the UK, which was not the case in the past when customers would buy whatever was available,” explains Stuart Grubb the General Manager at The Depo Ltd dealers in roof tiles, floor tiles, ceiling boards, bathroom ceramics, glass blocks and other items.

Many home builders now choose forest green, dark brown, maroon, grey coloured roofs. But even as you keep up with this trend, Grubb advises that when choosing colour, look for original stone coated roofs other than those that are painted. The painted roof corrodes within a few years, affecting the outlook of the house.

Also, people are going for houses with a hidden roof, according to Stephen Ochola, an architect at Creations Consult Ltd, and are paying more attention to the ceiling. When choosing ceiling designs, Ochola says, people now use gypsum board ceilings which they decorate in different colours and with lights as opposed to concrete walls in the past.

Grubb and Ochola say customers currently like grey floor tiles, those which look like wood, are in earthy colours, as well as wooden floors. Sarah Ndagire and Iva Dubajic, interior designers, agree with them, saying more people are going for off-white floors, earth tones and basic neutral colours.

People now have open planned houses with as few internal walls as possible. These kinds of designs might have no wall separating the kitchen from the dining area. On the other hand, windows are larger than they were in the past. “The trend now is large aluminium glass windows. A good number of people are abandoning metallic burglar proof and turning to electronic security systems,” says Ochola

“Most people do not have bathtubs in their homes now because there is little use for it,” Grubb says.
With this in mind, many home owners now have shower compartments in different styles — with shower curtains, clear doors made from glass or plexi glass (what is commonly referred to as plastic glass). Still on bathrooms, Ochola shares, “Gone are the days when the bathroom was just a bathing area in the house. The bathroom is now the statement of the house.” Nowadays bathrooms are very spacious with attractive sanitary items and things like jacuzzis.

Ochola says: “Bedrooms nowadays are spacious with lots of lights from large windows and lots of space to contain several bed designs.” He notes that some people opt to have a balcony from the master bedroom looking to the compound. He adds that while there is a time walk-in closets had become popular, they are not so common nowadays since people opt for wardrobes.


When it comes to furniture, sofa sets to be exact, Sam Shema, the assistant manager at High Point Funiture, suggests that today you can blend the colours of the sofa sets with the colour of the centre piece.
“You can have a well designed red rug as the centre piece in the living room then match it with black and red sofas,” he shares.
Sofa sets made from fibre instead of sponge are also trending since they are light and stylish.
Sofa sets are also evolving from the square shapes to round and L-shaped ones with a mix of two or three colours. A sofa can have a black bottom, light brown and black striped frames with white and light brown patterned cushions.

When it comes to the centre piece tables in the living room, these too can match the sofa.
For example, the table top colour can match the colour of the sofa bottoms while the stands match the colour of the sofa frames.
Shema shares: “Table sets with four pieces are out-dated and those in style are those with two pieces or with a nest of tables that gradually decrease in size.”

Wooden cupboards have been replaced with wall units with lights that can be dimmed in or out.
The wall unit has a drawer, television compartment, space for photo frames, books, tableware, and wine compartments.

Shema says beds with bedside drawers are trendy at the moment as well as beds those that can be adjusted to be longer or shorter. “Beds made out of leather are also in style now,” he says.


Stepping out from the interior onto the compound design of the home, John-Meddie Segane, a landscape designer with EI Designers Landscape and Interior Consultants, shares: “There is a modern compound design and an eccentric one.” Once again like the interior, landscape designs bend towards one’s preference.

The traditional design is one with just plants and bushy flowers close to a forest concept. However the eccentric style which is a mixture of traditional and modern compound designs comes with features like an arch, water, rock garden and benches or garden chairs. “One can have a mixture of fruit trees, pond, low level plants and a collection of multi-coloured flowers. The plants can be planted in arrangement to match the colours,” shares Segane.

The modern design includes empty pots just for design, garden lights, wooden clay or metallic sculptures and an architectural garden (plants with form or shape).

The modern compound design also has a stone pitch. A stone pitch is a set of stones arranged in particular shape.
“The stone pitch can be in differing places like the corner of the compound or at the centre,” explains Segane.
In addition, there are walkways of paving slabs, pieces of log, and pavers like those used in the drive way. The walkways differ in size. The modern compound also has a grill (for people who love their roasted meat), sitting area, and play area for the children.

When it comes to the colour of the external part of the home, several houses had white or cream colours last year but according to Stephen Ochola, an architect, people now go for earth colours like brown hues softer earth colours that look like white stone.