In our areas of residence and workplaces, we have that neighbour, friend, relative or workmate who throws parties almost every month. These parties include job promotions, birthday, baptism, house warming, graduations, children excellence in exams or in-law visits name it.
In all these parties, that person spends money on hiring venues like restaurant, club corner, gardens. However, when you visit theirhome, you realise they have more than enough compound space to host his guests. This leaves one wondering why people choose to spend on hiring venues when they could actually host them at home.
Nelson Muhwezi, a landscaper and Peter Wasswa, an engineer, say people need to organise their compounds to make them fit for events. They argue that most of those who spend money on hired venues do not know how to design their compounds for events.
Muhwezi says many people have sufficient courtyards that could host between 50 to 200 guests for functions such as birthday, child naming, graduation and baptism but never put them to use.
“Sometimes I visit people’s homes and get scared of things in the compounds. They have a lot of useless stuff thrown all over. They do not know that organised compounds could save the money they spend on paying for venues, especially for small events,” Muhwezi says.
However, Waswa says some people prefer their homes being kept private, thus hosting a party at their home could expose their privacy since events attract big numbers.
“We have people who would do whatever is possible to ensure their residences are not known. Some change residences once they feel many people have known their homes. Such a person regardless the size of his courtyard would not host events at home,” Wasswa says.
Another reason Wasswa thinks makes people hire venues is because they tend to focus on house designs forgetting that a courtyard should be planned from the start and you must have a picture of how you want it to look like.
“To have an appealing compound, you must plan for it as you plan for how you want your house to look like. As you dig the foundation, you must know where the drainage system will be, you must know how flowers and gardens will look,” Muhwezi says.
Wasswa says it is vital to select the right materials that would provide an appealing and durable desire for your courtyard. This, he says requires hiring a landscaper and explaining your dream compound desires to builders.
Muhwezi says a compound should be a place one is proud of because it gives a picture of what is inside the house. He says a beautiful courtyard or compounds can be used to entertain guests or as a sanctuary for relaxation.
Muhwezi emphasises that failure to have a proper drainage could make you hate your own home as it could often be water logged or muddy.
It is important to consult before you buy material for your compound whether flower pots or tiles. Such things must be planned and installed with a guidance of an engineer or landscaper.
Wasswa says other vital things in a bid to have a compound fit for venues include creating walkways leading to the main house, places of convenience, gardens and store. This he says helps to avoid creating zigzag pathways that often make your compound jumbled. “Sometimes you walk in one’s home and you feel like leaving the next minute. The toilets, byres and pigsties are welcoming items giving a cocktail of stench. All that means someone did not have a clear plan for his house or perhaps never sought an expert view,” Wasswa elaborates.
Wasswa further explains that before you hire a landscaper to design your compound for events, you must make him understand your personality and lifestyles of family members. This is because some people like traditional setting yet others prefer modernity. Knowing your personality and lifestyle simplifies the landscaper’s work and makes your courtyard appealing. It also gives the owner confidence to invite friends for visits or parties.
“If you are not proud of your courtyard, you will not have the gut to host events in it. You will always spend on booking for venues yet you have enough space to accommodate the guests. You must work and guide the compound designer so that he can produce work that makes you proud,” Wasswa explains.
Pr Herbert Kwizera, who often hosts his guest preachers and friends from different parts of the country and neighbouring countries like Tanzania and Kenya, says one does not need to spend much time and money designing a compound.
He says you can use simple grass like paspalum to make your compound look attractive and alluring to visitors. “Keep the grass short, shovel out all intruding plants and burn them as soon as possible. Sweep the compound twice a day [morning and evening]. Discourage children from throwing rubbish in the compound,” Kwizera says.
Wasswa insists that furniture placed in the compound should resonate with the plants and must be in accord with the landscape. In case the compound has a lot of green, he argues that furniture colour should be dissimilar to give a person a good feeling that he or she is in a garden.
Like Kwizera, Muhwezi emphasises keeping everything in the compound for instance furniture, flower pots, tiles or pavers clean because that does not only make the courtyard more attractive, but elongate its lifetime. Kwizera, Wasswa and Muhwezi say a planned compound could save you between Shs1m to Shs5m that is often charged for venues.