Just like fashion and our dressing, the modern Kenyan home is a far cry from what it was in the previous century. Some of the trends of previous decades had taken such firm root and it seemed they were here to stay but as the saying goes here today gone tomorrow.
This period saw homes reflect colonial homes in décor and style. Furniture was roughly hewn and unrefined made by graduates of missionary carpentry schools. Furnishings were largely utilitarian and functional and little or no attention was paid to detail.
The 80’s and 90’s
This period saw a marked improvement from the previous decade. It was marked by random mixtures of wooden stools and folding chairs and a smattering of upholstered sofas covered with vinyl fabric that was uncomfortable and cold. Cabinets in the form of side-boards were poorly varnished with shellac. Most living rooms were graced with a large drum that served as a coffee table and the indomitable crochet table cloths and seat coverings. Literary every surface in the house was covered including the wooden transistor radios and TVs. The walls of living rooms resembled art galleries with row upon row of black and white family photographs. Sitting in a quiet corner with its tendrils creeping all over the wall and ceiling was a Money Plant. The presence of one plant flourishing in your home meant that great wealth would come to you or was already present. A dying or yellowing plant signified the direct opposite. Bedrooms and toilets walls were adorned with newspaper and magazine cutouts.
The 20th century
This period was characterized by massive wall units that ran from wall and were the focal points in most living rooms. They were used to display TV units, music systems and precious crockery and cutlery. Houses during this period were largely overdone. Dr. Hanjira an Interior Design lecturer at Nairobi University says that the opulent sofas and over decoration of surfaces...