The beauty of interior design is brought out through creative use of materials by a kenyan interior designer. There are a great multitude of options available to the designer to paint the mood a client may aspire to. Industrial materials being brought to the market offer variety to a level not previously seen.

However, probably one of the oldest materials used by man in building is timber. Considering that wood is a natural material that can be grown by man, it is a sustainable material that is renewable. This means that its use is agreeable to the ideals of green architecture as it can be utilized and grown afresh, replenished in forests or afforestation nurseries and farms.

Design tips for the Kenyan Interior designer- Use of timber

timber design for kenyan interior designer

creative usage of timber in interiors

The elegance of wood is demonstrated in its wide range of capabilities. It comes mainly as hardwood or softwood in its natural forms, though technology has now discovered a multiple of other forms it can be turned into. Today, even timber chippings and waste from timber yards have now found utility whereby they can be harnessed in the industrial formation of fiberboards and particle boards of varying thickness.


Timber in its natural form is very versatile in its applications as regards interior design. It’s natural earthen colors provides a natural hue that easily intermingles with many other materials that an interior designer might want to use. The use of timber in a building’s structure for instance provides a designer with options for blending it with other natural materials such as stone or wood to create a great rustic feel for a building’s interiors.


Softwood Timber: A versatile material for the Kenyan Interior Designer


Softwoods like pine, cypress and bamboo wood are popular materials in the creation of light furniture and simple interior fittings. They are cheaper in cost than other timber types and grow much quicker. Softwoods tend to be lighter in color. Their application in color schemes that tend toward light browns and oranges and biege’s will be harmonious.


One of the best uses of softwoods in context of interior decor is in the creation of fixtures that are of light utility like simple outdoor furniture. Their veneers are also useful for cladding other boards and materials to give a pseudo wooden feel. Using softwood trimmings will give a Kenyan interior designer options for creating a light timber feel, especially when using timber to create wall sconces, beadings and bas-relief patterns along surfaces.


Recent innovations have also resulted in the creation of wood stains that allow one to stain the color of timber to match darker hardwoods. This can be useful, especially if one is interested in creating a hardwood feel in interior furnishings. Wood staining allows an interior designer to create a different more sophisticated ambience even using relatively inferior material. The staining techniques available in the market also allow an interior designer to simulate natural timber grain, and enhance the natural feel of stained softwood fittings.


Hardwood décor: a Kenyan interior designer’s resource for achieving classy finishes


Hardwood timber is elegant and durable. It is available in plenty on the African continent, though in areas where deforestation has occurred, one has to resort to importation of the same. That notwithstanding, a Kenyan interior designer has several options available to them with regard to choice of hardwood fittings.


Traditional indigenous hardwood species are available for building in Kenya. These hardwood species include the mvule tree, oaks, podo and the most common, mahogany. These have attractive colors and are heavy and strong. This means that they are durable, and suitable for use even in areas with much external exposure. Indigenous species also have natural resistance to pests such as termites which often compromise the strength and quality of timber.


Hardwood furniture and fittings tend to be much more expensive than softwood ones, due to their advantages mentioned above. Their use often guarantees a high level of quality furnishing if properly fitted. They can be used in relatively raw form with only application of clear varnish to enhance a glossy feel to the timber. Use of timber in this way can create an exotic feel, a factor that many exotic leisure establishments seek to exploit.

When intermingled with other exotic materials such as brick, stone slates and lime render it can have a powerful rustic effect that is very charming. Hotels at the coast of Kenya often employ this technique with the use of mangrove hardwood timber to create this scenic effect that creates a feel of a surreal and attractive holiday destination.


Treated hardwood timber can also give very high quality furniture. Rosewoods, oak and mahogany are often used to create veneers that can be overlaid on block board and particle board, and these are polished to a high level of sheen. The veneered boards so created are used in creating sophisticated office furniture, cabinets and other fittings. Use of veneered finishes has also become popular, with the advent of high-density fiberboard flooring systems. In this case hard durable floor finishes are artificially created having the color and texture of hardwood timber. Traditional use of wood block and parquet finishes are also still popular and elegant.


Kenyan interior designers are encouraged to design with timber.

The use of timber is a God given renewable resource that is sustainable and green. Its use should be balanced with an equal effort to replenish it in its natural habitat, and ensure its continuity. The Kenyan interior designer can continue to incorporate it as a means of ensuring sustainable building in Kenya, even in creating beautiful interior décor.