Interior design in Kenya is an interesting part of the creation of the built environment. Buildings have an exterior façade that connects with the external environment. This façade is what we all interact with as the face of the building, and depending on its form, scale, and quality, we form opinions about the beauty or form of the building. The external form of a building is something that most architects will seek to address in the process of creating buildings, and it is this that will give a building its identity as an icon.

Interior Design in Kenya: Bringing the Outside Inside


nice idea for interior design in kenya

large windows merge comfortable interiors with outside

However, whatever has an outside invariably has an inside.  The quality of this inside can be quite varied, and depending on the type of facility, this is a major part with which the actual users of a building shall interact with the most. The exterior is much appreciated by everyone and does contribute greatly to the feel of an entire place. However it is the inside that the actual users of a facility will continuously interact with, as they live, work and rest within.

People may enjoy the external views of a building at times when they are relaxing outside, or driving into their compound. But they will inevitably go inside the built spaces and carry out their activities within the confines of this built environment. Come nightfall and we all tend to seek shelter within the confines of a building to shield from the elements.


The interiors of a space are an intrinsic element that must be accomplished and fitted deliberately in order to define the quality and character of a space. It is not enough for a designer to cobble together several paint samples for a client and decide that is enough for a client’s needs. The need to be conscientious in design and supervision is a major ingredient towards achieving successful building projects.


Interior Design in Kenya , creating the internal – external mix.

The correlation between the external spaces of a building and the internal part of the building can be harnessed to create a strong spatial concept. Trees, lawns, paving, water, characterize the external environment – hard and soft landscaping features that are part and parcel of the wider context. These can be creatively tied to the internal space composition, such that one gets a sense of familiarity and oneness with the outside even while they are within the inside of a building.


The trick is to creatively select small portions of external features that are commonly associated to the outside and use these features in limited proportion inside the building.


An architect or interior designer is able to achieve this effect by ‘borrowing’ elements from the outside and using them on the inside surfaces of a building. Case in point, previously interiors were finished in smooth plaster and paint. However, designers have become more intrepid and began to experiment with the use of finishes previously reserved for the outside within the house. Nowadays it is commonplace to find internal walls clad with roughcast stone slates, and fire bricks used to finish an interior display cabinet or intimate seating alcove. The use of accent lighting can further dramatize these internal surfaces.


The use of furnishing elements normally used externally can be another option for bringing the exterior inside. Some interesting light fixtures that are used outside can be mounted within atriums for example to create a sense of place that is reminiscent to being outside.


Use of plants is a strong design element for interior design in Kenya

One of the strongest elements a designer can use in creating an external ambience inside a building is the use of plants and soft landscape elements inside the building. Plants make powerful ecological statements within a building, and are a literal green inclusion inside the built space. They have green advantages of purifying air and releasing oxygen inside the building during daytime, when some of these spaces are heavily occupied.  Their pleasant aroma and ambience soften a building’s hard interior feel, making it even more humane and natural.


Having planting within a space will further call for more measures to be taken to ensure their sustenance and existence. Provisions will require to be made within the building to provide water and natural light, which are intrinsic for their survival. In so doing, designers may find opportunities to create water points within the building that mimic the external environment, e.g. through the use of artificial waterfalls and fountains.


In order to provide natural light in a building, there is need for creation of openings within the building to harness this natural resource. The use of atriums with roof lights, and use of large window openings, creation of light wells and reflective surfaces to distribute light all have the effect of causing natural light from the outside to enter the building. These factors do enhance the green or sustainable features of the building by supplying daylight internally.


Bringing day lighting inside a building is a major way of bringing the external ambience into a building. Modern architecture has derived means of creating architecture that accommodates the creation of huge openings according to a designer’s preferences. Advances in the glass industry have resulted in creation of huge panes of glass able to cover much larger areas than previously possible. As a result it is possible to have extremely large transparent openings that are able to maximize visual interaction between the outside and the inside of a space.


A strong characteristic of our modern buildings is that ability to have huge openings, as they are not influenced by the building’s structural system. In so doing it is possible for an architect to create major interfaces between the internal and external environment, and creatively relate the two spaces.


Create a transition between interior design and exterior design

Another key factor that an interior designer must consider is the transition space between the external and the internal. This could be a foyer, a terrace or balcony that is semi-enclosed and is the point of change. The character of this space can have elements of both the inside and outside intermingled together to create that key sense of transition. For example, if it is adequately protected and shielded from the elements, one is able to use some internal finishes in this area, including parquet or woodblock floor finish, ceramic tiles, and internal fittings. At the same time, integrating plant boxes and plantings in this area can also strengthen this exterior – interior interaction, to ensure its success.


Interior Design in Kenya is Enhanced Through Integration of Exterior Elements

Bringing the outside inside is a wonderful way of creating a natural environment within an interior space. The effects of having a homely natural feeling in a home or office space, makes the environment less pressurizing and comfortable. The ultimate result of this interior design technique is that there is greater creativity and output from the users of the spaces so created.