There are homes and offices that you set foot in and for a moment, you are almost breathless by the show of perfection. You struggle to figure out how everything blends in so perfectly and the unique colours flow into the curtains, floors and walls seamlessly. Well, most of these homes or offices have been created by interior designers.
Stacey Mbindyo, an associate at Terry Designs, a company in Nairobi says interior designers make a home usable and aesthetically appealing.
‘‘We plan the spaces, themes, colours, concepts and then implement them to positively transform the house,’’ she says.
And because they bring sophistication to contemporary kitchens, bedrooms and even bathrooms, interior designers are not cheap.
“The costs depend on many factors such as whether it is a new house or a renovation or whether a client wants a moderate or a high-end finishing,” she says. However, for Sh100,000, a homeowner can perhaps upgrade a bedroom with the money going into painting the room, fixing curtains and changing bed furnishings.
Designing a kitchen can cost about Sh20,000 while implementing the design can push up the price to Sh1.2 million. “But we have kitchen designs that can cost Sh500,000, depending on the size and details,” says Ms Mbindyo whose customers include hotels and resorts, offices, homes and schools.
She adds that interior designers work with the budgets of the customers but it has to be realistic.
“Don’t have a very low budget and expect high-quality work because the service and furnishings are informed by market prices,” she says.
If a homeowner wants to change the look by playing with the curtains, an interior designer can charge anything from Sh300,000 while tiling in a cloakroom can cost Sh60,000.
Chege Gitura of Chege Designers, whose company has been transforming Kenyan homes and hotels for years agrees that interior design is costly but necessary because it elevates a living or working space.
“Designers are trained professionals who will give you the correct advice. You can even design one room after another, depending on your budget but getting a designer makes a lot of difference in a house,” he says.
“With Sh100,000, you are just looking at consultancy fees and if you are talking about smaller residential houses, this amount can also afford you a few lighting fixtures— depending on the kind that you are looking at—and maybe a ceiling and some curtains,” he explains. For high-end finishes, Mr Gitura adds, Sh100,000 may not do much considering that some lighting fixtures can cost that much.
The work of an interior designer is to customise an empty space to suit the needs of clients by determining the perfect lighting, partitions, tiles, curtains, and paints among other fixtures.
“Our clients are mainly corporates such as insurance firms and banks, but also well-to-do individuals approach us for personal projects,” he says.
Mr Gitura who has been in the industry since 1980s says interest in interior designers is growing because Kenyans are becoming aware of the benefits of having a nicely done living space. But the take-up is still low due to high costs.
Varying the materials used helps cut costs. The options include less-expensive recycled home accessories such as upholstered tyres that can be adapted to fit the lounge area or outdoors.
Tabitha Gikeri of Tag House in Nairobi’s Thika is among those making cheaper home-grown accessories that still help create an ambience that is unique.
“We make home decorations from recyclable materials such as wine bottles and tyres. These are usually combined with sisals or yarn. For the tyres, I use either glass or wood boards for the top part and paint,” she explains.
“These are mostly people who just want their home to look different,” she says.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.