CUE THE TRUMPETS! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, presenting the first of many #AskTID sessions. Okay let me not be too presumptuous here and at least have the decency of explaining what this session is just in case you have no idea what I’m ranting on about.
Now on Monday (12th March) I held a 24 hour social media campaign where I gave free consultations to anyone and everyone who threw an interior design and decor question my way i.e. ASK THE INTERIOR DECORATOR (#AskTID). Seeing that it was the first one I had held I was honestly not expecting that many questions. But shock on me, I had more than 30 questions via Instagram, Facebook, Email and Whatsapp. It was such a thrill giving ideas that ranged from colour schemes, space plan, where to purchase items and shockingly even career advice.
I saw it best to share some of this experience with you. Although it was very difficult to do, I’ve managed to select my favourite THREE. Enjoy!

FROM: NYANTARI

RE: INTERIOR DESIGN

Hi Jordan

I am an interior design enthusiast who can’t have enough of DIY. What DIY projects do you recommend especially for rental kitchens? Also please suggest a place where i can get succulents for indoor decor and the best material to use for couches especially when you have pets like dogs?

Kind Regards,

Nyantari

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Dear Nyantari,
Good to hear from my fellow DIY enthusiast. Now let me get straight into answering your questions:
1) RENTAL KITCHEN DIY: First and foremost please change the hanging light and install something unique and dramatic. This won’t get the landlord to kill you when you move out because all you’ll have to do is remove your light and put back the one that was there before (most likely there was a boring single hanging light fixture or the fluorescent annoying ones) secondly I’m sure you might not want to paint anything as you won’t want to go through the bother of repainting when you’re leaving. Therefore to add some colour and spank I recommend adding artwork on the walls. If you’re scared of scaring the walls you can lean them against the wall above the kitchen counter or use those three pin nail hooks that barely leave a mark on the wall (Mr.price home has them)
2) SUCCULENCE: I’m super excited that someone has actually asked me about indoor plants. For some reason Kenyans aren’t really into it which is so disappointing because they just bring life into any space. The plant guys along Ngongroad have a brilliant selection but if you want to know where I personally get for my clients and myself then here’s my little secret. For large plants especially palms I go to the guy along Ring Road Parklands after 9 west and before oshwal. I love him because he gives brilliant advice on where to place the plants (to get sufficient light ) and how to care for them. In regards to smaller planters I go to the plant shop that’s at the Arbor along James Gichuru in Lavington and there’s also this lady who sells some at the K1 flea market that’s held on Sundays.
3) UPHOLSTERY FOR PET OWNERS: For both dog and cat owners the best fabrics would be synthetic fibers (Ultrasuede/microfiber) as they don’t scratch easily and you can also clean it with simple soap and water solution. Leather, surprisingly, is also a good option as you can easily wipe off any hairs. As it can get slight scratches the best thing to do is go for distressed leather that camouflages any scratches that can occur. Then there’s the shocker….using outdoor fabric. These days they make a lot of plain and beautifully woven outdoor upholstery that if you used indoors one wouldn’t even notice. The best part about this fabric is that it’s actually made for harsh situations like dirt, fur, hair, scratches etc so it will be quite durable. Where to get outdoor fabric you ask well there’s TACC, NISHIT&CO and SUNNYDAZE.
Now Nyantari, that is what I call a rant. I’ve evidently gotten carried away with answering you but guess those are the flaws one has to bear when they are passionate about what they do.
Thanks for getting in touch and if you need any clarification on these issues and anything else don’t hesitate to contact me.
Peninnah wanted to change her couch and add armchairs in her Tv area/office. She wanted to comfortably sit up to 10 people and also have office space something her current furniture wasn’t allowing her to do. Here was my advice:

FROM: LILY

RE: I WANNA BE YOU!!

Hi there Jordan,
Am sorry to be one of those ones that doesnt follow instructions too well,haha. First of all, you simply rock! So happy to have come across your blog and IG page, breath of fresh air!
My question isnt about designing/decorating my home but about the career itself.I graduated Uni in December and was a Psychology and Sociology Major. I HAD to do it because…the Joint Admissions Board, and beggers arent choosers…so now that am done, am at a point in my life where I am truly understanding what the stirrings of unpursued passions can do to you.
I have loved interior designing (but more decorating) for a while now but couldn’t/can’t afford the courses…but I still really want to learn everything there is to learn about it because am not going to be the girl that didn’t pursue her passions because of lack of money!
So I really need your help, I want to know 2 things;
1. How possible is it for a self taught designer to get/land jobs in Kenya without having the papers?
2. What free/affordable resources out there do you think will give be the best chance to learn what I need to know without going to an actual school?
Sorry for being too wordy,but I would really appreciate your help. Thanks in advance.
Regards,
Lilly

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Hey lily,
First and foremost never apologize for being too wordy. Trust me it’s a good thing. Second I’m the one who want’s to be you! You know how many people would see lack of money as a reason they can’t pursue something and just give up…a lot my dear. I love your zeal, drive and desire to follow your passion. Here are a couple of answers to your questions. Oh, and prepare to see wordy in all it’s glory.
1) BEING A SUCCESSFUL SELF TAUGHT DESIGNER: It’s very possible to become an interior designer/decorator without having studied it in an institution. Note the key word…institution. You need to study it everyday, if you have to, and with access to the internet you can read blogs, books, articles on anything design related. Let the experts be your teacher then start small. Start by doing your room and experiment. The one thing people don’t realize about design is that your biggest let down isn’t lack of knowledge, it’s lack of risk. So try any new ideas you see online in your little space. Mix red and luminous green and see how it works. Scratch your table and try methods of fixing it. Then when your courage grows start by doing free consultation for friends and family and after that word will go round about your skills and you’ll get paying customers. Trust me even for us who studied the field we still had to go through a lot of that as we were mostly still green and no one would trust us with their spaces.
2) CERTIFICATION: Now don’t get me wrong, getting some form of education/certification is definitely important as you need to learn the rules to be able to break them. In Nairobi I know that NIT (in Westlands) does offer affordable courses. You can also opt for online courses like COURSERA or edX that offer free and or affordable courses on any topic. There are also a lot of scholarships out there that could work for you all you’d need to do is spend at least a year or so building up a portfolio of the works (using the method I’ve explained to you above) then apply apply apply.
Your passion will get you far my dear. Trust me when I tell you that I know many people in this field who got into it as a passion had to get the certification for it later but were able to begin and flourish without it because they had resilience and worked twice as hard as was expected of them.
I’m not sorry for ranting and being too wordy and I hope I’ve been helpful. If you require any more advice don’t hesitate to write back. And when you’re a successful designer don’t forget some of us.

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Now you see what I meant when I said they were exciting sessions? I loved being able to interact with all of you, share my knowledge and also gain a lot of insight on what’s troubling you in regards to interior design and decor. So thank you very much for all those who trusted me enough with their queries and if you missed out on this one worry not as I will be holding these sessions once a month. SUBSCRIBE below and follow me on social media to ensure you don’t miss out on the announcement.
Till next time Be inspired…Be you!