Design & Interiors

Go Bold With Yellow, Gold Furnishings

Interior designer Adhiambo Abadha
Interior designer Adhiambo Abadha (left) and her Nairobi home. PHOTOS | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Have you ever looked at the white walls in your home and started entertaining thoughts of adding a splash of colour, or perhaps filling the room with bold accents that make it pop?

Since it is easy to make a mistake with bright colours, most people shy away from going bold, preferring to play it safe with classic neutrals and pastels.

No matter your comfort level, there is always a way to incorporate pops of colour into any space without blinding those around you.

“The simplest way to start is through rugs, accessories and artwork and then build up from there,” says Adhiambo Abadha, an interior designer who has turned her home in a vibrant space.

Her home is Pinterest worthy and her decor is what landed her a job as an interior designer because everyone wanted a replica of what she has created in her Nairobi three-bedroom apartment.


“People think it is impossible for a beautiful home such as this to be in Eastlands but it is very possible. Simple elements can be utilised to add just the right amount of colour,” she says.

Since decorating with jewel tones packs a visual punch and makes a seriously bold statement she picked out a piece of metallic artwork as inspiration.

The Sh152,000 bright piece that hangs on her living room is what made her take the plunge to the world of colour.

The gold tone from the artwork dictated the shades that would make her home the envy of all.

“I decided on a black sofa that would be my neutral backdrop and from there I sought after gold hardware and accents that would make perfect accessories to take this bold colour combination from playful to downright chic,” she says.

Ruth Gakii, another lover of bold colours in living spaces says the bright colours make a house more dramatic and playful.

At first, you do not have to spend a fortune if you are unsure of the colours.

“It does not have to be something costly that you will end up regretting,” she says.

Ms Gakii draws her inspiration from Houzz and Pinterest, apps with the latest trends and decor designs.

Most interior designers advice that when using three colours the trick is to break the three shades down the 60-30-10 rule for a cohesive look. Sixty per cent dominant colour, 30 per cent secondary colour and 10 per cent accent colour.

Decorating with bold colours does not even have to be an expensive affair. You can transform the home in phases.

“If you want everything at once and you don’t have a big budget you will end up with something bogus. So save and buy one accessory at a time, just like I did with the gold and glass tables which costs over Sh100,000. I also reupholstered the mustard seats instead of buying new ones,” she says.

Ms Abadha says that since quality does not come cheap she strongly advocates for making down payments on some home accessories.

She also gets thrifty by shopping from expatriates’ homes and garage sales. She bought second-hand books which also act as a remote holder and a decor for her table.