Fast, green and flexible housing trends for 2017

The outside of a prefabricated container house. Containers make an ideal and easy to use building material. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
The outside of a prefabricated container house. Containers make an ideal and easy to use building material. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

Kenyans are not only seeking to build more sustainable and affordable houses —they also want those that are much faster to put together.

Here are some architecture models and new housing designs that are paving the way, and there’s more variety than ever to choose from.


The last few years has seen an increase in the uptake of prefabricated or prefab houses. The low cost housing option cuts the building time by almost a half and is expected to also drive the real estate sector.

The specialist dwellings are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled.

Some prefab house come with all electrical installations, plumbing, paint, doors and windows.

Companies such as the National Housing Corporation, Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Limited and Koto Housing are using this technology.

Furnished sale houses

Selling a house can be a challenge, especially if the client is not able to make a decision regarding the size of a room and the furniture it can accommodate.

This is why real estate agents have resorted to selling fully or partly furnished homes.

Many house marketers have taken up this concept where the furniture is already set up to save one from huffing and puffing as he struggles to move in and arrange furniture in the house.

Packing and moving appliances and furniture can be stressful.

You will need to organise, throw away what is no longer needed, find new shops to buy things and hire the movers to transport households from one place to another.

Renting a furnished apartment can make things much easier for you without having to worry about things being left out or broken during the move.

Repurposed housing

Recycling is one of the methods gaining popularity due to its cost-effectiveness and the system is mostly seen as a solution to the housing crisis in the country.

Models include container houses which are in high demand in the commercial sector where they are being turned into stalls.

Textured finish and Fragrant paints

Last year Basco Paints introduced two new fragrances to their Dura Coat brand, a move towards the acceptance of fragrant paints in the market.

The popular textured finish is also pushing manufacturers to have an array of paint finish with different textures appealing to the already hungry market.

Dark shades of green are said to be the trending colours, replacing the charcoal grey and blacks that dominated in early 2016.

Earthen toned tiles

Warm terracotta tiles made of earthen tones are replacing the popular cool and white tones on our floors. The popularity of wooden finish has pushed tile manufacturers to bring back the earthen toned colours which give a warm feeling to a room instead of only using them for cladding walls and fireplaces.

The tiles can either have a matte finish to give the room a rustic feel or have it glossed to make it more contemporary.

Slate tiles.
Slate tiles.


The metallic trend will continue in 2017 but with the muted version of metals. The flashy metals that lined most cabinets in 2016 will give way to a more subtle look.

The metals can either be an accessory in your home or a fitting like door knobs and faucets to make your furniture stand out.