****Happy Valentines Day***
How an interior space is designed in the interior communicates strongly to the customers.
Each particular space should be designed to communicate about the products or services that they are selling. This in turn results to better profits at the end of the day.

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For example, a coffee shop should be designed in such a manner that makes the customers feel relaxed. Warm dark colors and textures should be used. Direct brightly colored lights should be avoided. Careful choice of wall, floor and ceiling finished should be done. The finishes should be preferably natural such as natural stone flooring, Jerusalem stone cladding and rustic uncut wooden members tied together with sisal ropes.
Shiny materials such as glazed ceramic tiles should be avoided. Glass should be used only where necessary to create the ‘large space’ appearance.
Research has proven that dark matt colors and textures when used in restaurants tend to make people stay longer hence an increase in sales. Likewise, shiny bright colors make customers uncomfortable hence shorter stays leading to less profit.
A clear practical example of this is the Java coffee house off Koinange Street. The interior design has used dark matt colors resulting to a very ‘comfortable’ feel. The result is that the restaurant is mostly full throughout the day and enjoys a large number of customers even in the off-peak hours.
Near the Java coffee house, there is a coffee house which has not fully utilized interior design factors. This coffee shop is usually quite empty in the off-peak hours.
This clearly proves the power of interior design In attracting customers for restaurants.
Interior design can transform even the dingiest of places into works of art.
A good example is the Safaricom shops dotted all around the country.
Some Safaricom shops are located in dilapidated buildings in dusty downs. Once the shop is designed and constructed, it clearly changes the ‘aura’ of the place and makes the place look classy.
The interior and shop façade of the once dilapidated building is transformed into a gem.
In these shops, a theme usually is followed on walls, floors, ceilings, displays and furniture.
The current Safaricom theme has rounded edges. The use of rounded edges makes the customers feel relaxed.
A similar rounded-edges theme is also very common in European phone-shops.
These themes keep changing over time to avoid monotony.
For Safaricom to keep a large lead in the Kenyan telephony sector, they invest heavily in creative architects and interior designers. Their opponents will have a long way before they catch up until a time when they realize that the impact of well-designed interiors has a great effect on the net profit of their businesses.
Interior design for office spaces such as banks and insurance companies also help to create a sense of stability and efficiency.
Most banks in Kenya invest heavily in interior design for this purpose.
Older banks such as Barclays and Standard know the importance of good, creative interior design more than newer banks.
If you enter into any banking hall of some banks such as Barclays, Diamond Trust, Shelter Afrique , Stanbic,I&M, NIC, Fina or Standard, you will see that nothing is left for chance in the interior design. All floor tiles and patterns are carefully chosen, no color clashing, all the bank’s logos are carefully placed and careful choice of materials has been done. Each banking hall is a masterpiece by itself.
This is because the banks place architecture and interior design highly and value the fact that interior design alone is a very important factor in making sure that the bank gets good profits.
Their selection of architects and interior designers is therefore carefully done on the basis of how creative the architects are.
Some other banks do not have creative interior design. This is very evident in that if you enter such banking halls, you will see some levels of poor workmanship, logos placed haphazardly, floor tiles with patterns not following any sequence, un-creative design of the counters and many more ‘small’ flaws here and there.
The net effect is that they make less profit compared to their counterparts who have invested in creative interior design.

Its time the Kenyan private sector employed competition in procuring architecture and interior design services.
This way, creative genius is able to be unlocked which in turn will result to greater profits.
In Countries such as South Africa and Australia where most design jobs are awarded through competition, it’s very evident since no two buildings look like each other and most buildings are a work of art by themselves.
Even small residential 1 bed roomed houses are very creatively designed. The net effect is a country that looks organized and appealing to look at. This creativity is only unlocked through design competition whereby several architects are invited to design a particular space, then the best design is selected.
Francis Gichuhi


Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684



  1. Bankkat
    May 30, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Very Nice to See this we are also service providers of Interors , Keep Share Like this hope to See More , Thank You.

  2. David MAchio
    September 14, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Do you carry out interior design work for residential homes?

  3. Annie
    May 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Good afternoon, we need to put up a coffee shop in our hotel

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