Apart from the occasional cane chairs one sees being sold along busy roads, I am hard-pressed to remember what other common uses I’ve come across for Bamboo here in Nigeria. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a carpenter offer to use bamboo to make a piece of furniture. And YET! Bamboo grows in every country in Africa other than the Sahara Desert. Our landscapes are rich with this amazingly versatile plant! Bamboo is botanically classified as a grass and may be the most sustainable, maintaining ecological balance, natural resource the world has. Hereare 5 reasons you should definitely think bamboo with your next building or remodeling project: 1- If you enjoy the look of hardwood flooring, but do not want to worry about the costly upkeep, bamboo flooring may be exactly what you are looking for. Bamboo flooring has recently started to become the new hardwood flooring. Manufacturers have developed a way to process this versatile material from the long hard stalks into a warm, rich flooring that has stability, durability and the feel of hardwood. 2 – One of the most efficient greener alternatives of concrete counter-tops is bamboo counter-top. Bamboo can serve as one of the best materials for counter-tops because of its durability and sustainability and it is renewable too. Various brands have come up with bamboo counter-tops sans formaldehyde adhesives hence making the counter-tops non-carcinogenic.
Yes, I know at first glance your first reaction may be “yawn, what a snore of a topic” but ah! ah! don’t sigh just yet, stick with me a minute and this may well be one of those reads that will furnish you with just that bit of information that will make all the difference next time you decide to re-decorate. We live in a society where paint rules, yep! we indulge in its various available colours, textures and finishes. We love the clichéd blue for boys and pink for girls and are glad with the range of hues and shades that were completely uncommon in the market just a few short couple of decades ago. With the now very common application of wall screeds to achieve an also previously uncommon smoothness, people are now more than happy with the effect of a freshly applied coat of paint. Wallpaper is for the most part ignored, except by the occasional wallpaper fan. But let’s do a brief comparison and perhaps putting the two wall treatments side by side will put us in a better position to make more creatively successful home improvement decisions. Paint: This medium remains the cheapest and quickest wall treatment method. Its light and airy feel makes it an easy first choice, adding to the fact that its initial installation is reasonably less expensive than wallpaper. Paint can
Yep, them mud buildings definitely look decrepit don’t they? We see them nestled among village scenery and think “not much of a shelter are they”? Well, I would have undoubtedly agreed if my grandfather’s 4-storey building in Obosi, wasn’t built entirely out of mud and is still standing strong and sturdy as the day it was built… and did I mention that is it almost impossible to drive a nail through the building walls? Got your attention didn’t I? Shocking facts about mud – Mud buildings can last over 100 years. Mud mixed with pig urine, among other binders, is made so strong it hardly cracks. Mud can be used for floors, walls, foundations and even roofing materials. It is a very good fire retardant. According to Earth Architecture, half of the world’s population uses buildings made from mud brick or other earthen materials. It is also effective at keeping houses cool in the summer and warm in colder weather
Sitting on your day old expensive all Italian leather loveseat, you look out your window and lying before you, staring back almost proud of its dogged existence is “your area” – an eclectic mix of rubbish dumps, exposed gutters, struggling patches of green and yellowed grass yet oddly enough expensive looking homes with picturesque green lawns and perfectly shaped shrubs. It’s almost comical the way the latter nestles almost daintily amidst this horrifying neglect with a superior don’t-dirty-me air that surely this is what Tracy Chapman must have meant when she crooned the popular words about people living at the mercy of the discards of their fellowmen. “I’m at the mercy of the world!” Tracy sang passionately in her soulful “Subcity”. and you, sitting quietly, looking out at “your area” may just find your thoughts wondering along the same lines, thinking what fiendishly bad fortune placed you in an environment where you are forced to helplessly look on at the, at best weak attempts at environmental pulchritude. Well, too bad. With a shoulder shrug indicative of “na so life be” you turn your attention inwards and indoors to the space you do have control over. Your house, your home. There, your musing ends for your space is OK and completely unconnected to the “unprettiness” outdoors. It’s clean, tastefully furnished and has that certain je ne sais quoi that hints
Remodelling your home in a recession? Well here are a few helpful hints on how to make some successful design decisions on a tight budget. Step 1 – Get a room! It can be quite the daunting task remodelling one’s whole house all at once, talk less of the pinch on the pocket it’s going to be. But why put yourself through the pain of such a herculean task? When you could easily keep it simple and focus on one room at a time. Makes the work a whole less lighter and believe it or not, gets your creative juices flowing easier. So, pick a room. Doesn’t matter which one, living room, bedroom, bathroom, study, dinning room, hallway… doesn’t matter. Although, I’d dare say most people would prefer to start with a public space such as the living room, because this is the “reception area” of our home and it’s important to give the best first impression. Step 2 – Visualize In other words, imagine BIG but think SMALL. Remember the saying God is in the details? So true. Don’t do a thing, except sit back, relax, open your eyes and take a good 360 degrees look at the room you choose to do up. Shusssh your left brain and let the creative right brain take over as you allow your imagination flow. Think colour, form and function, don’t be shy or