Tag: Interior Design

🍴The Local Food Bar🍴

Now and then I stumble upon design gems, often by chance while other times by recommendations from family and friends, the way I did this one.


It is an Eatery found in the heart of Chilenje market; a place where you most probably least expect to. For directions, it is quite easy to give, since it only lies along the last stretch of Chilumbulu road to Woodlands Stadium, and opposite First National Bank (also acronym-ed as FNB).


Through and through, the interior design of this little Snack Bar has been intended to stand out, from the color choices to the furniture layout and from the accent pieces to the rustic landscape feature right at the entrance.


At the entrance lies, in plain and simple fashion, a stone feature that has been softened by the introduction of dwarf grass plants ready to welcome foodies and wannabes like myself.


Once inside, one is expected to be welcomed by flower vases and tastefully laid out artworks on a painted steel mantel piece which, in my opinion, think would’ve functioned much better as a lean-to table with stools. Space must’ve been the hindering factor, however, all is forgiven and forgotten here since the artworks resting on this piece now brings in  lots and lots more of character while the mirror is left to bring in the illusion of roomy to the food bar.



Additional artworks nailed to a lime green painted wall, all in all, brings the design together as a ribbon wraps around a treasure box, which this space is.


While faux ceiling tiles bring a sense of elegance to the table, pun intended.


Kudos to the designer, whomever that might be.



Living Walls: A Modern Solution To A Modern Problem Perhaps?


Compromised indoor air quality and a roasting interior are just some of the expenses of living in not only the Tropics like we do but the Global warming era too.
All these are of course “de nos jours” troubles that require equally modern formulae, and a green interior space is just that.


This green space or atrium is a simple space to look at, yes, yet it is one that requires to be planned with extreme precaution only an expert designer can provide. A green wall is an inclusion, often than not, found in this atrium. At construction, this feature wall is partially or completely covered with greenery that includes a growing medium, such as soil, while a compound green wall will also include an integrated water delivery system. Green walls are also known as living walls or vertical gardens.


It is useful to have such an attribute in a modern building because climbing plants on the face of a wall create a green and vegetated facade that is good to gaze at, and softens the concrete surface. Besides their aesthetic characteristics, Vertical gardens also give insulation to keep the building warm, and especially helpful in urban environments where the temperatures of the building reach extremities. Living walls are also acknowledged for remediation of poor air quality, both to internal and external areas since they can be used either indoors or outdoors.


In conclusion, the living wall saves even better when designed to the client’s preference after a selection from a list of available options, and has other unique functions like urban agriculture, urban gardening, or for its beauty as art. It is sometimes used as an unorthodox therapy to help alleviate Sick Building Syndrome.

Continue reading “Living Walls: A Modern Solution To A Modern Problem Perhaps?”

#IAAZB: Color And Healing

“One of the most indescribable moments I have had, being an Architect is being in a space that hits all the right notes and gets me excited. Now imagine the polar opposite of this moment. It was roused by a recent visit to a certain clinic in a peri-urban area somewhere on the Copperbelt. I was shown around a room no larger than 27 square meters which served as a maternity ward, Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) clinic and clinic for mothers and children. It had no running water and the space was grossly inadequate. It broke my heart. My thoughts somehow led me to the children that were born in this little clinic and grew up in the nearby community. This tiny clinic did not have a designed paediatrics wing and the closest general hospital (12 km away) with one of those is not accessible.”, Chola Tembo wrote.

Continue reading “#IAAZB: Color And Healing”

đź’¦ The Water Closet đź’¦


Today, vanities and walk-in showers are popular, while oversized bathtubs and ample storage are also frequently sought after.


Presentation Layout 1 Â©MrKapaluTalksDesignToo

Bathroom 2.0

Presentation Layout 2 Â©MrKapaluTalksDesignToo

In a recent bathroom undertaking, the layout was tricky to achieve, especially that the project was an extension to an already existing house.

Exterior 1

Exterior Render 1 Â©MrKapaluTalksDesignToo

Exterior 2

Exterior Render 2 Â©MrKapaluTalksDesignToo

Selecting “attention-grabbing” materials was significant to helping this bathroom renovation stand out. Since Tile offers a wide variety of colors and styles, white tiles were a popular flooring choice.


View From Water Closet Â©MrKapaluTalksDesignToo

Just like in any of my kitchen designs, implementing a backsplash feature wall and a stone countertop was crucial so as to help liven up the space. This also works just as well in otherwise dull bathrooms.

With vanities getting bigger and bigger every year, and for good reason since storage is in constant demand, wall-mounted cabinets, movable cabinets and baskets were sought. While recessed or built-in cabinets were in addition assimilated into the design, therefore, adding enough spots to stash toiletries and decorative vases with fresh flowers.



Because no remodel is complete without accessories — in this case, the bathroom dĂ©cor – an artwork was picked out fittingly to add style to this space. Artworks from local artists often make the biggest difference and are quite affordable to acquire.

Additionally, the term decor tends to be used rather loosely but in this case, fittings – Cabinet pulls, Shower heads and Faucets, were all designed for.



Last of all, fixtures with finishes that reflected the look endeavoring to be achieve were used to coordinate soap dispensers, toothbrush holders and wastebaskets for that cohesive feel.

Before Meets After: Kitchen Remodel

This is the first in a two part series called “Before Meets After”. The objective is for me to merely share with you my readers what is involved in tackling some projects – in this case Kitchens (of note here) and Landscape respectively.


Kitchen remodeling is notorious for being expensive, although not all projects have to break the bank, however, embarking on such an undertaking often does but only just.


Since the kitchen is the heart of any house, it woefully dates quite easily, not only from wear and tear but also from the vast advancement in technique and technology employed in the culinary arts. Therefore, remodels of such tired spaces are the perfect remedy when the time is right (and probably when the resources are available).


Design Files…

The proposed remodel was of an approximated 6000mm x 6000mm square one roomed space. This interior space was designed to underline the characteristics of a modern Kitchen area through ease and space, and a centered island necessitated just that: a working space to carry out needed tasks with much ease and within such a generous space. Therefore, function was realised.

FYA - Chitengi Warehouse-Model

The space consists of two zones – an island to accommodate a hob with a hood right above it and cabinets around the centrally placed island to in turn accommodate an oven and a refrigerator on the northern end, a sink on the western end and storage cabinets on the eastern end.

Scheme 2

In the grand scheme of things, a centrally placed island with a hob and a hood adds an industrial appeal to this semi-private residential space whereas timber for a fresh set of cabinets makes it cosy.

Design trivia….

A 4450mm long custom designed massive window on the western end and above the sink allows for fresh air and natural light to seep deep into this interior space.

Scheme 1

The centrally placed island was not by my design but the architect before me. Because cabling for the stove stems right from this point, this fortuitous design move, helped my undertaking immensely with the kitchen layout.

An open-plan Kitchen-Diner would have added to the much needed modern appeal sought after by the client, however, knocking down walls was out of the question due to budget constraints. Therefore, converting this space into a public space only proved futile.

This project was carried out at the end of 2015 and it was for a family of three in Ndola’s Kanseshi neighbourhood on the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

Extreme Makeover – Office Edition


Reception areas often than not fail to attract the attention that they deserve from architects and designers-alike right at the design stage. Consequently, this is a dead space that’s adorned by illogical sharp angles, of uneven lengths and a space that’s left from demarcations made to fit the backbone departments of most organisations.


This was no exception in a recent interior design project that a friend of mine, Aaron Kachali and myself proposed for an organisation at Central Park in Lusaka. No expense was spared in the endeavor to revamp this regularly unappreciated space as is evident with the help of visual aide.


The interior of this one roomed space has been designed to underline the characteristics of reception areas – ease and space; and visible elements of the concrete beam structure of the roof add a commercial appeal to this public space designated for visitors to the building whereas natural materials like timber for shelving make it cosy.


The space consists of two zones – a desk and a waiting area, and are heavily ventilated owing to the massive window through which fresh air and natural light seep in. With this window, occupants can also see into the exterior. This indoor-outdoor atmosphere is further promoted by means of incorporating potted plants into this environment.


Lastly, a noteworthy feature in this space is a TV screen that can be viewed from any angle and is placed in a far corner. This telly is on a revolving bracket. It is not an off-the-shelf bracket but the atypical tailored product to be designed and made especially for this space, and can be allowed to adjust the rake angle in all directions.


Something Borrowed

 “Things that are not popular in Zambia, and why?. …..open plan homes simply because of our culture.” (thezambianarchitect.wordpress.com).

My friend, Musonda Chilanga begins by mentioning vending machines and working payphones in the quest to answer his own question, but what is relevant to this platform is the house planning aspect which he later states. He further goes on to state how far house design and planning has come in layout, from long hallways and dark rooms to be replaced with half walls and naturally lit spaces.

All in all, Musonda tries to explain why the open plan design cannot and will never work in Zambia. His head is right in the right place of course, however way you look at it, and the reasons for this are very simple (please check his blog) but the ultimate reason is that these schemes have been tailored for the western culture and therefore imposing them on our Zambian culture would only prove futile.

This nonetheless, is a follow up feature on an article I wrote on the impact of Chinese aesthetics on interior design and how China has fuelled imagination for centuries, titled;

Oriental Design Style; A Debutante At The 2015 Cotillion Ball, published on 11th May, 2015, via WordPress. (Check previous posts.)


It also serves to break new ground, one on which exotic styles can be borrowed and used harmoniously, and with utter regard to local culture as is discussed below but with the expenditure of some of the characteristics of the Oriental design.

  • Bamboo or repurposed timber pergolas for patios;
  • Natural stone or chipped tree barks for driveways and paths,
  • Water features for relaxation as the sound of flowing water is considered as harmonious,
  • Hand adorned lanterns for lighting,
  • Round windows or moon windows with shutters can be the best look for this style for the bath,
  • Prints in the interiors,
  • Persian rugs for warmth and sound control. Alternatively, special floor mats made from reeds can also be used,
  • Sliding interior doors made out of bamboo and sliding exterior doors made out of timber,
  • Orchids for flowers indoors and outdoors, and
  • Flexible walls or furniture to partition interior spaces as and when needed.

Zambia like the world has until recently made strides to evolve in scheme by embracing the design of the day and furthermore by going green. Interiors are now more flexible in their use, and are in this manner designed mostly with natural or repurposed materials. This is very eco-friendly and is an efficient use of resources.


Beholding the future, it can be hoped that the Zambian design eludes inserting concrete walls and instead utilize designed furniture to divide up space as this aides with flexible arrangement of living space.


Shared ideas of creativity, craftsmanship, play and imagination can be hoped to underpin spaces of this revolutionary order, with this, a bedroom can effortlessly become a living room or a dining room by simply moving around furniture or joinery. This order is sure to prove viable especially as most households in Zambia are more of extended than nuclear ones as is the case in the Northern Hemisphere.


This revolutionary order endeavours to keep a much uncluttered room with plenty of space and minimal furnishings. As it is based strongly on craftsmanship, accessorising turns to be fundamental to pulling off this look. The objects for display are flexible too as they are usually exhibited seasonally and later put away in storage. Suitable objects here are curios that signify the African culture. This determines the focus of the room, and more so with displays of artwork by local artists within the community. By incorporating, living plants such as Aloe Vera and Orchids, eco-friendliness is realized.

Today, since design has evolved with architecture, the user’s wellbeing is in so doing at the center of design. This consequently calls for discipline; henceforth certain rules have to be abided by to keep simplicity in a space via the use of natural materials to connect to nature. A few potted plants and shrubs are added to bring in nature’s goodness to achieve a comforting and serene hub. Wind chimes can also be added as sound plays a critical part in making the room a far more pleasant space.


With the rampant power cuts suffered in Zambia, a few carefully placed candles on sculptural lighting installations can go a long way especially also in curbing down the running cost of electricity use.

Since the user is at the center of this design style, a small water feature at the entrance or in the backyard is a requirement as the sound of flowing water is considered harmonious. This brings in the element of fluidity and doubles as a stunning sculptural installation that becomes the focal point.


At long last, the environment is somewhat saved by the use of such sustainable materials and sustainable techniques for application; a space with an impeccable and exclusive appeal is consequently achieved.