Upon browsing interior design pages (a guilty pleasure of mine) I noticed a trend in interior that was oddly very similar to the unique interiors of a typical Swahili home. Weaved rugs and baskets, brass and copper plates, white walls decorated with dark wooden furniture…So to inspire you, I compiled a list of just a few of my favourite locally Mombasarian owned spots you can find unique, beautiful, (currently trending!) locally made and sustainable pieces to give some life to your living space!
1. This store located close to Fort Jesus has been around for a long time and has continued to provide beautiful Swahili decorations from beds and love seats, to the smallest knick knacks such as rings and cups. Every piece is breathtaking in how intricate they are. All of the pieces from the biggest to smallest are locally owned and made with locally sourced material if you happen to be conscience of such things. The store on the road to Fort Jesus has the smaller decor pieces but ask the employee there to show you their wood workshop located right behind their store where they make larger pieces such as dining tables, chairs, and cabinets made from hardwood which will last you for -literally- generations to come.
2. The next stop is a personal favourite of mine specializing in brass items, mostly lights and lanterns, however they do carry other brass items such as plates, coffee pots, etc. Every piece is gorgeous and locally made, no imports here! The store is owned by a family who have been there for a very long time through generations and continue to provide amazing pieces that would light up (pun definitely intended!) any home or office. The pieces are made of brass which was the go to metal for home decor not too long ago but has since been taken over by cheaper metals that tend to rust over time and plastic. Brass, with delicate care, will last generations. Stop by and take a look at their work and buy a new lantern to set on your table for a fresh and classic look! The store is located in the heart of Kibokoni, down the road where Barka Restaurant is.
3. These side of the road spots close to Biashara St. sell clay pots and incense burners as well as weaved items such as baskets and weaved rugs called janvi. All items are locally made and the women who sell them are very sweet and a pleasure to speak with. This is as local as you can get as most of the items traditionally were used all the time, are hardly used anymore being replaced with synthetic fibre carpets and boxes. The pots sold can be used to cook or to add as decor to give an organic feel to your home.