Mombasa Flat Update

I got a request from a friend to do ‘something’ to her flat in Mombasa to make it better looking of course on a budget. I gladly accepted the ‘something’ challenge.

Here are the before pictures.

IMG_7332 IMG_7333 IMG_7334 IMG_7336 IMG_7337 IMG_7338 IMG_7346

With some cleaning and sprucing up, painting, new curtains, and some new furniture it was a go.

Here are the after pics.


For the bedrooms, i rearranged the furniture to create more space. Painted the walls a color from the Crown Paints collection called Ash, its a soft  and calm grey. Also got curtains in the colors available from Nakumatt Nyali.IMG_7400 IMG_7404

For the living room, painted two colors i absolutely loved from the Crown Paints App. Yellowed Leaf (the greenish yellowish one) and Perry Blue (the bluish one). Traded-in the old furniture for the corner seat and bright pillows. Also got rid of the carpet, it’s so hot in Mombasa a cool tiled floor is so much better….


For the dining area, got rid of the carpet, i think it looks so much neater without it. Got new curtains and painted the Yellowed leaf and Ash colors. For the cabinet, i brightened it up with some wrapping paper (not of the shiny variety) see the project here.IMG_7410 IMG_7412

For the kitchen some cleaning up, arrangement of utensils, dish rack and curtain did the trick.

Disclaimer, i hired someone to do the painting this time round. Also, do download the Crown Paints App it really makes colour selection so much easier.

What do you think of the before and after?

Keep it DIY!

Mango Chutney

Mangoes are in season! I love mangoes they are such a versatile fruit to work with! You can peel and eat, or eat them with the covers, blend into a thick juice, make a smoothie, place slices on pizza (try the ThaiFrican), eat with ice cream…so many options. I could eat them all day, every day. When in season they are definitely cheaper to buy compared to when they are not.

I like to make mango chutney when they are in season and use it through out the year.  The dip is easy to make and when properly stored can last you until the next mango season. It can be eaten with anything from chips and crisps, to bread, rice,  and meats. Its up to your taste buds really.

Chutney is a side dish in indian cuisine whose ingredients can vary from tomatoes, to groundnuts, yoghurt, cucumber and mint. Today, there are many variations from various international cuisines.

To make my version of the mango chutney, i use:

-Ripe mangoes (of course)

-White Vinegar

-Red Chillies



The ingredients

The ingredients

The vinegar gives the dip a long shelf life so that it can be preserved for use throughout the year.

Peel and chop the mangoes. Crush the garlic and ginger. Chop the red pepper into small pieces, since i don’t like it very hot, i only use the cover of the chili and throw away the seeds.

For the two mangoes above, i only used 3 cloves of garlic, thumb size ginger and half the chili.

Put every thing in a blender, add a teaspoon and a half of vinegar and blend till a thick paste is formed. Taste to check if all the ingredients balance, it should have a sweet and tangy taste before the chili kicks in.

Dip in storage containers

Mango chutney dip in storage containers

I placed the chutney in small containers for storage in the freezer. I used the small containers since i never have to use too much at any given time.

Ready to get into the freezer

Ready to get into the freezer

To use the chutney, remove it in advance and allow it to naturally thaw. Using a microwave to defrost it may change the taste as you are introducing heat to the dip…sort of cooking it.

Also the top layer of the chutney when stored could discolor and become brownish. Worry not, after thawing, just scoop off the top layer and you will meet with the original colored chutney :)!!

Try it and share the results.

Keep it DIY!!


DIY Photo gallery

Hello DIYers!

This week i undertook a project that has been on my to do list for a while now; a wall photo gallery.

A follow up from last weeks painted frames, that came in handy in putting together this project.

First off you need to identify where the gallery will be. The wall should not have too many things going on as the photo gallery in its self is a busy spot.

I had identified this wall in the living room for my gallery

I had identified this plain wall in the living room for my gallery

Once you know how much space you are woking with, start collecting your frames and pictures. Let your imagination free on the pictures, it could really be any form of art that you want to display.

I had been collecting frames and images for a while…so i had them stacked in a corner of the living room. They were judgmental this frames, always looked at me from the floor reminding me that i am yet to hang them….


The judgmental pictures and frames...on the floor...

The judgmental pictures and frames…on the floor… 

I chose to go with black frames given the very white wall and so the brown frames had to be painted black. Now that i had my frames, printed pictures and my space, I needed to determine how they would be arranged. I laid them out on the floor beneath the wall to ensure i got the length right and also to map out an arrangement.

Now, what happened in between was i realized i needed a big black frame that would carry several images, the gold frame wasn’t cutting it. Plus i know that it will come in handy someday…in some other project. I dashed to House of Leather where i was certain they would have what i was looking for. Indeed they did…see what i did there? Anyway, for Ksh2,000 i got this beautiful black frame that could hold 10 images and had the word ‘memories’ in the middle. Perfect!

Well laid out plans...

Well laid out plans…

So i had sufficient space and a good layout plan. The carefully spaced frames would need to also be carefully spaced on the wall. I remembered a post i had seen on one of my favorite DIY blogs Young House Love, tracing out the frames on paper and placing the templates on the wall with measured spaces in between the frames.

If you try this at home [and i highly encourage you to] this is a very, very important stage. It will reduce on errors and frustration levels.

I had no tracing paper, so i went for the next best thing, newspaper. Placed the frames on top and traced out making sure to indicate where the hooks were.

Tracing on newspaper with a black marker

Tracing on newspaper with a black marker

After tracing out, cut the paper out and stick them on the wall with masking tape and carefully measure the distances between the columns and the rows.

Newspaper wall gallery

Newspaper wall gallery- yes i did correct the wayward template on the right end

I couldn’t find a newspaper big enough for the larger frame, it was time fir some elbow grease, i traced the actual frame on the wall! I used a pencil to trace it out, including where the hooks will be, not sure you will be able to see the outline on the image above.

After placing the traced out paper it was time to put the hooks on, remember the templates pointed out the sections where the hooks would be, so this will be a breeze. I used the hooks with little nails on them as they are more sturdy than the ordinary hooks that have glue. They go for Ksh50 from hardwares. It is important to make sure that the hooks you use will be able to hold the weight of the frames for a long period.

Tools for the day

Tools for the day

And finally, i got to hang the frames on the wall. And i loved it!

Wall photograllery

Wall photograllery

I also loved the fact that it has some space left and therefore the potential to grow.

Try it out and share!

Any projects you have undertaken lately? Share!

Keep it DIY!






Painting picture frames

Hello DIYers!

Pictures. They speak a thousand words. They immortalize moments in our lives. They tell the story of who we are, where we have been and who we have become.

Growing up, taking pictures was an annual family event and the images would end up in the family album. With the increase in camera ownership, many more memories were captured and stored in the album. I still love looking at old family albums and yes i have two in my house. In today’s world of selfies and phone cameras, not many people ‘preserve’ life’s memories and no Facebook, Instagram, snapchat and all those others don’t count…not in my books.

This weeks project was painting some picture frames i got from Tuskys Supermarket for Ksh200. They looked very drab and unappealing, but hey with that price, they were screaming my name!!

The frames

The frames before

To paint them, i removed everything so that i was only left with the frame. The back had some strange nails at the back and i had to figure out a way to remove them without damaging the frame.

The back of the frame with the small nails holding the glass and paper

The back of the frame with the small nails holding the glass and paper


I had to get creative with how i removed the nails....i used a nail cutter. This damaged the nail cutter...but was worth it.

I had to get creative with how i removed the nails….i used a nail cutter. This damaged the nail cutter…but was worth it.

Next, i sanded the frames down to get rid of the slight varnish it had. Sanding it makes the paint adhere better.

sanded down frame

Sanded down frame

And then it was time for the fun part. Paint! I had some left over black paint from a previous paint job.I used a small brush, that was part of a set i got from Game Store at Garden City…by the way this place is a DIYers heaven!!

My tools. I used the smallest brush, the orange one

My tools. I used the smallest brush in the pack for this project, the orange one

Painting is messy and taking pictures while painting was an uphill task. However, what i did was lay out an old newspaper on the surface i was working on to avoid getting paint on the tiles…although some of ended up there!

After painting, i hang them out to dry. Like literally hang them. I used your everyday paper hooks to hang them out to dry for 24 hours.

Hanging them out to dry

Hanging them out to dry

The frames are now ready for the next step….the photogallery. Stay tuned for the next episode….

Any projects you have carried out lately? Let’s hear about it.

Keep it DIY.


World currency in a frame

Hello DIYers,

Happy 2016! It has been a long while. Lots has been happening including great  projects that i shall be posting soon!

Today’s post is about travel. It is a wonderful thing to travel! It removes you from your everyday life and opens your eyes and mind to other realities. It brings to light how other people live, what other people are dealing with, helps you appreciate what you have sometimes and at other times makes you yearn for better things both for yourself and society.

For me travel less about ‘things’ and more about experiencing other countries, culture, food, music and whatever else that makes that place, that place. I hope that makes sense.

Whenever i visit a different country, i always ensure i am left with a few coins or notes. I had gathered quite a bit and this week i decided to put the coins into good decorative use.

I got an ordinary frame from the supermarket, removed the back side, cleaned the glass and got going.

Picture frame that has a stand

Picture frame that has a stand

I cut out an envelope to the size of the back board and added it between the glass and board. This served two purposes: one, the white will be the background against which the coins will be set. Two, it makes the base thick enough to hold the coins without adding adhesive.

Cut out a white, A4 envelope to the size of the board and stuck it with pritt glue

Cut out a white, A4 envelope to the size of the board and stuck it with pritt glue


Background for the coins set

Background for the coins set

I cleaned out the coins, laid them on the floor and started placing against the glass

The coins collection

The coins collection

Laying out the coins

Laying out the coins

Completed layout

Completed layout

At this point you can chose to put adhesive on each of the coins. The adhesive should be strong similar to wood glue. The light ordinary glue will not work in this case. I did not use adhesive because i had created the thick base using the backboard and cut out envelope. This are able to hold the coins in place.

World coins in a frame

World coins in a frame

There we go folks! World coins in a frame. The same can be used for notes. Since the frame will be heavy, be careful if you chose to hang it. Both the hook on the frame and wall have to be strong enough to hold, otherwise it could fall and crack or injure someone.

Try it out and share your results.

Keep it DIY!!

My Christmas wish list

Hello DIYers!

The year is almost coming to a close! Is it just me or does time seem to fly by? I remember when I was a child and I would really yearn for December to arrive and it often took so long! But now, just as you are recovering from the last Christmas its here again!!

That not withstanding, I am very grateful for the year that has been. And now that Christmas is around the corner I do have a wish list for Santa.


Dear Santa,

I have been a really good girl this year. I would like to have few things that will make my DIY projects that much easier to undertake…

I would really love to have a:

tool boxTool Box

staple gun

Staple Gun

nail gun

Nail Gun

paint brush

Good quality paint brush



I promise to frequently use them in the coming year to tackle more complex projects.

Yours truly,

DIY Nyumbani


What is on your wish list this Christmas?

Upcycled white tee

Hello DIYers!

Has a company ever given you such a nice t-shirt or shirt yet you are wary of wearing company brands in your off-work time but you cannot bring yourself to giving it away and so the thing has been in your closet for ages? Can you relate?

Relax, i have a solution for you!

I got this very good quality and well fitting white tee but catch me dead wearing a company logo when not required to by work…well unless i am chilling in the house  or working out. It has been in my closet over a year!

The branded white tee

The branded white tee

There was this shirt the hubby got and never wears, so decided to use that one to up-cycle my branded white tee.

The shirt

The shirt

Its very busy, this shirt, it has a pocket which i used in this project. See the pocket outline below.

I outlined the pocket

can you see the outlined the pocket?

Point to note: Before you take out the pocket, be sure to take measurements of the brand you wish to cover and the pocket or fabric you would like to use. Sounds obvious….but should you forget this step…you are back to square one!

I used a seam reaper to get the pocket neatly out. At this point i need to warn you that the up-cycling project involves sewing.

pocket ready for a new home. The little yellow thing is a seam reaper

Pocket ready for a new home. The little yellow thing is a seam reaper

First pin the pocket to the area you wish to cover. Using a needle and thread, stitch the pocket on to the area. I used small running stitches and white thread.

New top!

New top!

And viola! New, good quality top right there!!

Have you up-cycled any of your clothes? or anything else really?  I’d love to hear from you!

Keep it DIY!