So I realised the other day that I get quite a number of questions about where I buy my stuff and thought it would be decent of me to share. It’s not just because I don’t want to be mean, I genuinely would like us all to have beautiful homes that match our personalities, style and general moods. Plus I don’t understand why someone would post something pretty and refuse to tell where they got it from and for how much. Did you not think we would ask?
Anyway, here are my top picks for all things home. Let’s call it The Cultured Cow Hot List, and speak into being that one day, I will be a tastemaker:
A.K.A one of my happy places. I was in there a few hours before I gave birth, because I’d seen some glass jars that I just had to have. I actually think I went into labour-lite in there because I remember telling my sister that I was feeling this weird sensation that I couldn’t describe. She laughed and told me not to give birth in the showroom. I gave birth 18 hours later. Part of me wishes I’d gone into labour there; maybe I’d have been given a lifetime’s worth of shopping vouchers or something.
Anyway, over the last two years or so I’ve bought a number of things from there, including the big-ass bed that Gong pushes us out of, glass storage jars that bring order to my pantry, my favourite brass champagne bucket – which holds a throw pillow and the occasional toy – and my black Eames chairs, which give my traditional-style dining table (also from there) a touch of modern minimalism. Look out for their sales, they never disappoint.
I used to go there while broke and leave a little broker, because I’m a sucker for small-small things that give me a quick buzz. I’ve gone in there, browsed and walked out with two hand towels because that’s all I could afford. But I’ve also walked in and left a significant percentage of my salary because I just couldn’t leave without 10 pillows and candles and candle holders and the cutest picture frames.
Top tip: if you miss the giant sale held in July at the main store (Tile & Carpet Centre on Mombasa Road), then wait for the sale at the other store (TACC, Lavington) to grab yourself everything from towels and soft furnishings to faux plants, glassware, crockery and pendant lights. This is usually held around November/December.
One of my favourite chandeliers, a brass wire piece that hangs above my bed, is from there. So is the mirror in my room and the carpet in Gong’s room, which I sent my Lover to pick while I recovered from surgery. I might have told him it would make me feel better.
For the longest time, I would walk in there and walk out without buying anything, then when I started buying stuff, I kind of couldn’t stop. I grieved for them a little when I thought they were going to close and exit, then they came back with an even better selection and my heart was full. I’ve gotten bedding, pillows, tea towels (in black and white, I couldn’t leave them), and the cutest little bunnies to accessorise Gong’s room. Oh, and if you’re into rose gold and blush, they currently have some pieces worth spending your coin on.
I’d been looking for floating shelves for Gong’s room for a while but couldn’t get what I wanted, and I didn’t want to import them. I don’t remember how I chanced upon Whitebull on Instagram but I immediately fell in love with their shelves, which are just the right mix of simplicity (a short wooden plank) and creativity (leather straps holding up the plank). The owner, Lelei – which actually means white bull she says – installed them herself, and they’re probably one of my favourite features in Gong’s room now. Also, I’m a sucker for good quality stuff made in Kenya so this was a win in so many ways! I’m currently lusting after this wine rack (I might need to start buying wine as an accessory) and this magazine rack.
If you’re into rustic glam or farmhouse chic, then you must check them out. Their selection just says “welcome home” and makes me think of chilly evenings spent hanging around a fireplace with hot tea and warm biscuits – and this is not even something I would normally want to do. Also, Mercy, the lady that runs it, is such a sweetheart. You’ll want to buy something from her as soon as you start talking. Think I’m lying? I bought this shabby chic opener from her and cannot wait to have it up on my balcony once I make it a nice chill spot. It’s the complete opposite of my aesthetic, but I love it. Plus it’s definitely made me want pallet furniture on my balcony now. I think they’ll be a good match.
I met her at the last Asenka Flea Market and bought some faux white roses – which I had sworn never to buy until I realised I couldn’t keep up with weekly flower purchases because: a) the best flowers are bought early in the morning and Saturday is my lie-in day, and b) I haven’t had the patience to buy, cut and arrange fresh flowers every weekend in a very long time. Look her up for faux roses and tulips, pillows and pillowcases, decorative trays and dummy books. She’s got everything you need to create a cute vignette or table scape.
You know what grabbed my attention? Their very obvious commitment to gold and marble. I was DM’d to check them out, I did, I fell in love, ordered a few things, and I still want more. May metallic accessories never get old.
Get useful home styling tips, inspo and accessories at decent prices. I’m currently lusting after this gold wine rack, which would look really pretty on my kitchen counter. I’ll just throw Gong’s bottles and other things into a cupboard to make room for that beauty.
I discovered them the other day and immediately ordered pillows, pillowcases and some woven rugs I’d been looking for for a while. Not only did they promise to let me know once they were in stock, they delivered them in record time to my office (I’m talking less than thirty minutes after I placed my order) – and I ended up ordering even more of those and a throw. One can never have too many pillows in one’s house. Or throws.
Lighting makes such a big difference to a space, and it’s one of the first things I notice whenever I walk into a room. So after saving my coins for a while I invested in a few pieces from Glow, and I do not regret it. I’ll be honest, getting high quality, affordable chandeliers, pendant lights, table and floor lamps here is hard, so you’ll need to be prepared to shell out a little more for what you’d get for a lot less if you lived in a country that didn’t import almost everything.
Don’t let the name fool you: they sell more than lampshades. In fact, I barely even notice the lampshades each time I walk into their store because my eyes are always stuck to the ceiling, just drinking in all the warmth from the glow of dozens of bulbs. I’ve spent so much time ogling at things in that store that they know me now. They’re also probably relieved that I finally started buying stuff. I still dream of the brass and tempered glass bar cart I saw there last year but couldn’t afford at the time. That, and some beautiful velvet and brass chairs, a brass and marble coffee table and a velvet bench that reminded me of High Fashion Home – who I’d willingly be adopted by. They’re not active on Instagram or Facebook and don’t have a website, but find them at Sarit Centre, ground floor.
Wicker and sisal baskets
Baskets are so versatile; I want to have some in every room in my house. I’m currently storing Gong’s toys in sisal baskets I bought from Meddy on Redhill road (reach her on 0716 313 003). To keep my pantry tidy, I store stuff in wicker baskets that I buy from husband and wife duo Anne and Charles on James Gichuru Road, near Muthangari Police Station. You can reach Charles on 0717 302 351. His prices are much cheaper than what you’ll find being sold along Redhill.
This is my downfall. I’ve currently banned myself from browsing on Amazon because I go in looking for tea tree lotion and end up looking at carpets and leaving with a few things I don’t really need, but which I also kind of need. I bring my stuff in using Vitumob, which is how I scored a great deal on Bath&Body Works candles, and these little jars I store my cotton wool pads and ear buds in.
They are the reason my house looks like a shrine to Gong. They printed a bunch of pictures I had on my phone into Polaroid-type prints, and now I have my baby’s pictures everywhere. It’s great walking up and down my corridor and seeing a snippet of our lives immortalized in print.
That’s it for now. Would you like to see more home content? Also, should I start doing videos on all things home? I’m terribly camera shy but I love to share my little home projects and finds so I’m thinking about it. Should I?