Nairobi in the details: The textures

Texture is everywhere.

If owning a house and slogging through renovations for five years taught me anything, it’s that I love texture. I love how tactile differences in materials can come together and create harmony. Once I figured that out, revamping the kitchen became a lot simpler – if not less expensive.

How does that relate to Nairobi? Here’s how.

Behind bars

They don’t call it “Nairobbery” for nothing.

You get used to thick walls, barbed wire, electrified strands, sturdy gates and wrought iron bars on the windows and doors. There is coolness to the textures, sometimes smooth and sometimes rough. Not generally made to look nice, they project solidness. Nothing fancy.

But sometimes, you get something that resembles art.

Let them eat naan

I like to think I have self control. That is, until I’m confronted with a plate of freshly made naan. Make that a plate of freshly made garlic and butter naan, and I’m a goner.

If you want to know how many times I’ve eaten naan since I got here a month ago, I plead the fifth.

Shed a little light on the situation

There are a lot of naked light bulbs in Nairobi.

After an excursion to find light shades to furnish our apartment, there are 15 fewer.  I consider it a job well done.

Ask me how long it took to get the shades on the lights and I’ll plead the fifth … again.

The fabric of life

Sometimes, I don’t think texture is just feel. It’s pattern.

If that’s the measurement, Kenya’s fabric has texture in spades. If I’d had some of it to work with during my kitchen renovations, things would have gone a lot quicker, let me tell you.



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