Saturday, 29 October 2016

Meet one of Kenya Best Interior Decorators Jordan Awori

I have always felt it as a responsibility to write about Kenya and the amazing talents the country should boast of. Come on, Kenyans are the third highest readers of my blog and I really do appreciate them. Their interest in my blog has resulted in my interest in the country and meeting this amazing Kenyan Interior Decorator, I was just so eager to interview her. And like the two other Kenyans I have met before her, Jordan is a beautiful soul with such smartness and confidence that can be felt from a distance. Jordan who was raised in Nairobi is a graduate of Design from THE University of Nairobi (she insists on emphasis on the 'THE'). Asides interior decor and designs, she writes for notable magazines, one of which is Homes and Living East Africa and her blog THE INTERIOR DECORATOR. Visiting her site would reveal to you how much of a talent she is. If you want to read or learn a thing about interior decorations, that's a place to go and if you are looking for help with the interior decoration of your office, or apartment, Jordan is someone you should call. Have fun reading through my interview with her. 

Why interior decoration? : I've always loved interiors and art and as I became more self aware I started gravitating towards interior decor because it felt like a natural blend of both. I don't refer to myself as an interior designer, much to the dismay of my peers, because I feel that as the more structural part of this field it leans more towards a science. Whereas the decor and styling part feels more like an art to me, one that evokes more creativity in me. I tell people that interior design to me, is like plastic surgery whereas interior decor/styling is like makeup artistry. I like the control I have with decor to create beautiful illusions  using soft furnishings to turn a space into anything ones heart desires.

What challenges do you face as an interior decorator in Kenya?
: The myth that interior design is more of a profession than interior decor. It's hard for people to understand that my job isn't just a hobby they always think that I taught myself after mastering numerous DIY tricks from YouTube. I went to school to learn how colors, patterns, textures shapes and sizes can be manipulated to create balance, rhythm, variety and depth in a space. That picking the right furniture, Colours and textures is an art that takes a clear vision of a final space and to be able to see this vision, when staring at an empty space, is an art one takes effort to master.

How did you begin the journey into interior decoration? :
I initially wanted to become a product and jewelry designer, but fate had other plans for little old me. I got an opportunity to style a newly wed couples home and realized that my skills were actually best nurtured in this field. I could immediately know how certain furniture would play together relative to a space and what materials and Colour work best to achieve what goal. So I focused all my skills to interior decor and styling and I've never looked back.

What difference does it make being a female in the industry? :
None, this decor field is dominated by women in Kenya so I guess it would be a different case if I were a man.

What do you do to improve as an interior decorator? :
Take risks and ignoring clients' fears. Designers and artists are generally risk takers and when you can clearly visualize how something will turn out brilliantly but the client isn't sure it can kill ones creativity. I've therefore found that it's such an empowering task to trust in your vision as this also builds a client's trust in you when it comes into fruition. THE INTERIOR DECORATOR (my blog at and all the writing I've been doing in regards to my field is also extremely inspirational as that is where I awake all my creative juices.

Describe the industry in Africa, paying particular attention to Kenya? :
I find it quite sad that when you google interior decor in Kenya you don't actually get a true  representation of the field and those of us in it. Whereas a simple search internationally and you get such a wide scope. But, even with that, I have to admit that there's more respect for the interior design and decor field in general as the public have come to realize its importance. Our homes are out havens, our offices is a representation of our brands, restaurants and hotels are not just about the food and a bed to sleep on, it's also about the visual experience. Now that it's clearly evident the Kenyan industry is embracing this reality, it's become inevitable that they would embrace the people who can achieve this for them - interior designers and decorators.

Africa seem to be going through a recession, how is it affecting you and what do you do to remain in business? :
There's always good and bad times in any profession and the best way is to be loyal to your brand and skills and when I do it always falls into place. Boom or recession, what has the greatest ability to sustain you in any profession or business is your will power.

How do you react to negative feedback from clients? : 
As a learning experience. I'm an emotional person who takes my work very much at heart so it does hurt when a client isn't satisfied but over the years I've learnt that perfection is for Disney movies. In the real world you take the bad with the good and the only way you can grow is to take every experience as one that will enable you to grow as a person and professional.

What roles do the social media play in your business? : Social media plays a very important role in our life privately and professionally, that isn't anything new. Although truth be told I'm not the social media kind of girl, so it's been difficult to embrace it with my brand. What I have fully embraced is Instagram as images have proved to be the avenue where I can perfectly represent my work and brand and also perfectly put THE INTERIOR DECORATOR out there.

Role model(s) :
My mother for dealing my my stubborn a** all these years, Richard Branson because he's the perfect example that being hard working and brilliant doesn't have to be boring at all, Fridah Khalo because she showed me the power that emotions can have to an artist.
What plans do you have for expansion? : I have big things coming. I won't divulge anything so be sure to look out for it on

Which other industries are you more likely to branch into and why? : Nothing I can think of but you never know what the future holds.

What about interior decorations do you find uninteresting? :
Nothing. Every single thing about it is extremely exciting to me. The good, the great, the bad, the ugly. Nothing makes me complete than creating a space and writing about them.
Plans for next year? : You'll have to keep a look out on
Your words to other young entrepreneurs in Africa, especially Kenya :
In the words of Nike and Shia LaBeouf, 'JUST DO IT!' It's just that simple, just do it and make sure you work hard and smart making sure you take each part of the journey as a learning experience.

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