This Modern African Style Townhome Is Decked Out with Gorgeous DIYs

published May 18, 2021

This Modern African Style Townhome Is Decked Out with Gorgeous DIYs

published May 18, 2021
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Bedrooms
Square feet
1276
Sq ft
1276

Name: Nasozi Kakembo and 12-year-old son
Location: DC Suburbs, Maryland
Size: 1,276 square feet
Type of Home: Townhome
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

Nasozi’s home and studio mix her collection of traditional crafts and decor accents from Uganda with modern art and Danish furniture design. Her personal style and business brand meld her East African heritage with her American upbringing. And the home she shares with her 12-year-old son is filled with a ton of DIY projects that add her gorgeous personality and style to the space.

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As a designer, small business owner, and mom, Nasozi’s space unifies her aesthetic through modern pieces and traditional African touches for functionality on all levels. From her son’s bedroom workspace/closet to her DIY wall accents in the living room and dining area, she has truly maximized the unique layout of her bright and multi-level townhome.

Nasozi currently runs a multi-disciplinary design studio, xN Studio, between this house in Maryland, Brooklyn, and Kampala, Uganda. As a former Apartment Therapy House Tour contributor, she’s had the opportunity to photograph and get inspired by some of the most thoughtfully decorated and organized homes around the globe. “I scouted and photographed homes from Brooklyn to Brazil, so I have never been short on inspiration.” One common thing she noticed when photographing other people’s homes was the use of space in a smart and refined way. It’s all translated to her gorgeous home full of light, plants, DIY gems, and unique pieces from around the world.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: African Modern

Inspiration: Traditional crafts and decor accents from Uganda, Modern art, and Danish modern furniture. I am also extremely inspired by smart, small spaces. I was an Apartment Therapy House Tour contributor for four years, and got to spend a lot of time in some of the most thoughtfully decorated and organized homes around the globe. I scouted and photographed homes from Brooklyn to Brazil, so I have never been short on inspiration. One thing that most of the homes had in common was that they used space in a smart way and edited way, especially those in Brooklyn. I literally poached so many ideas from the homes I documented, from creating the first functional dining nook in my old Brooklyn apartment living room, to getting creative with closet space and doors. (Suggestion: take them off! Your closet doors are probably redundant and get in the way. Replace them with curtains or use the space inside to add square footage to the room.)

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and non-traditional floorplan. The exterior of my home is nothing to write home about. Having lived in Brooklyn for so long where exteriors tend to be uniform or unrelated to what’s on the inside, that wasn’t high on my priority list when I was in the market for a place to buy. The interior sold me right away, and almost everybody who visits says they understand why I was drawn to this, because it feels “very Brooklyn.” The layout isn’t cookie-cutter or characteristic of the suburban area where I live now.

Biggest Challenge: This is not a nap house lol. It’s far too bright for that! I have several clerestory windows throughout, and they don’t have shades, so light just pours in all day long. For better or for worse, I am not able to take any lazy Sunday naps on the couch in this house.

Proudest DIY: My home is FULL of DIYs, but my favorite DIY of late has to be the wood slat wall accents in the living room and dining area. For years I knew I wanted to draw attention to the fireplace as a focal point, and assumed that I would end up painting that wall. But between wanting to keep the space bright, and wanting something timeless, I only recently decided on the slat wall approach. I’ve always been drawn to them, so as soon as I realized that that would work for me in this space, I was at the hardware store getting the materials I needed! My best friend’s stepdad came over with his nail gun and helped me get it done so much faster.

Biggest Indulgence: What would have been my biggest indulgence (replacing my kitchen countertops) became my biggest DIY last summer. I used a specialized marble paint kit to update the countertops, which were in good shape but didn’t add anything to the space. So I saved $5,000+ dollars by doing it myself via this method. I still plan to replace the countertops one day, but I wasn’t comfortable making that investment yet.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? The way that we use the spaces in our home is unique. We recently swapped the living and dining room spaces, and the home flows so much more naturally now! We get a lot of use out of our dining table, but it was the center of gravity for the entire space before, and was taking up more visual space than necessary. So I moved it into the outcove where we used to watch TV, and that automatically gave the couch and TV space more breathing room and usable space.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I’ve been on a candle binge since last winter. KSM Candle Co. is my absolute favorite.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I HIGHLY recommend trying out existing artwork and furniture in new areas of your home . I am constantly using existing pieces in new spaces and rooms around my home (like seating, lighting fixtures and side tables), and switching the artwork from one room to another, or to another wall in the same room. It’s a low cost (aka FREE) way to get a completely new look in your home, and you’ll be surprised how well pieces you already have infuse a new energy into different spaces by simply moving them somewhere else. Unless it’s not bolted down, give it a spin somewhere else!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? It’s all about what works for you at that point in your life, and we need our homes and spaces to serve different purposes at different phases. Let those dictate how you use the space or spaces in your home, and what you bring into, and take out of it. Be flexible about switching it up when the way you use your space no longer serves you. Don’t get stuck in one arrangement or layout.

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

ENTRY

  • Wallpaper — Cosmic Desert in black, Justina Blakeney x Hygge and West (discontinued)

LIVING ROOM

DINING ROOM

KITCHEN

MAIN BEDROOM

SON’S BEDROOM

  • Area rug — Irregular Parallel bars, Rugs USA
  • Closet storage boxes — Resja, IKEA
  • Glass shelving — IKEA Vittsjo
  • Close organizer — Kallax, IKEA
  • Accent pillows — Assorted Mudcloth, xN Studio
  • Ottoman/pouf — Bamba pouf, Article
  • Artwork — Original by me
  • Portrait — Drawn portrait of me by Jamaican artist Noel “Panu” Swaby
  • Black removable wallpaper — practicalWs, Amazon

HOME OFFICE/STUDIO

DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM

  • Wall accent — DIY, handpainted

Thanks Nasozi!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.