Minimal living is a relatively new concept in Uganda but quite popular among the rich. Minimalism is about living simply where every space is fully utilised for your family’s basic needs at as little cost as possible. With this two-bedroom home, you get to save money on construction cost, utilities and perpetual maintenance.
Simon Peter Kazibwe, an architect, puts the cost of the house at Shs25m saying it can sit well on a 50ft by 50ft plot. The two bedrooms are conveniently placed on opposite sides of the house separated by a corridor allowing privacy and comfort. Each bedroom has an in-built closet space.
The living and dining rooms are right next to each forming an L-shape that aspires to the clean, neat lines preferred by minimalists.
The kitchen can be accessed either through the dining room or from the outside as it opens onto a porch. It is fitted with a breakfast nook, the only extravagant feature in this plan.
The entire house is serviced by one bathroom conveniently located at the extreme end of the house.
Utilising the small space
According to Kazibwe, such a small house needs as little furniture as possible. One way he made this possible is by introducing in-built closets, living room shelf-wall and shelves in the kitchen for storage. He also positioned the doors and windows in a direction that allows enough sunlight to stream into the house. Although this home sticks just to the basics, the architect says the homeowner has the liberty of imprinting their own personal style on it.
Architectural designer Dolores Mukisa Makholo reminds homeowners that minimalism should not mean absence. “It rather means choosing the only things that you need,” Makholo adds.
When buying furniture and accessories bear in mind that you are buying for a small space. “Sometimes it might be difficult to find furniture that exactly fits the shape and size of your house. The best one can do in this instance is to buy customised furniture,” she advises.
Currently, there are many local furniture makers who actually make quality customised furniture at reasonable prices. Sofa sets cost from Shs800,000 and above. Get the most basic but high quality pieces that are both durable and multipurpose. “For instance a coffee table can also be an artifact,” Makholo advises.
It is possible for a house to feel cluttered even with minimal furniture that has been haphazardly placed. “Go for neutral colours and arrange the furniture neatly so that your space feels clutter-free,” she adds.
Another way you can express your personality is through landscape. Minimal landscaping probably brings to mind austere gardens and drab plants, but in actual sense, a minimalist garden is about ample usage of colour, drought-resistant plants, a garden, and natural grasses.
According to minimalist portal learn.compactappliance.com, “A minimalist garden is simply a carefully-cultivated space, just like any other with clean lines, neutrally-coloured planters, and harmonious plantings.
Using a streamlined colour scheme, in terms of the planters you use and your overall plant palette, always makes for a perfect, clean look.”