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Civil engineer takes on DIY home decor

Three years ago, Ms Wangu Ngunjiri started out as a blogger of the latest fashion trends. The blog, Stylifiq, had one type of post; sharing the process of making, and wearing some her creations.

It was the do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that got recognition and were featured in other blogs — both fashion and DIY — around the web.

“I am the kind of person who is always working on something. I am pretty handy. I love building and creating things. My love for beautiful things and my handy craft skills work seamlessly in any project I take on,” said Ms Ngunjiri.

The main reason she likes to build things, she explained, was that she ends up with the quality she had in mind and she customises designs to suit her  vision.

Before the fashion blog, an underlying and related passion was bubbling in her as she  pursued a Bachelors degree in civil engineering.

She used to collect images of beautiful homes as well as being an enthusiastic reader of interior decor magazines in the hope that one day she would have a home like those she saw in the pictures.

“While shopping around for home accessories, I realised the good stuff was expensive and there were really no alternatives. That is when I searched online for DIY projects and discovered a whole world of DIY blogs and started with a few projects,” she said.

Her first DIY project was simple. She saw a lantern on the popular social media site, Pinterest, and was inspired to make her own.

“I took a lamp glass, tied it randomly with knitting yarn and then spray-painted it gold. I took the yarn out to reveal clear lines where the paint had been blocked off. I was pleased with my work.

I learnt that I could tweak any DIY project based on the materials available to get the desired results,” she said.

In keeping with the spirit of her blog, she thought of starting her own DIY decor blog last year. The month-old blog, pineconeshelf.com, features easy DIY decor projects with materials that are easily available and inexpensive.

She gives detailed instructions to her readers on how to re-create various settings.

Tasteful way

“The DIY projects that I share on my blog are geared towards helping people decorate their homes in a tasteful way without hiring someone to do it. They are simple projects that make use of readily available supplies.

I have written an e-book that people can download for free on the blog. It contains tips and tricks to help people get started on DIY decor,” she said.

The e-book covers basic guides to follow from painting and accessories to window treatments.

It starts with bold statement to her fans: “We promise you our support through creek and corner to ensure that you find true happiness living in a space decorated exactly how you like it.” And for the promise to be fulfilled, she says your attitude towards DIY projects should be: “They are not hard, not tacky or set in stone.”  Although Stylifiq has been inactive for a while, she is planning to revive it soon.

It will mainly feature interviews of fashion industry personalities. Ms Ngunjiri has a day job as a civil engineer but she offers home decor services in her free time. Her clients are busy people who would like to live in tastefully decorated homes, but do not know how to go about it.

Most of her consultations are mainly through email and phone calls.

“I intend to grow into a home decorating business and my background as a civil engineer will be of great help,” she said.