Social worker goes digital to showcase décor ideas

Friday, March 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Evelyne Omondi, founder and administrator of the Home Beautiful Facebook page. Photo/PD/Harriet James

Briefly share your background and how the Home Beautiful Facebook page began. 

Interior décor is a passion I have had since I was a child. I do interior designing as a side hustle.

It’s something that is innate in me and I have a collection of different home décor magazines that feature both local and international interior ideas as well as exterior décor and this passion is what drove me to start the group.

I have worked with organisations that offer humanitarian assistance. I currently run a charity organisation that supports orphans and vulnerable children.

I hold a first degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Nairobi and I am pursuing a masters degree in Gender and Development studies at the same university.

What gap were you trying to fill with the Facebook group? 

I looked at the local social media groups that showcase interior and exterior designs and décor and realised something was missing.

I wanted to bring something different to match the international designs and that’s how Home Beautiful came about.

Interior décor is the icing sugar in every home. It gives your home a personality. It portrays who you are as an individual. It shows people how organised or how unkempt you are as a person.

How is the group doing? 

When I started this group a month ago, I didn’t anticipate much growth. I started by inviting friends (both local and in the Diaspora) since I knew some of them have beautiful homes and designs that can inspire others.

The idea is to offer something different from the other groups in social media. Some groups don’t even have any agenda apart from showcasing homes. 

I have a team offering more insight, expertise and ideas in the interior/exterior décor sector.

I wanted a small group that offers quality as opposed to quantity. The growth is tremendous and overwhelming (200,000 members) and it seems like this is what Kenyans have been waiting for.

What is driving the expansion of the interior décor?

The local industry is growing slowly, but steadily. I think we can attribute this the bubble of the real estate industry a few years ago.

People buy or build homes and they want these homes to look beautiful. 

Home Beautiful Facebook.

Locally, we have property shows in different TV channels and the stories there have created awareness about the décor and construction industry.

Are you aware that social media has been known as a platform where people ‘show-off’?

 This is a challenge, but I can now easily spot a download. If I am not sure I use Google to check the details of a photo that I suspect was downloaded.

I have no problem with downloads because they can also inspire someone, but I am against the use of downloads to dupe people. 

Whoever uses a download should declare by saying it’s a borrowed photo, or a photo used for illustration.

How do you ensure that members don’t deviate from the group’s vision of being informative? 

If a member reports a funny comment, I delete it and block the person who posts. I am going to weed out jokers in the group.

I also decline and delete posts that don’t add value to the group.People only join the group when invited by friends who are already in the group.

What challenges have you faced in managing the group? 

We have a lot of jokers in Kenya. There’s a group of people that only post jokes and we plan to deal with them.

I have appointed another administrator and two moderators to ease the workload easier. I’ve also had to delete negative posts reported to me and consequently blocked the members. 

Recently, a resourceful member of the group was really pulled down when she realised someone screenshot her posts and shared them with colleagues and friends.

She was accused of being a show off. They also made funny comments about her and that moved her to tears. 

How do you handle such cases?

 It’s a challenge because I can’t read all comments. I’ve advised members to report any derogatory comments and tag me as well so that I can act with speed. 

Those who are planning to join should only come with positive vibes. They should expect more and be ready to be inspired and challenged in equal measure.

What are the popular trends in interior décor Kenya? 

We have people who love African décor and those who love Western décor. A fusion of the two gives contemporary décor.

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