Building A Dream Home


Building A Dream Home

Building a dream house can be an issue even if you are an educated and trained designer as Michaella Kubwimana found out when she built her 3-bedroom home in the Kibagabaga section of Kigali. “Some friends and I found the land and decided we wanted to build. I found, once the walls were up, the house wasn’t big enough, so we cancelled our contractor and started doing the work ourselves,” says Kuwimana. Once you start down that path it is hard to stop, she laughs.

The original garage is now the kitchen and with rearranging a few walls there is a family room space as well. “The kitchen in the plans was too small,” says Kuwimana. “That’s my hobby, cooking, and I just couldn’t envision working it that small space”. It is her favorite room in the house. The whimsical stickers were purchased abroad and added to where the coffee station stays.

Kuwimana added glass block to areas in the hallways and as transitions for the internal doorways bringing light into the space that would be too dark without them. The light over the dining table when lit shadows flower patterns on the walls.

She received her education on design at The Design School of Southern Africa in Johannesburg and completed her Master’s in Florence, Italy.  “From living in Italy, I learned that mixing the old and modern can create amazing living spaces, if the elements are chosen well that is,” she adds.

She and her family have lived here for two years and Kuwimana still wouldn’t change a thing. “I may change the fabric in a few years, bringing it up to date, but otherwise, there is nothing,” she says. “I love this house, it’s exactly as I designed it in my mind.”