Decorating Your Home in Kampala

Decorating Your Home in Kampala

Oh, what I wish I’d known when I first moved here! In an effort to quickly settle in and set up ‘home’, I scrambled through the aisles of Nakumatt and Game to purchase the ‘essentials and ended up settling for mainstream basics. I stormed the first craft market I attended on the hunt for fun, African accents assuming I better snatch them up while I could. After all, those banana fiber table mats are SO unique!

Turns out the joke was on me. What I didn’t know as a clueless expat at the time was that Kampala has some absolutely exquisite home décor shops offering unique and lovely pieces that really provide that something extra when it comes to making your home your own. In today’s article, a follow-up to my piece on Furnishing Your Home in Kampala I’ll highlight four local businesses that are great places to start!

Noor Lamp Shades Ltd.

I had the opportunity to meet the owner of this incredible lighting store, and she walked me through their variety of options. What a fun place to shop! Vibrant, colorful lampshades and chandeliers decorate the entire ceiling and invite you in to explore. I’m quite confident that this is the largest, nicest selection of lamps in all of Uganda.

Conveniently located in Oasis Mall, Noor Lamp Shades carries just about anything you can think of and, if they don’t have it in stock, can custom-make just about everything you can dream up! I recommend first stopping by to check out their wide-selection that caters to a variety of tastes and style.

They carry floor lamps, table lamps, hanging lamps, chandeliers, spotlights, and even imported antique pieces from the late 1800’s up to the 1950’s. They have imported items from all over the world but notably Austria, Italy, Spain, and Malaysia. I also have to at least mention their small but lovely selection of hand-woven, camel hair and wool Moroccan rugs.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 7:30pm, Closed Sunday
Address: Oasis Mall – Shop #17
Phone: +256-312-265705

Villa Kololo Interiors

Italian-owned Villa Kololo Interiors clearly has some serious street cred around Kampala. Owned by the same people as Hotel Villa Kololo and adjoined Mediterraneo restaurant, they’ve got quite the resume for great taste in both dining and interiors!

They were originally operating out of a space in Oasis Mall upstairs next to Nakumatt, but relocated this past September to a larger showroom on Old Port Bell Road in the Industrial Area to avoid having to also use a warehouse space. This store is huge and full of lovely finds!

Now, I’ve got some good news and bad news. Bad news first: I wasn’t allowed to take any photos in their shop, and they also do not have a website to view their products. On the other hand, the good news is that every single piece in their store is absolutely exquisite! You’ll have to trust me on that one.

Villa Kololo Interiors carries everything. If I had unlimited funds, I could happily furnish an entire home with my findings from their store. Each item is imported from India and completely unique. In fact, I don’t remember seeing two of the same thing in their store. Most of the wood pieces are made from sturdy Teak wood and several also have hand-carved or painted detailing for that extra unique edge.

I was particularly taken by their selection of hand-woven wool rugs from Rajasthan, India. They carry 5-6 different shapes and sizes, and I considered them to be well priced considering their impeccable quality. The smallest size, 90×150 cm, starts at $90 (everything in the store is priced in USD).

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm, Closed Sunday
Address: Plot 11 Old Port Bell Rd., Industrial Area, Kampala
Phone: +256-784-813706

Banana Boat

If you’ve been an expat more than one month, chances are good that you’ve been in one of the three Banana Boat stores around Kampala. They are without a doubt the best place to purchase quality African crafts and pieces for your home. Sure, you can probably find a cheaper version of most of the stuff at local craft markets, but shopping at Banana Boat ensures top quality and a much more pleasant shopping experience than haggling your way through a crowded market.

I feel like every home in Kampala should have a least a few African accents! You know… the items you’ll proudly remember your time here with and that you’ll display in your home the rest of your life. Banana Boat stores carry lovely wooden bowls and carved trays as well as the funky wood tribal masks in various sizes. You’ll also find all-sizes of African drums, cow horn bowls, glass vases, and colorful hand-woven baskets. These are what I consider classy crafts and every expat home should display a few pieces!

Address: They have three locations in Kampala. See map, contact info, and individual opening hours at

Wasanii Living

You may recognize this name. This fantastic store was also featured in my article on furnishing your home, thanks to their custom-designed dining tables and kitchens by partner ROKO construction. Though that’s no doubt a solid piece of their business, I’d say they actually specialize in home goods. Pillows, crates, vases, candleholders, and lamps are beautifully and carefully displayed throughout the store.

Wasanii Living definitely takes a unique, modern approach to styling your home. While most shops around town boast of colorful (read: “loud”) African fabrics and crafts, they offer something soothing and different as they usher a more modern vide to the home décor market in Kampala. Upon entering this store, you’re sure to be charmed by their beautiful items in neutral, soft colors and cool tones like silver, white, ivory, blue, and gray just to name a few.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am – 8pm
Address: 1515 Kira Road, Ntinda, Kampala
Phone: +256-312-516677

About Lauren McBride

Hey, I’m Lauren. I’m what you’d call an “expat by marriage.” When my husband and I stepped off the plane in Entebbe in June 2012, I had no idea what I was in for: the breezy traffic on the open road, enjoyable boda rides through the heart of town, or the gentle, lingering smell of exhaust blowing in my face. I continue to be amazed by the strong community in Kampala, the arts, the delicious food, and the fun hangs around this town. I’m committed to sharing the very best of Kampala with you through this website. Contact me anytime with your ideas, feedback, or jokes at