All the design tips from this stylish coworking space you can try in your own home.
You’re probably familiar with coworking spaces, but Colony Coworking Spaces has taken the concept to another luxurious level. Founded by Timothy Tiah and his wife Audrey Ooi, their first branch in Jalan Kia Peng became so successful that they decided to branch out across the Klang Valley to KL Sentral, Eco City and Mutiara Damansara.
To keep things fresh, each Colony Coworking Spaces outlet has its own design ethos and identity. Its newest location – which happens to be its flagship space – is in the heart of the city at Star Boulevard KLCC. Like the others, it boasts a tasteful yet quirky design that feels like luxury living at its finest.
To help us out, we spoke to co-founder Audrey Ooi to discover her inspiration behind Colony @ Star Boulevard KLCC’s design and tips on how we can adopt it into our own homes.
1. Instead of modern furniture, try antiquated designs
For Colony @ Star Boulevard KLCC, Audrey cites classic New York studio lofts as her main inspiration. She told her interior designers to think of: “An old brick building used as a warehouse in the past”.
“But old money New Yorkers have moved into these buildings and being old money, their furnishings are luxurious, but not flashy and not necessarily new,” she explained.
While it might be more challenging for you to come into old money and inherit antique furniture, you can always purchase “antique-inspired” furniture such as leather Chesterfield sofas, or check out furniture shops that specialise in repurposing and restoring antique furniture. You might also find a diamond in the rough at a secondhand furniture spot or junk store.
2. Add contrasting elements into your home
“I wanted a contrast between old and new; hard and cold industrial with lots of warm textiles,” said Audrey.
The problem with a stark, all-white minimalist home is that it tends to look too clinical, cold and uninviting. To balance this out, add contrasting elements in your home. For Colony @ Star Boulevard KLCC, Audrey wanted a contrast between the hard-industrial elements of a New York loft – such as the brick walls and cement floor – with warm textiles to make it feeling inviting to guests.
3. Don’t be afraid to introduce gold and jewel tones into your home
“We used red brick and cement to emulate the old warehouse feel but balanced it out with lots of gold and jewel tones,” Audrey added.
You’ll be surprised at how rich the gold and jewel tones look when set against the backdrop of a brick wall with cement elements. The contrast is amazing without looking too garish, so don’t be afraid to experiment with metallic gold elements in your home.
4. Children’s rooms can be monochromatic too
“Seeing as the rest of the space leans towards a ‘matured’ industrial vibe, we decided to do the kids’ room in neutral tones of grey and white to match,” said Audrey.
That’s right, your children’s room doesn’t necessarily need to be in pastel shades of blue or pink – it can be monochromatic too. Just take Audrey’s tip and keep it looking neutral with light grey and white if you worry that it may come off looking too moody.
5. Visualise how your space will look like in photos
As much as we want to refute this, social media plays too much of a role in our daily lives. If you’ve spent money making your home look beautiful, we’re pretty sure you want to show it off to the world. Hence, it’s important for you to visualise how your space will look like in the Instagram shots you plan to take – it was what Audrey did too.
By doing this, you’ll be able to see which areas of the home you’d like to be photogenic – whether it’s a statement wall, a cosy nook in your living room or a sunlit spot in your bedroom.
6. Create a dedicated corner for your workstation
This is for the ones who work from home often. Be sure to dedicate a proper corner or room in your home as your ‘office’. This helps you distinguish between work and home. Audrey recommends: “A good ergonomic desk and chair with lots of space to spread your work out, a quiet environment away from home distractions and of course, a good internet connection.”
If you need more tips on how to create a good home office, Audrey’s husband Timothy Tiah has some pretty good ideas here.