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Here’s why Darren Lee’s living space is inspired by nature, and you might want to follow suit


Nature is an integral part of Executive Creative Director, Darren Lee’s Bukit Tunku home and it’s not hard to see why.


Biophilia is humankind’s natural desire to connect with nature. Researches noted that staring at an image of natural scenery for 40 seconds was enough to trigger the brain into a more relaxed state. It also improves your mood and makes you more productive.

This is the reason why a biophilic design, which is a design that reconnects us with nature, provides a multitude of benefits. Whether it is at home or work, it helps reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being, and expedite healing.

We spoke to Darren Lee — an Executive Creative Director at an advertising agency on why nature serves as inspiration when designing his living space. We’re sure that many will agree with his reasons and be inspired to do the same too!

Watch the third episode of the Waking Up in Malaysia: Waking Up in Bukit Tunku with Darren Lee here.

1. Building and designing your own home is empowering

© Darren Lee

“I think life is exciting when you never really know where it takes you,” said Lee.

“So, I think the excitement is also to change up your environment every now and then. I personally enjoy putting together design(s) and creating a new environment and space,” he added.

As he puts it, it’s very empowering when you know that you’ve had a hand in building and designing your own home.

2. Surrounded by nature affects the way you feel

© Darren Lee

Lee currently lives in Bukit Tunku which is proving to be the perfect spot. Although it’s located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it is surrounded by nature. There aren’t many highrise buildings in the area and it’s also a close-knit community.

The outside surroundings are accentuated by indoor plants he brought in as part of his home. As Lee puts it, “there’s this sense of calm and serenity, especially when you’re surrounded by nature all the time.”

3. Breathe life into your design with your colour palette selection

When incorporating a lot of plants into your home design, it’s important to keep in mind the colour palettes of your interior.

To incorporate the natural and organic appeal of elements in his home, Lee had a professional makeover by Dot Works Sdn Bhd, an interior design firm that is experienced in conceptual space planning, design and project management.

© Darren Lee

The nature-inspired textures and simple and earthy colours make the area feel calm, at peace and above all an unpretentious organic warmth. Not just that, Lee used a lot of black and dark wood as his theme. He also made use of brown leather to help create a rustic feel.

“I think it really breathes life into the design and it almost makes it feel like more than just furniture, but life,” he said.

4. A perfect pairing of plants and pots matter


Pairing your plants with the right pots also matter. From an aesthetic point of view, proper pots will blend into the scene and surroundings. However, you should also consider practical issues such as maintenance. The right pots will help your plants to grow and enhance their health.

5. It’s not all about aesthetics

© Darren Lee

As stated earlier, aesthetics is not the only thing you should consider. Practical issues such as maintenance and positioning of the plants should also be a priority. Lee advises us to create an environment that helps the plants to live long.

“Sometimes it’s something as easy as moving the plants to better light and back,” said Lee.

© Darren Lee

When asked about his favourite spot in his home, Lee picks the living room as it’s a place where people come together.

“We try to make it as cosy as possible. And also I think it’s a place where life happens, laughter happens,” he said.

With nature having a prominent presence both inside and around his home, we imagine it’s a very serene and happy place for people to come together!

Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli

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