Certain habits are just so undeniably Malaysian: Complaining about the weather, having way too many slippers, and parking our cars like our grandfathers own the road.
This coming Merdeka, we embrace the 5 typical home habits that are “confirm” Malaysian, and dish out tips on how to solve them!
1. The slipper collection
The familiar scene of scattered slippers and various footwear at the home entrance is a standard in every Malaysian home. Since we love conveniences to a fault, we don’t mind having our slippers (all 10 pairs of them) displayed right at the door, so we can quickly slip into them when we’re heading out.
A bench with bottom drawers or shelves in the foyer. Let’s face it, the act of stowing away cheap slippers into cabinet slots like we would our expensive sneakers or dress shoes is not going to happen. Since we’re going to conveniently dump them by the door anyway, why not add a bench with storage? A drawered-bench set-up would serve a dual-function; keeping things neat and organised, and you no longer have to hop around on one foot while you try to slip on a pair of heels or sandals!
Whether it’s a loose feature piece or a piece of built-in furniture, benches with storage are the way to go. These nifty benches could even be designed to suit your tastes and complement your outdoor patio furniture, as illustrated below.
2. It’s too hot to get cosy
The lush rugs, fluffy pillows, and knit blankets seen on Pinterest are super cute, but in reality, they’re the cause of a sweat fest in our climate. Unfortunately, cosy and comfortable materials tend to be both thick and warm. So how do you increase your home’s comfort level while keeping it cool?
Windows with thick curtains, indoor plants, and steel or rattan furniture. You don’t need to avoid those lush materials; instead, balance them out with ventilation and cooler materials. Large windows, as shown above, allow for air circulation while thick curtains keep the hot air out, especially during the night.
Indoor plants, on the other hand, purify the air and keep temperatures from soaring too high. As for living room furniture, try steel or rattan furniture instead of tufted armchairs. Add a splash of cosiness with throw pillows.
3. Parking anywhere but in your own compound
Take a drive around Malaysian neighbourhoods (in the Klang Valley, anyway) and you’ll notice one or two cars parked in each compound, and a mysterious number of cars parked around playgrounds, corners and back alleys.
Some of us have too many cars to keep within our own compounds. Meanwhile, there are some of us who hate to park behind another car in the porch of the home we are visiting, lest we block them and have to spend an extra 2 minutes to move them around when we drive out.
Not all home compounds are optimised as car porches. An interior designer can help design a better layout or recommend a strategic extension to fit all your vehicles.
4. The whole village is coming for dinner
Everything revolves around food for us Malaysians. You’re probably familiar with last-minute suggestions to hold birthday dinners or celebrations at your home. Even if you give excuses like how your apartment is too small, limited seats or most of your guests will probably have to eat off plastic cutleries, resistance is usually futile.
Preparation is half the battle here. Got a small dining space? Make the most of its capacity by getting a dining set with a bench seating. Optimise your space further by adding a kitchen island which can be used as a buffet table or an extra dining area.
5. Snacks Here, There, and Everywhere
Muruku at the dining table, ground nuts on the coffee table and leftover pineapple tarts from Chinese New Year under the sofa. We just can’t get enough of our tidbits and if we’re being honest, these goodies tend to pile up and become clutter. I mean, you can’t really blame us, we have numerous festivals and celebrations spread out across the year and our multi-racial neighbours tend to share the love by gifting us with more cookies than we can eat!
A beautiful built-in pantry that blends into the kitchen or living room walls is a good place to efficiently store your excess snacks while still keeping them accessible. There is no risk of you forgetting about them and letting them go to waste when they are displayed so beautifully.
This article was repurposed from 5 Very Malaysian Home Problems, and Ways to Solve Them by atap.co and is written by Charmaine Kon.
Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt