Who needs to travel when you can turn your home into a tropical getaway.
The passport is possibly one of the most unused items today. With international travel cancelled for virtually all of us, we’ve been craving an escape. This homeowner came up with his own ingenious solution. Instead of dreaming of going to a tropical getaway, he brought the tropical getaway to him.
Some get the good fortune of building up their home from the ground up — a blank canvas, if you will. Sounds positively dreamy in theory, but having all the possibilities in the world does not bode well for decision making. And many times, wisdom comes in knowing when to reach out for help. Without so much as a clue about where to begin, the owner of what was an empty plot of land reached out to Enrich Design for help landing on an idea.
The process was far from straightforward. Ideally, you’d want to meet the designer with something in mind. Pictures and references are a huge help when working with interior designers, according to good folks at Enrich Design. But for this client, they were working from a literal and metaphorical ground zero.
They had nearly exhausted every theme in the interior design bible when the topic of Bali came up. Knowing that the owner wanted a space where he could come home to an oasis of relaxation, they thought of building a sense of the laidback Balinese vibe right into the house’s very bones. The homeowner was sold. And the real work thus began.
Designing the entire house was a monumental task on its own, but before getting knee-deep in designs, there was still the tall order of setting the look and feel. While Balinese-inspired designs were the main theme that ran throughout, the owner was concerned that the look could border on old-fashioned or appear dated after a couple of years. The designers were cognizant about ensuring it looked contemporary. But a greater feat would be to make it look timeless. And to achieve that, the home had to reflect the owner’s sense and sensibilities.
They started with the living room first, to get the owner’s go-ahead on the overall design theme and style. As a family home, they wanted the most common of spaces to bring a sense of closeness when the family came together. The sunken living room was made to promote a kind of all-encompassing atmosphere that allowed conversation to flourish no matter where they sat. They even consulted his fengshui master to ensure the living room design promoted good flow without sacrificing modern aesthetics.
Knowing how light plays a big role in fengshui, they spent many hours pouring over the best way to ensure that the enormity of the bungalow was never overshadowed by lacklustre lighting. In the end, they decided on the use of oversized tempered glasses between the living room, dining room, and garden for optimal natural lighting. With that, the owner was sold.
Once that had been approved, it was a matter of rolling out the designs, room-by-room until the whole house was built on paper. Each room was meticulously crafted with the same concept throughout. The wet kitchen’s island feature created the space needed to set up different stations, perfect for preparing large family meals or parties by enabling seamless communication.
Breakfast and supper could be easily prepped in the dry kitchen with its own island feature that encouraged lingering. This would lead directly to the dual-spaced dining area, with a large round dining table for family dinners and another space overlooking the garden, perfect for enjoying a cuppa. Multiple lounge spaces were built around the perimeter of the house, acting as a bridge to the outdoors, inspired by Balinese architecture that promotes harmony with nature.
Heading into the more intimate spaces such as the bedrooms and study room, wooden furnishing played an important role in amplifying the grounded, natural atmosphere. Large windows were designed to draw in sunlight, while strategically-placed mirrors helped to open up smaller areas. Naturally-textured floors clearly demarcated each space as one manoeuvred its way throughout the vast property.
As with any major home renovation works, it can be a tear-inducing affair. However, with a vastly more extensive project than their usual renovations at hand, the MCO became a huge roadblock. Forced to put their works on hold during this time, the homeowner was getting antsy and frustrated about the progress (or lack of it).
Enrich understood that while some things were outside their control, it fell on them to assure their understandably frustrated client with effective, responsive communications. Ultimately, by being open with the homeowner and frank about what they could and could not do during this time, they were able to weather through this stormy period and maintain his faith in the project.
For those considering a home build project from scratch, Enrich had some words of wisdom to offer. Trust your interior designer (ID). When we’re in over our heads, we try to hold on to as much control as possible, but it leaves the ID with very little room to find out what works best for you and your future home. As experts in their field, it’s OK to let them take the steering wheel and nudge them back into the right direction when the time arises.
Read more: Looking for an interior design firm to transform your home from drab to fab? We’ve listed down 20 of the top interior design firms in Malaysia for your reference.
Why such a pain-staking process? Because it’s more than just building a house with some references you think looks super chic. The design director at Enrich believes in the power of understanding the homeowner’s experiences, weaving that into the designs to create something that goes beyond just superficial good looks. He creates homes that reflect those who live within. Trends come and go, but the experiences that make us stay with us for a lifetime.
If you believe that design and culture go hand in hand, then they just might be the right match. Check out Enrich Design’s Facebook page to see more of their past projects.
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