Home Tour: A Modern Home In KL Built Around Family Life
What makes a house a home?
This is the question that interior designer Ee Lin Loo of ELD (Ee Lin Design) asks herself before any project she embarks on; and her handiwork on this beautiful family home in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur is no exception.
For this Kasah House project, Loo and architect Leong Seng Kheong were tasked to create a timeless but contemporary family home out of what was previously a Balinese-themed abode. The former structure was torn down almost in its entirety to make way for a new house whose architecture and interior design all point to the 'heart' of the home; namely, the communal areas of the dining and living rooms.
"One of the main requests from the homeowners was to ensure that I made this house a home for a family," Loo says. "One that is warm, simplistic and contemporary so that the design would withstand the test of time, bring in as much light as possible and make use of every corner of the house."
Very soon, the contemporary aesthetic took on a life of its own, merging the blank canvas of an all-white interior with deliberate bursts of colour by way of furniture, art, light fittings and artefacts from the owner's travels.
The very spacious dining room, it would seem, is the focal point of the abode. Filled with natural light from strategically placed windows, the dining area and bar almost take on the relaxed, welcoming feel of a living room and is a natural communal spot for family members to gather over meals and pow-wows at the end of the day.
"This dining space is mainly the heart of the house, an area where the family spends most of their time in," Loo says. "The double volume room simultaneously brings in a lot of natural lighting into the house and adds that element of surprise as you make your way into it."
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The Kasah House's pool feature is also unique in that the homeowners requested that it too be somehow integrated with the heart of the house, where the dining area was.
This led to the creative placement of the pool along the length of the house, parallel to the dining room. With this arrangement, the pool creates a soothing backdrop of tranquility and also serves to cool the house when the sliding doors are opened.
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It's hard to ignore the various artwork and decorative objects throughout the home, given the eclectic and attention-grabbing effect they have against the white colour scheme. When styling the furniture, artwork, fabrics and rugs, Loo worked closely with the matriarch of the family, a former advertising director whose extensive travels resulted in quite a diverse collection of paraphernalia. With careful planning and a designer's eye for detail, seemingly disconnected pieces like Oriental vintage furniture, elaborate art pieces and modern furnishings come together beautifully in this overall contemporary setting.
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"There is a beautiful acrylic painting, Monk with a Bowl in red, which is one in a series of three around the world that the couple wanted to include as a main art feature," Loo explains, adding that the homeowners were easy to work with and open to new suggestions when it came to styling their art and furniture. "Also, the dining table was made from a single, long piece of pure white marble from overseas. Facing the dining area is a beautiful huge batik painting done by famous Malaysian contemporary artist Ismail Mat Hussin."
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Another unique characteristic of the Kasah House is the way the interiors appear to connect seamlessly with the exteriors—a feature that Loo tries to replicate across all the homes in her repertoire.
"The layering of space as you walk into the house and the unique placement of the openings in this home are designed to make parts of the landscape and surrounding greenery look like an extension of the indoor space," she says. "We always try to introduce elements of nature and make the surrounding landscape an integral part of the home."
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Ultimately, the Kasah House was designed not merely to be aesthetically pleasing, but also to reflect the daily living needs and preferences of its occupants. The fact that outstanding features like the double-ceiling dining room, the artwork and the lantern-inspired front exterior of the home never fail to impress guests and onlookers is a plus point for this house-proud family—just as it should be.
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- Photography Pixelaw Photography