Marble mansion in Cheras

(2011-06-27 19:15:20) 下一個
Sat, Jun 25, 2011
The Star/Asia News Network

By Willy Wilson

How to create a cohesive interior concept for a mansion that sits on a 7,000 sq ft land? What sort of furniture and decorative items would be suitable for the house? How to make full use of such a large space?

Premium suburban living in the city
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Interior designer Alice Kuek of MDD Design has all the answers. Kuek, known for her modern classic aesthetic, has recently completed a remarkable interior project for a mansion in Cheras.

Her clients, a successful businessman in his 40s and his wife, desired a premium suburban living despite residing in the city. For Kuek, suburban living conjures up images of modern classic houses, well-trimmed garden and generous outdoor space.

When the couple built this house five years ago, they had engaged Kuek as an interior designer. Kuek was recently called back to man a makeover project for the house. She explains that the objective of the recent renovation was to create an interior concept that suits and reflects the homeowners' personality and lifestyle.

"Five years ago, I was engaged as the interior designer for this house. Back then the couple still lived with their children. But now the kids are all grown up and no longer living with the parents," says Kuek.


The absence of children in the house proved to have a significant impact in the homeowners' lifestyle - they travel more often and throw parties on a regular basis. For this reason, Kuek designed an interior that encompasses maturity, sophistication and practicality.

Space well used

Nestled in the hilly part of Cheras, the mansion has a built-up area of 6,000sq ft. This 2-storey building is coated in white and surrounded by lush greenery and a fishpond. A spacious lobby greets visitors on entrance. A grand staircase to the right leads up to the first floor, which comprises three bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom and a family room. Kuek explains that this floor was designed as a private quarter for the family.

The common areas are located on the ground floor. Here, a generous kitchen and dining, an extended living area, as well as a vast outdoor space are seamlessly connected, thanks to open concept layout.

As keen entertainers, Kuek's clients requested an entertainment area on the second floor. Here, a glazed door that opens onto a white terrace frames sweeping city views. The great view makes this floor the perfect place for tea parties and karaoke nights.

"But there's a problem. Building an entertainment area on the second floor means the homeowners have to compromise their privacy, for visitors would pass by the family quarter (on the first floor) in order to reach there," Kuek says.

To counter this problem, Kuek suggested a lift near the kitchen that transports visitors right up to the second floor.

"My clients liked the idea. The lift makes it possible for visitors to go to the second floor without passing the family quarter," says Kuek, adding that finding the right spot for the lift was quite a challenge in itself.

Kuek explains that in deciding the location for the lift, she took into consideration practical issues such as the positioning of the columns.

Modern classic

Where interior is concerned, it is hard to pinpoint a particular style to describe the concept. On the ground floor, Kuek has worked her design magic by placing minimalist furniture and elegant furnishing. A fluffy carpet and edgy decorative items further emphasise the contemporary feel in this lofty living room.

"The homeowner decided to extend the living area area. I have to say that the main challenge was to integrate the interior of the extended area to the existing rooms seamlessly," Kuek shares.

She overcame this challenge by "playing it safe". A bold yet simple palette of warm woods, subtle cream and off-white marbles, and large windows imbue the living room with refined elegance.

Next to the living room is a sheltered terrace that hosts a number of tasteful wooden furniture. The most outstanding furniture here is a gigantic wooden daybed, which according to Kuek, was personally made out of one piece of solid wood. On the first floor, the bedrooms are unapologetically modern, evident in the textured wallpaper, subdued curtains and contemporary furniture.

Meanwhile, the second floor sees a harmonious combination of black furniture and off-white bar counter. Adding glamour to this floor is the lighting arrangement, which consists of fiber optic lighting and well-positioned spotlights.

Despite the various interior styles each floor exhibits, there is a uniform concept when it comes to material and colours.

"Marble is the material is the material of choice, while the colour scheme was kept to earthy tones," she points out.

The grandeur of marble is perhaps best illustrated in the ensuite bathroom. Admittedly, indulgence doesn't begin to describe the lavishness of this bathroom.

Occupying more than half of the master bedroom, the ensuite bathroom consists of a pair of rain showers, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, a sink and lavatory. The marble-clad bathroom also has a large vanity area, a walk-in wardrobe and a massage table.

Kuek reveals that the homeowners spent approximately RM500,000 (S$204,100) for the recent makeover, which include everything from building a lavish bathroom and extending living area, down to buying furniture and curtain.

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