This beautiful house was meticulously designed and furnished.
Sat, Dec 24, 2011
By Willy Wilson
Gated enclave Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) lies 12 miles north of Jakarta and comprises residential blocks, malls, private schools, community centres and even a hospital. Besides the impressive amenities, PIK is perhaps better known for its scenic views and fresh air - thanks to the mangrove forest that surrounds the development site.
It is hardly surprising that the land here fetches up to RM8,000 (S$3,265) per square metre. But for well-heeled couple Robin Samuel and Yovita Hamdani, investing in PIK was money well spent. Both of them enjoy a thriving career in the insurance industry. Since 2001, the couple had planned their finances in order to build their dream home.
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It took Robin and Yovita six years of building up their financial resources by buying and selling houses, before acquiring a plot in PIK spanning 448sq m (4,482 sq ft) worth RM700,000. "Building a house from scratch meant that my wife and I, had to fork out another RM700,000. We made sure that the house was going to worth every penny we were going to spend," quips Robin.
Architects Ginanjar Ramdhani and M. Hikmat Subarkah of 12Akitek were commissioned to design the house. The whole process to build the house took 15 months to complete, and by August in 2009, Robin and his family moved into their new home.
Located on the quieter side of PIK, the house has a built-up area of 450sq m (4,843sq ft) that spans two levels.
The ground floor features an expansive, horizontal layout that combines the kitchen, dining and living space. With a high ceiling and a floor-to-ceiling window panels that face a tranquil garden, the ground floor is the focus of the house.
The second floor houses three connected bedrooms that Robin and Yovita share with their two young sons.
Favouring a contemporary tropical concept, Robin and his design team allocated six metres of land on each side of the house to build two gardens.
Says Robin, "I always knew what I wanted in terms of design. I had been reading magazines and taking notes on the design of beautiful resorts I visited, way before we built this house. Tropical garden, with Ketapang Kencana (Terminalia Mantaly) and Frangipani trees, was on the top of my wish list."
According to Robin, the uncomplicated form of the Ketapang Kencana and the Frangipani, resonates well with the contemporary feel of the house.
"When I briefed the architects on my aesthetic sense, they came up with an idea to add glass panels to the façade and ceiling of the house. Glass gives that contemporary characteristic to the house."
But Robin was careful when it came to the overall ambience of the house. The last thing he wanted, he adds, was a cold structure that feels like a modern museum.
"In order to bring about a warm atmosphere, I decided on a wooden element for the interior. From the staircase to the bathrooms and the furniture, wood was the material of choice," he points out.
Robin's favourite feature of the house is the bathroom in the master bedroom, which has a harmonious combination of marble, glass and teak.
"I have a soft spot for wood," admits Robin.
But the most stunning piece of woodwork has to be the dining table. It is made out of a solid, piece of wood, that spans three metres long and one metre wide.
"Raw, yet sophisticated," is how Robin describes the table. This 100-year-old Trembesi wood, he says, was bought at a shop in Dharmawangsa Square, South Jakarta.
Initially wanting to buy a chandelier when visiting the lamp shop, Robin spotted not one but two "stunning" wooden tables.
"In the end, I did not buy the chandelier. I bought the tables instead. The bigger one (the dining table), as I was told, had been used by top Indonesian designers such as Ramli and Biyan to showcase their dresses during private parties for clients," he says, with delight.
Apparently, to Robin's surprise, the cost of the tables wasn't heavy on his wallet. The bigger table was priced at RM4,000 (Rupiah 12,000,000), while the smaller one, which now adorns his living room, was sold for RM1,600 (Rupiah 5,000,000).
To enhance the contemporary tropical feel in the dining room, Robin commissioned a carpenter to make four matching dining chairs. Meanwhile, an antique lamp Robin bought in Istanbul at the Grand Bazaar, lights up the dining room elegantly.
Another remarkable piece of woodwork can be found in the living room. Propped up against a wall is a decorative mirror, "caged" within a solid wooden frame.
"I knew it belonged in my living room when I first saw it," says Robin, who bought it for Rupiah 6,000,000 (S$855) and at 50 per cent cheaper than its original price.
How does a busy professional like Robin managed to get such great bargains?
"Buying furniture is a process. You should buy the furniture in advance, and not once your house is ready. This means that you must have a clear idea of what you want your future house to look like," says the proud homeowner.