Malaysia is well known for being a melting pot of different cultures. The fusion of tastes is noticeable in the country’s architecture, cuisine and even the choice of dresses. So it does not come as a big surprise that when modern design aesthetics started to gain popularity, Malaysians did not hesitate to embrace them wholeheartedly.
But in order to successfully blend the architectural trends of different regions, they need to be united with the local traditions. As we all know, this is a continuous process. While Malaysian houses are eagerly absorbing the global architecture and design trends, we look at those elements that every Malaysian home would like to have more of…
Malaysian homes no longer boast the generous proportions of a bygone era. Urban apartments nowadays usually have a living area of less than 75 sq metres. Newly built two storey terraced houses fare slightly better. Nevertheless, it is important to choose furniture that is suitable for limited space.
Large couches must give way to two or three seater sofa beds. A couple of fashionable modern chairs, a simple coffee table and TV cabinet are all that are needed for a stylish living room. Economy of choice opens up the space and gives an impression of a spacious room. The same applies for the other areas of the home.
Invest in furniture that has built in storage units. Replace bulky items with lightweight pieces. Use foldaway chairs and a study table when the space constraint is severe. Above all, in order to build an elegant home, try to reduce the clutter.
The right mix between trend and tradition includes modern elements that are important for chic and comfortable interiors, and preserves those that are fruits of a time tested tradition. Traditional features tend to make your dwelling more capable of withstanding the local climate conditions.
The houses here are traditionally built with materials capable of maintaining a cool interior during long summer months. The use of natural stones, terracotta, porous bricks and wood falls in this category. Coir mats and organic blinds serve the same purpose, too.
Instead of completely replacing these elements, try to incorporate them in your contemporary abode. Install natural wood flooring, spread organic rugs, or decorate the terrace with beautiful limestone—they will add unique charm to your home.
Large windows not only offer you panoramic views of the surrounding, but also increase the inflow of natural light. Under the blessings of sunlight, your rooms start looking more cheerful and expansive, and this tactic helps to maintain the proper hygiene of the interiors. When in need of some privacy, just draw the curtains!
Sufficient storage space is very important for a contemporary dwelling. It helps to keep everything organised and the interior free of any congestion. Explore your loft, basement and under-stair space to find out how you can add extra storage units there.
Build small lofts in the rooms with high ceilings. Wall mounted cabinets and shelves are very useful for storing various items. Keep these clean and well organised so that they increase the beauty of your home instead of hampering it.
High humidity is a common issue across the country. It is particularly severe in the coastal regions. Installing dehumidifiers can give you considerable relief under these conditions. Air conditioners help to reduce moisture levels and maintain a comfortable interior environment.
If you live in a big city with high levels of air pollution, you may find that air purifiers are particularly useful. This is also a good option for homes with children—air purifiers can reduce allergen content in the air.
Eastern homes have always appreciated a close rapport with nature. This is increasingly becoming difficult for modern dwellings that often do not have sufficient space to plant a garden. Try to have potted plants in the indoors. Decorate your balconies, living room, dining parlour and other areas of your home with fresh green plants. Choose those species that are easy to grow and are capable of flourishing without direct sunlight.
Create a small moss garden under the stairs or on your open terrace—they can be a great embellishment for your home. Most importantly, they can help to keep the interior atmosphere clean.
You may not need all of these in your modern home. Choose those elements that you think necessary and are suitable for your abode. Whatever you do, your priority is creating a peaceful and happy living condition for yourself and every member of your family.
Want more Malaysia-inspired ideas? Revive the memories of old Malaysian kampung houses by building a straw house for yourself.