Jaya Ibrahim (In­done­sia)

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SPACES -

AN ac­coun­tant turned “celebrity” in­te­rior de­signer famed for lux­ury re­sorts like the Aman at Sum­mer Palace Bei­jing, The Le­gian Bali, The Chedi Mi­lan and The Club at The Sau­jana in Malaysia, Jaya Ibrahim is an ac­ci­den­tal fur­ni­ture de­signer.

“We needed to de­sign the fur­ni­ture for our in­te­rior work be­cause we couldn’t find the things that could per­form the func­tion we needed or pur­pose­made fur­ni­ture for spe­cific projects or the qual­ity we were aim­ing for,” says Jaya via e-mail.

He launched his de­but collection of pre­mium fur­ni­ture, Jaya Clas­sics, in 2013.

Us­ing rare ma­te­ri­als like Makas­sar ebony and sonoke­l­ing (a Ja­vanese rose­wood), the collection of chairs, beds, cab­i­nets and light­ing comes in limited edi­tions of just 36 pieces for each de­sign.

Metic­u­lously crafted, the pieces em­body Jaya’s com­mit­ment to crafts­man­ship.

“I chose the rare hard woods for their beauty and qual­ity.

“Un­like other ex­otic trop­i­cal tim­bers, there is no need to stain them nor im­preg­nate them to en­hance the wood,” says the de­signer whose works re­veal touches of his aris­to­cratic back­ground (his mother is a Ja­vanese princess) and Ja­vanese roots.

Sonoke­l­ing wood was favoured by Ja­vanese no­bil­ity for sheaths and elab­o­rate hilts for the keris.

Jaya scoured lo­cal mar­kets across Java, Bali, China, Burma and Thai­land, to “dig out” un­cut rock ru­bies, carved horn, carved bone and nat­u­ral shaped am­ber and turquoise to fash­ion han­dles for his wardrobes and cab­i­nets.

“I al­ways take tra­di­tion as in­spi­ra­tion and forge some­thing con­tem­po­rary that is pleas­ing to look at, bal­anced and el­e­gant,” says the de­signer who cut his de­sign teeth un­der famed in­te­rior de­signer, hote­lier and so­cialite Anouska Hem­pel in Lon­don.

“I can­not de­sign out of con­text, there need to be a story be­hind it, a pur­pose.”

In his work and his life, ref­er­ences to the past have al­ways been very im­por­tant when forg­ing the fu­ture, Jaya adds: “It is not al­ways about con­tin­u­ing tra­di­tions, it is more about us­ing and rein­ter­pret­ing tra­di­tion to craft some­thing con­tem­po­rary. Jaya Clas­sics re­flect this sen­ti­ment.” (Web­site:


nahm chaise

Shiatzy din­ing chair.

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