A mod­ern touch

Af­ter years of ne­glect, a town­house in Malacca now stands proud with the deft touch of an in­te­rior de­signer.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HOME & LIVING - By Ray­mond Lee Pic­tures by Chris Leong cour­tesy of Xcep­tional In­te­ri­ors Ray­mond Lee of Xcep­tional In­te­ri­ors can be con­tacted via e-mail: ray­mond@xcep­tional-in­te­ri­ors.com or log on to www.xcep­tion­al­in­te­ri­ors.com

The Wai

Imet the client at an art ex­hi­bi­tion a year or so be­fore I was ap­proached to take on the project. I was in­stinc­tively drawn to it as it was a project in Malacca, my home­town, and that the project site was on the same street where I was born.

As both the client and I are based in Kuala Lumpur, the help of Malacca-based ar­chi­tect Deb­bie Lee and con­trac­tor Kuah were en­listed.

I was drawn to the house not for its size (at less than 2,000sq ft on two floors, it has a rel­a­tively mod­est foot­print in com­par­i­son to some of the grand homes on the same street), but for the pos­si­bil­i­ties that could ma­te­ri­alise post-ren­o­va­tions.

The brief from the client was to cre­ate a mod­ern con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior with no su­per­flu­ous de­tails akin to the pseu­doPer­anakan style seen at many of the re­cently re­fur­bished prop­er­ties in the neigh­bour­hood. Keep­ing it mod­ern but warm and invit­ing was of top pri­or­ity.

On the ground floor, the orig­i­nal fit­tings were gut­ted out, an old well ter­mi­nated, sunken court­yard re­claimed and a new sep­tic tank in­stalled.

The arch­way sep­a­rat­ing the foyer and liv­ing room was left in­tact (the only orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tural fea­ture of the house) and the tim­ber trusses re­paired and reused.

New pol­ished mar­ble slabs and gran­ite tiles add gloss and tex­ture to the floor.

Full height tim­ber-framed glass slid­ing doors sep­a­rate the din­ing and liv­ing room from the court­yard. The open skylight al­lows nat­u­ral light to flood in and pro­vides for bet­ter air circulation.

New and wider stairs with glass balustrades built on a less steep in­cline was added. A new fully equipped kitchen with Cae­sar­stone counter tops al­lows you to whip up meals with great ease.

To re­in­force the first floor and pro­vide additional sup­port for the new bath­rooms on the first floor, cast iron I-beams had to be in­cor­po­rated.

We were able to sal­vage at least 80% of the solid tim­ber floor boards up­stairs and all bath­rooms fea­ture wall-towall and floor-to-ceil­ing mar­ble cladding for a lux­u­ri­ous fin­ish.

Cus­tom-made fur­nish­ings, hand-picked ac­ces­sories from a va­ri­ety of stores, Ori­en­tal rugs plus con­tem­po­rary art­work from the client’s collection cre­ate the in­tri­cate lay­ers of style, com­fort and moder­nity for this town­house in the Unesco-listed her­itage zone of old Malacca.

When not used by the clients as their hol­i­day home, the property is let out as a guest house.

Cover: The fully re­stored façade of Prive Malacca.

Grey-tinted walls pro­vide the per­fect back­drop for cus­tom-or­dered fur­ni­ture from Ja­nine. Art­work be­hind sofa is a limited edi­tion print by Walasse Ting.

(Left) A colourful ab­stract paint­ing by Ta­jud­din Ismail hangs over the ma­hogany glass-top con­sole ta­ble by Abi­tex.

(Above) All the bath­rooms are fully fit­ted and come cladded floor-to-ceil­ing, wall-to-wall with pol­ished mar­ble.

Off-white porce­lain vases add tex­ture and end el­e­gance.

A sky bridge con­nects you to the bed­room lo­cated at the rear.

View of kitchen look­ing to the yard which fea­tures a sky light al­low­ing nat­u­ral light to come through.

Kitchen by Paragon Kitchen fea­tures Cae­sar­stone counter tops, high-gloss fin­ished cab­i­netry, STUA’s Onda bar stools and Teka ap­pli­ances.

The large and spa­cious mas­ter suite has a walk-in wardrobe and con­nect­ing bath­room. Art­works by Loh Wai Leng and Ah­mad Shukri adorn the walls.

Lo­cated at the rear of the house, the third bed­room fea­tures an en suite bath and a small Juliet bal­cony. The ta­ble lamps are by 90s Lamps BSC while the art­works are by Khoo Sui Hoe and Ch’ng Kiah Kiean.

Look­ing in from the foyer, Pa­tri­cia Urquiola's Tatou pen­dant lamp by FLOS hangs over a colo­nial-style ta­ble.

Rus­tic hand­made ac­ces­sories are dot­ted all over the house.

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