CAP­TI­VAT­ING BEAUTY

Check out how In­te­rior de­signer Joey Khu trans­formed an age­ing apart­ment into his very own bach­e­lor pad, re­flect­ing his taste and life­style.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

“THE MAIN CHAL­LENGE WAS TO AC­COM­MO­DATE ALL THE SPA­CES THAT I WANTED, AS WELL AS FIT IN THE FUR­NI­TURE AND OTHER PIECES IN MY COL­LEC­TION.”

WHO LIVES HERE A bach­e­lor who is an in­te­rior de­signer Four-room apart­ment

HOME

900sqf

SIZE

When Joey Khu, di­rec­tor of Joey Khu In­te­rior De­sign, pur­chased this four-room flat, it was in a run­down con­di­tion, hav­ing been built over 40 years ago. That gave him the op­por­tu­nity to redo the en­tire in­te­rior.

He wanted a sim­ple, modern luxe con­cept that would be warm and wel­com­ing, with a play on con­trast­ing colours and tex­tures. “The main chal­lenge was to ac­com­mo­date all the spa­ces that I wanted for var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, as well as fit in the fur­ni­ture, lamps and other pieces in my col­lec­tion,” Joey says.

To achieve that, he hacked away the walls of a room ad­ja­cent to the kitchen, thereby cre­at­ing a big­ger space that could be re­con­fig­ured to suit his needs. That be­came the din­ing area and dry kitchen. A struc­tural beam and col­umn posed a chal­lenge but Joey in­ge­niously turned the lat­ter into a space di­vider.

The col­umn would have “seg­mented” the din­ing ta­ble into two, so he ad­justed the po­si­tion­ing, with the din­ing ta­ble moved to one side of the ob­sta­cle and, on the other, plac­ing a small work desk.

The flat had only one small com­mon bath­room and a sep­a­rate WC, so Joey re­duced

the size of the wet kitchen, in or­der to make space for a big­ger bath­room – com­plete with a proper van­ity area and a sep­a­rate shower com­part­ment. That de­ci­sion was also a re­sult of ef­fi­cient space-plan­ning.

“I de­signed a zig-zag wall that sep­a­rates the wet kitchen from the bath­room. On the side fac­ing the bath­room, I fit­ted in the van­ity counter nicely, while on the other side, I in­stalled a kitchen counter,” he elab­o­rates. This cre­ates ad­di­tional space to place cook­ing ap­pli­ances.

As for the spa­cious liv­ing room, it has one draw­back: a low ceil­ing. To ad­dress this, Joey used ver­ti­cal elm wood wall pan­elling to cre­ate the im­pres­sion of height. The choice of a darker wood colour en­hances the vi­brancy of the sur­round­ing green­ery, bring­ing into the in­te­rior an el­e­ment of na­ture.

Two of the ex­ist­ing bed­rooms were com­bined to make up one large master suite. In­stead of walls, Joey used floor fin­ishes to de­mar­cate the sleep­ing area, walk-in wardrobe and bal­cony within the suite. In the same vein, colours were used to dis­tin­guish this pri­vate realm from the liv­ing room. For in­stance, the colour scheme in the master suite is stronger and darker to cre­ate a re­lax­ing and cosy am­bi­ence.

Joey carved out part of the floor area in the bed­room for a bal­cony-like space. “I love bal­conies and I wanted a cosy, cave-like space as an ex­ten­sion of the bed­room,” he shares. For this space, he opted for a dark grey vinyl re­sem­bling slate, to clad the floor, walls and ceil­ing, in con­trast to the green­ery out­side.

Hav­ing worked on count­less homes for clients, Joey de­scribes the ex­pe­ri­ence of de­sign­ing his own home as one that is “very ex­cit­ing but also very dif­fi­cult”.

He re­veals: “I have de­signed homes in a myr­iad of styles and learnt many valu­able lessons from past projects. So, for my own home, it was really about dis­till­ing the fea­tures I love.”

Be­ing a per­fec­tion­ist may have made the process more dif­fi­cult but, ul­ti­mately, Joey en­joyed the free­dom of de­sign­ing his bach­e­lor pad ex­actly the way he wanted.

THE COLOUR SCHEME IN THE MASTER SUITE IS STRONGER AND DARKER TO CRE­ATE A RE­LAX­ING AND COSY AM­BI­ENCE.

This art­work was se­lected for its monochro­matic colours, so it wouldn’t vie for at­ten­tion with the colour­ful pieces in the liv­ing room, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin floor lamp and the Ber­toia Bird Chair from Knoll.

BE­LOWJoey did not want the en­tire colour scheme to be too muted or monochro­matic, opt­ing to in­clude some pops of colour.

LEFTVi­tra Stan­dard chairs by Jean Prouve and a Verner Pan­ton pen­dant lamp cre­ate vis­ual in­ter­est within the small and sim­ple din­ing area.OP­PO­SITE Joey opted for traver­tine-look ho­mo­ge­neous floor tiles that add a modern trop­i­cal touch.

ABOVEJoey has a huge col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture, lamps and other knick­knacks amassed over the years, and his new home pro­vides the per­fect show­case for these pieces.

RIGHTThe small work desk on one side of the col­umn is a cosy, yet prac­ti­cal, space. FAR RIGHT Part of the orig­i­nal kitchen space was carved out to cre­ate a more spa­cious bath­room, with a proper van­ity area and sep­a­rate shower com­part­ment, meet­ing Joey’s pref­er­ence. De­sign boils down to the pri­or­i­ties of the in­di­vid­ual.

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