Cover Neutral colours for the formal living room

Modern and understated, Studio Three's first residential project features beautiful spaces designed for lounging

The escapist allure of staying in a luxury hotel is undeniable and oftentimes, hotels are fertile ground for design inspiration which is the case in this property known as Nadayu located in Ampang , Kuala Lumpur. The 3 storey bungalow on a slope comes complete with a pool on the 2nd floor next to the dining area which overlooks a scenic view of Kuala Lumpur hilltops. 

Generously proportioned at 4,280 sq ft, the unit was new and unused for around 6 to 8 years, so while the space was a little dilapidated it was still in good condition -  all it needed was a touch of warmth to breathe new life into it.

Studio Three had just the right professionals up to this task and Kashfi Emir, Design Director, recalls how he was approached by a client who wanted to develop his property and transform it to something more habitable. 

“I loved the views this house provided and how it overlooks nature. I liked how the large openings allowed ample natural light into the space while also providing the spaces with a natural backdrop,” he says. 

“I was also drawn to the houses’ contemporary architecture which made it aligned with the style of interior design I do. On a more sentimental note , this was also the first interior design project for a residential unit that I was tasked with, upon starting my own design firm, Studio Three in 2019.”

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The client’s brief was that it felt like a hotel upon entry and had very cozy lounge spaces throughout . Something which Kashfi loved and felt confident in delivering as he always wanted a lounge- like atmosphere when he thought of designing living spaces as he felt it tapped into a more emotional sense of being through interior design.  

To this end, Kashfi explored a contemporary selection of furniture to further amplify the hotel-like experience. Materials like rattan were used to play on a tropical aesthetic especially with all the lush landscape surrounding the property. 

“The main living area is definitely my favourite area, with views of the hills of KL and furniture selection , especially the bespoke marble coffee table we designed, giving the lounge space a subtle yet lux touch. The design of the living space was curated to have a sense of entry right from the door entrance,” states Kashfi. 

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Above Abstract art prints match the salmon coloured sofa

Different lounges feature different feels, the main living room is more elegant with neutral colours and more formal furniture arrangements while the second lounge has more playful pops of colour and a shiplap cladding in a soothing duck egg blue. 

What is evident however is how coherent the theme has been carried throughout the home. “I’ve enjoyed the use of rattan in this home - from the furniture to the carpentry - and I believe it imbues it with a sense of consistency in the materiality of the space. It was also fun developing a shiplap style treatment to the cabinets throughout the interior which adds a traditional yet contemporary feel,” states Kashfi

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To add a unique point of view to the spaces, the designers sourced high and low for the appropriate furniture, decorative objects, lighting and art. “We sourced them from everywhere, some were found locally and some came all the way from china. I’m also really into photography and using them throughout my designs is something I’ve grown keen on,” says Kashfi. “I’ve collaborated with Musotrees , the founder is a friend of mine , and he takes beautiful photographs. I chose a few pieces from his collection to print and custom framed them and hung them throughout the interior.”

While Nadayu was Kashfi’s maiden residential project, the easy elegance of the project belies any teething problems. 

“As a designer I think it’s always in our nature to be self critical, always thinking we could have done it better. But to be honest and fair to myself, I feel like I could have done more to give the space a more complex sense of detailing in the ceiling works and perhaps more layering of texture through more textile and use of fabric, but all in all, I’m very pleased with the outcome of the design we did,” he muses. “Seeing it was the first residential project I did with my new company, it definitely holds some sentimental value. Navigating this project set the precedent to how I design homes now.”

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