Cover The apartment enjoys a spectacular city view

Set in a singular location, Luxe Interiors creates a home inspired by the owner’s art collection while showcasing the finest in Italian design

As one of Kuala Lumpur’s first star-chitect designed residential buildings, living in Lord Norman Foster’s The Troika carries a certain cachet. This architectural masterpiece was one of the reasons that inspired Luxe Interior’s meticulously crafted project showcasing the owner’s impeccable taste in design and art.

The apartment itself clocks in at a generous 1,860 sq ft and was pretty much in its original state although the majority of the existing built-ins were slightly dated. No stranger to working in luxury projects undertaken in prime developments, the client was impressed by Luxe Interior’s online portfolio and immediately decided to get in touch.

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“The client felt that Luxe Interiors design approach was in line with the design intent and purpose for the space. Of course, a major pull for the project was the spectacular view of the city which could be savoured from the comfort of the home,” says Veanne Chong, design director of Luxe Interiors. “Although the original interior state of the space was mismatched, we saw the potential of what it could become if given the right tools and put in the right hands.”

After getting to know the client and his preferences, the importance he placed on his art collection was evident and this prioritised the artwork display in the design intent. The client also expressed a love for fine Italian furniture and had a keen eye for design details. This appreciation for quality coupled with a willingness to invest in it afforded the designers wider flexibility in proposing design concepts and materials.

“By keeping the design elements within the space clean and in neutral tones, the focal pieces such as the artwork and Italian furniture could be highlighted. Furthermore, modern design elements were incorporated to create a space befitting its surroundings,” adds Chong.

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MATERIAL WORLD

Setting the tone is a row of Buddha statues that greets visitors at the entrance. “These statues are important pieces to the client which he has brought to every space he’s lived in,” explains Chong.

“In order to elevate the overall feel, we created a backdrop for the statues with a large piece of dark grey tempered glass. This is an impactful way to display the statues as it allows them to stand out visually. Selecting the right material to implement in the right space has resulted in a welcoming, calming yet elegant entrance, which is important as it sets the initial mood for all who enter.”

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This astute choice of materials continues in the interiors as seen in the floor of polished finish, large-cut Volakas marble. This was based on the client’s preference for brighter flooring and was particularly suitable because its minimal joint lines and large format promote a continuous flow of the marble pattern.

In the kitchen, Consentino Stone was favoured as it provided a durable, functional, and high-quality countertop for the client who frequently cooks.

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Durable quality appliances with a design edge from SMEG were chosen to equip the kitchen, further reinforcing the designer’s intention of creating a refined yet functional space. Appliances were also selected with a sustainable element in mind. One is the Whirlpool clothes dryer, a gas-operated dryer that affords a 60-70 per cent saving on electricity.

Steps were taken to recycle heat energy waste from the air conditioning system to heat the water used in the bathrooms. A smart home system was integrated to control and automate window treatments, lighting, and air conditioning. This enabled the client to have better and more immediate control of the mood and effect of the space.

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ART AND CRAFT

A thoughtful edit of loose Italian furniture was needed to ensure the harmony of the design within the space. “Each piece was selected with the intended look and feel in mind. We mainly sourced from renowned Italian brands such as Rugiano and B&B Italia with key pieces such as B&B Italia’s Almora lounge chair by Doshi & Levien making a stylish statement,” opines Chong.

Imported snakeskin textured wallpaper was used to cover the walls in the guest room to provide more depth of design and to match the B&B Italia furniture placed within the room.

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The importance that the client placed on his artwork inspired the design concept and was a key factor in how the interior was realised. “Due to the fragility of the art pieces, the air conditioning system had to be maintained at a specific temperature throughout the day, a challenging task for a space that was extensively lit by natural light,” recalls Chong.

“Also, there was an original feature wall with a special finish in the living area. To preserve the architect’s intent, we could not nail anything to this wall and this proved to be very challenging as it was a crucial wall for displaying artwork.”

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Despite these challenges, the designers relished the task of creating the most impactful way to showcase the artwork that includes some precious Picasso lithographs. Indeed, Chong cites that developing a good relationship with the client was key as it allowed for there to be an openness in communication. This in turn helped them to capture the essence of what he wanted and realised that in an impactful way.

Chong concludes: “We were very pleased about the client’s willingness to invest in quality design which gave us more freedom in designing and was every designer’s dream. Also, to be given the rare opportunity to create a space inspired by Picasso’s art pieces made this truly a project to remember.” 

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