Cover Shades of green add colour and character

Decked out in green, this modern home in Kajang, Selangor by IDent_3, is elegantly plush

Designing a friend's home can test even the strongest of friendships. For Nik Ida Juliana Nik Mohamed, managing director of IDent_3, working with friends was something she generally avoided.

However, when an old friend requested her services and promised that she would have a free hand, she found it hard to turn her down.

 

"The owner and I go back a long way to our high school days. She's one of the sweetest people I know, and she promised not to interfere. She also gave me carte blanch with the budget and design, which are magic words for me."

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The property in question was a two-storey semi-detached bungalow in the green development of Alam Sari, Kajang.

A generous 4000 sq ft with four rooms, including a large master bedroom, the home needed to be renovated to suit the client's needs. Prior to embarking on grand design concepts, Nik Ida explains that evaluating a project as a whole is key to ensuring the smoothness of the process.

 

"Before we start any job, we look at any potential negativity which can dampen our design plans and intentions. We've found that many houses are designed with no thought to the internal requirements, for example, the location of the cabinets. In most cases, the façades are designed for beauty, but design practicality is pushed aside, and this was the same for this house as there were too many windows on every wall," says Nik Ida.

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"To solve this, we decided to integrate the windows into the cabinetry works. For the living area, the two slot windows became a display niche flanking the TV wall cabinet. For the master bedroom, we added a sliding panel as part of the bedhead backdrop. Once we understand and manage to overcome the design restrictions, only then do we start looking into the styles and concepts suitable for this space and for the client's active lifestyle."

 

The designer stresses that Ident's work is never about style; instead, they strive to be understated, beautiful and simple as the team believes in bringing out the best of a client’s style or taste. In this case, since the client was open to any style, Nik Ida proposed a modern contemporary concept with moody undertones.

"At that point in time, I was into green, so we used that as the anchor colour. The rest of the colour schemes, like soft grey, muted gold and pink were selected to pop the green. You could say we played with various shades of green. Ireland would be proud!" she laughs.

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The designer was also conscious about the budget. "Since I wanted a million things, the budget had to be stretched very thin across every area, with the focus being the ground floor and master bedroom. We sourced for budget-friendly furniture with touches of vintage and upcycled pieces. Most of the cabinets are chipboard except for the kitchen and master bedroom. It was challenging to make chipboard look good, but we did it by ensuring all cabinet joineries look custom-made," explains Nik Ida.

 

Once the interior architecture was put in place, the designer populated it with furniture and objects sourced from far and wide. "When sourcing, we looked everywhere from local shops, overseas shops, local thrift stores and even flea markets from a few countries that I happened to come across. I also normally carried back stuff from my travels."

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The result is an elegant home full of layered details, which has a sense of ease, an outcome the designer is pleased about. "I would say that I am happy about how the whole ground floor turned out and how the spaces flow into one another. Our biggest success was achieving this look under a given budget," she enthuses.

"We could only do that because the client gave us a free hand, as sourcing continuously and endlessly was critical. It took a lot of time, but it was enjoyable because the client was also fun and agreeable."

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