Cover The Ice Jade bar is the centrepiece of the home

Nevermore's take on Parisian chic in a modern Penang home elegantly realised

The beachside suburb of Tanjung Bungah in Penang may be the last place you would expect a modern take on classical European style but the locally based interior designer, Nevermore, has made this style something of its calling card.

A cursory look at the portfolio reveals a series of similar projects, including this home in the well-heeled enclave of Permai II by BSG in Tanjung Bungah.

The house is a 2,850 sq ft double-storey terrace house with four bedrooms, all with their own en-suite bathrooms. Its original state was bare and rundown, but the client, a young couple in their early 30s with three kids had lofty dreams for their home.

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“The clients are our friends and came to us because of our strong modern European design style and background. As designers, we were given no restriction to express ourselves,” recalls Chuah Say Yang, Nevermore Group's creative director.

To fulfil the client’s request for a home with a European influence detailed with French panels, the conundrum was to bring this to life in a modern, elegant way. To achieve this, the designers implemented structural flourishes like French panels as well as luxurious stone and ceramic backdrops. It limited the palette to a dusty grey colour scheme.

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The living room is the embodiment of this with a large-scale porcelain slab that serves as the TV wall while an Ice Jade marble island takes pride of place in the open plan space.

“We installed Ice jade marble as a statement piece for the bar where the client hosts most of his gatherings so that it would be a talking point,” explains Chuah. Ice Jade is an exotic marble from China with very high translucent properties comparable to white onyx.

Design gestures such as incorporating custom arched doors with lass insertion to separate the bar and wet kitchen instead of the conventional aluminium sliding door further underline the European feel.

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While the downstairs open-plan living area is light-filled and airy, the bedrooms sport a darker palette to give the rooms a cosier feel. The master bedroom, in particular, embodies this with an interplay of textures from the high Capintoned headboard in chocolate brown, pleated wallpaper and lush carpeting.

Balancing this decadence is installing a 20-ft vertical green wall in the adjacent air well, creating a secret garden that lightens the overall mood.

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Where the designers have inserted design flourishes which further their Occidental concept, the simple lines of the furniture ensure that the overall effect is one of chic modernity.

Crafted wood furniture was sourced from Timeless Design, Penang, while décor items were purchased from Bangkok.

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Considering the polished results, it’s mind-boggling to imagine that the designers only had 12 weeks to complete the project.

Despite this time crunch, the confidence and experience of the designers in this genre of projects served them well. In fact, the home recently took home a prize at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2021-22.

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