While they initially approached EMPT Studio to renovate their bakery shop, they ended up requesting them to transform their home in Sungai Ara, located within the Southwest Penang Island District.
“Our clients have really bright personalities and great openness which allowed us to have full flexibility in designing and constructing process,” says Jo-Vern, interior designer of EMPT Studio. “With the design brief in mind, we have the idea of letting colours flow throughout the interior almost instantly.”
Developing a bold mix of colours and shapes, they transformed the 1,200 sq ft apartment into a fun-filled and characterful home like no other. The renovation took three months costs approximately RM160,000.
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The original bare residential unit given by the developer provided an excellent blank canvas for the palette of bright colours. Still, the biggest challenge was to catch the sweet balance of the colours and forms, and not to over-do it. "We spent a great amount of time to refine the selection of colours, ratio and proportion on how the colours are going to be in the space to ensure the outcome is what we have in mind," shares Jo-Vern.
The final decision was to use shades based on primary colours, which are red, blue and yellow. "Colours are applied based on the functionality of the space," the designers explain. "Blue represents calm and relaxation, and for example, to enhance the quality of sleep. While the colour red in the background for dining area serves to trigger the appetite and excitement when they are about to indulge."
As their son is still young, the homeowner requested not to have a conventional living room that centres around a TV. Instead, the sofa is positioned in the opposite direction of the TV facing area, making the room more spacious.
The original wall that separates the living room and the kitchen area was hacked down the wall to create an open-concept kitchen.
Blue pattern tiles complimenting the dark blue kitchen cabinets and island were used for the kitchen flooring to demarcate the space from the rest of the house.
In the home office, both feminine and masculine colours were combined in blocks to balance the space. The design concept for the entire home is inspired by Daria Zinovatnaya, a Russian Interior Designer who enjoys playing with colours and geometric shapes to create extraordinary mid-century projects.
In the kid’s playing area, fun colours such as yellow and red are incorporated to radiate happiness and cheer. "We have developed a series of forms to complement the colours and also to introduce the curve element to soften and also to create a child-friendly space," says Jo-Vern.
One key feature that is not immediately obvious is the ceiling, which the designers put a lot of thought to in the design process. The boundary between the ceiling and walls is blurred by introducing arches and round edges throughout the home. To further break the perception that they are two different entities, the walls are painted slightly upwards into the ceiling to make it look like they are floating.