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Growing Old Together: BFFs Retire in a Dual-Key Condo in KL
BFF for life - have you pictured yourself growing old with your closest friend under the same roof?
These two best friends had a vision for spending their retirement life taking care of each other whilst respecting each other’s cultural and racial beliefs as a Muslim and a Hindu.
Rozian Amir Hashim and Anushiya Sivaratnam met 3 years ago while working together and have been close friends ever since. They decided to pool together their money to purchase a dual-key condominium facing the stunning backdrop of the Kuala Lumpur city centre as their future retirement home.
We had the chance to catch up with Rozian and Anushiya to learn more about their retirement home that has been transformed by Haven Interior & Construction into a cosy hotel-like staycation abode for two.
How did the idea of co-owning a dual-key condominium come about?
R: Since we are both single and are taking care of our parents, it all started when we were discussing our future place to live once both our parents passed away.
That is how we decided to co-own a dual key condominium; one side is a studio unit and the other side is a two-bedroom condominium with a communal kitchen for cooking and eating. With a dual-key condominium, we both have our privacy and a private place for our family and relatives to come and stay occasionally.
How did you decide to work with Haven Interior & Construction?
R: When I first talked to Mior, I felt comfortable and had a feeling that he was going to give me what I wanted. Other designers gave us a “design template” for the budget that we asked for (RM80,000) and wanted us to agree on the concept before discussing on our preferences.
I didn’t have a specific concept for my home, but I knew I wanted a home with minimal clutter, but not too much white because I knew that I can’t maintain it myself. I also wanted a warm atmosphere in the condominium. While other designers wanted to impose their taste and refuse to customize the space for us, Mior, on the other hand, was very attentive and open to our ideas and requests.
A: I was very particular with the choice of wood they were going to use for the cabinetry and since we’re planning to stay here for the long run, the quality of wood used is very important to us. When we first met Mior, he was very patient with us and spent a couple of sessions educating us on the quality of different wood material and the options available. Mior even took us to his office and showed us the materials he is planning to use for our home.
What are your must-haves?
R: I wanted a partition wall placed behind the bed so I get to walk straight to the wardrobe from the shower with a bit more privacy. Mior 'cracked his head' to come up with this design! (laughs).
R: This 2-bedroom condominium has plenty of dead spaces, but Mior managed to make full use of these spaces with cabinetry customization so we can store a lot of utilities and avoid making the condominium look messy. For example, Mior installed a hidden drawer next to the bathroom sink for our dirty laundry instead of having to get a basket to compete with floor space.
Any design challenges?
R: I wanted to add a ventilator in our living room because we foresee spending most of our time there and didn't want to switch on air-conditioner all the time. Mior proposed to hack some walls and plaster the ceiling to conceal the wires on the walls.
A: I didn't agree with this initially as this would mount up to additional costs in renovation works. But Mior explained to us about the complexity and cost involved in installing a ventilator in a high-end building so we went with his suggestion.
Tell us more about the quality of materials used
A: I have a cousin who spent around RM 700,000 on home renovation but the designer did a very poor job, and the carpentry didn't justify the premium price paid for it. With that experience in mind, I'm skeptical about working with interior designers.
When we decided to commission Mior to renovate our home, I came early in the morning to check on the renovation progress to see if the materials that Mior promised is the correct type of material used. I took the wood sample and went back home and soaked it in water for 3 days. As it turns out, the wood was still solid after being soaked in the water for a week!
R: When you engage with an interior designer, often, you only see the furnished state and not the materials they used for your home. Two to three years down the road, you will notice that the furniture started to lose its original shape, hence why I feel like it makes sense if Anushiya wanted to test the material first to make sure that it is a good material.
I was very happy that Mior taught us about the material differences. Most of the designers would never tell us the difference between the quality of these woods. For RM100,000 budget, they would give us melamine wood (low material) but Mior would explain which good quality material to choose and the cost to renovate our condominium using this type of material.
To sum up
A: I am very pleased with my renovation and I will highly recommend Mior to other homeowners who are looking to renovate their home!
R: I still can’t believe that I’m staying here whenever I come back home, it almost felt like I’m staying in a hotel. Thank you (Mior) for making my dream home come true!
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