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Interior Design Enthusiast Crafts Idyllic Abode for Her Family of 4

June 12, 2024

Wait till you see what they did to the utility area!

When Wana started her Instagram account (@ruma.puteh) in March 2023, her aim was to document and share her home renovation journey. Little did she expect that her account would quickly gain traction, amassing 27.5k followers to date. Impressed by her impeccably styled home, we reached out to Wana for an interview.

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She graciously welcomed us into her newly renovated home, giving us a personal tour of her abode as she shared her experience renovating it without the help of an interior designer. What impressed us even more was how she came up with her own sketches/drawings to show the contractor how she envisioned the house renovation.

About Wana and her family

My husband and I have been happily married for 18 years, and we are blessed with two wonderful children, aged 17 and 12 years old.

We moved frequently throughout our first few years of marriage. Initially, we lived in Ampang before moving to a house in Rawang. As our family grew, our space in Rawang became crowded, prompting us to look for a larger space. I’ve always wanted to live in a gated community, so we decided to hunt for a new home that met these requirements.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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We were familiar with the Shah Alam area, so we searched for a property in Elmina West. During our visit to the showroom, we fell in love with their fully extended intermediate unit, which measures 2402 sqft and comes with 4+1 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. What I like the most about the house is its distinctive configuration, which places the master bedroom at the back and faces the playground and our community area. This prompted us to immediately put down the down payment for this home.

About her design choice

We aimed to make our home in Shah Alam a cosy, comfortable, and inviting sanctuary. It's where we would unwind and enjoy quality time together after a demanding day at work or school.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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I also wanted the house to have a timeless feel, one that wouldn't require frequent changes. After seeking inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, I decided to go with a mix of modern and classic influences. This style combines vintage-inspired accents with modern furniture, resulting in a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere. Our primary colour scheme revolves around creamy whites paired with beige furniture, wooden elements, and brass gold accessories, creating a harmonious and sophisticated look.

About the renovation works

We opted not to hire an interior designer for our home renovation. Instead, I took on the task of sketching out the designs and used PowerPoint to present my vision to my husband, convincing him of the layout and style I envisioned for our home's renovation.

For our on-site renovation works, we choose a contractor we found on Instagram. They proved to be highly dependable and easy to work with throughout the project. Their prompt feedback and ability to work within our budget range were particularly commendable.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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When we bought the house, it was completely bare. Our renovation work encompassed everything, from installing lighting fixtures and built-ins to extending the back kitchen area.

Entryway

As you enter the main entryway, you’ll notice our SPC flooring in herringbone pattern. Originally the house had 2x2 tiles, but we had them replaced with SPC flooring to match with the overall design theme of the house. The SPC flooring adds a warm and inviting touch, especially when complemented by the white walls.

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We placed floor-to-ceiling cabinets at the entryway to store our shoes and utility items, helping to keep the space tidy and clutter free.

The open plan living area

The entryway leads you to the house's open-plan layout, which includes the living room, dining area, and dry kitchen.

The sleek and modern TV wall with open shelving on each side in the living room serves as the house's focal point. It is decorated with simple and elegant personal touch decor. To keep the room neat and organised, we hide all of our entertainment boxes inside the cabinet underneath the TV.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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Previously, there was a dead space beneath the stairs. We transformed the room into a storage facility for our household items.

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Our dining space is located next to the living room and includes a 6-seater table with a large frame and a chandelier for a classic look. A large carpet complements this area, tying the space together.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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I've always wanted an island in my dry kitchen, and despite the limited space, our contractor managed to incorporate an island for me. As for the rest of the dry kitchen, we opted for a unified colour scheme to create a serene ambiance, allowing statement pieces like our pendant lights to stand out. The countertops and backsplash feature matching quartz stone, delivering a sleek and cohesive appearance.

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Wet kitchen

Initially, the house had a relatively small wet kitchen. To enhance its functionality, we expanded the space by 5 feet, creating a more spacious kitchen area. We also replaced the original tiles with new tiles from Jubin Deko to align with my preferred design choice, modern farmhouse.

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This design incorporates nyatoh wood materials for the built-ins and two contrasting colours to evoke a lively atmosphere. The backsplash, adorned with subway tiles in a herringbone pattern, adds a touch of sophistication, while the vintage black and white floor tiles add character to the space.

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To elevate the luxurious ambiance of the kitchen, we installed brass gold fixtures for our hardwares such as the knobs, handles, faucets, and a pot filler. These elegant touches add a sophisticated and opulent feel to the overall design.

Utility room transformed into four practical spaces

Originally, the house featured a utility room/maid’s room adjacent to the kitchen. Since we don’t have a maid, we decided to demolish the walls and transform it into four functional areas: a breakfast nook, a coffee station, a laundry area, and a cat room.

This is my favorite part of the house, where I spend most of my time when at home. It allows me to multitask effortlessly—handling the laundry while dining or enjoying a cup of coffee, keeping an eye on the kids playing outside, and spending quality time with our cat.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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Given our small family of four, this cosy breakfast nook is also our usual dining spot where we enjoy meals together.

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In this area, we installed a skylight directly above the laundry area to flood it with natural light. I also requested the contractor to create an arched entryway to visually separate the wet kitchen from this multi-functional area.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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Family area

The upper floor is designated as a private space for our family. Instead of creating another TV area, we installed a floor-to-ceiling cabinet to maximise storage space. This cabinet serves as a space for our kids’ clothes, as well as an area for ironing.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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Additionally, it features pull-out cabinets specifically for my shawls, making it convenient for me to choose which shawl to wear each morning.

Master bedroom

The bedrooms complement the rest of the house with its soothing and relaxing atmosphere. Instead of filling the space with loose furniture (except for the bed area), we installed a built-in dressing table and floor-to-ceiling wardrobes. This adds to the space's neat appearance.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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We also decided to create a hidden room adjacent to my dressing table, leading to our bathroom and a custom-built wardrobe for my husband's personal belongings.

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Challenges faced during the renovation

Since we didn't hire an interior designer, we had to oversee the renovation progress ourselves. This task was particularly challenging because we both work full-time in KL and were temporarily renting a home at Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur. We visited every day to check on the progress of the house renovation. It was exhausting going back and forth to check on the progress, so unless you’re willing to sacrifice your time and afford to oversee the renovation process, hiring an interior designer would be a great option.

To sum up

The entire renovation project took approximately 4 months to finish, with a total cost of around RM200,000, covering built-in cabinets and lighting features. Additionally, we allocated RM100,000 for furniture, electrical, and decor items.

Elmina West, Selangor by Asha Teguh Resources
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Despite not employing an interior designer and relying only on my PowerPoint presentation and sketches, the end result is exactly what I envisioned for our home. Understandably, not everyone has the time to manage the entire project themselves, so consider hiring a contractor only if you’re comfortable overseeing the renovation timeline and progress on your own.

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