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Most Malaysian Homes Have These Unique Features, Does Yours?

September 15, 2020
BOOKMARK

Having a place to call home may be a universal concept, but our way of life differs from country to country, culture to culture. And right here in Malaysia, our homes are designed in a way that reflects different cultures, traditions and styles. However, despite our diversity and differences, there are a few common traits found in many Malaysian homes.

Island Glades, Penang by Archiplan Interior Design

Whether it’s a prayer room or a wet and dry kitchen, we have our fair share of unique home features that are not commonly found in other countries. Here are several design features that make Malaysian homes unique!


1. A proper air cooling system

While living in a hot and humid climate such as Malaysia comes with its own perks (hello 365 days of sunshine!), too much sunlight and humidity can turn your home into a sauna especially during the day when the heat is at its peak.

Taman Gunung Tahan, Alor Setar by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

Hence, you won’t be surprised to find in multiple Malaysian homes, air conditioning systems or ceiling fans at least, are an absolute necessity to keep their temperature in their home cool during the day.

Tips: There are many ways to improve the ventilation and coolness of your home without overusing your air conditioning.

Taman Gunung Tahan, Alor Setar by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

Consider going for ‘colder’ floors like glossy stone or tile or add indoor greenery to purify and circulate the air with oxygen during the day. There are a couple of household habits you can pick up too, like closing the windows in the afternoons and leaving the front and back doors slightly open to allow wind to pass through.

Explore: Cool Your Home (Without Overusing Your Air Conditioner)

2. A spacious dining area

Be it celebrating someone’s birthday, hosting a potluck or simply dropping by for a chat, Malaysians are always finding reasons to gather and spend quality time with family! That’s why most Malaysian homes feature a spacious dining area and living room that’s large enough to accommodate family members, neighbours, friends during get together, parties or festive celebrations.

Setia Damai, Setia Alam by Cube Creation Sdn. Bhd.

Tips: When choosing dining furniture for your home, consider purchasing a dining table that can be expanded to accommodate more people when required. You should also consider purchasing dining benches as it takes up less space compared to chairs. Other alternatives? Consider designing a kitchen island/bar counter which can be used to prepare foods or host guests.

Setia Damai, Setia Alam by Cube Creation Sdn. Bhd.

3. An outdoor shoe rack/ cabinet

It has been ingrained in us since young to take off your shoes before entering a home. As a result, in most Malaysian homes, the shoe cabinet and bench is located just outside the front door as an easy drop-off point for all our shoes, slippers, sneakers etc. This makes it more convenient for us to just slip into them when we’re about to head out!

Island Glades, Penang by Archiplan Interior Design

Tips: Don’t want to be greeted with a visual clutter every time you come home? Keep things organized with storage benches that double as a seating area that allow you to sit while putting on or taking off your shoes. You can also consider creating a floating shoe cabinet that allows you to slide in frequently used shoes for convenience.

Island Glades, Penang by Archiplan Interior Design

4. A prayer room

In Malaysia, the diversity of race and ethnicity has resulted in various religions and beliefs. Despite the differences between various religious groups, most Malaysians homes share a common home feature that allows them to practice their faith at home. Usually, you will find many Malaysians homes that feature a corner/ section or an unused room that is dedicated to praying like a pooja room as pictured in this Indian home.

Gita Bayu Villa, Seri Kembangan by Remodons Design Sdn Bhd

Tips: A prayer room should have a calm and serene ambience, so look for a space or a corner of your home that’s secluded and away from high traffic areas. This promotes better concentration during meditation or prayer.

Gita Bayu Villa, Seri Kembangan by Remodons Design Sdn Bhd

5. Furniture made of wood or rattan material

If you’re Malaysian, chances are you would have had at least one rattan or wooden furniture in your home growing up. It was just an unsaid decorating rule that everyone followed.

Quayside, Tanjung Tokong by Nevermore Group

Interior Firm: Nevermore Group

Today, rattan and wooden furniture or material have made a major comeback for homeowners who prefer to inject a bohemian, Scandinavian or Minimalist appeal to their space. Allowing a dose of wooden or rattan materials can also make the room look and feel more inviting and keep designing efforts easy and uncomplicated.

Tips: Opting for similar tone wood colour across your pieces can help conjure a sense of cohesion within your room. For example, if your room is dominated by warm wood tones like walnut, cherry and rosewood, consider choosing additional pieces in a similar warm palette. Likewise, if your wood scheme is biased towards cooler tones, match it with complementary cool wood grains.

Quayside, Tanjung Tokong by Nevermore Group

Interior Firm: Nevermore Group

Explore: Homegrown Furniture Shops To Spruce Up Your Home

6. A wet and dry kitchen

Malaysians are obsessed with food and here in Malaysia, kitchens are sometimes divided into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ areas. The wet kitchen caters for deep-frying or cooking that often result in strong smells throughout the house. In an attempt to prevent the unpleasant scent and smoke from lingering throughout the entire house, a “wet and dry” kitchen design is a necessity found in many Malaysian homes.

No. 7, Setia Alam by Reliable Renovation

Interior Firm: Reliable Renovation

Tips: Wet kitchens usually get messy and dirty due to heavy and greasy cooking which creates a lot of grime that sticks to the walls and cabinets. Therefore, install backsplash tiles that are easy to clean like ceramic and opt for matte finish laminates for the cabinets.

No. 7, Setia Alam by Reliable Renovation

Interior Firm: Reliable Renovation

Since the dry kitchen is used for light food preparation such as cutting fruits or heating meals, it can be fabricated in higher-end materials like marble surface or quartz for the countertop and acrylic finish for the cabinets.

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