This Couple Converts Their Home ‘Pond’ into a Laundry Space
Completely unaware that the property came with a ‘pond’ located in the middle of their house, this couple took design risks by turning it into an indoor laundry space.
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After a few years of living in a rented house, Hajar and her husband, Mohamad Farahan, decided to purchase their first home together and call it their own. They made careful decisions to keep costs low while still making an impact by researching, purchasing their own furniture and appliances, hiring a contractor, and overseeing the construction work themselves.
The home's unusual floor plan also compelled the couple to make risky design decisions. Most notably, installing an indoor laundry room right in the middle of the house!
The stylish, new home with a relaxed feel and open layout was completely nailed by the couple's eye for details. We had the pleasure of speaking Hajar, to find out how she and her husband transformed an empty 1250 square foot Semi-D home into an aesthetically pleasing space that suits the couple's lifestyle.
Qanvast: Hi, tell us about yourself and your family
Hajar (H): Hello, my name is Hajar, and I work as an assistant lecturer at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Abdul Halim Madzam Shah, while my husband, Mohamad Farahan is a teacher.
We live in a single storey semi-detached house (intermediate lot) located in Sungai Petani Kedah. The property has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and is built on a 1250 square foot lot.
We had been living in a rented home for quite some time before deciding to purchase our own home. We discovered a newly developed property under the Perumahan Penjawat Awan 1 Malaysia (PPA1M) programme near our current residence while looking for a house and decided to make the big decision of buying the house and making it our own. We moved into this house in June of last year.
Q: What inspired you to create an Instagram account dedicated to your home?
H: Initially, I created an Instagram account @hillo.home to keep a "journal" of my home renovation journey, allowing me to look back on the progress of my home from time to time. Surprisingly, the Instagram account attracted a large number of followers who were also interested in home decoration and renovation!
We chose the name Hillo because it is simple and easy to remember. Hillo also has a meaningful meaning; it is an Arabic word that means "beautiful/nice/sweet."
Q: How would you sum up your home’s design style?
H: I'm a big fan of minimalist design, and I wanted to incorporate it into our home. However, as we moved forward with our home renovation, I noticed that our design is leaning toward the mid-century modern style. We used a lot of neutral colours and simple furnishings in our home to create a calm and uncluttered atmosphere. They are also very timeless.
Q: What renovation works have you made to your home to make it more personal to your style?
H: We didn’t undertake any major renovation works except for the kitchen. Because the kitchen space that came with the property was quite small, we used a lot of white to make the kitchen look bright, airy, and visually spacious.
White subway tiles were installed on the walls, as well as glossy white kitchen cabinetry. The all-white kitchen cabinetry complements the crystal white quartz stone on the kitchen countertop perfectly. One of the counter spaces was then converted into a small island with two white tall chairs.
In order to keep the space looking neat and organised, I also built a small pantry in our kitchen. To neatly store all of our kitchenware and dry goods, I installed some open shelves and added a few white shelving units with glass doors from IKEA.
To add to the neat appearance, I bought glass jars and labelled each one for easy identification. I keep spices, pasta, and flour in glass containers, while tissue rolls, snacks, and other items are neatly stored in small baskets. As a result, the pantry area is more visually appealing and functional.
Our home has an open concept living space that combines the dining and living area together. To achieve the mid-century modern look in our dining area, I furnished it with cross back chairs and a wooden dining table that I purchased from a local furniture store, Ruma. I like the cross back chairs because they have a distinct appearance. My husband and I also took advantage of the extra free time during the MCO to DIY the board and batten wall ourselves. My dining room is now complete with this new feature wall!
We wanted to make our home warm and welcoming for our guests, so we furnished our living room with basic items such as a sofa, throw pillows, a wing chair, and a wooden TV console. To decorate the living room, I used fake coffee table books, candles, and white vases.
I also added a floor-to-ceiling curtain to draw attention to our living room's high ceilings. I then completed the space by installing track lights to brighten it up.
I’m also a huge plant lover. I added plenty of greenery such as monstera, rubber plants, money plants, and snake plants to enliven and create a fresh atmosphere in our home. It also adds a splash of colour to our otherwise neutral-toned space.
Q: Did you face any challenges during your home renovation?
H: When we purchased the house, we had no idea that it came with a two-foot-deep cemented floor that looked like a ‘pond’ between our two rooms. We were surprised to find this additional 'feature' when we received the keys to our new home because the floor plan showed an empty space between these rooms.
We decided to turn this space into an indoor laundry area as a solution because we didn't have a proper space to store our washing machine. It was a big design risk to take as this area is located right in the middle of the house.
To create an indoor laundry area, we hired a contractor to cover the pond with cement and level it with tiles. We also installed a water pipe that connects to the washing machine. Finally, we added an IKEA white cabinet with a wooden countertop and drilled two wooden floating shelves to neatly store all of our laundry essentials and soaps.
As the laundry area receives plenty of direct sunlight during the day, I filled the space with plenty of small potted plants such as cactus, money plants and snake plants.
Q: Tell us about the unique details available in your home
H: Our grilled door is by far the most distinctive feature of our home. My husband searched for door designs ideas on Google to get some inspiration for our door design because we wanted a statement-making entryway that set us apart from the other cookie-cutter units in the neighbourhood.
Finally, we decided on this design and hired a professional to install it. The end result is exactly what we expected, and we're completely satisfied with the overall look of our front grille!
Q: Are you happy with the outcome of your home renovation?
H: Absolutely! We are pleased with the results of our home renovation project. The overall home renovation has greatly improved our lifestyle and makes us feel at ease whenever we come home.
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