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This ‘House of Mirrors’ Is the Glitziest Condo You'll Ever See

December 12, 2018

In an age of modest, Japandi homes and minimalist styles, Carmen Sheon’s (@carmensheon) unabashedly opulent home is not the average-looking abode – nor does it aspire to be.

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era, the fashionista-slash-businesswoman transformed her KL apartment from scratch – and hasn’t looked back since. Crystal chandeliers shimmer against silky, damask walls, while iridescent velvet seats and reflective mirrors illuminate the condominium with a bright, ethereal glow.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Credit: @carmensheon

In fact, some might call her home ‘over the top’. But for Carmen, it's all about personal taste. “Some people do think my home is ‘too glam’, but I don’t get overly caught up with that. After all if it’s your home, you should be able to do what you want!”, she says.

Well, we couldn’t agree more. Stepping into her unique space, we chatted with Carmen to learn more about her experience designing and renovating for the first time.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Carmen Sheon (CS): Hi guys! I’m Carmen, and I have been running a couple of online fashion labels, including my custom leather goods brand, ‘CSHEON Leather Goods Private Showroom and Studio’. Currently, I’m working on a new F&B venture called ‘Kaching Island Café Bar’, which is due to open this December in KL.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: How would you describe your home’s design?

CS: In one word, I would say, ‘glam’! I was really inspired by the glitzy and glamorous Art Deco look as seen in the movie <The Great Gatsby>, and I wanted to incorporate the same sophisticated vibe into my home. As my apartment is on the small side, I chose a lighter palette and added mirrors to create an illusion of bigger space.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: How was it having to design and manage the renovation all on your own? Was it fun or challenging?

CS: It helps that I personally love looking at spaces and exploring new interior styles and looks, whether it’s for my home or businesses. So, renovating my home wasn’t stressful – more fun perhaps! However, we did make many changes along the way, scrapped some ideas as well. For example, we initially wanted a tatami platform in our living room to create depth but discarded the idea as it would take a lot of time to build.

CS: Rather, the challenging aspects were more of researching, understanding the terms and processes of renovation works, and managing my expectations! I always have a ton of ideas running through my head, so while it was enjoyable, it was also equally tough having to figure out what’s necessary for my renovation.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: What are some of the works done to the space?

CS: On top of adding built-in cabinets, redoing our floors and revamping the walls, we also rearranged the layout of the house. Some walls were hacked down and built-up in other areas to promote a better flow into the space.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: What are some valuable lessons you’ve learnt from managing your own renovation?

CS: I think I’ve learnt a lot about interior design and renovation processes, simply through watching Youtube how-to videos. I’d suggest homeowners to give it a try! As we got a contractor to help us fabricate and do most of the construction work, one thing I’ve learnt is that you should always ask them for suggestions. They are definitely more knowledgeable about construction, and they can help you look out for issues or come up with alternative solutions. Also, always compare quotes between different contractors or designers to get a feel of how much to spend. Don’t make your choice in a rush!

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: Where do you go to get some of your furniture and materials?

CS: A lot of it comes online, but I also visited furniture shops like SSF and KARE, which stock some luxe pieces that fit well into my home’s aesthetic. As for materials like flooring and tiling, I actually went to a place called Kenanga Wholesale City to get PVC wood-effect tiles for my bathroom! They are really easy to install as they can be pasted on top of your current tiles, so no hacking! But the best part is that they are totally water proof and fireproof.

Carmen Sheon Home Feature Petaling Jaya Condo

Q: What do friends and family say about your space?

CS: I think about 80% of them really like the space, while others feel that it’s too ‘glam’ for a house. However, I don’t really get too caught up with that. What’s important is that you feel comfortable in the space you’re in! After all it’s your home, you should do what you like!

Q: Last but not least, any pieces of advice for new homeowners?

CS: One thing I really must emphasise is to set aside a sum for home maintenance. Most people often think that paying for a home ends after a renovation, but that’s not the case. Things will break down over time, no matter how well you take care of them. Especially for high-traffic, heavy duty areas like the kitchen and the toilet, you’ll need some form of maintenance every 2 to 3 years. So, remember to keep some savings to account for any servicing or repairs you might need to make in future!

Your home, your rules.

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