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This Johor Home Has a Cafe-Like Bar in Its Living Room!

November 9, 2021

A couple transforms their newly-built property in Johor into a fun and functional family home with details that cater to each family member's preferences!

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Raven and her husband, Lance, decided that it was time for them to purchase a home for their growing family after living with her in-law’s. Whilst searching for a new home, they found a single-storey landed house in Yong Peng, but the couple had to wait two years for the property to be finished. During the two-year wait, they were able to plan their first big renovation, which included the construction of the couple’s "dream" coffee bar in the living room and their kid’s playroom.

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We spoke with Raven about how she and her husband transformed their newly constructed home into a cheerful, comfortable, and family-friendly abode that caters to the preferences of each family member!

Qanvast (Q): Hi, tell us about yourself and your family

Raven Khaw (RK): Hi, my name is Raven Khaw. I’m a stay-at-home mom and a freelance graphic designer, while my husband, Lance Chan, is an educator. We are blessed with two wonderful children ages three and four.

We live in a 1350 sq ft single storey semi-detached house on a 3120 sq ft lot that comes with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is located in Yong Peng, Johor and we have been living here since September 2020.

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Q: How would you sum up your home’s design style?

RK: Our home is styled in a combination of Scandinavian and Bohemian designs. Initially, our main design theme was Scandinavian as we preferred neutral colours like white, grey, and light brown because they make our home appear clean and welcoming.

As the renovation progressed, I began to incorporate a little Bohemian flair through painted arches as well as macramé decorations found throughout the house. It adds colours and patterns to our home, making it feel more vibrant.

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Q: Did you engage with an interior designer to renovate your home?

RK: Yes, we worked with JS Interior Design to renovate our new home after receiving the keys to our house in May 2020. The firm was recommended to us by a friend, and they performed admirably on the tasks. While the interior designer worked on our kitchen, bedroom, and living room (TV cabinet + coffee bar), we decorated the rest of the house ourselves. The renovation took four months to complete, with an estimated budget of RM80,000.

Q: Tell us about the renovations JS Interior has done to your home to make it more personalised to your tastes

RK: The first thing we talked about with our interior designer was installing a coffee bar in our living room. We've always wanted a coffee bar in our living room that looks like a little café corner, and being able to do so is a dream come true! The interior designer drew a plan and proposed including a high table with high bar stools, as well as a lower table to show separation between the coffee making and drinking areas.

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We installed a sink to create a fully functional coffee area so that we don't have to walk all the way to the kitchen to wash our mugs. To accomplish this, we installed a pipe in the living room that connects directly to the outdoor pipe. We also added a small round sink with Quartz countertop for the coffee making area, as well as a water filter, to complete the space.

We added track lighting to make the coffee bar stand out, while the brown and white colour scheme keeps the space looking put together. Meanwhile, potted plants added a splash of colour to the coffee bar.

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Our house came with a small kitchen. As a solution, our interior designer installed glossy white (Formica) kitchen cabinets and a white Quartz stone countertop for the kitchen. Thanks to the glossy surface and white hues, the kitchen now has an open, light, and airy feel.

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The interior designer also came up with the brilliant idea of installing a dish rack "hidden" in the cabinet to create an uncluttered look in the kitchen. Furthermore, they constructed a comprehensive floor-to-ceiling storage system that allows me to hide all of my electrical appliances and kitchenware. As a result, the kitchen now has a clean and neat appearance.

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The master bedroom features soothing navy blue accents. My husband wanted this colour for our bedroom as it would complement the bird lights installed on the wall behind our bed frame. I requested plenty of storage space in our bedroom to keep clothes and bedsheets among other things, so the interior designer installed a floor to ceiling cabinet to maximise storage space.

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Initially, a full-length mirror was supposed to be installed on the makeup table, but it was removed for safety reasons and mounted on the wall next to the makeup table. It turned out great too because it allows us to see ourselves and outfits better while helping the bedroom appear larger and brighter. The interior designer was clever in utilising the space behind the mirror as storage for my beauty products and even installed LED lights that shine beautifully in the dark.

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Q: Tell us about the rest of your house's renovations and decoration

RK: As mentioned earlier, we did most of the decoration and renovation for the rest of the house ourselves. For example, in my home office, I painted an arch-shaped pattern on the wall to make the room look more vibrant and unique. Apart from that, my husband assisted in drilling the racks in my home office, while I nailed and hung all of the frames on the wall. Then I added all of the stationery and decorations to complete the space.

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Aside from my home office, my husband and I also painted a house-shaped and mountains image on the kids’ playroom wall. It only took us half an hour to draw and another half hour to paint. To create the artwork, I used leftover paint that was used to paint the outdoor wall and fence and a roller brush and a normal paintbrush. All of this does not require a large budget as the majority of items are leftover paints and tools from our house renovation.

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My children enjoy playing with cars, so we purchased two pieces of picture ledge from IKEA and had my father-in-law drill them into the wall to create a car slide for them. He also purchased balloon lights because our children adore balloons! The balloon lights are the icing on the cake, making it stand out in photos. The finished product of the children's playroom is simply adorable, and my children adore this space!

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Since my husband now works from home more frequently, we created another home office where he can do his work and play his guitar as a hobby. We purchased the table and storage from IKEA, and I got some boho-themed decorations from Taobao and made some textured wall art myself. Thankfully his bulky 10-year-old CPU matches with the colour of the decorations!

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We are happy with the original designs of our bathrooms so we made only minor changes to them. We installed a water heater, sink, mirror cabinets and a glass panel to separate the bath from the toilet area. To match the black tiles in the bathrooms, we decorated the room with mostly black and dark colours, including the soap bottles.

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As for the outdoors, I've received a lot of snake plants and succulents from friends, so I purchased pots and metal racks from IKEA to display them neatly in my house side yard. I then used acrylic paint to paint a signboard that said "welcome to my garden" on a 6-inch pine wood while my husband assisted me in drilling the signboard and the wooden decorations on the wall. As a result, our outdoor space with our lovely plant collection now has a more visually appealing appearance!

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Johor home cafe-like bar
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Q: We noticed you have a talent for drawings! Tell us about the artworks you've included in your home

RK: I enjoy drawing and do so in my spare time when my kids are asleep. Many of my ink artworks are framed and can be found in various parts of the house, including the walkway, kitchen, office, and bathrooms. The four flamingos that represent our family are the largest piece of artwork that took me three months to complete!

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When my kids are older and able to draw some nice art pieces, I would love to hang them on the wall too!

Q: Are you happy with the outcome of your home renovation?

RK: Yes, we are pleased with the results of our home renovation. It was a pleasure to work with our interior designer because they are very professional in their work, and all of the designs and ideas turned out exactly as we wanted.

So, if you're looking to hire an interior designer, I think it's best if you find someone you know or get recommendations from friends!

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Looking for an interior designer near you?

Simply tell us your renovation requirements and we can recommend to you personalised renovation quotes from five local interior design firms for free. Request for a free quote here.

All recommendations made by Qanvast will be protected under the Qanvast Guarantee scheme that covers 50% of your contract value, up to RM50,000, in the case that the recommended Contracting Service Provider becomes insolvent.

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