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Young Family Transforms Their Condo into a Serene Bali-Style Oasis

June 4, 2024

A tropical ‘resort’ that’s family-friendly.

Resorts have a unique ability to bring a sense of tranquility, and for the owners of this 1,300 sqft condominium in Selangor, this feeling is not limited to vacation days but is a part of their everyday life. They sought the expertise of YIA Office Design to transform their condo into a serene Balinese retreat, ensuring a continuous escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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We had the chance to tour the house and interview the interior designer, Vanessa, as she and her team tirelessly put the finishing touches on the home before the homeowners moved in.

About the homeowners and their home

Vanessa (V): The homeowners are a young family of 3. This is the first home they purchased together three years ago.

While waiting for their new house to be completed, they rented a nearby condominium. As a couple who enjoy the outdoors, it's clear why they chose this unit: the balcony faces a reserved forest, bringing cool air into the home and offering a soothing view of the outdoor greenery.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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How they learnt about YIA Office Design

The wife and I are actually high school friends, so we know each other quite well. Our first time working together was last year, when she sought our help to renovate a family-friendly café they own.

There’s actually an interesting backstory to it. Whenever they took their young son out to eat, they often found there were no suitable restaurants that catered to both parents and kids. This inspired them to create a family-oriented café with a play area, allowing children to play while parents enjoy their meals. The café serves as a side income in addition to their full-time jobs as consultants.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Pleased with the outcome of the café renovation, they decided to continue working with us on their own house renovation. So, I guess you could say they are our repeat customers! (laughs)

About their chosen design style for the home

The couple had a clear vision for their house renovation. They wanted a Balinese-themed home that is easy to maintain, incorporating plenty of natural elements such as wood, rattan, cement textures, and indoor plants. As an outgoing couple who loves to travel and the outdoors, they wanted to continue enjoying that same vibe when they return home.

They also wanted the house to be kid-friendly. To ensure safety, we incorporated plenty of curved details throughout the house, especially on built-ins like the kitchen island, to prevent potential injuries.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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About the house renovation

Spanning 1300 sqft, this newly developed 3-bedroom condominium comes with complimentary kitchen cabinets and a few air conditioning units.

So the renovation mainly included electrical wiring, plumbing, painting, carpentry, and plaster ceilings. The couple sourced the furniture and appliances themselves but sought our opinion to ensure they matched the overall theme of the space.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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As is common with newly developed units, several flaws were found throughout the house. For instance, the walls in the living room and master bedroom were quite wavy and lacked smoothness, so we skimmed some of the walls to give them a smooth finish.

Entryway

The renovation works can be immediately seen the moment you enter the house. Despite the limited space, we managed to integrate a full-height cabinet with a bench area on the entryway where they can sit when putting on shoes. Adjacent to these built-ins is a floor-to-ceiling mirror, providing both a last-minute check before leaving and an illusion of more space.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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The full-height cabinet in the entryway serves a dual purpose: offering valuable storage space and acting as a visual divider between the entryway and the adjacent kitchen. Meanwhile, the cement screed finish lends the space an earthy feel.

Kitchen

Given their hectic schedules, the couple doesn't cook much, and opt for simple meals when they do actually cook. Considering this lifestyle, we recommended an open kitchen layout. To minimize renovation expenses, we retained the existing kitchen cabinets but infused a Balinese theme around them.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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We added an island to delineate the kitchen from the dining room, featuring a quartz counter that complements the developer-installed kitchen. Initially, the husband proposed rattan details for the island, but the wife raised concerns about maintenance due to the small holes. Our suggestion was to incorporate a rattan pattern for the island, making maintenance easier while still achieving the desired aesthetic.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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The condominium originally had a small kitchen sink, but the couple wanted a bigger one. Instead of demolishing the entire area, we proposed installing a second sink in the laundry room as a cost-saving alternative, which they agreed to.

Laundry room

Adjacent to the kitchen is the laundry room, which initially had a standard swing door. However, the couple found it cumbersome as it occupied considerable space when opened. We suggested replacing it with a folding door featuring a glass peeping window in the middle.

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This design allows their son to peek through and see his parents when they are in the laundry room, and vice versa. The height of the glass window is also intentionally designed lower so that the kids can see through the window easily.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Dining area

In my opinion the dining area stands out as the focal point of the house. Upon entering, it immediately captures attention. It features a wooden beam on the ceiling and wooden wall paneling, exuding a Balinese resort ambiance. This design element not only enhances the Balinese vibe but also visually divides the dining room from the living room and kitchen.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Since the couple frequently hosts family gatherings, they chose a spacious dining table capable of accommodating 6-8 people. With the island that sits next to the dining table, it serves as an extra counter space for serving food or dinnerware during meals.

Living area

The living room boasts a double-volume ceiling, which is a fantastic feature for creating a sense of spaciousness (like that of a villa in Bali), however, it presents a number of challenges. To install lighting and a large ceiling fan, we had to rent scaffolding so that the electrician can access the top of the ceiling. We also installed long-lasting light bulbs, as I foresee that it can be troublesome for the owners to change the light bulbs in the future.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Another issue is when the homeowners switch on the lights at night, the large ceiling fan will cast shadows across the living area. To address this, we installed cove lights and scones beneath the fan, creating layered lighting within the room.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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The wife dislikes cluttered spaces and wanted the house to be minimalist and simple, with enough space for her 2-year-old to play. Hence we kept the living room design simple, with minimum built-in storage. If you notice, there is no coffee table in the living room because they want their son to be able to run around freely without unintentionally knocking over stuff.

Adjacent to the living room is a photo corner showcasing a curated collection of pictures that evoke cherished memories from their overseas adventures and past achievements, including their journey to Mount Everest and graduation photos.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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We also created a cosy reading corner for their son, complete with open shelves and an armchair, as part of the overall design.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Master bedroom

As a growing family, the couple prefers not to have a permanent bed frame in the master bedroom to allow flexibility for accommodating different bed sizes in the future. Additionally, since their son currently sleeps with them, they are concerned about him falling off a bed with a raised platform.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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To offer flexibility, we opted not to include built-in bedside tables and instead installed a storage unit behind the bedhead. The unit features a central pocket area for storing items such as books, phones, or their kid's items, conveniently located behind their heads for easy access.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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Bathrooms

In the bathroom, our modifications were minimal, limited to installing a vanity cabinet and a storage cabinet. The rest of the toilet remains unchanged from the developer's.

Damansara Seresta Condominium, Selangor by YIA Design Office
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To sum up

The renovation ended up taking 2 and a half months, which is slightly longer than anticipated, mainly due to public holidays such as Hari Raya. Despite this, I'm delighted with how smoothly the process went and with the final result of the renovation. The couple's willingness to consider our suggestions and their trust in us enabled us to create a warm and inviting Balinese home that perfectly suits their lifestyle and budget.

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