Friday, November 7, 2008

landscape & koi pond

top: landscape garden, wall fountain with koi pond, koi pond

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

front gate

view at start of construction

various stages of construction till completion

Monday, September 1, 2008

job - extension & garden - Setiawangsa

extension & garden taking shape

extension completed

garden completed

Friday, June 6, 2008

job - kolam (fish pond) Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur

Kolam kecil di depan rumah:

Mula kerja

siap dasar & dinding kolam

membina 'pathway'

Kolam siap

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Saung Angklung Udjo, Bandung

This is Saung Angklung Udjo, at Padasuka, near Cicaheum, Bandung. Here, you can play the Angklung and dance together with children.

Saung Angklung Udjo also present choices of bamboo art performances and traditional dances such as Tari Topeng (Mask Dances), Wayang Golek demonstration (puppet show) and many more. You could feel the atmosphere when you experience how to play angklung and being part of our performance all at once.

You can see, learn and play "The Angklung," one of Sundanese traditional musical instrument, with the colorful performances, the beautiful dances. Dance together for your memorable visit.

(Pictures: top left; hall for performance, bottom left: pipes to perform ablution (simple black stones here), top right: toilet, bottom right; surau and ofices)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tips on Interior Style - think space

Designing a house is all about space. Firstly, you need to figure out how much of it you need; secondly, how much you can afford; and thirdly how you will use it. But actual size doesn’t always have a direct bearing on a home’s sense of space.

In fact ‘spaciousness’ has more to do with factors such as flow, light, colour, ceiling height, consistency, and storage, rather than anything that can be quantified with a tape measure.

Over the last quarter century there has been a definite trend towards the ‘open-plan’ home. This has seen a move away from separate lounge, dining room, and kitchen towards a multi-purpose cooking, dining and living space. In principle, the idea is that you get more usable space from one big room than you do from a series of smaller rooms. In practice, that’s fine until you try living in a space that pits the TV against the stereo or food processor.

More recently families (and designers) are recognising the need to separate noise producing activities in the interests of family harmony. This doesn’t mean a return to the Victorian approach of a separate room for every activity (tea in the parlour anyone?), but it does mean that designers are becoming more inventive with creating spatial flexibility, finding new ways to allow spaces to be opened up to create room, or shut down into discrete areas.

Cavity sliders are the easiest way to create flexible spaces. A solid timber slider becomes a moveable wall, containing noise, and allowing a smaller, more intimate space to be created. This also has the advantage in winter of being easier to heat.

Moveable translucent glass panels create a sense of separation, without the solidity of a solid timber slider.

Moveable shuttered panels are another way to create a flexible separate space with the option to open up the shutter to allow ventilation and light through.

Large pivoting doors that sit back against the wall are another great option, and can create a dramatic effect if you have the wall-space to accommodate one.

When designing a room that opens up and shuts down, be aware that the spaces need to work in both configurations. This may have an impact on the way you arrange furniture. It is also important to consider how you will light and heat each space.

Use flooring to create integration or separation of spaces. Using the same flooring throughout will help create a visual flow, when the room is opened up, but by using a different flooring you can create a different mood. For example, carpeting will help to create a more cosy ambiance in a smaller area off a larger room with hard flooring.

If you don’t want to divide the room physically, there are many other ways to create a sense of separate spaces within a larger area:

Columns or timber or metal posts can used to ‘contain’ a dining area. James Hardie columns have been used in this way in the David Reid Show Home in Christchurch.

Raising or lowering ceiling heights within one space will create different ‘zones’. A lower ceiling will create a more intimate dining space for example. A double-height ceiling will create a sense of space even in a small area.

Change the floor level. A couple of steps up or down makes a big difference to the way we perceive the space.

Partially partition a room with a large built-in book or display shelf. By displaying well-lit objects on one side and books on the other, you will create two very different moods.

A change of wall colour can be used to define a separate area. For example, a darker, warmer colour in the dining area will help to create a sense of intimacy.

Lighting can also be used to create different zones. Make sure your lighting plan gives you flexibility to define individual areas and create different moods within the same room.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

toilet - Rumah Mode, Bandung

Rumah Mode is the biggest factory outlet in Bandung and has various type of branded clothes. It gets very crowded on weekends especially with patrons from Jakarta.

Its a nice boutique type factory outlet with nice deco, even in the toilet. Click on the photo for a larger image

renovation tips

#1 The RM $$ Rule

It really will take longer and cost more than you expect. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise!

#2 Reuse What You Can

Recycle.. recycle.. recycle.

#3 To DIY or Hire Out?

Do a cost benefit analysis when you're deciding whether to learn a new skill or hire out. In fact, this may not be the time to learn a new skill! Let me rephrase, you need to have a really good handle on your skill level. It depends too, on the level of renovation you are undertaking; if you're redoing a second bathroom—take your time and learn how to tile. If you've just gutted an entire house and don't want to live with your in-laws for the next five years, you may want to hire out for any tasks with which you don't have some experience and/or expertise.

#4 Do it Almost Yourself

You can save a lot of money by doing almost all of the work and having a professional finish up. However, you'll have to find someone who is comfortable with this proposition.

#5 Look for a "Re-Use-It Center"

Check your area for a centre that accepts donations of building materials and resell it to others. Since we were designing our own plan we can save ourselves a good bit of $$.

#6 Oops! Paint

You'll save time and money if you paint your house one color. Yeah, I know, pretty boring! But keep in mind that it's a lot easier to keep going with a nice cream color in every room than to change colors repeatedly. However, if you'd rather go with different colors—check out your paint supplier's returned. These are custom mixed colors that have been returned to the store. You may not find anything that you like, but if you do, you'll pay half as much for the "oops" paint.

#7 Low Hide Paint Colors

Have you ever seen the notation "low hide" on a paint sample and not understood what it meant? You'll find this on dark yellow, orange, and red colors. Quite literally, it means that the paint does a rotten job of covering the walls. Expect to apply 5-6 coats before you have a solid color. Do yourselves a favor and splurge on tinted primer; this will give you a head start and reduce the number of coats needed!

Did I mention it will take longer and be more expensive than you planned for?

#8 Will You Still Like Each Other When It's Done?

No matter the scope of your project, make sure your relationships can withstand the project! Where will you live while the renovation is underway? If you bunk with your parents or in-laws, be careful of your relationships. It's tough to live with anyone, but the stress of a big project like this and the inability to "get away from each other" will make it particularly challenging. If you're going to live in the house while renovating, think three times.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sumatera Barat, Indonesia - building

West Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatra Barat, abbreviated to Sumbar) is a province of Indonesia. It lies on the west coast of the island Sumatra, and borders the provinces of North Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) to the north, Riau and Jambi to the east, and Bengkulu to the southeast. The capital of the province is Padang.

The history of West Sumatra is closely related to the history of the Minangkabau people. Archaeological evidence indicates that the area surrounding the Limapuluh Koto regency forms the first area inhabited by the Minangkabau. Limapuluh Koto regency covers a number of large rivers which meet at the eastern part of the Sumatran coastline. The rivers were known have provided important sailing transportation from the previous era to the end of the last century. The Minangkabau ancestors were believed to have arrived on this route.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

koi pond

(L) construction stage 1, (R) pond taking shape

4 photos from various positions of the completed koi pond

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

front porch

renovation of front porch, mix of decorative stone and wood (click on picture to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

tips on creating the Wow factor

from: Katia Guida, Interior Designer*

Katia Guida is an award-winning Brisbane-based interior designer and decorator who spends much of her working life adding inspirational finishing touches to display homes throughout Queensland.

Katia works with many of the Sunshine State’s most successful project home builders to give their displays the ‘WOW’ factor that, so often, is the difference between ‘Sale’ and ‘Fail’!

We asked Katia to share some of her experience with a few simple tips. Here’s what she had to say.

“How you live is almost a definitive statement of who you are, so don’t be afraid to reveal your true personality with the colours, textures and objects you choose.” says Katia. “Remember, it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive to make an impact.”

“There’s nothing like a splash of colour to liven up or tone down a room. The effect can be subtle or dramatic, it’s really up to the individual. I find that creating a feature wall by using a contrasting colour to the rest of the room is amongst the most effective approaches. Ideally, to work well as a feature, the wall should have no visual interruptions – no windows, doors or recesses.”

“One of the basic principles of interior design, particularly when working in an open plan environment, involves creating visual anchors. With fewer walls to place furniture against, if you’re not careful chairs and tables can appear to ‘float’. A rug will define an area in the same way that walls once did, as well as adding in colour and textural interest.”

“Interesting prints can be surprisingly affordable and are widely available from retailers such as Freedom Furniture. One large print makes the greatest impact, but combining a number of similarly themed and framed pieces also works well.”

“Priced around $15-$30 each, decorative cushions are a brilliant way to add colour, shape and texture. Today’s cushion has come a long way from the relatively humble and anonymous item it once was. Crafted in suede, fur, leather, satin and even beads, they are taking on a more artistic flavour that can really help add to the overall design signature of any room.”

“It’s often overlooked, but it’s incredible the difference a well thought out lighting plan can have on a room. If you’re in the process of building a new house or renovating, don’t just sit idly by and take what you’re given – you can have input into the way lighting works in your home. There are three basic lighting styles to consider:

  • Ambient – generally, this is the overall lighting that illuminates the room. Can be fitted with a dimmer switch to add interest.
  • Task or functional – ideal for specific purposes, such as lighting up a painting or a kitchen work surface. Task lighting is usually able to be angled directly where it’s required.
  • Decorative – used to create mood and focal points in a room, for example using a lamp to create a pool of light or uplights to bounce light off ceilings and back into the immediate environment.

Read more about lighting:

Personal effects
“Personal family belongings, photos, nick-nacks and even sporting memorabilia add vivid colour to what is really a snapshot of your life. So make liberal use of items that reveal the real you. If children are part of your household, get them involved in the decision-making too.”

Glassware, crockery and utensils
“Don’t hide them away, put them on display! Items like glassware, crockery and even kitchen utensils such as saucepans contribute shape and interest to the overall interior. It’s almost like staking out your territory and making your own mark.”

*Katia Guida is available for in-home design consultations through her own company Facades and Interiors. Katia can be contacted at or by calling 0412 734 937.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

front gate and porch

click on the picture to enlarge
clockwise from top left: front gate, pergola, open front gate,side wall

Saturday, November 11, 2006

tips on external colour scheme

Things to consider...

If your house is close to neighbouring houses consider a colour scheme that is harmonious with them. That’s not to say that you can’t express your own tastes, but be aware that using outlandish colour combinations on traditional house styles can limit resale value. Colour combos that might look great on a new house can kill the classic lines of a federation home or a bungalow.

When you’re working out the colour scheme, consider all the exterior aspects that will have an impact. Pools, paving, decks, fencing and planting all need to be integrated. For example, a large expanse of terracotta paving will create a big impact on the overall colour-effect of your outdoors, while pebbles or stone provide a more neutral palette. Pools do not have to be bright blue – today many pools are being painted darker colours to integrate with their surroundings.

Consider the immediate environment. Do you want to blend in or stand out? If the house is surrounded by bush, or at the beach you may want to consider colours that will enable the house to ‘disappear’ into the landscape.

Consider the effect of texture on colour. What works on smooth weatherboards may not work on a concrete wall. Think about how the colour will age and weather on different surfaces – this can be used to wonderful effect.

Plant for colour. Plants that starkly contrast against the background walls or weatherboards will draw the eye. On the other hand, plants which are similar shades to a background wall will emphasise interesting or sculptural forms.
To help enhance the flow between indoor and out, consider continuing the exterior colour inside – this is particularly effective with flooring/paving.

Consider the colour of outdoor furnishings – cushions, umbrellas and awnings and pots and planters. A bright splash of colour that picks up a featured garden colour might be all it takes to lift a small outdoor space out of the ordinary. Climate and culture can make a big difference to your choice. A hot Mexican colour combination of orange and blue can work brilliantly at the beach, but it may fall flat in the city on a grey day in July.

Consider the fact that you might want to change your mind! Remember that it’s a lot cheaper to change the colour of the outdoor cushions, or the planters, or even the fence or shutters , than it is to repaint the entire house!
Make your spaces work beautifully.