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Monday November 30, 2009

Get out of ‘boxy’ look, says famous Indonesian designer

KUALA LUMPUR: An advice to local developers and home decorators - get out of the cliched and outdated “boxy” look.

A prominent landscape designer urged Malaysian designers to put natural beauty and art back into its garden designs and return to her tropical forest roots.

Made Wijaya, a landscape designer, said local designers should look towards the rich local culture like those in Kelantan and Terengganu for inspiration.

“Hotels, the urban environment and now even houses have started to look more like microwave ovens,” he said at a talk during The Star Property Fair 2009 here yesterday.

Sharing ideas: Wijaya showing Star Publications marketing services general manager Iris Tan (left) and Kenny Heights head of marketing Jennifer Chow the design concept of Kenny Heights.

Wijaya challenged the housing industry to break out of its decades-old fascination with landscape designs that “looked man-made and machine-made.”

“Some Bali exports have become soulless,’’said Wijaya.

He said most external and some indoor designs tended to have the “new Asia zen garden design kit” comprising timber grills, U-spouts, leaking black walls and stepping Bali stones.

“Someone told me that by 2050, Asians may have to look to Europe for cultural architecture if things go on (like this),” he said in jest.

He noted however that making gardens and patios more natural looking did not mean that it would lose the modern and contemporary touch either.

ID Benchmark Sdn Bhd art director Valerie Choi said one of the most important things in making a room appear larger was the choice in furnishing.

“Select furniture with an open concept such as wide-legged chairs and coffee tables,” Choi said. One should also be aware of the traffic flow in the room by placing the largest piece of furniture and arranging other smaller furniture around it.

These tips, she said, should be utilised by small space owners particularly city folks who live in high-rise buildings with confined space.

She said owners should also stick to the principle of “less is more.”

“Keep your apartment clean and simple. Clutter free is always stress free.”

She also said the easiest trick of the trade in creating a larger space - by using mirrors.

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