Malaysian couple creates serene, plant-filled home to deal with pandemic anxiety


Safina and her husband Naqiuddin believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home and a space where not only food is created but also memories. Photos: Instagram/rumasafinaqi

The Covid-19 pandemic and movement control orders were what motivated Safina Razak and her husband Naqiuddin Afiq to create a home they could really relax in.

The young couple had to move out of their rented house at the start of the pandemic.

“It was extremely overwhelming and exhausting. The stress of moving house is emotionally and physically draining.

“Covid-19 is the catalyst that spurred us into action. We were inspired to create a home where we could avoid feeling cooped up due to the MCO. We wanted our home to evoke a tranquil atmosphere and be able to recharge us due to pandemic anxiety, ” said Safina, 29.

The couple currently lives in a three-bedroom, 850sq ft (79sq m) apartment in Cyberjaya, Selangor.Safina and her husband chose four colours as the main colour palette for their apartment to ensure they create a design style that appears cohesive and unified.Safina and her husband chose four colours as the main colour palette for their apartment to ensure they create a design style that appears cohesive and unified.

A plant lover, Safina filled up her living spaces with greenery wherever she could to create a “serene abode filled with soothing greenery”.

“By incorporating plants into our house decor, we get to enjoy seeing our plants thrive and survive. Plus, studies have shown that some plants can help eliminate toxins and are able to oxygenate your home. I think it’s the coolest way to freshen up our humble abode, ” said the former research officer turned full-time housewife.

“I believe that our home should be a reflection of who we really are. I know I’m happiest when I get to decorate my home in a way that expresses my personal interests and taste, ” said Safina.

“It is best to cultivate your personal style with what you love the most rather than following the crowd. I won’t say it’s important to have plants in your home since it all depends on personal preference. Keep experimenting and take your time until you find a style that feels right for you, ” she added.

ALSO READ: Malaysians share their secrets to creating cosy corners at home

The couple keeps to a natural, white, green and black palette to ensure they create a design style that is cohesive and unified.

“You can see that we gravitate towards a light, natural and decidedly green look. We incorporated the basic neutral colours, added a few hints of black to emphasise some accessories, and used green plants to brighten up the space.Plants are placed abundantly all over the home to create a serene, soothing feel.Plants are placed abundantly all over the home to create a serene, soothing feel.

“We placed some plants closer to the window while the ones that prefer shade are positioned further inside, ” said Safina.

One of their favourite spaces of the house is the living room.

“That is where we hang out most often since we love binge-watching our favourite TV series there. We specifically chose a four-seater with chaise lounge sofa for its comfort and generous seating. It’s perfect for relaxing, reading and socialising, ” she said.

The couple also loves their leisure room, where they spend time praying together, reading their favourite fiction, working, attending virtual meetings and studying.

“We definitely love this room because of its versatile functionality.

“Last but not least, the third favourite space of our home is the kitchen. We always believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the place where we begin our day with a cup of coffee. It’s also the space where not only food is created but also memories.

“It’s always been our dream to have a sturdy white aluminium kitchen with a shelving system that has all our dishware within reach, ” said Safina.

As for a future decor project, Naqiuddin says they plan to spruce up their main bedroom.

“Due to space constraints, we are still assessing how to infuse comfort and functionality harmoniously. We are also looking into making the most of our balcony. Since it is the only outdoor space in this house, it is the perfect spot to nurture our plants and to enjoy the sunset, ” said Naqiuddin, who is a government administrative and diplomatic officer.

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