Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Design for Denai Alam

This project is an interesting one, a joint collaboration with contractor Pintas Kilas.

The lady owner's favourite colour is deep pink, hence you can see a lot of this colour here. We also use a lot of warm tropical wood - dark nyatoh.

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The material used in this kitchen is Modena Pigment Matt in Snow White colour.  

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This space was originally the air-well. The owners created a concrete slab flooring on the 1st floor  so that on the ground floor, this space is converted into a room.

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Behind this dry kitchen is the powder room, and adjoins to the living hall.

interior design Malaysia
This dining room faces the dry kitchen.

interior design Malaysia

interior design Malaysia
The living room.

interior design Malaysia
The walk-way to 1st floor is all cladded with nyatoh wood panelling.

interior design Malaysia
The cozy living room.

interior design Malaysia
The four poster bed looks luxurious with light silky drapes.

interior design Malaysia
The master bedroom.

interior design Malaysia
The walk-in wardrobe hidden behind the tv panel.

interior design Malaysia

interior design Malaysia
This is how the air-well looks like after it's sealed with a glass roofing and a new concrete slab done on the floor. 

interior design Malaysia
The rattan lighting creates interesting shadow effects on the walls in the bathroom.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Design for Bandar Sunway

I am very excited to share that this Semi-D kitchen has been selected as a feature for 2 magazines! The first time this kitchen appeared in magazine was in the January/February 2013 issue of DAPUR IMPIAN.

* The 2nd photoshoot and interview by Creative Homes has been scheduled on Friday 8th March 2013. I will post the pics later.

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Mrs Aslam - the proud owner of this beautiful home who just loves to cook up a storm and entertain guests.
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Mrs Aslam's comfortable and elegant dining area, where every piece of  utensil is carefully selected to  reflect the Contemporary Asian Style.
 Setting the time for this photoshoot wasn't very easy! The Aslam family was extremely busy...There was almost always guests in the home and some sort of function going on! Mrs Aslam just love to be surrounded by visiting family members. In fact, the DAPUR IMPIAN editor was so captivated by this kitchen that she wanted to come back for a 2nd photoshoot to get a better angle picture to put on the MAGAZINE COVER but we couldn't fix a date within the short notice as there were visiting relatives (from Singapore, I think) and the kind hostess didn't want her guests to be uncomfortable.

And because she loves people, Mrs Aslam makes sure her home is fully equipped with all the comfort stuff that makes the environment both warm, appealing and of course very inviting and welcoming for anyone who steps in.

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

This is the open-concept kitchen that produces all the food for the numerous and endless functions...

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The modern kitchen that is functional, aesthetically pleasing and yet durable enough  to cater to a busy cook.

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The owner asked for tiles instead of glass. She didn't want too much gloss.

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The handles are carefully selected so that there are no sharp edges, nor are there any protrusion that can "catch" our clothes.  

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The long Island Unit 
The 2 editors of DAPUR IMPIAN was rather curious and wondered why this long island unit has no chair or leg-in space for people to sit, unlike other kitchens they had visited. The owner explained that she had enough sitting space : a large dining table for proper sit-down dinners, and a kopitiam marble table in the garden for coffee or light meals. What she needed was lots of WORK SPACE - space for her to prepare food, must be big enough for the maid or any other relative/friend who is assisting her because her kitchen is an extremely busy one.

kitchen cabinet malaysia

She has chosen the top brand of solid surface - Dupont Corian which is an American brand and is stain-resistant ( however Dupont Corian is not scratch-proof ).

Tips for Dupont Corian Care:
A few weeks before the Dapur Impian team came, I had dropped by for my own photoshoot for pictures to be submitted to the magazine...Mrs Aslam showed me some yellowish stains on the solid surface that she couldn't get rid of. Her maid had wanted to use an abrasive detergent Cif to remove the stain. I said "NO!" ..anything abrasive would spoil the surface, because it's not scratch-proof.

The proper way is -
a) Use your finger to rub a clear detergent (not abrasive) like Sunglo or Sunlight into the stain.
b) Leave for 15 minutes.
c) Clean with a soft cloth and water.
d) If the stain is not much, this would suffice. However, if there are any more remaining stains, repeat step (a) to (c) again.
e) After removing stain, apply wax - PLEDGE Furniture Polish, which can be available in Ace hardware or Harvey Norman. I've also seen this in ColdStorage.
f) The purpose of step (e) is to leave a layer of oil for the shiny glow. Also, the layer of oil prevents stubborn stains like curry and coffee from seeping in.

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The kitchen is a blend of 2 materials:
1) Finoline Crystal Gloss - Oyster Grey colour
2) Imported Rosa Laminate - Woodline Mocha colour

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia
The open kitchen is connected to the dining area, which overlooks the garden. Very pleasant dining environment indeed. The owners didn't want any grilles on the glass panels - spoil the view, they say!

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Our in-house brand of accessories, Etica, provide the modern luxury and convenience, minus the high expense of European brands. Same function, lesser costs. 

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Finoline Crystal Gloss doors - Oyster Grey colour

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The kopitiam marble table located in the outdoors for light meals and coffee chats.

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The owner insists on premium appliances - a Teka fridge, oven and microwave. 

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A view of the kitchen, coming in from the living hall.
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The Aslam house is an interesting blend of Chinese furniture and pottery and some Persian and Turkish collection items.

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The tea room next to the dining area. Notice the blend of Chinese mother-of-pearl chests, Balinese teakwood day-bed, and Persian rug. 

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Chinese blue pottery greets the visitor at the main door.

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The garden that surrounds the tea room and dining room.

kitchen cabinet malaysia
Cost of this kitchen - RM28,000

Testimonial from Mr Aslam :

“ Right from the beginning, the designers at Meridian guided us through colours, concept and space planning , to come out with a very practical and attractive kitchen which is admired by all our friends. They also helped us with budgeting and worked out a reasonable price that fits our budget.

-          Mr Mehru Aslam Haroon
Executive Director,
FIMA Bulking Group Of Companies. “

DAPUR IMPIAN Jan/Feb 2013 issue

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

kitchen cabinet malaysia

Before Make Over Pictures

As designers, we derive our satisfaction from watching the project develop from an empty canvass on the computer screen up to the stage where everything is fully delivered and installed. Our passion is to see everything turns out well.

Normally I would advice our customers not to start hacking anything before the space planning and design concept is already confirmed and approved. Unfortunately some people contact us AFTER their contractor has finished their civil works, in which case we won't be able to help improve on the layout and design.

Since Meridian has 2 divisions, our sister company Meridian Inspiration Sdn Bhd, is specialized in modern kitchen cabinetry. Space planning, electrical and plumbing planning in the kitchen is our specialty! Therefore if you have left the planning to the contractor, then come to meet us after the contractor's job is done, you won't be able to fully benefit from a kitchen specialist's service. Meridian Inspiration carries the premium brand of kitchen - Signature, so all our Sales Designers are sent to the Signature factory once every 2 weeks for training. I place a lot of importance on upgrading of skills and knowledge so attendance at trainings are included as part of our KPI (Key Performance Index) measure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Choosing A Good Hood

For first time home owners, you're probably feeling baffled with so many items to purchase for your new home. Today I received a common question that many customers ask us.

" Dear Meridian Team,

I would like to ask your opinion regarding the difference between hood/hob brands like Rubine, rinnai, fagor, Teka, Zanussi, etc...

We know that every brand have their specialty, but we dont know which brand will suits our needs. Our concern is, our house has no separation between kitchen and living room, so we have to choose a very good hood to avoid smoke and the oil spread to the living room.

What is commonly recommended to your customer? We would be VERY HAPPY AND GRATEFUL =) if your team can give an idea/opinion on how to choose a good/quality kitchen appliances (esp hob and hood)

Thanks! Have a nice day everyone =) "
My reply was :
Hi xxx,

TQ for your email.

All those brands you mentioned are reputable ones so it doesn't matter so much what brand you choose. For a strong suction hood choose something of 1200 m3 suction power . Plan your ducting (to channel the hot air out of the house) as short as possible. The longer the ducting, the lesser the suction power. Similarly for each time the ducting bends, the suction power is reduced.

If there are no large windows in the kitchen, you'll need a ventilation fan to remove stale air. A ventilation fan does not serve the same purpose as a hood and so does not substitute the other.

Hope this helps.

Lola Lim 016-2926357

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Should a houseowner be charged for these?

Today I received an email. The writer asked for a neutral opinion whether she had been fairly charged. Below is what she had written :

"Dear Lola,

I enjoyed reading your blog very much. You are very generous in sharing your knowledge and guiding inexperienced homeowners on the ins and outs of renovation work.

I wish I had come across your blog and your company earlier, as I would then definitely consider your services. As it is, I'm already working with an ID for my new house and I have some issues with her.

I wonder if you may be so kind as to clarify or explain some things.

Is it the usual procedure for ID firms to charge the houseowner for:

- "workman compensation and contractor-all-risk insurance"?

- floor protection (shouldn't this be part of the proper way of doing things?)

- to regrind and polish existing timber flooring (if I'm already paying for "floor protection", why should the floor need regrinding?)

I would be grateful if I can help clarify the above for me.

Thanks so much for your time,

Ms Tan (*name had been changed )"

This was my reply to her :

Hi Ms Tan (*name had been changed),

Thank you for your email.

I hope I'm able to help shed some light to your confusion with my answers below :

 "workman compensation and contractor-all-risk insurance"

Different companies have different policies. For larger scale renovation work, some companies charge 0.5% on total cost for workers' compensation and the contractor's insurance. More than this for commercial reno work. Some ID firms choose to waive this for small projects.

"floor protection (shouldn't this be part of the proper way of doing things?)"

Whether the ID charge back this amount to customers depend on the standard the ID company is expected to deliver.

1) Normal way to protect the floor is with plastic canvas but this material doesn't do a very good job. Many times, scratches will still appear.

2) A better and costlier way is to lay the whole floor with plywood and canvas - very costly and we indeed do charge back to customer. Some people do ask why we must charge but don't re-use for another project? Because after the renovation, all these plywood ends up dirty and spoilt and cannot be re-used without causing scratches on the next house's floor.

Cheaper contractors - do not protect floor and don't charge for this.

Medium end contractors - no charges for this but just use canvas.

High end contractors - charge for this and use plywood for best protection.

A contractor's dilemma is always the question - How much protection should we provide? How high is customer's expection? Some customers are not bothered with small scratches, but some customers will want to regrind the floor.

"to regrind and polish existing timber flooring (if I'm already paying for "floor protection", why should the floor need regrinding?)"

Timber flooring is extremely difficult to protect. Just one medium sized grain of sand that goes under the protection board is enough to cause a scratch. Even using maximum protection like plywood is not enough to prevent this from happening. So we also have to prepare our customers for this and offer to regrind the floor at a cost. Some customers choose to accept the eventuality of minor scratches and save this cost of regrinding.

Looks like your ID sets high standards, that's why more pricey.

The final part of the correspondence is :
"Dear Lola,

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain things to me. It's much appreciated.

It's all a lot clearer now; and it looks like I can't avoid paying those charges!

Ms Tan (*name had been changed) "

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make Over Of Kitchen, Ampang

This project is to make over an old kitchen. This house is a subsale property in Ampang, a double storey link house. We were given the task to propose the extension of the backyard, tear down the old cabinets and to plan a new kitchen layout. Unfortunately we did not take any pictures of the kitchen before the renovation work.

 We had proposed an island unit as the kitchen is big enough after the extension. As kitchen planners, an island is ALWAYS our preferred proposal whenever space allows as :
1) An island is the most elegant.
2) With today's concept of an open kitchen, people like to gather around an island top whether during food preparation or during informal light meals.
3) It's no fun working facing the wall!

 As the owner has an existing microwave that is still fairly new, we had left sufficient space in the tall unit for her to purchase a built-in microwave in the near future. All the relevant wiring and switch point had been prepared for this eventuality.

Solid surface at sink area with raised side profile to prevent water from dripping to the floor.
This kitchen uses a combination of UV Gloss White and Rosemore Beech Laminate and costs RM18,775 with some accessories included.

"The pricing is reasonable as it was during the Homedec Promotion. I selected Meridian as I have faith in the Signature Kitchen brand that they carry. Meridian has helped me with advice on space planning and storage utilization. Yes, I would definitely recommend Meridian to my friends and family to help them with their kitchen makeover to maximise space usage.

In summary, I would describe Meridian as paying excellent detail to kitchen design and space maximisation."

Madina Zolkepli,
AmBank Bhd