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Sequestered along a row of small residential units that are identical in appearance within a tightly packed neighbourhood, is a home with enough external differences that it immediately stands out from its kin.

This residence, which graced the pages of BHC Magazine back in 2014, has undergone a fair bit of renovation and has seen its décor consistently changed and upgraded over the past few years. Some of our readers may even recognise this home from the owner’s Instagram social media account ‘Our.Mini.Home’. Qualifying as a Diamond in the Rough, this gem of a home is rich in personality and stands as a testament that regardless of size, any internal space can be beautified to your preferences.

“I want to inspire others,” Zeha says as she explains the reasoning behind her willingness to openly share images of her pursuits in interior decorating. “As you can see, this is quite a small house and I wanted to send a message to everyone, to prove that it does not matter, it still can be done nicely,” Zeha says.

With a penchant for grey and white hues, complemented by small spots of colour spread throughout the property, Zeha, who is a primary school Mathematics teacher, has succeeded in making the space seem bigger than it appears. The curtains, walls, carpets and canvass couch of grey lend extra weight to the entire scene, while white-washed tables, chairs, shelves and cabinetry lend a pristine aesthetic. To prevent these cooling colours from creating a dull and drab atmosphere, earthy browns in the form of a canvass couch, the staircase, signboards with quotes, as well as trays containing an assortment of knick knacks act as a counterbalance. With lights of various designs suspended from the ceiling, table lamps and candles emitting a golden glow, the space is made warm and welcoming. Big or small, many of these

“We believe in supporting local businesses,” says Zeha’s husband with a note of pride in his voice. A Staff Sergeant in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, he proceeded to list out the many locales from which he and his wife sourced their furnishings. With a collection of products from a wide-range of businesses populating this home including Ashley Furniture, Jackhan, Thompsons, IKEA, Say Koo Liew, BR electrical, Khan’s Carpets and Wallpaper, Knick-Knacks, and Euro Classics – all I can say is “He wasn’t kidding!” With the economy starting to show signs of recovery it is so gratifying to hear this sentiment, and to see evidence of it being backed up.

Around the corner from the living room is a kitchen that used to be small in nature. Having undergone extension works in recent history, the kitchen is lengthy enough to comfortably accommodate a dining table set. Purchased at a store that has since closed down, this furnishing is made slightly more unique. Even though it only takes a few short steps to get from the living room to the kitchen, there are several ceiling lights of various design that fill upper reaches with yet more personality, which when combined with the assortment of knick knacks, grants the wandering eye with a smorgasbord of visual pleasure.

The Master Bedroom and a second room that has been converted into a makeshift office, which could easily pass for a handbag gallery, also showcases items from multiple sources. The bedroom is in fact the only part of the home that boasts a complete set.

“I like to look around at all the shops” for the purpose of mixing and matching,” Zeha says before her husband interjects that, “She is very good at it too,” before adding that his wife is responsible for the majority of the decorating. In addition to Zeha being a born natural when it comes to interior decorating, the age-old adage “Happy Wife, Happy Life” most definitely comes into play, which elicited a round of bemused laughter, with the man of the house giggling in complete agreement.

Basing her inspirations from multiple sites online, Zeha admits that most of her friends tend to unanimously elect her home as their chill-out spot, which to be honest, comes to the BHC Magazine team as no surprise. So as we leave this lovely home and I am reminded, from an external view, just how small the property actually is, all I can think is: Never judge a book by its cover because the contents of this particular story is rich with detail, and abundant in personality.

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