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Friends with benefits
Full Article 4 minutes read

“I’m telling you, I really have no idea at all how to design an interior space. I will go out shopping and buy furnishings, but when it comes to decorating, even in my own house, I will call my friend, Lya.”

This is the essence of our story this month, and while you may not be able to choose the people who make up your immediate family, you most certainly can pick your friends. In the case of Hajah Suzy, an energetic English-Language teacher, her choice was always obvious. Friends since childhood, Hajah Suzy always utilises the expertise of her go-to-girl when it comes to interior decorating, in an ideal relationship and partnership that has survived the test of time.

In a light moment of humour, both women share a giggle over Lya’s unofficial title of ‘Designer yang inda bersijil’ or ‘The Uncertified Designer’. Anyone in the audience who finds this a little suspect need not fear, as our mysterious decorator’s own residence can be found gracing the front cover of the March Issue (Volume 71) of BHC Magazine.

As coincidence would have it, these longtime friends also share similar tastes and styles. Whether it is a love of muted tones such as white and grey, or an appreciation for similar furnishings inclusive of couches, tables, lights, and knick knacks.

Slightly over 4,000 square feet in size, the front entrance branches off in opposing directions, heading towards the main living room as well as a smaller more private living space. Both areas are lovely for entertaining guests and with Hari Raya having just concluded, it is easy to imagine how the extra seating area can come in handy when entire clans come knocking.

A low lying glass-topped table in the centre of the small living room plays host to an array of home design magazines from Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia. Seeing our publication arranged neatly amongst our regional counterparts, for guests to peruse, was admittedly a moment of pride for the team. This space gives off a stronger and more personal feel as it is easy to imagine the immediate members of a family, or really close friends interacting with one another here, whereas the larger living room feels more attuned to larger and slightly more formal gatherings.

The coffee table in the smaller living room serves as a focal point, with the white and grey-trimmed canvas couch, cabinets and décor aligned towards the table in the centre. The larger living room is a fun exercise in seat positioning, with an L-shaped couch, and other smaller sofas and tables placed in a manner resulting in a path that winds around the living room, for those wanting a close up with some of the décor. It has to be mentioned that the amount of décor is tasteful and does not feel cluttered at all. The use of tall narrow standing mirrors in both living rooms is a unique embellishment that strays away from the more traditional use of a mirror as a space-filling wall adornment.

A corridor that runs between the large living room past the kitchen towards a side entrance has been turned into a third impromptu chill-out space. This area consisting of a high topped coffee table and bar stools is a sight quite reminiscent of our March home feature, and more proof of a certain designer’s personal touch. It gets better

Following the end of the BHC Magazine photo shoot at this lovely Kampung Mata-Mata residence, Hajah Suzy extended an invitation to partake in some refreshments. Upon realising that there were snacks (absolutely delicious and spicy pies baked by the owner’s South African colleague) on the table but no plates, Hajah Suzy vocally asked Lya, “Where are the plates?”

This led to a brief but hilarious, rapid back-and-forth chat in which Lya responded, “It’s your house, go get some from the kitchen.” Hajah Suzy then fires back, “But you bought them and I don’t know where you stored them in my kitchen. You’re in there more often than I am!” Lya then marched off, with good humour into the kitchen calling towards us over her shoulder, “See! I’ve designed and placed almost everything.” The homeowner then smiled brightly, nodding her head in agreement and appreciation of her childhood pal.

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