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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Waterfront view

The house wraps around an island of palms in front with a view of the swimming pool, pond and golf course at the back.

The soft morning dew came, blanketing the wide expanse of golf course, lake and pool. At the edge of the lake, buffered by a swimming pool, stands a double-storey bungalow. With an area of 18,000 sq ft, it is one of the largest plots in Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, Petaling Jaya. Most of the bungalow lots there are about half the size.

By virtue of its lakeside location, and encircled by the golf course, it has one of the best panoramic views. It is along this premise that the house is designed ­– to take full advantage of its picturesque vicinity.

This is more than a waterfront home. It is a sanctuary not for one family but two or more. Artfully designed, with technology and aesthetics to match, the owner has shaped and formed it according to his needs, fancy and imagination. With a built-up of 11,000 sq ft, it is fluidly designed to be a haven for a large and extended family.

“My parents come to stay often, at stretches of several months in a year. Their unit, although adjoining ours, has its own entrance and car porch, although it is accessible from this side as well. The three rooms on that side are separated from the rooms on this side, so there is privacy all around,” says the owner.

What looks like one grand house is in fact two, each with its own kitchen, verandah, rooms, entrance and living area. The second unit is separate from the main family home but is easily accessible as both are designed as a single entity.

With concepts and designs that come with form and functionality, the owner has masterfully designed the house to offer views from every part of the home.

A cluster of palms and a fish pond face the entrance.

The two-storey building curves around a clump of palms and fish pond in the front and spreads out like an Oriental fan, with the verandah at the outer fringes overlooking the waterfront and golf course.

While the main family occupies one portion of the home, the owner’s parents occupy the adjoining unit. There is ample space for parking for both families at both ends of the fan-like structure.

As one enters the front gates, the sound of children’s laughter is evident. The children have their playroom at one end and one has to pass by this to get to the front door. “When I leave or come home, I get to say my goodbyes and hellos,” says the owner.

The children’s playroom is unique. It is large enough to fit a bed with ample area for play. The room opens out to the maid’s room on one side and a work area and kitchenette cum utility area on the other. The children also have their room upstairs, adjoining the master bedroom.

A large and welcoming foyer which leads to different parts of the house.

“The children spend most of the day here and I wanted them to be comfortable as far as possible. The objective is to have an area where the helpers can mind the children and yet continue with their routine chores. If they need to rest, they may do so as their room looks out into the children’s play area. Because of the orientation of the house, they are able to keep an eye on the front entrance as well,” he says. The front door is located at the centre of the structure, after passing the children’s play room. The foyer is large and welcoming with its different arches leading to different areas of the house.

The focal point of the living area is obviously the breathtaking view of the swimming pool, lake and golf course. One is automatically drawn to the verandah, which fans out to offer a panoramic view of the surroundings.

He says: “There are multiple seating and entertaining areas, most of them with a view of the outdoors. I have set the house in a certain way to maximise the view and have also built a home office as most people work from home today. The view from the home office is also inspiring. This house is quite high-tech. You can see it from anywhere in the world.”

Because he believes the kitchen is the heart of the house, he has furnished the dry kitchen practically with space for paperwork to be done besides the normal utility area.

“The children can watch TV here. I have done it this way because people generally spend 30% of their time in the kitchen. And you also get a wonderful view of the outdoors from here too. This may well be the kitchen with the best view in this development.”

Because he travels widely, the owner has decorated the place beautifully with collectibles he has sourced from all over; mother-of-pearl lamps for the Shanghai 1920s room, knick-knacks from Africa for the Safari room, and a Cuba-inspired poster and doors and stone figurines from Bali.

He admits that many of them are whimsical but they complete the place. Other than several pieces from faraway places, most of them are from Bali, Thailand, China and other parts of Asia.

“This is not a Balinese house. If I wanted that, I would have gone to live in Bali,” he says.

He has taken great pains with everything from building, fitting out and decoration. It is, after all, for the family to enjoy. It is a sanctuary for the people living here and a treat for guests.

Salient points

Double-storey leasehold bungalow with pool, selling lock, stock and barrel RM9.4mil (Bill Thompson, 012-205-1259)

Land area: 18,000 sq ft

Built-up : 11,000 sq ft

Seven bedroom ensuite, 1 powder room

Outstanding features: One of the largest pieces of land offering the best view of lake and landscapes. Masterfully designed to fit several generations.

By The Star (by Thean Lee Cheng)

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