For older houses like this 3-storey residence, many of the internal spaces and structures tend to lose their original purpose and beauty due to changes in the owners’ lifestyle or preferences. This usually calls for a major revamp, and in projects like these, we take a more substantial approach by strategically reshaping the layout first.

Project Name: New Heights of Style
Studio Name: PINS Studio Architecture & Interiors
Location: Malaysia
Photography: MOOOTEN Studio


When we first met with the client, they emphasised a modern and spacious environment with a larger dining area and kitchen. It was easy to see why: the existing space was dull and outdated; there was also a lift constructed right in the middle of the house, which somewhat obstructed the internal flow.

Looking at the house from a big picture point of view, it was crucial to first eliminate the redundant corners and dead spaces around the key areas so that we can free up sufficient space to work with. We started with the second floor where the kitchen and dining are placed. To open up the space, we removed the wall of the guest room at the back and turned it into a wet kitchen. In lieu of walls, we created a floor-to-ceiling storage unit that appears like a wall but accommodates a display niche on the far left and plenty of shelves inside for storing things. The wet kitchen is accessible via a hidden door between the shelves. As for the lift, we dressed it in black-toned finishing and affixed a marble-clad partition on its side to tone down its presence while turning it into a supporting focus point for the dining area.


Initially we wanted to keep the entire space open, but after learning from the client that they cook frequently, it was more practical to separate the dry and wet kitchen so that smoke and smells can be kept at bay. This approach turned out to be very advantageous in terms of design. When it comes to spatial configuration, this allowed a more linear layout for the open/dry kitchen and subsequently gave us ample room to incorporate a black kitchen island with an adjacent 8-seater dining table. The storage unit with its sleek white surface also serves as an elegant backdrop to bring all the spaces together into a luxurious theme.

Moving to the ground floor towards the double volume living room, this is where we introduced a strong statement-making element: a massive feature wall with dark wood strips that ascends all the way to the first floor. The design of the wall is meant to be singularly impactful, which makes it an excellent backdrop not just for the main living room but also for the informal living room on the first floor. However, it is more than just a backdrop, as its main role is to function as a central axis to create a cohesive outcome for the entire house. Due to this central element, what felt like a scattered composition of spaces before now transforms into a sense of order and structure.


On the second floor, we applied a similar treatment for the master bedroom, but in a smaller scale. The dark wood headboard visually anchors the room, drawing the eyes to the bed. We used similar finishes for the wardrobe surface opposite the room which, like the dry kitchen storage unit, has a concealed door that opens into the walk-in wardrobe. To break the monotony of the dark brown surfaces, a cosy corner at the side is infused with a decorative shelving unit. All around, we used a consistent palette of soft greys, whites and wood-tones are used, one blending with the other to elevate this house to a new stylish level.


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