Exclusively designed by leading interior design firm, Nu Infinity to reflect upscale living in a personalized way, The Naturalist is a 2,700 sqft home inspired by the life of a successful photographer who is also an avid traveller.
“The brief required us to achieve absolute luxe whilst fulfilling the client’s requirement for a living space suited for a travelling photographer and his family,” says the Nu Infinity design team.
The atmosphere instantly transforms into a bespoke one as you step into the unit; here, the rough stone wall and feature timber ceiling lead you into the home with an indirect division of the living and dining. The dining area is designed with dark mirrors on one side, reflecting the vertical wall of plants on the other side, giving the impression that you are dining in a semi-outdoor space.
“Our design concept was moving towards having the best of both worlds,” the designers say. “Imagine coming home to a landed property in the air. As soon as you exit your private lift lobby, you step into a welcoming foyer that allows you to tuck all your shoes neatly into the vertical plant wall. The extra greens that come from the vertical plants also help to bring softness to the walls and give an airy presence.”
For the family living area, the space has been turned into the owner’s personal gallery where he displays his best works and memorabilia from his travels. Throughout the home, the emphasis is on the use of natural materials such as solid wood, plants, natural light and marble to create a luxuriously tranquil space.
The soothing nature-inspired concept continues into the master bedroom which has been designed with a tucked-away corner by the full height window bay that provides the owner with his own sanctuary to relax or get inspired.
“The richness and depth of the design boil down to the material proposed and selected,” the designers explain. “As such, the details and deep understanding of how each material is applied in terms of design, tone, colour, balance and proportions would determine how refined the design would be.”
Interview with Nu Infinity
Nu Infinity Sdn. Bhd. was shortlisted as one of the finalists in the Show Flats & Developments category of 2016’s SBID International Design Awards for The Naturalist show apartment. Creative Home caught up with them to learn more about the design of this project.
Can you tell us more about the project’s initial brief?
Property developer Guocoland Malaysia requested us to propose and construct a large-scale show unit to reflect the high class lifestyle of owning a unit at the upscale area of Damansara, Malaysia. The show units are priced high and thus targeted at wealthy clients seeking posh lifestyles. At the same time, we were requested to come up with a scenario so that potential clients are able to relate to the design.
Can you tell us more about this “scenario”? How does it translate into the design of this home?
Yes, the design is inspired by the life and style of a photographer who’s also an avid traveller. The owner frequently travels the world for both business and pleasure. His street and urban photography are appreciated by local and oversea travel magazines and you would see his works displayed in the family room, which we have turned into a memorabilia cum best-work display space. When he has his day off, he would chill in the living area with his family and when there are guests, the dining table is large enough to accommodate many people. This is followed by sharing sessions of his travels and works in the family room. When he needs to tune out the world to brainstorm for inspirations and ideas, his favourite spot would be the platform corner at the master bedroom.
Let’s talk about the materials used – what’s dominant?
Emphasis is on the use of natural and quality materials such as solid wood, plants, natural lighting and real stones such as marble to achieve a nature-inspired ambience. It was also vital to get the right shades of solid wood. In Malaysia, we have a lot of hardwood that tend to be dark in nature. We sourced and experimented with a wide range of locally produced wood and selected one with the ideal colour, stable in nature and more importantly, one that grows fast compared to others so that we are using a sustainable source of wood.
What are some unique details implemented in the interior?
Careful use of mirrors in different colours throughout the unit helps to elongate the space, widen the view and create posh ambiences. Dead spaces are also given new meaning such as the platform in the master bedroom which the owner can use for reading and thinking.
What are the challenges that you have encountered along the way?
It would have been easy to create a luxury-looking house. However, good designs materialise from good and challenging briefs. Given that the owner is a photographer, we thought about how he would utilise the spaces in a non-conventional way and how his works can be “embossed” into his home. For many photographers, photography itself is one’s life, one in which he or she dedicated himself or herself entirely to – such as the famous American photographer Steve McCurry. Hence we wanted this house to be a reflection of his works, passions and life. Additionally, the design of the unit is versatile enough to be located anywhere in the world – eventhough the photographer constantly travels, he would still feel that he is, in fact, not away from home. When he does return home, the home would also remind him of his travels.
Photos courtesy of Nu Infinity
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