Once Dull and Gloomy Bungalow in Malaysia Is Now a Well-Lit, Contemporary Space

Patterns and colours were used delicately, allowing the furniture and decor to take centrestage.

Tucked away in a charming area in USJ, Subang Jaya, Selangor was a bungalow in need of some love and tender care. The house was at least 15 years old when the current homeowner bought it and had already been renovated by the previous homeowner.

The homeowner sought the services of Effendy Nadzri, co-founder and design director of ENDO KL, to transform the gloomy house.

“The home had a standard design, typical of its time and it wasn’t in the best of shape,” says Effendy.

Some of the previous owner’s decorative choices were, to put it mildly, questionable, but Effendy could see that underneath the gloomy vibe, the home had potential and was exactly what the current homeowner had been looking for.

“The decoration hadn’t ruined it completely, and all of the original architectural features were there.”

Patterns and colours were used delicately, allowing the furniture and decor to take centrestage.

Rising to the challenge

Effendy and his team quickly got to work. The immediate task at hand was to peel back the layers which had been put in over the years.

“I wanted the home to feel light and welcoming, and to have open spaces to let natural lighting in,” says Effendy.

Known as the MH House, the first work they undertook was to knock down unnecessary walls and doors dividing certain areas on the ground floor, improving the overall floor plan for the home.

“I think flow is really important and you want to create a sense of journey for people when they walk in,” he shares.

“We introduced a mudroom in the new layout. It’s a transition space between the outdoor and indoor areas where the homeowners could remove their footwear before entering other parts of the home. It also acts as a catch-all area for keys, bags and other small items,” shares Effendy.

The designer created a mudroom as a transition between the outside and inside.

The once convoluted space is now open and airy. As you enter the house through the mudroom, the courtyard and a pocket garden slowly present themselves as the backdrop of the ground floor area.

The once dull and gloomy interiors are now filled with light. The narrow pocket garden located between the house and the neighbour’s was designed with privacy and calm in mind.

The existing middle courtyard had been an underutilised space but under the deft hands of Effendy, it was turned into a garden to bring the outdoors indoors. This refreshing space is known as the home’s green lung.

The louvre windows and water feature create a soothing facade that promotes natural ventilation and allows plenty of daylight to reach every corner of the home.

Elsewhere in the house, materials such as marble were sourced locally while the customised furniture was mostly made in Malaysia.

Patterns and colours were used delicately, allowing the furniture and decor to take centrestage.

“The devil is in the details so we focused on making every detail of the house work. It was made even more challenging as the renovation was done during the height of the pandemic.

“So what was meant to be a six-month project turned into a year-long task. And we had to quickly adapt to sourcing materials locally which turned out to be a good thing,’ he says, citing the dining table, sofa and pendant lamps as some of the good local finds.

Walking around the house, Effendy feels pleased.

“I wanted the home to have a timeless contemporary feel and a welcoming lightness. Not just in the literal sense of light but the overall feeling when one enters the house, so it would be a place that would be welcoming for both the homeowner and guests,” he says.The TV room is a cosy, relaxing space.

It seems he has succeeded.