Every picture tells a story

Despite its busy, eclectic look, this home interior reflects a very organised approach to design

view of the black grand piano ceiling, interior design, keyboard, living room, musical instrument, piano, player piano, room, gray, black
view of the black grand piano

Appearances can be deceptive. The interior of this home is an eclectic mix of antiques, reproduction furniture and family treasures a style the owner describes as maximalist. But behind the glitz and glamour, there's a highly organised design approach, says Nariza Hajjar Hashim.

"There are several key themes that provide continuity between rooms," she says. "Colour for example most of the furnishings are in varying shades of brown, gold and beige. I also look for repetition in shape. Much of the furniture has similar curves or lines, which helps pull the look together. Texture and pattern also influence my choice and the position of particular items of furniture."

Hajjar Hashim says she sources furniture from a variety of places, including overseas antique markets. The wood table in the entrance lobby is an antique from Denmark, and the high-backed chair next to the table was found in Alfies antique market in London. These items are positioned beneath a large reproduction mirror.

"I love the contrast between old and new, and between glitzy and antique items," she says.

Providing this counterpoint is another common theme throughout the house. But Hajjar Hashim is careful about her choice of reproduction furniture.

"I am particularly fond of the Empire look, for example, but new furniture can be gaudy. I much prefer it to be aged so it has a more authentic look."

rooms open out to the covered terraces floor, flooring, interior design, lobby, brown, gray
rooms open out to the covered terraces

Hajjar Hashim believes interiors look best when they are not furnished in just one style.

"An entire house fitted out with Empire furniture, or in a 60s style isn't always the best solution. It can be better to choose items you love from different periods. If you choose pieces with character and keep to some common theme, they will always mix well. Conversation pieces furniture that has a story to tell are always useful additions."

For her own Malaysian home, Hajjar Hashim wanted to avoid a predictable Oriental or Balinese look.

"I love European interiors, with their mix of antiques and fine fabrics. That look has been interpreted for a tropical setting, which means there is a lot more light and a stronger connection with the outdoors."

In the main living room, there are two back-to-back seating areas, which are designed to provide separate areas for men and women at dinner parties.

"I find these groups tend to gather that way, so I have grouped the furniture accordingly," says Hajjar Hashim. "One area features an antique smoking chair and two Regency striped chairs. Two antique Chinese tables in the centre can be moved around the room as needed. Providing flexibility with furniture layout makes a room practical as well as beautiful."

view of the living that is complimented by ceiling, home, interior design, living room, room, brown
view of the living that is complimented by unique furniture a zebra striped cowhide ottoman, antique chinese table, antique regency chairs, antique empire foot stools, balinese dancer paintings

Symmetry is also a feature of this interior. Furniture, mirrors and art are balanced on either side of the mainreception rooms.

"Within this controlled chaos there is a classical order," says Hajjar Hashim.

This is particularly evident in the formal dining room, which features a large mirror, gold wallpaper, and a ceiling painted with a distressed gold finish.

"Mirrors are a good way to add sparkle to a setting, especially when entertaining at night. The light from the chandelier bounces and reflects to make a room brighter, yet the character and mood are still there."

The French oak dining table, bought in Sydney, is paired with chairs upholstered in a fine, brown leopard-print fabric from Mulberry. The chandelier was another find at Alfies market in London.

White walls feature in the stairwell. Here, the owner has arranged a collection of botanical prints in an ascending order to follow the rise of the stairs.

Credit list

Nariza Hajjar Hashim (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Jim Thompson
Dining room furniture
Chair Co (UK)
Idaman Bina
Kitchen flooring
Amtico tiles
Anwar Zakii, Jailani Hassan,

Story by: Trendsideas

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