Home design for the New Year (part 3) – Home trends from an architect perspective


Interior decor trends come and go. The changes in design details and elements not only inspire a new mood but also reflects the current sentiment.

For enthusiasts who are looking for home design tips, StarProperty.my has invited home and living tastemakers from interior design, lifestyle furniture and architecture industries to share tips on what is catching fire and what is losing lustre.

Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) president Ezumi Harzani Ismail

In selecting building materials and house design, the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) president Ezumi Harzani Ismail shares insights for homeowners to take into account:

  • Architecturally trendy design responding to the active and dynamic new generation;
  • Incorporating green features that reduce building footprint;
  • Simplifying the building shape and maximising the space;
  • Designs that allow for expansion, physical flexibility or deconstruction;
  • Flexible space usage such as home-office that enables the owner to work from home.


What’s IN and what’s OUT for 2019



#IN -Smart and eco-friendly
New technology is introduced every day to ease our daily lives. As digital natives, millennials are keen on smart homes with the presence of Internet-connected home devices that offer data integration, remote support and cloud-based access.

“The eco-friendly features are also sought after to counter the high cost of living. Besides, promoting resource efficiency, it will also encourage healthier living,” said Ezumi.



#IN – Lifestyle-focused
Following the improving living standard, home has become more than just a roof over the head.

Ezumi said the housing products today must come with lifestyle elements, and homebuyers are willing to pay more for a better living environment.

For example, the new housing projects across the country generally come with lifestyle facilities such as gymnasium, swimming pool, recreation deck and social kitchen.



#IN – Home office
The influence of the internet and cyber technologies has boosted the work-from-home opportunities.

“Thus, the need for study room or home office equipped with a computer and other office facilities will be increasingly important in the new house design,” Ezumi.



#IN — Adaptable house
“Adaptable homes that promote modularity, plug and play of building elements are popular among Malaysians,” said Ezumi.

The adaptable house allows flexibility to be reconfigured and renovated either horizontally or vertically.

Moreover, the flat and soundproof suspended ceiling are also among the building materials that homeowners look forward to.



#IN — Clean line and open space
Majority of the new building structures are being designed as open space with clean and sleek lines. According to Ezumi, it is not only faster to construct but also easier to maintain.

“However, the modern and international design style prevalent worldwide today makes any city in the world look the same,” said Ezumi.



#Out – Big kitchen and dining area
“A big kitchen and dining room may not be in the wish list of 2019 home design,” said Ezumi.

The growing trend of socialising through meetings at restaurants resulted in booming F&B businesses.

“This has adversely reduced the need for a big dining space at home,” said Ezumi.


#Out – Traditional building features
Though it means a departure from the local culture and heritage, the traditional building features such as wood carving or ukir will gradually disappear in the future building design.

“Not only it is hard to find skilled artisans, it is also costly even when you do. It makes more sense for the designer to source for mass-produced materials at a lower price,” explained Ezumi.