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Robert Cheng of Brewin Design Office was given carte blanche to design this family home in Indonesia for an aspiring art collector and his young family


When Robert Cheng of Brewin Design Office was given the floor plan of this apartment in the prestigious Keraton Private Residences in Jakarta, there wasn’t a single internal wall. The designer had the authority to locate rooms anywhere he saw fit, including the kitchen and bathrooms that are typically fixed to ensure efficiency within the stacked construction of a tower.

The client, as aspiring art collector with a young family, came to Cheng with a typical Keraton apartment: an unfinished interior where columns line the perimeter housing plumbing lines. The floor slab is set 45 centimetres below the finished level to allow enough gradient for the drainage pipes to reach anywhere in the plan from the columns.

‘This had interesting potential for us because we approached it as an architecture project minus the roof or facade,’ says Cheng, who helms the Singapore-based design studio. The final plan considers both formal and informal aspects of residential design. The lift opens to a corridor-cum-art gallery where two portals reveal the common living, dining and kitchen spaces. At the other end of the gallery, a door leads into the family room before splitting further into three bedrooms. ‘From their bedroom, each person has to walk though this family nucleus that is part of the private space,’ says Cheng. It’s a simple but effective gesture to improve the social aspects of domestic design. 

The material palette is sophisticated and favours natural materials. Silvery off-white Venetian stucco gives the ceiling and walls a subtle pearlescent sheen. Charcoal-coloured slate flooring in the common spaces adds an industrial touch, while American Walnut flooring in the private areas injects warmth. In the master bathroom, the sinuous veins of Moon Beige honed marble are splashed across surfaces like paint on a canvas, paralleled by the curves of decorative Lefroy Brooks bath fixtures. Linen blinds soften the tropical light while custom-designed carpets soften footfall.

As in all his projects, Cheng approaches the interior design in a holistic manner, considering all aspects from finishing to furniture. Vintage and modern pieces mix, with art a particular focus. In the living room, for instance, Indonesian artist Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo’s resin artwork Volcanic Ash Series #4 is complemented by a bespoke carpet in similar shades of greyish-blue and a dark Orobico marble coffee table from the Brewin Collection. A sculpture of leftover resin layers punctuates the gateway into the dining room, where a custom-designed Orobico marble dining table continues the material conversation from the living room.

Where necessary, Cheng has bestowed gravitas. The living room ceiling is nearly a metre higher than the rest of the house (a result of keeping pipes and ducts to either side). An Anish Kapoor gold dish hangs across the main entrance, its gilt echoing the solid brass door handle. Key thresholds are accented with solid timber frames, as are niches containing artwork and the dining room banquette seat.

At another time and with another brief, Cheng would have liked to explore the country’s artisanal culture. But here, at the client’s request, the interior design is guided by a more international flavour. The construction necessary to attain the refined aesthetic meant workmanship and products were mostly imported: timberwork was milled in Australia and assembled on site by Australian craftsmen; stone was imported from Singapore, and furniture and fixtures were sourced globally. Polished and cosmopolitan, in this home Cheng has pushed boundaries by giving a twist to domestic spatial planning and creating a holistic environment for both artwork and occupants.

Text / Jingmei Luo
Images / Marc Tan (Studio Periphery)

Room to Grow

Interior designer Janice Tjioe approached this family home in Jakarta as she would her own: by maximising functionality without sacrificing aesthetic qualities


‘As an interior designer and a working mom, I know first-hand that what we need from a family home is more than just a functional space; it also needs to be aesthetically pleasing,’ Tjioe explains. The design brief emphasised the need to consider and accommodate the clients’ two young children, so Tjioe took that as her cue to design the relatively compact home to feel more spacious by maximising the available space.

In the living and dining areas, she designed storage units within the weather walnut wall panelling, where every panel is a door to a concealed unit. This strategy is repeated in the master bedroom, where the wall panelling hides extra closet space.

But, Tjioe notes, ‘in a family home, functionality also means durability.’ When selecting materials, this meant a washable area rug and quartz stone atop the dining table and kitchen counter. Both materials can be easily maintained, and the quartz surfaces, which complement the marble flooring, are scratch resistant.

Tjioe wanted to create a ‘relaxed yet sophisticated’ scene throughout the home, so sleek lines, a neutral palette and muted textures come together to offset the more rustic elements. ‘The balance of warm wood and neutral, matte finish make the space cosy and relaxing, while the polished surfaces add a touch of elegance and sophistication. In the dining area, the walnut panelling provides a more rustic palette against which a hand-painted semi-gloss buffet table, champagne leaf pedestal and crystal pendants stand out. The marble flooring that extends into the kitchen is softened with a broadloom area rug in the living area.’

With areas for play, relaxation and spending time together, Tjioe has designed a family home that champions functionality and modern design sensibilities.

Text / Simone Schultz
Images / Ari Iskandar

The Colours of Indonesia

ID12 celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a ‘soulfully Indonesian’ exhibition that offers a vision of modern living inspired by the country’s rich history

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ID12 — an abbreviation for 12 Indonesian Interior Designers — is an association of the country’s interior design luminaries. They were brought together 11 years ago by Erna Nureddin for a collaboration between the designers and Laras magazine, where each would work on one issue over the course of a year. Following such thoughtful match-making, the relationship between the dozen designers has only grown stronger over the years since. As they found themselves in the same circles and working on the same projects, they decided to come together as the ID12 and have since pioneered the creative collaboration known as ‘The Colours of Indonesia.’ Chairman Ary Juwano puts the success of ID12 over the years down to the fact that although they work in the same field, ‘each one of us instils individual style and taste – perhaps this is what holds us together.’

This year marks the 10th anniversary of ID12, and the third iteration of ‘The Colours of Indonesia.’ Since much of their work hadn’t made it into the public sphere (due to the often-private nature of interior design), the group conceived the exposition to showcase the practice and potential of interior design, and at the same time, highlight how design in Indonesia celebrates the country’s rich and multi-cultural history.

Following the two previous editions (in 2014 and 2016), this year’s theme was suitably ambitious. The Maison 12 Suite Apartment is a fully-realised residential building, comprising a showroom/marketing gallery, apartments, gardens and a community cafe. Within this framework, ID12 offers a glimpse into what modern, vertical living could look like in Indonesia’s sprawling and ever-growing cities (particularly Jakarta).

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Ary Juwono was responsible for the marketing gallery, which reflected ‘The Spirit of Sumba’ with eclectic traditional accents fused with contemporary style.

The three-bedroom suite was a collaborative effort by Agam Riadi, Anita Boentarman, Joke Roos, Shirley Gouw and Vivianne Faye. The designers reflected ‘The Soul of Java’ by placing custom-designed mid-century pieces alongside Javanese design and furniture.

Prasetio Budhi, Roland Adam, Sammy Hendramianto S and Yuni Jie brought ‘The Voyage of Borneo’ to life in the two-bedroom apartment, with Indonesian craftmanship at the helm of the modern family home.

Indonesia’s eastern archipelago was represented by experimental duo Eko Priharseno and Reza Wahyudi, who designed decorative elements inspired by ‘The Mystical Papua’. The combination of monochrome and warm hues in the one-bedroom apartment represents the traditional homes of Papua, reinterpreted for a younger generation of city-dwellers.

More than just a home, Masion 12 Suite Apartment offers a ‘living experience,’ so in addition to the exceptional architecture and interior design, the exterior features gardens and spaces designed by Amalya Hasibuan from Eshcol Gardening and Landscape.

Rounding off the concept is Cafe12, an in-house amenity that offers something different: a clean and modern aesthetic where designers, manufacturers and the public can meet, discuss ideas, and develop designs. Here, Eko Priharseno wanted to create an open exchange within the community and showcase the ID12 design process, complimented by a photo exhibition in the café that shows ID12’s journey over the past 10 years.

Befitting this momentous milestone, the third edition of ‘The Colour of Indonesia’ simultaneously pays tribute to the association’s heritage and offers a promising vision for the future.

Text / Simone Schultz
Images / Courtesy of The Colours of Indonesia

Contemporary Colonial

Set over more than 1000 square metres, The Bangka Project in Jakarta reflects modern design sensibilities with a nod towards Dutch colonial architecture


This sprawling property in South Jakarta is the latest in the portfolio of Han Dharmawan Architects. The colonial-style house is infused with a certain old-world charm, while the interiors, by Juliana Muljawan and her team, showcase contemporary and eclectic design. Lighting designer Paul Gunawan, founder of LITAC, rounded off the interior design with various interesting and complimentary light fixtures.

Images / Mario Wibowo