By Sharmini Jayawardena
I wish I had the opportunity of watching some of these TV reality shows Instant Hotel and Better Homes and Gardens and so on that I hear being promoted on my radio station way away in Australia.
Beauty in every form and creativity inspire me and invoke creativity in me. More so since I myself am involved in a few projects of my own at the moment on however small a scale it may be. Exposure to different ideas and points of view would help me progress in my own ways of thought I believe.
Having said that I would like to share two spaces I created. One from what looked like a bunch of hobos had been occupying the space and looked almost unlivable in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The other in North Melbourne, Australia which looked like a tornado had struck it! These were the first impressions I got the moment I walked in. There was so much decluttering and putting into place which needed to be done in the second space. It felt like one would not know where to start!
With the 3 roomed (1000 sq foot / 93 sq meter) apartment in KL I had to hire a painter to paint the entire space and he also undertook to clean up the windows and electric switches and even the floors.
(However one would think the job of cleaning up the place ended there. But no! I washed the entire floor which unearthed more grit and dirt and finally we were through with the cleaning!?)
I asked him to paint the entire space in brilliant white! When he asked me what about the doors? I said “white”?He asked what about the windows? I said “white”? So it was white white white all the way and it worked wonders. It made the space look larger than it actually is. Light colors have that effect on spaces.
The painter was repeating the word “bái sè” “bái sè” repeatedly which meant white in Mandarin (白色) and I later found out the colour white denoted Energy of metal in Chinese Feng Shui.
Thereafter I positioned the furniture in its optimum places and we didn’t have to buy any new furniture except for a bench with shoe rack for the entrance a shoe rack for the inside from Jusco and a kitchen stool from IKEA.
I had envisaged a container garden just outside the front door at the entrance. We managed to make that happen too. Today there’s a beautiful container garden with different textures on different levels creating a welcoming look.
There is also a herbal garden of mint, Vietnamese mint and sweet basil on the kitchen windowsill.
The outer and inner garden numbering about 60 potted plants take about an hour to water, replant and accessorize every once in two days.
The Melbourne space was a wool warehouse of many years ago where they lived and worked from; now turned into creative spaces. This gorgeous studio apartment is shared by an artist and a film script writer / theatre person who also runs a club. The gallery, theatre and club are down below. I have referred to this in my post on Traveling to the Urban areas in and around the CBDs a few weeks ago. They are well worth talking about and of course visiting.
It needed a thorough overhaul as in decluttering and organizing and I managed to do the most of it in 1 1/2 days.
The first level included an artist’s studio the living area kitchen laundry and bathroom. One large bedroom which doubled as a playroom a second bedroom overlooking the balcony and a hide-a-way was on the level above.
This is how most of it looked after decluttering and putting furniture paintings clothing toys kitchenware and books into place.
Even here I found I had placed the various pieces of furniture exactly according to Chinese Feng Shui. A friend who knew all about it confirmed the fact?