Enduring Elegance

Interior fashions come and go but the secret to a timeless interior is to choose the right fittings and furniture that are beautifully detailed. This is exactly what we found when entered the home of Datin Paduka Hajah Intan Hj Mohd Kassim. Family Treasures, unique souvenirs from worldly travels and sentimental gifts from friends were all pieces that adorned the living spaces of this home personalising it and making it comfortable and inviting.

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Photography by Riley Khoo

With Datin Intan’s long and impressive career in both the police force and in academia it was not surprising to see a beautifully crafted wall to wall wood paneled library filled with books from the ceiling to the floor in the living room of this home. This prominent feature gives the room a quiet coziness and hints at a family who has a definite passion for knowledge. And dotted around the room are other elements which give the home its unique charm, such as Datin Intan’s finely crafted collection of tiny ducks; photos taken by her eldest daughter while on holiday; and an exquisitely fashioned coffee table – with a glass covered pot pourri top which was specially crafted for her 14 years ago by a very good Singaporean friend. As we sit together chatting, I get a sense that the same degree of care and pride that Datin Intan would have applied to her profession, has been used in putting together her home – creating an elegant place that is a sanctuary for her and her family.

Datin Intan is now retired but that does not mean that she has stopped being involved with noteworthy causes, this dedicated lady is currently the chairwoman of ACWC, the Brunei Commissioner on the Rights of Children, as well as the President of the Brunei Netball Association (BNA). Yes, Datin Intan is a busy woman whose days are often packed with activities and events, but she loves what she does. However, she always manages to make time for her granddaughter in the mornings and to join her family for lunch and dinner. Every now and then she invites her friends over for dinner which is held in an appealingly cozy lounge by the living room. On other occasions, her family gets together in the porch located in between her sister’s home next door and her own, where they transform their pool table into a dining table.

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A beautifully crafted wall to wall wood paneled library filled with books from the ceiling to the floor gives the room a quiet coziness and hints at a family who has a definite passion for knowledge.

Looking around this home it is clear that every element and feature infuses it with a sense of comforting warmth that is essential in a family home. When asked whether she feels that she lives in what she considers her ‘dream home’, her answer is simple. Datin Intan believes “that it is about the value and meaning that you include in the home. Big or small, anyone can create and live in a ‘dream home.’ It is simply what you make of it.”


This article was published in the January 2015 issue of Inspire Living Magazine. Download it here!

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