This spacious, comfortable home is brimming with character and tells a story of travel, close family ties and an appreciation for the peaceful, laid back lifestyle of Brunei.
There is a quotation that says, “I want my home to be that kind of place – a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome.” (M. DeMuth). We believe that this family has succeeded in creating that special kind of place. Originally from both BSB and Seria, these homeowners spent 15 years living in London, Paris and Brussels. When they returned to live in Brunei in 2005, they moved back into the wife’s family home which was built in the early 90s. It now accommodates the couple, their children and grandmother. Their three older children have consecutively left to study overseas so now the couple, who both have busy careers; their youngest son and the wife’s mother are the main occupants of the house. The wife explained that they wanted their family home to be tastefully decorated but more importantly, to be inviting, comfortable and practical.
When there are three generations of people living in one house you can expect to see very distinctive styles of furnishings. In this home the styles complement each other and create an interesting setting. Neatly tucked away at the far end of the house is a living room which has been decorated with a refined selection of antique furniture purchased when the couple lived in Brussels. This French style furniture is impressive because it effectively combines rich dark wood and beautiful linens to create a welcoming, cosy room. Adding a special touch to this room are the cherished plaques of the young children’s hand and footprints. These were done in the U.K. and now sit proudly on top of the display unit – a reminder of how quickly time flies and the importance of treasuring times spent with family.
Going into another living room and the dining area, the setting changes completely – here the rooms are adorned with exquisite rosewood furniture. The wife explained, “My mum just loves rosewood! This furniture is about 25 years old and was bought in Hong Kong.” This intricately carved furniture is functional, decorative and will no doubt be kept in the family for many more years to come. What is also noticeable in this home are details like the attractive patterned accent walls; the vibrant cushions which add texture and dimension to the rooms; and gorgeous curtains which perfectly frame the windows – all by local interior furnishing company Fabrica. Other personal pieces which add character to the rooms are the piano which the children practiced on and a wooden antique chest from childhood days in Seria. On the upper level of the house, there are four spacious bedrooms; and a family entertainment room which is a comfortable child–friendly environment with collections of books and toys displayed on shelving units. Wandering around this home, the wife and mother recalled fond memories of the children when they were young; and her face beamed when she spoke about her three older children who are now independent young adults embarking on their own exciting travel adventures. It’s clear that for this couple, “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” (MJ Fox)
These days, with just the youngest son at home, the wife and mother still maintains a very busy schedule. She said, “I manage a business in KB and when i’m not commuting i’m either exercising or meeting up with friends. Last December I also started horse-riding and i’m really enjoying it! It’s a great way to relax and de-stress after long hours spent in the office and on the road in traffic.” When asked if she missed anything about living overseas she said, “I enjoyed visiting museums and discovering new cities and do miss the good friends that I made while living in different countries. I also liked living in Brussels because it was quiet and good for family life. But I’m very happy to be back home, to spend more time with my family, especially older relatives. As they say, there really is no place like home!”