Home Improvement: 9 Ways To Beautify Your Living Space In Malaysia

Looking for ways to beautify a particular area of your home? Here are some of our best tips to help get you started on your home improvement journey!
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Malaysians have been holed up in their homes for more than a year (and counting!) since the first Movement Control Order was implemented in March 2020.

As a result, many of us have been embarking on varying levels of home improvement projects, and other sustainable hobbies like composting and recycling.

After all, when you’re spending 24 hours day in, day out surrounded by the four walls of your home – who wouldn’t want to beautify it?

 

Results from our Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2021 corroborate that: 73% of Malaysians are looking to change their home living situations after spending so much time at home due to COVID-19, with one in three keen on beautifying/renovating their home.

If you fall under the category above, then we're about to give you a helping hand in your home improvement quest – one room at a time!

Home Improvement Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value

Relevant Guide

Home Improvement Tips To Increase Your Home’s Value

 

1) Start From The Hallway

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Without having to go into each individual room, anyone walking through your hallway can grasp the feel of your entire home – so make sure your hallway greets visitors (and yourself!) in style. 

When styling your hallway, consider how you want to receive your guests. Warm lighting tends to be more inviting, while white lighting might be more suitable for a modern, minimalist home

With all the heavy footfall, your hallway is the perfect place for a photo wall too. Displaying tender family memories (perhaps in a chronological order?) tells a story as visitors walk from the main entrance deeper into the home.

 

2) Walls Can Be Welcoming Too

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DIY interior designers tend to focus a lot on horizontal components such as the furniture, but it’s the vertical components which can really make the most dramatic effect.

For example, creating a single feature wall in each room can draw even more attention to the focal point in that specific room.

Whether you choose to use a bold accent colour, wallpaper or even a different material such as tiles – remember that placement is key, and you're in charge of where the highlight will go!

Don’t brush off the idea of wallpaper either! The key to decorating with wallpaper without it looking tacky, is to keep its use to a minimum and incorporate it well with its surrounding environment.

What kind of wallpaper you choose should depend on the room, too. Is it a home office, or the dining area? Our guide here details the best type of wallpaper to use for each room in your house.

 

3) Don’t Forget About Flooring

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As amateur interior designers, we tend to stay away from doing anything with the flooring, given how tedious renovating it can be.

Vinyl floors, however, can be an incredibly easy and affordable way to spruce up the very foundation of your home.

This is a type of synthetic flooring made from plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Homeowners typically like it for its wide variety of designs and ease of installation.

Compared to the marble floors most developments come with, they also provide a softer underfoot which will reduce the likelihood of aching feet after a long day of chores and cooking. 

Some concerns to consider with vinyl flooring include negatively impacting your property’s resale value due to potential damage to the subfloor. But don’t worry – we cover all the pros and cons of vinyl flooring for you here.

 

4) Making An Impact In The Living Room

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Ah, the living room... the very centre of the home for loved ones and friends to gather with ease. With such a huge, blank canvas – where do you even start?

First, consider the theme of your home. The living room should evoke and enhance the essence of this theme to its fullest.

Is it light and airy? Think lots of natural light, soft colours, and less clutter. Or are you going for the timeless classic look? You can’t go wrong with leather sofas, plush rugs, and dark wood.

No matter what it is you decide on, make sure you understand how important it is to design a space that's not only welcoming, but will also present your property in its best light to prospective homebuyers in the future should you decide to sell.

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5) Dining In Style

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For most Malaysians, the dining room is perhaps the second most important room in the entire home (keep reading to find out which is the first!).

Here is where fond memories are made, celebrations are held, and where family members spend the most time together. So why not honour it to the fullest through the power of design?

Encourage conversation by creating an intimate setting with warm lighting and comfy chairs. If your dining room is on the smaller side, make sure not to use too many dark colours, and keep the furniture pulled away from the walls.

You could even go so far as to put some thought into the cutlery you use! Heavier silverware and intricate tableware typically enhances the dining experience (plus points for impressing the guests).

 

6) Keeping It Functional In The Kitchen

If you've made it this far, congratulations and welcome to what many Malaysians would consider the MOST important area in the entire home!

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The 'kitchen triangle' concept that is often claimed to be able to improve your workflow in the kitchen.

And no wonder, here's where your mother and/or grandmother would be whipping up the most delicious storms that you couldn't wait to come home to.

Now, there are two components here to consider – the wet kitchen and the dry kitchen. The wet kitchen is where most of the heavy cooking and cleaning up will be done.

Your design here should prioritise functionality and practicality, as well as consider important things like ventilation (keep away those oily odours) and ease of cleaning (mould and mildew, stay away). 

The dry kitchen, on the other hand, is typically less messy. Depending on how you use yours (making your daily coffee, preparation of ingredients, etc.), convenience might be key here.

Above all, optimising your workflow in the kitchen is the main priority when it comes to design. The 'kitchen triangle' rule for example, is often claimed to be the best way to design your kitchen.

The sink, refrigerator, and stove (the most highly-used areas) should be positioned in a triangle no less than 13 feet and no more than 26 feet apart, to enable a seamless workflow. 

The cabinets you choose provide lots of leeway for customisation too, but you need to bear in mind factors such as the durability of the materials and a design style that will stand the test of time.

For example, kitchen cabinets made of aluminium are not only a lot more durable, they're also very easy to clean and maintain, plus they come in a variety of solid and striking colours to match any theme!

If your kitchen is blessed with ample sunlight or positioned behind the house where you can easily access the backyard, starting your own herb garden will provide you with the convenience of fresh herbs and vibrant greenery too!

 

7) Get Your Green Thumb Going

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It’s no wonder that the houseplant craze took off during the pandemic: Injecting some greenery into your home – no matter whether single potted plant or lush tropical garden – has proven mental benefits.

You can always start off small by experimenting with a few easy-care potted plants around the home. These 12 indoor plant types are hardy survivors, and some are even able to improve overall air quality.

Limited space because you're living in a high-rise? Don’t fret, a balcony is more than enough space to get your green fingers going.

You can opt to mix and match a few different types of plants along the floor length that will give the impression of a lush facade, or you could create a verdant curtain of trailing foliage that drape beautifully down from above!

Vertical gardens are another great way to optimise the limited space within your high-rise home, because then you'll be able to bring nature indoors by putting the pots in beautiful plant ladders or racks that look good against a pristine white wall. 

And for the more experienced and lucky homeowners living in a landed property, go crazy with themed garden designs – be it a zen rock garden or edible vegetable garden! 

 

8) Freshening Up In The Bathrooms

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Even your bathrooms need love too! Once again, this is a space where you’re spending a lot of time in – where you get ready for the day ahead, and where you prepare for a good night’s rest.

Some tried-and-tested design principles you should keep in mind when it comes to designing your bathrooms include:

  • Minimising clutter and unnecessary decor, as it's easier to maintain and keep clean (imagine all that moisture getting trapped).
  • Providing lots of accessible storage space, so that everything is within easy reach for you to get ready in record time.
  • Using lighting, mirrors and tiles tastefully, allowing you to look forward to using the space and just getting you in the right mood!

When choosing flooring or tiles, remember to keep it safe and practical. If you have a family with small kids, grooved ceramic tiles help withstand pools of water and prevent slippage.

But if you've got the budget to spare, then solid hardwood flooring (that have been treated with the right oils) can provide you with a luxurious, hotel-like feel.

 

9) Pick Your Indoor And Outdoor Paint

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Paint can be a simple yet effective way to spruce up your home, plus it makes for a fun project! There are, however, a few crucial things to keep in mind before you get out your paint roller and printer’s tape.

Firstly, painting in the right lighting and temperature can be of great help, since bright natural light and hot weather will ensure you easily spot uneven areas and allow your paint to dry thoroughly.

Many home DIY-ers also tend to skip the primer or undercoat, which is a big no-no! This step, which is before the paint goes on, allows you to have a clean and level surface to work your magic on.

Painting the exterior wall poses its own challenges too. You're going to have to prep your exterior walls by fixing any cracks and pressure-washing off dirt and old paint.

Make sure that you choose specialised exterior paints which also provide more protection from the direct sun and relentless rain.

 

Research First, Then Only Get To Work!

Making your home truly feel like your own is a rewarding journey, and one that’s unique to you and your family.

Do remember to do your due diligence and research as much as you can – or risk impacting your property’s resale value/forfeiting your rental’s deposit with accidental renovation mistakes. Good luck!

 

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