INTERIORS

Modern Caribbean on Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay is located at Puteri Harbour, Iskandar, Johor Bahru. Each of its four-storey courtyard townhouses has its very own berth and access to the waterfront. The show unit, designed by Studio XMSL, portrays a modern interpretation of Caribbeanstyle seaside living to exude a sense of casual relaxation in a nature-inspired sanctuary.

SPACE PLANNING
At the entry level is the upper ground floor, which is essentially a semi-outdoor living deck space. Flexible shutters allow for the moderation of privacy and protection from the elements. It is furnished with outdoor furniture for dining and sunbathing, and an outdoor bar counter for serving drinks and snacks.

A level down from that is the lower ground floor, which houses the living, dining and kitchen facilities within the house. There is a large and open living, dining and dry kitchen space, with the wet kitchen and yard facilities cleverly concealed behind hidden doors.

The upper floors contain a total of four bedrooms. The master bedroom is located on the first floor, along with a personalised study room. The second floor holds the in-law suite and the daughter’s room.

FINISHING AND FURNISHING
White is the natural choice as the mainstay throughout the project to achieve a light and refreshing aesthetic. There is a variety of white textures and features, including white-washed oak timber floor panels, white European wall and ceiling beadings, and white Milano spray-textured paint for the monochromatic textured aesthetic commonly seen in the Caribbean.

The designers worked with a palette of oak-like timber finishes and subtle accents of blue, brass and light grey, resulting in a space that consistently appears to be beautifully bathed in natural light. Coupled with the white venetian blinds and white curtains, the interior design is choreographed to respond to the surrounding natural elements.

The furniture selection is a carefully composed contrast of contemporary furniture versus traditional Caribbean-inspired motifs. Comfortable, plush modern sofas with clean lines are seen alongside raw driftwood coffee tables and stools. Woven twine and rattan chairs are placed alongside contemporary laser cut patterned metal tables. While vastly different, these various items are tied together by intricate patterns that provide the essential Caribbean vibe.

WEATHERING CHALLENGES
Being physically located on the waterfront in South East Asian makes it difficult to use many natural materials. The timber-clad ceiling at the entry foyer level had to be weather resistant and yet of a tone and hue relative to the overall light-coloured design.

This was resolved by using a matte finish sealant to coat the timber panels post-ceiling A personalised study room on the first floor installation. The external wall-to-timber-ceiling details also had to account for weathering issues from the harsh climate.

Despite these challenges, the overall result is a beautifully composed modern residence boasting the merits of waterfront living. The subtle but evocative touches alluding to a Caribbean lifestyle further add an irresistible charm suggestive of a faraway idyllic environment.

PROJECT DATA
Project Name: Modern Caribbean on Emerald Bay
Location: Emerald Bay, Puteri Harbour, Iskandar, Johor Bahru
Completion Date: March 2015
Gross Floor Area: 404 square metres
Building Height: 4 storeys
Number of Rooms: 4
Developer: BRDB Development Sdn Bhd
Interior Design Firm: Studio XMSL Pte Ltd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: JP ACE Sdn Bhd
Quantity Surveyor: JUBC Sdn Bhd
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: Dwitasik Engineering & Interiors Sdn Bhd
Images: Studio XMSL Pte Ltd; Edward Hendricks
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