Laura. Home Ideas. January 18th , 2017.
The Entrance: An old, large side window has given way to this unusual entrance in a modern home in Taman Seputih. Instead of tearing the old bricks down, Jimmy added a mosaic of old and recent stained glass to his design, a combination which leaves a lasting impression of the home. Wooden horse and white wicker chair from the Penang Turf Club. Canton tile flooring from Penang.
If you are ever invited to architect Jimmy Lim's home, be prepared to climb weather‐worn, outdoor stairs. It‘s great—worth it. The luscious garden that surrounds the house is a treat for the eye, (an opinion apparently shared by the thousands of mosquitoes). The stairs are made from old timber which the owner has salvaged from torn—down buildings.
The whole property seems a lot more extensive than it actually is just about 9,500 square feet. He has transformed a small modern home with a huge garden into a home―retreat with a rustic guesthouse connected to the original structure by an open wooden gallery.
Two flights of wooden stairs lead from the guesthouse‘s other entrance to the music room, which in turn overlooks an L‐shaped balcony about ten feet above the entrance to the main house. The main structure of these other two ‘houses’ is also made from old materials – wood and roof tilings.
It‘s just the place for the kids, who find a little restriction in getting around and for adults, who can easily lose a few pounds climbing those stairs. (Health enthusiasts take note of this new idea for the home!)
Did thou ever consider having our highly own stage to hold a musical or play? Well, the owner of this home has just that and more. An open seating area on the garden⁄balcony looks up to the ‘stage’. Simply by removing the few potted plants that line the edge of the music room and the supporting railing, the room is instantly transformed into a stage. Wife Winnie, who is a violinist, holds performances here by her pupils from time to time. The stage is complete with a baby grand piano, with its sleek black lacquered surface to complement the shining parquet flooring.
In the seating area, a huge piece of netting overgrown with bougainvillas provides shelter from the scorching sun. The Lims are all musically talented, the couple′s two teenaged children knowing at least one instrument each. (Small wonder to find another baby grand in the living room, one side piano and a century‐old organ in the entrance hail). Even the guests are pushed to play, on their very own private piano in the guesthouse.
What looks like mounds of junk stacked up in the huge space beneath the music room and by the garage is in fact highly treasured by Jimmy who doesn‘t solely collect antiques. This junk has been put to use in man artistic ways evident in the home. Broken stained glass once discarded is now used creatively in the door at the main entrance, which was once a large window. Old doors which once framed another house in Penang now grace the side entrance.
Front entrance, which leads directly to the living area, is now rarely used. It is stacked with lots of antique Peranakan furniture which the family has inherited. Sadly, because of the lack of space, beautiful pieces of antique porcelain coveted by many lie unseen in huge and heavy antique cupboards.
Individually, the Lims are ardent collectors. Winnie once enthusiastically collected ducks which explain why there are dozens of them in various form and materials in the house. Their son is a keen fish breeder. Starting with just small aquariums, the hobby has expanded to a far larger scale. Father and son now share the love of rearing garoupas, soon hocks and other fish in two huge ponds aerated by pumps. Daughter Esme is the only one who confesses to not having any collection of her own, but generously shares her family‵s enthusiasm in all their collections.
Personally, bonsai plants still hold the most appeal for Jimmy. He has countless varieties lined up along the garden balcony and has tended since they were seedlings, for more than thirty years.
“I discover it highly relaxing. They take little of my time as I only prune them when required. Pruning is finished slowly. As such it fits just nicely into my tight working schedules. It relieves tension, too, after a harsh day’s work. I make it a policy not to bring any work home,” he says.
Despite this admirable policy, we noticed that our visit caused some inconvenience to Jimmy who had his office staff bringing some work over. Work was done in the small English styled dining room. A cry from his son that one of the pumps for the fish tank was not working had Jimmy scurrying off from work to deal with more important domestic matters.
In the meanwhile, construction work was still evident in the front garden. Jimmy wants to extend the house and have a small waterfall running down by the side of the music room into an open jacuzzi pool. ″Do revisit this place when it is fully completed,″ he invited us courteously. Read more..
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