Our home tours continue with Fahmi and Johanna’s cosy home in Ampang. Fahmi and Johanna live with their 2 daughters, Eryna, 4 and Emma, 7 months. They love the accessibility offered by their Ampang home: 5 minutes from KLCC, 15 minutes from KL Sentral and access to major highways and roads (DUKE, AKLEH, MRR2, Sg Besi highway, Jalan Ampang). Most importantly, Johanna’s parents live 5 doors away, down the road! (Read: reliable babysitting services readily available).
Lot’s of hard work and a red couch
When the house was bought, it was in need of some major improvement. They started by first listing every single thing they wanted in their new home. This was an excellent first place to get started as it provided clarity and the vision for the end product which then enabled them to work well with their contractor to incorporate all the must-have features. For example, a water feature in the house, lots of natural lighting, a white brick feature wall, a spacious kitchen with an island were on that list. There was much research and subsequent scouting for finishings like tiles and sanitary ware – all done by themselves. While it was a lot of work, Fahmi and Johanna really enjoyed the process.
Johnna says: When we went couch hunting, we were looking for something more neutral like brown. But somehow, when we both saw this red couch we were immediately drawn to it. We just went with our instinct and bought it. Red is warm and cozy. Our water feature opposite the couch is cooling so there’s a balance there.
A collection of many stories
Our home definitely reflects us. As mentioned, we came up with most of the features of the house on our own so every single corner of the house is done to our taste and reflects our personality. We have items bought during our travels like my favourite Chinese teacup set near the front entrance, the monochromatic prints on the wall that were from our stay in the UK and some items passed down by my mum (each item has a story to tell), and we also have some Ikea furnishing and accessories.
Creating little retreats for everyone
Fahmi likes to spend his time in the hall upstairs in front of the TV with Eryna while Johanna spends lots of time in the dining area, getting work done on the laptop. They don’t have a proper working area for the time being, plus the dining table is much bigger to work on. Johanna adds: “However, we ensure that we keep away our work when it comes to meal times. We make sure we eat together as a family at the dining table”.
Eryna loves her playroom. When family and friends come over with their kids, the children have lots of fun playing in the play room.
Dishes can be therapeutic
Johanna likes to spend time in her kitchen. She loves her white kitchen and how it is transformed from the dated kitchen that that came when they first bought the house. She finds washing dishes to be therapeutic, and if there is time, she likes to cook.
A music room
They have a music area downstairs that houses a piano, drum and a guitar. It also doubles up as a small seating area when they have guests. Johanna played the piano growing up and promised herself that once she bought her own place, will have the piano moved from her mom’s to the new place. They want the children to enjoy music too, so Eryna plays the piano every now and then. She is currently taking lessons. Fahmi plays the guitar.
Why we love KL with kids
We like the fact that shops close at 10pm here. We have lived in the UK, and Fahmi is currently on secondment to the Netherlands. Shops close at 6pm, and we are particularly handicapped if we need to buy something urgently at night. Our favourite family restaurant is Chillis in KLCC (given that it is 5 minutes from our house). We like it because the meals are value for money and kids eat for free.
Like any city, there are some minus points What we don’t like is that most areas are not particularly stroller friendly, especially the outdoors (with no ramps for strollers) and certain malls with small elevators.
Living Room: Red Sofa from Urban Culture, Ampang. Rattan coffee table and chairs Carpet Inn, Ampang. Throw cushions from Parkson.
Kitchen : Pendant lights from Alfo. Stools from Ikea.