Baituna Jannatuna, as translated into Malay, Rumah kami, syurga kami, or English, "Our home, our haven".
It would be any couple's dream to start a family in their dream house. In Malaysia, to have a stand-alone house is tremendously expensive, especially in urban and even semi-urban areas. That's how we are left with link-house or more commonly known by the locals as terraced-house (even though like 98% of this house type are built on flat ground!), apartments, cluster houses, what else? Hmm..
Where we live now, is a moderate town. By moderate, I mean, no big hyper-supermarket (although one is underway and expected to be completed this year but we all know it will take longer than that) and cinema is two-hours drive away in either Kuala Lumpur or Kuantan. Despite all that, I was actually expecting this town to have a lot of stand-alone houses as the typical residential choices due to cheaper land. However, terraced houses are starting to rule.
I once inquired a price of one 4-bedroom bungalow (if it's a stand-alone house, then it is called bungalow, whereas, I pictured bungalow to be so much bigger, better and lavish than that!! nevermind). And to our surprise, it cost RM360K.
Then, we thought, maybe we'll just buy some land and build the house ourselves. We don't mind something remote if that's where can afford to live, in fact we love a remote place. It gives us privacy, kampung-style. Okay, safety wise, I hope the land will have adjacent neighbours. It's creepy when it's only our family.
So, I continued my "Dream House" dream. And sketched some ideas and translated it into simple Sketchup model. We want it simple. I quite like open-space concept, and some traditional elements of the Malay house. I know my husband would like it to be minimal and small. My initial sketch was quite big, oooops. He loves secret spaces, and he prefers them underground! Well, basement does not sound bad, but with the tropical rain, flood whatsoever... I have to research on how to tackle that.
Then, I am also inspired by the modular-size space used in traditional Malay house. The Japanese also apply this method by their tatami mat. So, by having same space dimension, the construction can be simplified. Perhaps, cheaper?
I like our house to have many windows for better air-ventilation and exposure to nature. But more windows means extra cost on curtains. Another thing I learnt from the traditional Malay house is it's ability to expand concept for future modification. Like perhaps, start with one-bedroom first and add walls as the family grows or when the finance permits. This way, we can control how much space we actually need at particular time.
There are so many possibilities. I am going to sketch more plans and find more inspiration.
This also means, my sketchbook has been abandoned for weeks!