Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In Malaysia, when you buy a house, it’s usually not furnished, but today, most developers make it attractive with a package, bedroom set, dining room set, kitchen set and even the toilet set.
Most men are not particular about the style and the quality of furnishing compared to women. Since we are still in the men’s world, women spend most of the time at home if they are housewives or at least a quarter of the 24 hours in the house if they are working.
Most houses have three bedrooms, a master room with attached bathroom, sitting area, dinning area and the kitchen.
Living Room Area
Most sitting areas have a big screen TV , a hi-fi system and sitting settee in this area with bright lights. When you get into the house, the sitting area will be the first you notice, so this is most important area where furnishing needs more attention. I found most sitting areas among the Malay community very well furnished with attractive settees. I believe they use to change settees very often especially during the festival seasons like Hari Raya. Unlike the Chinese, who seldom change their settees until they move house. A sitting set usually cost between RM 500 to RM 3,000 depending on the type and quality. It usually comes with one sofa, three singles and a table top.
Also among, western people who are my tourist friends, buy comfortable furniture of good quality that will last for a long time. I also noticed that most Asian do not display their books because most of them do not read except for newspapers. I have visited my expatriate friend’s homes; they keep a small library with good books in their sitting area.
Dinning Area
We spend three times eating a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. So furnishing in the dinning area also has to be dwelt with. One would need the most basic items like a table with either four or six chairs. In the olden areas, my grandmother used to have a big round table with stools where family believe in gathering to have a family reunion dinner which signifies the unity of a family. Some people are very particular of the quality and do not mind paying a price which can go up to RM 6,000 to RM 10,000. A basic dining set usually costs between RM 400 to RM 2,000 again depending on the quality.
Kitchen Area
This is the area most men would leave to the women to decide what they want. After all, this is the area the woman folks want to enjoy cooking and washing. My sister in Brunei told me that she is very possessive of her kitchen area where she would want to have build-in cabinets where she can store her kitchen stuff. She would be very particular about the oven, the fridge, the washing area and she wants a big kitchen where she can move around. Today, most houses have dry and wet kitchen areas. For me, I just want a small kitchen with the basic necessities where I can cook a simple meal that would not take so much of my time. Preparing and cooking a meal can take hours, eating a meal takes less than half an hour and washing up may be takes about 20 minutes, so I usually have two of dishes, meat or fish and a vegetable for a meal.
Bedroom Area
Again women are very particular about the choice of bedroom furnishing. A bedroom set usually comes with a bed, a wardrobe and a dressing table. I do agree with Valiant Knight that this is one of the most important furnishing that set a good mood for couples. It does work well with newly married couples with the setting of dim lights, sweet aroma of freshener, good quality mattress that does not squeak when you toss around. Well, after 10 or 20 years, all we need is a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows. Children are all grown up, there is no intention to have any babies anymore, romance seems out of track, so no matter how much you put into furnishing the bedroom, it does not arouse romantic moods for old couples anymore.
Toilet Area
I find this area the most sensitive area for western people; I am very impressed by carpeted toilets with everything in pink and with lots of toilet accessories. Asians are not very particular in trying to beautify the toilet area. As long as they are dry and clean, it’s OK.
These are all observations from my visits and travels as well as based on what how my house is furnished.

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