Out now: Haven Autumn 2023

Inspirational designs that make the most out of quality time at home.

Note from the editor, Diana Khoo:

Is it just us or is 2023 flying by too fast? Whatever the assessment, now serves as the perfect reminder to breathe and slow down, perhaps ever so slightly, lest we lose ourselves again amid the hurly-burly.

Quality time at home needs to be prioritised. Luckily, one of the more popular decor styles in recent years is Japandi, a portmanteau of Japanese and Scandinavian, which can best be explained as a convergence of wabi-sabi (the ability to see beauty in imperfection) and hygge (the Scandinavian practice that espouses comfort and cosiness to inspire well-being). It’s not hard to see why Japandi has caught on. It is minimalism but without the brutalist touch. Sleek and functional, its predilection for neutral tones means it is also unlikely to look dated quickly. For a real-life example, turn to the lovely three-storey home of Stan Cheong and May Lim in Tamansari, Rawang, on Page 20 to see how little touches, such as sliding doors and Muji-inspired aesthetics, keep things stylish yet orderly.

It was gratifying yet shocking at the same time to learn that Lillian Tay, the Princeton-polished vice-president of Veritas Design Group, was conferred the PAM Gold Medal 2023 for design in July. The former part of the statement is obvious. The latter, however, comes from the realisation that she is the first woman in 35 years to be so honoured. Nevertheless, we are privileged to feature Cantonment House, her first residential project (which actually combines three distinct dwellings in one) in an equally long time, on Page 40.

The rest of the pages are filled with ideas on good (and quality) things to buy for the home. “Buy once but buy better” is a practice that should never go out of fashion. It makes sense now more than ever from both a financial and environmental perspective. After all, just as fast fashion doesn’t cut it any more, neither should fast homeware.

Oh, and if your travels afford you a stopover in Türkiye, be sure to visit the latest iteration of its contemporary art museum, Istanbul Modern; this time, reimagined by the great Renzo Piano. Check it out on Page 72. Whatever your year has looked like, there is still, and always will be, time for improvement. We hope this issue feeds you with the ideas and inspiration to do so.


Haven is complimentary with every copy of The Edge Malaysia (Sept 4 issue). Get the Autumn 2023 edition at your nearest newsstands now. 


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