Access to the study is via a floating staircase which ascends from the second-floor landing. The study makes clever use of the high pitched roof, employing glass walls to allow for plenty of natural light in the day. Inside, furnishing and flooring adhere to a palette of white and wood, creating an ambience that is bright and warm and at the same time serving as a great backdrop to a collection of model airplanes, some of which hang whimsically from the ceiling.
Streamlined desks allow for much-needed room, especially for the storage of cameras and other related equipment. The white walls and wood flooring softens the contrast of Shekar’s masculine, modern white desk with his wife’s vintage-style wooden bureau.
Built-in shelves and cabinets flushed into the walls are clever storage solutions that also maximise space. Rugs in earthy colours add a little more texture to the long space.
Shekar’s passions are widely apparent at all corners of the study. The desk at which he works is fashioned from metal and takes cues from the wings of a vintage airplace, rivets and all. Meanwhile, large prints from his favourite and latest assignments are loosely displayed all over.
A photographer carves out an inspiring work space with a beautiful panorama and whimsical touches
Photojournalist cum publisher S C Shekar enjoys working from his cosy, rustic bungalow. The three-storey abode in a quiet cul-de-sac in Section 14, Petaling Jaya, is surrounded by greenery and tastefully decorated with trinkets from his work stints around the world.
His magnificent home office on the third floor offers an insight into how one can combine efficiency and convenience. The wide open space used as a TV room by the previous owners is now brighter and even more open. Wishing to let in more light, Shekar had the walls torn down and replaced with glass ones. “What inspires me is light. Light is crucial — it’s everything. When you have a nice, bright place, you’ll find that you’re able to work much longer hours and there’s this open, airy feel,” he explains. “I’m up at 4.30 or five every morning, and the advantage of having an office at home is that you don’t waste time driving to work. We spend a lot of time commuting … it’s just a vulgar waste of time.”
He believes that anyone can work effectively at home as long as one is disciplined. Dusk signals the end of his work day, as opposed to a memo from human resources dictating a knock off time.
The glass walls afford Shekar and his wife a view of skyscrapers in the distance. Branches of trees planted on one side of the garden reach all the way up to the third floor, providing a glorious verdant curtain that maintains privacy and allowing the couple to connect with nature while they work. They each have a corner, which is set up with a table and computer. White bookshelves line the walls. Keeping in line with the rustic theme, the floor is covered in medium-brown hardwood.
The air-conditioning is on 24/7 to ensure that Shekar’s camera equipment does not overheat.
Various model airplanes hang from the ceiling — some of which are remote controlled. Shekar’s lifelong passion for aircraft is reflected in his study table, which takes its design cues from the wings of an airplane, down to the recognisable rivets and bolts.
“We didn’t hire an interior designer and the colour schemes are my own. When we bought the house, it was bare. A space is only as good as the way you’re going to use it. If you have a lot of space and it’s not properly used, it’s a waste,” says Shekar.
Indeed, the photographer has made great use of its location on the top floor of his home, and also used very simple yet clever ideas to carve out a beautiful work space that is elegant, whimsical and inspiring at the same time.