Tranquil escape

Wood in its various manifestations is prevalent in the décor, reflective of the homeowner’s vision to fuse the traditional and modern

Gerimis Senja Villa is wrapped by rich, verdant jungle, and its setting on a hillside slope affords it amazing scenic views

The master bedroom and bathroom are a hybrid of Malay and Indonesian designs offering a comforting and visually arresting experience

This house seamlessly melds indoor and outdoor spaces, with sliding doors that open up to the windswept veranda and infinity pool area, and the lanai, which is ideal for al-fresco dining

The miniature wooden hut at the entrance of the villa overlooks a small pond where guests can go fishing

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This article first appeared in haven, The Edge Malaysia, on Issue #79 June + July 2016.

 

A weekend villa offers the opportunity to commune with  nature 

 

It is easy to forget that Gerimis Senja Villa is less than an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. Its name — “a late evening drizzle” in Malay — aptly captures the house’s welcoming, intimate and tranquil setting. Then there is the picturesque view.  

The owner chose to build his getaway in Ulu Langat as it was the closest kampung area to Ampang, where he currently resides with his family. Also, he has ancestral roots in the area. “I grew up working on my late grandfather’s land in Sungai Lui, and Gerimis Senja was a tribute to his vision,” he explains. “I wanted to continue the tradition and expose my children to tranquil kampung life. And also for them to learn some cultural values.”

The family bought the three-acre plot in 2001 and started building the three-bedroom, three-bathroom villa in 2005. The owner’s brief to architect Rokiah Yusof was to make the property as tranquil and intimate as its natural setting. Built on a slope, many parts of the house offer spectacular views of the city centre. Modern building techniques were used while incorporating traditional Malay and Indonesian architecture. The result is magnificent — an integrated indoor-outdoor design in a lush tropical setting.

A small fish pond and a wooden hut with carved detailing at the entrance invites one into the compound. 

Inside the house, the owner has opted for a neutral palette for the soft furnishings. The furniture, in a mixture of styles mainly sourced from Indonesia, is mostly made of wood to complement the architecture of the house. In the master bedroom, a classic four-poster bed takes centre stage. In the living room are rattan chairs and a wooden day bed. 

In the master bedroom and living room, sliding doors open out to the pool, creating a resort-like feel. The outdoor bathroom connected to the master bedroom incorporates traditional Malay and Indonesian concepts. A stone bathtub surrounded by pebbles, for example, is ideal to soak in on a hot afternoon. 

The heavy use of balau and cengal wood for the floor and ceiling ties in with the nature aspect of the villa. 

The veranda and infinity pool are the main attractions of the house. Often used for yoga or entertaining, the veranda gets the morning sun. Located next to the pool, the lanai — or “bale” area, as the family likes to call it — is a wooden structure that provides shelter and lounging space. Ideal for al fresco dining, this is the family’s favourite spot, best used for barbeques or to play board games.

In the early years, Gerimis Senja Villa was where the family escaped to on weekends and when they needed to entertain. These days, they do not visit as much, so the owner’s daughter decided to list the property on Airbnb and Instagram. 

Putting the villa on Airbnb last year was only natural for the family as it is an ideal private retreat not far from the city. The villa has received rave reviews from local and international guests, who use it for short getaways or intimate parties. Equipped with kitchen essentials, barbeque facilities and a ping pong table, the villa allows guests to bond and recharge. Guests are looked after by two on-site caretakers.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to collect some income instead of letting it collect dust,” the owner’s daughter explains. “We wanted everyone to enjoy this beautiful place. So far, we have got very good compliments, especially from the foreign guests.”

With its serene backdrop and welcoming owners, it is no surprise that Gerimis Senja Villa has become an ideal getaway for those who want to rest and rejuvenate.