Minimalist, shabby, chic, rustic, tropical, vintage – what does it all mean? For those in the know, these describe specific interior design styles; but for those whose idea of furnishing a home means placing the sofa in front of the TV, these words will mean very little. The wonderful thing about living in tropical climes is the number of blue sky days we have, indulging in outdoor living and being able to integrate bold colours and prints into our repertoire of furniture. A common denominator in many homes these days is the blending of several decorating styles, usually Asian (Balinese, contemporary Chinese) pieces with contemporary design.
Furniture shopping in Malaysia is improving, but we still find ourselves heading to the same places to get our furniture, with the blue and yellow colours of Sweden and their flat-pack goodies being the most obvious and cost-effective choice. The other alternatives are the many teak furniture shops offering solid long-lasting furniture, which are good if you are looking to invest in a dining table or bed; and then there are those selling restored/revamped Chinese furniture which serve as statement pieces.
Thankfully there are now more choices. As much as we all want to have an unlimited budget and the services of an excellent interior designer, chances are what we really need is a one-stop store offering timeless furniture at a good price, with helpful staff who will guide you to the right purchases.
Photo: Joy Design Studio
Putting The Joy Back Into Furniture
Joy Design Studio is a true blue Malaysian company that opened in 2014 and is enthusiastically run by a group of knowledgeable professionals who know their furniture. Walking into their refreshing showroom makes you want to go home and chuck all your furniture away, particularly if they are of the dark, heavy variety! The first thing you will notice is the colour scheme – elegant bright colours and chic prints. This is furniture that will suit and complement any design aesthetic and is essentially Scandinavian in design. Their line includes sofas armchairs, dining tables, chairs, bar stools, coffee tables, shelves, sideboards and side tables.
And while this is not exactly an original idea (this is the core point of IKEA's business), Joy Design has a very personal approach and are on point with the latest trends. Case in point – Pantone's colour for the year 2017 was what they called Greenery, which is a pleasing blend of yellow-green that goes perfectly with a range of shades from dark blues to happy pinks. At Joy Design, you would have been able tofind an entire range of sofas, armchairs and soft furnishings complementing this colour palette.
Besides just selling furniture, they offer bespoke packages which include consultation of how to set up a room, sourcing for the appropriate furniture, wall art and accessories (lighting, soft furnishings); and ensuring everything is organised and delivered. They can even design and construct, providing full project management and material selection; so that all you have to do is give them an idea of what your vision for your dream room or house is.
Photo: Joy Design Studio
The Sofa Maketh The Room
The living room is where most people spend their time. It is where you watch TV as a family, where you entertain guests, and where, at the end of a long day, you flop onto the sofa and just chill. A good comfy sofa is the centrepiece of the room, and as much as a lived-in bulk of foam may have a sentimental value to you – or just be so cosy you don't want to part with it – having a well-designed statement piece will make the room.
Sofas at Joy Design seem to be centrepiece of the business and there are several types to choose from: the ever popular Blomma (available as two- or three-seaters), the classic Chesterfield and the funky Foralskad with its unique backrest buttoning. All these sofas come in a great array of colours from easy-to-match greys and blues to vibrant purples, turquoises and yellows; and are made from durable linen, stylish velvet or classic leather. It is important to note that furniture here is made from solid wood and not chipboard, which means they are more solid and will last longer.
Once you have the sofa, populate the space around it with their selection of reasonably priced brightly coloured hand-woven rugs, Scandi chic standing lamps or one of their coffee tables, which are a study in minimalism. Throw a few cushions into the mix and you'll have a living room you can't wait to come home to. The great thing about these items is that they can be easily matched with any other style of furniture and home décor.
Photo: Joy Design Studio
No Middle Men
This is an important statement as it means that furniture is sourced and manufactured by Joy Design and sold directly to the customer, so there is no extra cost. Being a relatively small enterprise means that customer service and quality control is of the utmost concern, and this combined with innovative design ideas means you get exactly what you pay for. With two outlets in Kuala Lumpur and plans to set up shop in Johor Bahru and Penang, we have a feeling there will be many discerning customers welcoming Joy Design furniture into their homes.
If you are planning on completely redecorating an existing home, building one from scratch or just want a little something to enhance the look and feel of a room (and as a well-deserved treat), give boutique companies like Joy Design a chance. Besides, their sofas are really that comfy!
Joy Design Studio
152 Jalan Maarof,
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2201 1504
46, Jalan SS21/1
Tel: 03-7732 1477