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kotmj

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The pictures above were taken with a Fujifilm camera which produces crap colours. Nothing like the real thing. Below is a Canon picture.

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I see no reason to stain this to an orange or brown. When unfinished, teak has the same blonde colour as white oak. But whereas oak is extremely heavy and gives off a construction timber vibe, teak is finer, more of a cabinetmaker's wood.

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I have the same reservations concerning widely available teak furniture...the colour, the (mostly coarse) carvings, the almost bile-like colour and the finish. Your table is perhaps the nicest looking piece of teak furniture I've seen. Where's this showroom?

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Horestco Furniture. I should warn that this is not a "full service", 360 degrees excellence, customer is king setup. They offer relatively well-made furniture at unexpectedly affordable prices. That's it. Everything else they underinvest in.

 

The salesman I met today was the worst trained salesman I met in the past two years. I think I am 20X a better salesman than he is, despite not being in sales. He is a kind, sweet person but just too ignorant and underdeveloped.

 

There is an air of austerity in the premises. Everything feels dusty and not taken care of.

 

I was looking to potentially commission a table there (all their furniture comes from a single factory in Indonesia, which can do custom orders if you can wait 3 months). But I cannot order anything custom if the person who's taking my order doesn't inspire the confidence that I'll get what I specified. I know the difficulties of managing custom orders in my own business, with people I've worked with for years. This guy is several months into his job and is supposed to manage my order at their affiliate factory in central Java.

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Wow, what a changing room! Bloomingdale's changing pods. They are suspended from the ceiling. I wonder if it's available for sale or if it must be custom made.

 

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If I fail to find them I may have to settle for this:

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Meeting yesterday between Petronas CEO, Najib and Adenan. Notice how nobody is using the sofa backrests. The sofas are so ill-suited for active conversation that they are all using it awkwardly.

 

When conducting business, never use sofas. Sofas are for lounging. Instead, use chairs with arms.

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One of the adantages of Indonesian teak furniture over say oak furniture from Scandinavia or China or the US is how Indonesian teak was completely processed in a humid climate comparable to ours. The furniture is dimensionally stable when you buy it. With oak, it was processed in places with very dissimilar climate to ours, more specifically, in places of low humidity. When unpacked, the oak soaks up the moisture in the air, leading to warping and cracking.

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What a long day. Set up my Shoji screen changing cubicle in the shop.

 

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From inside the cubicle. An upholstered stool and a clothes rack will go in here.

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Very observant! From my perspective, the experience of being inside a Shoji cubicle is the whole reason for doing this, not the exterior appearence of the cubicle. The Japanese have long appreaciated the special ambiance created by these screens -- now each customer gets a few minutes of the experience.

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Saw the first ever customer today in the new place. He found out about me from a childhood friend of his who got a suit from me two years ago. I think the place worked marvellously. The tall windows face squarely north, so there is this soft light coming in. The very tall ceiling coupled with the relatively narrow footprint give the place the proportions of a cathedral/church. I think the customer, too, found the place special.

 

I started wondering why I hadn't moved into a place like this sooner. Or put another way, why did I move into this so quickly when I had put this off for so long? It had to do with finding a suitable place.

 

Before Empire City, I had scouted Empire Damansara Soho 2. It's just across the road. I looked at lots of pictures of the interior. I then drove myself there, parked, and started exploring the place on foot. I noticed lots of things about the place which was less than ideal. As I told a few people, I just didn't like the place enough. The number 1 thing I disliked about it was the heat. It was night, but I sweated profusely. It's all due to the huge amount of concrete. The parking area I found has disorienting signages, super slow lifts, and oven-like in sheer heat. The Soho 2 units, from pictures, look like they will work, sort of, but not quite.

 

See, there is nothing worse in a living space than for it to be long and dark with only one side receiving sunlight. This is the layout of nearly all shoplots. It's also the layout of most terrace houses, except the older ones came from a more enlightened era where it was proper to include an airwell in the middle of the house to provide some sunlight and ventilation into an otherwise dark and stagnant core.

 

The Empire Damansara Soho 2 units are deep and narrow, with one of the narrow ends receiving sunlight. I kept telling myself it will be ok, thousands of people live and work in that developement, and while they do look zombie-like, they don't look withered or dead. Yet, it was difficult to awaken much enthusiasm in myself for such a mediocre space.

 

Imagine how excited I was when I found my present space. It is long and narrow, but receives sunlight along its long side. It results in a space that is light and airy in ambiance, as opposed to dark, heavy and cavernous. It also has two balconies, which you can actually step onto, as in, real working balconies, not balconies for show. This means you can have a complete change of air just by opening the glass door and stepping onto it.

 

Also, the carpark of Empire City is cool. Mostly because it is empty of cars.

 

The real estate agent was surprised at my pace. I moved quickly on this. Because I am enthusiastic about it.

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Mirror arrived today. 6X3 feet. Weighs about 30kg. It's so big and substantial, it deserves to be named. Like how people name ships. I'm calling it "Holymoly".

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Bought a load of furniture. Some of you may think it overkill to have so many chairs. But sometimes, a whole group of people will come. Two months ago, a father and mother and their two sons, each with accompaniment (fiance in one case, girlfriend in the other) decended upon the hotel room where I see customers.

 

After the picture was taken, I added an office cabinet in birch veneer and another pot of plant.

 

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Impressive view of the LDP. Whether the LDP is somethng you want to be gazing at is another story.

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When I saw the above chair by Kare Design, I had to have it. I contacted the seller and picked it up today.

 

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It's a derivative of the Eameses' ridiculously popular armchair, of which three are in the shop. I find the Eames armchair to be an excellent chair: it is lightweight, it is pleasing to look at, they feel really right when you sit in them, and the replicas are very affordable.

 

I am still on the lookout for more ideas for furniture in vernacular design. The Shoji screens are vernacular in design -- it has no designer. The rattan chair is also vernacular design -- all the rattan furniture makers make their rattan chairs in such a way, and have been doing so for quite a long time. I like Dieter Ram's idea of "as little design as possible".

 

The seller of the mint geen chair also had quite a lot of office desks for sale. They are your typical office desks -- solid MDF with a layer of grey melamine in matt texture. Of all the things I do not admire, office furniture must top the list. There is nothing lovable about office furniture. You furnish your office in them to signal to employees and to customers that this is a serious place of work.

 

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This is the customer lounge of Cycle & Carriage in PJ (on Federal Highway). It's everything I dislike about the office look except for the very nice wood-grain flooring. (The typical office would have thin wall-to-wall carpeting in a sombre colour.) The chrome steel on the chairs. The black colour on the chairs. The glass table tops...

 

I have a major problem with glass table tops. I don't think glass shold be used for table tops. I like a table top to be something I like to touch, to run my hands over. I can understand marble. The sort of resin used for kitchen counters is also very nice. Bare, burnished wood is best. But glass is a haptic disaster. Glass is not personable, not nice to touch, shows up every speck of dirt and scratches over time to become unattractive. It ages badly.

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