WHENEVER you walk into a double-storey house, you will usually find the living space, dining room and kitchen on the ground floor, while all bedrooms are located on the first floor.

But the Ittka house located in Petaling Jaya tries to be different from a typical double-storey house. Architect Fabian Tan has creatively put all its four bedrooms on the ground floor, while moving the living room, dining room and the kitchen to the second floor.

Tan, who received his Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of South Australia in 1997, believes in his decision to make the best out of the limited space of the house (1,900 square feet). Indirectly, his decision has made the house look unique and interesting.

There is a single tall tree in the ground floor courtyard, which gives a beautiful touch to the all-white atmosphere. There is also a skylight above the tree, providing the interior with natural light.

“I wanted them to feel they are outside when they come out from their bedrooms,” says Tan, who has worked at established architectural offices in Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.

He points out that Malaysians rarely walk in their gardens, because the weather can be hot and humid, and his design allows occupants to enjoy the feel of their garden in the afternoon.

The only requirement he got from his client is that there should be more bedrooms to accommodate frequent visits from relatives and friends. He made sure all the bedrooms on the ground floor have their own bathrooms and sliding wooden doors. Once the sliding doors are closed, the occupants have uninterrupted privacy.

The advantage of having the living room on the first floor is that you do not face your car in front of your gate. Instead, you will have a beautiful view from the first floor. There is a small garden next to the living room for you to enjoy.

The kitchen is equipped with a hidden cupboard where you can hide all your utensils, indirectly giving the kitchen a clean look.

White terrazzo flooring was used for the ground floor, while merbau wood was used for the first floor.

Tan made sure the two floors are connected, where people from the first floor can look down on the ground floor easily, and even carry out conversations between floors.

One of the reasons Tan went for the all-white look was to create a calm atmosphere in the house. Some may feel he should have included some other colours beside white, and that his design is a little minimalist. But he disagrees.

He says “I am not a big fan of clutter and feature wall colours. I do not want a visual orgy. I believe in subtle beauty.”

Sometimes, subtle beauty can be breathtaking, too.