Harmony in a Balanced Contrast

Harmony in a Balanced Contrast


A family of four discovered tranquillity in their new house. While the exterior boasts a masculine appearance, inside, the bedrooms designed for the two daughters exude femininity. The playful façade, crafted by bha, harmoniously balances with Valvonne’s subtle luxurious interior.

Story by Barbara Hahijary | Photos by Antoni Photography

The foyer

The abundance of Surabaya is not only confined to the city’s lifestyle, but it also resonates deeply within their personal spaces—their homes. A new house in the western part of the city captivates passers-by, an experience Indonesia Design will now guide you through.

What immediately draws our attention from the street is the juxtaposition of two distinct masses atop a stone-covered podium – the gigantic stripes made of ironwood to form a nest and the massive white box that is accentuated with a window panel.

The bright upper facade harmonises with the more subdued tones of the stone
gate and artistic wood sliding panels. The bright upper façade is complemented by more subdued tones of the gate, made of stone and artistic wood sliding panels. The overall look exudes strength, warmth, and thanks to the landscape, it also feels breezy.

The living room is dominated with a view
The dining room and a pantry

“Though they have two daughters, but their vision for the house leaned towards
a more masculine aesthetic rather than something cute. We transformed this into the design, creating an ambiance that feels gallant, safe and welcoming. The geometric facade, split into two masses and crafted from robust, rustic materials, emphasises masculinity with a touch of nature. These impressions are consistently woven throughout the house,” explained Budhi Harmunanto from Budhi Harmunanto Architect (bha).

The owners leverage their location on the second floor to embrace the scenery outside their windows. Their room, picturesque in its own right, boasts a unique touch with a “Last Supper” piece and earthy tones adorning the walls and floor. Positioned centrally, the bed invites relaxation whilst a window nook offers another spot for repose. Valvonne deliberately selects subtle indirect lighting, adding a sense of luxury to the room.

A living area at the second floor to connect all bedrooms

The bedroom seamlessly merges into a walk- in closet, lined with floor-to-ceiling cabinets in dark-toned wood. A linear line of light above creates a modest yet elegant ambiance, complemented by warm indirect lighting that enriches the space. At the room’s far end sits a dresser adorned with the owners’ personal memorabilia and religious objects. Even the corner is embellished, featuring a bold copper statue and freehand sketches.

A skybridge connects the master bedroom to their daughters’ rooms. With windows on either side, we can see the outdoor living room and the neighbourhood. There is a living room at the end of the corridor, a casual meeting spot for the family traversing between rooms. Here, the designers showcase enticing lighting pieces and a collection of family artwork, including another “Last Supper” inspired painting rendered in batik.

The master bedroom
The walk-in closet of the master bedroom

Despite the proximity of the daughters’ rooms, each space reflects their distinct personalities in layout and features. The first bedroom basks in natural light and city views from dual- sided windows, divided by a TV sheer back panel concealing a walk-in closet. Meanwhile, the second bedroom embraces simplicity with dominant white tones, adorned with additional artwork and a soon-to-be-filled shelf of favourite books and belongings.

The bathrooms boast terrazzo flooring and white-tiled walls, creating a clean and modern aesthetic. Valvonne introduces round mirrors, one with a downward light and the other featuring round bulbs, adding a touch of softness to the rooms.

The owners have a dedicated room for work and study, designed as a VIP office with a distinctive three-legged natural solid wood table as its centrepiece. Ivory tones cover the walls, floor, and ceiling, softening the room’s appearance amidst glass shelves and cabinets housing their files and book collection.

White dominance in one of the bathrooms

The communal area, comprising the pantry, dining, and living room, embodies togetherness. Valvonne maintains an earthy and mild colour scheme, offsetting it with playful elements like cloud-like hanging lamps and collections of patterned cushions and rugs. This balances the vibrant artwork hung on the walls. The room’s architectural design maximises natural light through floor-to- ceiling windows, inviting in vibrant hues from the surrounding greenery.

The seamless transition between indoors and outdoors is meticulously planned in
the semi-outdoor living area. Here, you can see the domination of natural elements.
This space, designed as an extension of the outdoors, resembles a garden integrated
into the building. It serves as a veranda-like extension for indoor activities and encourages interaction with those in the common area whilst offering a glimpse of the skybridge above.

Each of the daughters’ bedroom has unique layout and distinctive artworks
One of the daughters' bedroom

“It now serves as the favourite room to host family, friends and colleagues. Designed to facilitate interaction between people, the room bridges indoor and outdoor spaces. Here, nature provides optimal lighting and fresh air everyone can enjoy,” said Valdy Wijaya from Valvonne.

Before exploring these rooms, visitors traverse the entrance hall—majestic like the facade and noble like the rest of the house. This transition from the outside world comprises two sections: an entrance leading to a foyer. This hall marks a special sequence for the family; morning goodbyes, preparations for the day, and midday returns evoke a distinct sense of “home.”

Project Data

Location: Surabaya

Land Area: 480 sqm

Gross Floor Area: 682 sqm

Architecture Consultant: BHA Architect

Principal Designer: Budhi Harmunanto

Interior Design Consultant: Valvonne Interior

Principal Designer: Valdy Wijaya

Lighting Consultant: BHA & Valvonne Interior

Landscape Designer: Designscape & Bu Komang

Civil Contractor: Bambang Handoko

Furniture Contractor: Herve Cabinetry

Started: January 2019

Completed: August 2023

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