The White House

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

The 5,000 sqm house resides in a gated family compound that contains five houses, one belonging to the head of the family and the other four built for each of his children.

The main house is the first house that greets you once you enter the compound. It was built in 1989, with the homeowner as the mastermind behind the architecture and design, with help from a French interior designer. Its main design concept is colonial, with a touch of traditional Indonesian elements displayed all over the house.

The residence contains a portico supported by white pillars that look like ancient Roman columns, with artistic carvings adorning the top wall of the entrance door. A golden garuda emblem hangs above, with many variations of it found all over the house, representing the owner’s spirit animal and his pride in being an Indonesian.

The entrance door leads to the foyer containing a golden garuda statue acting as the room’s centrepiece, and is surrounded by the homeowner’s antique collection, classic paintings and old-school photographs. There’s a chandelier hanging from a decorated ceiling that once belonged to a Malay prince, which was acquired from an auction in Singapore. The ceiling was made to resemble a dome using gypsum décor, hand-painted with a mural representing Indonesia’s diverse culture.

On the way to the living room after the foyer is the grand dining room containing two dining tables. The smaller table is located in a special corner of the room used for a more intimate setting, whilst the long table right at the centre is for formal and informal gatherings with friends and family.

The large table comes from the United Kingdom and is placed on top of a rare Iranian silk carpet. According to homeowner’s wife there are only three of these carpets available in the world. Hand-painted murals and Indonesian traditional carvings cover the ceiling, with another chandelier lighting up the dining table. The walls are covered with wallpaper that compliments the main colours of the mural and all windows have red and gold satin damask curtains.

One item that definitely catches everyone’s attention in this room is the red kimono dress, which was a gift that the homeowner received from a Japanese colleague who visited him in Jakarta.

After the dining room comes the living room. This spacious area has numerous sofa sets in close proximity to each other. The pieces of furniture in this house come from the United States and Europe. There’s a grand piano as well, and a Basuki Abdullah painting featured in the room. The painting, called “Lembah Anai” is considered as one Abdullah’s masterpieces. The famous artist met the homeowner with the intention of painting a portrait of him, however he asked for his mother’s birthplace in West Sumatra to be painted instead. The painting is extremely valuable as it is one of Abdullah’s biggest paintings, and his last one before his death in 1993.

From the living room there are a number of patio doors that connect to the garden, swimming pool and gym area. The garden has a variety of vegetable and fruit plants that are well taken care of, and a fishpond with stone waterfalls that stretch from one end of the backyard to the other. If you follow the fishpond to the other end you will find the gym area and swimming pool. The mosaic tiles at the bottom of the pool were imported from France.

The residence has one master bedroom and two smaller bedrooms that are all connected to one another located on the second floor. The second floor is also the place of the musholla (Islamic prayer room), taking up almost half of the second floor. The musholla has an abundance of natural lighting, beautiful golden carvings on its sides, and a floor fully covered by a large carpet that also came from Iran. This prayer room is has a special meaning to the family because it was named after the wife’s Islamic name Al Ainahaq that means mata hati (eye of the heart) in Indonesian.

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Dian Arthen
Dian has been working as a journalist/writer for three years and holds a bachelor's degree in business management. She loves to write profiles and about topics related to gender equality, lifestyle and entertainment.
Bagus Tri Laksono

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