SDB on Creating Functional Spaces With Homeowners in Mind

UNA Living Room

One of Malaysia’s leading boutique developers, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB), recently shared some insights on how to win homeowners over with functional spaces optimised with also aesthetics in mind.

What is space? How do we create spaces that are practical and useful?


The process of designing efficient spaces for living and working is most demanding, starting from the drawing board. For many designers and planners, getting the floor plans right and creating a nice flow between the spaces are some of the key requirements to increase functionality and efficiency.

Since 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the future of living and work. Today, more people are working from their homes either full-time or through the hybrid work model. In a nutshell, the home has also doubled up as the workplace.

To meet this home-office requirement, property buyers would be on the lookout for larger spaces. But larger space would also mean a hefty price tag, and buyers will need to consider other factors including inflation and rising property interest rates.

Thus, it all comes down to the individual’s needs. An ideal space should not be too big or small. It should not be overly cramped or too sparse either. Rather, a balance must be found. Through proper spatial planning, homeowners can have spaces that suit their needs, and are practical and conducive to live in.

What is spatial planning? To put it simply, it is the process of creating well-defined spaces and optimising them by keeping the inhabitants (homeowners and tenants) in mind. How the occupants utilise the space, and how they move between the rooms and around the house are taken into consideration.

In general, a home can have many different spaces or zones – for social, work, private or storage. The right spatial layout properly places and brings these different spaces together in harmony to enhance the occupants’ experience. 

To maximise each space, the rectilinear design which emphasises on straight lines and right angles is used to eliminate unused excess spaces. This clean and linear design style helps to create an expansive living area with an uninterrupted flow. It gives more flexibility to the occupants to accessorise and personalise the spaces to their liking. In other words, well-defined spaces enhance the overall functionality of a home (as shown in the pic above – UNA Serviced Apartment @ Jalan Peel, Kuala Lumpur).

Bringing together spatial planning and linear design create open spaces that are cosy and comfortable. For instance, it allows more natural light and ventilation to flow into the home.

Natural lighting can improve your mood, and prevent eye strain, stress and fatigue. Any well-designed space that is complemented with a properly oriented building can capture more natural (but indirect) sunlight.

Within the living area, features such as extensive window panels provide more light penetration and also improve the internal airflow and circulation – an ideal consideration for typical tropical houses and residentials.

With all these design features, homeowners can reduce the use of artificial lighting, which creates shadow, glare spots and heat as well as reduces the use of fans and air conditioners. In a way, homeowners can reduce their utility bills and the building can reduce its energy consumption.

Natural light, ventilation and linear spaces are the hallmarks of modern-day design and living, as seen at UNA Serviced Apartment.

Many modern-day buyers are increasingly looking for sustainable features and greenery to be part of their homes. One of the features is having lively green spaces and natural landscaping.

Greenery is essential in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Even by having a window view of trees and shrubs can be restorative and keep people’s minds sharp and focused. 

Within the building industry, the biophilic approach increases homeowners’ connectivity to the natural environment. Biophilic or literally ‘A love of living things’ from the Greek word ‘philia’ (love of) embodies human’s natural affinity to connect and be part of nature and to seek to live with it.

All in all, a truly functional space has to be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. This can be achieved through the use of colours, floor designs, furniture placing, fixtures, fittings and other decorative items.

By marrying both functionality and aesthetic together, the space – a place to call home – can evoke the right emotion in homeowners to enhance their physical, psychological and social well-being.

As there are no other places like home, that emotion should be happiness.

Note: The above commentary was contributed by Selangor Dredging Berhad.