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See the chic and calming Scandi-inspired home of Grafunkt's co-founder

Jefery Grafunkt
Unusual hanging lights dot the home of Jefery Kurniadidjaja.


As befitting someone who owns a furniture store, Mr Jefery Kurniadidjaja’s apartment is furnished tastefully. But what really stands out are his unusual light fixtures.

Mr Kurniadidjaja, who runs the operations and sales of local furniture label Grafunkt, has about six eye-catching light fixtures all over his home, including an industrial-looking chandelier of sorts, where exposed bulbs hang in random configurations in the living room. The dining table is lit by two lantern lights.

Instead of the run-of-the-mill, nondescript downlights, the 40-year-old picked such lights for their character.

He says: “Many home owners tend to like their lights neat, without any protusion. Also, there’s not much choice available in the market. But you just have to be confident that these lights will work with your interior decor.”

Jefery Grafunkt
Lantern lights in the living room of Jefery Kurniadidjaja.
 

He moved into his 1,300 sq ft Trevose Crescent apartment about seven months ago. The Indonesian-born Singaporean is married to Singaporean Teo Su-Lin, 37, a manager at American Express here. The couple have a six-year-old son, Jamie.

He gets most of his fixtures from Blackhole, Grafunkt’s spin-off business dedicated to lights. The store, which opened last year at Park Mall, carries young independent design brands from around the world such as the six-year-old Decode London, which works with emerging London-based designers such as Samuel Wilkinson; and New York’s Niche Modern, which makes handblown modern lighting pendants and chandeliers.

His furniture, too, comes from Grafunkt, a four-year-old brand which he started with home-grown designer Nathan Yong, 42. It is known for its sleek furniture and for bringing in brands, especially those helmed by young up-and- coming designers who produce contemporary-looking furniture such as Denmark’s Hay and Czech Republic’s Ton.

Jefery Grafunkt
Unusual hanging lights dot the home of Jefery Kurniadidjaja.
 

Doling out a tip for sourcing for furniture and lighting, Mr Kurniadidjaja says: “There’s so much selection around the world, especially in Europe, that you don’t have to limit yourself to the regular stores here. I’ve carried home accessories such as a flat-packed chair from British brand Habitat from London.”

To complement the bold lights, the decor in his home is pared down and has soothing wood hues, reminiscent of a Scandinavian home. “I wanted the walls and floor to be a canvas, where the furniture and lights were accentuated and the talking point of the room.”

Doing away with the original marble floor, he put in a light-coloured engineered wood laminate to make the rooms appear bigger.

Jefery Grafunkt
Jefery Kurniadidjaja who runs the operations and sales of local furniture label Grafunkt.
 

He also stayed away from whitewashed walls, opting instead to paint rooms in two colours in almost similar shades. For example, the master bedroom features two tones of a light grey, while his son’s room features two blue shades. “You can’t tell there’s a difference in colour unless you scrutinise it. But unconsciously, the monotony of a single colour is broken, and gives it a shaded effect.”

While decorating, Mr Kurniadidjaja avoided having built-in pieces of furniture. “In six months, I might decide that the built-in furniture may not suit my needs or that I would like to add another piece, but I wouldn’t be able to because nothing can be moved.”

Jefery Grafunkt
Circus 3-Dish Stand from GFNKT.
 

He prefers to have furniture that is ready-made, so that it can be changed or arranged differently. And never mind if it does not fit perfectly. “My house is not a showroom, so I don’t mind if the furniture doesn’t fit exactly to the length of the space where I want to put it or sticks out a bit.”

While his home looks complete, he says it is far from being fully furnished. “I bought the basic furniture pieces I needed when we moved in, but I’m constantly looking for accessories to add. Part of the fun of having your own home is being able to understand your space and slowly build it with pieces that you love.”


Written by Natasha Ann Zachariah for The Straits Times. Photos: The Straits Times. This article was first published in 2013.

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