Hubert Burda Media

A Home for Art Lovers

Yuni Jie designs a three-storey house that is “unpretentious” for an art-collecting couple

Interior and product designer Yuni Jie of Jie Design was recently asked to create a living space for an art-collecting couple at their new house in Senopati, South Jakarta. “The clients wanted the house to be a platform for their artwork collection,” says Yuni. “So it had to be neutral and warm enough to be the blank canvas for all of their paintings and sculptures.”

The three-storey property, which occupies 350 square metres of land, has plenty of open residence space within. Upon entering, a cosy living room dominated by shades of grey welcomes us. An intimate coffee table is covered with books and candles. In front of the living room is a wall of glass that allows us to view a small courtyard with a tree. The dining room can seat eight people.

Yuni Jie

The guests would gather beneath two Foscarini chandeliers. Made of light wood that depicts yellow coconut leaves, the chandeliers give the room a sense of elegance. It took architect Willis Kusuma and Yuni about two years to complete the house, which the art lovers moved into last December. “This is a place where they can display their art collection at its best, while still maintaining a sense of warmth and cosiness,” says Yuni of the project.

Living room with Samsul Arifin – Gugurnya Sang Pemikir and Feng Wei – "Keep Your Eyes Open (installation)

“Without being intimidating at all, this home is successful in terms of blending modern art with clean, understated interior design. I love a contemporary sense of style that is straightforward and unpretentious. I think it suits our fast-phased urban lifestyle today. On top of that, every residential interior design that I create has to be able to stand the test of time and evolve with its owners’ lives. My goal for this project was to combine a place for their art collection with a cosy place to dwell. I think we achieved that.

“We used a lot of signature pieces from top Italian brands, such as the Groundpieces L shape sofa from Flexform and Grande Papilio from B&B Italia. The general mood is understated, timeless and effortless. Most of the furniture colours are in the neutral earth-tone range. Thus, the art pieces can be the focal point of the room because they are more unique, both in colour and shape.”

Yuni, who studied at Cornish College of The Arts in Seattle and the Pratt Institute in New York, says she particularly enjoyed this project because the clients were so cooperative. “The design process went pretty smoothly because of good and intensive communication,” she says. “There was no big challenge really. Everything went pretty well and the clients have become good friends. For me, the basic rule in designing the interior of a house is that I have to accommodate the owner’s needs. That’s the key to it. The design has to speak the owner’s personality.

“In this project, the owners are avid art collectors who often consulted with founder and CEO of ArtJog Heri Pemad when buying artworks. So, I am providing a blank canvas for their exquisite pieces. They have a quirky painting by Samsul Arifin in the living room and resin art by Arin Sunaryo, which I love so much. Overall, I enjoy love their art collection, whether it is the “Goni Man” by Samsul Arifin or the “Giant Cross” by Ugo Oentoro. I think this home tells a story about the owners’ passion for art.”

The dining room, with Angki Purbandono – "The Bread"

Among the clients’ many artworks, what is the stand-out piece? “I feel that the Ronald Ventura’s painting in the master bedroom, which the clients hand-carried from New York, is the centerpiece,” says Yuni. “It is a multilayered painting that utilises a broad range of imagery focusing around the human form. I could hardly take my eyes off the painting when I first saw it.”