OFFERING a picturesque view of the Brunei-Muara River, this private two-storey house accommodates a large, close-knit family. It is neatly nestled amid trees and shrubs which makes it seem to almost seamlessly blend in with nature.
Homeowner and family patriarch, Haji Abu Bakar, resides in the home with his wife, his two sisters, his son, two daughters, their spouses and six young grandchildren. Other than the times his grandchildren are at school, the house is hardly ever in a quiet state.
Haji Abu Bakar moved in to the house in July 1978. As a former personal assistant to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, he keeps a collection of souvenirs from Egypt and Saudi Arabia that he purchased from his previous travels and proudly displays them on his living room shelves.
His most prized possession, however, is a pair of antique plates, over 200 years old, that he inherited from his great grandfather, who kept it in his possession from the Chinese Ming era.
When asked about where he gets his beautiful traditional style cushions and ornaments, he jokingly said that only the women of the house would be able to answer that.
The glass room that sits above the garage is impressive. The room is mainly used as a surau where the family gets together for terawikh prayers during the month of Ramadhan. At the same time the floor to ceiling windows that take up three entire walls assist in showcasing a stunning panoramic view of the natural surroundings.
With a growing family over the years, Haji Abu Bakar decided it would only be reasonable to add an extension to his home.
The extended area has only been recently completed and is spacious. It connects from the original living room and has three dining tables set for large family gatherings. There is a grand piano and guitars in the room as well; ready for the grandchildren to hone in their musical skills.
Pulling up the blinds over the large window, you will be instantly greeted by the soothing sight and sounds of a gorgeous water fountain placed outside, surrounded by trees and an elegant garden lamppost.
Outside the home and just in front of an entrance is an attractive porch where the entire family loves holding barbeques every now and then.
In the mornings when the kids are in school, Haji Abu Bakar would sit outside on the porch to have his breakfast, whilst appreciating the idyllic view that he is able to call his own.
At the end of the day, it is clear that Haji Abu Bakar is indeed a happy man, as he resides in the comfort of his own home and loving family who support one another all under one roof. (Courtesy of Inspire Magazine)