“There was a sense of beautiful proportion to the house,” Khai says. “Everything about how it sat on the land felt right: The way my father carved out the space instilled a sense of volume and proportion in me.” At age 18, Khai moved to Adelaide, Australia, where he currently lives with his partner, Nichole Palyga. “We’ve worked together for more than 10 years. Khai designs and I manage the practice, though the roles constantly overlap,” Nichole says. Khai’s formative years as a collector and conservator of early Australian furniture and folk art piqued his interest in the distinctive quality and sense of permanence offered by various types of solid wood, which led the couple to furnish their living space with predominantly wood-based textures. Coupled with the “fortress-like feel” of the home’s exterior, these materials provide the reassurance, security and privacy Khai identifies with being at home. “Our house is an orderly one where everything has a place,” he says. “Each time I open the front door, I can sense the tranquility.” One of the couple’s favorite areas is the central indoor courtyard, which brings light and a sense of space to the house. Khai cooks in the courtyard all year round, so it’s very much an additional living area. “The light there is especially beautiful on a late summer evening,” he says. “It takes on a magical and intense bluish-gray tone, and its calming effect permeates the whole house.” Khai’s work as a curator has trained him to be meticulous and disciplined about what he brings into their personal space—objects are carefully selected and placed alongside each other to create a dialogue in the area where they sit. “The result is harmonious, and in the harmony there is calm and stillness,” he says. Items made by the couple’s friends are also interspersed with Khai’s own work: His designs are heavily influenced by his eclectic cultural experiences and tell stories about his Chinese-Malay childhood and other groups who have migrated to Australia. “I find inspiration in the slightest silhouette, the fold of a skirt, the face of a Japanese bride in traditional dress, the weave in a basket, the flow of Islamic calligraphy or a dancer’s pose, to name a few,” he says. This story appeared in The Kinfolk Home in 2015. “Each time I open the front door, I can sense the tranquility.” TwitterFacebookPinterest “Each time I open the front door, I can sense the tranquility.” Related Stories Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Interiors Issue 18 A View from the Porch The shapes and sizes of our homes are changing, and society along with it. Avi Friedman has come to make sense of the new era of household realities. Arts & Culture Issue 17 A State of Solitude Just because you shared space as a kid doesn’t mean you must give up individuality as an adult: Carving time out for you can strengthen family ties. Arts & Culture Issue 17 My Bedside Table: The Illustrator As a children’s book illustrator and comic-book artist living in Oslo, Norway, Øyvind Torseter often finds inspiration in the moments before sleep. Interiors Issue 16 My Bedside Table: The Fashion Designer Starr Hout, who cofounded fashion brand Apiece Apart with her friend Laura Cramer, talks about her evening rituals and a kid-friendly bedroom. Design Interiors Issue 15 The Community Entrepreneurs: The Food Enthusiasts Food can be used to enrich, strengthen and connect people of all societies and cultures: All you need is a passion for tasty morsels and tradition.