Naythan Low and Wei Ming Talk Elevating Your Home Interior, Turning Basic Into Trendy

You don't wanna start designing your home without reading this!
By: Farah Khan
August 4, 2023

In celebrating the convergence of global innovation and local creativity, Cosentino, the world leader in producing innovative surfaces for architecture and design, proudly presents its masterpiece – the Dekton® Pietra Kode collection. The unveiling of the Dekton® Pietra Kode collection takes center stage in Malaysia, as Cosentino hosts a design talk at the Cosentino Malaysia Showroom. The event is not only an ode to the timeless allure of Italian-inspired designs but also marks an exciting collaboration with local design luminaries – Wei Ming, Founder of Aureole Design, and Naythan Low, Co-founder of Doubble Interiors.

Join us as we embark on an enthralling journey through the world of design, guided by the wisdom and ingenuity of Wei Ming and Naythan Low. Step into the realm of Italian-inspired design and witness how the collaboration between global innovation and local creativity elevates the boundaries of possibility, opening up a realm of boundless inspiration for design enthusiasts and homeowners alike.

Wei Ming, Founder of Aureole Design

Meet Wei Ming, a visionary designer whose creations are a testament to the enchanting allure of Art Deco and cherished nostalgic memories. Her latest collection, an extension of her celebrated column series, unveils a pair of stools, a side table, and a mirror pedestal, each intricately designed to embody the spirit of Art Deco’s geometric lines. Inspired by the evocative recollections of her grandparent’s Art Deco house in Georgetown, Penang, Wei Ming infuses her pieces with a timeless charm that harmoniously intertwines ancient design elements of monuments and columns, akin to the essence of the Dekton® Pietra Kode collection’s Italian architecture inspiration.

Naythan Low, Co-Founder of Doubble Interiors

Meet Naythan, an innovative designer whose creations transcend conventional boundaries, exploring the limitless possibilities of surface adaptation beyond traditional kitchen or working countertops. His remarkable collection comprises a chair, a console, and a coffee table, each artfully designed around the theme of diversity. Naythan’s vision was to delve deep into the exploration of surfaces, experimenting with various materials and forms. The console, aptly named ‘La Chapa,’ boasts a fusion of VK02 Avorio incorporated plywood, while the chair, ‘Acero,’ showcases the elegance of incorporated steel. The centerpiece of his collection, the coffee table ‘Madera,’ is a breathtaking homage to the VK03 Grigio from the Cosentino Dekton® Pietra Kode collection. Inspired by the ethereal beauty of clouds, Naythan’s design emulates their delicate features and textures through linear surfaces, demonstrating the remarkable versatility of the collection.

Interview with Wei Ming

You have created some amazing pieces that beautifully incorporate classic yet trendy Italian styles. Could you share some insights on how you approach the design process to achieve this unique blend?
[Wei Ming] The design direction I have taken for the pieces in line with the Dekton Pietra launch are an extension of my Column series which takes inspiration from the modernist architectural style of Art Deco. The Column series explores the spirit of Art Deco geometric lines in simple repetitive shapes. The colours, tones and textures from Cosentino’s new Dekton Pietra Kode collection are a contemporary, natural and elegant interpretation of the classic Italian stones. The variety of the material thickness makes it versatile for me to explore different forms and adapt them to the column series design direction seamlessly. Additionally, the simplicity of the geometric lines enables the design and material to accentuate the piece.

What role does craftsmanship play in creating these amazing pieces? How do you ensure that the quality and attention to detail are maintained while infusing modern trends?
[Wei Ming] Working with the right fabricator/maker definitely helps in the design process as they have an understanding of the material characteristics and are willing to explore new techniques with the proposed designs. I believe that working with the understanding of both parties (designer and fabricator/maker) and having the desire to elevate the artistic content by exploring innovative techniques or new methods will absolutely help to ensure the quality and detail of the design pieces. I am thankful for fabricators/makers who take pride in their craftsmanship and their willingness to make time and develop these designs with me, especially for the furniture pieces that I have designed in line with the Dekton Pietra collection launch.

Are there any specific challenges you face when translating classic Italian design concepts into tangible pieces of furniture or decor? How do you overcome those challenges?
[Wei Ming] As the Dekton materials are highly versatile, there were not any specific challenges with regard to the material itself. However, if I were to pinpoint a challenge, it would be working within a tight timeframe of less than one and a half months from design to fabrication. Despite this challenge, it was both challenging and exciting to challenge oneself to reimagine and push the boundaries of Dekton’s application beyond countertops or wall
surfaces. Having said that, I was fortunate to collaborate with a great fabricator who understood Cosentino’s materials well which definitely help me to overcome some of these challenges.

Could you share some examples of your favourite pieces that perfectly showcase the infusion of classic Italian styles with contemporary trends? What makes them stand out?
[Wei Ming] The design pieces that I have created with the Dekton Pietra collection have an architectural approach. They draw inspiration from the layered linear lines from Art Deco architectural style, adapting and paring it down to form simple monolithic sculpture (the mirror pedestal piece); and building appearances (the side table and stool pieces). The vertical split between the layered slabs is intentionally placed to represent a building entryway that is commonly seen in many ancient Roman monuments. The simplicity of the design application allows the material to accentuate each piece, striking a balance between material and design (classic and contemporary), celebrating both tactile and aesthetic qualities.

You’ve gained recognition for its ability to create pieces that are both timeless and on-trend. What strategies or techniques do you employ to stay ahead of the curve in terms of design and style?
[Wei Ming] Working solo has its own pros and cons. I often feel disconnected without a team or colleagues, but it also pushes me to be independent in my design ideas or problem-solving. It can be a long process at times; but I am reminded of my favourite quote from one of the most iconic and highly-respected designers of the twentieth century – “The most important thing is that you love what you are doing, and the second that you are not afraid of where your next idea will lead.” – Charles Eames. It keeps me going!

I am always eager to explore different materials in my designs and the collaboration with Cosentino’s new Dekton Pietra collection was absolutely a great experience and exposure.

What is one design element or item that you would add to elevate a room? Perhaps one of your latest pieces?
[Wei Ming] Having textures or incorporating natural materials would be something I would like to add to bring a sense of warmth to a space. The ‘Ketupat’ pouf series – is a social innovation venture between the Penan community of
Sarawak, Tanoti and Aureole Design. Rattan craft development is one of Tanoti’s community initiatives to introduce sustainable income generating opportunities to Sarawak’s remote forest communities. The design collaboration hopes to elevate the artistic vision of the craft – representing them into present design context and to preserve its valuable contribution to our cultural heritage. This series is a collection of low seatings – which is very much an Asian
’floor culture’ and is expandable into bespoke dimensions based on requirements. The new colour – ‘Hitam-manis’ would make a lovely hand-weaved art piece that’s both artistic and functional to have in a space.

Interview with Naythan Low

Can you tell us about Doubble Interior’s approach to infusing classic yet trendy Italian styles? What sets your design philosophy apart from others in the industry? 

[Naythan Low] At Doubble Interior, we believe that the classic Italian style encompasses more than just aesthetics; it represents a way of life. When we were crafting the designs using the Dekton Pietra collection by Cosentino, we strive to create furniture pieces that reflect the elegance, sophistication, and warmth of Italian culture while incorporating modern trends and innovations. Our design philosophy emphasises the balance between form and function, tradition and innovation, and to create spaces that are comfortable, inviting and stylish in which Cosentino has played a significant role in helping us to successfully achieve our vision in numerous projects. 

How do you strike a balance between incorporating timeless Italian design elements and incorporating modern trends to create a harmonious living space? 

[Naythan Low] One way in which we achieve this balance is by utilising high-quality materials that possess durability, versatility, and beauty. An example of this is our proud partnership with Cosentino and our use of their Dekton Pietra collection in our furniture pieces to showcase the versatile and inspirational ways to adapt Italian-inspired designs to one’s home in line with the Dekton Pietra launch. We have incorporated Cosentino materials into numerous projects and have consistently found them to be exceptionally durable, offering superior performance and resistance to stains, scratches, heat, and UV rays. Furthermore, Cosentino’s collections (eg. the Dekton Pietra collection inspired by the timeless beauty of natural stone) strike a harmonious balance between quality and design, aligning perfectly with our objectives in many of our designs/projects. 

Could you share some key design elements or materials that are characteristic of classic Italian styles (eg. the Cosentino Dekton Pietra Kode collection) and how you incorporate them into your creations? 

[Naythan Low] We love exploring and playing with the different shades and textures of the Dekton Pietra collection and incorporating them alongside other materials such as wood, metal, or glass. We wanted to experiment and drive deep into exploring the possibilities of adapting these surfaces into diverse forms using various materials. For instance, during the Dekton Pietra launch, we designed a chair that combines a sleek metal frame, resulting in a piece that effortlessly blends classic elegance with a contemporary flair. Another example is a coffee table that features a wooden base, which showcase a contrast between the warm wood and the cool stone to create a dynamic and harmonious look. 

What are some challenges you have faced when trying to blend classic Italian aesthetics with contemporary trends, and how have you overcome them? 

[Naythan Low] Of course, blending classic Italian aesthetics with contemporary trends is not always easy, hence it is important to select and use the suitable materials to achieve the desired design outcome. Sometimes we do encounter challenges such as finding the right proportions, colours or accessories to complement our furniture pieces. In these cases, we rely on our experience, intuition and creativity to find effective solutions. Normally for our other projects, we would actively consult our clients and listen to their preferences and needs.

We believe that communication and collaboration are essential for creating successful designs. 

Can you provide examples of projects where you successfully infused classic yet trendy Italian styles (eg. Cosentino’s Dekton Pietra Kode collection or Cosentino) into a home? What were the unique design choices you made to achieve that? 

[Naythan Low] Unfortunately, as Dekton Pietra was launched only recently, we have yet to have the chance to infuse the latest collection into any of our projects. Nonetheless, we do have a lot of projects utilising various Cosentino materials and it has consistently brought satisfaction in terms of design and functionality for both ourselves and our clients. With the extensive design selection from Cosentino, it enables us to easily match their materials with the different design concepts that the client desires. With the new launch of Dekton Pietra, we are very excited to incorporate it into our future projects and designs. 

What is your one advice to a beginner who is trying to achieve a modern style for their home? 

[Naythan Low] One advice to a beginner who is trying to achieve a modern style for their home is to start with the basics. Start by choosing materials or furniture pieces that are simple, functional and durable, and then add some accents that reflect your personality and taste. For example, you can use pillows, rugs or lamps to add some colour or texture to your space. You can also use plants, art or books to add some life and character to your space. Remember that less is more when it comes to modern style, so don’t overdo it with too many items or too much clutter.