Under One Roof: Sharifa Amalia and Badrulhisyam

How do you know you’ve met ‘the one’? For Sharifa Amalia, it was her now-husband’s Badrulhisyam’s reply to her question of “Why do you like me so much?” that gave her the answer.

“I was not expecting a profound answer,” she tells us, “but he said ‘My heart belongs to God. He willed it so.’ That made me curious to know him better.”

The pair were engaged after only a year of dating, but sharing the same space took getting used to, especially since Amalia and Badrul still had a lot to discover about each other. We caught up with them to learn more about how they’ve navigated the highs, lows, and surprises of living together, including working as a team and embracing their differences.

Amalia and Badrul standing at the kitchen island of their home. The pair moved in to this home after they got married.

How did the both of you meet?

Badrul: I first saw Amalia from a distance at a competition. I didn’t approach her then, but I knew her name and looked her up on Facebook. We chatted and met shortly after — it might have even been the next day.

Amalia: We made the decision to get engaged after a year of knowing each other. As we didn’t meet each other’s family while we were dating, the first time I officially met all of Badrul’s siblings and mother was actually on our engagement day. It was rather awkward at first, especially when we had to take some pictures together!

The pair watching a video together in bed, which is made up in our Sunny White Duvet in French linen.

We heard you two went shopping together for your new home. Were there any disagreements?

Amalia: Of course! We don’t like the same things and our personalities differ. That can be a recipe for conflict, but we abide by the same family values — patience and respect above anything, especially since we both come from close-knit families.

One incident was when we were selecting tiles for our bathroom. I insisted on pink tiles for the master toilet, but I could sense that Badrul was not too happy about it. He was tired and frustrated from his night shift, so I ended up selecting green tiles for the common toilet because it’s his favourite colour. I always have what I want in mind, but I realised that living with someone means respecting what they want as well. Both bathrooms turned out beautiful and I’m glad we did not let that mini squabble affect our decisions.

Amalia and Badrul's master bathroom. When planning for their home renovation, Amalia designed almost everything herself — she specifically wanted pink tiles for this bathroom. Featured here is our Sunday Towel in Midnight Grey.

Another feature of their pink master bathroom that Amalia had dreamt of was their terrazzo sink, which her interior designer managed to make come to life.

Tell us more about some of the differences or individual quirks you two had to get used to.

Amalia: Due to our clashing work schedules, we didn’t have a lot of time to ask each other what we liked and disliked when we were dating. We got to know each other better after moving in, and I think familiarising ourselves with these new observations was what bonded us. For instance, Badrul found out I love watching K-dramas and is now hooked too! We watch them together at night over coffee or supper. It’s the same with food. Badrul hates durian, unlike me, but he’s more patient now with its smell in the fridge.

Badrul: The most significant difference was our sleeping habits. Amalia sleeps late and prioritises breakfast, while I dislike waking up early in the morning even though I sleep early. It’s tough to adjust because I even find it difficult to wake up for my morning shifts sometimes! Our sleep schedules are still different but over time, we’ve become less irritated when someone wakes up before the other. I try to join Amalia for breakfast on weekends too, if I’m not on the morning shift.

The couple usually unwinds by watching K-dramas together. Fun fact: Amalia likes watching K-dramas from the last episode while Badrul watches them from the first episode!

Amalia and Badrul make their daily coffee at their terrazzo countertop. Before meeting Amalia, Badrul actually didn't drink coffee.

"Your partner may worry about doing something wrong, just as you are worried about making sure everything is perfect for them. Most importantly, don’t keep things from each other — that has to be the number one rule in any relationship."

How do you both resolve conflicts?

Badrul: Our rule is to hug it out after we’ve cooled down, have a meal, and then talk about it before we sleep. Nothing gets solved when we’re angry or upset. We value our alone time and having a little distance allows us to recharge.

Amalia: Wanting my own space was something I realised after getting married, because I used to hate not solving things immediately. We never avoid any conflict but it’s important to have clarity before we try to confront a situation, so we delay talking about it until we are ready. Talking about food lightens the tension too. We all have to eat and we can’t ignore each other when it comes to mealtimes. I don’t know how many times I have had to swallow my pride just to ask for Badrul’s GrabFood order. It’s funny to think about it when we are not fighting!

Food usually helps dissolve some of the tension after the pair have a conflict. Here, Badrul feeds Amalia a nutella tart.

What other lessons has moving in together taught you?

Badrul: Since we have different tastes in almost everything, we also try to embrace what the other person likes. Asking for each other’s opinions has become a habit. Amalia, for example, is a huge EXO (Korean male idol group) fan. I’m not, but when she plays their concerts and songs 24/7, I listen too. I think I’ve memorised all the lyrics!

Amalia: Having a life partner is ultimately about teamwork and bringing out the best in each other. Badrul is more patient and fair, so it’s hard to dismiss his opinions. Though he’s more of an introvert, he always has something wise to say when we’re met with tough situations, like our renovations. I believe his opinions have made me a better, less selfish person by contributing to how I view things.

Badrul: I agree. Thanks to Amalia, I’ve learnt to be more patient and financially responsible. I used to spend more liberally, but ever since getting married, I’ve become more mindful and better at the numbers. I even manage most of our household finances now.

Amalia and Badrul in their kitchen. Despite their differences, the couple know that listening to each other's opinions makes their relationship work.

Lastly, what advice do you have for those who have just started living together?

Amalia: The transition can be rocky, but don’t be afraid when the first few challenges come your way. It’s normal. Your partner may worry about doing something wrong, just as you are worried about making sure everything is perfect for them. Most importantly, don’t keep things from each other — that has to be the number one rule in any relationship.

I think we all know that love can hurt, and even Badrul and I are still learning to manage our expectations. One piece of advice we always bear in mind was shared by an elder in the family: be better and improve yourself first before expecting big changes, and this will attract a positive outcome from the other person too.

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Move-in Bundle

Sunday Towel Set in Midnight Grey

Cloudy Grey Sheet Set in bamboo sateen

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