Who: A family of four and their dog
Home: Three-bedroom colonial bungalow in Adam Park
The facade of this black-and-white bungalow - tenanted to Maud Felius and her family, who moved here in 2005 - might look similar to other colonial bungalows dotting Singapore, but its interiors are another story.
Each item in the home has a colourful history which rivals that of the heritage structure it now sits in. Just to name two - the long teak table that her husband made in the Netherlands (where Maud is from) has survived snow storms and summer heat; and an antique chair that was reupholstered in an intricate Suzani cloth from Uzbekistan.
Not surprisingly, her eye for unique furnishings has led her to start a business here called Belouk, which offers a mix of customised furniture and home accessories. She susses out the best fabrics and antique chairs, and combines them to give the seats a new lease of life.
Naturally, her house is filled with reupholstered and second-hand furniture, put together in a vibrant eclectic style, while still maintaining the warmth of a family home.
We find out more about her style.
What's the look you wanted to achieve with this house?
Something personal and inviting - and daring! For instance, I love everything bird-related, so I projected a huge flora and fauna motif on the walls and invited some friends over to help paint the walls.
There was a lot of wine and laughter involved! It is important to me that the home feels comfortable; it is okay to be a little bit messy sometimes. Try out whatever you want, and if it doesn't work out, then fine. There is no design approach I follow.
What is the beauty of old things?
That they are not easy to find. It's charming to enrich your home with something unique and with a story, rather than generic sofas and fabric. I won an ugly brown leather chair at an expat auction here once; the seating was completely ruined - but I saw the beauty in its shape and history. Plus, my upholstery guy always does an amazing job.
What is your approach to reupholstering?
It's not about just getting a completely new look, it is about achieving a better version of the original piece. You have to give furniture a second chance.
How does the style of your home reflect that of your shop?
A lot of my things are from Asia, such as the large ceramic lamp bases from the Philippines, old elm wood tables from China, and wooden chairs made in Indonesia - all of which are available from Belouk. I especially like velvet for its unique nuances, and colours that brighten up the interior.
What tips do you have for homeowners?
Keep your eyes open, and be patient. It takes time to find the good stuff, but it is worth the wait.
Where to go: Belouk, www.belouk.com
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