Mix of colours makes 3-bedroom flat a vibrant yet cosy retreat

Mix of colours makes 3-bedroom flat a vibrant yet cosy retreat
PHOTO: Home & Decor

Who: A couple and their pet dog
Home: Three-bedroom HDB flat in Telok Blangah
Size: 700sqf

A home with lots of stripes and colours sounds a tad excessive, doesn't it?

On the contrary, the Housing Board flat we've just described is a vibrant yet cosy retreat from the city - perfect for urbanites Clarence Tay and his partner, both of whom are in the architecture industry.

After a complete overhaul, the 40-yearold 700sqf flat is now divided into three main spaces: an open-concept living and dining area, a spacious bedroom, and a galley kitchen.

It's dressed in a rojak style, as Clarence calls it, with heavy influences from Sri Lanka and a touch of New England decor.

This is how they conjured up the look of their place, in a renovation that cost $100,000 (including furnishings).

Sought inspiration from Sri Lanka

The couple are frequent travellers to Sri Lanka, and love the wide range of striped prints the textile stores there offer. From their travels, they brought back fabric to tailor into upholstery for the sofa and cushion covers, in both warm and cool hues such as yellow, red and blue, as well as stripes of varying widths. The fabrics were chosen to highlight Sri Lanka's vibrant culture.

These also complement the striped feature walls in both the living area and bedroom. "We were not worried that the walls would clash with the fabric; in fact, they go together perfectly as the former have wide stripes, and the latter, narrow," says Clarence.

Other unique home accessories from Sri Lanka include large green candleholders, rugs made of organic materials such as jute, and framed elephant prints that hang above their large bed.

Included other interior themes

"We didn't want a boring one-theme look, so we included a range of styles, from retro pieces such as the wall-mounted living room lamp from Lorgan's The Retro Store, to Indonesian-style furniture," says Clarence, who draws design inspiration from his profession, as well as interior and architecture magazines.

While the living room exudes an eclectic vibe due to the mismatched dining chairs and vibrant colours used, the master bedroom is a quieter space.

In place of colourful accessories, lamps with hardwood bases from Sri Lanka rest atop concrete pedestals by the bedside. For the boutique hotel-inspired bathroom, the couple chose a range of black tiles for the surfaces, such as the hexagon-shaped marble floor tiles which form "a feature floor, like a rug!" says Clarence.

on SPH Brightcove

Made space for what they wanted

The flat's modest size did not stop the couple from buying large furniture items, such as the modular L-shaped sofa and wooden dining table from CB2.

The duo also wanted individual study corners; these are now placed at opposite ends of the living room. To accommodate these big-ticket items, they enlarged the living room space by removing one bedroom.

As they don't cook often, they downsized the kitchen and made it a narrow galley-style space.

In the process, the remaining bedroom was enlarged to fit their American king-size bed from CB2, and an en-suite bathroom.

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