Simple Romance

Simple Romance

This romantic homeowner took on the shabby chic, cottage-inspired look - a home decor style that's quite rare here - to set her family nest apart from the crowd.

Who: A couple and their twin toddlers
Home: Two-bedroom condominium unit at Tanamera Crest
Size: 1,200sqf

Despite its pale palette of white walls and light wood floors, this two-bedroom residence doesn't look at all spartan. Homeowner Lena Tambunan, who lives here with her husband and two children, says that she always aims for simplicity in design.

What gives this apartment a homey appeal is a melange of shabby chic, vintage- and cottage-style furnishings, which are juxtaposed with modern elements and clean lines. "There's a romance to it," she says of the worn-in look, illustrated by the distressed wood dining table and statement mirror in the dining area.

Lena, who designed the place herself, bought most of the furniture abroad while shopping for her online homeware boutique, The Vintage Parlour. As she keeps her shop's inventory at home, she needed extra storage space. The solution came in the form of a full-height storage cabinet-cum-TV console, built by her contractor from Dreamvision.

Another bespoke furniture piece that her contractor created was the children's wooden loft bed - the highlight of the home - inspired by a tree house from an Enid Blyton book.

"Why buy a bed from Ikea when you can build a tree house?" exclaims Lena, gushing over the rustic wonderland. However, what's closest to her heart is her ornate eight-year-old matrimonial bed. "We've had it from the day we got married," Lena explains.

Besides structural changes, such as erecting false walls to seal off the kitchen and segregating the master bedroom to create a walk-in wardrobe, the $70,000 renovation resulted in a more feminine feel for the home. While most men wouldn't go with this particular look, Lena's husband - being the romantic gentleman he is - simply "lets her do whatever she likes", she says, smiling.

Where to go
(for home-decor items and accessories)

To read the rest of this article, get a copy of the May 2015 issue of Home & Decor.

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Also, check out the May 2015 issue for these stories:

Shop the World
Indulge your wanderlust for design by shopping for contemporary Danish, Italian, French, and Japanese home furnishings!

See the Light
We’ve sniffed out the most stylish and affordable lighting designs – including eight pieces that are under $100!

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