BTO flat in white, black and gold an unexpected surprise

PHOTO: Home & Decor

Sometimes, a result that is different from the one you expected can turn out for the better.

WHO: A couple and their Silky Terrier

HOME: BTO flat in Punggol Drive

SIZE: 1,216sqf

When Roy Huang and Eileen Leow first approached Lawrence Puah, director of Akihaus Design Studio, they thought that they would be getting a home that was a hybrid between the industrial and Scandinavian styles, according to their respective preferences.

Lasting impressions

  • Lawrence designed a TV console with fabric doors that not only conceals the clutter of cables and settop boxes, but also minimises interference with the remote control signal, thanks to the fabric material.
  • Homeowner Roy confessed that he initially had reservations about a black palette for the kitchen, but is very pleased with the result.
  • Instead of hanging the poster and mirror on the wall, propping them up on a side table adds depth to an otherwise planar surface.
  • The design of the built-in wall storage, the sofa configuration and ceiling all reinforce the linearity of the space.
  • The same rectangular inlay pattern is used on the headboard design. The repeated motif helps bring the interiors together as a cohesive whole.
  • The walk-in wardrobe was designed to reflect Eileen's preference for light colours, while brass inlays in the wardrobe doors and brass-fi nished handles add a touch of luxury.
  • The vanity counter in the master bathroom uses a similar inlay motif as the rest of the house, but it is executed in stainless steel instead of brass.
  • The progression from the walk-in wardrobe to the sleeping area creates a layering of spaces that also enhances privacy.
  • The master bedroom's grey-white palette is a combination of Roy and Eileen's individual preferences.

From his experience, Lawrence observes that homeowners are easily influenced by the latest trends that they see in magazines.

"Trends come and go, so when it comes to designing home interiors, I usually advise clients to go for something more timeless," he says.

His approach was to extract what exactly it was about the two styles that the couple liked.

In the process, he discovered that it was the matte finish of raw cement characteristic of the industrial style that appealed to Roy, while Eileen was drawn to the Scandinavian style's light colours.

With these revelations, Lawrence set about designing the home according to these specific preferences, rather than just aesthetics.

The living room features a predominantly white palette. Built-in cabinets designed like a feature wall run the entire length of the living room to provide storage space that the homeowners needed.

The brass inlays on the white laminate cabinet doors were treated to resemble rose gold, adding a touch of glitz that Eileen adores. The original floor tiles were replaced with marble-look tiles, honed to produce a matte finish.

"Raw cement floors can feel gritty and cold on bare feet, but these matte tiles give a warm and furry sensation," he says.

The kitchen is Roy's domain as he enjoys cooking. In contrast to the living room's white palette, the main colour in the kitchen is black to create a more masculine look, complemented by white Caesarstone countertops.

The brass inlays on the black laminate cabinet doors use the same design language as the storage cabinets in the living room - albeit in a different colour - providing a sense of connection between the two spaces.

Lawrence cladded a bulky rectangular column at the corner of the kitchen with the same brass-on-black finish, harmoniously integrating it into the kitchen scheme.

Two adjacent bedrooms were merged into one master suite comprising the bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom. The bedroom and walk-in wardrobe are separated by a pair of pocket sliding doors that allow the couple to adjust the level of privacy desired.

The wardrobe doors have the same rectangular frame motif as the living room and kitchen carpentry. The designer had the wardrobe handles custom-made in a combination of matte and polished finishes to up the "bling" factor.

"If we had insisted on the industrial and Scandinavian styles, our home would have looked just like many other homes," says Roy.

But by distilling the homeowners' general style preferences down to the specific elements that they liked, Lawrence was able to design a home that will not go out of fashion.

WHERE TO GO: Akihaus Design Studio, TEL: 6221-2808

This article was first published in the AUGUST 2017 print edition of Home & Decor.