First-time homeowners finally have a home for collection of vintage-style decor

Who: A couple in their late 20s
Home: Four-room HDB BTO flat in Telok Blangah Heights
Size: 1,000sqf

The HDB Built-To-Order (BTO) flat of Tan Si Jay and Charmaine Choo may be new, but the young couple have been collecting furniture and decor items from as long as six years ago.

"We collected some items so long ago - thankfully, they all match the home's design!" laughs Charmaine.

Designer Chong Su Min of M3 Studio kept the floors and walls of the home plain, using concrete screed and white paint, so the loose furniture and decor pieces could take centre stage.

The home's design is inspired by colonial black and white houses, with added Peranakan-style touches, and decorated with vintage-look furniture.

Its character comes from the items the duo had squirrelled away over the years, which include finds from the Salvation Army store, pasar malams, and local and overseas shops.

For example, the framed Peranakan tiles in yellow and green that adorn walls in the living area and bedroom were acquired at the Sungei Road flea market; and the wall-mounted decorative plates and platters, from Spain and Arab Street here, create a focal point in the dining area.

To create the spacious interiors to showcase the couple's treasures, Su Min gave the living area an open concept. She also had the walls of one bedroom demolished, and used the space for the dining area.

Making use of the space by the windows, Su Min designed a built-in bench (which can be used as a daybed) with concealed storage. This is now the couple's "cosy corner", where they work on the laptop or just lounge.

The renovation, which cost $51,000, also included built-in structures, such as "ceiling rafters" that house overhead lighting fixtures, a back-lit TV feature wall in the living area, and a streamlined peninsula counter in the dry kitchen area.

Their understated stylish designs add to the home without stealing the limelight from the couple's collection.

Where to go: M3 Studio, Tel: 6443-7001

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