Recipe for light

PHOTO: Recipe for light

What: Open-concept kitchen in a five-room HDB flat in Yishun Ring Road

Interior design firm: Fuse Concept. Life! spoke to a spokesman for the company

How did you arrive at this concept?

The clients, a couple in their early 30s with a four-year-old child, were intrigued by pictures of Scandinavian homes they had seen in magazines and online. They wanted something similar for their home as they like the use of raw materials and the airy, spacious look. So these are two elements we tried to incorporate everywhere in the apartment, including the kitchen.

We removed the wall between the dining room and kitchen because the couple don't cook often and don't require that much storage space.

How did you give the kitchen a Scandinavian feel?

The Scandinavians have long, dreary winters with few daylight hours. Hence their designs are often very clean, rustic, light and airy. We have deliberately clad the walls with cement screed to achieve a raw, rustic feel. To complement the walls, we gave the kitchen cabinets a subtle, fine woodgrain laminate finish so that they would not look too bulky.

Isn't it impractical to use cement screed in a kitchen?

It is easy for oil and grease to get stuck in the small wall pores and become hard to remove, which is why cement screed walls are not used usually in kitchens.

The couple do not cook often so they would not have a problem with cleaning.

Island counters are not a common feature in HDB flats. Why did you put one in here?

An island counter works here because of the open-concept space. Also, the kitchen is relatively huge for a HDB flat - measuring 3.5m by 5.5m. The island does not overpower the rest of the kitchen.

What was your biggest challenge in doing up this kitchen?

It was difficult to convince our clients to have a wall painted in blackboard paint. Having a chalkboard gives character to the space because the family can draw on it and it creates a fun environment.

But they were worried that the chalk might contaminate their food. So, to solve that, we sprayed a layer of fixative, which is similar to varnish, so the chalk dust is not airborne.

There are at least four different materials, from laminates to cement to metal finishing in the kitchen, yet they all come together seamlessly. How did you achieve this?

It was not difficult putting all the materials together because they were in the same light colour theme and have a natural finish.

This makes the different materials, colours and textures complement one another well and is in keeping with the Scandinavian theme.