When Joey Khu, director of Joey Khu Interior Design, purchased this 900sqf four-room HDB flat in Bedok, he had two challenges: it was in a rundown condition, and he needed to "accommodate all the spaces that I wanted for various activities, as well as fit in the furniture, lamps and other pieces in my collection."
To achieve the space he needed, he hacked away the walls of a room adjacent to the kitchen, thereby creating a bigger space that could be reconfigured to suit his needs. That became the dining area and dry kitchen. A structural beam and column posed a challenge but Joey ingeniously turned the latter into a space divider.
The living room may be spacious, but its low ceiling was a drawback. To address this, Joey used vertical elm wood wall panelling to create the impression of height. The choice of a darker wood colour enhances the vibrancy of the surrounding greenery, bringing into the interior an element of nature.
Part of the original kitchen space was carved out to create a more spacious bathroom, with a proper vanity area and separate shower compartment, meeting Joey's preference. Design boils down to the priorities of the individual.
"I designed a zig-zag wall that separates the wet kitchen from the bathroom. On the side facing the bathroom, I fitted in the vanity counter nicely, while on the other side, I installed a kitchen counter," he elaborates. This creates additional space to place cooking appliances.
Two of the existing bedrooms were combined to make up one large master suite. Instead of walls, Joey used floor finishes to demarcate the sleeping area, walk-in wardrobe and balcony within the suite. In the same vein, colours were used to distinguish this private realm from the living room. For instance, the colour scheme in the master suite is stronger and darker to create a relaxing and cosy ambience.
Joey has a huge collection of furniture, lamps and other knick- knacks amassed over the years, and his new home provides the perfect showcase for these pieces.
Having worked on countless homes for clients, Joey describes the experience of designing his own home as one that is "very exciting but also very difficult". He reveals: "I have designed homes in a myriad of styles and learnt many valuable lessons from past projects. So, for my own home, it was really about distilling the features I love."
This article was first published in Home & Decor.