ELIZA HAMIZAH chats with this creative couple, who met at a flea market, about their colourful, art-filled abode.
The decorations in this home include the couple’s own artworks, gifts from friends, and quirky finds from their travels.
The previous owner of this four-room Bedok flat removed all of its non-structural walls and upgraded its bathroom fittings and windows before selling it.
Keith is an interior designer and Lin Na works in marketing and advertising. They often work from home.
When Keith Low, owner of interior design firm Woodworks, and his wife Lin Na, found the property two years ago, they saw it as the perfect blank canvas. The couple even kept the mint-condition window blinds and oven. Here's how they transformed the resale unit into a vibrant home for $45,000.
The diagonal wall, erected to accommodate extra storage space in the bedroom, adds an odd yet charming touch.
WHO LIVES HERE
A 30something couple and their pet dog
HOME Four-room HDB resale apartment in Bedok
SIZE 1,000 sq ft
“Lin Na’s banana piece from one of her still-life painting phases,” says Keith.
HOW DID YOU INCORPORATE YOUR STYLE INTO THIS RESALE UNIT?
we liked the openness of the space, but needed more privacy for the bedroom, so I designed a double-sided bookshelf with a sliding glass door that separates it from the living room. It's a great solution for our books, too. There were also parts of the flat without proper flooring. For instance, we removed the vinyl planks in the foyer, patched up the empty spots and laid on Moroccan-inspired patterned tiles. We also erected a wall for privacy and added a cabinet for our craft materials on the other side.
The music corner features an orange, vintage-style Yamaha radio, books, vinyls, and a record player. The owners enjoy listening to Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR ARTS AND CRAFT.
Lin Na and I actually met at a Red Dot Museum flea market, where we sold handmade items. We are both into decoupage, so we like to buy and hoard "rubbish" - like brochures and wrapping paper - for it. A lot of the collage-like art you see around the house was made by us. It's why the house is a mess, and why we needed a large dining table. We cleaned it up for you (laughs).
The chair is a replica of the Diz by famous Brazilian furniture maker Sergio Rodrigues.
This 1920s 2.3m dining table that was made in Europe nearly did not fit into the HDB lift. The bench is from Arthur Zaaro.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
We don't have one, but our home does revolve a lot around Lin Na's love for colours and patterns, and mine for texture and plants. I wanted a jungalow-style home, but she did not approve. We also really feel connection with Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, and the vibrancy and bohemian nature of her art. While Nordic bohemian style veers towards cool hues, we like warmer and spicier shades like those in Kahlo's work. We have a picture of her - she's like our little goddess.
Keith and Lin Na left one living room wall free for projecting movies and other shows.
The kitchen features a brick backsplash and shaker-style cabinetry.
WHAT STYLE OF FURNITURE AND CABINETRY DID YOU GO FOR?
Nothing overly polished. We prefer a mismatched look. There is a balance of both clean and raw-style furniture such as the weathered 1920s European dining and study tables, and upholstered fabirc sofa throughout the home. Despite the mess, a strong colour palette anchers this combination. We also spray-painted our shaker-style kitchen and craft cabinetry. This way, we can change the colours any time.
Two wardrobes flank the Australian-made king-sized bed. To fit the bed frame from The Shophouse, they had Dreamworld customise the mattress.
OUR HOME IS MADE UP OF THE COLOURS, TEXTURES, AND RAW-LOOK FINISHES WE LOVE.
The foyer includes a space for their shoes and bags.
As the previous homeowner had expanded the master bathroom, all the couple had to do was tile it up.
Photography FRENCHESCAR LIM
Art direction KRISTY QUAH