Brimming with treasured keepsakes, the eclectic decor of this home tells the story of its owners’ blended tastes, heritage, travels and love for toys. MICHELLE LEE takes a tour.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Decorative accents, vintage finds and keepsakes are brilliantly integrated, bringing character and meaning into the home.

My Reading Room


A couple in their 30s and their adopted dog Tilby. 

HOME A five-room HDB Flat in Jurong West SIZE 1,185 sq ft
My Reading Room

It’s important that your home reflects your character,” Lindy Lin and Denice Chua, the owners of this five-room HDB apartment in Jurong West, tell us. And theirs, filled with vintage souvenirs from their travels, toys and other mementoes, does exactly that.

Lindy, a corporate sales manager, and Denice, a graphic designer, called on Carmen Tang, design director of Wolf Woof, to create a cosy abode that meets Lindy’s love for a lighter palette, and Denice’s preference for punchy hues and black accents.

A key feature is the decorative cement breeze-block at the entrance that pays homage to Lindy’s Peranakan heritage on her grandmother’s side. Beyond it is the kitchen with glass accordion doors that let light in, lend a sense of openness and keep cooking fumes from reaching the rest of the home. 

Details such as contrasting black and wood tones, patterned tiles and PU leather cabinet handles jazz up the otherwise simple L-shaped kitchen. Carmen also added a mesh cabinet that conceals the pipes. 

The white, wood and black scheme extends to the common bathroom, which has the same geometric floor tiles, and a marble-effect hexagonal tile on the walls.

The combined living and dining area is spacious but irregularly-shaped. Interestingly, its angles gel swimmingly with the eclectic, playful vibe of the decor. 

“Working around the odd layout was one of the main challenges,” Carmen points out. “Built-in furnishings were kept minimal to keep the place from feeling cramped.” Thoughtfully placed furniture and a divider also aid in zoning the open layout of the home. 

The neutral base palette is punched up with a cheerful mix of patterned rugs, bright cushions, movie posters and shelves of toys. One’s gaze is instantly drawn to a sculptural wooden swing chair from Taobao that sits in Lindy’s favourite spot. The home is also brimming with vintage finds, including an old projector that used to belong to Denice’s uncle, a red letterbox from an antique shop in Haji Lane, and an antique Siemens Brothers & Co telephone on the wall. “I bought that from London’s Portobello Road Market in 2013 and it still works. The customs officer thought it was a bomb as I’d stuffed it into my backpack!” recalls Lindy with a laugh. 

What was previously a walkway with a built-in wardrobe that led to the master bedroom is now a cosy study that provides the pair with more opportunities to showcase their massive toy collection in two display cabinets. Concealed by a barn door, the master bathroom can be found here, too.

Beyond that is the new master bedroom. Dressed in soothing mint and light wood, it is simply but tastefully furnished with a curated selection of quirky finds, including a superhero robot-inspired lamp from Kickstarter. The bedroom is connected to a large, stylish walk-in wardrobe via a black-framed glass door that now occupies what was originally a children’s bedroom. 

When it comes to building a home that you love, Denice and Lindy have this to share: “It is important to be on the same page as the designer. You also have to be prepared to scrap things that aren’t cost-effective, and be flexible. We were initially into the mid-century modern look, but changed things up to fit our tastes. We like a little bit of everything. Talk to your partner and be open to ideas. If you’re stubborn, you’ll wind up with a home that looks like everyone else’s.”

The pair moved in after a three-month renovation, which set them back by $62,000, including the furniture.
My Reading Room

The sculptural wooden swing chair from Taobao sits in Lindy’s favourite spot.


Accordion glass doors separate the kitchen from the other spaces.

An irregular alcove and a wall are home to the couple’s growing toy collections.
My Reading Room


My Reading Room

The master bedroom is a mix of retro charm and witty, modern touches. 

Shelves of toys and a Journey East Qeeboo seat give the study a playful charm.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

Patterned tiles and a shower curtain with a cheeky slogan enliven the common bathroom.


Wood-effect tiles in the shower area contrast with the rest of the space. The pipes have been painted black to blend in with the overall design.

Black laminate, eye-catching floor tiles and thoughtful details zest up the light wood-toned palette.
My Reading Room

photography VEE CHIN art direction KRISTY QUAH