Material textures and a mix of personal knick-knacks give this industrial-style space a welcoming atmosphere.
Sebastian bought this Lorong 22 Geylang sign online. “I’ve been told it is weird to have, because of the association with the red light district. But it is a quirky touch!” he quips.
When Sebastian Gehlfuss and his wife found out they were expecting, they decided to move back to Singapore and into the 28-year-old HUDC flat in Serangoon belonging to the wife’s parents – after all, nothing is more comforting than familiar grounds. “My in-laws were happy for us to buy over their flat, as they found a more elderly-friendly one nearby,” says Sebastian.
As the couple had a good idea of the design they wanted, the designer says his role was more to advise on the spatial layout of the home.
The couple had lived in London for a few years, where they fell in love with the aesthetics of the old wharf warehouse their apartment was in. To recreate the feel of that abode here, they brought back some beloved furnishings, such as a cowskin rug bought at a London street market and their matrimonial bed.
The designer describes the style of the apartment as semi-industrial with rustic accents.
They also worked with interior firm Box.ID to incorporate industrial elements into their new home; the concrete floor and exposed electrical trunking throughout the flat was a must, as well as a reddish, raw brick wall in the living room. Sideboards and shoe cabinets were also fashioned out of concrete with mesh wire doors, in a renovation that cost $48,000, excluding furnishings.
In the balcony, the leftover Peranakan tiles were used to make a mini table on wheels.
The mesh wire doors of this concrete sideboard are inspired by the industrial area in London where Sebastian and his wife lived.
The couple displays their collection of quirky items throughout the fl at, including this retro local payphone.
The couple also had one rule for the design: It had to feel like home; and they achieved that largely by decorating the walls with family photographs. “We take a lot of photos, and buy nice frames. We knew we had to have a photo wall,” says Sebastian. The cold, industrial look was balanced with warmer tones. For instance, they chose a walnut wood-look laminate for their kitchen cabinetry and dining table, and a dark brown leather sofa. The Haiku fan in cocoa bamboo, colourful dining chairs, and Peranakan tiles on the kitchen floor play a part in creating a welcoming, lived-in atmosphere as well.
The designer tore down the walls of the previously enclosed kitchen to accommodate a large island.
For some colour, the designer suggested a green subwaytiled backsplash and Peranakan fl oor tiles for the kitchen.
When asked what his favourite part of the house is, Sebastian says: “Definitely the large living area. It keeps the family together, even if I am eating dinner at the kitchen island while my wife plays with our son in the living room.”
As “having the same six chairs are a bit dull”, Sebastian opted for mismatched dining chairs which he bought from several shops.