Like a marriage, designing a home requires a collaborative effort for the best results. Lynn Tan gets pointers on how the interior design here was guided by the owners’ personalities.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The couple calls this wall with its eclectic collection of prints behind the Crate & Barrel dining table a “wall of compromise”. The chairs are by Nathan Yong Design, and the abstract ceiling lighting is from Carousell. 


A couple in their 30s

HOME A four-room BTO in Bukit Batok

SIZE 990 sq ft 

My Reading Room

Due to limited countertop space, the homeowners bought a movable island for the kitchen. 

My Reading Room

A Noden sideboard provides additional storage and display space for their extensive collection of knick-knacks. 

My Reading Room

The blue and white of the kitchen blends in nicely with the rest of the home. 

Kenneth Sim and Lee Xinrong’s journey towards getting their home began when they were still in university. They’d already been dating for a few years when the couple decided to apply for a flat even before graduation. After about a four-year wait, they finally collected the keys to their matrimonial home in 2017.

They came across Three-d Conceptwerke while browsing through magazines. The firm’s eclectic style caught their eye, but it was interior designer Meiyi Li’s ability to incorporate an understanding of their lifestyle and personalities into her design vision that ultimately won the couple over.

Starting with the dining area, Kenneth and Xinrong have friends and family over for meals quite often. The original was a small corner just beyond the kitchen. Meiyi suggested that it should take pride of place in what would otherwise have been the living room. “The zoning works well. Our guests mostly gather around the dining area once they enter. This helps to maintain the privacy of the bedrooms,” says Xinrong.

And, depending on where they are seated at the Crate & Barrel rectangular dining table with a marble top and aged brass legs, visitors get to enjoy different views: an extended, unblocked vista of the outside from the 33rd floor, the gallery wall behind the table with pictures and images they’ve collected over the years, and a series of turquoise walls, which balance out the warm colours, which Kenneth says, make them feel like they’re on a staycation every time they come home.

The living room is represented as a cosy alcove created from the hacking of one of the three bedrooms. As the pair seldom watch TV, its less prominent location suits them just fine. In fact, they took it two steps further by purchasing the smallest TV they could find and putting it in a Grafunkt rattan wardrobe. 


My Reading Room

Not many built-in elements allow homeowners the flexibility of personalising their own space. In this case, Meiyi says, “They have a flair for finding the quirkiest items and ornaments. It was really fun watching them go about it.” 

My Reading Room

A dark colour scheme puts the couple in a staycation mood. 

My Reading Room

Not your typical bathroom, please, said the owners. The result: a bold set-up that begs one to linger. 

The master bedroom is a little different from the rest of the flat, which has a darker colour palette. “We kept to a brighter, lighter theme. I also recommended Kenneth and Xinrong opt for a low bed frame that makes the room look and feel more spacious,” explains Meiyi. A pair of French doors add a unique touch.

The bathrooms are truly Insta-worthy. The most striking element in the common bathroom has got to be the Ellie Cashman Design floral wallpaper on the upper half of the walls and the beams. Teamed with black and white subway tiles and floor mosaics, a freestanding wash basin with gold fixtures, and a round mirror with a gold frame, this showstopping bathroom is a blend of classic, modern and Victorian luxe.

My Reading Room

The living room is now more of an alcove with a masculine, cigar-room ambience. 

My Reading Room

To avoid cluttering up the space, the master bedroom’s furniture was kept to a minimum. 

The master bathroom sports dark green subway tiles and frosted glass panels in the door. “I wanted a boutique-hotel feel and got a lot of ideas from Pinterest as well as my travels,” says Xinrong. The idea for the hexagonal floor mosaics arranged into repetitive floral motifs were actually spotted by Xinrong when she was in Tokyo. She loved it so much, she shared a photo with Meiyi, who helped her to recreate the effect in the master bathroom. 

The couple finally moved into their new home in mid2018, following eight weeks of renovation that cost $80,000, including furnishings.

From its unconventional layout and eclectic furniture to the quirky home accessories and bold wallpaper and colours in certain areas, this home is unique in a multitude of ways. “The owners purchased what captured their hearts. This, in my opinion, is the best way to go about decorating a home,” says Meiyi. “It was a collaborative effort. They ran their preferences by me, and I helped them to narrow down the options.” 

My Reading Room

The master bathroom isn’t just Instagram-worthy, it is also practical. A wall-mounted ledge above the wash basin makes up for the lack of a vanity counter. 

My Reading Room

The rattan peacock chair from Decordinary is a keepsake from the couple’s wedding and complements the rattan Grafunkt wardrobe-cum-TV console in the living room. 

Photography Darren Chang Art Direction Nonie Chen