The homeowners’ differences in tastes and the need for storage challenged the interior designer to find a creative solution. ELIZA HAMIZAH finds out what went into this $130, 000 renovation.
“The unit came with dark woodfi nished carpentry by Poliform. We used this material palette to inform the rest of the home, including cladding the dining room ceiling in a similarly stained dark veneer. This gave it a more cocooned and cosy environment,” says interior designer Alvin Oh.
WHO LIVES HERE
Two professionals in their 40s
HOME Three-bedder apartment in Keppel Bay
Homeowner Dan Lee says he and his partner, John Lim, are polar opposites. He prefers dark hues, while John likes bright colours; he cycles and John runs. And, says Dan as he gestures towards some Chinese books: “I am fascinated by Chinese literature, while John prefers Chinese decor.” These differences are, of course, not irreconcilable. They purchased this Keppel Bay apartment as their retirement home. All they needed was an interior designer who could combine their tastes and requirements into one coherent look.
They chose Alvin Oh of AO Studios for this task. Alvin fashioned two full-height shelves that separate three living spaces: the living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Clad in a dark wood finish, these statement pieces check all the requirements. The open shelves are filled with knick-knacks that introduce not only strong colours like red and orange, but also interesting shapes and finishes to the otherwise linear space. They also zone the spaces without closing them off – during monthly family dinners, the homeowners remain connected with guests even as they prepare meals, watch television, or chat in the balcony.
The rugs add texture; the living room’s monochromatic and ombre geometric piece transitions into a darker hue to meet the dining room’s deep blue scale-patterned rug. The dark colour scheme, existing grey marble flooring and mood lighting also create a warm and cosy atmosphere, particularly in the corridor, which leads to an airy master bedroom with end-to-end open shelves.
“Staying in some very nice hotels definitely influenced the look we wanted. For instance, my love for dark wood came about after a stay at the Park Hyatt Shanghai. The $130,000 renovation cost went mostly to the extensive carpentry work to achieve this contemporary look, storage space — we have lots of winter and sportswear — and converting one common room into a dining area. This home is a good marriage of what we like, and what Alvin loves to design,” shares Dan.
John chose a scale motif for the rug as a contrast to the apartment’s many linear forms.
Dan and John shopped for contemporary furniture and accessories from brands such as King Living, Boconcept, Danish Design Co, and Inhabitant.
Their large collection of display items includes a Jeff Koons Balloon Dog, Georg Jensen silver pieces, and various books.
These metal frames lend an industrial-chic look to the formal kitchen. Pendant lamp from Krislite.
Alvin incorporated Dan’s love for linear designs with a slatted bedroom alcove.
The apartment was chosen as it is near Sentosa, where Dan and John love to cycle and jog.
Photography VERNON WONG Art Direction NONIE CHEN