The items in this home might have all come from different times and places, but they all have a story to tell.
The bungalow includes expansive yards at the front and back, which includes an outdoor pool and annex for the Belouk showroom.
The facade of this black-and-white bungalow – tenanted to Maud Felius and her family, who moved here in 2005 – might look similar to other colonial bungalows dotting Singapore, but its interiors are another story. Each item in the home has a colourful history which rivals that of the heritage structure it now sits in. Just to name two – the long teak table that her husband made in the Netherlands (where Maud is from) has survived snow storms and summer heat; and an antique chair that was reupholstered in an intricate Suzani cloth from Uzbekistan.
The corners of a long corridor make a cosy space for an outdoor nook, outfitted with rattan furniture
The mother of two girls, Maud favours furniture with a history, which explains her love of antique pieces.
The family was already wellacquainted with the bungalow before moving in two years ago – the boss of Maud’s husband had lived here for a few years before they took over the lease.
What’s the look you wanted to achieve with this house?
Something personal and inviting – and daring! For instance, I love everything bird-related, so I projected a huge flora and fauna motif on the walls and invited some friends over to help paint the walls. There was a lot of wine and laughter involved! It is important to me that the home feels comfortable; it is okay to be a little bit messy sometimes. Try out whatever you want, and if it doesn’t work out, then fine. There is no design approach I follow.
The living room is decorated with art from local galleries, potted plants, and Belouk pieces such as old elm wood benches,
These figurines, which Maud bought from a local gallery, represent a long queue of Indian nationals waiting for their US visas.
What is the beauty of old things?
That they are not easy to find. It’s charming to enrich your home with something unique and with a story, rather than generic sofas and fabric. I won an ugly brown leather chair at an expat auction here once; the seating was completely ruined – but I saw the beauty in its shape and history. Plus, my upholstery guy always does an amazing job.
Maud bought all the birdcages hanging above the dining area from a small local furniture shop.
These chairs were reupholstered with Suzani fabric, and fabric from the Netherlands. The rug is from Ikea.
What is your approach to reupholstering?
It’s not about just getting a completely new look, it is about achieving a better version of the original piece. You have to give furniture a second chance.
The mural, painted by Maud and her friends, took about three weeks to complete. The chair was made in Indonesia, and upholstered with bright pink fabric.
How does the style of your home reflect that of your shop?
A lot of my things are from Asia, such as the large ceramic lamp bases from the Philippines, old elm wood tables from China, and wooden chairs made in Indonesia – all of which are available from Belouk. I especially like velvet for its unique nuances, and colours that brighten up the interior.
Maud collects wine corks, as well as the miniature Delft Blue houses given to every business class passenger of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Maud’s kitchen exudes a cottagestyle vibe.
What tips do you have for homeowners?
Keep your eyes open, and be patient. It takes time to find the good stuff, but it is worth the wait.
Several decorative items in the kitchen, such as this painting, were bought from a French flea market. The wooden boards are locally sourced.
No sleek kitchen built-ins here! The family cooks on this stand-alone stove.