With no decor theme in mind, this creative couple just wanted their home to be bare and simple, to keep the spaces flexible.
The home of Xander Lee and Joanne Ng has a floor plan atypical of a HDB flat’s. After its renovation helmed by JQ Ong of The Association, the 22-year old flat’s layout is organised into three sections — a large studio that occupies the footprint of two bedrooms and a storeroom, the master bedroom formed by merging two bedrooms, and a central open living area that connects to a balcony with a view of the greenery out front.
“We were looking for something simple, functional and changeable,” says Xander, on the home’s design concept. In fact, instead of telling their designer what they wanted, they did the opposite – telling him what they didn’t want, which included no theme, sofa or feature wall. JQ responded with a neat floor plan, streamlined structures, unfussy details and simple, humble materials – essentially, a blank canvas to build upon.
After all, “this is our first home, and we want something that would grow with us,” says Joanne, of the renovation which cost around $70,000 (excluding design fee). As creatives (he is a creative director at an advertising agency; she is an art educator), the couple have many things to display and store, including craft materials, finished artworks, collectible figurines, and pop-culture memorabilia.
Knowing that, JQ designed a studio with hisand- hers areas, incorporating custom-made flexible structures such as modular shelving. The workstations, made of tabletops resting on trestle bases from Ikea, can be easily dismantled, too. While weekends are spent in the studio getting creative, the homeowners unwind in the living area on weekdays. Choosing to do away with a sofa, as it would appear too hefty and rigid, they selected comfortable low-lying furniture that can be easily moved around, such as chairs from Muji and pebble cushions from Taobao.
WHERE TO GO
JQ Ong / The Association, TEL: 6280-1220.
The minimalist look of the entrance foyer is a prelude to the spacious home’s simple design and fussfree aesthetics.
The dining area, situated near the balcony and next to the windows, enjoys a good view of the greenery, as well as natural lighting.
“The materials chosen for the home are as honest and simple as possible,” says designer JQ. The doors, designed with diagonal groove lines, are made with raw plywood that was sanded down and lacquered.
Linking the dining area and studio is the balcony, where the couple keeps plants and also plans to display their own decorative sculptures.
Simple shelves installed on the wall in the dining area serve as a modern cat tower for their pets.
The slim metal shelves of this book stack are practically invisible amid all the books.
Xander and Joanne have individual work areas in the spacious studio, which features lots of storage space and custom-made display shelving which can be reconfigured.
For the living room, the couple selected low-slung furniture to enhance the airy, lofty feel of the space. Lighting comes in the form of T5 tube fixtures, installed across the ceiling.
A compact kitchen is all that’s required for the couple, who don’t do much cooking.
Parquet flooring, a departure from the concrete screed flooring in the rest of the flat, gives the otherwise bare bedroom a touch of warmth.
Two rooms were merged to create a larger master suite, which features separate sleeping and dressing areas.