This cosy home shows us a great way to mix and match colours and prints.
A home with lots of stripes and colours sounds a tad excessive, doesn’t it? On the contrary, the Housing Board flat we‘ve just described is a vibrant yet cosy retreat from the city – perfect for urbanites Clarence Tay and his partner, both of whom are in the architecture industry.
After a complete overhaul, the 40-yearold 700sqf flat is now divided into three main spaces: an open-concept living and dining area, a spacious bedroom, and a galley kitchen. It’s dressed in a rojak style, as Clarence calls it, with heavy influences from Sri Lanka and a touch of New England decor. This is how they conjured up the look of their place, in a renovation that cost $100,000 (including furnishings).
Sought inspiration from Sri Lanka
The couple are frequent travellers to Sri Lanka, and love the wide range of striped prints the textile stores there offer. From their travels, they brought back fabric to tailor into upholstery for the sofa and cushion covers, in both warm and cool hues such as yellow, red and blue, as well as stripes of varying widths.
The fabrics were chosen to highlight Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture. These also complement the striped feature walls in both the living area and bedroom. “We were not worried that the walls would clash with the fabric; in fact, they go together perfectly as the former have wide stripes, and the latter, narrow,” says Clarence. Other unique home accessories from Sri Lanka include large green candleholders, rugs made of organic materials such as jute, and framed elephant prints that hang above their large bed.
Included other interior themes
“We didn’t want a boring one-theme look, so we included a range of styles, from retro pieces such as the wall-mounted living room lamp from Lorgan’s The Retro Store, to Indonesian-style furniture,” says Clarence, who draws design inspiration from his profession, as well as interior and architecture magazines.
While the living room exudes an eclectic vibe due to the mismatched dining chairs and vibrant colours used, the master bedroom is a quieter space. In place of colourful accessories, lamps with hardwood bases from Sri Lanka rest atop concrete pedestals by the bedside. For the boutique hotel inspired bathroom, the couple chose a range of black tiles for the surfaces, such as the hexagon-shaped marble floor tiles which form “a feature floor, like a rug!” says Clarence.
Made space for what they wanted
The flat’s modest size did not stop the couple from buying large furniture items, such as the modular L-shaped sofa and wooden dining table from CB2. The duo also wanted individual study corners; these are now placed at opposite ends of the living room. To accommodate these big-ticket items, they enlarged the living room space by removing one bedroom.
As they don’t cook often, they downsized the kitchen and made it a narrow galley-style space. In the process, the remaining bedroom was enlarged to fit their American king-size bed from CB2, and an en-suite bathroom.
Clarence designed his home without an interior designer, as he felt he knew best on how to evoke the mood he wanted.
Clarence saved a lot of money by buying some furniture pieces on sale, including this modular L-shaped sofa from CB2.
The idea for a striped wall came when Clarence wanted to camouflage the protruding structural column, which the lamp is now mounted on – how clever!
The couple decorated their home with accessories in various colours, such as these glass vases bought at an auction.
One of Clarence’s prized possessions is this Timothy Oulton lamp in a shape of a curved ruler, by his study area.
The only part of the home devoid of colour is the grey and white kitchen that’s fitted with Blum systems.
The couple deliberately created a dim and cosy ambience for their home, so that it would be more restful.
For a coherent look, the same few colours were used throughout the home; the black frames in the bedroom match the black tiles in the bathroom.
The en-suite bathroom, which has a separate WC, has two entrances – one from the kitchen, and another from the bedroom.
The bedroom is a picture of symmetry, but spot the slight difference: the height of the concrete pedestals!
The couple chose these black Art Deco-inspired tiles for their green tint to them; it was to echo the lush greenery surrounding their HDB block.