Hidden behind the aging facade of this over two-decade-old block of flats is an apartment that tells the story of its owner through the interesting, sometimes even quirky, collection of furniture, furnishings and art. Lynn Tan unfolds the story.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

This two-seater chair from Taylor B will form part of the dining ensemble when the dining table arrives.


The coffered-like ceiling is a blend of European and Oriental influences, which involved a lot of calculations and detailing work.
My Reading Room


A bachelor and his two cats HOME A five-room HDB flat in Balam Road SIZE 1,474 sq ft
My Reading Room

The apartment has been furnished with many interesting pieces that have been repurposed, such as this sewing machine table.


The interior design takes into consideration the needs of his cats, including this concealed cat litter.

An Indian door finds a new lease of life as a television console.
My Reading Room

"Cat-friendly safety features include invisible grilles that prevent Mark’s cats from jumping out of the windows when they are opened."

Tucked away in a quaint estate along Circuit road is Mark Wong’s bachelor pad. He purchased this five-room flat in 2017 after selling his previous home- an industrial loft- style maisonette in the Sin Ming area that was featured in Home and Decor. It was also designed by Three-D Conceptwerke.

Having worked on Mark’s maisonette eight years ago, the design team is familiar with his preferences. “This is a project where the client’s taste and personal touches really made a difference to the end result,” comments the designer. While the basic style can be considered modern European, with the wall beadings and coffer-like ceiling, and the kitchen has a distinctly Hamptons style feel to it, the interior was largely inspired by American interior designer Julia Buckingham’s signature Modernique style. Defined as a “blend of modern and vintage that boldly mixes styles, periods, colours, patterns, textures and even some bling”, it is basically a decorating approach that allows homeowners to create one-of-a-kind spaces that nobody else has. According to Julia: “Start with what you love. The concept of Modernique is to acquire over time. Start with a few anchor pieces and then you consider scale and how you can put them all together.”

This was exactly what Mark, who works in hospitality, and the Three-D Conceptwerke design team did. They started by stripping the old apartment bare and reconfiguring the layout such that the spaces are as open as possible. The existing master bedroom with an attached bathroom has been converted into a walk-in wardrobe. The room next door is now the master bedroom, which opens out onto a semi-circular balcony that is shared with a third bedroom. The doors are usually left open. “I want the spaces to flow throughout the entire apartment. There is no need to close up the rooms because it is just me and my cats, Freddie and Sofia,” says Mark.

To the left of the main entrance is the open-concept kitchen that was designed around the Smeg hob and oven. It was something that Mark fell in love with and knew he had to have. He did not hesitate to buy it because it was the last piece. The red Smeg refrigerator and other Smeg appliances add a pop of colour against the grey cabinets and white Dekton counter tops.

Since moving in just before the lunar new year in 2018, Mark has already made some changes to the interior, something that he is used to doing every now and then in the homes that he has lived in. He says jokingly: “I have a short attention span, so I get bored easily.” The original sofa and armchairs in the living room have been replaced with a pair of chaise loungers that can be placed separately or rearranged to form a large daybed among other configurations.

The latest revamp also saw the incorporation of some metallic elements, such as wood carvings from an antique Chinese bedframe and bits of metal ornamentation salvaged from a Queenslander home, both of which Mark spray-painted silver himself.

Art also features prominently throughout the apartment. Mark does not go for any style in particular. Instead, he is drawn to mixed media art pieces with unique details. The latest makeover also saw him adding hand-painted wallpaper from the UK within the existing wall beadings. Together, they form an interesting frame and backdrop for some of his art collection. Even the television set resembles a work of art. The Frame by Samsung offers customisable bezels that makes the television look like a picture frame.

The original door to the new master bedroom was sealed off and is now accessed through the attached walk-in wardrobe. Despite the seamless flow of the circulation, the sleeping area feels extremely private. The choice of furniture and furnishings in the bedroom and in other parts of the apartment reflect Mark’s penchant for salvaging one-off pieces that people cast off as junk. He reveals: “I like the idea of reusing old stuff and incorporating some new elements to create interesting details.”

Mark commissioned a set of three male figures by local artist Chye, two of which are hung in the master bedroom and the third can be found in the walk-in wardrobe. The monochromatic colours complement the hand-painted snakeskin wallpaper in the bedroom. In another corner beside the bed is a portrait of an angel and a cat that resembles Freddie.

The master bathroom has been extended to create a larger shower area that Mark prefers. The controlled colour palette of greys, whites and blacks is consistent with the rest of the interior. The neon pink and glittery silver of an art piece depicting the Times Square hung on the wall beside the wash basin adds a pop of colour.

Mark firmly believes in using only quality materials and fittings such as the Spanish tiles, Italian wash basin, American cabinet handles and Cosentino compact surface worktops. The renovations set him back by about $150,000 (excluding furniture and furnishings). For the design team, this project was about creating a versatile interior that the homeowner can add his own personal touches over time. “It reflects the bond between the client and his home,” says the team.

My Reading Room


This multi-purpose kitchen island is also a worktable and it incorporates storage below. Mark sourced the cabinet handles from the United States and it has the same white Cosentino Dekton counter top as the kitchen counters.
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"This portrait in the master bedroom bears a resemblance to one of his cats, Freddie"

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A semi-circular balcony straddles two bedrooms and provides an inviting semi-outdoor space.


The master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and master bath are interconnected to create an open-concept master suite.

Mark buys most of his art from the Affordable Art Fair. The wood carving of a London Bus on the wall is by a British artist.
My Reading Room


The walk-in wardrobe adopts a dressing room concept. The doors to the living room and the master bedroom are usually left open but can be closed if desired.
My Reading Room
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Mark has added personal touches to his home, such as these metal ornamentations salvaged from a Queenslander home, which he spray-painted silver himself.


The Spanish tiles in the master bathroom were painstakingly laid piece by piece.


The wash basin is from Italy, in compliance with Mark’s brief that there should not be any made-in-China fixtures or tiles.