These housemates’ differing tastes resulted in an eclectic mix of industrial rawness and traditional charm.
Housemates in their 30s
Three-bedroom walk-up apartment in Joo Chiat
Get a closer look at how this home was decorated. See page 18.
Not sticking to a singular theme allows the homeowners to play around with colours and different styles.
Jeffrey and Nick (right) say the kitchen is their favourite part of the home. “I like bright colours, whereas this calm painting of a beach is more Nick’s style,” says Jeffrey. Nick spends a lot of time in the kitchen and wanted something nice to look at.
The contractors realised the existence of this pillar while renovation was underway. They decided to keep it as a statement feature.
The extra-large stove came with a glass top, which can be lifted to protect the marble backsplash.
“Jeffrey and I wanted a place where people feel comfortable enough to put their feet up – but we didn’t quite know how to translate that into a style,” says Nick Longstaff, who moved to Singapore from Canada nine years ago. It turns out he didn’t have to explain much, as friend and interior designer Arjan Twillhaar has got the housemates’ taste to a T.
Arjan shares that Nick likes a more traditional style, while Jeffrey is a little whimsical and eclectic (“I like colour and graphical art prints… I have a print of a machine gun-wielding Red Riding Hood that I have yet to put up!” says Jeffrey) so he mixed the two to create a cool, New York loft-type ambience. This style welcomes classic design elements like white skirting with dark herringbone floors, and a mix of industrial archetypes like brick walls and steel grid windows.
Their $90,000 renovation includes tearing down one bedroom to make way for a spacious kitchen. Nick loves to cook for guests who come over for brunches and dinners, and a large stove and oven were essential. This meant less countertop space, so most of the food prep is done on the kitchen island, which is fitted with a sink, dishwasher, and wine chiller. Traditional detailing, like an Ogee-edged quartz top and marble backsplash, imbue a country-style charm here; these clash beautifully with Nick’s contribution – steel bar stools in four vibrant hues.
Instead of visually weighty built-ins, the housemates opted for loose furniture and layers of accessories that can be mixed and matched. “The texture and colour from the brick wall makes a good backdrop, so we stuck to complementary masculine colour themes – like grey and dark wood tones – and weaved quirky prints and technicolour drawings throughout the space,” says Arjan.
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“I love travel posters, and bought these Singapore-themed prints from Eck & Art,” says Nick.
Removing one bedroom made space for a common bathroom, too. Arjan, who has plenty of experience in shifting bathrooms, was the only designer who took up the challenge to create a bigger bathroom.
The sea grey wall provides a muted backdrop for the colourful console and photography prints.
The housemates accessorised the home with items from Ikea, Commune and Second Charm, as well as from their travels (like the copper lamps).
This barn door, which leads to the bathroom, was one of Jeffrey’s must-haves.
With extra space in the elongated shower area, the homeowners decided a large plant would be a nice addition to the bathroom!
The master bedroom features a more subdued and restful colour palette.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photography VERNON WONG art direction YEW XIN YI