A Modern Classic

A modern take on the classical style gives this home a refreshing and elegant look that’s far from overbearing. DOMENICA TAN finds out more.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
A modern take on the classical style gives this home a refreshing and elegant look that’s far from overbearing. DOMENICA TAN finds out more.
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Haker-style cabinet doors accentuate the home’s classical design.
The designer and homeowners decided on a neutral palette of beige, white and grey for the furniture and furnishings in the living room, to keep the space looking bright.
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Jian Da designed full-height display and storage cabinets next to the dining area and clad it with a laminate of a similar shade to the living room flooring, for visual continuity in the home.

Homeowners James and Patricia, with their son Jordan.
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A family of four HOME Four-bedroom resale condominium apartment at Saint Patrick’s Road SIZE 1,916sqf

Homeowners James Teo and Patricia Huang were immediately drawn to the stately look and grand style of the colonial-inspired dwellings surrounding their new home – this fascination prompted them to consider channeling some of that old-world flair into their modern condominium.

However, they were concerned that a totally classical look would result in their home looking cramped and stuffy. So, they decided to seek professional help from established design studio Fuse Concept. After meeting the couple, designer Tan Jian Da proposed a design solution that embodies features from two styles – classical and contemporary.

“I wanted a modern take on the classical design, so that the home would not look too conventional or dated,” says Patricia. They also requested to keep the living areas spacious to ensure enough room for their two young children to play.

Instead of a closed-off kitchen layout, it was extended into the dining area, separating the wet and dry kitchens from one another. The island, which now sits adjacent to the dining area, is clad in marble for a luxurious, refined finish. Complementing the look is white Shaker-style cabinetry, with brass handles and knobs that the couple sourced online through Etsy.

To better segregate the spaces, Jian Da suggested using patterned floor tiles for the entrance foyer, dining room and dry kitchen. Aside from providing a visual highlight, the tiles also allow the home to stand the test of time as they are scratch-resistant and more suitable for use in areas where furniture movement is more frequent.

Parquet is used in the living room. James wanted the wood flooring to be finished with Rubio oil to give it a rich, dark stain while maintaining the textural qualities of the natural material. The walls were kept white and designed with shelves and wainscot details to add dimension and display area, as the homeowners love showcasing family portraits and knick-knacks. Many of the furniture pieces in the home were customised, including the dining set, side table and sideboard from Second Charm.

The classical charm of the abode is further enhanced by a wealth of intricate details, which were handpicked by the homeowners. “I was particularly impressed with my wardrobe handle; the details are especially refined,” James shares.

Part of the $200,000 renovation (including furniture and furnishings) went to renovating the master bathroom, for which the couple chose greyish blue tiles from Soon Bee Huat laid in a herringbone pattern. Brass details continue here with their choice of faucet and a round mirror from Crate & Barrel.

With the right choice of materials and furnishings, the family managed to achieve a balance between two styles – contemporary and classical – in their cosy abode, which now showcases an understated, elegant look.

Fuse Concept, tel: 6742-8208 www.fuseconcept.com.sg
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The couple ordered this ornate wardrobe handle online from the UK.

The greyish blue wall tiles in the master bathroom have a glossy finish that gives the surface a luxurious sheen.
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photography TAN WEI TE art direction YEW XIN YI