The collection of oriental furniture in this house only enhances the contemporary minimalist canvas of its interiors.
Choosing to juxtapose the fluid lines and sleek planes of this three-storey family home with traditional antique Chinese furniture was a master stroke, one which not only highlights the contrast between the two extreme styles, but also heightens the beauty of both. Most of the pieces are from Penang, where homeowner Nam Yeoh is from. He, his wife, Hwee Ching, and their three children – 10-year old twin girls and a sevenyear old son – live in this spacious semi-detached house.
The statement black spiral staircase is a contrast to the home’s oriental furniture, both in style and colour. Behind the daybed is a shoe closet, which is concealed behind panels fi nished in a woodtone veneer.
The family engaged the team at architectural firm RT+Q to design and build their home. Making the most out of the land’s long, narrow footprint, the team designed it so you “can see through to the back of the house at one glance”. The first floor is bright and airy, with the living area fully open to the pool deck, thanks to doors that slide out of sight. Other sleek, minimalist elements include timber-clad panels concealing the utility areas and power room – maintaining an uncluttered space ideal for entertaining – and a black metal-finished spiral staircase.
As the home was built from the ground up, the design of the interiors follows the same language as that of the facade – linear and streamlined.
Opening to the pool deck, the living room sports light neutral shades and timber tones, accentuated by clean black lines.
The plaster walls of the common wall are left unfi nished for a raw, contemporary look.
A focal point of the building, the staircase resembles a ribbon, with a sinuous, yet controlled form. Its slight sheen and stark colour further distinguish it from the neutral hues and blonde wood tones of its surroundings.
A medicine cabinet comes into view upon ascending the staircase to the second fl oor. Nam and Hwee Ching bought it from an antique shop in Kuala Lumpur around 10 years ago.
The master bedroom is kept simple and restful with just a few key furniture pieces in dark wood. Hwee Ching shares that they incorporated more wood into the home for fengshui reasons.
Timber “shutters” work as a divider between the shower and bath areas, in the master bathroom. This detail relates to the design of the facade and the front gate.
A scoop tub was built into the shower area, as that is the husband’s preferred way of bathing!
A customised trough sink for two, made with yellow granite, complements the wood tones of the master bathroom.
One floor up, you’ll find the open study area and master bedroom, also decorated with wooden furnishings from Nam’s parents back home. The master bathroom features a built-in scoop tub, a unique addition to the shower area. The third floor is where the childrens’ room are located, but the doorway to each is camouflaged by the long stretch of bookshelves lining the corridor wall. “We wanted many bookshelves or storage for books in the house, to inculcate a love of learning in the kids,” says Hwee Ching. The designers capitalised on the pitched roof above, and fashioned the shelves to extend upwards into the loft. Statement-making structures, heritage furniture and tailormade interiors with “pockets and areas throughout where you can read or do your homework” gives the modern home its character.
The space under the pitched roof is maximised with a loft, which overlooks the third-fl oor corridor and has its own private staircase.
Visually arresting, the bookshelf that lines the whole corridor on the third floor conceals the entrances to the children’s bedrooms.
Finely crafted structures with a contemporary aesthetic and heritage furniture with nostalgic charm come together in this blend of old and new.
RT+Q is known for its eye-catching spiral staircase designs, and the homeowners wanted a spiral staircase for their home. Theirs features smooth curves, but with sharp, clean details.