These homeowners’ love for Scandinavian design is evident in their stylish matrimonial home. DOMENICA TAN visits them to find out more.
"Vanessa chose large format stone-look tiles from Rice for the ﬂoors to create an understatedly elegant look."
After acquiring their 990sqf four-room HDB BTO home, architecturally trained interior designer Vanessa Ong and her husband, Nigel Chan, were certain they wanted their apartment to be spacious, bright and welcoming. They knew what they wanted from the start, taking lots of design inspiration from the Scandinavian region. “Nigel works at a Copenhagen-based company and we are very much influenced by Scandinavian designs, especially as we travel there often,” Vanessa explains.
A big part of their $80,000 renovation (excluding furnishings) expense went towards opening up the space and keeping the interiors seamless and sleek. The kitchen wall was removed and the dining area now sits next to a dry kitchen. “We hardly cook, but, when we do, we mostly use the oven, so this is a very practical space for us, especially as we enjoy hosting family and friends. This is the perfect communal gathering area for all,” Vanessa says. “It is also my work space, where I meet clients,” she adds. Vanessa runs her own interior design firm April Atelier, with her home marking the brand’s debut project.
She cleverly hides the household shelter and shoe cabinets behind mirrored doors, which go unnoticed unless opened. This way, instead of the cabinetry making the space claustrophobic, the mirrors have in turn created a sense of openness through the illusion of space.
Keeping most of the walls white is also one of the key design strategies as it helps reflect more light, making the home appear brighter. This way, the selection of designer furniture in the living room can take centre stage, including an olive sofa from Muuto, Cassina’s P22 armchair and &tradition’s Palette JH7 coffee table.
The door of the first bedroom was also removed, with part of the wall hacked and a sliding glass door put in place to allow more light to penetrate the dining and kitchen areas.
In a bid to enlarge the master bedroom, the couple borrowed floor area from the second bedroom. Hence, there is now sufficient space for a dedicated corner to situate the wardrobe and dressing area. Instead of a full-height feature wall, Vanessa chose stone-look tiles that span the length of the bedroom, and complemented that with a cosy nook next to the bed, styled with Gubi’s Masculo lounge chair, a sidetable from local furniture store Jottergoods, and a standing lamp from Rubn.
Both bathrooms are in a darker colour palette for a sensuous feel. For the common bathroom, Vanessa sourced blue square tiles on the walls, patterned tiles on the floor and a customised terrazzo basin from An Huat Trading. Many of the fixtures were also hand-carried back from the couple’s travels, including the Buster + Punch lighting from London and mirror from Sydney.
For the master bathroom, grey terrazzo tiles clad the entire space. Ledges were also created to hide unsightly pipes, while offering additional counter space for accessories such as flowers, candles and even an artwork of New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
Thanks to their eye for design and good choice of finishes and furniture, this newly renovated apartment is home to everything that these homeowners love!
photography VERONICA TAY assisted by SHERMAN SEE-THO art direction KAFFY TAN
WHO LIVES HERE
A couple in their 30s, and their newborn HOME Four-room HDB BTO apartment in McNair Road SIZE 990sqf
Mirrored doors are a perfect way to hide cabinetry from sight, while keeping the home looking spacious and bright.
Many of the ﬁxtures, including the lights and mirrors, were picked up during the couple’s travels.
The open-plan kitchen and dining areas are connected to the living room, making the layout perfect for entertaining guests.
The Ikea Sinnerlig dining table is paired with Thonet dining chairs from Grafunkt. Lambert & Fils' Dot Line suspension lights hang overhead.
The master bathroom door was replaced with a mirrored sliding one, to increase the usable space within. Mirrors are useful when getting dressed, and the door is also perfect for this job.
Perfectly styled and complete with soft furnishings in muted tones, the master bedroom is a comfortable and cosy area for the couple to wind down after a workday.
The couple decided to hack the wall between the master bedroom and adjacent bedroom, to create more space for the wardrobe.