After collecting vintage-style furniture and decor for six years, these first-time homeowners finally have a home for them.
The HDB Built-To-Order (BTO) flat of Tan Si Jay and Charmaine Choo may be new, but the young couple have been collecting furniture and decor items from as long as six years ago. “We collected some items so long ago – thankfully, they all match the home’s design!” laughs Charmaine. Designer Chong Su Min of M3 Studio kept the floors and walls of the home plain, using concrete screed and white paint, so the loose furniture and decor pieces could take centre stage. The home’s design is inspired by colonial black and white houses, with added Peranakan-style touches, and decorated with vintage-look furniture.
Its character comes from the items the duo had squirrelled away over the years, which include finds from the Salvation Army store, pasar malams, and local and overseas shops. For example, the framed Peranakan tiles in yellow and green that adorn walls in the living area and bedroom were acquired at the Sungei Road flea market; and the wall-mounted decorative plates and platters, from Spain and Arab Street here, create a focal point in the dining area. To create the spacious interiors to showcase the couple’s treasures, Su Min gave the living area an open concept.
She also had the walls of one bedroom demolished, and used the space for the dining area Making use of the space by the windows, Su Min designed a built-in bench (which can be used as a daybed) with concealed storage. This is now the couple’s “cosy corner”, where they work on the laptop or just lounge. The renovation, which cost $51,000, also included built-in structures, such as “ceiling rafters” that house overhead lighting fixtures, a back-lit TV feature wall in the living area, and a streamlined peninsula counter in the dry kitchen area. Their understated stylish designs add to the home without stealing the limelight from the couple’s collection.
WHERE TO GO
M3 Studio, TEL: 6443-7001.
The designer specially created the light housing on the living room ceiling to look like rafters, a typical feature in black and white colonial bungalows. Vase, teacup and saucer, from Journey East.
A bedroom was removed to cater for a more spacious, open-concept living and dining area, furnished with vintage-look furniture and a built-in storage daybed below the windows. Vase (on dining table), from Journey East.
In the foreground are decorative platters and plates bought in Spain and Arab Street. In the background, ventilation blocks are used in the back-lit feature wall behind the TV in the living room.
A wooden cabinet that features sliced agate handles displays some of the couple’s decor finds, forming an interesting vignette. Lamp, from Journey East.
At the flat’s entrance, colourful patterned mosaic tiles from An Huat Trading are set into the concrete screed flooring. Nearby, a wooden table sourced at the International Furniture Fair Singapore was given a twist with a stone tabletop featuring a mother-of-pearl inlay, purchased in India.
Jade green subway tiles and terracottalook floor tiles, purchased from Hafary, make the open-concept kitchen a cheery space. The cabinet doors were designed with panelling details and handles from Ikea.
Framed Peranakan tiles purchased at the Sungei Road flea market are among the homeowners’ favourite decor pieces, and embellish some of the home’s white walls.
The designer specially sourced the vintage-look light switches, installed next to the corridor leading to the rooms, from Penang, Malaysia.
The original tiles in the bathrooms were overlaid with new tiles in patterns and solid colours. Shower screens with black frames were also installed, emphasising the space’s clean lines.
In the master bedroom, the bed frame is a second-hand find from Expat Auctions. Made of dark-stained wood, it features a woven cane headboard. Vase, from Journey East.