Arifin and Dyana Seah were browsing through Home & Decor when they saw a Japanese-inspired home by Sync Interior. As a fan of Japanese culture, in particular the history of the Samurai era, Arifin knew that this designer could fulfil his dreams of a ryokan-like home. The thirty-something couple live in their threebedroom apartment with their two daughters aged two and five, and a helper, which means functionality was also a concern.
“When I received Arifin’s brief, and saw the layout of his apartment, I knew that we needed to create a more spacious atmosphere. The first thing I did was removed the partitions and wardrobe from the first bedroom. Taking its place is a tatami room with shoji screen doors; it not only is ideal for a Japanese-inspired home, it could also be used for storage, to aid ventilation, and bring light into the rest of the home,” shares Eric Chua of Sync Interior.
Read on to find out more about the $60,000 renovation, which includes a customised tv console and storage platform for the tatami room.
WAY OF LIFE
“I like the beauty in simplicity; a minimalist and Japanese design offers a tranquility that is suitable for a family home,” he shares. Eric, the designer, decided on light-hued finishes, wooden furniture and decor as well built-ins with rounded and kidfriendly edges for the home. His sofa set is from Hommage.
The cosy tatami room is ideal for entertaining and afternoon naps. It features sliding doors made up of shoji paper, which has been sandwiched between two acrylic panels to protect it against tears and spills, Arifin spent $3,000, on top of the renovation fee, for the tatami mat and shoji paper.
MADE IN JAPAN
Some of Arifin’s collections includes books, scrolls, screens and even samurai helmets. Displayed is an Edo period blackand-gold Jingasa, a helmet worn by samurais, as well as a red box which contains a helmet (kabuto) made by Masahiro Morisaki, a craftsman who was designated a “Living National Treasure” in Japan.
Arifin’s interest in all things Japanese started in 2009, when he enrolled in a Japanese swordsmanship course. Reading more on Samurai history made him appreciate Japanese design better.
WHO LIVES HERE
A couple, their two daughters, and a helper HOME Three-bedroom condominium apartment in Sengkang SIZE 1,249 sq ft
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
The circular window is commonly seen in temples and tea houses in Kyoto. A circle (Enso) in Zen Buddhism also symbolises enlightenment. From the living room, this feature highlights Arifin’s scrolls, which he changes regularly.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
Part of the $60,000 renovation includes a customised tv console which features a space for the family’s piano and knick knacks, as well as storage underneath the tatami mats.
Eric created a similar Japaneseinspired ambience in the bedroom (the shinshitsu in Japanese). Here, he customised a wooden bedframe as well as a screen-like headboard. Light wood finishes were chosen to exude an airy and peaceful atmosphere.
TEXT ELIZA HAMIZAH PHOTOGRAPHY PHYLLICIA WANG ART DIRECTION NONIE CHEN