The homeowners and interior designer may have focused their efforts and budget on key spaces within the four levels of a strata terrace home, but the overall result is harmonious and cohesive, as Lynn Tan discovers.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Moving from their previous industrial-styled home, Luke Cheong and Janice Sim wanted something more modern and timeless for the strata terrace house which they purchased at the end of 2017. Luke’s cousin is a project manager at Icon Interior Design, so naturally, they entrusted the project to the firm.

Typical of many cluster homes, the footprint is not expansive, but the ceilings are high and the spaces are stacked across four levels, including a basement. Interior designer Max Lee wanted to take full advantage of the height, proposing a light-coloured backdrop that reflects the light from the central air well and the exterior to make the interior feel spacious and lofty.

This was also in response to the couple’s brief. “Our previous home had dark walls, so we thought we would go for white walls for a change. As we are planning to start a family, we also feel that a lighter colour scheme would be more family-friendly,” says Luke, who works in finance. The white walls act like a canvas against which Max selectively introduced natural elements such as stone and timber, as well as some black, grey and gold accents to create a modern luxe concept.

The living room is simply but tastefully furnished with a grey L-shaped sofa and timber television console from the couple’s previous home. “We did not want to do too much built-in carpentry. This would allow us the flexibility to make modifications when our needs change,” explains Janice, who is a co-owner of a beauty business.

On the other side of the air well, across from the living room are the dining room and kitchen. The existing kitchen walls were hacked to create an open-concept kitchen that would make the space appear larger and more conducive for entertaining riends and family. The addition of an island integrated with a sink, drawers and cabinets is not only practical, but also makes for a great focal point around which guests can mingle over drinks and food preparation before sitting down to dinner proper.

The dining area is a light-filled space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling fixed glass panels and glass doors. Max pairs a gold-legged timber table stained almost black with black dining chairs and black pendant lights. “The black in the dining area echoes the railings of the staircase and the gold accent accentuates the luxe factor,” he points out.

The original powder room was dark and crammed. The existing cabinets were stripped away and a new monochromatic palette comprising white marble walls, white sanitary fittings, black tap and mirror with a black frame lend a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Three of the four bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are located on the second storey. The white, grey and wood tones of the master bedroom create a restful ambience that makes it feel like a sanctuary to retreat to at the end of the day. The bed frame from their previous home is a perfect fit inbetween two of the bedroom windows. The grey fabric also blends in seamlessly with the colour theme. Max added a freestanding element that not only provides storage, shelves and a backdrop for the television set, but also serves as a divider between the sleeping area and the rest of the bedroom.

The renovations cost $80,000 excluding furnishings and lighting, and the couple moved in in mid-2018. The interior design reinforces the distinct zoning within the home, both horizontally and vertically, creating a variety of different spaces where the homeowners can hang out.

It also allows them to maintain a certain degree of privacy even when they have guests over. “We plan to enclose the air well in the future. This will create a lovely semi-outdoor space connecting the living and dining areas,” the couple shares.


A couple and their Pomeranian HOME A cluster home at Chancery Lane SIZE 3,229 sq ft
My Reading Room
Luke and Janice love hanging out in the living room together.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

The grey laminates of the kitchen cabinets and island share a similar shade as the living room sofa and tie the two spaces together even though they are located on opposite sides of the air well.

The dining chairs echo the black, half-domed pendant lights above the dining table.
My Reading Room
The Dekton compact surface for the island and kitchen counter provide a hardy solution while adding a touch of luxe 
My Reading Room

An open shelf by the side of the dining room complements the floor-to-ceiling glass enclosures without blocking out the natural light.


The existing powder room has been transformed with a black-andwhite theme.


The freestanding partition that separates the sleeping area from the rest of the bedroom was carefully dimensioned to ensure that it does not compromise the circulation.