The blend of architectural features, earthy tones and rich texture results in a stunning abode exuding understated grace and laid-back charm.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
The blend of architectural features, earthy tones and rich texture results in a stunning abode exuding understated grace and laid-back charm.
My Reading Room

A couple in their 60s, and two pet dogs 


Two-storey bungalow with an attic, in Bukit Timah 


7,000sqf (built-up), 10,000sqf (land)

When Lim Hong Lian, founder and senior partner of LTW Designworks, began designing the bungalow which he and his wife Christine Lim now reside in, his brief was clear. Taking inspiration from the site’s natural surroundings of lush greenery and unobstructed views of the Singapore skyline, he created an open-planned “tropical home” where boundaries between the indoors and outdoors are blurred. 

Stepping in, the house emanates a relaxed, resort-like ambience. As the site is on a sloped land, Hong Lian designed the living space to be on the leeward side of the house to maintain privacy, while maximising the flow of natural air. “It rests along the side of the hill and is almost hidden from the outside,” he shares. 

He adds: “The open-planned design creates a comfortable micro-climate for the home, especially during the night, when heat from the ground leads to an increase in indoor temperature. I’ve incorporated several water features around the house, including the swimming pool and pond, which help cool the interior spaces.” 

My Reading Room
How did you achieve the look that you wanted?

To realise the concept of a “tropical home” with a unique industrial quality, I opened up the spaces and exposed various elements, such as the balustrade of the staircase and the ceiling. 

What about your choice of materials? 

Iron, stone and timber are the three main materials used. These textures contribute to a visually soothing, earthy colour palette. I chose iron for the facade as it oxidises with time to create a rustic tone and texture, contrasting well with the other materials in the house. 

To complement the look, I used unfilled Italian travertine marble in the corridors and bathrooms. Homeowners usually choose to polish the stones to fill the cavities, but I decided to respect its natural state and leave it untreated.  

You’ve got a very unique feature wall in the living area. Can you tell us more about that? 

I commissioned Dragon Pace, an art studio in Beijing, to create the two-storey-high textured feature wall constructed from pine wood blocks. Individual pieces were put together at varying angles to create an undulating effect. Vertical lines from the feature wall counterbalance the horizontal planes of the pond and swimming pool. 

Tell us more about the furniture and accessories in the house. 

Comfort was our main consideration. We’ve avoided glaring colours, loud decorative pieces and reflective surfaces. Instead, we selected large sofas for the living room, and Dedon armchairs made from woven Dedon fibre as they are easier to maintain. All furniture and fittings match the immediate surroundings and interiors. 

My Reading Room

Our accessories are mostly collected from our travels to India, Egypt, Africa, and other parts of the world. They add personality to the living space and make the room feel cosy and inviting. What we value most is the “living experience”, so it is important that we feel completely at ease when we are home. 

Have there been any further developments in the home since you’ve moved in? 

My wife Christine has been devoting a lot of her time to the landscaping of the outdoor areas, and she’s done an amazing job maintaining the green spaces. 

We’ve planted a variety of fruit trees close to the pavilion, including bananas, papayas and avocados. We also decided to use only white flowers throughout to keep to a uniform palette within the green areas. 

Which is your favourite part of the house? 

I love the living room, because that’s where I can wind down and relax as I take in the views. From an architectural perspective, it’s a very interesting space with a high level of complexity and detail in its design. There’s always something to look at when you’re standing in the living area, from the exposed ceilings to the overhanging bridge and walkway, as well as the stunning feature wall. The beautiful hand-woven carpet, which we found in Nepal, ties the entire look together nicely. 


LTW Designworks,