It was important to the homeowners that everything, from the timber slats and window blinds to the colour palette, was cohesively designed; silhouettes had to be aligned and symmetrical, and colours had to match. The right materials also created a smooth transition from cool to warm tones.
Out with the dark, and in with the light. After living with a dark colour palette for many years, the homeowners of this Yishun residence tasked their nephew, Mikael Teh of Monocot Studio, with giving their home a much-needed revamp.
The new look: a bright and airy space influenced by the streamlined forms and light hues of Japanese design. However, this concept was chosen not only because of the couple’s love for Japan, but also out of consideration for their grandson. “He comes over to his grandparents house every day, so they requested an open space for him to play freely. As he is allergic to dust, minimalist designs and hidden storage that will not gather as much dust were key,” says Mikael.
This includes doing away with shelving, despite their large collection of Lladro sculptures, and opting for a concealed television console instead. Mikael also enlarged the kitchen by taking some space from the outdoor dining area, and installing foldable glass doors to separate the two spaces. With natural light streaming in and a calmer colour palette, the change in design is a breath of fresh air.
Now that their children are grown up, the couple’s dream for an allwhite kitchen can finally be achievend, in the form of a contemporary white Blum kitchen. Taking into account the warm-toned living room, Mikkael decided to zone the spaces using two flooring types: white marble tiles for the kitchen and living room, and light for the dining and television console areas. The timber flooring originally came in large slabs, but were cut into narrower strips to create the illusion of a larger space.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Unlike regular sliding doors, this television console panel has a push mechanism that allows it to be with the console wall, once closed. The seamless panelling prevents trapped dust. A pull-out bench for additional seating in the dining area is also part of keeping the design clean and minimalist.
WHO LIVES HERE
A couple and their two adult children HOME Three-storey cluster terrace at The Shaughnessy SIZE 1,300sqf
Mikael took a long time to carefully put together this built-in sofa, which is undoubtedly the highlight of the Japanese inspired living room. To achieve the architectural silhouette he had in mind, he gave it a slim and minimalist form. Brass strips and steel leg caps give it some glimmer, while downlights and a light box in the alcove illuminate any art pieces sitting against the timber wall.
“WE PAIRED THE CUSTOMISED SOFA WITH A CONDE HOUSE COFFEE TABLE. IT HAS THE SAME VISUAL LANGUAGE — FROM ITS COLOUR TO THE FRUIT TRAY MADE OUT OF WOOD STRIPS — AS THE LIVING ROOM.”
– MIKAEL TEH, MONOCOT STUDIO
THE DARK ABOVE
Minor changes can make a big difference. For the son’s bedroom, Mikael jazzed up the space with a luxurious suede fabric headboard, as well as a customised onyx stone-look bedside table. As for the bathroom, an easy way to make a space look brand new is to replace sanitary fittings. The new showerhead and taps add a glamorous sheen to the bathroom and they match the claw legs of the bathtub, too.
The $100.000 partial renovation included work done in the basement, living room, kitchen and dining areas, as well as a son's bedroom. The latter features an open glass-wardrobe with a pole system. Unlike the light colour palette on the ground leved, the son's bedroom remains an edgy and dark space.
“As clothing may damage wood over time through chafing, I opted for a brass finish on the dining settee. Brass is more durable than timber vencer shares Mikael.
photography ANGELA GUO art direction KAFFY TAN