This Mediterranean-inspired home looks effortlessly chic, in spite of a massive reconfiguration based on functionality.
“We wanted our home to exude a natural and rustic look, with a dash of colour. We love the Provencal blue often seen painted on doors and window shutters in the Mediterranean region,” says homeowner Sheau- Yin. Tableware from Galanga Living.
You’d never have guessed it, but this 1,100sqf walk-up apartment used to be a crammed rental home with small compartmentalised spaces – not the ideal layout for homeowners Sheau-Yin and Eugene Tan, who wanted an airy, Mediterraneaninfluenced space to call home. Keeping in mind their other requirements, such as a large kitchen for baking and an en-suite bathroom, interior designer Mark Yong of Piu decided that a complete reconfiguration of the apartment was in order. Here’s what they used to achieve this interior design, with renovation costs totalling $200,000.
Wood – lots of it!
“We spent nine years in Europe, visiting the Mediterranean region whenever we had a chance,” shares Sheau-Yin. “There is a lot of nature incorporated in the style, so we used nyatoh wood for the louvre windows and bedroom door.” Oak was used for part of the home’s flooring as well as kitchen cabinets; they painted the latter a Provencal blue, a colour often seen in the Mediterranean, and which reminds them of the sea. They also chose raw plywood, for its natural and raw look, when making major built-ins such as the dining bench, wardrobes and beds.
Creating new spaces
With half the rectangular-shaped home taken up by the new living room and kitchen, adding a guest room would have surely eaten into the remaining limited space. Mark’s solution was to build a series of pivoting doors, which would close off a space adjacent to the kitchen (and opposite the living area), to become a room, when needed. Inside that space, a sliding door (which looks like a wall) cleverly hides the built-in wardrobe and tatami mats reserved for guests.
Colour and texture
Rustic-style furniture pieces, such as a second-hand rattan sofa and a weathered wooden picnic table, give the home a beach-house look. Complementing these items are similarly weather-beaten green wooden chairs, and mirrors, all from Penang, and a large range of wine crates the couple had collected over the years. Playing off the country-style blue in the kitchen and adding a touch of warmth is the red brick wall, which Mark “aged” using a wash of concrete.
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Sheau-Yin and Eugene had their second-hand rattan sofa painted white.
The couple have a large collection of wine crates, so Mark designed a made-to-measure, built-in cabinet for them.
The $200,000 renovation includes multiple built-ins, including this plywood dining bench, paired with a weathered wooden picnic table. Tableware and vases from Homes To Life. Flowers from Charlotte Puxley.
Mark ran black steel beams on the ceiling to anchor the LED lights and additional doors; they are also an aesthetic feature. Vases from Homes To Life.
The pulley-lever system for the skylight adds a rustic-industrial touch to the home.
A tabletop was fitted into one of the cabinets, so that Sheau-Yin has an additional baking counter and more storage space.
Viewed from the kitchen; these pivoting doors can be swivelled flat, and the large white swivel door in front of them pulled out, to form a small temporary guest room. There’s a built-in wardrobe in there, too!
The hidden wardrobe in the apartment’s temporary guest room features a customised timber rod – a Japaneseinspired look, which Mark tries to incorporate in his designs.
When the sliding doors in the foyer are left open, there is a open flow of space to the bedrooms. Seen here is a view of the second bedroom in the home.
The louvre door to the master bedroom sits beside the door to the common bathroom. The wardrobe lines the wall on the right of the picture.
Each built-in bed in the apartment is made of plywood, and features storage compartments underneath.