Simply applying textured paint on the parapet walls, and laying timber decking over the original tiled ﬂoor, transforms the look of the balcony.
tiles with a
add texture and
give the home
a rustic feel.
a more natural
look, so the
WHO LIVES HERE
A 50-year-old translator
HOME A one-bedroom condominium apartment in Lorong Chuan
Benny Tan’s decision to buy this Chuan Park apartment hinged on whether an L-shaped wall in the kitchen could be removed. The old kitchen was almost completely walled up and was encroaching upon the dining space. The enclosed space was also somewhat dark, as the only source of natural light was from windows at the end of the long kitchen.
Benny requested Lawrence Puah, director of Akihaus Design Studio, find out whether it was a load-bearing wall. Having ascertained that it was a non-structural element and could be hacked, Benny went ahead with the purchase.
The floor area is considered large for a one-bedroom unit. A significant part of this is taken up by a generously sized balcony that wraps around the entire periphery of the apartment, continuing from the living room all the way to the bedroom. The previous owner had done some renovations and extended the living room out into the balcony. This, and the subsequent removal of the kitchen wall, made a huge difference in terms of opening up the interior spatially. Benny studied in Japan and frequently travels there for translation, research and consultancy work. “I told Lawrence that I wanted a Japanese theme for my home,” says Benny. Lawrence’s approach involved distilling the key elements of Japanese interiors and re-interpreting them.
has a darker
the rest of the
behind the bed
allows him to
feel as if he is
still in Japan.
The neutral palette comprising mainly brown, off-white and grey colours achieves a tranquillity that evokes a natural sense of calm, reminiscent of Japanese interiors.
The style is undoubtedly contemporary modern, but the restrained execution and uncluttered character reflect a pared-down simplicity that is synonymous with Japanese style.
Benny originally wanted to split the bedroom, so that his 11-year-old son, Yew Shyan, who comes over weekly, could have his own space. But Lawrence had an innovative suggestion.
He says: “Instead of having two small bedrooms, I asked Benny to consider incorporating a movable screen, similar to a Japanese shoji, between the living and dining rooms. This way, the living room could be partitioned into a temporary bedroom when the need arises.” Benny is receptive to the idea but it has been put on hold, as there is a possibility that the condominium may be put up for en bloc sale.
The original bathroom was attached to the bedroom and the apartment did not have a common bath. As Benny lives alone most of the time, it would not have been an issue, although a bath that is more accessible to guests would be useful. Hence, Lawrence reconfigured the layout and introduced a corridor between the bedroom and bathroom, thereby re-zoning the attached bath as a common bath.
The corridor terminates in the balcony behind the bedroom, thus providing common access directly to the balcony. This outdoor space has since been transformed from a neglected and underutilised space into an inviting outdoor terrace where Benny can have breakfast in the mornings or wind down in the evenings, while enjoying a 270-degree panoramic view of the city skyline.
ﬁt storage into
he used woodlike
photography ANGELA GUO art direction KAFFY TAN