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CHIC NICHE

Wood accents marry industrial elements for a posh yet practical effect.

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WHO
A couple in their early 30s with a three-year-old daughter
HOME
A five-room HDB apartment
SIZE
1,450sqf
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The use of straight lines and an open layout resulted in a look that is clean, sleek and spacious.
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When the owners of this five-room flat first approached Lawrence Puah, director of Akihaus, they had in mind a Scandinavian-inspired interior with industrial touches. But instead of going with what’s currently the rage with homeowners, Lawrence – an architect by training – opted to find out what exactly they personally loved and wanted for their apartment. The result couldn’t be more different, but there were no regrets. Lawrence incorporated the couple’s love for warm wood textures and industrial “edginess” with unique features that make this home, renovated at a budget of around $130,000, a standout.

Big on wood

The feature wall, clad in timbre-like laminate, stretches from the entrance all the way to the living room, creating a sense of continuity and depth in the interior. “The long stretch of wood with its groove lines makes it look like one big statement piece,” explains Lawrence. “At the same time, it also gives the impression of a ‘roomier’ living area.” The feature wall also serves as an ample storage space. Thoughtfully built into a discreet corner at the entrance foyer is a mirror for last-minute touch-ups before leaving the house. Ledges are also fitted in for placing keys and makeup. “I like to fully utilise every corner when designing an apartment and see how it can be turned into a practical space,” adds Lawrence.

Open study
Upon finding out that the couple needed a study area, he proposed an “open concept”. “A study doesn’t always have to be an enclosed space,” says Lawrence. “The owners liked the idea of an open.
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RIGHT
Every inch of space in this kitchen is fully utilised to offer convenience and practicality.
RIGHT, BELOW
Black frames help to anchor the modern Scandinavian look of the dining area.
OPPOSITE
Concealed behind the wall panels, and finished in timbre-like laminate, is plenty of storage space.
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The beautiful grains on the laminate contrast beautifully with the sensual feel of the intricately veined marble on the floor.
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“The long stretch of wood with its groove lines makes it look like one big statement piece. At the same time, it also gives the impression of a ‘roomier’ living area.”
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White subway tiles give the powder room an expansive and inviting feel.

OPPOSITE
Obtain a sleek look in an enclosed space by sticking to earth tones, such as in this mod-rustic master bedroom.
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A divider cabinet separates the living room from the study space, but doesn’t block it out entirely from view, thanks to the open shelves custom-built into the cabinet – a feature that facilitates communication flow between the two spaces. With a subtle two-tone finishing in black and dark grey laminate, the shelves also lend a sleek, industrial edge.

Behind the screen
The piano room, originally conceived as a storage space for the owners’ mountain bike, is another example of a well-conceived practical space. The bike was sold when the couple moved in, and the room became a piano corner instead.

When the screen doors – fitted with mirror panels – are closed, they act like “windows”, reflecting a view of the living room whenever there are guests.

Warm sanctuary

The master bedroom reflects the mod-rustic charm as well. Featuring the same type of laminate as the feature wall, the bedroom has a built-in wardrobe complete with a dressing table at the window area.

To “break” the dominance of wood in the interior, Lawrence chose a linen-like laminate for the headboard. It oozes a soft, genteel touch and acts as a contrast to the earthy tones.

WHERE TO GO

Akihaus TEL: 6221-2808, www.akihaus.com

text JACQUELINE TAN photos AKIHAUS