House Tour: Dark-coloured and sensuous three-room HDB BTO home in Chai Chee
A 732sqf apartment may seem compact for some families, but for homeowners Celine Goh and her husband, they knew they wanted to transform their matrimonial home from a three-room flat to a one-bedroom unit with an open-concept design, in a departure from the conventional layout of shoebox apartments.
The main door was replaced to achieve a rusted effect, contrasting against the engineered dark wood floor from Wood Culture.
The lady of the house, who is the general manager of premium piano company Steinway Gallery Singapore, had a clear vision of what she wanted: a cosy, sensuous, character-filled – yet subtly dramatic – space in which the couple can spend quality time.
Celine is half-Thai and connecting with her roots was a key inspiration when conceptualising her home design, which resulted in an impressive wall mural taking centre stage in the living room.
She engaged interior designer Ivan Lin of Aart Boxx Interior to assist with the execution of the interior design works, while also actively offering her input in design and styling. She even commissioned Thai artist Zhang Sitthi to create an exclusive hand-painted mural for her living room, which adds to the overall grandeur. Here, Celine tells us more about the renovation, which cost $100,000.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON A DARK COLOUR PALETTE?
Dark colours not only create a relaxing and cosy atmosphere, but it can also unify different decorative elements. I wanted the interiors to exude a bold presence. The colour selection process was quite challenging because there were many considerations for contrast and balance. I learnt that a good mix of different textures such as wood, metal and fabric is also important, to create a sense of balance. I even replaced the main door to achieve a rusted effect, to contrast against the engineered dark wood floor I got from Wood Culture.
Photo: Most parts of the home are finished in black paint, except for a blue accent wall sitting between the living room and kitchen.
DID YOU SPECIFY THE USE OF CERTAIN MATERIALS OR ACCESSORIES?
I love wood and its enduring beauty. It offers a very inviting sense of warmth and an intimate ambience so I incorporated wood flooring in most of my home.
Instead of overhead cabinets, which would create the illusion of an even tighter and more claustrophobic kitchen, Celine wanted niches to house oft-used spices and condiments, as well as showcase her collection of tableware.
Customising the dining table cum kitchen island gave the homeowners the flexibility of adding storage to maximise space, such as with this pull-out drawer for cutlery.
Greenery was added to the service yard, transforming it into a mini garden.
Thai artist Zhang Sitthi was inspired by yak, an often seen depiction of a guardian of gates at Buddhist temples. He also incorporated elephants as a symbol of humanity, respect and love.
WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE DURING THE RENOVATION PROCESS?
One of the challenges was integrating the mural artwork seamlessly into a modern, contemporary look. It took Ivan some time to think of a design concept to create a fusion between the interiors and the art piece. After much discussion, we decided that the positioning of spotlights is key to enhancing the beauty of this art piece.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS IN YOUR HOME?
My best find is a Poltrona Frau Chesterfield sofa from Proof Living. I also got Tom Fereday dining chairs from Space Furniture to complement my kitchen island. An understated addition to my living room is a Stride rug from PDM. As for the bedroom, I chose a Ralph Lauren bed, and Jaspal bedding. I tend not to compromise when it comes to comfort.
Photo: Lighting is an important element of interior design as well, because it can create the right ambience and mood, while enhancing the aesthetic appeal. I chose sets of pendant lamps from Thai lighting brand Lamptitude.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE HOME?
The bathroom. I think one of our best decisions was to combine the original bathroom spaces and create a large open-concept en suite.
A large desk takes pride of place in front of the wardrobe in the bedroom, at which Celine can work and doll up.