House Tour: This zen 3-bedroom condominium is a dark take on Japanese aesthetic
01 living area
The homeowners’ brief to interior designers, Alvin Ling, Katrin and Cynthia Lim from The Scientist, called for a “sleek and elegant design with lots of storage and which makes good use of space”.
In addition, as the husband is an avid cook, he wanted a more spacious kitchen. This warranted a re-design and re-configuration of the existing dry kitchen, including an island, as well as the utility room into part of the new kitchen. A study area adjacent to the master bedroom was also converted into a walk-in wardrobe within the bedroom.
The renovations, which took three months, saw the existing interior entirely gutted out and everything redone- from the floor and ceiling, to cabinets, wardrobes and lights. The family moved into their new home in December 2018. for a sprawling apartment like this one, but for added character and charm, it’s the little details that count.
02 the corridor
Addressing the clients’ preference for monochromatic colours, the designers made a bold move and proposed a dark colour palette.
The homeowners admitted to having reservations at first as they expressed concerns that the interior may appear too dark. However, the final result turned out otherwise, perhaps due in part to the abundant natural light from the generous window openings, but more importantly, it can be attributed to the colour strategy adopted by the design team.
03 living room
“The floor makes up the largest surface area within the home, so we selected a white Carrara marble with grey veins for the floor,” explain the designers. This establishes a lighter base against which darker shades of greys and blacks are layered on. The walls are either painted a monotone grey or clad with grey marble or tiles, while the darkest, almost black colours are taken on by the built-in cabinet doors, bedroom doors, door frames and skirting.
The choice of materials reflects the homeowners’ lifestyle in favour of natural elements and materials that are durable and easy to maintain.
The natural Carrara marble flows across almost the entire apartment floor, including the master bedroom and the 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom.
Specific areas such as the kitchen, yard and walk-in wardrobe have a different flooring to distinguish the zoning.
05 son's bedroom
In the case of the 12-year-old son’s bedroom, however, the choice of grey marble was his personal preference. He wanted the marble flooring to continue up the wall opposite his bed so that he can admire it the first thing when he wakes up.
The rose gold stainless steel cabinets in the kitchen not only make a visual statement, but are also durable and low-maintenance. Other materials such as the hairline stainless steel countertop and backsplash around the sink area, as well as the stain-resistant Sensa By Cosentino granite worktop were all selected for the same reasons.
The monochromatic bathroom is consistent with the rest of the interior but creates visual interest by combining various textures and tones.
The black-and-grey bathroom looks like it belongs in a
Full-height fenestrations extend across the living and dining rooms. Instead of fabric drapes, the designers opted for timber blinds.
“Blinds are easier to clean than curtains, and they have a sleeker and more minimalist appearance,” say the designers. Even though the colour scheme for the home comprises mainly monochromatic whites, greys and blacks, they decided to go with the original wood tone as it looks more natural.
With no storeroom within the home, storage was an important consideration.
“We wanted to conceal any clutter so that nothing is exposed,” says the homeowner.
The wall against which the television set is recessed is actually made up of a series of concealed cabinets that have been designed like a feature wall. The charcoal grey, almost-black panels complement the interior colour theme.
12 wine chiller
Another set of concealed cabinets are located behind the dining room, together with a built-in recess that neatly accommodates a wine chiller housing the homeowners’ wine collection.
13 master bedroom
Bay windows are a common feature in many homes. While the idea of sitting by the bay window and enjoying the view may seem enticing, from a more practical viewpoint, the space can probably be better utilised, especially in smaller apartments. All three bedrooms have bay windows and the design team has taken the opportunity to transform them into more functional elements.
14 bay windows
The couple wanted a cosy corner within their master bedroom where they can relax and read, and the bay window provided the perfect spot. The design team extended the bay window such that it forms a raised platform beside the window.
The cushions placed above the wooden platform embodies a minimalist approach and together with a wall shelf for books and magazines, imbues the space with the Zen-like quality of a Japanese tea house, adding the ideal finishing touches to a captivating dream home.