In the age of Mari Kondo and reality shows about de-cluttering, it has become an evergreen trend for urban homeowners to desire a sleek apartment home with an all-white theme. But what many of them don’t know, is how difficult it can be to achieve the look without professional help.
Stop fretting, because here are 10 fail-proof things you can do to rock that hip, Muji-esque and Zen-like interior style in your HDB or condo unit with tips from the Editor-in-Chief of Home & Décor – Young Lim.
Tip 1: Get ‘straight’ the the point
Take a look at all the pictures you’ve pinned on your board on ‘Room with a white palette’ and you will notice that most (if not all) of them play up the straight lines in the room’s architecture. Right angles go perfectly with an all-white look, simply because it creates a lovely shadow-effect when light falls across the surfaces throughout the day. When going with a white theme, you want to create shadows with distinct and bold lines.
Tip 2: Increase the visual height of your room
A common issue with most apartments in Singapore is the lack of high walls. This problem is worsened when some homeowners install fake ceilings in order to conceal the messy wiring. Aside from trying to extend the visual height of your walls by painting the walls and ceiling in the same colour, you can also create the impression of a more spacious room by making your blinds (or curtains) flow all the way from the ceiling down to the floor. Most homeowners try to save up by having blinds cover just the window space, but you’d be surprised at how much larger your room feels when you have window treatments that cover the entire length of the wall regardless of the size of the actual window.
Tip 3: Stick to one accent colour
When you say you want an ‘all-white’ room, it doesn’t mean that everything in the room needs to be white. You need a contrasting colour in order to create depth in the space. In this beautiful bathroom, the designer opted to have all the metallic fixtures in a matte black tone, resulting in a dramatic effect. It’s also a great way to make a small room (like the bathroom) feel large and open. Combine that with the use of large mirros across the wall, and you end up with a room that’s fierce & fabulous!
Tip 4: Let the biggest piece of furniture do all the talking
Once you’ve decided to go with white as base colour in your home, the next thing you want to do is to break the spaces up into individual rooms and select one accent colour for each of them. That accent colour should go over the largest piece of furniture in the space, so you can then style the rest of the room around it. Take this bedroom for instance, the bed (being the largest piece of furniture in the space) comes in a dark plum shade. It becomes the main accent colour in the room, and it is enhanced with the use of black in the side table and TV screen.
Tip 5: No dangling bits, please
As mentioned previously, an all-white space benefits from the interesting shadow-play when light hits the surfaces. So you really want to control the way artificial light brightens up the space, which you cannot do with pendant lights. What you want are downlights and spotlights that allow you to direct light exactly where you want it! Remember, you’re going for fierce and flawless.
Tip 6: Customise, Customise, Customise
Space comes at a premium when you are living in an apartment, but a good way to optimise the available room in your home would be to customise the cabinetry along the walls. This way, you can build your desk on the wall and make sure your wardrobe goes all the way up to the ceiling. What you want are long and straight lines that accentuate the height and width of your space.
Tip 7: Think about the floor covering
Choosing rugs for your home can be tricky but when in doubt, always buy rugs that cover at least 80% of the floor space in a room. This helps to bring the entire room together, instead of breaking a small space into even smaller areas.
Tip 8: Brighten up your corridor
Corridors are usually one area of the apartment that’s often ignored, because homeowners think they don’t need to be purposefully lit. That is why most corridors appear dark and dank. What you can do is to install a large mirror at the end of a corridor, and let the light bounce around the space. Some corridors end with a storeroom, which is even better because you can conceal the door with the mirror panel!
Tip 9: No texture is also a kind of texture!
If you want to play up the dramatic nature of your all-white space, you’ll have to play down other aspects, such as the amount of texture you have in the room. In this kitchen, the designer kept to a smooth matte finish on all the cabinetry and subway tiles, which enhances the contrasting effect of the white walls and dark-coloured cabinetry.
Tip 10: “Look ma, no handles!”
Handle-less cabinetry is nothing new or fancy, on the contrary it should be a requisite for most modern homes (unless you live in a country cottage). They are not hard to create, either with push-latch devices or a bevelled edge cut into the back edge of a cabinet door panel. You can even add a slim metal extrusion on the top edge, enough to help you get a grip. Whichever way you prefer, go for it because a handle-less cabinet creates a seamless look in a room and makes everything look even and unobtrusive.