photography VERONICA TAY AND PHYLLICIA WANG art direction NONIE CHEN AND KRISTY QUAH

As a couple, interior designer Rashi Tulshyan and her husband, Rahul Daswani, a civil servant, enjoy entertaining and spending time with their family and friends. So, when searching for a new home, they wanted one with distinct living and dining spaces. With a second child on the way, the couple also wanted the bedrooms to be close together.

Their new home, a 4-bedroom penthouse unit in Bukit Timah, fulfilled these requirements and more. The unit comes with four bathrooms, a roof terrace, and a spiral staircase. After renovating it over four months, the family moved into their home in March 2023.

Who Lives Here: A couple with their toddler and helper
Home: A 4-bedroom penthouse in Bukit Timah
Size: 3,600 sq ft (334 sqm)
Interior Designer: Home Philosophy

The living area is a spacious double-volume space. Three bedrooms are on the first floor, and one is on the second.

Tropical wallpaper in Singapore

During the interior design stage, Rashi knew she wanted a tropical wallpaper to be a starting point for her home. With so many tropical wallpapers to choose from, how did Rashi decide on one that would anchor the interior design?

“As a designer and a homeowner, I’m very decisive. I often tell my clients to go with their gut feeling. For example, if you find yourself thinking about a particular curtain or colour at night or in the morning, that is the right decision for your home,” the founder of interior design firm Home Philosophy says.

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An arch separates the living and dining areas, framing both spaces.

Milton & King Wallpaper

When she saw the print from Milton & King, she knew that was the one. Reflecting that the tropical wallpaper speaks of Singapore, she shares, “I wanted something with a bit of a story. I like the element of having animals and flowers and that it looks almost like a mural with a water colour, hand-drawn effect.”

The interior design concept was built around the wallpaper. The home is also an amalgamation of her design principles and the learnings she has picked up along the way.

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Curved wooden slats were individually cut and pasted to form the back of the display unit.

Arch shelf wall

With a penchant for warm and soothing interiors, she introduced textures and textiles into the home. Arches and curves soften the spaces bathed in plenty of natural light.

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The foyer is kept understated and functional with a slim console, an armchair, and a spot for holding daily must-haves.

Dark wood flooring

She also introduced light and dark colours throughout the home to contrast. The living area sees dark wood finishes against white surfaces. The kitchen is decked out in black and white checkered flooring, adding vibrancy to the soothing green cabinets and white cabinets.

With the spiral staircase entirely in black, the walls were kept white. Notably, there is no television feature wall, a conscious decision to maintain lightness in the space.

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A mix of built-in furnishings and loose furniture in the master bedroom produces a laidback character.

Bold bedroom wallpaper

The master bedroom features patterned grey wallpaper that contrasts with the headboard. While shades of green and wood hues ground the home, pops of colour add to its personality.

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One bathroom is also decked out in a cool palette.
The wallpaper transforms the nursery into a cheerful space.

“Finding that balance was one of the main design ideas. I didn’t want to have too many colours, but I still wanted it to have personality and a voice of its own,” Rashi says.

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The maroon wall tiles and black and white floor tiles give the guest bathroom a dynamic look.

Her team overhauled most of the unit to achieve this balanced mix and cater the home to their needs. However, they retained the marble flooring in the living and dining areas.

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The spiral staircase stands out from the light surfaces in the area. The look is also balanced, thanks to the kitchen door also in black.

Spiral staircase in Singapore

They also kept the original structure of the spiral staircase, which had “old-school railings, acrylic and silver metal parts”. Now refreshed with new stair planks and railings, the show stopping spiral staircase is the first thing seen upon entering the home.

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A door provides the option of closing off the kitchen. The semi-circle window is a creative solution to aid the visual flow between the kitchen and the living area.

Bold bathroom colors

Rashi reworked the layout for the kitchen, service yard and bathrooms.

For instance, she repositioned everything to accommodate a double vanity in the master bathroom. Niches and concealed fittings conveyed a luxurious setting. The shower panels also went higher than the standard practice.

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Rashi customised the arrangement of the ceramic mosaic wall tiles to ensure well-balanced colours.

Brass handles

Looking into the finer details, she introduced small details like brass handles that resemble palm trees and bits of gold through the lighting and hardware.

“Gold adds that luxurious touch to everything, which I really enjoy,” she shares.

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Rashi introduced small touches of gold throughout the home, like these leaf-shaped handles.
The small details like the handles chosen for storage solutions contribute to the overall design concept.

Having studied design and management at the Parsons School of Design in New York, she saw the need for styling and personality in interior design in Singapore. Her home was where she applied her design philosophy and principles, emphasising styling and diving into the nuances of materials, colours, shapes, and textures.

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The guest bedroom is an airy space complete with a compact desk.

She says, “As a designer, you always do people’s homes, and they get to enjoy it. So now I get to enjoy the little details I put into the house. Living in a space that encapsulates me as a designer and a person, and being able to extend that to my day-to-day life, is very rewarding.”

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