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photography VERONICA TAY art direction KRISTY QUAH

As the head of Research and Development at a crypto trading firm that he founded, 27-year-old Jeremy Lim did not have any interior design background, which was why when it came to renovating his bachelor pad, he knew that it was important to engage the right designer.

“The interior designer had to be someone who is not afraid to flex his or her creative muscles and be able to interpret what I want, rather than what I say,” Jeremy highlights.

After scrolling Qanvast for inspiration and images, he shortlisted a few designers and eventually decided to entrust the project to Mad About Design Interior Studio.

Who Lives Here: A bachelor in his 20s
Home: A two-bedroom condominium in Katong
Size: 818 sq ft
Interior Designer: Mad About Design Interior Studio

Brand new condo

Creative director, Jimmy Li, was given free rein in the design and the client only had a few specific requests – lighting and fluted wall panels to accentuate the 3.25-metre ceiling height, a kitchen that can be enclosed using a sliding door that retracts behind a display shelf, and built- in shelves on one side of the bed.

As the unit was purchased brand-new, directly from the developer, the original cabinetry and fittings were retained. Jimmy worked within the existing layout and no walls were hacked. One of the bedrooms was converted into a dedicated workspace as Jeremy often works from home.

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The display shelves outside the kitchen are Jeremy’s favourite element within the home. He loves the way the shelf lights interact with the adjacent wall and the decorative wall light adds a touch of flair.

Rustic contemporary style

Based on the client’s preference, Jimmy incorporated wood elements into the interior scheme, which he considers a “rustic contemporary” style. These take the form of exposed beams, fluted panels, built-in cabinetry and flooring.

“We combined the rustic charm of wood with contemporary design elements and effective storage solutions to create a harmonious yet practical living environment that is also visually stunning and comfortable,” says Jimmy.

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Jimmy took both natural and artificial lighting into careful consideration when designing the spaces.

Ceiling beams

Instead of a conventional false ceiling, exposed timber beams run horizontally across the length of the living and dining room ceilings and continue vertically down the dining feature wall. This design approach celebrates the grandeur and spaciousness of the high ceiling while at the same time also makes the two spaces feel more connected.

Strategically-placed LED light strips along the length of the beams draw attention to this unique feature and highlight the wood grains and textures. They also complement the natural lighting by injecting a soft, warm glow to the space.

A pendant light above the dining table serves as a centrepiece while adding a touch of formality to the ambience.

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Jeremy went on a mission to find the most comfortable dining chairs because they also double up as mahjong chairs. After scouring over 20 furniture shops and trying out more than 100 chairs, he finally settled on these HC28 Cosmo Nao dining chairs from Made and Make.

Condo with balcony

The small, odd-shaped balcony presented a design challenge and Jeremy admitted that he initially did not quite know what he wanted to do with it. Jimmy proposed using green, textured wall paint to invoke nature.

“The colour has a calming effect that rejuvenates and allows one to feel connected to nature,” Jimmy explains.

The balcony is a place where homeowner Jeremy can relax and enjoy tranquil moments.

Peranakan tiles

Drawing inspiration from the apartment’s location in Katong, he selected Peranakan style patterned tiles for the table top. These are complemented by customised table legs with traditional Peranakan grille details that further reinforce the cultural influence.

Jeremy shares: “I realised that the balcony did not need to follow the style of the rest of the house, as it was fully enclosed and separated from the living area. Continuing the Peranakan motifs in the balcony floor tiles introduced by the developer and designing it as a bar area inspired by old Katong has transformed the balcony into a piece of usable art. I enjoy looking into the space even when I am not using it.”

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Built-in shelves beside the bed provide a space for Jeremy to display his personal keepsakes and lend a personal touch to the room. Blackout curtains were a priority for him. Besides blocking out external light for a restful sleep, the curtains also add to the formality and sophistication of the space.

Dark master bedroom

The master bedroom has a distinctive dark theme according to Jeremy’s preference. The deep hues and rich textures convey elegance and tranquility that is conducive for a good night’s rest.

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While the rest of the carpentry in the home uses cherry wood, the kitchen features lighter and neutral tones to complement the wood elements.

$80,000 4-month renovation

Jeremy spent $80,000 on the renovation and on furnishing the apartment and he moved into his new home in January 2023. The entire process – from the first consultation to completion took about four months.

The home reflects the studio’s design ethos. “We believe in simplicity in design and adopting a minimalist approach that includes only what is integral and essential. Ultimately, it is about creating peaceful living environments that exude an understated elegance,” says Jimmy.

For Jeremy, he feels that the home is a perfect fit. “I do not like showing off or standing out and I only wear plain tees. I keep a relatively low profile, but I want to express my individuality. The design of my home reflects this by being different, but is not extravagant or gaudy,” he says.

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