photography LAWRENCE TEO art direction NONIE CHEN

It’s not every day that one can find a ground-floor apartment unit that comes with its own reserved open-air parking spot right next to its elevated porch. When husband and wife Louis and Serene found this unit in one of the private condominiums in Pasir Ris, they immediately made an offer.

“We stayed in a landed home before, so we’re used to the ground floor,” shares Louis, an employee benefits consultant. The couple, both just turned 40, initially wanted to buy an Executive Maisonette or Executive Apartment, but after viewing around 10 units and comparing their prices, they felt the Pasir Ris unit was a better investment.

For the new home’s renovation, they engaged interior designer Don Wong – formerly of Lush Interior Design – whom they met through a common friend.

Who Lives Here: A couple in their early 40s, a helper and three dogs
Home: A private condominium apartment unit in Pasir Ris
Size: 1,486 sq ft (138 sqm)
Interior Design: Lush Interior Design
Renovation Cost: $170,000

A large curved mirror panel helps to open up the narrow walkway space.

Open kitchen concept

The interior design brief included an open kitchen with a large coffee bar and dining table, a spacious study and enough space to store their many collections, which range from fashion items and accessories to fine whiskeys, gaming gadgets and limited edition collectibles.

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The couple loves to collect interesting items, from shoes to games.
A stylish kitchen counter in the open dining area.

Hack condo walls

“We hacked almost all of the original walls to make all these new spaces for these collections to create an uncluttered home,” Don shares. The result is a series of handsome spaces that embodies the owner’s vision of understated luxury.

The renovated home comprises two main areas separated by a sleek, minimalist custom carpentry and TV wall.

The communal zone comprises the seamless living and dining area, a kitchen with a breakfast counter and yard and the common bathroom, while the private zone comprises the master suite and the helper’s bedroom.

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The kitchen design focuses on optimising the functionality of the space.

Monochrome kitchen design

The colour scheme favours contrasts, balancing deep, dark finishes with lighter and textural surfaces in greys, beiges and off-whites.

“There are definitely his and hers finishes in the material palette. But we strove to make them look and feel harmonious in the space,” says Louis.

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The wood tones blend beautifully with the marble flooring and beige wall textures.

Dekton Countertop

Case in point are the coffee bar countertop and backsplash, and the breakfast and kitchen counters. Both areas feature Dekton in Laurent and Awake colourways, which feature similar copper veining but contrasting base colours in black and white, respectively.

“They tie the look together,” says Louis.

The breakfast counter features a foldable glass window that, together with a glass door, neatly contains the cooking fumes from seeping into the living-dining area during heavy cooking while still allowing people from both sides to interact.

“My one advice in choosing the finishes for your home is to take your time. Take the samples home and look at them in different lights so you’d know which ones you want to look at every day,” says Don.

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Classic and modern elements intertwine to create a unique style in this home.

Marble Look Tiles

The living and dining areas are united by 80×80 marble-look tiles from Liang Seng Heng. A Toby Wing leather sofa from Calia Italia anchors the living side while a two-metre-long custom live edge timber-top table from The Table Guy, Fritz Hansen dining chairs and a pendant light from Sol Luminaire preside over the dining area.

Next to it is the full-wall custom carpentry comprising the softly lit liquor cabinet, overhead storage dressed in dark timber-look laminates from Formica and EDL and the aforementioned coffee bar.

Learning from their mistake in their old home, which had used bright white lighting, Louis has invested in a warmer, indirect lighting system throughout the house from Vlux, which artistically bathes the interior like an art gallery, turning objects into artworks, like the two framed Hermes scarves on the wall.

On the private zone’s side, Don reduced the unit’s original four bedrooms into just two – one for the couple and one for the helper. The two other former common bedrooms have been opened and turned into a study and a walk-in wardrobe.

Having taken up the former corridor’s width, the study is a spacious haven for work and play, furnished with custom carpentry and an oversized desk that can house two back-to- back 49-inch curved monitors.

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His and Hers areas in the walk-in wardrobe provides both homeowners their personal space to dress up in the mornings.

Condo walk in wardrobe

Branching from this area are the walk-in wardrobe on one side and the master bathroom and bedroom on the other.

The walk-in wardrobe was designed to shed the most flattering light on the couple’s fashion collection. Working in the aviation logistics industry, Serene is a bag collector, while Louis is a fan of bespoke suits.

The vanity has been cleverly worked into a discreet corner.

Both also collect limited-edition luggage. Don has created bespoke displays for each collection, housing them in gently lit glazed compartments and drawers on par with high-end boutiques.

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A simple design in the bedroom to create a calming space for the couple to unwind in the evenings.

Luxury bedroom design

The understated luxury vibe extends to the master bedroom, which features a wall-mounted Geberit toilet and textured Dekton Nacre counter.

Taking three and a half months to complete, the renovation cost the couple $170,000. They moved in at the end of January this year and are very happy with their tailor-made new home.

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