Shareen Wong home
The interior of the living room of Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong's studio apartment in Buona Vista.

It is a shoebox apartment but DJ Shareen Wong’s home has a picturesque view of Buona Vista

With just 592 sq ft of floor space to work with, Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong had to decorate smart when it came to her shoebox apartment.

Space, or the lack of it, was the challenge the 38-year-old faced moving into the studio apartment in Buona Vista.

But it helped that she has an eye for design, owning a lifestyle and accessories chain called Kai Life.

The result is a home in which every item has been carefully selected, such as a see-through glass table so “you don’t feel that it’s there”.

Not a single item is out of place nor is there any clutter.

To enhance the illusion of a bigger space, Wong opted for stark white walls, with a feature one in grey. Even the kitchen bartop is in white.

Shareen Wong home
The interior of the living room of Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong's studio apartment in Buona Vista.

The overall feel is all the more impressive when you consider she was downsizing from a 1,600 sq ft, three-bedroom apartment near Clarke Quay.

The singleton, who hosts travel radio show Getaways With Shareen Wong every Wednesday evening, says: “It wasn’t traumatic but it was difficult to do. I used to have a walk-in wardrobe but moving here, I had to throw out a lot of things.”

But she adds: “Actually, moving is a good process because I realised that I don’t actually need that much stuff.”

Shareen Wong
Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong.

She jokes that she even worries about receiving presents for birthdays and Christmas. “You have to make sure there’s a space for everything and that you just keep essential items. People will notice that there’s an excess of items.”

Wong, who has three Kai Life stores at Holland Village Shopping Mall, Great World City and Serangoon Gardens, was not afraid to break up the studio’s space, despite its small size.

She wanted the bedroom and living room separated, so she had a wooden partition custom-built to double as a console for her radio and 360 degree- swivelling television. She can now watch shows on TV in both rooms without having to get a separate set.

Shareen Wong
The interior of the bedroom of Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong's studio apartment in Buona Vista.

Wong, whose renovation and furniture cost under $18,000, says: “I didn’t want the home to be a big, open area. I broke up the space and chose a design with clean, basic lines, so guests don’t actually realise how small the home is.”

To decorate the bare walls, she put up memorabilia she has accumulated since she started working in radio in 1997.

Signed CD covers from music artists she has interviewed such as British alternative rock band Coldplay and jazz funk group Jamiroquai take a prime spot on the wall, above her two-seater couch.

And with such a spotless home, no one would guess she has about 2,000 CDs stashed in a retro-chic cupboard bought in Thailand.

Shareen Wong
The CD collection of Power 98 DJ Shareen Wong.

Wong, who loves rock music, says: “It’s the one thing that I still buy. I really love collecting CDs and the autographs are special because the artists signed them just for me.”

But the best thing about coming home to her apartment, which she has lived in for the past three years, is the view.

She lives on the 10th floor of the condominium block and has a picturesque view of lush foliage covering Buona Vista.

“It was very important to me to have a view,” says the DJ. “Since this is a shoebox apartment, there’s at least something to look out at. It doesn’t feel so small.”

Written by Natasha Ann Zachariah for The Straits Times. Photos: The Straits Times. This article was first published in 2013.