CHIC NICHE

Wood ac­cents marry in­dus­trial el­e­ments for a posh yet prac­ti­cal ef­fect.

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Wood ac­cents are mar­ried with in­dus­trial el­e­ments for a posh yet prac­ti­cal ef­fect in this mod­ern apart­ment.

WHO A cou­ple in their early 30s with a three- year- old daugh­ter HOME A five- room HDB apart­ment SIZE 1,450sqf

When the own­ers of this five-room flat first ap­proached Lawrence Puah, di­rec­tor of Ak­i­haus, they had in mind a Scan­di­na­vian-in­spired in­te­rior with in­dus­trial touches. But in­stead of go­ing with what’s cur­rently the rage with home­own­ers, Lawrence – an ar­chi­tect by train­ing – opted to find out what ex­actly they per­son­ally loved and wanted for their apart­ment. The re­sult couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent, but there were no re­grets. Lawrence in­cor­po­rated the cou­ple’s love for warm wood tex­tures and in­dus­trial “edgi­ness” with unique fea­tures that make this home, ren­o­vated at a bud­get of around $130,000, a stand­out. Big on wood The fea­ture wall, clad in tim­bre-like lam­i­nate, stretches from the en­trance all the way to the liv­ing room, creat­ing a sense of con­ti­nu­ity and depth in the in­te­rior. “The long stretch of wood with its groove lines makes it look like one big state­ment piece,” ex­plains Lawrence. “At the same time, it also gives the im­pres­sion of a ‘roomier’ liv­ing area.” The fea­ture wall also serves as an am­ple stor­age space. Thought­fully built into a dis­creet cor­ner at the en­trance foyer is a mir­ror for last-minute touch-ups be­fore leav­ing the house. Ledges are also fit­ted in for plac­ing keys and makeup. “I like to fully utilise every cor­ner when de­sign­ing an apart­ment and see how it can be turned into a prac­ti­cal space,” adds Lawrence. Open study Upon find­ing out that the cou­ple needed a study area, he pro­posed an “open con­cept”. “A study doesn’t al­ways have to be an en­closed space,” says Lawrence. “The own­ers liked the idea of an open

study area, which was orig­i­nally one of the bed­rooms.”

A di­vider cabi­net sep­a­rates the liv­ing room from the study space, but doesn’t block it out en­tirely from view, thanks to the open shelves cus­tom-built into the cabi­net – a fea­ture that fa­cil­i­tates com­mu­ni­ca­tion flow be­tween the two spa­ces. With a sub­tle two-tone fin­ish­ing in black and dark grey lam­i­nate, the shelves also lend a sleek, in­dus­trial edge. Be­hind the screen The piano room, orig­i­nally con­ceived as a stor­age space for the own­ers’ moun­tain bike, is an­other ex­am­ple of a well-con­ceived prac­ti­cal space. The bike was sold when the cou­ple moved in, and the room be­came a piano cor­ner in­stead. When the screen doors – fit­ted with mir­ror pan­els – are closed, they act like “win­dows”, reflecting a view of the liv­ing room when­ever there are guests. Warm sanctuary The mas­ter bed­room re­flects the mod-rus­tic charm as well. Fea­tur­ing the same type of lam­i­nate as the fea­ture wall, the bed­room has a built-in wardrobe com­plete with a dress­ing ta­ble at the win­dow area.

To “break” the dom­i­nance of wood in the in­te­rior, Lawrence chose a linen-like lam­i­nate for the head­board. It oozes a soft, gen­teel touch and acts as a con­trast to the earthy tones. WHERE TO GO Ak­i­haus TEL: 6221-2808, www.ak­i­haus.com

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