FULL OF SUR­PRISES

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Contents - text MAVIS ANG pho­tog­ra­phy ALAN LEE / K STU­DIO art di­rec­tion NONIE CHEN & NICCO LIM

Not set­tling for the usual fur­nish­ings, this cou­ple sourced bold and edgy dé­cor ac­ces­sories.

Glass doors abound on the ground floor, bright­en­ing the ex­pan­sive space.

NOT SET­TLING FOR RUN- OF- THE- MILL FUR­NISH­INGS, THIS COU­PLE WENT ALL OUT TO SOURCE AC­CES­SORIES THAT ADD A BOLD, EDGY KICK TO THEIR HOME.

Af­ter hand­ing the keys over to their in­te­rior de­signer, Mark Yong of Mu­seum, David Bell and Ly­dia Yee jet­ted off to Bangkok to shop for their new place. And boy, did they shop. From din­ing chairs to state­ment light­ing, the cou­ple filled a con­tainer’s worth of fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories for their fu­ture home. Af­ter liv­ing in a rented place for some time, David and Ly­dia were ec­static to put their first home to­gether, so they couldn’t re­sist in­dulging.

Home was to be a 27-year-old bun­ga­low nes­tled in a quiet cor­ner in the east, and they had en­gaged Mu­seum to give the house a con­tem­po­rary in­dus­trial makeover. Af­ter a six-month ren­o­va­tion, which in­cluded a few tweaks to in­cor­po­rate the cou­ple’s buys into the in­te­ri­ors, the place is now a dandy pad that is cosy and dra­matic at the same time.

SAVVY SHOP­PERS

It wouldn’t be an ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that David and Ly­dia have mas­tered the art of shop­ping for their home. Buy­ing things on­line, in town (Ly­dia bagged the arm­chairs in the liv­ing room for $300 at last year’s In­ter­na­tional Fur­ni­ture Fair Sin­ga­pore) and around the re­gion, the cou­ple man­aged to fur­nish their pad with well­made items, mi­nus the in­flated price tags. “It was amaz­ing how many bar­gains we man­aged to get,” David says. Due to the cou­ple’s off­beat choices, which are quirky yet on trend, ev­ery cor­ner fea­tures a talk­ing point.

One knock-out piece David and Ly­dia ac­quired on their trip in Bangkok is a sur­gi­cal lamp-in­spired light­ing fix­ture that drops 1.85m from the liv­ing room ceil­ing. It com­mands an in­dus­trial cool that not only pulls to­gether the space’s mas­cu­line palette, but also sets the tone for the en­tire home. The dou­ble front doors made of wood (each weigh­ing a hefty 150kg), bal­cony deck­ing, din­ing set and the en­ter­tain­ment room’s sofa were also shipped over from Bangkok.

LY­DIA DE­CLARES THAT THE KITCHEN, WHICH SHE DE­SIGNED WITH DAVID, IS HER FAVOURITE PART OF THE HOME.

“It started off from a few brochures and re­fer­rals from David’s friends. We also bought many pieces from a two-storey build­ing called Crys­tal De­sign Cen­tre. We were a bit ap­pre­hen­sive at first be­cause it looks re­ally ex­pen­sive from the out­side. But we soon re­alised that their prices were re­ally rea­son­able,” re­calls Ly­dia of their sourc­ing trip to Bangkok.

RE­SHAPE AND RESHUF­FLE

To­wards the back half of the ground floor is the kitchen and din­ing area, which now en­joys a healthy dose of nat­u­ral light thanks to some ad­just­ments. The area was opened up by knock­ing down the maid’s room which used to be ad­ja­cent to the kitchen, and us­ing glass doors to merge the in­door and out­door ar­eas. “The kitchen is the heart of our home,” Ly­dia de­clares. “We do a fair bit of cook­ing, so we de­signed it our­selves so that it could fit with our habits.” The re­sult is a fully tai­lored kitchen that is both ul­tra­stylish and a breeze to work in.

The mas­ter bed­room used to oc­cupy the sec­ond floor (now turned into a home theatre), but be­cause its win­dows looked out onto the main road, the cou­ple de­cided to shift their bed­room up to the third floor for more pri­vacy. Their per­sonal haven is now an open-con­cept sanc­tu­ary that was crafted by merg­ing two of the three bed­rooms on the top floor. The shared wash­room now sits in the mid­dle of the mas­ter bed­room, flanked by a util­i­tar­ian bed and an open bath area.

It takes good syn­ergy be­tween the home­own­ers and the in­te­rior de­signer to pro­duce amaz­ing re­sults. Ly­dia and David thor­oughly en­joyed the process, and Mark was glad to have quite a free hand when it came to de­sign and ma­te­rial choices. “I only did the ba­sic ren­o­va­tion works so that they could fill it and truly make it their home,” he humbly states.

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