The Chic Apartment

Bring on the bright ideas

The customised neon light fixture in the living room, set against a faux brick and concrete screed feature wall, is inspired by stock graphs.
The customised neon light fixture in the living room, set against a faux brick and concrete screed feature wall, is inspired by stock graphs.PHOTO: VERONICA TAY, ASSISTED BY SHERMAN SEE-THO; ART DIRECTION: DON TAN
(Above) The open-concept cooking and dining space in the kitchen.
(Above) The open-concept cooking and dining space in the kitchen.PHOTO: VERONICA TAY, ASSISTED BY SHERMAN SEE-THO; ART DIRECTION: DON TAN

From neon lights to old-school grilles to patterned tiles, the striking mix of styles in this flat reflects the residents' eclectic tastes

It is probably every interior designer's dream to be told to "just go wild with the ideas".

This was exactly what housemates Kong Chek Yong and Kenneth Ang told Linear Space Concepts' Yiap Yiyun. The duo had a wish list of ideas for the four-room HDB flat in Old Airport Road, including neon lights, strong colours, iron grilles and patterned Peranakan-like tiles, but they were also open to other ways of working the various elements together to create something unique.

Sources of inspiration for this melange were hip cafes and various W Hotels - the brand is known for its distinctive statement-making style - around the world, says the well- travelled Mr Kong, who is in his 30s.

But while a smorgasbord of fun concepts makes for interesting interiors, it takes an expert eye to balance the contrasting styles to create a look that is aesthetically appealing.

A bright yellow 'cargo container' forms the backdrop to the living room.
The bathroom has a bold look, thanks to the green subway tiles on the walls. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY, ASSISTED BY SHERMAN SEE-THO; ART DIRECTION: DON TAN

The designer took on that challenge and the result - costing $84,000 - is nothing short of stunning and striking, without being haphazard or obtrusive.

The designer's deft approach ensured that the main visual focus of each area was clearly defined, while complementing the harmonious flow of the space.

A key principle for the 970 sq ft home's design was to adhere to a colour scheme that comprised not more than two main accent colours in each space. For example, it is orange and blue for the living area; and red and green for the kitchen.

There is also a consistent geometric theme to tie the spaces together.

There are standout features at every turn, with various materials being creatively put to good use.

The view after guests enter the home is one of a "cargo container" sitting right in the middle of the apartment. To achieve this effect, the designer cladded a wall with corrugated metal hoarding panels spray- painted in cheery sunny yellow.

A bright yellow 'cargo container' forms the backdrop to the living room.
A bright yellow 'cargo container' forms the backdrop to the living room. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY, ASSISTED BY SHERMAN SEE-THO; ART DIRECTION: DON TAN

This "cargo container" also conceals the doors to the common bathroom and master bedroom. Old- school metal grilles double as dividers in the living room.

In the study, the cupboard was made with wooden planks reclaimed from old houses in Malaysia.

As for the furniture and decor, Mr Kong sourced most of them from his travels. They include the workshop lamps above the dining table from Chatuchak market in Bangkok as well as the glass pendant lamp in the living room - one of his favourite pieces - he bought from Chinese shopping website Taobao.

Interesting textures, eye-catching details and vibrant colours flow together with hand-picked finds, creating an abode that is inspiring and comfortable.

•If you have a Housing Board flat or condominium apartment you would like featured, e-mail your pictures with the header, The Chic Apartment, to stlife@sph.com.sg

•This article first appeared in the March issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the March and latest issue now at all newsstands and download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter and Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes on www.homeanddecor.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2017, with the headline 'Bring on the bright ideas'. Print Edition | Subscribe