THE CHIC APARTMENT

Cables, clutter, begone

Owners Ow Khai Wan and Kimberly Chow (both left) housekeep on weekends to keep clutter at bay in their five-room HDB flat (above).
Owners Ow Khai Wan and Kimberly Chow (above) housekeep on weekends to keep clutter at bay in their five-room HDB flat. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Owners Ow Khai Wan and Kimberly Chow (both left) housekeep on weekends to keep clutter at bay in their five-room HDB flat (above).
Owners Ow Khai Wan and Kimberly Chow housekeep on weekends to keep clutter at bay in their five-room HDB flat (above).
Hidden shoe cabinets (right); and a view of the breakfast counter (left) from the kitchen.
Hidden shoe cabinets (right); and a view of the breakfast counter (left) from the kitchen.
"We wanted to create a warm and cosy atmosphere and also a practical living space to enjoy life's simple pleasures at home after a day of work." — MR OW KHAI WAN on the clean, Scandinavian theme of his home, which includes keeping the walls in his
"We wanted to create a warm and cosy atmosphere and also a practical living space to enjoy life's simple pleasures at home after a day of work." — MR OW KHAI WAN on the clean, Scandinavian theme of his home, which includes keeping the walls in his master

The home of Mr Ow Khai Wan and Ms Kimberly Chow has a clean aesthetic, with even the electrical wires concealed from sight

It is common for clutter to build up in a home after it has been lived in for a period of time.

Married couple Ow Khai Wan and Kimberly Chow try their best to make sure that does not happen in their five-room HDB flat in Tampines, where they have lived for a year.

The couple, both 28, subscribes to hygge (pronounced hue-gah), a Danish way of life that embraces cosiness. In Mr Ow's book, it also means "the complete absence of anything annoying, irritating or emotionally overwhelming".

He and his wife housekeep during the weekends to keep clutter at bay.

Even the sight of wires and cables is an eyesore to them.

Mr Ow, a customer marketing executive at a multinational corporation and an action and sci-fi movie buff, painstakingly concealed all electrical wiring and the cables of his home theatre system.

For the renovation, the couple, who have no children, worked with interior designer Jann Low on building furniture that doubled as storage spaces, such as the wooden bay storage by the window in the open-concept study and the pull-out shoe racks under the breakfast counter.

The counter is the first thing visitors see when they enter the 1,184 sq ft Built-To-Order flat. Ms Chow, who describes herself as "a breakfast person", requested a dedicated nook to take her morning meals.

The wall separating the kitchen from the living area was replaced with a framed glass sliding door that opens up the space visually.

Since the couple wanted a clean look and a neutral palette of white and grey interspersed with wood, they opted for a Scandinavian theme with industrial touches, such as having black tracklights and a black frame as a design feature on a white brick wall in the living area.

Ms Chow, a product manager at a beauty company, says: "It adds an interesting twist to the neutral space."

The renovation took three months and the couple kept to their original budget of about $60,000.

The clean and minimalistic look continues into the walk-in wardrobe, which was formerly a guest bedroom. Wood laminate is used for the cupboards, in line with the Scandinavian theme.

The couple, who have been married for two years, spend most of their time in the living area, which also houses the dining and open-concept study spaces.

Says Ms Chow: "This area is designed to be multi-purpose, serving mainly as our study space and an additional seating area when we have gatherings."

While the decor of the living area is restrained, the walls in the master bedroom are deliberately kept bare except for a pair of bedside lamps.

Says Mr Ow: "We wanted to create a warm and cosy atmosphere and also a practical living space to enjoy life's simple pleasures at home after a day of work."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2015, with the headline 'Cables, clutter, begone'. Print Edition | Subscribe