Chic Apartment: Clean, cool, classic

Mr Dave Siah and Ms Wendy Koh (both above) shopped overseas for accessories for their home, such as a $800 standing light (above left) from Bangkok. A six-seater wood table (left), the centrepiece in the dining room, lets the family of four lounge ar
A six-seater wood table (above), the centrepiece in the dining room, lets the family of four lounge around the dining table while they watch television. PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Mr Dave Siah and Ms Wendy Koh (both above) shopped overseas for accessories for their home, such as a $800 standing light (above left) from Bangkok. A six-seater wood table (left), the centrepiece in the dining room, lets the family of four lounge ar
Mr Dave Siah and Ms Wendy Koh (both above) shopped overseas for accessories for their home, such as a $800 standing light (above left) from Bangkok.
Mr Dave Siah and Ms Wendy Koh (both above) shopped overseas for accessories for their home, such as a $800 standing light (above left) from Bangkok. A six-seater wood table (left), the centrepiece in the dining room, lets the family of four lounge ar
The master bedroom (above) and its reading-study corner, which is marked by a white frame.
Mr Dave Siah and Ms Wendy Koh (both above) shopped overseas for accessories for their home, such as a $800 standing light (above left) from Bangkok. A six-seater wood table (left), the centrepiece in the dining room, lets the family of four lounge ar
The master bedroom and its reading-study corner (above), which is marked by a white frame.

Dave Siah and Wendy Koh furnished their three-bedroom apartment with accessories bought overseas

When it comes to decorating their apartment, married couple Dave Siah and Wendy Koh are like yin and yang - he prioritises looks in their furniture, she comfort and practicality.

Ms Koh, a 40-year-old housewife, says they "balance each other out" when they go shopping and end up picking pieces that tick both their boxes.

Mr Siah, 43, who is a retail sales consultant, says: "I don't have a fixed style, but I like the designs I choose for my home to be evergreen.

"It has to be classic so that it stands the test of time."

In five months, their three- bedroom condominium unit in Balestier went from dank to swanky as the couple, who have two children aged 10 and seven, experimented with a variety of furnishings and mixed different materials together.

They worked with interior designer Alex Kwan from Museum Homes and completed the renovation in January.

The renovation, furniture and accessories cost them $150,000. Much of it went into overhauling the 14-year-old 1,420 sq ft home, which was still in its original condition when they bought it.

Ms Koh says: "The apartment was very dark and a lot of the fixtures were worn out. It looked really dated, so we wanted it done up."

A six-seater wood table is the centrepiece in the dining room, which is the first area guests step into. The dining area adjoins the living room.

The open-concept space allows the family to hang around the table while they watch television or have more space to entertain guests in.

To demarcate the two spaces, the dining room floor is covered with wood-grain ceramic tiles while the living room floor is marble.

Mr Siah says: "I've always wanted a living room with marble flooring. It has a beautiful grain and the material has always been popular, even as far back as the 1940s and through the 1960s. It will always be in style."

The master bedroom, too, received a massive makeover. Its bay window was remade into a usable space - a reading-study corner with a chic, white "frame".

The bathtub in the adjoining toilet was removed to make space for a large sink with double taps.

Ms Koh jokes: "Now we save time and don't need to fight over who goes first."

On their travels overseas, they picked up cool and quirky accessories for their home, such as a book-like light fixture from Hong Kong which glows brightly when it is opened.

Mr Siah says Bangkok is also a great place to shop for furniture and lifestyle wares. "Thai designers have a sleek and clean aesthetic, which is similar to mine. And the prices are quite easy on the pocket too."

The couple took their time furnishing their home, instead of buying all the pieces at one go.

Ms Koh says: "We wanted to get a feel of our home and see what needed to be added. It was one thing at a time."


• If you have an HDB flat or condominium apartment you would like featured, e-mail Life with pictures, with the header The Chic Apartment, at stlife@sph.com.sg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Clean, cool, classic'. Print Edition | Subscribe