THE CHIC APARTMENT

Fired up about Victorian look

(Clockwise from above left) The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room; the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen. Shelving (left) on the feature wall in the living room conceals an
Shelving (above) on the feature wall in the living room conceals an entrance to the guestroom. PHOTOS: THE IVORY LOFT, AZIZ HUSSIN
The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room (above); the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen.
The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room (above); the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen.
(Clockwise from above left) The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room; the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen. Shelving (left) on the feature wall in the living room conceals an
The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room; the common bathroom (above); and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen.
(Clockwise from above left) The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room; the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen. Shelving (left) on the feature wall in the living room conceals an
The owner's black recliner is a contrast to the other white furniture in the living room; the common bathroom; and Ms Felicia Gan in her open-plan kitchen (above).

Home of Kam Yong and Felicia Gan has a mock fireplace grille and white furnishings

Mr Kam Yong and Ms Felicia Gan had first hired Ms T'ea Looi to plan their wedding in 2012.

However, when they saw Ms Looi's home, which she had designed herself, the couple loved it so much that they also entrusted her with the design and renovation of their marital home, a two- bedroom apartment at Chelsea Lodge in Tanjong Katong.

Mr Kam, 38, a regional account manager at a multinational company, and Ms Gan, 33, a corporate relations executive in the oil and gas industry, loved the Victorian style of Ms Looi's two-bedroom condominium apartment and wanted a similar look for their new home.

Ms Looi, 39, owns interior design company The Ivory Loft and no longer plans weddings.

The couple, who have no children, moved into the 1,442 sq ft ground-floor unit in December 2013 after a 21/2-month renovation which cost about $150,000.

One of the first things they did was remove walls to create space for an open-plan kitchen and a bigger living area. Mr Kam says: "The old apartment was dark and looked cramped."

It is now the exact opposite - bright, airy and spacious.

There are two bedrooms, a walk-in wardrobe, a kitchen and separate pantry, a living room, an outdoor yard and a common bathroom.

To get the look, chair rail mouldings were introduced on the walls, which were painted in light blue; and white furniture and furnishings were selected.

Decorative items, such as the kitchen's cast-iron pulley light sourced from the United Kingdom and a replica vintage General Electric electric fan, complete the look.

Visitors step into a tiled doorway, which is separated from the rest of the apartment by French doors that Mr Kam installed to keep out a previous neighbour's second-hand smoke. The doors open up to the kitchen.

Interestingly, the pantry connects to the master bedroom's walk-in wardrobe. Ms Looi explains that this was done so that whoever wakes up first in the morning can go straight into the kitchen after changing without having to open the bedroom door and risk waking the other person up.

The couple added their own touches too. Ms Gan, a Harry Potter fan, has three replica wands displayed in the house. One is in the guest bathroom and the other two flank the French sliding doors of the master bedroom.

Most of the living room furniture was sourced locally from JS Manhattan Interiors in Sin Ming, which specialises in French- inspired mahogany furniture.

The couple preferto keep their belongings out of sight.

A mock fireplace grille conceals their TV set-up boxes and speakers; a shelf in the living room opens up to a guestroom; and the washing machine and dryer are hidden in a cabinet in the yard.

As the kitchen is the couple's favourite spot in the apartment - they regularly host dinners for friends - much thought was put into its design.

An island sits in the centre and, keeping in line with the Victorian look, has white drawers and cabinets that contrast dramatically with the black marble top and the kitchen's dark wood flooring.

The only thing that does not fit in with the Victorian look is Mr Kam's black recliner in the living room, which he bought on classified advertisements website Craigslist for about $500. It comes with a built-in fridge within one of the armrests, but Mr Kam uses the space to keep his PS4 game console controls.

He bought it against the advice of Ms Looi, who felt it did not go with the rest of the furnishings and who still refers to it as "an eyesore".


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Fired up about Victorian look'. Print Edition | Subscribe