THE CHIC APARTMENT

Pipe dream comes true

Raw and rustic wood and metal textures - the key elements of the home - extend to the design of the kitchen (above). The storage in the living space (above) has been customised to look like a series of boxes; the bespoke dining table (left) has built
The storage in the living space (above) has been customised to look like a series of boxes. PHOTOS: VERONICA TAY; ART DIRECTION: DON TAN

Two home owners' love of the New York-loft look is realised in their industrial-chic flat

Looking at Mr Lye Deming and Ms Ho Li Fen's edgy five-room HDB flat in Punggol, it would be easy to mistake it for a home in New York.

Cool charcoal tones, combined with metallic features, create a space that has a full-on industrial feel.

When the couple were looking for inspiration, the style that appealed to them the most was the New York-loft look.

Choosing to work with Mr Kelvin Teo from Space Sense Studio was a natural decision, as they loved the homes he had designed for his other clients.

Ms Ho says: "We worked really well together. Kelvin was open to all our ideas and had plenty of great ideas of his own."


The bespoke dining table (above) has built-in swing stools and complements the apartment’s industrial look.

She says they researched online extensively for the look they wanted and scoured home-decor magazines for ideas.

"We wanted designs that are not commonly seen in Singapore. We visited lots of furniture shops but, in the end, most of the furniture we bought was from overseas."

The renovation process, which took six months and cost $55,000, was purely cosmetic as the couple did not have to do any internal remodelling within their 1,200 sq ft apartment, which they share with their toddler.

Ms Ho says: "We wanted to create a home that was cosy and functional, but unique in design."

The features include the customised shoe cabinets and television console, which look like a series of boxes; the shelves in the dining area and the dining table. These minimalist structures were made to look as sparse as possible.

"Other custom-made details include the 'barn door' to the kitchen as well as the pulley light in the master bedroom," says Ms Ho.


Raw and rustic wood and metal textures – the key elements of the home – extend to the design of the kitchen (above).

"When it came to materials, we wanted lots of metal. This was something we knew Kelvin was quite experienced with - custom- made metalwork.

"We also wanted metal mesh on the living room storage units and sliding doors," she adds.

True to the essence of this decorating style, the colour scheme comprises mainly grey and charcoal tones.

Ms Ho says: "We went for brown, grey, black and white as they match the industrial theme and go well with the white walls."

The couple are delighted with the final outcome.

Mr Lye says: "The design turned out to be functional and easy to maintain. We can host gatherings at our place easily as things can be kept out of sight and the floor area remains spacious.


• This article first appeared in the June issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the July issue (above) now at all newsstands and download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter and Google Play. Also, see

"I love the overall feel of our apartment. Because we helped to design it, it really feels like our home."

• 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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Pipe dream comes true'. Print Edition | Subscribe