Naval architecture graduate Jay Chia has always had an interest in design and an eye for detail, so when it came to designing his own home, he knew what he wanted - a cosy, contemporary-style space with dark hues and earthy tones, even if the apartment was only 604 sq ft.
Because the space is extremely limited, Mr Chia extended the living area of the one-bedroom condominium apartment in Alexandra into the semi-outdoor patio.
He replaced the bay window in the bedroom with a sliding door for more light and ventilation, as well as easier access to the patio.
The hands-on home owner created the impressive green wall in the patio as a do-it-yourself project.
"I bought 1,000 pots of artificial plants from Ikea and displayed them in the supporting frames that I built," says the bachelor, who is in his 30s.
The six-month-long renovation cost $50,000, including furnishings.
His initial idea was to use real plants, but as he travels often for work, he knew he could not maintain them.
Nonetheless, he has a corner dedicated to easy-to-maintain real plants, including herbs such as rosemary, which he uses in his cooking.
The teak bench in the outdoor area was customised by a contractor and Mr Chia installed an automated awning to prevent his cushions and other furniture - such as the coffee table from Grafunkt and Normann Copenhagen outdoor seats - from getting drenched.
For the apartment's interior, he had the television cabinet custom- built to display his favourite knick-knacks, cookbooks and Bang & Olufsen speakers.
He also kept his bedroom simple, using Marimekko fabric as artwork positioned within a black frame that takes the place of a headboard.
The bathroom stands out with the use of deep-blue tiles that add colour to this intimate space, proving that not everything has to be light and bright in a small space.
•This article first appeared in the November issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
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