SINGAPORE - "It is important your home reflects your character," say owners Lindy Lin and Denice Chua of this five-room Housing Board flat in Jurong West. And theirs, filled with vintage souvenirs from their travels, toys and other mementoes, does exactly that.
The owners, who are in their 30s, called on Ms Carmen Tang, design director of home-grown boutique design studio Wolf Woof, to create a cosy abode that caters to their differing preferences: a love of a lighter palette versus a penchant for punchy hues and black accents.
A key feature is the decorative cement breeze-block at the entrance that pays homage to Ms Lin's Peranakan heritage on her grandmother's side. Beyond it is the kitchen with glass accordion doors that let light in, lend a sense of openness and keep cooking fumes away from the rest of the home.
The combined living and dining area is spacious but irregularly shaped. Interestingly, its angles gel smoothly with the eclectic, playful vibe of the decor.
"Working around the odd layout was one of the main challenges," Ms Tang points out. "Built-in furnishings were kept minimal to keep the place from feeling cramped."
Thoughtfully placed furniture and a divider help demarcate the different areas in the open layout of the 1,185 sq ft home. The pair moved in after a three-month renovation, which set them back by $62,000, including the furniture.
The neutral base palette is punched up with a cheerful mix of patterned rugs, bright cushions, movie posters and shelves of toys.
One's gaze is instantly drawn to a sculptural wooden swing chair from shopping website Taobao that sits in one of the home owners' favourite spot.
The home is also brimming with vintage finds, including an old projector that used to belong to a relative , a red letterbox from an antique shop in Haji Lane and an antique Siemens Brothers & Co telephone on the wall.
"I bought that from London's Portobello Road Market in 2013 and it still works. The customs officer thought it was a bomb as I'd stuffed it into my backpack," recalls Ms Lin, a corporate sales manager, with a laugh.
What was previously a walkway with a built-in wardrobe that led to the master bedroom is now a cosy study that provides the pair with more opportunities to showcase their massive toy collection in two display cabinets.
The new master bedroom is dressed in soothing mint and light wood, and is simply but tastefully furnished with a curated selection of quirky finds, including a superhero robot-inspired lamp from Kickstarter.
When it comes to building a home you love, the owners say: "It is important to be on the same page as the designer. You also have to be prepared to scrap things that aren't cost-effective and be flexible. We were initially into the mid-century modern look, but changed things up to fit our tastes.
"Talk to your partner and be open to ideas. If you're stubborn, you'll wind up with a home that looks like everyone else's."
Photography VEE CHIN art direction KRISTY QUAH
This article first appeared in the October 2020 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the November and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at www.homeanddecor.com.sg