The Chic Home: Colourful condo home with art gallery vibe

The renovation took six weeks and cost $40,000 for carpentry and painting. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY/ART DIRECTION BY NONIE CHEN

SINGAPORE - "Let's make it colourful," said Ms Elaine Seak to her husband Bryan Lim when they decided to buy a four-room, 1,044 sq ft condominium unit near the Lavender area.

The couple in their 40s and their two daughters, who are aged four and six, had previously lived in a Build-to-Order Housing Board unit in Yew Tee with a quirky, vintage industrial style.

For the new home, they wanted to go bolder and brighter.

"I found the monochromatic modern style, where everything is straight and square, boring," says Ms Seak, a medical device sales professional. Her husband works in wholesale and retail. "We wanted it to have an art gallery vibe."

They engaged local design firm The Scientist to realise their vision. Ms Krystle Teoh, the interior designer who helmed the project, says the couple asked for "colours, curves and no cookie-cutter elements".

They also wanted to retain the unit's original layout, to avoid hacking and to have ample storage space.

The renovation took six weeks and cost $40,000 for carpentry and painting. The result is a home with curvy elements and jewel tones that is cosy and welcoming.

As the couple had sold their old house with all its furniture, they started buying new pieces before moving into the home at the end of 2019.

The living and dining area's colour scheme is built around a quirky Bubble sofa from French brand Roche Bobois. Complementing the sofa are an Acorn pendant light from Million Lighting, custom carpentry in the dining room, and arches framing the entrance to the yard and the corridor leading to the bedrooms.

Ms Teoh and her team layered the curves over the existing walls and turned the gaps into storage spaces.

The dining space has a teal and navy blue finish with a yellow nook that houses a Dyson fan. A teal storage bench, magenta dining chairs and a custom granite dining table complete the look.

At 3.3m, the lofty ceiling, painted pink, is made all the more grand by surface-mounted lighting.

The cheerful colour scheme continues into the bedrooms. The master bedroom has a custom headboard and colour-blocking with teal, aubergine, yellow and orange on the wall and floor-to-ceiling wardrobe.

The master bedroom (left) and the study. PHOTOS: VERONICA TAY/ART DIRECTION BY NONIE CHEN

The girls' bedroom is pale pink and grey, and has a custom wall decal from e-tailer Etsy.

The colour palette of the study ties the rooms together. It has a long terrazzo desk and a mural whose geometric shape is integrated into the wall-mounted storage.

The kitchen and bathroom were untouched.

A peek into the yard area with Cole & Son wallpaper that adds visual interest while doing the chores. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY/ART DIRECTION BY NONIE CHEN

The yard, on the other hand, was overhauled. Hidden inside the archway of the dining room's carpentry, it has a brushed-gold drying rack for clothes and a wall covered with Fruto Proibito wallpaper, depicting monkeys eating pomegranates, from British brand Cole & Son.

"The yard is usually a forgotten spot, but I wanted it to be a little fancy so one has something to look at while doing chores," says Ms Seak.

•This article first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the September 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

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