SINGAPORE - Going back to interior designer Mark Chen of local studio Artistroom for the look and renovation of their second home was an easy decision for Mr Kevin Wee and Ms Serene Mai, as he had helped them renovate their first home.
The brief for the second home - a 1,400 sq ft executive condominium apartment in Serangoon North - called for a Scandinavian-Bohemian look that provided for the daily routines of the couple, who are in their late 30s and have a seven-year-old daughter.
The quality of materials, such as laminates and the quartz surface, were a priority. "These determine the lifespan of our home furnishings in the long run," says Mr Wee, who declined to reveal his occupation.
The renovation, which cost about $80,000, took eight months because of the circuit breaker, so the family moved in only in September 2020. But the final result was worth it: an airy, bright space clad in both earthy neutrals and warm tones, with enough room for the activities the couple love. Ms Mai styled the home with accessories from Taobao for the final touches.
Mr Chen had this to say about the design and look of the home.
What were the priorities in the design brief?
Besides the Scandi-Boho look, the home owners also wanted separate wet and dry kitchens and a long island, as they enjoy baking and hosting gatherings.
Was the home significantly reconfigured?
Yes. The original layout included a common bedroom and a closed kitchen with a yard. As the home owners wanted separate wet and dry kitchens with an island, we decided to remove one of the existing bedrooms nearest to the living area to make space.
A large kitchen island was on the brief. What were the design considerations?
We incorporated the island, which is also a welcome area for visitors, and the dry kitchen into the living area. This allows for more living space and the pantry, fridge, oven and microwave are accessible.
This open concept introduces more light and air flow, thanks to the spacious balcony at the other end. Behind the dry kitchen is the wet kitchen and yard, which the home owners use for deep-frying and other types of cooking.
How did you achieve the Scandi-Boho theme?
The owners like to dress up their spaces with many textures and colours, furniture and displays, so I used earthy tones, like brown and grey, and a consistent warm oak for the flooring and cabinetry to complement that. For a Boho feel, we added elements like rattan on the door panels.
What design elements did you incorporate for storage?
Next to the kitchen island is a low cabinet with a feature wall clad in fan-shaped marble tiles that serves as a pantry. Behind that is a shoe cabinet with rattan panels on the doors to integrate it into the design. Most of the storage is concealed that way.
How was the furniture chosen?
Mr Wee and Ms Mai are pretty resourceful when it comes to finding the right furniture pieces and displays. They went to great lengths to source every piece. We worked closely with them to stay on the same page when it came to colours and proportions of the furniture so that everything would be cohesive.
Were there any challenges during the design and renovation process?
It was mainly the layout at the beginning where we had to integrate the long island counter, which meant the wet kitchen had to be slightly smaller.
- This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the January 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 the Home & Decor website.