The Chic Home: Zen condominium unit is a cat-proof zone

Sleek, simple and handsome, this home is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle outside. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY(PIX)/NONIE CHEN(ART)

SINGAPORE - In the process of finding their home, Eugene and Joslyn looked at 41 for-sale residential units.

The couple, who are both in their 30s and declined to reveal their full names, finally purchased a condominium unit in District 28. At 1,270 sq ft, it is 200 sq ft larger than their previous Build-to-Order Housing Board flat.

Eugene chose the new home after accounting for the property's depreciation and value. He owns a construction company, while his wife works in marketing.

Many of the surfaces in Eugene's previous homes were white with marble veins, so he wanted all dark finishes in his new home. Senior designer Rei Ye from interior design firm Arkhilite helped make this vision a reality.

In their brief, the couple also requested an altar area, a walk-in wardrobe and cat-friendly features for their three Siberian tomcats: Luka, Loki and Benny.

The floor plan of the three-plus-one unit was reworked with the input of the couple's fengshui master. The three-month renovation cost $120,000 and the couple moved into the home in February 2021.

In the original layout, the foyer opened directly to the yard. This opening was closed to make space for an altar. While the former study and its en-suite bathroom are now a storeroom for Eugene's toy collection, among other things, the kitchen entrance has been repositioned for flow.

The entrance to the master bedroom was shifted forward, subsuming the common bedroom into the main suite. This common bedroom was converted into a walk-in wardrobe for the master suite. The original wardrobe area was integrated into the master bathroom,which did away with overhead cabinets in favour of his-and-her sinks.

The enlarged master bathroom did away with the overhead cabinets in favour of mirrors and two sinks so Eugene and Joslyn can prep side by side. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

The original unit's finishes were replaced with a sleek and contemporary palette of dark wood grain laminate, aluminium, fritted glass and large-format stone-look tiles. Materials had to be attractive, easy to maintain and cat-proof. For example, both the headboard's fabric and the dark wood grain laminate from Admira had to pass scratch tests.

The TV is mounted directly onto the laminated wall while the AV accessories are housed on the built-in aluminium shelf. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

The balcony is also cat-proof. Its lower half has railings and smoked-glass panels, and the upper half, steel cables with 5cm gaps.

"I wanted to board the bottom half, but Joslyn said it had to be glass so the cats could see the movement in the landscape," says Eugene.

The living-room sofa from King Living, the dining table from P5 and the custom-made dining chairs were all new. These, too, were selected based on looks, ease of upkeep and cat compatibility.

The false ceiling curves to meet the concrete wall, creating a recess for indirect lighting. PHOTO: VERONTICA TAY

Tying together these elements is the lighting. Dark surfaces make spaces feel smaller and more intimate. The sheen of aluminium and indirect lighting temper the effect in this home, making it feel cosy without being cramped. Sol Luminaire's Line lights cast a soft glow behind the curved false ceiling and recesses on the walls, illuminating the textured finishes.

The curving wall and upholstered headboard soften the overall look of the master bedroom. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

The Onn pendant lights from LAB2.1 by Spanish Brand A by Arturo Alvarez balance the sleekness of the aluminium details and the curves of the laminated walls in the dining room. Line lights are also embedded in the wall niche across the dining area, showcasing Eugene's collection of Kaws Companion figures.

  • This article first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the March 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.

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