Working wonders with wood and rattan

Light and texture combine in award-winning 'Japandi'-style apartment in Paterson Road

The interior design of this four-room, 2,228 sq ft apartment in Paterson Road began with a simple brief from owners Kang Hien, a 43-year-old pilot, and his wife, a 41-year-old civil servant.

"With two growing children, we needed plenty of storage. My wife and two kids are also avid readers, so reading nooks around the home are a plus. We also wanted to incorporate the use of rattan," says Mr Kang.

He hired Mr Hsu Hsia Pin, a partner at architectural practice EHKA Studio who also designed the family's previous home. A lookbook which the couple put together from books, the Internet and their travel snaps helped Mr Hsu create a space that blended Japanese light wood and Scandinavian furniture.

The result: an elegant apartment that won the silver award for Best Residential Design Apartment (2,001 sq ft and over) at the Interior Design Confederation Singapore's 2021 Design Excellence Awards.

Instead of built-in cabinets, the entryway has a screen panel that offers plenty of shoe and bag storage.

The living room has decorative shelves, which frame the view of the space. This framing concept appears in the bedrooms too, Mr Hsu says.

The white oak and rattan in the frames tie the spaces together for an airier look, especially with light filtering through the rattan - a material chosen for its textured, lightweight nature.

Most of the apartment's original layout and flooring were preserved, but the dining area underwent extensive renovations.

The dry kitchen was removed and the freed-up space is now part of a larger dining area that is the centre of the home. There is a mini pantry on one side and a reading corner created from a built-in bay sofa seat.

"We created a 'wooden box' to celebrate the central space within the home," says Mr Hsu. "There are richly textured wood finishes on the walls, floor and ceiling around the dining area."

The master bedroom is bright and airy like the rest of the apartment. Even its wardrobe features arched rattan doors that let in light and ventilation.

The renovations, which was disrupted by the circuit breaker in 2020, took almost three months and cost $180,000, plus another $50,000 for furniture and fittings. The family moved into the home in July 2020.

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

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2022, with the headline Working wonders with wood and rattan. Subscribe