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Charm of luxe contrasts

(Left) The master suite features fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone. (Above) Well-known furniture pieces dot the living room, such as the Bart Daybed by Bart Schilder and the Love Sofa High Back by Marcel Wanders, both for Mooo
A customised "Shou Sugi Ban" suar wood dining table takes centre stage in the dining room and is paired with seats from the About A Chair series by Hee Welling.PHOTOS: ARCHITOLOGY INTERIORS, SPH MAGAZINES
(Left) The master suite features fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone. (Above) Well-known furniture pieces dot the living room, such as the Bart Daybed by Bart Schilder and the Love Sofa High Back by Marcel Wanders, both for Mooo
Well-known furniture pieces dot the living room, such as the Bart Daybed by Bart Schilder and the Love Sofa High Back by Marcel Wanders, both for Moooi.PHOTOS: ARCHITOLOGY INTERIORS, SPH MAGAZINES
(Left) The master suite features fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone. (Above) Well-known furniture pieces dot the living room, such as the Bart Daybed by Bart Schilder and the Love Sofa High Back by Marcel Wanders, both for Mooo
The master suite features fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone.PHOTOS: ARCHITOLOGY INTERIORS, SPH MAGAZINES

Minimalist spaces in this semi-detached house get dramatic with materials and furnishings

Home owners Kevin Tham and Peggy Toh bought this semi-detached property in Holland Road about seven years ago, but rented it out as they were living in Hong Kong, where Mr Tham was posted to for work.

After 11 years in Hong Kong, they returned to Singapore and embarked on a major renovation project that redefined the spaces to create a family home tailored to their needs.

The couple, who are in their 40s and work in the finance industry, live here with their two teenage sons.

The family moved into the home in December 2017 after a 10-month renovation, whose cost the home owners decline to reveal.

Mr Tham says: "We wanted something that was Japanese minimalist, clean and contemporary."

For Mr Bu Shukun, founder and design director of design consultancy Architology Interiors, the design intent was to transform the rooms into proper family spaces and sculpt a spatial sequence that flows through the entire house.

  • (Left) The master suite features fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone. (Above) Well-known furniture pieces dot the living room, such as the Bart Daybed by Bart Schilder and the Love Sofa High Back by Marcel Wanders, both for Mooo

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

    • Get the May and latest issue of Home & Decor (above) 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.homeand decor.com.sg

Along with catering to the clients' brief, he incorporated elements that gave the 4,284 sq ft home a touch of luxury reminiscent of that in six-star hotels.

The result is an interesting juxtaposition of style and aesthetics.

"It is a dwelling that has the luxury of hotels within a simple home. It combines a tranquil ryokan with dramatic materials, as well as contemporary minimalist spaces with statement furnishing pieces," says Mr Bu.

This concept of "opposites" comes through immediately when guests enter the home.

A strong linear axis defined by a strip of teak floor and echoed by a dark walnut ceiling leads from the main entrance straight through to the pool at the other end of the house.

Instead of dividing the house into two, this axis "stitches" the open plan together and heightens the lateral connections that arise from crossing between the teak floor and the adjacent grey Grigio Carnico marble with its noticeable veining.

A similar approach that combines a strong axis and articulated materials is applied to the master suite.

The axis here is conceived as a "master catwalk", a dramatic walkway flanked by an open-concept bath with views of the pool on one side and the sleeping area and walk-in wardrobe on the other.

Spaces within the master suite are organised around this axis, bringing together a palette comprising fabric panels, Orobico marble, dark walnut and grey stone.

Mr Bu adopted an "inside-out" strategy when conceptualising the various spaces.

"In re-crafting the home, we wanted the interior spaces to communicate with the architecture and to correspond visually and functionally with the site," he says.

The entire first storey was opened up to create a flow from the front garden to the living room, then on to the dining area and dry kitchen beside the pool.

One corner of the living room can open fully to the garden and deck to form a seamless space that is perfect for entertaining.

The spatial flow also occurs vertically. A bedroom on the second storey was removed to carve out a double-volume void that visually connects the master suite and the sons' bedroom on the second storey with the dining area on the first.

Mr Tham and Ms Toh's first family home after relocating back to Singapore is a labour of love. Though it turned out quite differently from what was envisioned, they are pleased.

Mr Tham says: "Shukun guided us through the entire process. We took the time to develop a deeper understanding of his design proposal and came to appreciate its finer nuances."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Charm of luxe contrasts'. Print Edition | Subscribe