The Chic Apartment

Nature inspired this Punggol flat's design

Ms Jessica Koh's (left, with her mother Sally Tan) five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen, while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, lend a funky touch.
Ms Jessica Koh's (left, with her mother Sally Tan) five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen, while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, lend a funky touch.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Ms Jessica Koh's (left, with her mother Sally Tan) five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen, while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, lend a funky touch.
Ms Jessica Koh's five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen (above), while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, lend a funky touch.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Ms Jessica Koh's five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen, while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift (above), lend a funky touch.
Ms Jessica Koh's five-room HDB flat has plenty of wooden surfaces and a glass-enclosed kitchen, while pop art representations of cultural icons, such as Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift (above), lend a funky touch.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A simple yet warm theme, using white walls and wooden surfaces, lends a neutral and natural vibe to Ms Jessica Koh's flat

It was not until Ms Jessica Koh first viewed her Build-To-Order flat in Punggol that she realised she had more than a new apartment - she also had a priceless view.

Her 110 sq m five-room Housing Board flat sits right on the edge of Punggol Waterway Park and looks out onto a quiet patch of green dotted with small trees.

The proximity to nature inspired the clean and bright design of the interior, with its white walls and wooden surfaces.

Ms Koh, 36, a business development manager, moved in with her parents last year after a two-month, $65,000 renovation. The project was helmed by Mr Eloycois Er, principal designer at local interior design firm Erstudio.

"Because the house is close to nature, I chose a look that was simple yet warm," she says. Walls and cabinets were kept unpretentious so that they would not compete with the view.

Mr Er adds: "We decided to tone everything down because it would have been a waste to kill the view by amplifying the features inside the apartment too much.

"The ceiling and walls are white so that helps brighten the home up and make it look bigger".

Complementing the neutral palette are Tiffany-blue accents. Ms Koh found Eames chairs in the shade she wanted for her dining table at furniture store Xtra. "The good thing about this apartment is that you can always change out the colours. Recently, I've decided I kind of like pink. Every colour goes with wood, so it's very versatile," she says.

But her pad is not overly girly.

A My Moon My Mirror coffee table designed by Diesel, which resembles a partially obscured moon surface, as well as a rug that looks spattered with paint lend an edge to the living room.

Pop art representations of cultural icons, including Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift, purchased at a steal from Bangkok's Chatuchak market, adorn the hallway.

"They are all powerful females to inspire me," says Ms Koh, who plans to add to the collection when she next visits the Thai capital.

However, the kitchen and bedrooms have been kept monochromatic.

Ms Koh's mother, Madam Sally Tan, a 62-year-old sales executive, cooks regularly, so the kitchen was enclosed with glass panels. These allow the flat to retain its sense of space and light.

Ms Koh occupies the master bedroom, which is decorated in calming tones of white and grey so that "I can just come home and chill out".

She also relaxes by painting at an easel, set up by the window in the living room.

"When I saw this view, I thought I would get inspired," she says. One of her paintings, depicting a tree- lined pathway, is on display in her bedroom.

Next to the easel, her Netherlands dwarf rabbit, Yoi, has pride of place in a cage almost as well decorated as the flat - it comes with natural wood resting areas and balls of straw.

Her love of animals and nature is also reflected in cushions with bunny ears and wolf prints. "I wanted a look that was natural, which I would feel happy coming home to," says Ms Koh.

•If you have a Housing Board flat or condominium apartment you would like featured, e-mail your pictures, with the header, The Chic Apartment, to stlife@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2017, with the headline 'Come home to nature'. Print Edition | Subscribe