The Chic Home

Mirror, mirror on my walls

The concrete screed floor gives the flat an industrial vibe, which is complemented by a contemporary sofa and sleek tinted mirror doors.
The concrete screed floor gives the flat an industrial vibe, which is complemented by a contemporary sofa and sleek tinted mirror doors.PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: KAFFY TAN
The home owners bought two concrete tables from home-grown furniture store Castlery and joined them to make one long dining table - perfect for hosting guests.
The home owners bought two concrete tables from home-grown furniture store Castlery and joined them to make one long dining table - perfect for hosting guests.PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: KAFFY TAN
Horizontally placed laminates lengthen the bedroom visually, making the area feel spacious.
Horizontally placed laminates lengthen the bedroom visually, making the area feel spacious.PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: KAFFY TAN
Knick-knacks, books and camera equipment are among some items housed in the study.
Knick-knacks, books and camera equipment are among some items housed in the study.PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: KAFFY TAN

Contrasting styles - industrial versus contemporary - are reflected in this Toa Payoh flat, thanks to some clever ideas

Despite the concrete screed floor and concrete-look finish of the carpentry, this four-room Housing Board flat in Toa Payoh is warm and inviting.

The ambient lighting and assortment of soft furnishings, as well as statement decor pieces, have infused the 1,200 sq ft apartment with the fun personality and warmth of the married home owners - hedge fund manager Raphael Foo and writer-director Annette Lee, both in their 20s.

An antique gramophone from India sits atop the foyer's shoe cabinet, while a neon sign that says "shine bright" lights up the dining table.

The home owners, who love to play host, also wanted a space they could work in and be creative.

However, as their design preferences differed, they decided to engage home-grown Studio Zync to bring the styles together, as well as transform the apartment into a chic abode that suits their lifestyle.

Studio Zync also helped to source furniture and lighting.

The couple spent $100,000 on the renovation, which took seven months, and furnishings. They moved in in October 2017.

What are the different interior styles in your home?

While Raphael is into clean lines, metallic finishes and contemporary design, I like an industrial and vintage look with pops of colour.

You will see that in the way I dress too - I add colour or a statement pair of earrings to go with my outfits.

Our collection of knick-knacks is also a mash-up of things we like: The quirky, handmade items are mine, whereas the more posh and sleek pieces are his.

How did you fuse the different styles?

Our designer chose Danish and Scandinavian-style elements, which bridged the two looks well. These include dark-wood dining chairs and light-wood vinyl in the bedrooms.

The final look is something that allows us to layer easily, especially with cushions, rugs and paintings.

You requested that your home not look like a conventional HDB flat.

Yes, so we reconfigured the layout of the home and created a concealed effect with the bedroom doors.

We not only made the guestroom smaller - to make space for a long master bathroom vanity with double sinks - but also changed its walls to glass.

There was also a storeroom which we merged with the master bedroom to make it a bigger space with a walk-in wardrobe.

The credit goes to my designer, who managed to keep the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and left no dead space.

Tell us more about the concealed elements of the home.

Raphael likes "secret" doors, not only for the surprise element but also to create a space that looks neater.

The seamless effect, of the tinted mirror doors that lead to the bedroom, was complemented by handle-less kitchen cabinetry and hidden storage.

There is storage under the built-in dining bench, below the breakfast counter and in the platform below the bed.

In the same vein, the ambient light which frames the dining space is a surprise element that is also functional.

• This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.

(Left) The concrete screed floor gives the flat an industrial vibe, which is complemented by a contemporary sofa and sleek tinted mirror doors. (Above) The home owners bought two concrete tables from home-grown furniture store Castlery and joined the

• Get the June 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 www.homeanddecor.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'Mirror, mirror on my walls'. Print Edition | Subscribe