When it came to decking out their Pasir Ris condominium, Mr Mathavan Veloo and Ms Sheela Devi did not let geographical borders get in their way.
From a limited-edition white Le Creuset kettle shipped in from America to a wooden toilet roll- holder from France, the couple trawled the Internet in search for "perfect" appliances and accessories for their new apartment.
Other pieces include customised shelves and mirrors in the bathrooms made of wood salvaged from old fishing boats in Indonesia; a double kitchen sink from the United Kingdom; a food waste disposal unit from the US; and a herd bull skull from Texas that hangs in the balcony.
Mr Mathavan, 45, a systems engineer, says: "There is no limit to what you can buy off the Internet. But it has to fit the look of the apartment. If I see something I want, I'll get it no matter how far it is."
The apartment is a rustic-vintage showpiece with a masculine vibe, with heavy wood accents on wall panels and dark-coloured furniture.
There is no limit to what you can buy off the Internet.
If I see something I want, I'll get it no matter how far it is.
MR MATHAVAN VELOO
The look does not come easy or cheap - the renovation project for the 90 sq m apartment, which took about 10 months, cost them about $350,000. Mr Mathavan had difficulty putting in the food waste disposal unit, more commonly found in American homes. Contractors did not know how to install it.
With a laugh, he says: "Together with the contractors, I had to fix it by watching YouTube."
The living room exudes a masculine feel - a leather Chesterfield sofa that the couple bought 20 years ago takes centre stage, with a dark wooden shelf running the length of the wall behind it.
Suspended above the coffee table is a 35kg piece of wood salvaged from the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Wires are wound around the wood and filament bulbs from America are fitted on it to create a light fixture. Mr Mathavan says: "We wanted a bit of heritage in the home."
For balance, Ms Sheela, 42, who works for a multinational company, wanted some feminine tones. She suggested a Princess chair in the walk-in wardrobe, but her idea clashed with her husband's plan for the room.
She says: "I like the masculine look, but wanted something softer for the wardrobe. But when I saw the final outcome on Instagram and our friends complimented the look, I said 'Okay, pass lah.'"
There is naked wiring in parts of the apartment and the couple, who have no children, are waiting for more furnishings to arrive.
Mr Mathavan says: "I don't want this project to end. It keeps me excited that there's something more to do."
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