Mr Choo Chin Nian lives and breathes design.
The creative head of National Gallery Singapore believes strongly in Japanese design philosophy, particularly that of Mr Kenya Hara, lifestyle brand Muji's creative director.
It is not so much about minimalism, but rather about starting each design process on a blank slate and finding a strong core that informs the rest of the design.
This was how Mr Choo approached his renovation, which cost $40,000, for his three-room Housing Board resale flat in Bedok.
"For the basics of the home, I looked to Muji for inspiration and used Adobe Illustrator to draw everything to scale," says the 40-year-old bachelor.
"After stripping all non-structural walls, I worked on (a core element): a second-hand turntable set on a pastel blue steel-and-plywood shelf. This pastel hue, as well as inspiration from one of my favourite brands, (Danish furniture and home accessories brand) Hay, influenced the colour scheme of my kitchen and accessories."
On why he has a turntable set, Mr Choo says: "I used to deejay at a bar. It has since closed down and I thought, 'If you can't go to the bar, why not bring the bar to you?' My friends often come by to play at the turntables."
Another major element of the design of his home is a voluminous two-sided plywood wardrobe that is connected to the platform living room as well as the master bedroom. This configuration was planned so that the living room can easily be converted into another bedroom.
The renovation of the 753 sq ft apartment took three months, with "lots of trial and error, down to the colour temperature of the lights". He moved in in April last year.
His advice to home owners who want to undertake their own renovation?
First, know what you want, down to the very last detail. Then take a hands-on approach - he visited the site every day. And lastly, find a contractor who not only does good work, but can also communicate clearly with you.
• This article first appeared in the May issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
• Get the July 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