Warm lighting and neutral hues make this a chic yet cosy apartment to live and entertain in.
8 June 2018
Text Angela Low
Images courtesy of 7 Interior Architecture
Reno cost: $215,000
Take one look at this stylish three-bedroom condominium apartment at Balmoral Park, and you would never imagine that it used to be a drab and dated space. Home to a couple, Jeremy and Juliette, and their two young daughters, the inviting interior exudes a warmth that can make any guest feel instantly at home. It is thus no surprise that it clinched the top spot as Best Space for Entertaining at Lookbox Design Awards 2017.
Led by Howard Wee of 7 Interior Architecture, the $215,000 facelift introduced a neutral palette with a charming mix of light and dark wood tones in the living room. It also opened up the common areas, and bathed them in plenty of natural light. One of the biggest changes made to the apartment is the removal of the wall between the dining space and the kitchen, which “was depressingly dark”, Howard says. Not only does this open design visually expand the common areas, it also enhances flow and accessibility – crucial with dinner parties being a common affair in this household.
An island counter now sits where the partition used to be, serving as an additional seating area for guests. Likewise, a marble bench, placed between the couch and the dining table, helps to accommodate larger gatherings. The highlight of the room (and of the whole house, in fact) goes to the oak feature wall by the dining table. A masterstroke that epitomises the marriage of form and function, it houses the air-conditioning unit at the top, hides the common bathroom entrance on the right, and provides storage compartments at the sides. More than just a display nook for Jeremy’s whisky collection, the centre bar counter also doubles as an extra tabletop.
Designed around the multiple odd recesses in the original structure, the storage wall features alternating wood patterns that fulfill both stylistic and practical needs. Howard explains: “To allow cool air circulation from the concealed air-con, a sense of rhythmic movement was articulated with timber strips.” This texture is echoed through the entire design to give a more well-rounded look. Other surfaces such as the nook in the living room’s ceiling were also evened out to create a smoother canvas.
Travertine Classico, a natural stone material used for the living room floor, TV feature wall, and kitchen island countertop, lends a touch of luxe to the lounge area. It complements the wood finishes without being too overpowering. The furniture, from the Scandinavian-style Eames dining chairs to the off-white sofa from Space Furniture, is also kept simple with monochrome and copper accents. Thanks to the many layers of wall washers, mood and cove lighting, the designer was able to create the perfect ambience to match the soothing interiors.
Venture further into the residence, and the colour scheme takes on deeper shades with dark wood tables and shelves in the master bedroom, and a black marble vanity top in the bathroom. While it retained the original wood flooring, the bedroom’s layout had to be reconfigured. “The location of the wardrobe in the master bedroom made it look smaller with less usable space,” says Howard, who managed to maximise the footprint to include display shelving.
Completed over a period of 20 weeks, the makeover certainly brought life into the old condominium flat, transforming it into not just the ideal place for the family to call home, but also a cosy yet communal environment for others to feel at home in.
7 Interior Architecture
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