A slice of Japanese minimalism in a resale condo

Darwin Interior’s calming approach to the style and design of this young couple’s home yields a dreamy escape from everyday life.

  • A slice of Japanese minimalism in a resale condo

Home Type: 3-bedroom condominium unit

Floor Area: 1,022sqft

Text by Disa Tan

Serving a tranquil union of Japandi, minimalist and wabi-sabi styles, this resale condo is befitting of its homeowners yearning for a comforting home. “They are busy professionals,” says the Darwin Interior design team tasked to create a peaceful haven for them. Besides a pared-back design, they also specified an open-concept kitchen and a walk-in wardrobe.

resale condo Japanese minimalism

Their approach to the brief was to create a calm and coherent aesthetic that flows through the entire home. A neutral and low-maintenance material palette comprising laidback colours for the backdrop was introduced. Serene notes of wood and limewash come through respectively from the vinyl flooring and wall paint treatment in the living area.

resale condo Japanese minimalism

Another low-maintenance material that the designers chose is sintered stone with a travertine-inspired design. It has been implemented as countertops for the kitchen island and pantry. “We deliberated on using real travertine but decided to go with the sintered stone alternative because it is easier to maintain,” says the team.

A reconfiguration for the existing kitchen ensued when the designers realised it was too small and that the female homeowner wanted to bake at home. “We hacked the wall and turned the space into an open-plan kitchen,” says the team. They then relocated the oven to the pantry area so that the homeowner could easily bake and prep her baked confections using the adjacent island counter.

After a much-needed reconfiguration, this frees up crucial space in the kitchen. The new open-concept and expanded layout makes it as versatile as possible, as the homeowners can cook, relax and entertain company all at the same time.

Another chill-out zone for the homeowners to enjoy slow mornings is the balcony. Placing a six-seater table at the balcony and having it in close proximity to the indoor living area makes it a lot more guest-friendly.

The minimalist style is prominent through the hidden doorways of the common bathroom and study room. Both entrances are concealed seamlessly along the walkway, as part of the shoe cabinet. The team remarked that they were not keen on the look of the entrances being visible as it was right next to the main door, therefore they wanted it hidden instead.

The designers reveal that the layout of the master bedroom and a common bedroom have been altered. They say: “We shifted the entrance of the master bedroom outwards and nearer to the communal zones so that the common bedroom turned walk-in wardrobe could be incorporated within it.”

Sliding doors in rattan embrace the walk-in wardrobe with a natural materiality and a good dose of the soothing Japandi aesthetic.

At the heart of the wardrobe is a vanity table with a pole-mounted mirror. Shrouded by pull-out shelves on one end, this thoughtful storage detail by the designers brings easy access to the wardrobe contents.

resale condo Japanese minimalism

Limewash walls paired with a travertine-look laminate headboard draw out an intimately crafted and bespoke environment for the master bedroom. Choosing a curved padded bedhead brings a softness that complements the stone-look elements brilliantly.

To keep to the friendly budget of $65,000 for the 10-week renovation of this resale condo, the designers overlaid some of the walls in both bathrooms with tiles instead of hacking it.

resale condo Japanese minimalism

They add: “The master bathroom was overlaid with new flooring tiles to refresh the look, as the previous tiles were too yellowish.” New bathroom fittings and fixtures such as a new rainshower set, a wall-hung WC and warm mood lighting carve out a relaxing master bathroom perfect for moments of pause.

Darwin Interior

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