An apartment reimagined as a colonial house

Designed by EHKA Studio, this apartment marries the monochromatic beauty of tropical colonial design with modern practicality.

  • An apartment reimagined as a colonial house

Home Type: 3-bedroom + 1 study condominium

Floor Area: 2,100sqft

Text by Disa Tan

The owner of this spacious 2,100-square-foot apartment loved the look of black-and-white colonial bungalows and wanted to replicate the same style in her new high-rise home in central Singapore. The task of reimagining the apartment as a contemporary design interpretation of colonial-era houses was entrusted the EHKA Studio design team which included Hsu Hsia Pin, Eunice Khoo and Amoz Boon.

colonial inspired apartment

A more straightforward part of the brief but just as important was the desire for a clutter-free home. The team shares: “The home had to be practical, not fancy, and at the same time it had to be presentable to guests. We thus explored the concept of dividing the spaces into what is public and what is private, using material cues.”

colonial inspired apartment

The communal space is a shared and unified one, with each specific ‘zone’ flowing into the next effortlessly. “The public and activity areas such as the lift lobby, living and dining areas, dry kitchen and study all have the same marble-tiled flooring, giving a sense of one large continual space for hosting, rather than being read as individual rooms,” says the team.

Pristine white walls contrasted by black veneer finishes in the dry kitchen brings the distinct monochromatic charm of colonial bungalows to mind, especially with the inclusion of rattan bar chairs that recall the sense of the breezy tropics.

Fluted glass doors installed at the dry kitchen and corridor have been put to good use to introduce light, while hiding the sight of clutter. The team adds: “These doors serve to illuminate the dark central spaces, allowing daylight to enter and brighten up these areas.”

Tranquility takes over the living area with a gentle and serene colour scheme of light wood-inspired surfaces and a television console with rattan finishes accented by soft lighting. This pared-back palette serves as a relaxing backdrop for the lady of the house to unwind and entertain at ease.

Along the corridor, fluted glass doors and soothing light tones usher a sense of calm and make for a light-filled journey into the private quarters.

In contrast, the bedroom offers a darker and more intimate atmosphere suited for rest. Dark veneer and rattan finishes are used to dress the headboard console and the team matched it with a dark grey feature wall and blackout curtains to induce a luxuriating sense of privacy. This is balanced with a beautiful whitewashed oak flooring in a herringbone pattern, which the designers say “makes the space feel cosy, quiet and warm to the touch.”

colonial inspired apartment

A similar sense of quiet luxury unfolds in the bathroom, which is richly covered in travertine marble. Mirror cabinets are finished in rattan and black veneer beading and achieve the team’s design objective of creating a personal wellness sanctuary.

colonial inspired apartment

Streamlining all clutter into custom built-ins, such as this study’s full-height storage unit, keeps the minimalist home in a pristine and organised condition. It’s just one of many examples of the care that has gone into meeting both the aesthetic desires and functional requirements laid out by the lady of the house.

EHKA Studio

Photography by Studio Periphery

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colonial inspired apartment


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