With the help of interior design studio arche°, a plant-loving couple built their own ‘outdoor garden’ right in the middle of their flat.
25 October 2021
Home Type: 4-room HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,001sqft
Text by Redzman Rahmat
Being a tropical garden city, Singapore has more than its fair share of lush green spaces mixed into the urban landscape. And these days, more and more Singaporeans are choosing to bring the beauty of nature into their homes too.
For the plant lovers living in this home, renovating their BTO flat gave them the opportunity to incorporate airy and open spaces, warm wood textures and lots of lush greenery. The initial brief to interior design studio arche° was for a Japandi-styled home, complete with clean lines, minimalist designs and a neutral colour palette.
In order to achieve the bright and airy look, all removable walls have been demolished, making way for more negative space and the natural flow of light and air. Initially, this BTO flat was broken up into “tiny pockets of space” according to designer Denise Koh. But after hacking away the walls, only the structural columns remained.
These remaining columns and beams posed a challenge when it came to creating the sense of openness that the homeowners desired. But instead of concealing the structures the designers decided to embrace them. “We overcame the challenge by making use of them as visual segregation to the different spaces, such as the bedroom and the study,” says Denise.
One of the more impressive design elements in this home is the ‘garden’ area that sits next to the living room. A raised platform and an overhead trellis transforms a traditional tatami room into a unique space that emulates the feeling of being outdoors. And thanks to the large windows, this area is the ideal spot to nurture plants.
In the living room proper, an integrated television feature wall doubles as a display and storage unit. It runs across the hall and into the dining area (the wood laminate cladding even continues into the corridor that leads into the bedrooms), forming a seamless transition within the space. The designers also built the wall panels in a symmetrical grid design that balances out the rest of the interiors.
The design language continues into the kitchen. Despite its small footprint, the designers maximised the space with an open-plan layout that blurs the line between the cooking space and the dining area. Here, the backsplash features patterned mermaid tiles that are both colourful and muted. This is paired with a heat- and scratch-resistant quartz countertop, a striking brass faucet and a concealed downdraft kitchen hood.
Over in the master bathroom, the minimalist Japandi look continues. The ceiling in this compact space also features a trellis, which is a clever way of concealing the toilet plumbing. Coupled with large format wall and floor tiles, the look here is reminiscent of tranquil Japanese bathhouses.
A similar sense of serenity can be found in the open-concept master bedroom. With no doors, walls or bulky wardrobes to constrict this space, the designers combined the study and bedroom into one spacious room with distinct functional zones. The bed itself rests on a raised tatami platform which incorporates plenty of storage spaces.
It’s the owners’ own slice of paradise, set within a Japandi-styled flat.
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