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Hock Hoon and the art of crafting timeless homes

As a boutique-style, interior design and carpentry studio, Hock Hoon builds well-crafted homes that stand the test of time.

Text by Janice Seow

Interior designer Ng Ci En believes that the best homes aren’t ones that look like they’ve come off a glossy magazine. Rather, they are well-crafted and timeless spaces that take into account the nuances of how their occupants live: their lifestyle, habits, idiosyncrasies and such.

Hock Hoon
(From left) Hock Hoon’s master craftsman Ng Chin Hock and interior designer Ng Ci En

“I believe that as designers, we need to listen to our clients and understand the way they live. This is our starting point from where we design with consideration to space, aesthetics and ergonomics,” says Ci En, who runs the interior design arm at Hock Hoon, a boutique-style design and carpentry studio that was started by Ci En’s father, master craftsman Ng Chin Hock, as a woodworking workshop almost 30 years ago.

Hock Hoon
Since the owners of this tiny 517sqft apartment don’t often watch TV, interior designer Ng Ci En did away with a TV console in favour of a slim ledge. It comes with functional drawers and includes an extendable section for the owners’ projector

Having helped out at his father’s carpentry workshop since he was a young boy in school, Ci En has seen firsthand how quality workmanship, attention to detail, and personalised service set the important foundations for a successful bespoke carpentry business. These same principles continue to strongly inform the way he approaches each and every interior project today.

Hock Hoon
This simple counter made from EDL Compact panels serves as a great multifunctional surface for meals and to get work done

The interior designer is particularly inspired by Japanese architecture and design. He says: “I love the way the Japanese design their space, adapting it to their lifestyle and space limitations in a minimalist and non-decorative way.”

Hock Hoon
Empty spaces can become focal points. Here, mini cantilevered shelves serve as a subtle display for plants

In Singapore, where space is a premium and compact homes are the norm, Ci En’s expertise lies in crafting creative, timeless and space-efficient solutions that are well suited to small space living. His projects are often minimalist in character where simplicity and uncluttered interiors underscore the architectural features of the space and allow beautiful details to come to the fore.

Hock Hoon
The wall separating the bedroom from the living area has been replaced by glass sliding doors, which helps to open up the apartment and make it feel more spacious

One of Ci En’s greatest enjoyment in the whole design and renovation process are the positive reactions from clients at the end of a project. “That ‘wow’ expression from clients at handover, that’s the moment I’m waiting for,” Ci En shares.

Hock Hoon
The minimalist bedroom features a no-frills bedside ledge and headboard

Hock Hoon’s uniquely integrated carpentry and interior design service means the firm can ensure exacting standards are met from design all the way through to carpentry fabrication and final delivery of a project. As a family-run, boutique studio where the design arm is led by Ci En and the carpentry workshop by his father, Chin Hock, communication between the designer and master craftsman is clear, seamless and efficient. Every project is undertaken personally by the father and son team, so a client’s home is realised exactly the way it’s been envisioned.

Hock Hoon

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