Perfect match

Who lives here: A young couple
Home: Four-room HDB apartment in Sengkang
Size: 970sqf

Max and Dessy are a young couple who are well-acquainted with the art of compromising with each other. It did not take them long to agree on what they absolutely needed for their first marital home, a four-room HDB apartment in Sengkang.

"We mainly wanted necessities such as storage, as well as to avoid clutter and keep things clean and simple," says Dessy.

Where they differed was on how to transform those shared dreams into concrete reality.

Max, a relationship manager, favoured an industrial theme, while Dessy fancied a contemporary-resort look. Their solution was to combine the best bits of these disparate decor styles, with help from designer Kelvin Teo of Space Sense.

Kelvin had no qualms juxtaposing screed walls with wood floors, or a rustic red-brick feature alongside a magazine rack custom-designed to resemble a "punk dog".

The apartment's allure, following a four-month renovation, lies in how its various raw, homespun, and edgy elements are fused to create a space that is both eminently habitable and easy-on-the-eyes.

Next: Making space in a small flat

Couple creates raw and edgy home in Sengkang flat
  • By keeping the furniture low and ensuring ample pockets of empty space, the designer ensured that the living area, awash in a neutral palette of white, grey and wood, felt roomy enough for design to take the spotlight.
  • The designer played up the couple's passion for entertainment and karaoke. He gave the furnishings a music theme, with a customised wood-and-metal dining table that resembles a cassette tape.
  • As the couple
often entertains large
groups of friends,
Kelvin created plenty of
seating zones – with the
sofa, around the dining
table and by the island
in the adjoining kitchen.
  • Seemingly suspended from a cable but really attached to the crate-box cabinet, the i-beam amplifies the industrial theme while creating ledge space for condiments.
  • Max likes black, but
the colour had to be
used judiciously to
prevent the kitchen
from appearing too
dark. Screed walls lend
an industrial edge.
  • A crate cabinet by
the entrance to the
common bathroom
provides extra space
for toiletries.
  • The couple preferred a
white sleeping space,
which provides a more
serene feel.
  • An
unusual bookshelf made
from spray-painted
metal pipes doesn’t
take up any floor space.
  • Asymmetrical
criss-crossing timber
strips on the laminate
cabinets in the master
bedroom make them
more interesting.
  • The door to the master
bathroom is “hidden”
within the wall of
cabinetry and features
racks for towels and
clothing at the back.

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