Culture can be preserved in many different ways, from participating in various traditions to revelling in the many kinds of art and technology that’s usually associated with each culture. For this newlywed couple and their newborn baby girl, however, they chose to preserve their culture through their home. With inspiration sourced from Pinterest in hand, the couple then approached local interior design firm Hottoh Design to execute their vision of creating a home that incorporated some semblance of their Chinese background into the design while exuding an opulent and luxurious feel similar to that of 5-star hotels. “Oriental Opulence” was the design theme that the homeowners were going for.
First off, the communal space’s original flooring was hacked away and laid over with marble tiles to evoke the luxurious ambience the homeowners requested for. As the homeowners have friends and family over often, it was important for the space to be designed in a way that would make their hosting responsibilities easier. For example, the dining set purchased from local furniture store Lifestorey is extendable from a 6-seater to an 8-seater, allowing the homeowners flexibility in catering to gatherings of different sizes. Behind the dining set, the shared wall with an adjoining storeroom was collapsed to build a concealed pantry cabinet. One of the many impressive features in the communal space, the concealed built-in pantry cabinet allows the homeowners to serve their guests drinks and snacks without having to step into the kitchen, keeping them part of the conversation whenever there are gatherings taking place. To ensure that the area wouldn’t feel claustrophobic, the designers constructed the cabinet out of bronzed mirror panels to help give the illusion of a bigger space. This clever material choice also passes the cabinet off as a mirror feature wall, further impressing guests when they figure out that it actually opens up to a pantry.
Sharing the same area as the dining zone, subtle aspects of the Oriental design were injected into the living room through the use of a mixture of soft furnishings and material palette. In addition to the multiple-fold Chinese screen dividers that flank the velvet sofa set, the opposing end also saw the designers create a built-in television cabinet concealed by a pair of sliding doors. But the most impressive aspect of this design feature definitely has to be the vector designed “T” prints that cover the bronzed mirrored panels on either side of the television cabinet. Giving the space a personalised touch, the “T” design paid homage to the homeowners’ family surname, and the panels were of the same ones that were used for the pantry cabinet, maintaining visual and design consistency.
Moving on to the private living chambers, the master bedroom is characterised by a multi-coloured centrepiece along the headboard, while the rest of the room followed a relatively monochromatic colour palette to allow the accent wall to stand out. For the adjacent row of full-length wardrobes, the designers used veneer wood stained in black to create an elegant look. In order to ensure that the space would always look as neat and tidy as when the project was first handed over, the designers avoided using bulky door handles for the wardrobe, as it would deter the homeowners from hanging any clothing or accessories on it. Next to it, the shared wall between the master boudoir and en-suite also saw a rectangular space hacked away in favour of a glass window, allowing more natural light to pass into the enclosed space.
Inside the master bath, not only were the wall and floor tiles newly laid over with stone-effect porcelain tiles from Hafary, other alterations included the conversion of a bathtub into a standing shower, and changing the original standing bowl WC into a concealed system. The latter’s modification also allowed for the vanity top to be extended all the way to the shower, providing more countertop space for the owners’ daily bathroom essentials. To ensure long-lasting performance in an area where fluctuating temperature, humidity and moisture levels occur constantly, the designers constructed the cabinetry and shelving in the en-suite from marine plywood – a material manufactured from durable face and core veneers, making it resistant to delaminating and mildew.
Crafting a home that encompasses ethnic style furnishings is not always easy to get right, as it can result in a home that borders on gaudy if not executed properly. But with a well thought out design concept and choice furnishings that play well in different sections of the home, the designers from Hottoh Design were able to create a cosy yet elegant space that suited the family’s daily lifestyles to a T.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the March 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Hottoh Design