What transpired during the time Wan Yi had to work abroad in Denmark was that she fell in love with a feeling. Hygge, a Scandinavian concept that describes a sensation of utmost comfort, left such a lasting impact that she sought to recreate this exact sentiment in the condominium that she acquired in Singapore with her husband, Chiak.
There are no hard and fast rules to creating an interior style that incorporates hygge. Fortunately, the owners’ enviable collection of furniture and lighting set the yardstick for their interior designer to take reference from. Their acquisition comprises mostly original and restored 1950s and 1960s vintage pieces by designers the likes of Poul Henningsen, Jorn Utzon, Christian Dell and P.V. Jensen-Klint. These were personally sourced from vintage shops and weekend flea markets in Denmark as well as Singapore.
“We went for the Danish Scandinavian aesthetic for this apartment, since the couple was enthralled by the mid-century Danish style and wanted their abode to accommodate their existing mid-century furniture and lighting,” explains Icon Interior’s design expert Wayne Chan of the makeover at Flame Tree Park. He further elaborates that Wan Yi and Chiak wanted an open and airy concept that maximises natural light. Seeing as most of their wood pieces sport teak and rosewood finishes, he surmised that a foundation of white makes an excellent canvas for the warm tones and textures to truly stand out.
But much had to change. The existing interior of the 30-year-old condominium boasted a dropped ceiling that did little in brightening up its proximity. Wayne had to tear down all the false ceiling in the bedrooms and common zonesm as well as hack away walls at the balcony, kitchen and study to open up the space and make it feel airier.
Now, the living area epitomises how simplicity can be downright stunning. Not letting the television be the focus as per rooms of norm, Wan Yi and Chiak decided to keep it concealed – so family and friends can instead focus on one another when they are together. To meet the couple’s wishes, Wayne devised a solid wooden cabinet that disguises as a feature wall – hiding the television and their personal possessions stealthily behind closed doors. Nifty swivel fittings swing these doors horizontally to the sides and neatly tuck them away, in turn keeping the surroundings free of obstructions even at an open position.
Nearby, a bespoke island is undoubtedly the heart of home – taking on multiple roles such as a prep station, a breakfast counter and a chill-out place. What’s particularly unique about this piece is that Wayne designed it with an adjoining window and door partition that can be folded away in its entirety – revealing a gorgeous open-plan cooking space. He customised this top-hung track partition with mild steel frame instead of aluminum because the former is slimmer and allows more light to enter the cooking zone. Even with the panel closed, there is still sufficient worktop space in the kitchen as the designer had engineered a portion of the island to be extended into its parameters.
A mini pantry is also constructed at the nook beside the island. Designed to store the owners’ coffee machine, water dispenser, microwave and pantry supplies, this unit keeps necessary fuel to keep conversations going at arm’s reach – perfect for get-togethers or for simply catching up after work.
Close by, a handsome set of solid wood dining table and chairs brings intrigue and depth into its pristine landscape. The furniture’s mid-century roots echo that of the Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant lamp that hovers above – continuing the apartment’s aesthetic into the rest of the place. Even the common bathroom that’s positioned within proximity is as light-filled. Furnished with a cabinet in a rich tone as well as distressed metal lamp, it exudes old school aura.
When the day comes to an end, Wan Yi and Chiak gets to indulge in one of life’s simplest luxuries: a well-rested slumber. “We relocated their bathroom door to create a walk-in closet area for them,” explains Wayne. “Not only does the wardrobe act as a divider between the dressing up and sleep space, it serves as the panel on which the television is mounted on.” What’s more, this segregation means the room is free from distractions, resulting in an intimate nest that allows the couple to focus on their downtime.
Hygge celebrates embracing the simple things in life. By keeping the apartment restrained in hues, simple in layout and free of frills, Wan Yi and Chiak gets to relish in this feeling of comfort and conviviality every single day.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Fidz Azmin published in the November 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Icon Interior