For many interior designers, the art of creating a chic abode with a specific visual style is something that they are well-versed in. But as far as themed transformations are concerned, the makeover of this five-room BTO unit – undertaken by akiHAUS design director Lawrence Puah – takes things to another level, bringing together the openness of loft homes and the raw appeal of industrial-style decor.
“The homeowners, my buddy’s brother and his wife, couldn’t decide on what design style to adopt for their home,” says Lawrence about the initial search for the right decor. “And so, we suggested including a touch of edginess that is inherent in industrial-style spaces but balanced with a restrained formality.”
The resulting interior is one that embraces plenty of earthy textures for a cosy setting, along with seamless storage options that lend it extra utility. Exemplifying this design aesthetic is the apartment’s entryway, which features a bomb shelter facade composed of numerous timber-like panels that extend into the adjoining living room to establish a continuous flow between both spaces.
Building on the underlying sense of harmony, Lawrence also made sure to utilise a common material palette when conceptualising the TV feature wall. “Doing so helps to establish a common design language between different parts of the apartment,” he explains. As a finishing touch, a pair of framed mirrors that now flank the accent wall were added, imbuing it with a sense of balance born out of symmetry.
At the opposite end of the room, the compact dining area likewise maintains thematic and visual unity with an array of shared design elements. Consistency in colour and form can be found in the near-identical silhouettes of dining and coffee tables handpicked by the homeowners, along with a warm limestone-effect floor that leads into the apartment’s inner walkway.
Channelling the look and feel of a coffee shop’s counter, a secondary dining space outside the kitchen beckons with its own glossy solid surface bench and industrial-style bar stools. Stylish new fixtures aside, Lawrence also proposed tearing down the kitchen’s original partition walls and replacing them with black-aluminium framed glass doors – a mainstay of industrial-style homes.
“If we retained the original partition walls, this would cause the space between the new bar counter and the entrance to feel extremely tight and uncomfortable,” says Lawrence about the revamped kitchen entrance. “Apart from funnelling natural light into the kitchen, the sliding doors also provide an interesting way to entertain guests as they can watch the homeowners prepare meals through the screens.”
A similar structure can be found the common bathroom, albeit in the form of a shower screen that imbues the space with an industrial vibe. To reinforce the utilitarian appeal of the bathroom, Lawrence outfitted the surrounding surfaces with a selection of rustic, glossy white and mosaic tiles. “We also made use of the existing sealed up L-box to install brand-new lighting as well,” he adds, highlighting the overall cost-efficiency of the bathroom’s makeover.
Featuring a warmer but nonetheless space-optimised design is the master bedroom. By approaching the conceptualisation of the boudoir’s appearance in the same way as the general living areas, Lawrence constructed an uninterrupted row of wardrobes, which mimics the bed’s panelled backing for a mirrored front and rear. “This adds an element of surprise to the space as guests often ask the homeowners where their bedroom wardrobes are,” he says.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the August 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: akiHAUS