In this black-and-white dwelling, patterns and bespoke furnishings are what make it a home for Elizabeth Acland and her family. She is the founder and director at E&A Interiors, an interior design firm that also specialises in custom-made furnishings. While some people find patterns daunting, Elizabeth is definitely not one to shy away from using too much. Her 3,000-square foot home is the perfect testament of patterns done right.
She shares: “Living in a black-and-white house, I wanted to embrace the colonial feel. The interiors of the house are eclectic and bohemian, and feature many of the fabrics and rugs selections carried by my company.”
Whimsical patterns reign supreme in the communal areas and the three main bedrooms. It is embossed on soft furnishings such as rugs, window blinds, cushion covers, lampshades, and on custom-made furniture. The cavernous living and dining zones with its 3.8-metre tall ceilings are lofty enough to keep these dazzling prints in check. It is also to Elizabeth’s credit that the rooms look picture-perfect; she understands that it is important to keep diverse elements from clashing. Setting the stage for the onslaught of prints are light to pastel-coloured backdrops.
For the living area swathed in a calming sea of light blue, Elizabeth created a visual plane in the design landscape with the bay window and flanked the sides with a pair of bookshelves for a sense of symmetrical balance. A large natural sisal area rug frames the perimeter of the living room furniture. “I always think the bigger the rug, the better,” says Elizabeth. “A large rug anchors the furniture and makes a space feel cosier, especially in Singapore where people have cold, tiled or hard marble flooring.”
In the connected dining area, a gentle hue of pink on the walls washes over the room with an easy flair. It serves as the perfect neutral to guide the rest of the design. “I’ve always wanted a pink dining room and love the way pink looks with a khaki green; hence the colour scheme”, explains Elizabeth. Like a perfectly tailored suit, the room is dressed with mostly custom-designed furnishings which let her achieve exactly the colonial style she had in mind.
She elaborates: “The dining table is made of aged wooden planks on antique wishbone legs while the Roman blinds are in palm print fabric from our extensive fabric library. Seat cushions are covered in a thick Ikat weave from France. I carefully selected the fans to match the overall colonial style. Something modern wouldn’t have worked in this space.”
Besides being generous with using prints in her home, it figures that Elizabeth is also a fearless decorator. She has amassed a spectacular collection of bric-a-brac from all over the globe. Lining her display shelves and whatever available tabletop space is pretty decorative ornaments combed from the depths of the world. “I love knick knacks and normally pick one or two up on most of my trips,” she says. “On those shelves I have knick knacks from Paris, Kenya, India, Myanmar and London.”
For most parts of the home, Elizabeth left the configuration as it is. The exception was the addition of an Attap house and the two old and tired-looking bathrooms which were hacked away. With that, the quaint soul of this colonial house is pretty much kept alive and perhaps, made even more glorious with the eye-catching vigour of charming patterns, well-fitting furnishings and curated showcase displays.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan in the June issue of SquareRooms.