Space – that was what sold this family of four on this executive maisonette in Dakota Crescent. However, as a resale unit, there was plenty of work that needed to be done in order to create a space where the new occupants could feel at home. That was when design director Wein Goh from Notion of W entered the picture, taking on the major overhaul required from this approximately 1,500-square-feet apartment.
Before anything could happen, the designer had to find out just what kind of design concept the family wanted for their new abode. “It’s best described as a mid-century modern style,” says Wein. Given that one of the distinguishing features of this particular style is an uncluttered appearance with both organic and geometric forms, the living area is clean, spacious and airy with the absence of any boxy built-in fixtures.
Behind the sofa, a striking cast stone feature wall comes into view. Although feature walls are typically used to frame the television, for this home, the decision was made to frame the seating arrangement instead. The designer explains, “As the occupants use the living space more for familial bonding instead of watching television, putting the feature wall behind the sofa puts focus on the people in the space instead of the home appliance.”
However, that is not to say that the television wall doesn’t have any interesting elements, for there are a series of wooden square mouldings lining the perimeter of the wall. In addition to being a subtle way to amp up the tactile interest in the living space, the textural design also helps to distract the eye from the bulky beam that’s running across the ceiling.
Meanwhile, the partition wall that once separated the first floor of the home into a living room and a balcony area was knocked down to create an expanded communal space while allowing more natural light to filter into the home. The two ends here were then fitted with floor-to-ceiling cabinets that provide storage solutions for the family’s bulky household items.
Given that the family doesn’t cook often, plans were put in place to convert the kitchen into an open-plan layout to create a more spacious and airy ambience. To achieve this, the utilitarian zone was shifted from its original position out into the open space that was once designated for the dining room. Then, a quartz-topped island unit was installed to serve as a casual dining spot, and also comes complete with storage units for kitchen appliances and dining utensils. The wood moulding design from the living room is once again seen here on the cabinets and on the base of the island unit, effectively drawing design and visual consistency between the two spaces.
On the second floor, one of the smaller bedrooms boast a clean white palette that’s been enhanced with warm wood accents to carve out a soothing and cosy space perfect for rest and repose. To provide a landing spot for the bed, Wein customised a platform bed that lines the full stretch of the side wall. Besides encompassing white-laminated pull-out drawers on the side, there are also groove lines on the top of the platform bed that can be opened up to reveal more storage units beneath, which further enhances the practicality of the fixture.
Over in the master bedroom, the floor area was split into two sections: a sleeping zone and a walk-in wardrobe. Becase the owners had a preference for an uncluttered aesthetic, instead of using open shelving units or see-through materials, the wardrobe doors were clad in cement-lookalike laminates from local surface laminates manufacturer Lamitak for a clean and tidy look.
Moving between the first floor’s communal area, the bedrooms and the three bathrooms, one can easily discern that the latter utilitarian zones boast more colours and textures compared to the former two spaces. “As the family spends most of their time in these spaces, we didn’t want the living, dining and bedrooms areas to be too messy. Instead, we opted for a cleaner and more timeless look that wouldn’t be too overwhelming on the senses here; and kitted the bathrooms out in a more eclectic variety of colours and textures to introduce some character and visual interest into the home,” elaborates Wein.
In the master bathroom, a combination of vintage and colonial design elements add dimension to the utilitarian zone. This can be seen through the use of white subway tiles on the walls, matte grey homogeneous tiles on the floor in the standing shower, and black-and-white patterned tiles on the floor in the outer dry area. These textures are then paired with aged brass fixtures that further enhance the vintage theme of the en suite bathroom.
For the second bathroom on this floor, contrasting materials in the form of wood-effect tiles and blue subway tiles create a visually arresting shower zone. Another interesting feature here is the accessories panel next to the circular mirror. Customised by the designers using a perforated metal sheet and fitted with hooks, baskets and shelves, it is a simple but highly efficient way to keep bathroom essentials in place.
Looking back, Wein is satisfied with the entire process that led to the final look of the apartment. “For us at Notion of W, we don’t believe in following any particular trends. Rather, we place a high importance on getting to know our clients on a personal level in order to truly understand their lifestyles and what they love so that we can create a bespoke space that will suit them for a long time to come,” explains the designer.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the September 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Notion of W