Good design takes time. And designing an interior is no exception. For this condominium unit that belongs to a young couple, the creative process took one and a half months. But dedicating extra time makes it worthwhile when the result is a dwelling that’s a better version of the vision they had in mind.
“Solidifying all of the ideas took time, but it was necessary,” shares Raymond Seow of Free Space Intent who was in charge of the makeover. “We bounced ideas every step of the way until we reached a consensus – one that satisfied the homeowners following my feedback.”
When they met with Raymond, the pair revealed that they wanted their apartment to emulate Scandinavian’s clean and clutter-free aesthetics. Staying true to signature Nordic hues, the dwelling opens to a soft palette of whites, pastels, and pale wood tones. A tall and narrow shoe cabinet lies beside the front door, the perfect spot for the working duo to throw off their footwear and stow them away upon entry. Adjoining is a storage compartment to keep their possessions within reach but out of sight – both units compact in design and equally functional. By its side, the television console feature stands out with a style that’s inspired by herringbone’s zig-zag pattern – a fresh alternative to the ubiquitous subway tile.
All white might be bright, but it lacked life – which was why Raymond suggested adding colour to bring cheer into the home. Punctuating the space in small doses, bright blue – Scandinavia’s favourite accent hue – contrasts brilliantly against the stark minimalism of the interior without swaying away from the style’s monochromatic appeal.
Case in point, the dining area that’s illuminated by a pendant light in a gorgeous turquoise. Raymond wanted to inject a touch of humour into Scandinavian’s studied seriousness – so instead of playing safe, the interior designer decked the space with mismatched chairs. Although they might not appear exactly identical, those wooden tipped legs ensured a cohesive look that stayed on track with the abode’s overall aesthetics.
Pass the common area, the walls that enclose the study were demolished to make way for more light to flood the interior. The initial idea of building a half glass wall was rejected as the homeowners were concerned about privacy. After several rounds of discussion, Raymond proposed a design with window-like panels and dressed in white – a breezier interpretation of the industrial style partition. Pushing the envelope further, the interior expert decided to deck the lower half of the walls with trimmings – a nod to classical style. White on white, this subtle detail is exactly what the home needs to turn up the style dial.
“They were initially skeptical of my suggestion to add trimmings,” recounts Raymond on the homeowners’ reaction to this design element. “After seeing it materialise, they loved it. In fact, this became one of their favourite features in the abode.”
Deeper within the private confines of the home, the master bedroom beckons with its winsome simplicity and spaciousness – the latter a result of a merger between two rooms. The floor area where the wardrobe and vanity table stand used to be the other room. With the internal wall removed, the suite becomes more utilitarian rather than just a place for slumber. What’s more, twice the number of windows means more natural light is able to shine in onto the space.
Scandinavian style is known for its affinity with nature – which explains why there are mini pots of greenery peppered around the place. For the master suite though, Raymond decided to take inspiration from the garden and thus built a headboard in the likeness of white picket fences – pretty but pared down. He decked it along the lower expanse of the wall that backs the bed, and painted this wall a pretty pastel blue reminiscent of a clear morning sky.
“A design specialist is ultimately there to assist homeowners and offer advice on what’s best for them,” says Raymond. “Sometimes the idea is there, and all it takes is an expert’s sound judgment to help it bloom.”
Truly, the invaluable experience gleaned from years of perfecting the craft as well as his proactive participation in all aspects of the renovation, from concept and design to styling, produced results. A Scandinavian style interior that surpassed everything the homeowners had hoped for in a home – a haven that’s filled with life.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Fidz Azmin published in the November 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Free Space Intent