A Modern Condo That Exudes Heritage Charm

Known for its bright hues and old-school fittings, the visual style of Peranakan decor harks back to the shophouses of old – a common sight along Singapore streets during the early 1900s. So when the design team at Brim Design was tasked to create a traditional-style interior, heritage shophouses were the first buildings that they referenced.

To breathe new life into this near century-old style, the designers sought to bring in greenery as a way of adding a natural yet complementary touch to this personal sanctuary.

Taking on a largely monochromatic appearance, the living room features a floor constructed out of geometric black-and-white homogeneous tiles – a hallmark of Peranakan-themed interiors.

Carpented wooden strips that adorn the entire stretch of a wall running along the living room’s length also give the space its distinctive traditional look. Arranged in a rectangular frame, the stained dark brown strips surround patterned tiles that add a spot of colour to their otherwise dull surroundings.

Meanwhile, an identical shade of deep brown was chosen for the door frames of the entrances leading into the apartment’s kitchen and common bathroom. Transparent glass panels allow for clear line of vision into the adjacent spaces, while preventing the overall space from feeling cramped. Similarly, wall-mounted rectangular mirrors amplify natural light entering from the open-air balcony to create an illusion of more space in the living room.

Towards the rear of the general space, a floor-to-ceiling sliding door fitted with classic multi-coloured glass panels demarcates the living room from the apartment’s dining area and relaxation corner.

“This custom-made door serves a dual purpose,” reveals the design team, “Apart from serving as a decorative piece, it also gives the owner the option of saving power by keeping a single area air-conditioned, rather than cooling down both halves.”

Beyond the barrier, the dining-area-cum-relaxation-corner, prominently features an indoor garden, which incorporates both artificial and natural greenery for a bucolic look. Visually dividing the space into three distinct sections are various choices of flooring, comprising a synthetic turf sandwiched between a broken tile mosaic floor and familiar monochromatic tiles that lead in from the living room next door.

Other equally eye-catching fittings include a rear feature wall constructed out of CraftStone tiles and a frame of hanging vines, as well as a hanging garden swing installed beside a window planter. Likewise, the window planter is a customised fixture that doubles up as a privacy barrier as it covers up the bottom half of a full height window. To complete the outdoorsy mood, timber blinds were chosen to complement the room’s overhead trellis structure, which is constructed out of Chengal wood.

As for the master bedroom, the space comes with its own collection of interesting structures that accentuate its cosy image while creating visual consistency between the other apartment zones. For instance, warm wood tones make a reappearance here in the form of the room’s timber flooring as well as the surfaces of a light stand placed beside a generous king-sized bed.

The same applies for the white wooden strips mounted on the bed’s rear wall, which are identical to those in the living room. Also of note, are the structural modifications made to the master bedroom. Originally divided in two, a partition wall was partially torn down for a more open feel, whereas an external wall for the walk-in wardrobe – which also doubles as a TV wall – was created.

In similar fashion, the walk-in wardrobe features a space that was customised to suit the needs and tastes of the apartment’s owner. On one side, the wardrobe features an open-concept Besglas wardrobe for easy access to clothing and other personal effects; whereas a wall of custom-designed cabinets occupies the other, which is used to house the master bedroom’s TV wiring and other entertainment system devices for a neater look.

Despite being a smaller private space than the master bedroom, the apartment’s guest room features a compact design that is just as well-thought-out. Reminiscent of a motel layout, the guest room features an open wardrobe and a single bed with a pull-out mattress for additional guests.

Completing the stylish look of the room are a number of well-composed interior fixtures, which include a pair of wall-mounted box lights as well as an aviator-style fan that goes well with the choice of a black-and-grey wallpaper and its eclectic bubble motif.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the April 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Brim Design