A Retro-Chic Home Filled With 80s Pop Culture


Most people think of their homes as a personal sanctuary – a place where one can fully relax and feel totally secure. But the definition of a sanctuary has different meanings to different people. It could mean a space decorated in a low-key manner or it could be a space that reflects a homeowner’s personality.

For 39-year-old compliance officer, Edmund Lau, it is the latter. With a wish to fill the home he shares with his parents with his collection of toys and memorabilia together with a vibe reminiscent of his growing up days in the 80s, he engaged interior designer Eddie Tay from Fuse Concept to help him realise a space-efficient yet personality-filled apartment.

Fusing all these elements together, the designer came up with a fun-filled home that not only cleverly incorporates all of the homeowner’s collectibles, but also incorporates a subtle retro-meets-industrial vibe seen in a series of disparate structural additions.

The first thing that Eddie set out to do was to convert one of the three bedrooms into a hobby area. To do this, sections of the wall between the living room and an original bedroom were taken down and replaced with black-framed wire mesh glass panels. This was done to allow more light to enter the room, while creating visually enlarging the space.

Inside the hobby zone, the designer built up a feature wall constructed out of ventilation tiles to reiterate the home’s retro theme. The wall is the centrepiece of the room, as this is where Edmund gets to display his prized collection of robot toys and memorabilia. Complementing this is the eye-catching chandelier and a collection of 80s-inspired furnishings and accessories sourced from Amazon and 2by2 Store.

The communal zone, too, shows off various nostalgic elements by way of the same ventilation tiles used in the hobby room, a marble-topped coffeeshop dining set, mid-century style seating and Peranakan-inspired tiles used to section off areas in the space. These charming old-school furnishings are offset by a slight industrial vibe that ties into the homeowner’s appreciation for 80s sci-fi movies. These include exposed electrical trunking and a unique fretwork of exposed lighting feature that incorporates a pedestrian crossing light to recreate an art gallery feel to highlight the vintage Star Wars posters on display.

While the communal zones feature plenty of creative displays of the homeowner’s tastes, the utilitarian spaces of the home received more functional updates. The kitchen, for one was revamped to include new floor tiles and cabinets. Interior designer Eddie also reveals that the bottom section of the kitchen cabinets was also extended to camouflage the rubbish chute. As a slight nod to the retro theme, distressed woodgrained laminates and black-and-white Peranakan-inspired tiles were also applied to the cabinet doors and backsplash respectively.

The bathrooms also underwent an update. Existing floor and wall tiles were hacked away and replaced with matte-textured homogeneous tiles, while matte-black bathroom fixtures were installed for a sleek look. An interesting industrial-style element added to the master en suite are wall hooks and toilet paper holder made to look like industrial pipes. These subtly complete the industrial concept of the bathroom without going overboard with the theme.

Exuding a calm and restful vibe is the master bedroom, which was updated with some solid wood furniture and a built-in wardrobe dressed in natural woodgrained laminates laid out in a herringbone pattern. A bright cornflower blue boldly covers the wall where the bed is positioned to inject a punchy dose of colour into an otherwise muted space. Eddie explains that the colour was intended to provide a contrasting background to showcase the old-school canvas-backed headboard of the bed. To tie in the industrial motif found elsewhere in the home, industrial-style lighting and exposed electrical trunking were again included in the boudoir.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the November 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Fuse Concept