An Apartment That Lets Its Homeowners Escape The Hustle And Bustle Of City Life


One of the best things about interior design is the flexibility to give your own spin to established concepts and themes. Such is the case for this three-bedroom apartment owned by a family of four in Hougang. Executed by founder and namesake of local interior design studio Dan’s Workshop, Dan Wu, the home revolves around the design sensibilities of both monochrome and minimalist concepts, transforming a once-ordinary home into a welcoming and restful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Along with a budget of $110,000, the homeowners requested for a home that looked neat and contained plenty of clean lines. With that in mind, the designer developed a proposal that embraced the idea of spaciousness and modernity in the form of classic and cosmopolitan simplicity. This aesthetic was also unconventionally paired with a palette of monochromatic hues, which imbue the home with an air of style and sophistication.

To balance out the ever-chic black-and-white colour palette, Dan employed the use of neutral colours throughout the home. This can be seen through the rich earthy accents on the cushy leather couch and its lighter counterparts on built-in fixtures that imbue the home with a touch of warmth. To further add cosiness as well as introduce a subtle hint of colour into the home, indoor plants were utilised as decor, which comes in varying heights for a visually appealing space.

Despite being a relatively low-key space, the living room is actually full of interesting design details. Next to the television feature wall, the remaining section of the main living room wall was transformed by Dan into an eye-catching showpiece that optimises the large wall into a storage space for household items. Playing around with vertical and diagonal lines, the result is a one-of-a-kind storage wall that catches the eye of everyone within the shared living space. Additionally, the woodsy browns on these full-height cabinets help bring richness and depth into the monochromatic surroundings. “If we have had everything in shades of black and white, the result would have been a very cold and one-note interior. As such, wood tones were introduced to liven up the home,” Dan adds.

Over in the dining zone, wood-accented furnishings maintain cohesiveness with the rest of the communal zone’s aesthetic. Meanwhile, the space is brightened with the help of hanging lampshades and its reflective brass exterior, as well as through the natural light that is pouring in through the adjacent glass panels, giving the space a larger and more open feel.

Moving past the divider into the kitchen, there is an emphasis on clean lines through the dual-toned built-in cabinets and shelving that look effortlessly chic while optimising valuable storage space at the same time. Function wise, it helps the busy cooking zone remain free of clutter on a daily basis. Meanwhile, a glossy tempered glass backsplash and black quartz countertops not only help visually enlarge the area, but it also enhances the durability of the utilitarian zone to keep up with the homeowners’ usage.

Given that they had an extensive clothing collection, the owners had also requested for Dan to carve out a walk-in wardrobe to store their garments and accompanying accessories. Given that there were no spare bedrooms that could be utilised, the designer instead decided to section out a part of the living area and converted it into the walk-in wardrobe instead. This decision proved to work out masterfully well, for this area also leads right into the master bedroom, providing the occupants with easy access to their daily wearables.

For their own private living chambers, the pre-existing parquet flooring was retained, with its dark wood hues injecting the snoozing zone with a distinctive cosy atmospheric mood. However, the surface was stained and polished to create a fresh new look. To fully maximise all available space, Dan adorned one corner of the boudoir with a floating desk and chair, providing the occupants with a cosy study corner for any work obligations.

At the end of the two-month renovation process, this home is a true case study of monochrome chic done right, where thoughtful design tweaks that marry form and function have resulted in an uber-cosy interior that is perfectly curated for the occupants’ daily living.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the January 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Dan’s Workshop

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