An Inside Look At Singaporean Influencer Melissa C. Koh’s All-White HDB Home


When newly married couple Melissa C. Koh and James Chen engaged their interior designer for their home renovation project, they didn’t have a specific design theme in mind. All they wanted was a bright and airy home that’s also cosy at the same time. Compiling mood boards from inspiration sourced from Pinterest, the couple then engaged Richard Tay from local interior design firm SuiteWorks turn their dream home into a reality.

There had to be quite a few changes made to the original layout to make the home more functional to Melissa and James. Firstly, the hallway originally had an unconventional layout, where one would sort of have to employ a “zig-zag” approach when walking into the private living spaces from the communal ones. As such, Richard recessed the front non-load bearing wall of the corridor to match the one at the back, creating a straight and more spacious walkway. Secondly, the whole apartment’s original tiled flooring was laid over with light woodgrained vinyl pieces, which not only complements the dark wood furniture pieces, but also serves a practical purpose for the couple’s two dogs. Lastly, brass and gold accents are a central theme in the home, adhering to the couple’s request for a luxe vibe.

While the couple doesn’t spend much time cooking at home due to their busy work schedule, the kitchen features durable fittings in the form of quartz countertops and white subway tiles for the backsplash – a design element that the couple wanted ever since the start of the renovation process. A statement piece in the space is a kitchen island – made with quartz countertops and a base clad in marble-like laminates from EDL. Working double duty as a prep space and a storage compartment, the island keeps a dishwasher hidden from sight and has pull-out drawers embedded within for cooking equipment and utensils. In addition, the unit also provides the couple with an alternative space to have casual meals over when it’s just the two of them.

Along the corridor, the first room nearest to the living room is the couple’s home office. Citing the possibility of using it as a baby room in the future, the room did not see any major renovation works done. Instead, Melissa and James filled the space with loose furnishings in the form of his-and-hers work desks, IKEA book- and wall-shelves and a towering house-shaped open shelving display cabinet from Commune that can be removed as and when the necessary, allowing the dynamics of the space to change in accordance to their needs.

Furthest into the apartment is the couple’s private chambers. The master bedroom and en suite are separated by a tempered glass sliding door that makes the overall room feel more spacious with the vast amount of natural light flowing through. Meanwhile, a pair of hanging pendant lights frame the luxurious king-sized bed, with its brass elements complementing the dark wood furniture pieces – which were procured from Commune – in the room. Next to it, a day bed with open storage units underneath was installed along the bay window, providing the homeowners an area to wind the day down with or to relax with a good book and a cup of tea in hand. The master bath was fully laid over with marble tiles to maintain the luxurious design theme of the home, and a wall-to-wall mirror sits atop the quartz sink countertop makes the bathroom appear larger. In the shower zone, the floor features Moroccan-inspired tile accents, and the wall on which the contemporary shower system is mounted on was clad with white subway tiles, adorning the space with texture and character.

Sharing the same space as the master boudoir, but separated by bi-fold swing doors is Melissa’s walk-in closet that houses her extensive collection of shoes, bags and clothes. Clad predominantly in white with gold accents, the space exudes a luxurious ambience for the fashion-forward lady. In their original plans, the couple had actually requested for closed-door wardrobes, thinking it more practical. But as that design option would not give off the “wow” factor one usually experiences when going into a walk-in wardrobe, they went for floor-to-ceiling open shelving instead. Tucked into a corner of the room is a vanity desk, accompanied by a large mirror and chair that further adds to the luxe vibe with its striking gold frame.

The extensive renovation works and slight delays to some minor projects meant that it was a six-month wait before the couple could start building their new life as husband and wife in the new home. But the result was definitely worth the wait because now, the five-room flat is transformed into a luxurious abode that’s fully equipped and perfectly styled for its owners.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the March 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photos by: Wong Weiliang.