Classic Meets Modern In This Open-Concept Studio Apartment


Many homeowners aim for a home that looks distinct from the others. However, in their quest for a personalised look, they face challenges posed by factors such as space constraints and budget. This studio apartment totals 800 sqft, which some might see as limiting to their lifestyle needs.

That said, the apartment has a small balcony and large windows that bring in ample natural light. “The first thing the owners said was that they wanted the theme to be masculine,” says Ponnie Tan from boutique interior design firm EightyTwo. “Most homes today are Scandinavian in style. The owners wanted darker colours, as well as a classic and modern look for something different.”

Ponnie’s goal was to make the studio apartment look spacious with some open-plan installations and space-saving features. The design team drew up a plan with a host of customisation works for the renovation. These include the kitchen, where an island unit doubles up as the dining area. Above it, they installed a customised wine rack made of powder-coated mild steel. The slim black lines of the rack echo that of the structure of the island, the vertical slats on the television console and design features in the bedroom.

For a consistent masculine look, the design team went with a strict palette of dark brown and black tones balanced with white and cream. In the living area, the dark brown sofa matches the decorative beams on the ceiling. Mirrors are also sprinkled throughout the home. A slim mirror panel installed at the compact foyer is perfect for checking that every hair and button is in place before leaving the house. At the television feature, similar mirror panels flank the television to add visual variety to the pared down design. These tinted mirrors enhance the dark colour scheme that the couple wanted.

The design team used glass to enclose the bedroom and fitted a sliding glass door for functional and aesthetic reasons. “The couple loves to cook, so boxing the bedroom up reduces cooking aroma from the bed area,” Ponnie explains. The bedroom, outlined in black, comprises a platform bed on a raised area. Elevating the bed area lends privacy in this open-plan home.

Other practical features in the studio apartment include the study desk. Overhead shelves in powder-coated mild steel ensure consistency with the rest of the home. Track lighting decks out the bedroom. The latter, which accommodates a queen-sized bed comfortably, is the result of careful measurement and consideration of the overall space during renovation.

This post was adapted from an article originally published in the March 2020 issue of SquareRooms.