In an industry currently dominated by Scandi-industrial styles, this duplex comes across as a breath of fresh air. Its homeowners, Lewis Fong and Shirley Lim, are also an exceptional and well-travelled couple. Both in their forties and in the children’s fashion business, they display distinct design tastes which are clearly reflected in their awe-worthy living space.
Ambitious design ideas were soon put into practice by their appointed interior designer, Carmen Tang of Wolf Woof. And one major theme seen here is the “home within a home” concept. To capitalise on the lofty ceiling height of their duplex, the couple and Carmen went into detailed discussions on how to create the strongest visual impact in their modestly-sized home. That was how the house frame that cocoons the cosy living area came about. Another idea that was initiated because of the high ceiling and stair landing was the bike installation.
Carmen elaborates, “As Lewis has a cool-looking bike, he expressed his desire to ‘exhibit’ it when not in use. This resulted in us hauling it up as a cool design feature via a manual pulley system. The bike can be lowered when Lewis decides to ride it.”
Tailored and timeless, the home’s monochromatic palette definitely strikes a high note when you enter the compact but chic dwelling. Carmen has such a discerning sense for colour, texture and pattern that every monochrome accent doesn’t bore or overwhelm. Everything falls in place in this world of black and white and the visual drama is played out on a well-balanced scale.
Such is the living area that resides on a raised platform made of wood pallets that add character to a space. The wall treatment for this cosy nook’s focal point is an unusual black brick wall; a less common feature as compared to red or white brick walls. The classic contrast of one black brick wall against a crisp white backdrop, as well as a white brick wall on the other side, definitely offers a lot more visual interest than swathing everything in one neutral tone.
This urban loft style is also translated to the common bathroom next to it. Just that it wasn’t a common bathroom to start with. It was actually attached to the lower level bedroom. Carmen had the room hacked away to enlarge the living area. The newly configured entrance is now enclosed by a sliding door with a glass window looking into a stunning mosaic tile feature. Says Carmen, “The glass window was suggested because it adds a lofty, Manhattan-like touch to the space. Venetian blinds are installed to ensure privacy, especially for guests who are not exposed to such unusual toilets.”
Venturing upstairs, where the homeowners’ private zones reside, you are welcomed to a thought-provoking setting, which quietly stimulates all senses. The master bedroom is dressed in a similar monochromatic fashion and is flanked by a glass-enclosed bathroom and an open-concept walk-in wardrobe. While the room itself is not generous in terms of space, the bathroom and wardrobe additions cease to cramp its size or style all thanks to keeping things open and airy.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan in the July 2016 issue of SquareRooms.