Walking into this four-bedroom condominium penthouse, it’s not hard to be taken by the long ceiling box that draws focus to the furthest and highest point in the space, effectively creating the illusion of a larger living room. “This apartment had rather odd proportions, with large outdoor areas but small interior spaces,” said Jack Ng – the designer-in-charge of this project and Managing Director of local design firm Para.graph, “which was why we decided to draw attention to the high ceiling.”
Then, the next challenge for the design team was to make the apartment look and feel spacious without compromising on functionality. “As a young family, our clients required plenty of storage, but they also valued a clean and clutter-free aesthetic, so we had to find a compromise between the two,” Jack elaborates. To this end, the designers ensured that all built-in fixtures fitted perfectly into their surroundings. Examples include the storeroom that ‘merged’ with the television feature wall as a single, continuous structure through the use of similar material finishes; and the conversion of an empty niche next to the balcony’s door into a shoe cabinet by installing shelves into it.
Seeing as good interior design lighting techniques does wonders to set the mood, a well layered lighting scheme can be found throughout the home. This comprises a mixture of down lights, under-cabinet LED light strips, and embedded cove lighting. Jack adds, “For our projects, we are more inclined towards having a variety of lighting options so that our clients can create different moods and ambiences in different parts of the home, as well as choose to highlight certain things within the space.”
Within the communal areas, the interior is a visual layering of spaces, where the living, dining and kitchen sections flow into each other seamlessly, creating a ultra stylish and contemporary aesthetic. Additionally, the clever use of a curated colour palette of neutral tones and wood finishes reinforce the fluidity of these spaces. Meanwhile, large expansive sliding glass doors ensure natural light pours into the living areas, while serving to frame panoramas of the idyllic landscape outside.
Rounding out the communal zones is the kitchen, which saw the installation of quartz countertops and tiled backsplashes to help keep up with its regular usage. Then, as the layout of the kitchen quite tight and narrow, the designers decided to open it up by replacing the original swing door with a sliding door. By doing so, the utilitarian zone can be free-flowing with the living and dining areas when not in use, and can also be locked up when heavy cooking is taking place. Along the entrance, a patterned pane comes into view, which keeps the home’s DB box away from sight. “The idea here was to make it look like a feature wall that’s still visible via the see-through panel even when the kitchen door overlaps it,” Jack explains.
For the homeowners’ private living chambers, the designers veered away from installing a lot of built-in cabinetry in the bedroom for a neater profile. The only storage here is in the form of a wood-accented fixture next to the barn door-designed bathroom entrance. Made out of teak wood strips, not only does this serve as a landing spot for small make-up items, it also doubles up as a feature accent in the sleeping zone.
Concurrently, another unique feature in the bedroom is the custom-made cushioned headboard that stretches the full length of the wall. By doing this instead of having the headboard only limited to the area directly behind the bed, anyone viewing the room will register the space as being bigger and wider as there are no visual line breaks along the wall.
In order to fulfill the female homeowner’s request for her personal dressing room, one of the spare bedrooms on the first floor was converted into a walk-in wardrobe. Besides fitting both ends of the space with tall wardrobe units for the storage all of her clothing and accessories, other modifications made to the space include the hacking and replacement of the attached bathroom’s partition walls with glass panels and a glass swing door to further open up the room.
To maintain visual consistency, the design treatment of the en suite bath draws parallels with the common bathroom on the first floor, where pre-existing tiles were changed to large-format homogeneous tiles for a classier aesthetic. However, in the common bath, in addition to the usual suspects of a mirrored cabinet and under-sink storage, there is also a louvre panel covering the small window next vanity. “We wanted to draw attention away from the window as it was not aesthetically pleasing, but we still wanted to allow ventilation and light to filter into the bathroom, which was why we settled on the louvre panel,” Jack says.
When all’s said and done, this family home has effortlessly demonstrated that simple minimalism is all that is needed to create interior spaces that are both stylish and functional in equal measure, and it is all attributed to the clever design sensibilities of Jack and the rest of the Para.graph design team.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the September 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Para.graph