This Scandi-Industrial HDB Maisonette Is All About Timeless Style


Spacious and functional. That was what the owners had in mind when they shared their vision for their resale maisionette with Alvin Ling, design director of The Scientist. Having spotted some of the interior design firm’s designs in magazines, the couple knew that they could trust him to give them a home that would remain stylish through the years.

To rehaul the 20 year old maisonette, Alvin began by opening up the kitchen. The wall separating the space from the living area was taken down and replaced by a glass sliding door, flooding both spaces with light and creating an easy flow to the home. Glass panels were also used to replace the original metal railings of the staircase. Once dark and imposing, the staircase now sports a sophisticated, sleek look, and contributes to the spacious appearance of the home.

From then on, it was all about playing with the right materials to keep the home spacious and stylish yet cosy enough to be a home for four. To do this, the maisonette was given a timeless white and grey palette that was kept from becoming monotonous through the use of wood, matte-finished laminates and an array of art tiles. In the living room, the sparse appearance of plain white walls is softened by grey patterned homogeneous tiles and a smattering of wood furnishings and fabric furniture. Also adding to the home’s character are the colourful bicycles that belong to the owners, given place of honour at the entrance of the home. In the kitchen and dining area, the mix of darker matte-finished and woodgrain laminates along side the grey art tiles, bring life and warmth to the communal part of the home.

Upstairs, the rooms are decidedly warmer. Rather than tiles, each room is kept cosy with the use of wood in the same warm tone. The bedroom floors are laid with Burmese teak strip parquet, wooden venetian blinds keep prying eyes away from the bedrooms of the low-floor maisonette and wood furnishings are used to tie the look together. Built-in cabinetry, covered in white, matt-finished laminate and trimmed in black and the same warm wood, complete the sophisticated, yet cosy look of the rooms. The daughter’s bedroom is the only exception. The owners requested that the room was designed to their daughter’s requirements: painted in a cheery robin’s egg blue and brightened with white furnishings. All loose pieces, they can be switched as she grows older and her tastes change.

The old bathrooms were also given a complete makeover. Particular attention was given to them as Alvin had to work around their limited size. The kitchen’s common toilet, incredibly small and tight, was turned into a statement feature, surfaced with a variety of tiles. Glossy, black subway tiles dress two walls, the bold colour broken by a lighter, softer art tile. Bathrooms upstairs were much larger, giving Alvin space to work with the home’s concept. The master bathroom was given the luxurious treatment with marble-effect tiles dressing the walls, while the common bathroom was kept simple with white subway tiles and a feature wall of art tiles from Hafary.

The use of classic materials such as wood and marble-look tiles, and many other design elements used within the space give the home a timeless appearance that will stay classy and elegant even as the family grows.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Amanda Jayne Lee in the August 2016 issue of SquareRooms.