Go heavy on wood and what comes to mind is a dim interior with perhaps an overbearing feel or one with a country-house atmosphere.
But the stunning transformation of this 30-year-old, two-storey terraced house in the east proves otherwise.
From the owner’s retro and vintage furniture collection to the interior backdrop, dark wooden tones dominate.
But a smart living room and kitchen layout, sleek design features and clever mix-and-match furniture choices by interior design company Museworks’ Shawn Shum give the 2,800 sq ft space an elegant, contemporary look.
The renovation took seven months and cost an estimated $30,000, including carpentry. The owner, an eye specialist in her early 40s, moved in at the end of 2017.
Emphasis was placed on the kitchen design, given the owner’s fondness of cooking.
The original big column in the middle of the space was removed to allow natural light to flood in from the living room.
The kitchen boasts a professional industrial hob and a breakfast/tasting table next to the island countertop.
Mr Shum, the interior designer, also created a small garden on the property, which is visible from the kitchen, so that the owner, who is single and lives here with her pet dog, gets a view of greenery when having breakfast or preparing meals.
The glossy-looking kitchen is in contrast to the large expanse of heavy walnut-toned wood laminate applied across the wall opposite the hob.
The entire panel is a row of three “doors”, hiding the launderette, the room of the owner’s mother and the domestic helper’s room. The owner plans to have her mother and helper move in shortly.
The protruding frames serve as door handles to the rooms.
Wood also features significantly in the living and dining rooms where the owner’s collection of wooden antique and vintage pieces take pride of place alongside contemporary pieces and colours.
Echoing the retro touches that permeate the home are the customised black-metal railings of the staircase. And tucked elegantly below the stairs are a wine showcase and cellar.
On the second floor, the master bedroom boasts a sliding glass door with aluminium frames powder-coated in black. Blinds lend privacy.
A glass partition was chosen as it brightens up the space, as opposed to keeping the wall that once separated the master bedroom from the rest of the rooms.
The room is also decorated with the owner’s collection and antique panels were embedded into a false wall to create the headboard.
Details matter to Mr Shum, so he chose black tiles embossed with motifs for the bathroom in the master bedroom. Under bright light, the designs etched on the tiles “pop up” and shimmer against a black backdrop.
He also reconfigured the layout on the second floor and moved the common bathroom to just outside the master bedroom, with the study area taking over the former spot of the bathroom.
A “third storey” was also added to the structure – an area just beneath the pitched roof that serves as the attic and entertainment room.
During the day, light streams in through the roof all the way to the common bathroom on the second floor – just one of the ways that natural light is introduced into the different corners of the home, for a brighter, more spacious interior.
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.