Balancing design and function can be a challenge for some homeowners when designing their enclave. After all, creating the look and feel of a home goes through so many processes. And if you're married, that means you have to merge various ideas from two different people.
Luckily for Nat Liew and Jinny Tan—who are both 28 years old and work as nurses—the pair agreed that their BTO flat in Skyville@Dawson will take on the minimalist route. For them, less is more. Functionality, a basic element of Scandinavian design, is another important element for this couple.
"It's a small home. We wanted to created a cosy environment where we can let our hair down after a long day at work. We were inspired by the Japanese minimalist concept, where less is more. We took design elements from them and seek to fuse them with our daily routines," explains Jinny.
Nat furthers, "Design and function were our two important considerations. We used mirror, glass, and lighting to visually create a vibrant and open home. One of the end result was the creation of a bay window seat with storage. The design and function just worked for my daily routine!"
Nat and Jinny engaged The Minimalist Society to help them achieve a home that's both aesthetically pleasing and functional. "I think in the initial phase, our designer was probably thinking they had just encountered a 'demanding' client," they laugh. "We had too many wants and our design deviated from their 'norms.' The challenge was to first sell them our priorities and needs though we were clearly limited by available living space. However, we collaborated and turned our limitations into opportunities."
See if less is really more by checking out this couple's Scandinavian minimalist home:
This flat's living space is a poster room for Scandinavian design. A lot of the basic elements of this popular interior style are found in Nat and Jinny's living room: light-coloured wood, a neutral palette, clean lines, gallery-white walls, natural light. Devoid of complicated accents, this space is simply charming—it's not difficult to see why the couple and their guests would love to stay in here.
What does the couple love most about their home? "The fact that it looks way bigger than it actually is and is extremely functional throughout the various living spaces. This remains true and a recurring note given by visitors. Essentially, our design was never intended to work in silo, and it shouldn’t. It harmonises with the surrounding environment. This was an important insight we learnt over the design process. We embraced greeneries and gardens visible from our home and strategically located our study and reading corners. This gives us the perception of studying or reading near a garden. Last but not the least, we decluttered our environment, fully embracing the minimalist concept. Visual perception of space was accentuated with the use of colours, lights, and glass."
The partial wall with glass, they say, is their favourite decorative accent in the house.
The kitchen and dining area both sport minimalist features. The galley kitchen is lovely in its white splendour. White tiles run from the walls to the floor, and perfectly complement the immaculate white cabinetry. The couple's dining area is a fuss-free two-seater bar counter, which also serves as the welcome showcase in this home's entryway.
The cosy bedroom is another favourite spot of the couple and it's not surprising judging by the photos. "We merged two rooms into a bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, and some space at the foot of the bed for future-proofing. It was clear we needed a walk-in wardrobe. The challenge was to create a space which supported one-piece flow. This meant that from sleeping to dressing up for work the next day, we do not have to walk in and out of our bedroom several times to achieve that. Essentially, theres just one touch point at each place and it just flows," explains Nat.
Jinny says of their simple and clean bath space, "The toilet design in the master bedroom was deliberately calibrated to harmonise the entire process. It comes as an extension of our master bedroom and walk-in closet. Featuring an edge-to-edge mirror, it became a haven for dressing up for men and women alike. Water shower was removed to create a dry space to fit all that. This may sound contradictory to some, but to us, it was a 'no-brainer' decision—showers can be staggered with effective scheduling and communication. Clearly, the conceptualisation and design was personalised."
Type of property: 3-room BTO Flat
Total space: 65 square metres, inclusive of aircon ledge
Interior designer: The Minimalist Society
Time to complete works: Two months
> Find an ID who is keen to dream together with you. This makes the entire process much easier. "We cast our net wide and far, looked through IDs' past projects and designs. We shortlisted IDs based on four points: design specialisation, personalisation, cordial relationship, and wallet-friendly."
> Map out your needs and daily routines. If you have habits you would like to change or improve on, include them. Let design work for you! They have the power to change how you do things differently.
This article was first published on Cromly.com