THE INSPIRATION ISSUE
Fab colours, materials and global movements to embrace
AWARD-WINNING HOMES Singaporeâ€™s top residential spaces and interior designers to know ART OF MAKING Behind the scenes with local makers
COLOUR CODE All around the globe, people are becoming more embracing of and captivated with colour and its ability to inspire, influence and convey meaning. Here are three significant colours to imbue your home (and life) with! TEXT LOUISA CLARE LIM
COLOUR INSPIRATION: HEART WOOD
Translating the mood of a welcoming, cocooning home is the AkzoNobel Colour of the Year 2018. It’s a subtle, heartwarming mauve-meets-blush shade that’s a great complement to a natural or woody material palette, for both rustic and contemporary interiors. 1. Baker Furniture Almandine sofa, from Proof Living 2. Bolia Posea bench, from Kuhl Home 3. AYTM Stilla rug, from Inhabitant 4. Gebruder Thonet Vienna Targa armchair, from Space Furniture 5. Fritz Hansen Objects Light Tray candleholder, from W. Atelier 6. Heart Wood (10YR 28/072) paint, from Dulux 7. Romo Soraya fabrics, from Tatum 8. Gubi Beetle chair, from Danish Design
22 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
COLOUR INSPIRATION: HARBOUR
From Nippon Paintâ€™s Trend Beyond Colours 2018 range, this invigorating teal hue communicates a sense of adventure and exploration. Layer it on with other intriguing shades from the same bluegreen colour family, such as turquoise and marine blue, for a dynamic ombre theme. 1. Harbour (NP AC 2108 A) and Ultra Blue (NP PB 1547 A) paints from Nippon Paint 2. Mineralogie Teal Agate coaster, from T2 3. Lambert & Fils Laurent 01 pendant lamp, from Inhabitant 4. Pierre Frey Boussac Candy Pacific fabric, from Romanez 5. Artek Aalto 69 chair, from Vitra by Grafunkt 6. Eilersen Fatty sofa, from Danish Design
7. Besta sideboard (combination with doors and
drawers), from Ikea 8. Notre Monde Birds of Paradise tray, from Ethnicraft Online
9. Classicon Pallas table, from Space Furniture
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 23
1. S M A R T S T U DY The Vario desk comes in a slim size and is easy to move around. The back panel can be rotated to add some fun to the study space, while the desktop can be adjusted to save space. The height of the Anfun chair is also adjustable, making it suitable for both children and adults.
The Vario desk and Anfun chair are available at Atomi, www.atomi-jp.com
THE FLEXIBLE LIFE Apartments are becoming tinier, which means the need for modular, flexible furniture is more important now than ever before. TEXT JANICE SEOW
2. FOLD IT U P Designed by talented Fritz Hansen cabinetmakers Willumsen and Engholm back in 1958, the elegant tray table has now been relaunched as part of the Fritz Hansen Objects collection. The tabletop (in oak veneer) is also a tray that you can detach to serve drinks, while the base (in solid oak, and in either natural or black lacquered finish) is foldable so you can store it neatly away when not needed. Fritz Hansen is available at W. Atelier,
3. C L A S S I C T H R E E - I N - O N E A true classic, the 514 Refolo Sofa was designed by Charlotte Perriand for her own use in Tokyo back in 1953. Produced by Cassina and as relevant today as it was when it was first made, this compact, modular system can be used as a table, a bench or a padded unit simply by adding cushions to the structure using a simple fastening system. Cassina is available at Space Furniture, www.spacefurniture.com.sg 26 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
CLOSE TO NATURE With increasingly hectic urban lifestyles, our longing for the cool quietness of nature and desire for simple, natural materials continues well into 2018. TEXT JANICE SEOW
1. W O V E N B E A U T I E S Natural materials add warmth and character to modern interiors. The Cane-line range of woven chairs from Ethnicraft Online is a fine example. The four models – Blend, Lean, SIDD and Spin – are crafted from durable materials like rattan and Sunbrella fabric, and can be used in a variety of spaces, from the dining room to the living area and study. www.ethnicraft-online.com.sg
2. INTO THE WOODS The Dama coffee table from Poliform looks just like a solid log of wood, albeit a highly sophisticated version. It has a natural and seamless appearance and comes in two different finishes – canaletto walnut and cedarwood.
Poliform is available at Space Furniture www.spacefurniture.com.sg
3. H A N G I N G G A R D E N Thanks to vertical garden systems, city dwellers can now grow their own greens. The Bittergurka hanging planter from Ikea offers a simple but effective solution for getting your herbs directly to the kitchen. All you need to do is unhook the planter and carry it to your stove – or the dining table if you like it ultra fresh. www.ikea.com/sg
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 27
OUTSTANDING HDB FLAT S P O N S O R E D B Y L A M I TA K
W INNER P R O J E C T: W E E R E S I D E N C E FIRM: WEE STU DIO
This five-room HDB flat makes a bold experimentation with materials and design details. Designed as a cosy space for entertaining, standout features include an island counter that doubles up as dining table and TV console.
LOOKBOX DESIGN AWARDS 2017
HONOUR A BLE MENTION
HONOUR A BLE MENTION
P R O J E C T: J S A PA R T M E N T F I R M : W Y N K C O L L A B O R AT I V E
P R O J E C T: S Q U A R I N G A T R I A N G L E FIRM: ASOLIDPL A N
P R O J E C T: L O D G I N G H O M E FIRM: DHOME STU DIO
P R O J E C T: M C N A I R 26 4 FIRM: JOE Y K H U ID
SHORTLIST P R O J E C T: M O V I N G W A L L S FIRM: ASOLIDPL A N
WOODWORKING K im C hoy, c raf tsman and founde r of S hibui Furniture C ollec tive
“You can say I’m a woodworker, or more specifically, a furniture craftsman,” says Kim Choy, founder of Shibui Furniture Collective. Either way, these are two occupations that you probably don’t hear much about these days. It was only by taking a leap of faith that Kim, who currently operates singlehandedly out of his home studio, turned his woodworking hobby into a career. “Back in 2011, I was actually a web developer, writing code for a living. So instead of constantly facing the computer, I thought why not do something with my hands?” he recalls. Then living with his parents in a HDB flat in Jurong, he started picking up woodworking, practicing at a spacious corner of the common corridor. He shares: “During weekends at around 8am, I would set up my shop and bring out my tools and wood, working till evening.” It was with this simple start that Kim embarked on something new. He read up about tools and how they work, as well as furniture joinery, and one thing led to another. Over time, it was clear to him that he could work with wood. He says: “I enjoyed the learning so much that I decided to change my career, since I previously also turned my programming hobby into a full-time job.” For Kim, doing things by hand is very important, and he will stand by it. “When I learn something, I want to do so with a good foundation. When you learn it manually, you can’t cover up a mistake
– so it’s more punishing in a way that you need to do it right.” But besides this, it’s also about having the pieces he creates turn out with full authenticity of how it was done in the past. Kim uses traditional Japanese hand tools and never relies on hardware or fasteners. He’s even made his own shaving pony and human-powered lathe. He emphasises: “The biggest way to improve the sustainability issue, when it comes to furniture, is to make each piece properly so it lasts and people won’t have a chance to throw it away. So I pay a lot of attention to construction techniques – for example, joints that will hold together for very long, and reversible joints that can be undone so a piece can be repaired if it breaks.” Now in his home studio, the selftaught furniture craftsman can make a piece from start to finish. Kim’s home is peppered with his own creations, such as a dining table, credenza, bench and shoe rack. Right now, he works with hardwood mainly from the US, including oak, maple, walnut, cherry and ash – coming a long way from working with scraps from lumberyards seven years ago in his makeshift workshop!
Find some of Kim’s unique creations at his official stockist Pomelo, www.pomelo.com.sg. He is also currently working on his first retail collection to be launched soon. www.shibuifurniture.co
“To call yourself a craftsman, the only things that can hone your craft are time and practice.” 70 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 71
DOWN TO A FINE ART
76 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
As gallery owners and art lovers, this couple has adorned their apartment with an array of modern art pieces from their personal collection, while also exhibiting their unique sense of style. TEXT LOUISA CLARE LIM PHOTOGRAPHY WONG WEILIANG ART DIRECTION BETTY WONG
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 77
I N D E TA I L Home: 3-bedroom condominium unit | Floor area: 2,140sqft | Who lives here: A couple in their early 40s Where: Bukit Timah
78 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
raparound windows make this high-floor apartment that enjoys unobstructed views of a picturesque neighbourhood bright and airy. Being an old condominium unit, it affords a bigger footprint compared to todayâ€™s new high-rise residences, but it needed an overhaul before its new occupants could truly call it home. Homeowners and art lovers Seah Yu Ying and Dewi Shen engaged Raymond Seow of Free Space Intent to renovate it so they could make better use of its space and accommodate the things they love. The result: a lightfilled art gallery-inspired abode. It was the coupleâ€™s love for art and collecting it that directed the design of their home, which now allows them to showcase pieces from their huge personal collection. Yu Ying estimates that there are around 25 paintings and sculptures displayed here, out of three warehouses-worth of artwork amassed over 30 years! Peppered with enthralling modern art paintings and sculptures curated by the couple, the home intrigues at every turn, as each wall acts as a bare canvas for which personality-imbued vignettes are built upon.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FREE SPACE INTENT
D E S I G N N OT E S (Right) Blending existing structural elements into a new design scheme can prove to be ingenious, as seen in the powder room behind the kitchen. The space embraces the old ventilation blocks, rather than covering it up, turning it into a softly backlit “feature wall”.
(Above) The open kitchen melds seamlessly with the living space. It features a long dual-tier kitchen island, as well as exhibits a prized painting by the husband’s favourite artist. (Facing page) A pared down backdrop of plain walls, concrete screed and clean-lined structural elements allows paintings and sculptures, as well as designer furnishing pieces to take centre stage in the apartment. Track lights were installed – a characteristic element of gallery spaces.
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 79
“I like things a little bit messier, personalised and lived in. A space should have a good form, but it’s the objects you place in it that makes it a good space.” – Dewi Shen, homeowner
“There was to be absolutely no feature wall!” emphasises Raymond. He knew that the couple’s artwork, for sure, and perhaps designer furniture pieces were to take the spotlight. “At first, I even considered a minimalist all-white space with just track lights, like a typical gallery, but decided that it would be too cold,” he adds. He therefore retained the existing parquet flooring, which rendered the home a feeling of warmth and cosiness, given the context of bare walls and ceilings. To enhance the spaciousness of the apartment, Raymond also removed the existing false ceilings and retained the living area’s split-level layout, to the homeowners’ delight. Yu Ying says: “We like the taller ceiling in the living space, as we’ve gotten used to the sense of space you feel in a gallery.” The couple owns and runs White Space Art Asia, a gallery specialising in Asian contemporary art with a focus on modern ink paintings. Yu Ying started the gallery about six years ago, leveraging its connection with Heng Artland – his father’s art gallery and one of the most well known galleries in Singapore. “You can say I grew up in a gallery, but I never thought I would continue the business,” he says on being a collector long before starting his own gallery. The homeowner further reminisces: “My first paycheck went to buying a painting from my dad – and he didn’t even give me a discount!” He had paid over $4,000 for it about 20 years ago. It’s now worth about $120,000 and is displayed in the study. Another notable piece of artwork is hung up in the kitchen next to the island counter – a painting by Yu Ying’s favourite artist, Bob Yan. For this special piece of artwork, a different set of track lights that are 80 | LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG
slightly bigger than the rest is used to illuminate and highlight it. “I specifically kept these track lights with halogen bulbs because it gives a precise yellow-tone lighting that you can’t find anymore, which really brings out the painting,” Yu Ying explains. Other details incorporated into the home that centre on displaying art seriously include a cable hanging system that allows for flexibility in hanging up different pieces of various sizes as and when the couple fancies. Most of the partition walls were also reinforced to be able to bear the weight of heavy art pieces, says Raymond. As a pared-down backdrop for the ever-changing artscape, the structural language of the interiors is decisively stark, with the use of simple materials, basic colours and unembellished forms, softened by the occasional soft furnishing or decor object. Raymond spent a lot of time designing the open-concept kitchen, as this was particularly important to Dewi and Yu Ying, who enjoy entertaining. Topped with a Dekton Trillium slab that has an oxidised metal look, the kitchen island has a “cantilevered” design, with the protruding extension functioning as a breakfast counter. The designer shares that the kitchen’s design evolved from an L-shape to a T-shape, and eventually to an island kitchen. Visible upon entering the apartment, it has become Dewi’s favourite space in the home. “It’s especially great for when everyone comes over; it’s where everyone congregates,” she smiles.
Free Space Intent www.fsi.com.sg
LOOKBOXLIVING.COM.SG | 81
The Inspiration Issue