SMART LIVING MADE EASY
THE BEST SMART APPLIANCES FOR EVERY AREA OF THE HOUSE GET THE LOOK
Achieve timeless design styles in your own home with these dashing picks
MAXIMISE SMALL SPACES
NOV 2020 ISSUE 186 S$5.50/RM10
Clever layouts to make even the tiniest of rooms feel big and spacious
In Focus FA D S
GET THE LOOK
Accessories and furnishings to achieve four of Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular interior design styles text & coordination YUEN YI YING
CHARACTERISED BY RAW MATERIALS, EXPOSED STRUCTURES AND UNFINISHED SURFACES, THE INDUSTRIAL AESTHETIC IS EDGY, HARD-WEARING AND ADDS ITS OWN PERSONALITY TO YOUR DECOR.
urban industria 7
W H AT T O LOOK FOR:
Metals, leather, distressed wood, raw brick and concrete •
Salvaged and recycled materials
Exposed hardware like pulleys, pipes, cables and rivets •
Black, rust, brown and grey hues
1 Hanging Ceiling Lamp, $1,199, Commune 2 Heritage Carpets Play Low Pile Rug, $870, HipVan 3 Tonad Decoration, $14.90 for a set of three, IKEA 4 Moscow Mule Copper Mug, $16.90, HipVan 5 Lindrande Decoration, $29, IKEA 6 Rejsa Box, $24.90, IKEA 7 Carson Pendant Lamp, $79, HipVan 8 Rover Lounge Chair, $799, Commune 9 Silestone Loft Poblenou, price upon request 10 Nypon In/outdoor Plant Pot, $12.90, IKEA 11 Diamond Concrete Pot, $8.90, HipVan 12 Albert Shelf, $359, Castlery
In Focus FA D S
LOVE CLEAN LINES, SIMPLE SHAPES AND ELEGANT COLOURS? THIS TIMELESS AND POLISHED LOOK FITS THE BILL.
simple, timeless 7
W H AT T O LOOK FOR: •
Furnishings with minimal details, clean lines or organic shapes
Quality materials like glass and solid wood for a refined appearance •
Metallic accents to add glamour •
Storage options that hide mess but let you put beautiful things on display •
Large pieces in neutral tones so you can add colour with smaller decorative items without the house looking too busy
1 Contemporary Pendant Lamp, $131.40, Commune 2 Stella Bamboo Lantern, $100, Anthropologie 3 Helga Abstract Acrylic Painting, $629, HipVan 4 Vindkast Pendant Lamp, $29.90, IKEA 5 Umbra Nesta Wall & Desk Planter, $39.90, HipVan 6 Cliff Shelf, $849, Castlery 7 Rotblöta Wall Clock, $49.90, IKEA 8 Evedal Table Lamp, $199, IKEA 9 Etched Monogram Candle, $30, Anthropologie 10 Heritage Carpets Fjord Low Pile Rug, $1,050, HipVan
LIVING BIG GOT A SMALL HOME? AHEAD YOU’LL FIND THE BEST LAYOUTS FOR THE TINIEST OF ROOMS—BE IT BATHROOMS OR SERVICE YARDS—AS WELL AS PLENTY OF IDEAS TO MAXIMISE STORAGE SPACE AND MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE t ex t YA I Z A C A N O P O L I
In the kitchen
IMAGE COURTESY OF NAOMI HEBERT
While an open-concept kitchen can make a large home feel sparse and unwelcoming, it works like magic to brighten up smaller living spaces. You can easily create visual separation between living and cooking areas by using a kitchen island or even a small bar counter, which will also lend your home some extra pizzazz.
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE DESIGN DEFINE
For those homeowners who prefer a classic closed kitchen, we recommend an L-shaped design, which will visually elongate your space and give you the largest possible work zone with a sizable countertop area.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ZLC
If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not comfortable knocking down the entire wall between your kitchen and living room, a clear glass wall will do the trick too, letting plenty of light into both areas while keeping unpleasant cooking smells contained.
IMAGE COURTESY OF FINELINE DESIGN
IMAGE COURTESY OF BLUM
IMAGE COURTESY OF KITCHENCRAFT
Make use of as much vertical space as possible with shelves, high cabinets and handy hooks and bars. You can even hang things from the ceiling for even more space!
Bring unused nooks and crannies to life with clever storage solutions, such as cabinets and drawers designed to fit into awkward corners.
Opt for built-in furnishings and appliances and make sure they fit snugly into your kitchen. This will ensure a seamless and airy look with no sharp corners sticking out.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ZLC
Our top recommendation for a successful service yard design? Stacking, stacking, stacking. As one of the smallest spaces in the house, the service yard has very limited square footage, but tends to offer plenty of vertical space that is often overlooked. Take, for instance, your washing machine and dryer. As long as they are front-loading appliances, they can easily be stacked on top of one another, opening up a whole lot of extra space.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PROZFILE
2 In the service yard
You can take things even further by transferring your washing machine into the kitchen. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a dryer to worry about, you are essentially dedicating the entire service yard to a single appliance, wasting precious space. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve moved your washing machine, either remove the wall separating the kitchen from the service yard for a bigger cooking space or turn the now empty area into an additional store room, a tiny home office or even a plant sanctuary.
Alternatively, you can use the space above your laundry appliances for handy storage, such as cabinets and shelves. If you don’t have a dryer, why not add a drying rack above the washing machine for easy access?
COUNTERTOP SPACE Whether it’s to fold your laundry or to store detergent and fabric softener, countertop space is a definite musthave in your service yard. If your washing machine and dryer are positioned side by side, top them with a wall-mounted counter. If your appliances are stacked on top of one another, consider installing countertops on the opposite side of the room or in the available nooks and crannies.
IMAGE COURTESY OF LG
IMAGE COURTESY OF STEIGEN
IMAGE COURTESY OF NOTION OF W
L AU N D RY M U S T - H AV E S
CEILING STORAGE While making the most of your walls for extra storage space is crucial, utilising your ceiling is just as important. We recommend a pulldown laundry rack like the ones by Steigen, which fold up close to the ceiling when not in use, giving you plenty of headspace. If you have a dryer and don’t need a laundry rack, make the most of your ceiling by mounting a few shelves. You can use these to store bedding for guests, beach towels and other items that are not always in use.
HARD-WORKING APPLIANCES What’s a super-organised service yard without appliances that get the job done? Be it a combo of washer and dryer like the new LG WashTower or stand-alone appliances by Bosch or Samsung, it’s important to factor in price, efficiency and sustainability when making your choice. Make sure that your washer and dryer come with water and electricity-saving features and that they have a large enough loading capacity for the whole household.
Smart Connections Clever appliances for every corner of the home
Motorised blinds Ever wanted the blinds in your bedroom to open up on your schedule so you can wake up to a wholesome sunrise? Or wished you could close them all in one go after a long day at work, without having to walk up and down the house? Motorised blinds allow you to do all of that and more. Just connect them
to smart assistants like Amazon and Google Home to set schedules and operate them from the comfort of your couch. We particularly recommend smart blinds from mc.2, such as the ALTEX Top Down Bottom Up series, which offer great control over how much daylight enters your home for maximum privacy.
Be it chores or leisure time, smart appliances can make everything from cooking to streaming your favourite TV shows a lot more enjoyable. Here are some of our top picks for every room of the house.
IMAGE COURTESY OF SG DIGITAL LOCK
IMAGE COURTESY OF MC.2
t ex t YA I Z A C A N O P O L I
Around the house
A digital lock Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for security reasons or simple convenience, a smart door lock can come in pretty handy. A digital model like the Yale YDM 7116B, which you can get a hold of from SG Digital Lock, comes with five different access methods, including fingerprint, bluetooth and a classic key, and can be paired with Yale Bridge to wirelessly keep track of who is accessing your door. It even has a built-in alarm system that sets off automatically if someone attempts to break into your home, alerting neighbours and scaring off intruders.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PHILIPS HUE
IMAGE COURTESY OF HARVEY NORMAN
A security camera A smart door lock is a great way to take your home security system up a notch, but it usually can’t keep an eye on your surroundings— that’s where a security camera has the upper hand. The Arlo Essential Spotlight is a small but feisty security camera that can be mounted with little fuss, withstanding rain and harsh sunlight while running wirelessly. It also comes with built-in night vision and a useful alarm siren that can be triggered automatically or manually from the camera’s app in the case of an emergency, keeping you safe 24/7.
IMAGE COURTESY OF HARVEY NORMAN
Voice-controlled lights We’ve all seen protagonists in movies walking around lavish mansions and telling their lights to switch off before heading to bed. The good news is that this is not just something out of a movie anymore, but can be a reality in your own home, no matter how large or small. With smart lights like the Philips Hue, you can add up to fifty clever light bulbs in different shapes, sizes and colours, connecting them to a single smart hub that you then control through an app or your own voice. You can change the colour, switch the lights on and off and even ask them to adapt to your schedule and habits for extra convenience.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ARLO
A Wi-Fi mesh system As working from home becomes more and more normalised, having a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection in your abode is crucial. If you’re working with a standard router and have been getting frustrated with the spotty connection, it may be time to upgrade to a Wi-Fi mesh system. The Netgear Orbi Tri-Band system, available from Harvey Norman, will serve you well with its set of three connection points that you can spread out across your entire home, promising fast internet over up to 4,000 square feet.
A smart plug While the advantages of a smart plug like the TP-Link HS100, available from Harvey Norman, may not be immediately apparent, being able to control whatever is plugged into your home from an app on your phone can turn out to be pretty convenient. You can leave devices to charge at home and turn them off whenever you please, switch your lights on just before you come home from work and even turn your appliances on and off again while away to give the impression that someone’s inside the house. Forgot to turn off your lights and already lying in bed? With this clever plug you can power off your whole household with just a tap. 43
IMAGE COURTESY OF CRATE&BARREL
IMAGE COURTESY OF SAMSUNG
A smart fridge While a smart fridge is not a necessity for single homeowners, it can be a real saviour if you have a big family. The Samsung Family Hub, for instance, combines clever storage with recipe suggestions, automated shopping lists and the handy option to look inside your fridge from an app while buying groceries. It also has a built-in family board on the outside, which families can share photos and messages through remotely. Throwing a family get-together? Use the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music player to set the mood at the heart of your home.
A multi-cooker Nothing speeds up tiresome meal prep quite like a multi-cooker. The Instant Pot Duo Classic, available from Crate&Barrel, comes with fourteen one-touch smart programs, automatically adjusting the perfect settings for soup, stew, porridge, rice, yogurt and many others. With its range of cooking capabilities, it replaces a host of common cooking appliances in the kitchen, combining them all into one space-saving device for fuss-free food prep.
IMAGE COURTESY OF V-ZUG
An integrated dishwasher Cleaning one or two plates may not be a big deal, but once you start cooking elaborate meals and following them with dessert for the whole family, the thought of doing the dishes becomes daunting. A fully integrated dishwasher like the Bosch Series 6 can help you along with smart features like PerfectDry, GlassSecure and AquaSensor, cleaning your dishes with the most appropriate program while remaining energy-efficient and water-saving at the same time.
An automatic oven For those dishes that you can’t quite crack with a multi-cooker, an automatic oven like the Bosch Series 8 is sure to do the trick. With handy settings like PerfectBake and PerfectRoast, the oven’s even heat distribution and precise timings get you great results in the kitchen with little effort, making baking and cooking truly hands-off. The pyrolytic self-cleaning function finally takes things to the next level, helping you keep the oven clean at all times.
IMAGE COURTESY OF BOSCH
IMAGE COURTESY OF BOSCH
An intuitive stove What’s the point of a smart stove, you ask? For one, it’s a lot more versatile than your regular cooker. Instead of a series of fixed hobs, a stove like V-ZUG’s V6000 FullFlex is made of a flat surface that intuitively detects where cookware is placed, heating up to six pots and pans in various configurations. The stove also comes with a handy control panel, allowing you to choose between various smart features—automatic simmering, teppan yaki, gentle melting and many others. Can’t remember your favourite settings? Not to worry, the stove saves them with a helpful memory function.
Want a smarter home but not sure where to start? Here are some tips and tricks for a smooth transition. 1 Start with the basics that affect the entire home, such as smart plugs and your Wi-Fi system. 2 Figure out the reason you want a smarter home. Are you looking for more convenience or better entertainment? 3 Narrow down the areas of your home that you want to prioritise. If convenience is your aim, you’ll want to kick things off with the kitchen and cleaning appliances. If you’re looking for entertainment, the living room will be the best place to start.
Lofty ideals Space 4-room HDB BTO flat Location Telok Blangah Heights Reno Period Six to eight weeks
Renovating without fear, Ideasxchange completely turned this cookie-cutter HDB unit around with bold configurations and statement materials
Home To Married couple
Text D I S A TA N
Not everyone is open to bold ideas, especially when it comes to their humble abode, but this married couple certainly set a different tone with their new marital home which is brimming with character. Designer Caine Cheong from Ideasxchange, who worked with the couple on their renovation, said: “The homeowners weren’t looking for anything that was run of the mill, so we were on the same page to create something unconventional.” Among some of the couple’s unusual design requirements were a grand reading room style for their living area, an NYC loft-like kitchen and a combined wardrobe-bathroom ensuite for their bedroom. To materialise these ideas into a cohesive style that doesn’t compromise everyday ease, Caine had to plan the layout carefully. In the kitchen, he hacked away the boundary walls between the dining area and service yard. That opened up the communal zones exponentially to amplify the expanse of space and light. This bright and free-flowing configuration also allowed Caine to explore a darker palette with confidence without overwhelming the final look.
Black laminates in a matt finish now line the open-concept kitchen as well as the dining room wall. Of the material’s chic, dark tone, Caine remarks: “There’s a velvety touch to this laminate which is almost like suede, and it brings a premium touch to elevate interiors.” Pairing this sleek finish with the rose gold-hued kitchen backsplash, the dark, masculine tone draws out a perfectly brilliant contrast against the soft metallic palette. While most homeowners would go for overhead closed shelving for practical reasons, this couple wanted industrial-style open shelving to store and showcase their kitchen essentials. Caine fulfilled their wish with mild steel racks which have been artfully arranged on the kitchen wall. These open and airy storage compartments provide an edgy, loft-like aesthetic and let the rose gold mosaic tiles shine as an outstanding centrepiece in the kitchen. In the living area, wood-effect laminates take precedence as wall coverings and cabinetry finishes. These rich and grainy textures evoke the moody opulence of a reading room and offer welcoming respite for the homeowners to unwind after a long
day. Though there is a lavish use of woody textures, the living area maintains its spacious visage thanks to the fluid, open-concept layout which bathes the space in good light. Living out the five-star hotel experience right in their own bedroom, the homeowners enjoy the luxuries of an upsized space complete with a connecting bathroom-wardrobe ensuite. Caine says: “We merged a common bedroom with the master bedroom to cater for these amenities.” No doubt the design highlight of the bedroom, the glamourous ensuite features his and hers sinks and a spacious walk-in wardrobe. These boutique hotel-like touches occupy almost half of the enlarged room and are separated by a glass enclosure. On the other side where the sleeping quarters lie, an intimate ambience was conceived through a dark grainy palette of wood-effect laminates and monochromatic colours. Through Caine’s restrained eye in mixing the right materials with just the right amount of unique detail, he has put together a distinctively classy yet characterful living space. From cookie-cutter home to a fully customised abode, this flat unit has certainly raised the bar of HDB living.
Kitchen Softening the dark, masculine tone of the cabinet finishes is the tiled backsplash in a gorgeous rose gold hue. It is wellmatched with handle pulls in a similar metallic finish.
Mosaic tiles from Mosaico
Living area Relaxing comes easy in this living area with an after-dark ambience. It is conceived through layers of woody textures prominent on the wall, cabinetry and flooring. Right
Master bedroom A half-height glass divider separates the luxurious ensuite from the master bedroom, and this bold semi-open configuration enhances the five-star hotel experience.
S M A R T T W E A
Boutique hotel ambience With the walls decked in dark, wood-effect laminate coverings, the master bedroom is awash in cosy textures that promote rest and relaxation.
DUAL-SIDED PRIVACY DIVIDER AND WARDROBE TO MAXIMISE FUNCTIONALITY AND STORAGE
HACKING AWAY THE BOUNDARY WALL IN THE SERVICE YARD ENLARGED THE KITCHEN
Vibrant yet subdued, this bachelorette’s BTO flat combines energising colours with restful design elements for a perfectly balanced space
1 Living area
while the cabinet doors themselves are smoothly
Daring and colourful, the living area in this small
laminated and equally easy to clean. Plants and
HDB flat sets the tone for the rest of the home,
home fragrance add a final soothing touch to the
introducing a lively space with lots of personality.
subdued surroundings, providing some respite
The room is furnished with cosy armchairs from
from the everyday hustle and bustle.
Commune, which the designer and homeowner sourced together, and further adorned with original
artworks made of real moss. With the intention of
Despite its small size, the bedroom offers
creating a space reminiscent of a boutique hotel
plenty of room to move around comfortably
suite, a feature wall was custom-built out of oriented
thanks to space-saving features, such as the
strand board, a sturdy material made of wood
adjustable bed frame from Woosa and the
chunks layered in unique patterns. This combination
sleek seating from Commune. To maximise the
of natural materials and rich hues makes for a quirky
available space even further, a skinny storage
living room with a restful and organic vibe.
compartment was built into the side of the fullheight wardrobe, giving the homeowner an extra
niche to store tall, narrow items. Engineered
While white paint helps to visually expand the
wood flooring and a pop of sage wall paint take
narrow walkway, it is the small details that bring this
the brightness of the white walls and wardrobe
space to life. Glazed porcelain tiles cover the floors
down a notch, grounding the overall colour
of the corridor all the way from the living room to
the kitchen, displaying a subdued yet playful pattern
FA C T F I L E SPACE
2-room HDB flat SIZE 398 sq ft LOCATION Bukit Batok
while being easy to maintain. A simple wooden
ladder leans against the wall to form the highlight of
Designed to be practical and low-maintenance
the walkway, each of the steps housing a small plant
with plenty of prep space, the kitchen doesn’t
for a greener, more welcoming home.
neglect the aesthetic side either. In fact, this space packs a punch despite the limited square
footage, sporting fuss-free glazed porcelain
Fitted out with pebble stone flooring and glazed
tiles, laminated solid plywood cabinets in a rich
porcelain tiles across the walls, this bachelorette’s
combination of squash and dark brown and a
bathroom was transformed into a toned-down
set of sturdy quartz countertops. A bright green
Zach Lim from Lush Interior Design
relaxation retreat. A floating sink cabinet features
bar stool was expertly sourced from Comfort
a semi-recessed washbasin from Bath Elements,
Design, rounding off the contemporary look with
built into a quartz surface for fuss-free maintenance,
a bold kick.
LUSH INTERIOR DESIGN 1 Thomson Road #04-348F Singapore 300001 Tel: 6256 3133 lushinterior.sg
Combining interior consulting with space planning and personal shopping, the team behind Lush Interior Design aims to create thoughtful, livable spaces that exude both creativity and
functionality. The designers work closely with their clients and industry partners to craft layouts that maximise space, practicality and aesthetic appeal for you and your family.
tip While having a consistent colour scheme is a good rule of thumb when designing your interiors, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equally important to give each room its own unique touch. 4
QUICK REFRESH Got a piece of solid wood furniture you don’t quite love anymore? Update it with a cerused or limed wax effect. This finish brings out the beautiful grain patterns while downplaying orange tones for a more modern and relaxed vibe. It’s also less stark than bleaching the wood or painting it white. Getting the look requires some work but the process is rather straightforward. Sand down any finish to expose the grain, then stain the surface with a darker tone to make the patterns more prominent. Alternatively, you can skip that last step and simply apply liming wax over the surface, buffing off the excess to achieve the intended
PHOTO BY HUTOMO ABRIANTO ON UNSPLASH
effect. That’s all there is to it!