The Chic Home: Newlyweds add personal touch to HDB 5-room apartment, Home & Design News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Mr. Daryl Yang and Ms. Candise Tee envisioned their marital home as a quiet sanctuary. It also had to be spacious and flexible, as the sociable couple often hosts friends and family.

The newlyweds, who are in their 30s, designed their 1,206-square-foot Housing Commission five-room resale apartment in Bukit Panjang – with input from Ms. Tee’s brother, an architect.

The couple coordinated renovations, which took about three months, in two countries. They refused to reveal how much it cost. Mr Yang, who works in the building maintenance industry, was in Singapore, while Ms Tee, a freelance makeup artist, was in Malaysia with her parents due to the pandemic.

The couple, who moved into the house in March 2021, opted for a natural palette that included cream and beige colors with clean lines and understated geometries.

As the blue glass facade of the residential block opposite reflects blue light into the apartment, the warm color palette, accompanied by woven blinds and appropriate lighting, mitigates unwanted effects.

The original concept of Muji style, mainly involving whites and light oak, evolved. The layering of dark walnut laminates, light oak parquet, ceiling fans with a beech finish and walnut furniture enriches the color palette, while making it easier to mix and match future rooms.

The original kitchen was divided into a wet kitchen and a dry kitchen. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

Natural materials complete this look, including rustic solid teak stumps used as a lamp base and vanity stool, a pair of polished granite coffee tables designed by Ms. Tee’s brother, and travertine bathroom tiles.

Instead of buying brand new, the couple combined new carpentry and furniture with pre-loved pieces from various sources.

An old mirror with a rusty, well-worn wood and metal frame from the vintage furniture store Hock Siong near the main entrance is a conversation piece and an Instagram spot for visitors. A 60 year old wooden bench with vintage carpentry sitting in the guest bedroom was purchased through the Carousell online marketplace and re-upholstered. The lounge chairs complemented an office reception area.

And while most home owners frown on cracks and dents, Mr. Yang and Ms. Tee take a “wabi-sabi” (Japanese for accepting imperfection) approach.


The herringbone floor and cylindrical bedside table, along with different shades of cream and ivory, make this a perfect master bedroom. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

The apartment has been largely reconfigured, in particular by moving the main hallway by 60 cm. This hallway leads to the master bedroom and is flanked by two further bedrooms on one side; and the household shelter, the shared bathroom and the main bathroom on the other.

The relocated corridor allows the addition of exhibition niches to conceal the shelter, with additional storage space. The shared and main bathrooms are now larger. The change also created an alcove in the master bedroom for an office area and a small recess next to the bedroom door which serves as an open wardrobe.

By moving the door, the bedroom adjacent to the master bedroom has become a walk-in closet within the master suite.


The symmetrical walk-in closet and the walk-in closet that spans two walls.
PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

The concrete walls in the third bedroom behind the living room have been replaced with glass. It serves as a multipurpose room which is an extension of the living room. With the curtains drawn, it can be used as a guest room or transformed into a children’s room.


The double-sided sofa accommodates adults in the front, watching TV, while others can sit and watch children in the glass-enclosed room to the rear.
PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

  • This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Home & Decor, published by SPH Magazines. Get the December issue and the latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also check out other inspiring homes on the Home & Decor website.


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